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German Shepherd history

All the credit for the development of this highly intelligent, loyal and obedient breed goes to Max von Stephanitz. It was exclusively his idea that fused a great range of sheep herding dogs into one single breed. He envisaged a dog of principled character, wise working ability, faithful and extensively trainable. Shepherd dogs used to be the true working dogs during 18th and 19th centuries. In Germany, the shepherds used their dogs to guide their group of sheep or domestic animals. These dogs did not have any particular origin. For those dogs, the only necessity was their working ability, but not their looks.

During late 19th century a movement initiated in the process of guiding sheep, which was led by Captain von Stephanitz with an idea to establish his organization, Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde for breeding dogs combining both talents and looks. In his breeding technique, although the primary emphasis was given on improving the working efficiency, Max von Stephanitz also put his effort to improve beauty of the German Shepherd.

In the historical timeline, the evolvement of German Shepherd was not always that smooth. In fact, there was a time when there was a reduction in the demand of the shepherd dogs. During that phase, the great innovator Captain von Stephanitz shaped his idea of breeding the German Shepherd in absolutely a new direction as police service dogs, where these dog were increasingly trained as police dogs in order to serve the nation. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, an increasing number of dog shows actually started influencing the breeders to take both appearance and efficiency into account.

During 1899, the idea of the contemporary German Shepherd came into existence with the continuous contribution of von Stephanitz and the formation of Verein. England discovered German Shepherds in World War I and took it back to the U.K. under the name of Alsatian. Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde regulated all the breeding in Germany during that phase. However, Germany was devastated and ruined following World War II, and the same was true with the breeding organization and policies. During that period, the credit of breeding the best German Shepherds went to North America.

During late 19th century, von Stephanitz implemented his extensive knowledge, expertise and breeding experience into new experimentations. He adopted different concepts used in the German Shepherd breeding techniques advocated in England during that period.

It was in 1899 when von Stephanitz attended a dog show and bought Horand von Grafrath, who was known as the first registered German Shepherd studbook entry. Von Stephanitz was most impressed by the wide range of qualities of the breed.

The blend of dynamism and active movements kept Horand apart from the other breeds. He was an obedient, brave, defensive and energetic type of dog, which was mostly praised for his mental alertness. In addition, he was also visually appealing with his beautiful lines of the body. A perfect combination of stamina and beauty gave the German Shepherd great worldwide recognition.

In today's world, imported German Shepherds are in high demand for their outstanding sense of smell, excellence in obedience, sound temperament and brilliant physical structure and working efficiency.

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Saturday, 23 September 2023

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