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German Shepherd: Lines of Work VS Lines of Beauty

german shepherd lines work vs beauty lines

German Shepherd Dogs are one of the most popular canine breeds in the world, but ironically many of their fans are unaware that German Shepherds trotting around in a display are drastically different from actively working German Shepherd dogs, which are the most resembling the first German shepherds that were bred. If you are thinking of acquiring one of these magnificent dogs, you must first understand the important differences between the show line and the German shepherd dog line of work.

German Shepherd line of work: the breed standard

German Shepherds were originally bred for work . The breed’s creator, a German army captain named Max von Stephanitz , tried to create a friendly dog ​​that could enthusiastically perform rigorous jobs, repetitively, and was a loyal protector and companion to his family. Breeding for exhibitions was a secondary objective.

Since the first German sheepdogs were bred in 1899, the rigorous rigorous rules set by the German Shepherd Club of Germany (SV ) have served to protect the breed standard. These standards guarantee that all European German Shepherds can only be certified by the SV if:

  • They have certain physical and mental characteristics
  • You are medically certified that you do not have hip dysplasia
  • They have earned a “job title” in Schutzhund, herding or police dog activities.
Working line german shepherd

European German Shepherds, from breeders who specialize in working bloodlines, retain the characteristics sought after by the von Stephanitz and the SV and thus include:

  • Work ability, especially prey drive . The dog must demonstrate the enthusiasm and ability to repeatedly work and perform a task in exchange for some kind of reward.
  • Exceptional temperament . The dog must have great energy, a love of work, loyalty to its owners, and trust around children and strangers. Exceptional intelligence is a must.
  • Nerves of steel . A true German Shepherd must have an intelligent, confident and appropriate reaction to any situation. They should not be disturbed by environmental conditions such as traffic, sirens, or gunshots. Rather than avoiding it, the dog should show a desire to confront a threat when it presents itself.
  • Physical solidity . They have agile and compact bodies, they also have short and thick coat of varying colors. Most significantly, their silhouette is squarer and they lack the “flying trot gait” caused by the sloping hindquarters sought after by breeders of the show or beauty line.

A German line-of-work sheepdog would never win in the show ring as he was raised to work, not to parade. Physically, it bears little resemblance to the typical German shepherd found in most homes and that acts as a family pet.

The German Shepherd line of beauty, the kings of the show

Most German Shepherd fans want the appearance of the standard breed, however, few owners can dedicate the time, patience and / or do not have enough knowledge to dedicate to their pet and to create an authentic line of breed dog. work of German Shepherds.

To meet consumer demand for pets, European dog breeders began creating the German Shepherd Beauty or Show line , also known as “Show Lines,” “High Lines” and “Sieger Lines.” These dogs must pass the basic certifications required by the SV, but are basically bred to win at dog shows and as family pets.

In general, European and American German Shepherds of beauty lines have the following characteristics:

  • One unit of energy lower than the working line
  • Larger and more voluminous bodies , wider heads and extremely angled hindquarters
  • More uniformity in hair color , typically red and black or tan. Saber-colored, deep black are rare patterns (these are more common in German Shepherd lines of work).
  • Thicker and longer coat of hair
  • The personality and temperament to become a good family pet (always after a good socialization of the dog)
German shepherd beauty line

In America, German Shepherds of show and show lines are almost identical to European copies of the same lines, with one major exception: winners of American shows are not required to subject their dogs to any temperament or certification requirements. health to get certified by the American German Shepherd Club.

Many advocates of the standard breed argue that the absence of these weak requirements and standards imposed by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America is the cause of many German Shepherds suffering from health problems such as hip or elbow dysplasia. Critics of the show line have good evidence to support their claims that indiscriminate breeding, profit seeking and ignorance have forced breeders to create a dog that bears little resemblance to the one initially created by von Stephanitz.


Before purchasing a German Shepherd dog, try to find out as much as you can about the dog’s ancestry . This is easy when you buy a German Shepherd puppy from a recognized breeder, but difficult if you adopt one of the thousands that are scattered in kennels waiting for a new owner. This should not prevent you from adopting one of these last dogs, but think about the lifestyle that you are going to follow and that your new pet must also lead.

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I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

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