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German Shepherd: Work Lines VS Beauty Lines

work lines vs beauty lines

The German Shepherds are not only a breed of dog, but also a functional animal. If you are not yet aware or have no interest in dogs, especially the German Shepherd, you will really be surprised when you learn about their characteristics.

In this article, you will understand the difference between work lines vs beauty lines , but first, you need to have an overview of what is the history of German Shepherd lines.

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Historical background of the lines of work of the German Shepherd

The history of the human race is a very interesting topic to study, but do you think that dog breeds also have their significant history? One of these exciting canine stories is the story of the German Shepherd’s lines of work.

When did the idea for German Shepherd lines start?

It was during the 1850s that dog breeding was standardized in Germany. The main goal was to produce dogs that would help herders protect their flock from predators. Throughout this period, there were also discussions about whether bred dogs should be used just to show their appearance or for work functions as well.

Until a German captain and former veterinary student, Max von Stephanitz, who firmly believed in standardizing dog breeding to produce working dogs, championed this idea. His defense began after seeing a show and was in awe of the performance and skill of a dog, Hektor Linksrhein, and finally, after purchasing it, he changed his name to Horand von Grafrath, known to be the first German Shepherd dog.

Since then, the breeding of German Shepherd working lines became popular. Stephanitz’s effort in formulating methodical breeding programs contributed greatly to the field of German Shepherd breeding, especially lines of work. His work became internationally accepted and is used until now.

How did the German Shepherd lines evolve?

The discovery of Horand’s ability and genes became the core of the breeding system of the German Shepherd line of work. Stephanitz continuously worked on inbreeding procedures using the Horand bloodline. The results were successful when Horand left Schwaben and Beowulf that became the origin of the current lines of work of the German Shepherd.

In 1907, the German Shepherd Dog became more popular in America when its first exposure occurred there. It was in America that German Shepherd shows became more famous thanks to this new breed.

The development of the line of work crossing process was greatly improved during World War II in order to assist Axis powers and forces for military and paramilitary activities.

After the war, both the United States and Germany became very strict in the breeding and training program of the German Shepherd lines of work.

Currently, the breeding program for German Shepherd lines can be for both work and beauty or domestic purposes, which will be discussed later.

Differences between lines of work vs beauty lines

To clearly distinguish these German Shepherd lines, it is best to see their differences in purpose, physique, and personality.

Difference of purpose

Basically, the working lines German Shepherds are bred and trained to work especially in police and military functions. The breeding process and training are so intense that they develop the dog’s stamina to strengthen its survival rate and its tolerance for pain.

On the other hand, German Shepherd beauty lines are primarily bred to produce a well-structured and good-looking German Shepherd breed. These lines are intended for dog shows and, of course, to be companion dogs at home.

Physical difference

Working German Shepherds have a thicker and straighter body build to be able to work long hours. Whereas German Shepherds of beauty lines are slimmer with a sloping back because their hind legs are shorter than their front legs. Unlike working lines, the back legs are longer than the front legs.

Working lines German Shepherds should preferably have a medium length double coat for greater tolerance to weather. However, there are standards for beauty lines where color is a requirement such as strong and rich colors such as black, black and red, gray, black and tan, blue, or black and silver.

There is also a line of saber work that is preferred in military and police jobs. Sable German Shepherds are being bred by the best working line German Shepherd breeders in the world.

Personality differences

German Shepherds working lines are more aggressive and are very sensitive to any person or animal that moves quickly because they assume it as prey. They also use their mouth to bite or attack instead of their paws. This aggressiveness is an effect of severe training exposures. Training requires more special exercises that develop your physical strength and intelligence to be prepared in a dangerous field of work.

Beauty Line German Shepherds are calmer, more domesticated, and home-friendly, but still require precautions because they can also be dangerous when handled improperly. However, their aggressiveness often manifests itself when there is a situation in which they need to defend themselves.

Types of breeds of working and beauty German Shepherds

For those who are planning to have a German Shepherd dog, it is not enough that you know about its types of functions, but it is also essential to orient yourself on the main types of German Shepherd line breeds.

Below are some of the famous German Shepherd breed types from working and beauty lines. Specific details on this topic can be read in our article ” German Shepherd Types “.

East German Shepherd

This type of working German Shepherd is also known as DDR (Deutshe Demokratishe Republik). They have a straight body build, a darker color, and large bones. DDRs are usually bred and trained to be a German Shepherd line of work.

They are more energetic and need to participate in many activities to maintain good health. Most of them are trained by European working line German Shepherd breeders.

West german shepherd

West German Shepherds are bred for display purposes rather than job functions. They are very popular when it comes to the beauty lines of the German Shepherd breed. They have a more slanted appearance compared to East German Shepherds.

There is also a West German Shepherd line of work that is considered closer to the breed of dog bred by Stephanitz. This West German Shepherd is excellent both at work duties and as a family pet.

Czech German Shepherd

This type of German Shepherd is famous for working in the government. They are assigned the function of protectors of the territory and are bred from the lines of the East German Shepherd.

Although the Czech German Shepherd originated from the East German Shepherd (DDR) bloodlines, it has its differences, such as its color, which is lighter than that of the DDR, and its masculinity, which is higher. than that of the DDRs.

This type of breed also undergoes intensive training to improve health and muscle strength to stay fit in military exercises. It is also characterized by its dark color, strong nerves, intelligence and loyalty.


German Shepherd working lines are bred to develop working skills rather than appearance, compared to beauty lines. Although both have differences in their purpose, physical attributes, and personality, owners and breeders must take great care when handling them to ensure safety, whether in the workplace or at home.

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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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