Nr. 166 for the German Shepherd Dog
Origin : Germany FCI Classification
Group 1 : Sheepherding – Sheep Guardian
Sction 1 : Sheepherding –dog tested/examined for
Use : Sheepdog with a high
degree of versatility and useability; Police dog, guide
dog, and rescue dog
A brief history
After the official formation of the German Shepherd
Dog Club (SV), with it’s headquarters in Augsburg,
the next step was to have the breed standard accepted
by the German Kennel Club (VDH). Whilst simultaneously
the standard had to be agreed upon by all involved with
the breed at the time. The SV was effectively launched
into life at the first members meeting, held on the
20th of Sept 1899, where proposals and recommendations
of the breed standard were presented by Mr. A. Meyer
and Dr. Stefanitz. Consequently, serveral gatherings
of the members followed with the agenda always to better
coordinate the breeding standard; the 6th members meeting
on the 28th of July 1901, the 23rd members meeting in
Cologne on the 17th of Sept 1909 – the combined
meetings between the then club president and the breed
committes were held at Wiesbaden on the 5th of Sept
1930 and the 25th of March 1961, where, by now, it was
apparent that the formation of the (WUSV) (World Union
for German Shepherd Dog Clubs) was becoming a reality.
This framework was continuously streamlined, and on
the 30th of August 1976 further key decisions for the
breed and the programme were taken. Proposals and meetings
were always catalogued and conclusions monitored until
the WUSV Congress on the 23rd and 24th of March 1991
– through the presidents authority, full power
was granted to the WUSV.
The German Shepherd is medium size, slightly stretched,
stong, dry and well muscled, with strong bones, whilst
the whole body must appear compact.
Important size proportions
At the point of the wither, the measurement must be
between 60-65 cms in males and 55-60 cms in females.
The body length must surpass the wither hight by between
The German Shepherd must be self assured, balanced
with strong nerves and absolutely impartial behaviour,
whilst maintaining a good nature – until pushed
to the limit. The dog must be vibrant and easy going.
Furthermore the dog must be courageous, have a strong
fighting instinct and possess firm nerves. These are
essential requirements since the dog is to be used as
companion, guardian, protector and a working sheepdog.
It has to be wedge shaped and it should be proportionate
in size to the rest of the body (the length of the head
should be aoprox. 40% that of the wither height), without
appearing clumsy, shapeless or coarse or over –
long. The general aopearance must be dry (no flabby,
loose skin). The distance between the ears must be moderate.
The forehead (whether seen from the front or the side),
should not appear to be domed and have only little or
no centre furrow.
The ratio between the forehead and the end of the muzzle
must be almost 50/50. The forehead width must be the
same as it’s length. The skull (seen from the
top), from the ears to the tip of the nose must consist
of smooth lines, whilst having a defined separation
between the skull and the muzzle (stop).
Both the under and the upper jaw must be well developed.
The muzzle must be straight, it is not desirable for
it to be any otherway. The lips must be tight, Well-knit
and of dark colour.
Must be black.
Must be strong, well-development, healthy and complete
(42 teeth in total). The German Shepherd must have a
scissor-like formation. Further-more, the upper jaw
must overlap the bottom jaw. The definition on the sides
of the jaw, is positioned in such-a-way, so as the top
and bottom layers of the front teeth (top and bottom)
must not shut level (directly on top of the other) –
the top must over-lap the bottom in a scissor-like close.
The bones of the jaws must be well developed so as the
teeth are not prematurely worn.”
Have middle size, almond-shaped and slightly angles,
whilst they must not protrude. The eye colour should
be as dark as possible. Light eyes are not desirable
as they spoil the expression of the dog.
The German Shepherd has ears which are middle sized,
firm textured, broad at the base, set high on the skull,
are carried erect (almost parallel and not pulled inwards),
taper to a point and open towards the front. Tipped
ears are faulty. Hanging ears are a very serious fault.
During movement the ears may be folded back.
The neck must be strong, well muscled and without excessive,
loose skin at the throat. It should be at a 45o angle
to the body.
A smooth top line beginning from the back of the neck
and continuing in a straight line over a well developed
wither and slping slightly toward the croup –
without any vissible disturbance. The back is firm,
strong and well muscled. The loin is broad, well developed
and well muscled. The croup must be long and slightly
angled (about 23o to the horizontal), without any disturbance
to the topline – it must continue toward the begining
of the tail.
Must be moderately broad and the brisket should be
long and pro-nounced. The depth of the chest should
not be more than 45 – 48% of the wither height.
Must show a moderate curve. It is faulty for the ribs
to be either barrel shaped (too round) or clab sided
Is bushy haired on the underside, should reach at least
to the hock joint. The ideal length – being to
the middle of the hock bones. When moving it is raised
and the curve is increased. Surgical corrections are
The forelimbs – when seen from all sides must
be absolutely straight. Viewed from the front, they
must be parallel. The shoulder blade and the upper arm
must have the same length, be well muscled and be tightly
knit to the body. The angle of the shoulder blade to
the upperarm – ideally should be at 90o, but usually
it is acceptable around 110o. The elbows must be close
to the body – both in stance and in movement.
The pastern must be 1/3 of the length of the foreleg
and an angle of about 20o – 22o to foreleg. Further
more the pastern should be neither too straight nor
too angled (say 20-22o), so as not to deter the dogs
Should be rounded, toes well closed and arched. Pads
should be well cushioned and durable but not brittle
surfaced. Nails short, strong and dark in colour.
The position of the hindquarter bones are rounded toward
the back. When viwed from the back, they are parallel
to each other. The upper and lower thigh bones are almost
of the same length and create an angle of aproximately
120o. The thighs must be strong and well muscled. The
hock joint must be strong and tight, whilst on a vertical
line to the rear feet.
The German shepherd Dog is a trotting dog. To achieve
this, the limbs must be in such balance to one another
so that the hind quarter may be thrusted well forward
to the mid-point of the body and have an equally long
reach with the forefoot and without any noticeable change
in the back line.
The correct proportion of height to corresponding length
of limbs will produce a ground-covering stride giving
the impression of effortless movement. The head thrust
forward and tail slightly raised – balanced and
even trotting is seen with a flowing line, running from
the tips of the ears over the neck, back and the tip
of the tail.
Tight, without any wrinkles.
The consistency of the hair: the correct hair type
for the German Shepherd consists of the undercoat and
an topcoat. The topcoat must be made up of dense, straight
– hard and close – lying haris. The hair
on the head, ears, paws and legs must be longer and
even denser. The hair at the back of the hind legs form
a moderate “trousrer”.
Base colour should be black with marketings of brown,
red-brown, blonde and light grey. Alternatively a grey
base-colour with “clouds” of black markings
and a black “saddle” and “mask”.
Inconspicuous white markings on the chest, and “brighter”
shades on the under-and inner sides of the dog are permitted
but not desirable. The nostrils must in all cases be
black. Non-existence of a “mask”, bright
– until piearcing eye colour as well as light/white
nails and are coloured tail top are considered as a
lack of pigmentation, the undercoat is a slight grey
tone. White is not permitted.
60 cm to 65 cm
Weight 30 kg to 40 kg
55cm to 60 cm
Weight 22 kg to 32 kg
Male animals must have two, apparently normal testicles
fully developed in the scrotum.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered
a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should
be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Departure from the breed standard which has been stated
in this context and which affects the usefulness and
appearance of the dog, is considered a serious fault.
Lack of pigmentation, heavy and loose dogs, missing
or faulty dentition and / or jaw formation.
Faults of the ears
Ears set too low on the side of the skull, soft and
tipping at the tops.
1. A weak character and nervous or nervous biters.
2. Proven (documented) serious “HD” condition.
3. Monorchids, cryptorchids or deformed testicles.
4. Deformed tails and ears.
5. Dogs with deformities.
6. Dogs with missing teeth.
7. Faulty jaws (under – or over shot mouths).
8. Oversize/ undersize by more than 1 cm from the set
10. If the colour of the hair is white (regardless if
the nose/ eyes are dark).
11. Longcoated dogs (where the hair is soft, long, not
tight – especially noticeably long inside and
on the outside of the ears, long hair behind the front
and rear legs, long hair hanging from the tail).
12. Longhair with absolutely no undercoat, where the
hair from the back is parted in the middle and hangs
down the side of the dog