GERMAN SHOW VS AMERICAN SHOW VS WORKING
ORIGIN OF THE GERMAN SHEPHERD BREED
In Europe during the 1850s, attempts were being made to standardise breeds. The dogs were bred to preserve traits that assisted in their job of herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. In Germany this was practiced within local communities, where shepherds selected and bred dogs that they believed had the skills necessary for herding sheep, such as intelligence, speed, strength, and keen senses of smell. The results were dogs that were able to do such things, but that differed significantly, both in appearance and ability, from one locality to another.
To combat these differences, the Phylax Society was formed in 1891 with the intention of creating standardised dog breeds in Germany. The society disbanded after only three years due to ongoing internal conflicts regarding the traits in dogs that the society should promote; some members believed dogs should be bred solely for working purposes, while others believed dogs should be bred also for appearance. While unsuccessful in their goal, the Phylax Society had inspired people to pursue standardising dog breeds independently.
Max von Stephanitz, an ex-cavalry captain and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College, was one such ex-member. He believed strongly that dogs should be bred for working.
In 1899, Von Stephanitz was attending a dog show when he was shown a dog named Hektor Linksrhein. Hektor was the product of few generations of selective breeding and completely fulfilled what Von Stephanitz believed a working dog should be. He was pleased with the strength of the dog and was so taken by the animal’s intelligence, loyalty, and beauty, that he purchased him immediately. After purchasing the dog he changed his name to Horand von Grafrath and Von Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for the German Shepherd Dog). Horand was declared to be the first German Shepherd Dog and was the first dog added to the society’s breed register.
Horand became the centre-point of the breeding programs and was bred with dogs belonging to other society members that displayed desirable traits. Although fathering many pups, Horand’s most successful was Hektor von Schwaben. Hektor was inbred with another of Horand’s offspring and produced Beowulf, who later fathered a total of eighty-four pups, mostly through being inbred with Hektor’s other offspring. In the original German Shepherd studbook, Zuchtbuch für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SZ), within the two pages of entries from SZ No. 41 to SZ No. 76, there are four Wolf Crosses. Beowulf’s progeny also were inbred and it is from these pups that all German Shepherds draw a genetic link. It is believed the society accomplished its goal mostly due to Von Stephanitz’s strong, uncompromising leadership and he is therefore credited with being the creator of the German Shepherd Dog.
Other names for the German Shepherd Dog
There is a certain "type" of Shepherd for everyone and I don't think any "type" is not good. I do appreciate a good Working dog, American Showline or a German Showline.
You can have a poorly bred Shepherd with any type. It's to find a reputable breeder that breeds correctly to what our breed standard is. Many breeders do breed for the wrong reasons and that's why you, as the buyer need to do your homework and buy from a breeder who breeds to better the breed.
The information above on the different types of Shepherds are what the the "types" are like in general. For example you can have a German Showline with less/more drive or a working dog with less/more drive. It all depends on the breeding and what the breeder is trying to achieve in their breeding program. Same as the American/Canadian showlines.... Many people are so scared of the angulation in the rear end but again you can get some with less angulation. I have seen some extremely agile and sturdy dogs with not as much angulation in the American/Canadian showline. Same goes for the workingline dog, some can have more drive and are crazy high strung and some less. Again it depends on what you are looking for in a dog. A workinline dog with crazy drive is great for someone who is active and wants to work the dog in sport. As for my opinion the German Showline or American/Canadian showlines make much better family pets.
We do believe according to SV standard the German Shepherd should be a dog that can work but still be a family companion. Our goal in breeding is to produce the best temperaments suited for family companions and home guardians with a confirmation that is pretty but still functional. This is why we have chosen to breed German Showlines as we find they best match this criteria. They have a very sound mind and I find it is so important to have. If you dont have sound temperament, you don't have nothing.
I hope these articles will help you out in decided what dog is best suited for you and your needs. We do know of breeders of all type's and can refer you to a reputable breeder if we do not have what you are looking for.
Von Lousar Shepherds