There are many reasons why German Shepherd Dogs are at the top ranks of canine royalty, as one of the world’s favorite breeds. Experts describe them as loyal animals, with courage, intelligence and the ability to risk their lives to defend their humans. If you want to know more about this breed and how to identify its original specimens, we share with you the standards of the American Kennel Club.
These dogs, known in Germany as “Deutsche Schäferhund“, descend from the families of German shepherd dogs that began to be professionally bred during the 19th century to obtain the ideal dog for herding cattle. Captain Max von Stephanitz is recognized as the creator of the breed, as he kept crossing different dogs for 35 years until the breed was perfected.
Characteristics of a purebred German Shepherd
1. The first impression a purebred German Shepherd Dog gives is that of a strong, agile and muscular animal; full of life and alert to its surroundings. It is a dog that is longer than tall.
2. These dogs reach up to 60 centimeters in height in the case of females and 66 centimeters in the case of males. As for their weight, females reach 30 kilograms, while males weigh up to 40 kilograms.
3. Its head is noble, with well-defined or sharp features, without coarseness. The head of males is usually larger and coarser than that of females.
4. Their eyes are medium-sized and almond-shaped. And their ears are moderately pointed and open to the front.
5. The neck has a strong structure and is relatively clean, with no loose folds or dewlap. When the dog is excited or attentive, the neck is raised high and the ears are thrown upward.
6. The front legs, when viewed from all sides, are straight and the bone is oval rather than round.
7. Ideally, the German Shepherd has a double coat of medium length. The outer coat should be as dense as possible, smooth and harsh. While the undercoat is wavy and finer. The short, fine coat covers the head and the inside of the legs. The outer coat is longer, as is the back and chest or neck.
8. Generally, their coats vary between shades of black, brown and cream or white. Darker shades are found on the back and head, while lighter shades are found on the chest and legs.
Now that you know all about the physical appearance of an original or purebred German Shepherd, you may be able to distinguish them from their European Shepherd cousins, such as the Belgian Malinois and other similar breeds.
You may also be interested in: 13 Characteristics that tell you that a Miniature Pinscher is original.