Breed standards





The breed standard is officially determined by the German Shepherd Association (SV) based in AUGSBURG, a member of the German Kennel Club (VDH), as the founding association for the breed and responsible for the German Shepherd breed standard. The approval of the standard took place at the first assembly of members in Frankfurt on September 20, 1899, according to the proposals of A. MEYER and Max von STEPHANITZ and completed with additions at the 6th assembly of members dated July 28, 1901, of the 23rd assembly of members in Cologne on September 17, 1909, with the council meeting in Wiesbaden on September 5, 1930, and the breeding committee meeting on March 25, 1961, it was reworked within the WUSV World Union of German Shepherd Clubs and approved at the WUSV meeting on 30 August 1976. It was even processed and listed by decision of the council and the Commission on 23 & 24 March 1991. guarding and defense that existed at that time in central and southern Germany, with the aim of creating a working dog with high yields. To achieve this goal, the standard of the German shepherd was defined, which examines both its physical characteristics (morphology) and its temperament (ability to react to an external stimulus).



The German Shepherd is a medium-sized dog, slightly long, strong, muscular, with dry bones and a husky build.



The height at the withers is from 60 cm to 65 cm for male dogs and from 55 cm to 60 cm for females. The length of the trunk exceeds the height of the withers by approximately 10-17%.



The German Shepherd should have a balanced character, stable, with a strong nervous system, self-confidence, absolutely determined and (unless provoked) friendly disposition. At the same time it must be always alert and obedient to be suitable as an escort, guard, defense, public service and herding dog, it must also be endowed with courage, combativeness and temperament (ability to tolerate negative external events).



The head is wedge-shaped, in proportion to the size of the body (length about 40% of the height at the withers), without being short or too elongated, dry overall and of moderate width between the ears.

The forehead, viewed from above and from the side, appears slightly convex and without or with a minimal frontal furrow (wrinkle).

The ratio of the top of the head (forehead) to the muzzle is 50%-50%. They are almost the same length.

The width of the forehead is almost equal to its length.
If we observe the head from above, we see it narrowing progressively, like a wedge, from where the ears are placed to the tip of the nose, with a small "jump" in the nasolabial fold P/K (STOP). The jaws are strong and very well developed. Muzzle approximately straight, no hump or hollow is desirable. Lips tense, well applied, dark in color. The muzzle (nose) must always be black.



The dentition must be strong, healthy and complete (42 teeth, 20 in the upper jaw and 22 in the lower jaw). The German shepherd has a scissor-like adaptation (scissor teeth), that is, the incisors fit scissor-like.
A different denture (premaxillary, submandibular or labial fit) is considered defective, as are longer spaces between the teeth (sparse teeth). Maxilla and jaw must be strong and well developed, so that the teeth are set deep in the gums.



The eyes are of medium size, almond-shaped, slightly sideways and do not protrude. Eye color should be as dark as possible. Open and intense eyes are not desirable because they affect the dog's expression.



Medium-sized, upright and vertical (not sideways), set high, pointed and with the inner side turned forward. Very small and drooping ears are considered defective. Ears that relax during movement or when the dog is resting are not considered defective.



Strong, with well developed muscles. The angulation with respect to the horizontal, i.e. its trunk, is about 45?, it is raised when the dog notices something and lowered when rolling.



The topline of the back starts from the base of the neck, passes through a well-formed withers and a slightly sloping back, relative to the horizontal to the hindquarters (pelvis), slightly sloping, without any apparent interruption. The spine is firm, robust and muscular. The hindquarters (pelvis) should be long slightly sloping (about 23? to the horizontal) and without a break the trunk begins at the top line of the back and ends at the junction of the tail.



The chest should be of moderate width, and the lower part of the sternum as long and prominent (extended) as possible. Chest height is approximately 45-48% of withers height. The sides are moderately convex. A barrel chest is just as flawed as a narrow chest.



The tail should be at least as long as the tarsus, but no longer than the middle of the metatarsal bone (metatarsus). Her lower part has a longer and thicker coat, ending in a tuft, often seen touching the ground slightly. When the dog moves or is excited by provocation, the tail is raised and may form an arc, it must not go beyond the horizontal position. Corrective surgeries are not allowed.





Perpendicular to the ground when viewed from the side, parallel when viewed from the front.
The scapula and upper arm are almost the same length, they are quite muscular and well attached to the trunk.
The angulation of the scapula to the upper arm is 90 ideally, about 110 in reality (as a rule).
Elbows should be neither too open nor too closed, both in stance and in motion.
The forearms should be straight, perfectly parallel, with bones and muscles strong and dry.
The metacarpal is about 1/3 the length of the forearm, and forms an angle with it of about 20-22 degrees.
Both a metacarpal with too much angulation (over 22) and too vertical (less than 20 angulation) affect performance ability and especially strength.
The feet are round, the toes tightly jointed and curved, the soles hard, but not rough. The feet are round, the toes tightly jointed and curved, the soles hard, but not rough.



The position of the hind legs (legs) are slightly extended, but when seen from behind they are always parallel to each other.
Thigh and thigh are about the same length and form an angle of about 120 between them. The thigh is strong and muscular. The tarsus must be robust (strong) and firm and the metatarsus always perpendicular to the ground.
The legs are firm, slightly curved, the soles hard, the nails strong, curved.



The German Shepherd is a pack animal. The limbs (feet) must be in harmony with each other, in length and angulation, be such as to allow the buttocks (feet) to reach the level of the trunk and the front (feet) to have a range in the stride, without essential movements of the upper spine line.
Any tendency to excessive angulation of the hind limbs reduces general stability and resistance, and consequently compromises performance at work.

Correct proportions in the length of the bones, combined with correct angulations, allow for a wide range of stride movement, as if shaving the ground, such that it gives the observer the impression of a fluid and easy forward movement.
In a calm trot, with the head slightly forward and the tail slightly raised, we can observe an upper back line that is elastic and without interruptions, starting from the tips of the ears, through the neck and trunk, reaching the tip of the tail .



The skin is loosely attached, but without creases.


The correct coat of the German Shepherd is hard hair with an undercoat. The cover coat should be as thick as possible, hard and firmly attached to the skin. On the head, on the inner sides of the ears, on the front sides of the legs, on the legs and nails it should be short, on the neck a little longer and thicker.
On the back sides of the legs the hair grows reciprocally to the joints of the wrist and to the tarsus. Behind the back of the thigh it forms moderate "pants".



Black with fiery maroon, brown, yellow to light gray. Black and gray monochrome, with darker shades of gray. Back and mask black. Small flecks of white on the chest are allowed, but not desirable, as well as very pale insides of the legs.
With all types of colors, the tip should always be black.
The lack of a mask, light to intense eyes, white to whitish markings on the chest and inner sides of the limbs, light claws and red tips of the tail, are signs of insufficient pigment*. The undercoat has a slightly gray tone. White color is not allowed.



MALES: Height at withers 60 cm to 65 cm.
Weight 30 kg to 40 kg

FEMALES: Height at withers 55 cm to 60 cm.
Weight 22kg to 32kg