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Breed Information
A Championship Breed.

The breed was originated by Captain Max von Stephanitz in 1899. He founded the SV, “Schaeferhunde Verein”. [2] This is now the most powerful single breed registry in the World. On average in Germany alone, 22,000 German Shepherd pups are born each year. His goal was to breed an all-purpose working dog. The first registered GSD was Horand v. Grafrath referred to as SV 1.

Breeding Championship German Shepherds[3]. Von Stephanitz admired the landrace herding dogs of his native German Empire, and believed they had the potential to be all-purpose working dogs. Additionally, he was aware of the declining need for herding dogs and believed that the working abilities of the breed would decline unless it was put to other uses.

The SV then created the schutzhund trial as a breed test for the German Shepherd Dog, consisting of Obedience, Tracking and Protection phases, and only those dogs with passing test results in all three phases, in addition to a “Korung” aka Critique by a judge for conformation purposes, done officially on trial ground in front of an SV-approved judge were awarded the SV “Pink Papers.” In recent decades, the SV added other important improvements for the betterment of their breed. These include mandatory X-raying of all German Shepherds’ hips before breeding under the SV rules, DNA registration of all breeding stock, and mandatory elbow X-rays.

The schutzhund trial, along with the SV’s conviction that “German Shepherd breeding is working dog breeding or it is not German Shepherd breeding” led to a rapid development of the breed’s abilities.

Sir Bruno ErbBy World War I, the breed was already popular throughout Germany. During that War, in the US where it had been known as the German Sheepdog, the American Kennel Club renamed it the ‘Shepherd Dog’ to reduce discrimination against the breed. In 1931, they restored its heritage back by naming it the German Shepherd Dog. After World War I, British and American soldiers, impressed by the abilities of the dog, returned home with breeding stock, thus ensuring its popularity, both as a family pet and as a working dog; in North America especially due to the appearance of two movie stars named Strongheart and Rin-Tin-Tin, followed by decades of movies and tv shows featuring German Shepherd Dogs.

Links:
American Kennel Club
German Shepherd Dog Club of America

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