types of german shepherds

Types Of German Shepherds: Top 5 Breed Variations

Do you think your neighbor’s German Shepherd Dog (GSD) and the one in the police squad are different? You’re probably right!

Very few people are aware that there are different types of German Shepherds, each with unique characteristics. Whether you’re looking to adopt a GSD or you pride yourself on your knowledge of dogs, here is everything you need to know about the different types of German Shepherds that are known to us.

5 Different Types of German Shepherds

There are 5 types of German Shepherds in the world. They’re divided into two bloodlines though, the working line and the show line. The working line consists of three types of German Shepherds while the show line has two.

Despite being categorized into two bloodlines, all of these German Sheperd Dogs (GSDs) are unique and have their own distinct features.

Let’s take a closer look to learn more about them.

Working Line Shepherds

1. West German Working Line German Shepherd

Image source: Pinterest

The closest ancestor of the first GSD developed by Max Von Stephanitz, the West German Working Line was born during the division of Germany. They make some of the most hard-working and highly energetic GSDs that require at least 2-4 hours of exercise and training every day. Combined with their extreme intelligence, these GSDs are the best fit for police and detective work.

While they are just as obedient and protective, the West German Working Line doesn’t make the best family pet. They’re rather serious dogs with high activity needs.
Surprisingly, they’re the most prone to hip dysplasia among all working-line GSDs. So trainers need to be very careful with their exercise routine.

2. East German Working Line German Shepherd

Image source: Pinterest

The East German Working Line GSD is another popular war dog used in World War II. Like the West German Working Line, this one too was born during the division of Germany. And that’s why it is also known as Deutsches Demokratische Republik (DDR), which was the official name of Germany during that time.

Among all GSD breeds, this one has the highest standards. These include everything from appearance requirements to health and physical fitness. But thanks to all of it, owners can rest assured that their DDR is healthy and strong.

They’re powerful working line dogs that are as beautiful as the show line breeds. However, they’re slightly bigger than other types of German Shepherds, so they can appear more intimidating.

They’re not the best pets for inexperienced dog owners and are more suited to work in the military, rescue, and police. However, they can become quite aggressive towards strangers or other animals if not socialized at an early age.

What’s more, they need at least 2-4 hours of workout to keep themselves physically fit and stimulated. That’s not something most dog owners can easily make time for or keep up with. However, with the right training and lifestyle, they make assertive but calm pets.

3. Czech German Shepherd Dog

Image source: Pinterest

Although it’s bred from the DDR, the Czech GSD is the smallest of all types of German Shepherd. They were first developed for border patrol work during Czechoslovakia’s Communist era.

Unlike the other GSD working line breeds, this one is just as suitable for search and rescue work as it is for a family lifestyle. They have great temperaments and are pretty calm dogs, although their hunger for hard work means they need lots of physical activity. At least 2-4 hours of training every day is a must with these GSDs.

Temperament-wise, these breeds are quite obedient. Combined with their drive for work, it is only natural why they’re a great fit for dog sports like Schutzhund and tracking.

One thing you want to keep in mind when adopting these dogs as pets is their breeding. Due to the lack of strict guidelines, the Czech GSD can have mixed bloodlines. This, unfortunately, makes them susceptible to certain congenital diseases and can affect their lifespan.

Show Line German Shepherds

1. American/Canadian Show Line German Shepherd

Image source: Pinterest

The American Show Line GSD is the perfect combination of working dogs and family-friendly dogs. They were initially bred to compete in dog shows in the United States and are the best GSD breed for first-time owners.

Their coat is longer than other working line GSDs. So they require more grooming and maintenance. They also come in a wide range of colors including black, sable, tan, and solid white. These features make them ideal for shows and competitions.

They’re very attractive with a strong and muscular build.

These dogs also have the best temperament out of all types of German Shepherds, making them excellent family dogs. They are calm, gentle, and friendly by nature. Plus, they only need 1-2 hours of training per day. However, you may not want to let them near small children without supervision.

Unfortunately, this breed is more susceptible to health issues than other GSDs. So you’ll need to keep a closer eye on their health at all times.

2. West German Show Line German Shepherd

Image source: Pinterest

Also known as the European Show Line, the West German Show Line GSD is a close ancestor of the original GSD. Unlike the American GSD, this one requires slightly less maintenance thanks to its short coat. That’s probably why they’re more commonly employed as guards or in service tasks than for show purposes.

However, show lines are the most popular German Shepherd breed around the world because their appearance conforms to the GSD standards. Even though they have more slanted backs than other types of German Shepherds.

Their sculpted face is one of the most unique features that earns them the title of the most handsome GSD. Temperament-wise, these dogs are protective, friendly, confident, and composed.

While they don’t require more than 1-2 hours of daily exercise, these dogs are more active than their American counterparts. They’re a good choice for first-time dog owners and will do very well with early socialization and obedience training.

Similar Posts