German Shepherd Dog is medium sized. With the hair
pressed down, the height at the withers is measured
by stick along the vertical as it follows the line
of the elbow from the withers to the ground. The
ideal height at the withers is 62.5 cm for males
and 57.5 for females. An allowance of 2.5 cm over
or under is permissible. Exceeding the maximum as
well as not meeting the minimum diminishes the
working and breeding value of the dog.
German Shepherd is slightly long, strong and well
muscled. The bones are dry and the structure firm.
The ratio of height to length and the placement and
structure of the limbs (angulation) are so balanced
that a far-reaching, effortless trot is guaranteed.
He has a weather proof coat.
pleasing appearance is desired as long as the
working ability of the dog is not called into
characteristics must be pronounced, e.g., the
masculinity of the males and the femininity of the
females must be unmistakable.
German Shepherd that corresponds to the Standard
offers the observer a picture of rugged strength,
intelligence and agility, whose overall proportions
are neither in excess or deficient in any way. The
way he moves and behaves leaves no doubt that he is
sound in mind and body and so possesses physical
and mental traits that render possible an ever
ready working dog with great stamina.
only possible for a practiced expert to ascertain
the presence of requisite working dog traits in the
German Shepherd. Therefore, only special judges
should be called upon, as it is incumbent on them
to judge the character of the dogs brought before
them. This should include a test for gun soundness,
as only German Shepherd Dogs that have achieved
recognized working dog titles may receive the breed
effervescent temperament, the dog must also be
cooperative, adapting to every situation, and take
to work willingly and joyfully. He must show
courage and hardness as the situation requires to
defend his handler and his property. He must
readily attack on his owner's command but otherwise
be a fully attentive, obedient and pleasant
household companion. He should be devoted to his
familiar surroundings, above all to other animals
and children, and composed in his contact with
people. All in all, he gives a harmonious picture
of natural nobility and self-confidence.
Angulation and Movement
German Shepherd Dog is a trotter. His gait exhibits
diagonal movement, i.e., the hind foot and the fore
foot on opposite sides move simultaneously. The
limbs, therefore, must be so similarly proportioned
to one another, i.e. angulated, that the action of
the rear as it carries through to the middle of the
body and is matched by an equally far-reaching
forehand causes no essential change in the top
line. Every tendency toward over angulation of the
rear quarters diminishes soundness and endurance.
The correct proportions of height to length and
corresponding length of the leg bones results in a
ground-eating gait that is low to the ground and
imparts an impression of effortless progression.
With his head thrust forward and a slightly raised
tail, a balanced and even trotter will have a top
line that falls in moderate curves from the tip of
the ears over the neck and level back through the
tip of the tail.
Temperament, Character and
nerves, alertness, self confidence, trainability,
watchfulness, loyalty and incorruptibility, as well
as courage, fighting drive and hardness, are the
outstanding characteristics of a purebred German
Shepherd Dog. They make his suitable to be a
superior working dog in general, and in particular
to be a guard, companion, protection and herding
scenting abilities, added to his conformation as a
trotter, make it possible for him to quietly and
surely work out a track without bodily strain and
with his nose close to the ground. This makes him
highly useful as a multipurpose track and search
should be in proportion to the body size (in length
approximately 40% of the height at the withers) and
not coarse, overrefined or overstretched(snipey).
In general appearance, it should be dry with
moderate breadth between the ears.
forehead when viewed from the front or side is only
slightly arched. It should be without a center
furrow or with only a slightly defined
cheeks form a gentle curve laterally without
protrusion toward the front. When viewed from
above, the skull (approximately 50% of the entire
head length) tapers gradually and evenly from the
ears to the tip of the nose, with a sloping rather
than a sharply defined stop and into a long, dry
wedge-shaped muzzle (the upper and lower jaws must
be strongly developed.)
of the skull should correspond approximately to the
length of the skull. Also, a slight oversize in the
case of males or undersize in the case of females
is not objectionable.
muzzle is strong; the lips are firm and dry and
bridge of the nose is straight and runs nearly
parallel with the plane of the forehead.
must be healthy, strong and complete (42 teeth, 20
in the upper jaw and 22 in the lower jaw). The
German Shepherd Dog has a scissors bite, e.g. the
incisors must meet each other in a scissors like
fashion, with the outer surface of the incisors of
the lower jaw sliding next to the inner surface of
the incisors of the upper jaw.
undershot or overshot bite if faulty, as are large
gaps between the teeth. A level bite is faulty, as
the incisors close on a straight line.
must be strongly developed so that the teeth may be
are of medium size, wide at the base and set high.
They taper to a point and are carried facing
forward and vertically (the tips not inclined
toward each other). Tipped, cropped and hanging
ears are rejected. Ears drawn toward each other
greatly impair the general appearance. The ears of
puppies and young dogs sometimes drop or pull
toward each other during the teething period, which
can last until six months of age and sometimes
draw their ears back during motion or at rest. This
is not faulty.
are of medium size, almond shaped, somewhat
slanting and not protruding.
of the eyes should blend with the color of the
coat. They should be as dark as possible. They
should have a lively, intelligent and
should be strong with well-developed muscles and
without looseness of the throat skin (dewlaps). The
neck is carried at an angle of about 45 degrees to
the horizontal. It is carried higher when excited
and lower when trotting.
length should exceed the height at the withers. It
should amount to about 110 to 117% of the height at
the withers. Dogs with a short, square or tall
build are undesirable. The chest is deep
(approximately 45 to 48% of the height at the
withers) but not too wide. The under chest should
be as long as possible and pronounced.
should be well formed and long, neither barrel
shaped nor too flat. They should reach the sternum,
which is at the same level as the elbows. A
correctly formed rib cage allows the elbows freedom
of movement when the dogs trots. A too round rib
cage disrupts the motion of the elbows and causes
them to turn out. A too flat rib cage draws the
elbows in toward one another. The rib cage extends
far back so that the loins are relatively short.
The abdomen is moderately tucked up. The back,
including the loins, is straight and strongly
developed yet not too long between the withers and
withers must be long and high, sloping slightly
from front to rear, defined against the back into
which it gently blends without breaking the top
must be wide, strong and well muscled.
is long and slightly angled (approximately 23
degrees). The ileum and the sacrum are the
foundation bones of the croup. Short, steep or flat
croups are undesirable.
is bushy and should reach at least to the hock
joint but not beyond the middle of the hocks.
Sometimes the tail forms a hook to one side at its
end, though this is undesirable. At rest the tail
is carried in a gentle downward curve, but when the
dog is excited or in motion, it is curved more and
carried higher. The tail should never be raised
past the vertical. The tail, therefore, should not
be carried straight or curled over the back. Docked
tails are inadmissible.
shoulder blade should be long with an oblique
placement (the angle at 45 degrees) and lying flat
against the body. The upper arm joins the shoulder
blade in an approximate right angle. The upper arm
as well as the shoulder must be strong and well
forearm must be straight when viewed from all
sides. The bones of the upper arm and forearm are
more oval than round.
pasterns should be firm but neither too steep nor
too down in pastern (Approximately 20
elbows must be neither turned in nor turned out.
the length of the leg bones should exceed the depth
of the chest (approximately 55%).
is broad and well muscled.
thigh bone when viewed from the side joins the only
slightly longer lower thigh bone at an angle of
approximately 120 degrees. The angulation
corresponds roughly to the forequarter angulation
without being over angulated. The hock joint is
strong and firm. The hock is strong and forms a
firm joint with the lower thigh. The entire
hindquarters must be strong and well muscled to be
capable of carrying the body effortlessly forward
are relatively round, short, tightly formed and
arched. The pads are very hard, but not chapped.
The nails are short, strong and of a dark color.
Dew claws sometime appear on the hind legs and
should be removed within the first few days of
should be black with regular markings in brown, tan
to light gray, also with a black saddle, dark sable
(black cover on a gray or light brown case with
corresponding lighter marks), black, uniform gray
or with light or brown markings. Small white
markings on the fore chest or a very light color on
the insides of the legs are permissible though not
desired. The nose must be black with all coat
colors. (Dogs with little or no masks, yellow or
strikingly light eyes, light markings on the chest
and insides of the legs, white nails and a red tip
of the tail or washed out weak colors are
considered lacking in pigment.) The undercoat or
base hair is always light gray, with the exception
of that on black dogs. the final color of a puppy
is only determined when the outer coat completely
medium smooth coated German Shepherd
coat should be as thick as possible. The individual
hairs are straight, coarse and lying flat against
the body. The coat is short on the head inclusive
of the ears, the front of the legs, the feet and
the toes but longer and thicker on the neck. The
hair grows longer on the back of the fore- and hind
legs as far down as the pastern and the hock joint,
forming moderate reaching on the thighs. the length
of the hair varies, and due to these differences in
length, there are many intermediate forms. A too
short or mole like coat is faulty.
long smooth coated German Shepherd Dog
individual hairs are longer, not always straight
and above all not lying close to the body. The coat
is considerably longer inside and behind the ears,
on the back of the forearm and usually in the loin
area. now and then there will be tufts in the ears
and feathering from elbow to pastern. The reaching
along the thigh is long and thick. The tail is
bushy with slight feathering underneath. the
long-smooth-coat is not as weatherproof as the
medium-smooth-coat and is therefore undesirable;
however, provided there is sufficient undercoat, it
may be passed for breeding, as long as the breed
regulations of the country allow it. With the long
smooth coated German Shepherd Dog, a narrow chest
and narrow overstretched muzzle are frequently
long coated German Shepherd Dog
is considerably longer than that of the
long-smooth-coat. It is generally very soft and
forms a parting along the back. The undercoat will
be found in the region of the loins or will not be
present at all. A long coat is greatly diminished
in weatherproofing and utility and therefore is
include anything that impairs working versatility,
endurance and working competency, especially lack
of sex characteristics and temperament traits
contrary to the German Shepherd Dog such as apathy,
weak nerves or over excitability, shyness; lack of
vitality or willingness to work; monorchids and
cryptorchids and testicles too small; a soft or
flabby constitution and a lack of substance; fading
pigment; blues, albinos (with complete lack of
pigmentation, e.g. pink nose, etc.) and whites
(near to pure white with black nose); over and
under size; stunted growth; high-legged dogs and
those with an overloaded fore chest; a
disproportionately short, too refined or coarse
build; a soft back, too steep a placement of the
limbs and anything depreciating the reach and
endurance of gait; a muzzle that is too short,
blunt, weak , pointed or narrow and lacks strength;
an over-or undershot bite or any other faults of
dentition, especially weak or worn teeth; a coat
that is too soft, too short or too long; a lack of
undercoat; hanging ears, a permanently faulty ear
carriage or cropped ears; a ringed, curled or
generally faulty tail set; a docked tail (stumpy)
or a naturally short tail.
standard was approved and put into effect for the
countries and clubs of the FCI. The name of the
breed is the German Shepherd Dog.
country of origin is Germany.