During the 1850s, Dogs were bred to preserve traits that assisted in their job of herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. In Germany shepherds selected and bred dogs that they believed had the skills necessary for herding sheep, such as intelligence, speed, strength, and keen senses of smell. And the German Shepherd Dog came to be.
Max von Stephanitz, an ex-cavalry captain and former student of the Berlin Veterinary College, was one many who believed strongly that dogs should be bred for working. In 1899, Von Stephanitz was attending a dog show when he was shown a dog named Hektor Linksrhein. Hektor was the product of few generations of selective breeding and completely fulfilled what Von Stephanitz believed a working dog should be. He was pleased with the strength of the dog and was so taken by the animal’s intelligence, loyalty, and beauty, that he purchased him immediately. After purchasing the dog he changed his name to Horand von Grafrath and Von Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for the German Shepherd Dog). Horand was declared to be the first German Shepherd Dog and was the first dog added to the society’s breed register.
Horand became the centre-point of the breeding programs and was bred with dogs belonging to other society members that displayed desirable traits. Although fathering many pups, Horand’s most successful was Hektor von Schwaben. Hektor was inbred with another of Horand’s offspring and produced Beowulf, who later fathered a total of eighty-four pups, mostly through being inbred with Hektor’s other offspring. In the original German Shepherd studbook, Zuchtbuch für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SZ), within the two pages of entries from SZ No. 41 to SZ No. 76, there are four Wolf Crosses. Beowulf’s progeny also were inbred and it is from these pups that all German Shepherds draw a genetic link. It is believed the society accomplished its goal mostly due to Von Stephanitz’s strong, uncompromising leadership and he is therefore credited with being the creator of the German Shepherd Dog.
German Shepherd popularity increased after the German Shepherd Sieger Pfeffer von Bern became the 1937 and 1938 Grand Victor in American Kennel club dog shows, only to suffer another decline at the conclusion of World War II, due to anti-German sentiment of the time. In some countries their name was changed to Alsatian but has since gone back to German Shepherd Dog.
As time progressed, their popularity increased gradually until 1993, when they became the third most popular breed in the United States. As of 2009, the breed was the second most popular in the US.
German Shepherds have a distinct personalities. They are confident and strong in their behavior as well as in their appearance. They can be fearless loyal and protective. Once you have established that you are the Alpha dog A Shepherd will spend the rest of its life with only one am to please and take care of you. A German Shepherd Dog will fight to the death for the life of his owner and his little girl and is strong enough that he may well win the battle.
They can be sweet and loving with their families. They are very good with children and do quite well with other pets in the home. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time, so they should be allowed to interact with their families on a regular basis. This breed has a very calm and steady temperament, so once trained, they can be relied on to behave appropriately wherever you take them.
The German Shepherd Dog nowadays preforms many functions for us on a day to day basis , from war dogs in Afghanistan, services dogs helping the disabled, as well as protecting our streets at the side of the police.
They are always ready for playtime or a cuddle on the couch to watch TV
Therse dpgs are not for everyone a German Shephe\rd to be happy and hralthy need a strong leader and the right trainer from the get go.