German Shepherds are a breed of dog that normally ranges in size from medium to large, as well as ranging in color variations and shapes. At one point the breed was named Alsatian Wolf Dogs by the British during the era of WWII but was reverted back to German Shepherd in 1977. The origin of the first generation of German Shepherds falls upon the year 1899 when they were originally bred to become intelligent sheep herding dogs. Since then, this working-class dog breed has been established to do so much more than simply corral sheep according to the owner’s wishes. The combination of intelligence, loyalty, stealth, strength, and trainability has played an instrumental factor in why they are among the most registered breeds of dogs worldwide. According to the American Kennel Club, the German Shepherd breed was among the top three breeds to be registered in 2020. Normally, a German Shepherd is an active dog that is fiercely loyal to its handler. There is a reason why they are among the favorite breeds of dogs to join the canine units of the local law enforcement, the military, and site security. However, because these breeds of dogs have been known to have an aggressive temperament, they were mentioned the most often for sending victims to the hospital due to biting, according to the 2020 medical review study involving the practice of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery that took place between 1971 to 2018. Interestingly enough, this study was not enough to deter dog fanciers from continuing to invest in the purchase of a German Shepherd, both as a personal pet and as a working-class animal.
German Shepherd Varieties
A standard German Shepherd dog typically measures anywhere between twenty-two to twenty-four inches in height as females while the males typically start anywhere from two to four inches taller. The length of this particular breed of dog tends to be longer and usually features a broad chest and lower hip frame. Most standardized German Shepherd breeds have domed foreheads, as well as a long square-cut muzzle with strong jaws and a dark nose. Normally, the large open ears stand erect but do pull back when these dogs are in motion. The long necks of these dogs tend to extend when something earns their attention, which happens often as they are one of the most alert breeds of dogs there is. Their tails are usually bushy and reach the hock. German Shepherds also tend to have double coats which are close and dense with an undercoat. Shorter-haired German Shepherds are more common than longer-haired versions. The judging standards of the American Kennel Club actually look at long-haired German Shepherds to display a physical flaw instead of regarding it as aesthetically pleasing.
As long as the standard German Shepherd maintains a shorter coat of hair, plus its traditional markings of either a tan and black or a red and black color blend, this is deemed ideal for judges belonging to the American Kennel Club. However, they will accept the rare color varieties of all-black and sable in their judging. As for equally rare blue, liver, panda, and pure-white coats that have also been known to appear on German Shepherds, they’re considered by the judges as flaws. All-white German Shepherds registered as standards are simply disqualified not just from the American Kennel Club, but among a number of breeding shows. On average, a standard German Shepherd puppy can range in cost from $450.00 USD to $1,900.00 USD. The pricing itself depends heavily on the documented proof of the puppy’s heritage, lineage, and personal markings. Throughout the course of the dog’s lifetime, should one invest in all the care to keep the lifetime of the dog as healthy as possible, expect to pay approximately $18,000 USD, overall.
The Soviet Union strove to create a larger, stronger version of Max von Stephanitz’s original German Shepherd breed from 1899. As of 1955, the East-European Shepherd was approved as a breed standard and has since become one of Russia’s most popular dogs. Unlike the standard German Shepherds, the East-European Shepherd had a body formation where the back half is raised higher, thus limiting potential issues of hip dysplasia as the physical deformity of the dog’s backside isn’t sitting so low. Although the East-European Shepherd may not be a hardcore standard German Shepherd fan’s idea of a purebred, there are fans of this version that will prefer it due to the fact it’s built to be a sturdier dog that is less likely to encounter the number of health issues the standard versions are known for. Despite the name of East-European Shepherd, this doesn’t mean this breed of dog is isolated in the Russian location. They are available and bred among other nations as they are becoming increasingly recognized and appreciated as a breed. On average, an East-European Shepherd that is registered as such fetches a price as low as $900.00 USD per pup to $1,200.00 USD per pup.
This breed of German Shepherd typically stands taller and has a body form that is more evened out as opposed to the standard German Shepherds. American breeders of King Shepherds are striving to create a much stronger breed of dog that doesn’t have to contend with any form of physical awkwardness that has resulted in a crippling effect against the breed’s hip area. Among the farming communities within Canada and the US, King Shepherds are highly favored dogs as they are effective in herding cattle and sheep, as well as incredibly sturdy to adapt to most environments. They are bred for this reason. Typically, a registered King Shepherd pup can go anywhere from $1500.00 USD to $2,500.00 USD. When standing a King German Shepherd right next to a standard German Shepherd, aside from the size and hind hip positions, it is easy to tell they originate from the same breed of dog. However, as mentioned, the size is quite different as the King Shepherds typically have a minimum weight of 80 pounds among the females and go as high as 110 pounds. As for the males, they typically weigh anywhere between 120 pounds to 145 pounds. The height of a female dog averages 25 inches high, so not really a big stretch from the standard German Shepherds, but the hips are higher. The same is said for the male dogs as they average 27 inches in height. While in height there may not be much difference, it certainly shows in the weight as the King Shepherds are noticeably bulkier.
Bred in the United States, the Shiloh Shepherd began to appear as a breed in the 1970s. The aim is to correct behavior issues and conformational issues the standard German Shepherds are traditionally known for. They’re also bred to be larger than the medium-sized standard Shepherds and as of 1990 have been recognized by the American Rare Breed Association as an official breed of dog. Normally, a Shiloh Shepherd pup that has the heritage, lineage, and registration to fetch a good price, can go anywhere from $900.00 USD per pup to as high as $2,500.00 USD per pup. The Shiloh Shepherd is significantly taller than the standard German Shepherds as they measure in height that almost making them appear more like wolves rather than dogs. The length of their coats is also longer, which is considered standard for the Shiloh Shepherd breed. They are genetically bred this way so they can distinguish their own look without losing the connection they still share with the standard German Shepherds. These are heartier dogs, were members of the farming community seem to appreciate. The overall temperament of these dogs also seems a bit more family-friendly, which again makes them a favorite choice among family farms.
Another noticeable difference between the Shiloh Shepherd dogs and the standard German Shepherds is the ears. The tips of the standard Shepherds are more rounded while the Shiloh Shepherds have ears that are more pointy. On average, the height of a Shiloh Shepherd dog measures anywhere from twenty-eight inches to thirty-two inches tall. The males usually average about twenty-eight inches long, which is considerably larger than the standard German Shepherds. The Shiloh Shepherds are also among the heaviest as they average in weight anywhere from 140 pounds to as high as 160 pounds. At least this is considered the acceptable standard among the judges who specifically take interest in this breed of dog. The females are slightly smaller with the average height ranging between twenty-six inches tall to twenty-eight inches, as well as a weight ranging from 100 to 120 pounds. With proper socialization, they do make good family dogs but have also been intentionally bred and raised to serve as ideal security dogs. Between size, intelligence, agility, and strength, this is the one thing the Shiloh Shepherds have dominance over compared to the other breeds of the German Shepherd species.
The American Great White Shepherd
Once upon a time, a white German Shepherd was banned from the nation of Germany as an abomination. In Canada and the United States, they’re bred with purpose and are now recognized by the United Kennel Club as its own breed. This breed inspired dog fanciers out of Switzerland to import this lineup of white German Shepherds into their nation to start up a breeding program of their own. At a minimum, an American White Shepherd pup that has the heritage, lineage, and registration can go for as little as $700.00 USD and as high as $1,200.00 USD. Even though the American Great White Shepherd is now recognized by the United Kennel Club as its own breed, they continue to be left out of presentation shows put forth by the likes of the American Kennel Society. This hasn’t, however, deterred fanciers of this particular breed from choosing it as their dog of choice. Aside from the obvious color difference between the White Shepherd and the standard German Shepherd, both breeds possess the exact same genetic pros and cons in height, weight, and bodily form.
White Swiss Shepherd Dog
Originally bred in Switzerland, the White Swiss Shepherd Dog began its trend in 1966 when the first stud contributed towards the official development of the breed. The White Swiss Shepherd Dog is a spawn from imported America’s White Shepherd. As of 2003, Belgium’s Fédération Cynologique Internationale recognized the White Swiss Shepherd Dog as an official breed and has since been recognized by a number of kennels worldwide. While this breed of German Shepherd is normally all white, the fur thickness varies from medium to long. Within the world of White Swiss Shepherd owners, they usually don’t care. However, should one consider a White Swiss Shepherd as a show dog, bear in mind the judging will consider any color aside from white to be a flaw. With all the heritage, lineage, and registration information that proves the validity of a White Shepherd pup, they can be sold for as little as $900.00 USD per pup to as high as $3,100.00 USD per pup. When fully grown, the overall measurement of a White Swiss Shepherd dog is generally the same as a standard German Shepherd. The weights are also similar as the females are usually between fifty-five to seventy-seven pounds and the males from sixty-six to eighty-eight pounds.
German Shepherd Controversies
For years, the argument of the United Kingdom’s Kennel Club against the various German Shepherds breeding clubs has been ensuing as each side has its own ideas about what signals the purity of the German Shepherd bloodline. Among the argument, the common health ailment that is found among German Shepherd breeds is hip dysplasia and hemophilia. When the BBC aired its 2008 documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed, this erupted as the German Shepherds were described as a half-dog, half frog species. This is because how the back half of the dog is considerably lower than the upper half. This, many believe, is why the hip dysplasia condition among the breed is so common.