German Shepherd Characteristics and Appearance

German Shepherd Dog Characteristics

  • Apartment Living
  • Active Lifestyle
  • Watchdog Ability
  • Child Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Shedding Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • Social Needs
  • Grooming needs
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Health Issues
  • Trainability
  • Adaptability
  • German Shepherd Characteristics and Appearance, Coat Colors

    Origin: Germany.

    Utilization: Versatile working, herding and service dog.

    FCI-Classification: Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs).
    Section 1 Sheepdogs. With working trial.

    German Shepherd Appearance / Characteristics: German Shepherd Dog is medium-size dog which has slightly elongated format, powerful and well-muscled body. He has two type of coat: a double coat and a long harsh outer coat. They both are with dense undercoat.

    Format: is distended. Isn`t admissible the square format on high legs.

    Body German Shepherd is longer than the height at the withers. The backbone is dry and strong.

    Head: its size is proportional to the body. Forehead is slightly convex, longitudinal groove is almost invisible or absent. Cheeks are rounded at the sides but do not stick out. Stop (transition from forehead to muzzle) is expressed smoothly.

    The neck is medium length, strong and muscular.

    Muzzle is wedge shaped; lips are dry, close fitting to the jaws; bridge of the nose is straight.

    Jaws and teeth: scissor bite; deviations are unacceptable.

    Eyes are of medium size, oval, slightly obliquely arranged.

    Ears of medium size, upright, set high; the ends of the ears are pointed, directed forward. Puppy's ears (4 - 6 months) are hanging down.

    Chest is deep, oval, not broad.

    Back is strong and straight. The loin is wide. Croup is long; it is gently lowered to the base of the tail.

    Forequarters: straight; Shoulder blade are long, narrow set, fitted snugly; Forearms are straight; the pasterns are strong.

    Hindquarters: muscular, straight, strong with rounded corners in the joints. Looking behind they are straight. The joint of the femoral head forms hip joint with an indentation at the lower edge of the pelvis. The pelvis should be tilted; it provides a smooth motion of the body.  Thighs are broad and muscular. If the pelvic bones are in the wrong position, the loin will be lifted up with each step. Hock joint and metatarsus are massive and strong.

    Feet are oval. Fingers are gathered into a lump, held tightly. The pads are hard. The nails are dark.

    The tail is long, densely is covered with wool; in length reaches the hock joint.

    Coat: German Shepherds are divided into three categories according to the type of wool.

    • Short-haired (Outer coat is straight, short, hard, thick, densely adjoins. The head, ears, front side of the legs and paws are covered with short hair; on the neck wool is a bit longer. On the back of the thighs are formed a small fringes).
    • The coat is long, hard (Some parts of the top coat are long, straight or wavy, do not seal tightly to the body. Wool is longer on the back. The tail is bushy with small fringes. This type of German shepherd is more sensitive to different temperature conditions).
    • Long-haired (Wool is hard and longer than in the preceding type; along the spine it is divided into parting. The chest is narrow; face is thin and elongated. Without undercoat, this greatly reduces the dog’s endurance to the climatic conditions).

    Size/Weight of German Shepherd:

    • Male dogs: Height at the withers: 60 cm to 65 cm; Weight: 30 kg to 40 kg
    • Female dogs: Height at the withers: 55 cm to 60 cm; Weight: 22 kg to 32 kg

    Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points to a fault and the seriousness to be estimated is of degree of influence on the health and welfare of the dog.

    Serious faults: Deviations from the breed characteristics which impair a working ability dog.

    • Wrong ears
    • Pigment deficiencies
    • Severely impaired overall stability
    • Incomplete dental formula and all deviations from scissor bite

    Disqualifying faults:

    • Aggressive and cowardly dogs
    • Physical or behavioral abnormalities
    • Dogs with “severe hip dysplasia”
    • Monorchid or cryptorchid dogs as well as dogs with clearly dissimilar or atrophied testicles
    • Disfiguring ears or tail faults
    • Malformations
    • Dogs with dental faults, with lack of: 1 premolar 3 and another tooth, or 1 canine tooth, or 1 premolar 4, or 1 molar 1 or molar 2, or a total of 3 teeth or more
    • Dogs with jaw deficiencies: overshot by 2 mm and more, undershot, level bite in the entire incisor region
    • Oversize or undersize by more than 1 cm
    • Albinism
    • White hair color (also with dark eyes and nails)
    • Long Straight Topcoat without undercoat
    • Long-haired (long, soft guard hair without undercoat, mostly parted in the middle of the back, tufts on the ears and legs and on the tail)

    N.B: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

    Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.

    German Shepherd Characteristics

    German Shepherd Coat Colors

    • Black
    • Grey
    • Sable
    • Blue
    • Liver
    • White
    • Black-backed
    • Sable and Grey
    • Sable and Auburn
    • Black
    • Black and Silver
    • Black and Cream
    • Black and Tan
    • Black and Red
    • Blue and Silver
    • Blue and Cream
    • Liver and Silver
    • Liver and Cream
    • Liver and Tan
    • Liver and Red

    There are allowed small white spots on the chest. Undercoat is always lighter than main color; except for dogs with black color. Final color of the puppies is determined only after the appearance of the top coat.