German Shepherd Dogs
GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG - FOUNDATION
German Shepherd Dogs commenced their development as true “working line" dogs in the mid to late 1800s' with more formalised development in the 1890's and early 1900s’ by the founders of the German Shepherd Dog, the Phylax Society and Capt. Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz, in the Bavarian region of Germany.
The intended purpose of the German Shepherd Dogs was for herding, livestock and family protection, providing continuing improvements through to the mid 1940s', then after World War II, the breed evolved in two (2) different directions during the 60's through to the new millenium due to political control during the post-World War II years.
Once the demand for livestock protection diminished, it wasn't difficult for Stephanitz and his Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (S.V.) Club co-founder (Artur Meyer), to recognise the fabulous intelligence and drive this new breed of dog could offer many diverse communities, industries and government. This was evident with the introduction of the German Shepherd Dog into the Military in the Great War (World War I).
WESTERN "SHOWLINE" GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS
The Western Hemisphere (Europe, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., characterised by the Black and Tan "Rin Tin Tin" look, placed a heavy and unnatural emphahsis onto the "Showline" version, which ended up (in many examples) with sloping backs, encumbered gate in the hind legs and genetically weakened hips and elbows, as well as other canine disorders impeding good health and longevity.
This was typified by the BBC Documentary - "Pedigree Dog Exposed",
portraying the "Half Dog, Half Frog" look, which is quite contrary to the straight back, leg and strength of the Eastern Block (“Iron Curtain”) German Shepherd Dog.
The Video on the right (>>>) is an extract from the BBC "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" documentary is worth watching, though sad.
IRON CURTAIN "WORKING LINE" GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS
Likewise, in those countries governed by the former Soviet Union during the
"Cold War", with the "Iron Curtain" barriers (1948 to 1991) inhibiting trade between breeders and trainers of German Shepherd Dogs, heavily influenced by Military and Police requirements, essentially kept and improved the standards created by the founders of the German Shepherd Dog, like the Phylax Society and Capt. Max Von Stephanitz.
These "Iron Curtain" German Shepherd Dogs have far darker, sable type colours and solid black lines. They notably have straight topline (back), deeper chests, larger, more solid heads and stronger legs. These dogs are generally from the former East Germany (DDR) and Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries.