Origins of the german shepherd (The 1 truth )

Origins of the german shepherd history

The history of the German Shepherd begins at the end of the nineteenth century.

In this period some German dog lovers (among which Sparwasser and Wachsmuth), realize the progressive disappearance of the shepherding in Germany that is causing the extinction of the herding dogs and therefore the loss of an ancient and precious genetic patrimony. So they think to create a new dog, usable also in an industrialized civilization. The aim is to obtain a shepherd dog that can also perform functions of guard and defense and that should have a particularly pleasing appearance.

This dog evolved from the subjects that until then have worked with the flocks.

The chosen ones were the shepherd dogs of Thuringia; the most aesthetically pleasing, especially because of the erect ears.

There are Thuringian dogs with short hair and others with long hair. The latter will be “responsible” for the appearance of the long hair in the German Shepherd. Unfortunately, although they are aesthetically pleasing, Thuringian Shepherds are very small and not at all docile, indeed rather wild.

A dog of defense must also intimidate the possible ill-intentioned, therefore they tried to raise the size and strengthen the build and at the same time, a dog of defense must be above all balanced and obedient.

The qualities lacking to the shepherds of Thuringia are found in the shepherds of Wurttemberg, dogs of great size, intelligent, and very docile. Unfortunately, they also have a negative aesthetic side given by the big ears, soft and worn “semi-erect”, just to use a euphemism.

Stephanitz said in an ironic way that the ears of the Wurttemberg dogs were worn “erect, but only in the judgment of their masters”.

Despite the problem of the aesthetic aspect, Thuringian and Wurttemberg dogs were crossed with each other and were also used to a lesser extent Swabian shepherd dogs (which in turn existed in two versions of hair: short and curly). It was in this way that the first crossings gave excellent results from a character point of view: all the subjects were balanced, sweet with the family, and fearsome with strangers.

Consequently, the enthusiasts became numerous and the desire to do business made many breeders flourish and those interested in Origins of the german shepherd.

The purpose of these couplings was born from the desire to obtain a shepherd dog that would better adapt to the new lifestyle of the time and that would be less rough and heavy and also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The imagination of many had as an ideal a dog with a semi-long coat, straight ears, long tail carried down the thigh and not rolled up or with unsightly deviations. Many breeders worked on this idea to obtain dogs that could at that time satisfy the required aesthetic needs; until 1895 when Sparwasser produced a dog that was immediately bought by the Wuttemburgese Eiselen (owner of the affix “von der Krone”).

The dog is called Hektor Linksrhein, and after a few years, he was noticed by the man who would become the main figure in the history of the German Shepherd, the man who today is considered the true “father” of the breed.

This man is Colonel Max von Stephanitz, who remained open-mouthed in front of Hektor. This is how he described him: “He represented, even for the lovers of luxury dogs, the fulfillment of the rosiest dreams.

Big for those times, he had strong bones, beautiful lines, and a nobly shaped head, a dry and robust structure. Unfortunately not educated when young, it was obedient in the hand of the master, but left to himself it was the author of excesses, the wildest brawler and an unrestrained air. Never at rest, always on the move, well disposed toward inoffensive strangers, never submissive, joyful with children. To his observer, a continual enjoyment: to his owner, often a source of trouble. His faults lay in his upbringing and not in his temperament: he suffered from an impulse of repressed, or rather untapped, activity. He was happy when he was taken care of and became then a more docile dog.

Besides fixing the breed standard Max von Stephanitz on April 22, 1899, founded the SV (Schaferhund Verein) that is the society for the development, growth, and protection of the German shepherd dog.

The founding members were 13, which would become 1215 seven years later, reaching over 100,000 today.

These members were of very different social backgrounds from noblemen to shepherds, all united by a common passion for a national breed that at the time could only exist in their dreams.

With the foundation of the S.V., a rudimentary genealogical book began to be drawn up, in which all the subjects born that deserved to be registered because they represented the standard of the breed were noted.

In 1907 a monthly bulletin came out, punctually informing the members of the progress made in the exhibitions of the work races.

A factor not at all negligible for V. Stephanitz was concerned with the character of the subjects, so much so that he imposed early tests for young puppies to measure their temperament. For Stephanitz, the character had to evolve hand in hand with the morphological evolution. The German Shepherd wanted by von Stephanitz was a dog of medium size, robust and harmonious with a height at the withers between 60 and 65 cm, with strong bones and powerful muscles, tireless walker able to cover 40-50 km per day at a trot. The head should be expressive and important but not heavy to avoid fatigue in long journeys.

The teeth had to be robust and its bite had to be delicate on the fleece of the sheep not to damage the wool, so the teeth should not have a pincer closure but rather a scissor. The best subjects had to have straight ears to better understand any noise.

Here are the morphological data of Hektor, recorded by V. Stephanitz himself:

height 60/61 cm.

length 66/67 cm.

weight 25 kg.

length of the ears 13 cm.

Hektor was a very light dog, but for those times he was an exceptional dog.

Max V. Stephaniz buys him immediately for the “crazy amount” of two hundred marks, plus twenty for expenses: he changes his name to Horand V. Grafrath. Grafrath (V. Grafrath was the affix of his breeding) and enrolled him at number 1 of the German Book of Origins, which was born with him.

Horand Von Grafath born 1/01/1895 son of Kastor and Lane:

Origins of the german shepherd

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