More than 110 years for and with the German Shepherd

When enthusiasts and lovers of German sheepdogs came together to found the German Shepherd Association ‘Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV) e.V.’ over a century ago, surely only few would have ever dreamt that this would be the beginning of the worldwide triumph of a dog breed.

But why is the German Shepherd so popular and so sought-after all over the world? Maybe the answer lies in the breed’s versatility.

 Certainly there are dog breeds that can beat the German Shepherd in one certain purpose of use. But how many dog breeds have proven themselves as a herding working dog in all fields, in herding work, as service dog for police and military, as drug and explosive detection dog for customs and German Border Police, as rescue and avalanche search dog for the mountain rescue service and other aid organizations. On top of that, the German Shepherd has remained a popular dog for millions of private households: a loyal and reliable companion for the human, who guards and defends his territory and his ‘pack’, the family.

Shepherd breeding is working dog breeding

Max von Stephanitz
Shepherd breeding is working dog breeding

The history and development of the German Shepherd is inseparably linked to one name: Captain Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz. It is due to his cynological knowledge and his admirable far-sightedness that the German Shepherd can be bred according to a breed standard which corresponds to the original of that time, except for few editorial changes today.

Max von Stephanitz formulated the SV’s breeding goal very short and concisely: “Shepherd breeding is working dog breeding”. Following this premise, for more than 110 years many generations of responsible breeders have dedicated themselves to the selection of the right breeding pairs, always with one target in mind: to create healthy and reliable working dogs.

Out of the responsibility towards the animals entrusted to us, the SV monitors the breeders’ activities according to the aspects of the breeding rules and the animal protection law and furthermore supports scientific projects regarding the health of the German Shepherd.