Saturday, February 7, 2009

The History of the German Shepherd

Since we got Sable, I have become interested in the history of her breed. I see where the Von comes from on her pedigree!

"The German Shepherd is considered as one of the most elegant and noble breed of dogs. With its high pointing ears and shiny coats, the strong and agile appearance of these dogs are only preceded by their intelligence. These dogs learn quickly and will never forget what was taught to them. Because they are hardworking and active, German Shepherds are also praised for their capability to do work. But just where did this breed come from? How did this breed attain the reputation that it has now?


During the mid-1800s, a group of dog breeders called the Phylax Society was formed in order to foster a local breed of dogs for the German nation. This group conducted discussions and experiments by mixing different breeds, hoping to arrive with an offspring that had the advantages of its parents. Unfortunately, the group did not last long and in 1894, the group disbanded. Though the Phylax Society was not successful for the creation of the current German Shepherds, the studies it conducted was able to give way for its creation.

By the end of the 19th century, a German captain named Max von Stephanitz, who is considered as the father of the breed, formed another group that aimed for the creation of the best breed of sheepdogs, from which arrived the modern-day German shepherds.

Though there were high risks in having defective offsprings, inbreeding was necessary to permanently fix the qualities during the early years of the German Shepherds. In order to keep the breed alive, Von Stephanitz had to find other uses for the breed aside from regular sheep herding. He soon realized that the abilities of the breed can be very helpful for government activities. During the two world wars, the German Shepherd has gained much praise from their owners for being a very brave and reliable companion in the field. It is for these reasons that the breed has become one of the most popular breeds in the world.

Name change

After the second world war, the name of the breed was changed for certain reasons. From the German Shepherd it became the Alsatian wolf dog which was named after the German-French border Alsace-Lorraine.(no wonder I am attracted to these dogs. They come from the same region the Winkle's originated.) But in 1977, the original name of the breed was returned and is currently used in most countries."

I see these traits in Sable. Yesterday LuAnn took her out on the leash in the snow while I loaded wood. She smelled the coyote tracks and burrowed her nose in the snow and pushed through it past every step and wouldn't lift her nose, a 4 legged snow plow!

She loves attention and is a picky eater. She is quite skinny but growing frame right now. We are feeding her the traditional dry puppy chow. I hope we don't have to go to a canned mix, I don't like handling that product! We would like to see her eat a little more though.

How do you adjust to your dog's appetite? Farmers tend to feed them the cheapest thing on sale and think they are lucky to get that.



  1. Shepherds are amazing dogs. I once had a 110lb Shepherd named Buddy. Buddy adopted us. He was very smart and completely calm and self assured. He was not agressive but if pushed would just whup the snot out of what ever had pushed him past the point. He was very good with kids. Put up with much abuse, although with his love the great outdoors he often smelled so bad kids would not go near him.
    He passionately dislike coyotes.
    Once he was with me while I was baling. He was troting along ahead of the baler looking for mice when he saw a coyote. He pretended to ignore the coyote till it was with in range. Then he simply expoded after that creature. I have never seen a dog run so fast. The coyote was jumping over windrows and weaving around bales, Buddy plowed right through the windrows. The coyote was looking back at Buddy and ran into a bale, flipped end over end. COyote got up just in time to get hit by Buddy.Buddy hit coyote with his chest. Sent the coyote flying, then chased him down. I was surprised there was not much of a fight. Buddy dominated the coyote, scratched the ground and marked the area then left. That was it. Coyote headed for the bushes. Probably a girl coyote...
    I wouldn't feed the cheapest dog food. Not enough food value for a higher performance dog. I had good luck with one of the lamb and rice or beef and rice formulas. Some dogs have problems with too much corn based protein. Our dogs supplement diet with mice.

  2. She is eating better. She is not much of a morning eater and getting her excercized and excited helps. Fresh water near the food helps, I had neglected that sometimes. She is growing frame and getting much larger in only 3 weeks. She looks and acts very healthy.

    I like your stories, keep writing them!