The History of German Shepherds

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Dog has been man’s best friend for thousands of years, but we’ve only had a little over a century to become acquainted with German Shepherds. At Golden Ridge Farms German Shepherds, we’ve based practically our entire lives around the breed of dog. We have extensive knowledge about everything German Shepherd, and wanted to take some time today to talk about the history of the breed.

The Original German Shepherd

The German Shepherd breed originated right around the turn of the century from the nineteenth to the twentieth. In April 1899, Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz attended one of Germany’s largest dog shows. It was at this show that he came across a dog by the name of Hektor Linksrhein, one that caught his eye immediately. 


Von Stephanitz bought the four year old dog, and renamed him Horand Von Grafrath. Within a month of buying the dog, Von Stephanitz founded the world’s first German Shepherd club, Verein fur deutche Schaferhunde. Horand was given the initial registration number of SZ1, making him the world’s first ever German Shepherd dog. Eventually, his littermate brother, parents, and paternal grandparents were registered as German Shepherds. Horand’s bloodline continued on, and largely thanks to his three grandsons Heinz von Starkenburg, Beowulf and Pilot, practically every German Shepherd living today has his blood coursing through their veins.

One of the Most Popular Working Dogs Ever

There are many different dog breeds that are suitable to different manners of work, but German Shepherds have proven themselves to be one of the best and most versatile working breeds. Police, firefighters, security agencies, militaries, and those who rely on service animals, across the world utilize the positive traits of the German Shepherd breed, such as their intelligence, strength, speed, agility, and obedience. If you’re in need of a canine companion to assist you in your line of work, a German Shepherd will more likely than not be able to provide you with the assistance you require.

A Dog Breed for the Ages

The creation of dog breeds didn’t really become popular until the nineteenth century, before then dogs just bred naturally, however this led to some less than desirable traits. The pug, the corgi, the weiner dog, the German Shepherd, and nearly every single dog breed alive today was bred by humans, mostly from the Victorian era. Over a century later, and the German Shepherd, and many of the Victorians other creations, live on.

Learn More About German Shepherds from a Professional and Experienced German Shepherd Breeder in Maryland

Want to learn more about the history of the German Shepherd breed? At Golden Ridge Farms German Shepherds, we’ve been working with German Shepherds for years, and have raised generations of dogs. If you’re interested in learning more about what we think is the best dog breed on Earth, you’ve come to the right place. Reach out to us at (410-200-9857) or contact us through our website. We, and all of the German Shepherds we have, are excited to meet you!

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