Guild of Shepherds & Collies

The History of the German Shepherd

Below - the breed in 1907, shortly after its German debut (Robert Leighton's The New Book of the Dog, 1907). Note caption below photo says, "Typical German Sheepdogs”.

I make a point of not commenting on historical aspects of dog breeding. By using photos showing dogs then and now, readers can draw their own conclusions. The vintage photos I've selected show how much the German Shepherd has changed in the last hundred years.

The Shepherd below was a contestant in a dog show, probably about 1910. Photos taken from the Library of Congress.



This photo was taken in the US, around 1915.


The date, 1927, is penciled on the back of this photo.


From my collection, the photo of the tres chic woman and dog was taken around 1935.


Rin Tin Tin, around 1945. This is about the time the breed began to get bigger.


The breed in mid 1950s.

Then in mid 1960s.


This is what many German Shepherds bred for show look like today. The structure of the dog, in particular the long sloping back and diseases related to the trait, are topics of great debate among breeders.

In recent years some breeders have restored their Shepherd lines, so that the back is more like a tabletop, similar to the dog in the 1915 picture below.

Article By:
Dr. Brackman, AKA "Doctor Barkman"

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