The German Shepherd Dog- History

Despite the general belief that the German Shepherd dog is closely related to the wolf, this breed is no more closely related to the wolf than any other breed of dog. This breed is the consequence of a calculated effort to fabricate the perfect shepherd. This is mostly due to the formation of an organization devoted to overseeing the breeding of the German Shepherd dog in 1899; the Verein fur Deutsche Scharferhunde, known worldwide as the SV (German Sheepdog Society).

In 1899, Captain Max von Stephanitz, who is known as the father of the breed, saw an impressive dog which he decided to buy. This dog was Hektor Linksrhein (later renamed Horand von Grafrath). He used this outstanding dog as the base for the future German Shepherd dog. Horand symbolized the aspirations of the breeders of that moment in time.

Right after Stephanitz acquired Horand, on April 22nd 1899; he along with some ten friends created the SV. That is the day the German Shepherd dog breed arrived.

Breeders strove to develop a herding dog that would excel at other jobs requiring courage, athleticism and intelligence. The German Shepherd dog eventually proved itself as an intelligent and fearless companion and guardian.

During World War I, the German Shepherd dog was used as messenger, rescue, sentinel, and personal guard dog. Many German Shepherd dogs were taken by soldiers back home.

During WWII, the Allied Forces took their trained dogs everywhere, which made the breed a lot more popular all over the world.

After WWII, the German Shepherd dog became the world's most popular breed, mostly because no other breed has mastered such a wide variety of skills as the German Shepherd dog breed or has such outstanding characteristics.

Because of the negative connotation of the word “German”, the breed’s name was changed a couple times. It was named the Alsatian Wolf Dog, but the “Wolf Dog” part of the name also carried a negative connotation, so in 1977 it was finally changed back to the German Shepherd Dog.

The German Shepherd dog also became very popular because of two movie star dogs: Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin. The German Shepherd was the most popular dog in America for many years and although it has dropped from the top spot in recent years it is still one of the most versatile dogs ever created. The German Shepherd dog has served as a police dog, war dog, guide dog, search-and-rescue dog, narcotics-or explosives-detecting dog, show dog, guard dog, shepherd and even as a pet.

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