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German shepherd breed – show lines and working lines

German shepherd breed – show lines and working lines

A few weeks ago I wrote an article explaining that within the German Shepherd breed there are many types and that these types can be divided into two categories; dogs that have physical qualities that reveal their purpose and dogs that, through their physical features, show their place of origin. In this post I will talk about the first scenario which is the differences between Show Lines (or High Lines) and Working Lines.

There are quite a few differences between these two types of German Shepherds, but the most important is their physical type. The physical conformation of GSDs from Show Bloodlines is much closer to the ideal described in the breed standard, while German Shepherds from working bloodlines are bred with an emphasis on their ability to work rather than their physical conformation.

FCI recognized Show Bloodlines German Shepherds are very consistent in type. A good GSD from Show Bloodlines is a strikingly beautiful dog. Show-line German Shepherds tend to be larger, more angular, and brighter in color than working-line dogs. They are predominantly black and red and exhibit a smooth trot and robust temperament that is generally milder than that of working bloodline German Shepherds.

A big misconception among enthusiasts and even some breeders and trainers is that show line GSDs are only bred for conformation and cannot perform as efficiently as working line GSDs. This is not entirely true.

Let’s get this straight. The show line of the German Shepherd is the most popular breed type in Germany. It is true that they are bred for competition in the show ring, but they must also have working titles. They compete worldwide under the German SV system, which requires working titles for show and breeding dogs. Germans take pride in their breed, so they make sure the dogs they breed are the best and have very strict rules when it comes to breeding. All breeding animals are required to pass a hip certificate and before breeding each dog must have at least a Schutzhund I title and pass an endurance test; and a courage test at each national show where they compete.

Representatives of this line can be effective show dogs, but can also perform as herding dogs, service dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue dogs and sporting dogs, and are outstanding family companions and protectors. However, many show dogs lack the energy and nerve needed by real guard dogs. Their energy and their nerves are what set them apart from working line dogs.

Working bloodlines, on the other hand, are bred for their working traits rather than their appearance, which is why the appearance of these dogs varies greatly. Although powerful and athletic, they are less likely to display the refined physique typical of show lines; however, many lengths show exceptional structure. They are often sable, but also come in a series of different colors. They can be black and tan, saddleback, bicolor, solid black, and almost any other color except white.

Working Lines also have more drive than the average Show Lines. They are generally more energetic than Show Line German Shepherds and have a stable but stronger temperament, strong nerves and a great disposition. In general, they are also healthier. These dogs are also wonderful family companions, although some show more drive and aggression than would be desirable in a family or guide dog.

Crosses between these two species are as good or bad as the animals used to make the cross. In general, they do not show the extremes of the parents’ type.

Both dogs are loving, caring, affectionate companions and are great in a wide range of occupations. As I have described in previous posts, one of the main things that sets the German Shepherd breed apart from other breeds is the fact that although there are breeds that are better at certain tasks, no other breed has mastered such a wide range of skills.

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