Last Updated on March 28, 2021 by Andy Brooks
Dogs are our best friends and can offer us all sorts of fun memories, great photos, and best stories to tell others. When it comes to German Shepherds, there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye, specifically in terms of their breeds. When examining the differences among German Shepherd breeds, you will find that each different type of German Shepherd is going to have its own history, origin and characteristics that make them very different from each other overall. As you can imagine, certain breeds are preferred for different purposes.
West German breeds
West German breeds
East German (DDR) breeds
- White German Shepherds
You can even find mixes of German Shepherd breeds whether they’re between the home and working breeds or within the same category of purposes. This makes each one potentially entirely unique from any others.
American and Canadian Show Breeds
These show dogs have been around since the 1970s or so and are loved due to the way that they are shaped. In this sense, of course, we’re talking about their use as show dogs within the ring. They are bred mostly because they always look great with in the kennel clubs that exist for this size dog. These have a side gait that also makes them popular and valuable as show dogs.
West German Show Breeds
With the rules being much stricter in terms of breeding, these dogs have to go through a health clearance that includes hips and elbows before they can be bred (to make sure that only the best are being bred for future generations, that is). This one typically all look the same with the black and red saddle back to keep them distinct from other breeds.
West German Working Breeds
While these make great pets for households, these dogs are bred to be fantastic dogs in terms of the work that they can do. These breeds are able to do “real jobs” and work diligently. They are smart, active and very dedicated to doing a task right. They are strong as well as bred to have the right structure to help them to a job right.
Easy German (DDR) Working Breeds:
These came into being shortly after WWII specifically from the dogs that were sent to war and then came back. These breeds were held close by East Germany and, as such, have a very dark distinct look to them even today. While their focus can be hard to get going, these are strong dogs that are bred with large heads and able bodies. In terms of their original genes (From the WWII dogs), they are calm, and have the best genetics in a lot of ways.
Czech Working Breeds:
These working breeds are going to be the most intense in terms of their focus and physical energy levels. You will find that these are going to best placed in situations where they can do hard work and intense work above all else. This is why they are often used as border patrol dogs. They like to be moving and doing things at all times. Out of all of the types of German Shepherd dogs, this is going to be the one to learn the most about.
Primarily, these came from the Czechoslovakian Army in terms of their bloodline, much like the DDR working breed above. These dogs are agile, and intense dogs to say the least. This is predetermined by their genetics from their origin as much as anything else.
When you look at the DDR breed vs the Czech breed, you’ll find the most of the difference is in their prey drive. The East German breed has a low to medium drive for prey, and they tend to be shorter and a little more blockier. This is why Czech breeds are better for border patrol: they are agile, have a higher prey drive, and are designed to hunt.
With DDR breeds, they tend to be “lower class” in terms of their ability to be show dogs as well as working dogs when compared to the Wester Germany breed or the Czech breed in show dogs and working dogs, respectively. They still make great house dogs as long as they are trained properly to put all of those smarts to good use. They will be strongly attached to their family while also being distant and comical around strangers or visitors.
Compare that to Czech working dogs which are all about quality in terms of their focus, build and abilities, but the funny thing is that they both come from the same original bloodline, as DDR and Czech breeders would exchange dogs to help build the stronger breed.
As a whole, Czech working dogs are going to be focused purely on goals. That’s not to say that they can’t be kind, but they are definitely protective and fierce towards strangers to the point of being aggressive and intimidating. This is why they are so great as border dogs. They can maintain a proper relationship with their handler without getting too soft on the “prey” they are chasing.
White German Shepherds:
White German Shepherds are not abino or a rare defect but in fact they are breed to be white. These beautiful dogs have just a few slight differences than the traditional German Shepherd. Their fur is longer, their temperment is more mild except when they have not been outside enough. They require extra play activity and if bored they bark a lot more than the tradition lines.
Show Dog vs Working Dog Breeds
The difference between these breeds is purely how they look and act in different situations. With a show dog, the whole purpose is to get one that is going to offer a better look and feel in the ring to achieve a higher score. With a working dog breed, focus on a task, agility and attitude are going to be the more determining factors in what makes the difference between dogs. These working dogs still have distinct personalities and that can make them great house pets in terms of retiring or moving back and forth between roles.
German Shepherd dogs have a lot more going on underneath the surface than you would think, but at least now you know all about it and can use this information to help you pick your favourite show breed as well as working breed for the right and educated reasons.