Complete German Shepherd Standard         

"The German Shepherd that corresponds to the standard, offers the observer a picture of rugged strength, intelligence and agility, whose overall proportions are neither in excess or deficient in any way. The way he moves leaves no doubt that he is of sound mind and body and so possesses physical and mental traits that render possible an ever-ready working dog with great stamina. With an effervescent temperament, the dog must also be cooperative, adapting to every situation and take to work willingly and joyfully. He must show courage and hardness as the situation requires to defend his handler and his property. He must readily attack on his owner's command but otherwise be a fully attentive, obedient and pleasant household companion. He should be devoted to his familiar surroundings, above all to other animals and children and composed in his contact with people. All in all, he gives a harmonious picture of natural nobility and self-confidence." Capt. Max VonStephanitz. 

Character: The German Shepherd dog must be self assured, balanced with strong sense and absolutely impartial behavior, maintaining a good nature - until pushed to the threshold. The german shepherd dog must be vibrant and easy going plus be courageous, have a strong fighting instinct and possess firm nerves. These are essential requirements since the german shepherd dog is used as companion, guardian, protector and a working sheepdogs.                                      

Size: Males:- height: 24-26 inches (60-65cm.) weight: 77-85 lbs.(35-40kg.)Females:- height:22-24 inches (55-60cm)weight:48-77lbs.(22-32kg.)        

Appearance: The German Shepherd dog is of medium size, slightly stretched, strong, dry, well muscled and with strong bones. The entire body must appear compact.                                                                   

Size Proportions: At the point of the wither's, the measurement must be between 60-65cm. in males and 55-60cm in females. The German Shepherd dog's body length must surpass the wither's height by between 10-17%.      

Head: The German Shepherd dog's head has to be a wedge shaped and it should be proportionate in size to the rest of the body ( the length of the head should be approximately 40% that of the wither height), without appearing clumsy, shapeless, coarse or overlong. The distance between the ears must be moderate. The forehead ( whether seen from the front or the side), should not appear to be domed and have only little or no center furrow. The ratio between the forehead and the end of the muzzle must be almost 50/50. The forehead width must be the same as it's length. The skull  seen from the top, from the ears to the tip of the nose must consist of smooth lines, whilst having a defined separation between the skull and the muzzle (stop). Both the under and the upper jaw must be well developed. The muzzle must be straight, it is not desirable for it to be any other way. The lips must be tight, well nit and of dark color.                 

Nose: The nose must be solid black. No other colors are acceptable.              




Mouth: The mouth must be strong, well-developed, healthy and complete (42 teeth in total). The German Shepherd dog must have a scissor-like bite, in other words the bottom teeth locking with the top teeth in a scissor-like formation. Furthermore, the upper jaw, is positioned in such a way, so as the top must over-lap the bottom in a scissor-like close. The jaw bones must be well developed so the teeth are not prematurely worn.                                  








Eyes: The German Shepherd dog's eyes are middle size, almond-shaped and slightly angled, whilst they must not protrude. The eye color should be as dark as possible. Light eyes are not desirable as they spoil the expression of the dog.





Ears: The German Shepherd has ears which are middle sized, firm textured, broad at the base, set high on the skull, are carried erect (almost parallel and not pulled inwards), taper to a point and open towards the front. Tipped ears are faulty. Hanging ears are a very serious fault. During movement the ears may be folded back.                       



Neck: The German Shepherd dog's neck must be strong, well muscled and without excessive loose skin at the throat. It should be at a 45 degree angle to the body.                                                                                         

Body: The body of the German Shepherd should begin with a smooth top line from the back of the neck and continuing in a straight line over a well developed wither and sloping slightly toward the croup, without any visible disturbance. The back is firm, strong and well muscled. The loin is broad, well developed and well muscled. The croup must be long and slightly angled (about 23 degrees to the horizontal), without any disturbance to the top line, it must continue toward the beginning of the tail.                                                                                                                                               

Chest: The chest of the German Shepherd dog must be moderately broad and the brisket should be long and pronounced. The depth of the chest should not be more than 45-48 % of the wither height.                                             

Ribs: The German Shepherd dogs ribs must show a moderate curve. It is faulty for the ribs to be either barrel shaped (too round) or slab sided (too flat).                                                                                                      

Tail: The German Shepherd dogs tail is bushy haired on the underside, it should reach at least to the hock joint. The ideal length-being to the middle of the hock  bones. When at rest, tail should hang in a slight curve like a saber. When moving it is raised and the curve is increased. Surgical corrections are not permitted.                                                   

Forehand: The German Shepherd dogs forehand or forelimbs when seen from all sides must be absolutely straight. Viewed from the front, they must be parallel. The shoulder blade and the upper arm must have the same length, be well muscled and be tightly knit to the body. The angle of the shoulder blade to the upper-arm; ideally should be at 90 degrees but usually it is acceptable around 110 degrees. The elbows must be close to the body, both in stance and in movement. The pastern must be 1/3 of the length of the foreleg and an angle of about 20 degrees-22 degrees to the foreleg. The pastern should be neither too straight nor to angled (say 20-22 degrees), so as not to deter the dogs stamina.

Feet: The feet of the German Shepherd dog should be rounded, toes well closed and arched .Pads should be well cushioned and durable but not brittle surfaced. Nails short, dark in color.                                         

Hindquarters: The position of the hindquarter bones are rounded toward the back, when viewed from the back, they are parallel to each other. The upper and lower thigh bones are almost of the same length and create an angle of approximately 120 degree. The thighs must be strong and well muscled. The hock joint must be strong and tight, on a vertical line to the rear feet.                                                                                                                                  

Gait: The German Shepherd dog is a trotting dog. To achieve this the limbs must be in such balance to one another so that the hind quarter may be thrusted well forward to the mid-point of the body and have an equally long reach with the forefoot and without any noticeable change in the back line. The correct proportion of height to corresponding length of limbs will produce a ground-covering stride giving the impression of effortless movement. The head thrust forward and tail slightly raised-balanced and even trotting is seen with a flowing line, running from the tips of the ears over the neck, back and the tip of the tail.                                                   












Skin: The German Shepherd dogs skin is tight, without any wrinkles.


Coat: The correct hair type for the German Shepherd dog consists of the under coat and a top coat. The top coat must be made up of dense, straight-hard and close-lying hairs. The hair on the head, ears, paws and legs must be longer and even denser. The hair at the back of the hind legs form a moderate "trouser."                                                           

Color: The base color of the German Shepherd dog should be black with marking's of brown, red-brown, blonde and light grey. Alternatively a grey base-color with "cloud's" of black marking's and a black "saddle" and "mask". Inconspicuous white marking's on the chest and "brighter" shades of the under-and inner sides of the dog are permitted but not desirable. The nostril's must in all cases be black. Non-existence of a "mask", bright piercing eye color, as well as light/white nails and colored tail top are considered as a lack of pigmentation, and the under coat is a slight grey tone, white is not permitted.                                                                                                                                                      

Testicles: Male animal's must have two, apparently normal testicles fully developed in the scrotum.                     

Faults: Any departure of the German Shepherd dog  from the foregoing points should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in the exact proportion to it's degree.

Serious Faults: Departure from the breed standard which has been stated in the context and which affects the usefulness and appearance of the German Shepherd dog, is considered a serious fault. Lack of pigmentation, heavy and loose dog's, missing or faulty dentition and/or jaw formation.                                                                                                      

Faults Of Ears: Ear's set too low on the side of the skull, soft and tipping at the top's.         

Exclusion Faults:      

-A weak character and nervous or nervous biters.                          

-Proven (documented) serious "HD" condition.                                     

-Monorchids, cryptorchids or deformed testicles.                                        

-Deformed tails and ears. Dogs with deformities.

-Dogs with missing teeth.                    

Faulty jaws, under or over shot mouths. Oversize/undersize by more than 1cm



If the color of the hair is white (regardless if the nose/eyes are dark).

Long coated dogs (where the hair is soft, long, not tight)- especially noticeably long hair inside and on the outside of the ears, long hair behind the front and rear legs, long hair hanging from the tail.

Long hair with absolutely no under coat, where the hair from the back is parted in the middle and hangs down the side of the dog.
















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