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Breed Standard

Breed Standard for the German Shepherd Dog (FCI)


The German Shepherd Dog Association of Western Australia (Inc) adopts under its constitution and rules, the Breed Standard for the German Shepherd Dog as adopted by the Canine Association of Western Australia (CAWA), Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) and German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia (GSCDA). These controlling bodies in agreement after research and consultation have elected to choose the Standard from the country of origin, which is Germany. This is consistent with the Standard adopted by the international canine controlling body, the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI).


Current Information – German Shepherd Dog Breed Standard – Adopted in Australia from 01/10/2009

Due to recent variations in the Breed Standard from the country of origin (Germany) and the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia (GSDCA) and the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) have adopted that modified FCI Breed Standard in the form of a new GSDCA translation, which also clarifies the section on colours and markings for Kennel Control registration purposes.

GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG BREED STANDARD

GSDCA TRANSLATION OF THE COUNTRY OF ORIGIN STANDARD (SV – GERMANY) FOR THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG

FCI Standard: Germany 23.03.1991

GROUP FIVE: WORKING DOG GROUP

Purpose: Working and Utility Dog (Usage: Versatile Utility, Herding, Guard and Service Dog).

SHORT HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

According to the official records of the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (SV) (The German Shepherd Dog Club in Germany) with its headquarters in Augsburg, the standard was originally developed at the first meeting of members in Frankfurt am Main on 20thSeptember 1899 based on the proposals of A Meyer and M von Stephanitz. The next step was to have the breed standard accepted by the VDH (German Kennel Club).

Amendments were made to the standard during the 6th meeting of the association on the 28th July 1901, during the 23rd meeting in Cologne on the 17th September 1909, by the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee in Wiesbaden on the 5th September 1930, and at the Board of Directors and Breed Committee meeting on 25th March 1961. Within the framework of the World Union of German Shepherd Dog Clubs (WUSV), it was revised and confirmed at the WUSV meeting on 30th August 1976 and reviewed, catalogued by authorisation and resolution of the Executive and Advisory Committee on 23rd March 1991.

The German Shepherd Dog, whose planned breeding commenced in the year 1899 after the founding of the German Shepherd Dog Club in Germany, was bred from central German and southern German strains of existing herding dogs with a final goal of creating a working dog predisposed to a high working aptitude. In order to reach this goal the breed standard was laid down which relates to physical attributes as well as those of temperament and character.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The German Shepherd Dog is medium size, slightly elongated, strong and well muscled, the bones are dry and the overall construction firm.

IMPORTANT MEASUREMENTS AND PROPORTIONS

The height of withers for males 60cms to 65cms, for females 55cms to 60cms. The length of body is greater than the height at withers by approximately 10 to 17%.

TEMPERAMENT/ CHARACTER

The German Shepherd Dog must be of well balanced temperament, steady of nerves, self assured, totally at ease (except when provoked) and good natured as well as attentive and easy to train. He must possess instinctive drive, resilience and self confidence in order to be suitable as a companion, watch dog, protection, service and herding dog.

HEAD

The head is wedge-shaped, proportionate in size to the body, (length of head about 40% of height of withers) without being coarse or too elongated, in overall appearance dry and moderately broad between the ears. The forehead is only slightly domed when viewed from front and the side and without any or only slightly indicated central furrow.

The proportion of the skull to muzzle is 50% to 50%. The breadth of the skull corresponds approximately to its length. The skull (viewed from above) tapers evenly from the ears to the nose with a sloping, not sharply defined stop, into the wedge shaped foreface (muzzle). Upper and lower jaws are strongly developed. The top of the muzzle is straight, a dish faced or convex curve is not desired. The lips are tight, well fitted and of a dark colour.

The nose must be black.

The dentition must be strong, healthy and complete (42 teeth conforming to the dentition formula) the German Shepherd Dog has a scissor bite that is, the incisors must fit scissor-like to each other so that the incisors of the upper jaw overlap those of the lower jaw in a scissor fashion. Level, over or undershot bites are faulty, as well as large gaps between the teeth. It is a fault when the incisors are placed in a straight line in the gums. The jawbones must be strongly developed so that the teeth are embedded deeply in the gum line.

The eyes are of medium size, almond shaped, slightly oblique and not protruding. The colour of the eyes should be as dark as possible. Light piercing eyes are not desirable as they detract from the expression of the dog.

EARS

The German Shepherd Dog has erect ears of medium size that are carried upright and almost parallel (not tilted inwards). They taper to a point and are set with the orifice to the front. Tipped ears and drop ears are faulty. Ears carried laid back, during gaiting or when at rest are not faulty.

NECK

The neck should be strong, and well muscled and free from throatiness (dewlap) the angle to the body (horizontal) is approximately 45 degrees.

BODY

The topline flows from the set on of the neck, over the high long withers and over the straight back to the slightly sloping croup without a noticeable break. The back is moderately long, firm, strong and well muscled. The loin is broad, short, strongly developed and well muscled. The croup should be long and slightly sloping (approximately 23 degrees to the horizontal) into the set on of the tail without disruption to the topline.

The chest should be moderately broad; the underchest is as long as possible and well developed. The depth of chest should be approximately 45% to 48% of the height at the withers.

The ribs should be moderately sprung, barrel-chested is equally faulty as slab sided.

The tail extends to at least the hock joint, however, not beyond the middle of the rear pastern. It has slightly longer hair on the underside and is carried in a gentle hanging curve when relaxed. It can be carried higher when excited or during movement but not above the horizontal. Corrective surgery is forbidden.

LIMBS

FOREQUARTER

The forelegs are straight viewed from all sides, and when viewed from front must be absolutely parallel.

The shoulder blade and upper arm are of equal length and firmly attached to the body with strong musculature. The angulation of the upper arm and shoulder blade ideally should be at 90 degrees, but generally up to 110 degrees.

The elbows must be neither turned in nor turned out while in stance or in movement. The forearms when viewed from all sides are straight and absolutely parallel, dry and firmly muscled. The pastern is approximately one third of the length of the forearm and has an angle of approximately 20 degrees to 22 degrees to the forearm. Both infirm (more than 22 degrees) as well as steep pasterns (less than 20 degrees) restrict the working ability of the dog and in particular its endurance.

The feet are rounded, well closed and arched. The pads are hard but not inflexible. The nails are strong and dark in colour.

HINDQUARTER

The position of the hind legs is slightly set back, when viewed from rear the hind legs are parallel to each other. Upper and lower thighs are of almost equal length and form an angle of approximately 120 degrees, the thighs are strong and well muscled.

The hock joints are well developed and firm, the rear pasterns stand perpendicular under the hock joint.

The feet are closed, slightly arched; the pads are hard and dark in colour. The nails are strong, arched and dark in colour.

MOVEMENT

The German Shepherd Dog is a trotter. The limbs must be of such length and angulation that the hindquarter may be thrust well forward under the body and the forequarter reaches equally far forward without noticeable change to the backline.

Any tendency towards over-angulation of the hindquarter decreases the firmness and endurance and therefore the dog’s utmost working ability. Correct structural proportions and angulations result in a ground covering, low to the ground movement that gives the impression of effortless forward propulsion. With the head pushed forward and a slightly raised tail, an even, balanced and smooth trot, results in a gently curving and unbroken topline, running from the tips of the ears and over the neck and back through to the end of the tail.

SKIN

The skin is (loosely) fitting without forming folds.

COAT

Properties of the coat
The correct coat of the German Shepherd Dog is a double coat (stock hair) with undercoat. The top coat should be as dense as possible, straight, harsh and close lying. It should be short on the head, including inside the ears, the front of the legs, and on the feet and toes; it is a little longer and heavier coated on the neck. The hair lengthens on the back of the legs to the pasterns or hock joints; and on the back of the thighs it forms moderate breeching.

COLOUR

Black with reddish tan, black/tan, black/gold to light grey markings. All black, Grey (commonly known as sables) with dark shadings; black saddle and mask. Unobtrusive small white markings on chest as well as very light colour on insides of legs permissible but not desirable. The nose must be black in all colour types. Lacking mask, light to piercing eyes, as well as light to whitish markings on chest and inner sides of the legs, light nails and red tip of tail are to be rated as lacking in pigment. The undercoat is of a light grey toning. The colour white is not permitted.

SIZE – WEIGHT

Males:         Height at withers     60-65 cm

Weight                     30-40 kg

Females:      Height at withers    55-60 cm

Weight                     22-32 kg

TESTICLES

Males must have two normally developed testicles fully descended in the scrotum.

FAULTS

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

MAJOR  FAULTS
All deviations from the above described breed characteristics that impair the working ability of the dog.
Ear Faults: Laterally too low set ears, tipped ears, inward tilted ears, ears that are not firm.
Severe lack of pigmentation.
Severe lack in overall firmness.

DENTITION FAULTS
All deviations from a scissor bite and the dentition formula as far as it does not concern disqualifying faults (see below)

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

a)      Weak character, aggression without provocation or nervousness.

b)      Dogs with proven severe Hip Dysplasia.

c)      Monorchids and cryptorchids, as well as dogs with clearly uneven or atrophied (stunted) testicles.

d)      Disfiguring ear or tail defects.

e)      Dogs with deformities.

f)        Dogs with missing teeth as follows:-
1 Pre-Molar 3, and one further tooth, or
1 Canine, or
1 Pre-Molar 4, or
1 Molar 1, or
1 Molar 2, or
3 or more teeth altogether.

g)     Dogs with jaw defects:-
Overshot 2mm or more.
Undershot.
Level bite in whole of the incisor area.

h)     Dogs that are more than 1cm over or under size.

i)      Albinism.

j)      White coat colour (even with dark eyes and nails).

k)     Long double coat (Long Stockhaar): Long, soft, topcoat not lying closely, with undercoat, feathering on ears and legs, bushy breeches and bushy tail forming flags below.

l)      Longcoat: Long, soft top coat without undercoat, usually with a parting down the middle of the back, flags on ears and legs and tail.

 


ANKC Format (Website) – German Shepherd Dog Breed Standard – Adopted in Australia from 01/10/2009

The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) publishes Breed Standards for all the different Breeds that are registered in Australia. Those Breed Standards are presented in consistent formats (order of sections) to provide ease of content comparisons and facilitate student learning. Standards for all Breeds are available on the ANKC’s website, refer to < www.ankc.org.au > .

 

Breed: German Shepherd Dog
Group: Group 5 (Working Dogs)
History: According to the official records of the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (SV) (The German Shepherd Dog Club in Germany) with its headquarters in Augsburg, the standard was originally developed at the first meeting of members in Frankfurt am Main on 20th September 1899 based on the proposals of A Meyer and M von Stephanitz. The next step was to have the breed standard accepted by the VDH (German Kennel Club).

Amendments were made to the standard during the 6th meeting of the association on the 28th July 1901, during the 23rd meeting in Cologne on the 17th September 1909, by the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee in Wiesbaden on the 5th September 1930, and at the Board of Directors and Breed Committee meeting on 25th March 1961. Within the framework of the World Union of German Shepherd Dog Clubs (WUSV), it was revised and confirmed at the WUSV meeting on 30th August 1976 and reviewed, catalogued by authorisation and resolution of the Executive and Advisory Committee on 23rd March 1991.

The German Shepherd Dog, whose planned breeding commenced in the year 1899 after the founding of the German Shepherd Dog Club inGermany, was bred from central German and southern German strains of existing herding dogs with a final goal of creating a working dog predisposed to a high working aptitude. In order to reach this goal the breed standard was laid down which relates to physical attributes as well as those of temperament and character.

General Appearance: The German Shepherd Dog is medium size, slightly elongated, strong and well muscled, the bones are dry and the overall construction firm.

The length of the body is greater than the height at the withers by about 10 to 17%.

Characteristics: Purpose and Usage:  Versatile Utility, Herding, Guard and Service Dog.
Temperament: The German Shepherd Dog must be of well balanced temperament, steady of nerves, self assured, totally at ease (except when provoked) and good natured as well as attentive and easy to train. He must possess instinctive drive, resilience and self confidence in order to be suitable as a companion, watch dog, protection, service and herding dog.
Head and Skull: The head is wedge-shaped, proportionate in size to the body, (length of head about 40% of height of withers) without being coarse or too elongated, in overall appearance dry and moderately broad between the ears. The forehead is only slightly domed when viewed from front and the side and without any or only slightly indicated central furrow.

The proportion of the skull to muzzle is 50% to 50%. The breadth of the skull corresponds approximately to its length. The skull (viewed from above) tapers evenly from the ears to the nose with a sloping, not sharply defined stop, into the wedge shaped foreface (muzzle). Upper and lower jaws are strongly developed. The top of the muzzle is straight, a dish faced or convex curve is not desired. The lips are tight, well fitted and of a dark colour.

The nose must be black.

Eyes: The eyes are of medium size, almond shaped, slightly oblique and not protruding. The colour of the eyes should be as dark as possible. Light piercing eyes are not desirable as they detract from the expression of the dog.
Ears: The German Shepherd Dog has erect ears of medium size that are carried upright and almost parallel (not tilted inwards). They taper to a point and are set with the orifice to the front. Tipped ears and drop ears are faulty. Ears carried laid back, during gaiting or when at rest are not faulty.
Mouth: The dentition must be strong, healthy and complete (42 teeth conforming to the dentition formula) the German Shepherd Dog has a scissor bite that is, the incisors must fit scissor-like to each other so that the incisors of the upper jaw overlap those of the lower jaw in a scissor fashion. Level, over or undershot bites are faulty, as well as large gaps between the teeth. It is a fault when the incisors are placed in a straight line in the gums. The jawbones must be strongly developed so that the teeth are embedded deeply in the gum line.
Neck: The neck should be strong, and well muscled and free from throatiness (dewlap) the angle to the body (horizontal) is approximately 45 degrees.
Forequarters: The forelegs are straight viewed from all sides, and when viewed from front must be absolutely parallel.

The shoulder blade and upper arm are of equal length and firmly attached to the body with strong musculature. The angulation of the upper arm and shoulder blade ideally should be at 90 degrees, but generally up to 110 degrees.

The elbows must be neither turned in nor turned out while in stance or in movement. The forearms when viewed from all sides are straight and absolutely parallel, dry and firmly muscled. The pastern is approximately one third of the length of the forearm and has an angle of approximately 20 degrees to 22 degrees to the forearm. Both infirm (more than 22 degrees) as well as steep pasterns (less than 20 degrees) restrict the working ability of the dog and in particular its endurance.

Body: The topline flows from the set on of the neck, over the high long withers and over the straight back to the slightly sloping croup without a noticeable break. The back is moderately long, firm, strong and well muscled. The loin is broad, short, strongly developed and well muscled. The croup should be long and slightly sloping (approximately 23 degrees to the horizontal) into the set on of the tail without disruption to the topline.

The chest should be moderately broad; the underchest is as long as possible and well developed. The depth of chest should be approximately 45% to 48% of the height at the withers.

The ribs should be moderately sprung, barrel-chested is equally faulty as slab sided.

Hindquarters: The position of the hind legs is slightly set back, when viewed from rear the hind legs are parallel to each other. Upper and lower thighs are of almost equal length and form an angle of approximately 120 degrees, the thighs are strong and well muscled.

The hock joints are well developed and firm, the rear pasterns stand perpendicular under the hock joint.

Feet: The front feet are rounded, well closed and arched. The pads are hard but not inflexible. The nails are strong and dark in colour.

The hind feet are closed slightly arched; the pads are hard and dark in colour. The nails are strong, arched and dark in colour.

Tail: The tail extends to at least the hock joint, however, not beyond the middle of the rear pastern. It has slightly longer hair on the underside and is carried in a gentle hanging curve when relaxed. It can be carried higher when excited or during movement but not above the horizontal. Corrective surgery is forbidden.
Gait/Movement: The German Shepherd Dog is a trotter. The limbs must be of such length and angulation that the hindquarter may be thrust well forward under the body and the forequarter reaches equally far forward without noticeable change to the backline.

Any tendency towards over-angulation of the hindquarter decreases the firmness and endurance and therefore the dog’s utmost working ability. Correct structural proportions and angulations result in a ground covering, low to the ground movement that gives the impression of effortless forward propulsion. With the head pushed forward and a slightly raised tail, an even, balanced and smooth trot, results in a gently curving and unbroken topline, running from the tips of the ears and over the neck and back through to the end of the tail.

Coat: The skin is (loosely) fitting without forming folds.

The correct coat of the German Shepherd Dog is a double coat (stock hair) with undercoat. The top coat should be as dense as possible, straight, harsh and close lying. It should be short on the head, including inside the ears, the front of the legs, and on the feet and toes; it is a little longer and heavier coated on the neck. The hair lengthens on the back of the legs to the pasterns or hock joints; and on the back of the thighs it forms moderate breeching.

Colour: Black with reddish tan, Black/tan Black/gold to light grey markings. All black, Grey (commonly known as sables) with dark shadings; black saddle and mask. Unobtrusive small white markings on chest as well as very light colour on insides of legs permissible but not desirable. The nose must be black in all colour types.  Lacking mask, light to piercing eyes, as well as light to whitish markings on chest and inner sides of the legs, light nails and red tip of tail are to be rated as lacking in pigment. The undercoat is of a light grey toning. The colour white is not permitted.
Sizes: Dogs: Height at withers 60-65 cm
Weight 30-40 kg
Bitches: Height at withers 55-60 cm
Weight 22-30 kg
The length of body is greater than the height at withers by approximately 10-17%.
Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

MAJOR  FAULTS

All deviations from the above described breed characteristics that impair the working ability of the dog.

Ear Faults: Laterally too low set ears, tipped ears, inward tilted ears, ears that are not firm.

Severe lack of pigmentation.

Severe lack in overall firmness.

DENTITION FAULTS

·          All deviations from a scissor bite and the dentition formula as far as it does not concern disqualifying faults (see below).

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

a)         Weak character, aggression without provocation or nervousness.

b)        Dogs with proven severe Hip Dysplasia.

c)         Monorchids and cryptorchids, as well as dogs with clearly uneven or atrophied (stunted) testicles.

d)        Disfiguring ear or tail defects.

e)         Dogs with deformities.

f)          Dogs with missing teeth as follows:-

1 Pre-Molar 3, and one further tooth, or
1 Canine, or
1 Pre-Molar 4, or
1 Molar 1, or
1 Molar 2, or
3 or more teeth altogether.

g)        Dogs with jaw defects:-

Overshot 2mm or more.
Undershot.
Level bite in whole of the incisor area.

h)        Dogs that are more than 1cm over or under size.

i)         Albinism.

j)         White coat colour (even with dark eyes and nails).

k)        Long double coat (Long Stockhaar): Long, soft, topcoat not lying closely, with undercoat, feathering on ears and legs, bushy breeches and bushy tail forming flags below.

l)         Longcoat: Long, soft top coat without undercoat, usually with a parting down the middle of the back, flags on ears and legs and tail.

Note: Male animals should have two normally developed testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
 

New Variety of German Shepherd Dog – Long Stock Coat

ANKC GSD Long Stock Coat Press Release > .


Historical Information Only – German Shepherd Dog Breed Standard – Used in Australia from 01/01/1994 to 30/09/2009

Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)

German Shepherd Dog

F.C.I. Standard No 166 dated 23/3/91.

Adopted in Australia 1/1/94.

Country of Origin – Germany

A SHORT HISTORICAL OVERVIEW – According to the official records of the Breed Club for the German Shepherd Dog (Verein fur Deutsche Schaeferhunde Inc., Augsburg.) – (SV)), in the Association for German Dog Matters (VDH).  The SV, as the founding association of the breed, is responsible for the Standard of the German Shepherd Dog, which was drawn up at the first meeting of members in Frankfurt am Maine on 20th September 1899, on the proposals of A. Meyer and Von Stephanitz.  There were supplementary clauses added at the 6th meeting of members on 28th July 1901, the 23rd Meeting in Cologne in September 1909, the Executive and advisory commission Wiesbaden on 5th September, 1930, and the Breed Commission and Executive meeting on 25th March 1961, within the framework of the World Union of German Shepherd Dog Clubs (WUSV).  It was revised and confirmed at the WUSV conference on 30th August 1976, revised and catalogued by authorisation and resolution of the Executive and Advisory Committee on 23rd March 1991.

The German Shepherd Dog, whose planned breeding commenced in the year 1899, after the founding of the GSD Verein, was bred from the central German and South German strains of the existing herding dogs of those times, with the final goal of creating a working dog, predisposed to high working aptitude.  in order to reach this goal, the Breed Standard was laid down, which relates to the physical attributes, as well as to those of temperament and character.

GENERAL APPEARANCE – The German Shepherd Dog is medium sized, slightly elongated, powerful and well muscled, the bones dry and the overall structure firm.
Important Proportions: The height of withers:
for dogs is 60-65 cm (23½ – 25½ ins), and
for bitches 55-60 cm (21½ – 23½ ins).
The length of the body is greater than the height at the withers by about 10 to 17%.

CHARACTERISTICS – Usage: All round working, herding and service dog.
(See also under General Appearance and Temperament.)

TEMPERAMENT – The German Shepherd Dog must be of well balanced temperament, steady of nerve, self assured, absolutely free and easy, and (unless provoked) completely good natured, as well as alert and tractable.  He must have courage, combative instinct and hardness, in order to be suitable as companion, watch, protection, service and herding dog.

HEAD AND SKULL – The head is wedge shaped, proportionate in size to the body, (length of head about 40% of the height at withers) without being coarse or over long; in overall appearance dry, and moderately broad between the ears.  The forehead is only slightly domed viewed from the front and from the side, and without any, or only slightly indicated, central furrow.  The ratio of skull to muzzle is 50:50.  The breadth of the skull corresponds approximately to its length.  The skull, viewed from above, tapers evenly from the ears to the nose, with a sloping, not sharply defined, stop, into the wedge-shaped foreface (muzzle).  Upper and lower jaws are strongly developed.  The bridge of the nose is straight, a dishfaced or convex curve is not desired.  The lips are tight, well fitting and of a dark colour. The Nose: Must be black.

EYES – Are medium sized, almond shaped, slightly oblique and not protruding.  The colour of the eyes should be as dark as possible.  Light, piercing eyes are not desirable as they detract from the expression of the dog.

EARS – The German Shepherd Dog has erect ears of medium size, that are carried upright and almost parallel (not pulled inwards).  They run to a point and are set with the orifice to the front.  Tipped ears and drop ears are faulty.  Ears carried laid back during gaiting or when at rest are not faulty.

MOUTH – The dentition must be strong, healthy and complete (42 teeth, in accordance with the dentition formula).  The German Shepherd Dog has a scissor bite, that is, the incisors must connect like scissors, so that the incisors of the upper jaw cut scissor-like over those of the lower jaw.  Level, over- or undershot bites are faulty, as well as large gaps between the teeth.  It is also a fault when the incisors are placed in a straight line in the gums.  The jawbones must be strongly developed, so that the teeth are embedded deeply in the gumline.

NECK – The neck should be strong, well muscled and free from throatiness (dewlap).  The angle to the body (horizontal) is about 45 degrees (during stance).

FOREQUARTERS – The forelegs are straight viewed from all sides, absolutely parallel viewed from the front.  Shoulder blade and upper arm are of equal length and firmly attached to the body with strong musculation.  The angulation of shoulder blade and upper arm is, in the ideal case, 90 degrees, but as a rule 110 degrees.  The elbows should be neither turned out nor pinched in, either in stance or during movement.  The forearm should be straight viewed from all sides, and stand absolutely parallel, dry and firmly muscled.  The pastern is approximately 1/3 of the length of the forearm, and has an angle of approximately 20 to 22 degrees to the forearm.  Too sloping pasterns (more than 22 degrees) and too steep pasterns (less than 20 degrees) diminish the dog’s working ability, and especially its endurance.

BODY – The topline flows from the set on of neck over the well defined withers and over the back, sloping very slightly from the horizontal to the slightly sloping croup without a noticeable break.  The back is firm, strong and well muscled.  The loin is broad, strongly developed and well muscled.  The croup should be long and gently sloping (approximately 23 degrees to the horizontal) into the set on of tail, without disrupting the topline.
The Chest: Should be moderately broad, the underchest as long as possible and well developed.  The depth of chest should be about 45% to 48% of the height at the withers.
The Ribs: Should be moderately sprung.  Barrel chested is as equally faulty as is slab sided.

HINDQUARTERS – The position of the hindlegs is slightly set back, whereby the hindlimbs, viewed from the back, stand parallel to each other.  Upper and lower thighs are of almost equal length and form an angle of about 120 degrees; the thighs are strong and well muscled.  The hocks are well developed and firm; the rear pastern stands perpendicular under the hock.

FEET – The front feet are rounded, well closed and arched.  The hind feet are closed, and slightly arched.  The pads are hard but not rough, and of dark colour.  The nails are strong, arched and of dark colour.

TAIL – Reaches at least to the hock, however, not below the middle of the rear pastern.  It is slightly longer haired on the underside, and is carried curving down gently, higher in excitement and during movement, but not above the horizontal.  Corrective operations are forbidden.

GAIT/MOVEMENT – The German Shepherd Dog is a trotter.  The limbs must be of such length and angulation that the hindquarters may be thrust well forward under the body, and the forequarters reach equally far forward, without noticeable change in the topline.  Any tendency towards overangulation of the hindquarters lessens their firmness and endurance, and thus the dog’s utmost working ability.  With correct structural proportions and angulations, a roomy, smooth, ground covering gait results, that gives the impression of effortless forward propulsion.  With the head pushed forward, and a slightly raised tail, an even and calm trot results in a softly curving and unbroken topline, running from tips of the ears, over the neck and back, to the tip of the tail.

COAT – The skin fits loosely, but without forming folds.  The correct coat of the German Shepherd Dog is a double coat (Stockhaar) with undercoat.  The top coat should be as dense as possible, straight, harsh and close lying.  It should be short on the head, including inside the ears, the front of the legs and on the feet and toes; it is a little longer and heavier coated on the neck.  The hair lengthens on the back of the legs to the pastern or hock; on the back of the thighs it forms moderate breeching.

COLOUR – Black with reddish tan, tan, gold to light grey markings.  All black, and all grey; in greys with dark shadings, black saddle and mask.  Unobtrusive, small white markings on chest as well as very light colour on insides of legs permissible but not desirable.  The nose must be black in all colour types.  Lacking mask, light to piercing eyes, as well as whitish markings on chest and inner sides of legs, light nails and red tip of tail are to be rated as lacking in pigment.  The undercoat is of a light grey toning.
The colour white is not permitted.

SIZE:
Dogs:      Height at withers  60-65 cm (23½ – 25½ ins)
Weight    30-40 kg (66-88 lbs)
Bitches:  Height at withers  55-60 cm (21½ – 23½ ins)
Weight   22-32 kg (48-71 lbs).

FAULTS – Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Major Faults:
Deviations from the above described Breed Standard that  impair the working ability.
Ear Faults: Too low set at the sides, tipped ears, inward tilted ears, ears not  firm.
Considerable pigment deficiencies.
Strongly impaired overall firmness.
Dentition Faults: All deviations from a scissor bite and the dentition formula,  as far as it does not concern disqualifying faults. (See below)

Disqualifying Faults:
Weak character, savageness or nervousness.
Proven “severe H.D”.
Monorchids and cryptorchids, as well as dogs with clearly uneven or atrophied (stunted ) testicles.
Disfiguring ear or tail defects.
Deformities.
Dentition faults, missing:
1 Pre-Molar 3, and one further tooth, or
1 Canine, or
1 Pre-Molar 4, or
1 Molar 1,  or
1 Molar 2,  or
3 or more teeth altogether.
Jaw defects: Overshot 2mm or more. Undershot. Level bite in the whole region of the incisors.
More than 1cm over or under size.
Albinism.
White coat colour (even with dark eyes and nails).
Long double coat (Long Stockhaar):  Long, wavy, topcoat not  lying closely, with undercoat, feathering on ears and legs, bushy breeches and bushy tail forming flags below.
Longcoat:  Long, soft top coat without undercoat, usually with a parting down the back, flags on ears and legs and tail.

NOTE – Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Working Dog Group     A.N.K.C.  ©   January 1998

Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)