Aurora's 2015 Litter 

Family Photo, Chessa (Dam), Aurora (Daughter),

 and Wolf (Sire). Aug 19 2013

German Shepherd Dogs

This is the standard of the breed set out by the CKC ( Canadian Kennel Club). In this standard it describes what the breed should be like. In breeding we as responsible breeders follow these outlines and pick dogs that are best fit the breed standards. Not only to produce the ideal German Shepherd Dog but to help in preserve the breed as a breed. 

The German Shepherd Breed Standard;

General Appearance: First impression of a good German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well-muscled animal, alert and full of life. It should both be and appear to be well balanced, with harmonious development of the forequarter and hindquarter. The dog should appear to the eye, and actually be, longer than tall, deep bodied, and present an outline of smooth curves rather than corners. It should look substantial and not spindly, giving the impression both at rest and in motion of muscular fitness and nimbleness without any look of clumsiness or soft living. The Shepherd should be stamped with a look of quality and nobility, difficult to define but unmistakable when present. The good German Shepherd Dog never looks common. Secondary sex characteristics should be strongly marked, and every animal should give a definite impression of masculinity or femininity, according to its sex. Dogs should be definitely masculine in appearance and deportment; bitches, unmistakably feminine, without weakness of structure or apparent softness of temperament. The condition of the dog should be that of an athlete in good condition, the muscles and flesh firm and the coat lustrous.

Temperament: The breed has a distinct personality marked by a direct and fearless, but not hostile, expression, and self-confidence and a certain aloofness which does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. The Shepherd Dog is not one that fawns upon every new acquaintance. At the same time, it should be approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and a willingness to meet overtures without itself making them. It should be poised, but when the occasion demands, eager and alert, both fit and willing to serve in any capacity as companion, watch dog, blind leader, herding dog or guardian; whichever the circumstances may demand. The Shepherd Dog must not be timid, shrinking behind its master or handler, nervous, looking about or upward with anxious expression or showing nervous reactions to strange sounds or sights, or lackadaisical, sluggish, or manifestly disinterested in what goes on about him. Lack of confidence under any surroundings is not typical of good character. Cases of extreme timidity and nervous unbalance sometimes give the dog an apparent, but totally unreal, courage and it becomes a “fear biter,” snapping not for any justifiable reason but because it is apprehensive of the approach of a stranger. This is a serious fault subject to heavy penalty.

Size: The ideal height for dogs is 25 inches (64 cm), and for bitches, 23 inches (58 cm) at the shoulder. This height is established by taking a perpendicular line from the top of the shoulder blade to the ground with the coat parted or so pushed down that this measurement will show the only actual height of the frame or structure of the dog. The working value of dogs above or below the indicated height is proportionately lessened, although variations of an inch (3 cm) above or below the ideal height are acceptable, while greater variations must be considered as faults. Weights of dogs of desirable size in proper flesh and condition average between 75 and 85 lb. (34 and 39 kg); and of bitches, between 60 and 70 lb. (27 and 32 kg).

Coat: The Shepherd is normally a dog with a double coat, the amount of undercoat varying with the season of the year and the proportion of the time the dog spends out of doors. It should, however, always be present to a sufficient degree to keep out water, to insulate against temperature extremes, and as a protection against insects. The outer coat should be as dense as possible, hair straight, harsh and lying close to the body. A slightly wavy outer coat, often of wiry texture, is equally permissible. The head, including the inner ear, foreface, and legs and paws are covered with short hair, and the neck with longer and thicker hair. The rear of forelegs and hind legs has somewhat longer hair extending to the pastern and hock respectively. Faults in coat include complete lack of any undercoat, soft, silky or too long outer coat and curly or open coat.

Color: The German Shepherd Dog differs widely in color. Generally speaking, strong, rich colors are to be preferred, with definite pigmentation, and without appearance of a washed-out color. White dogs are to be disqualified.

Head: Clean-cut and strong, the head of the Shepherd is characterized by nobility. It should seem in proportion to the body and should not be clumsy, although a degree of coarseness of head, especially in dogs, is less of a fault than over-refinement. A round or domey skull is a fault. The muzzle is long and strong with the lips firmly fitted, and its topline is usually parallel with an imaginary elongation of the line of the forehead. Seen from the front, the forehead is only moderately arched and the skull slopes into the long wedge-shaped muzzle without abrupt stop. Jaws are strongly developed. Weak and too narrow underjaws, snipey muzzles, and no stop are faults 

Teeth: The strong teeth, 42 in number (20 upper and 22 lower) are strongly developed and meet in a scissors grip in which part of the inner surface of the upper teeth meets and engages part of the outer surface of the lower teeth. This type of bite gives a more powerful grip than one in which the edges of the teeth meet directly, and is subject to less wear. The dog is overshot when the lower teeth fail to engage the inner surfaces of the upper teeth. This is a serious fault. The reverse condition – an undershot jaw – is a very serious fault. While missing premolars are frequently observed, complete dentition is decidedly to be preferred. So-called distemper teeth and discolored teeth are faults whose seriousness varies with the degree of departure from the desired white, sound coloring. Teeth broken by accident should not be severely penalized but worn teeth, especially the incisors, are often indicative of the lack of a proper scissors bite, although some allowance should be made for age. 

Eyes: The eyes of medium size, almond shaped, set a little obliquely and not protruding. The color as dark as possible. Eyes of lighter color are sometimes found and are not a serious fault if they harmonize with the general coloration, but a dark brown eye is always to be preferred. The expression should be keen, intelligent, and composed. 

Ears: The ears should be moderately pointed, open towards the front, and are carried erect when at attention, the ideal carriage being one in which the center lines of the ears, viewed from the front, are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the ground. Puppies usually do not permanently raise their ears until the fourth or sixth month, and sometimes not until later. Cropped and hanging ears are to be discarded. The well-placed and well-carried ear of a size in proportion to the skull materially adds to the general appearance of the Shepherd. Neither too large nor too small ears are desirable. Too much stress, however, should not be laid on perfection of carriage if the ears are fully erect.

Neck: The neck is strong and muscular, clean-cut and relatively long, proportionate in size to the head and without loose folds of skin. When the dog is at attention or excited, the head is raised and the neck carried high, otherwise typical carriage of the head is forward rather than up and but little higher than the top of the shoulder, particularly in motion.

Body: The whole structure of the body gives an impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness. Forechest, commencing at the prosternum, should be well filled and carried well down between the legs with no sense of hollowness. Chest should be deep and capacious with ample room for lungs and heart. Well carried forward, with the prosternum, or process of the breastbone, showing ahead of the shoulder when the dog is viewed from the side. Ribs should be well sprung and long, neither barrel shaped nor too flat, and carried down to a breastbone which reaches to the elbow. Correct ribbing allows the elbow to move back freely when the dog is at a trot, while too round a rib causes interference and throws the elbow out. Ribbing should be carried well back so that loin and flank are relatively short. Abdomen firmly held and not paunchy. The bottom line of the Shepherd is only moderately tucked up in flank, never like that of a Greyhound.

Legs: The bone of the legs should be straight, oval rather than round or flat, and free from sponginess. Its development should be in proportion to the size of the dog and contribute to the overall impression of substance without grossness. Crooked leg bones and any malformation such as, for example, that caused by rickets, should be penalized. Pastern should be of medium length, strong and springy. Much more spring of pastern is desirable in the Shepherd Dog than in any other breeds, as it contributes to the ease and elasticity of the trotting gait. The upright terrier pastern is definitely undesirable. Metatarsus (the so-called “hock”): short, clean, sharply defined, and of great strength. This is the fulcrum upon which much of the forward movement of the dog depends. Cow-hocks are a decided fault, but before penalizing for Cow-hocks, it should be definitely determined, with the animal in motion, that the dog has this fault, since many dogs with exceptionally good hindquarter angulation occasionally stand so as to give the appearance of cow-hockedness which is not actually present.

Feet: Rather short, compact, with toes well arched, pads thick and hard, nails short and strong. The feet are important to the working qualities of the dog. The ideal foot is extremely strong with good gripping power and plenty of depth of pad. The so-called cat-foot, or terrier foot, is not desirable. The thin, spread or hare-foot is, however, still more undesirable.

Topline: The withers should be higher than, and sloping into, the level back to enable a proper attachment of the shoulder blades. The back should be straight and very strongly developed without sag or roach, the section from the wither to the croup being relatively short. (The desirable long proportion of the Shepherd Dog is not derived from a long back but from overall length with relation to height, which is achieved by breadth of forequarter and hindquarter viewed from the side.) Loin: viewed from the top, broad and strong, blending smoothly into the back without undue length between the last rib and the thigh, when viewed from the side. Croup should be long and gradually sloping. Too level or flat a croup prevents proper functioning of the hindquarter, which must be able to reach well under the body. A steep croup also limits the action of the hindquarter.

Structure: A German Shepherd is a trotting dog and his structure has been developed to best meet the requirements of his work in herding. That is to say, a long, effortless trot which shall cover the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps, consistent with the size of the animal. The proper body proportion, firmness of back and muscles and the proper angulation of the forequarters and hindquarters serve this end. They enable the dog to propel itself forward by a long step of the hindquarter and to compensate for this stride by a long step of the forequarter. The high withers, the firm back, the strong loin, the properly formed croup, even the tail as balance and rudder, all contribute to this same end.

Proportion: The German Shepherd Dog is properly longer than tall with the most desirable proportion as 10 is to 8-1/2. We have seen how the height is ascertained; the length is established by a dog standing naturally and four-square, measured on a horizontal line from the point of the prosternum, or breastbone, to the rear edge of the pelvis, the ischium tuberosity, commonly called the sitting bone.

Angulation: Forequarter: the shoulder blade should be long, laid on flat against the body with its rounded upper end in a vertical line above the elbow, and sloping well forward to the point where it joins the upper arm. The withers should be high, with shoulder blades meeting closely at the top, and the upper arm set on at an angle approaching as nearly as possible a right angle. Such an angulation permits the maximum forward extension of the foreleg without binding or effort. Shoulder faults include too steep or straight a position of either blade or upper arm, too short a blade or upper arm, lack of sufficient angle between these two members, looseness through lack of firm ligamentation, and loaded shoulder with prominent pads of flesh or muscles on the outer side. Construction in which the whole shoulder assembly is pushed too far forward also restricts the stride and is faulty.

Hindquarters: The angulation of the hindquarter also consists ideally of a series of sharp angles as far as the relation of the bones to each other is concerned, and the thigh bone should parallel the shoulder blade while the stifle bone parallels the upper arm. The whole assembly of the thigh, viewed from the side, should be broad, with both thigh and stifle well muscled and of proportionate length, forming as nearly as possible a right angle. The metatarsus (the unit between the hock joint and the foot commonly and erroneously called the hock) is strong, clean and short, the hock joint clean-cut and sharply defined.

Tail: Bushy, with the last vertebra extended at least to the hock joint, and usually below. Set smoothly into the croup and low rather than high, at rest the tail hangs in a slight curve like a sabre. A slight hook – sometimes carried to one side – is faulty only to the extent that it mars general appearance. When the dog is excited or in motion, the curve is accentuated and the tail raised, but it should never be lifted beyond a line at right angles with the line of the back. Docked tails, or those which have been operated upon to prevent curling, disqualify. Tails too short, or with clumpy end due to the ankylosis or the growing together of the vertebrae, are serious faults. 

Gait: The gait of the German Shepherd Dog is outreaching, elastic, seemingly without effort, smooth and rhythmic. At a walk it covers a great deal of ground, with long step of both hind leg and foreleg. At a trot, the dog covers still more ground and moves powerfully but easily with a beautiful co-ordination of back and limbs so that, in the best examples, the gait appears to be the steady motion of a welllubricated machine. The feet travel close to the ground, and neither fore nor hind feet should lift high on either forward reach or backward push. The hindquarter delivers, through the back, a powerful forward thrust which slightly lifts the whole animal and drives the body forward. Reaching far under, and passing the imprint left by the front foot, the strong arched hind foot takes hold of the ground; then hock, stifle, and upper thigh come into play and sweep back, the stroke of the hind leg finishing with the foot still close to the ground in a smooth follow-through. The overreach of the hindquarter usually necessitates one hind foot passing outside and the other hind foot passing inside the track of the forefeet and such action is not faulty unless the locomotion is crabwise with the dog’s body sideways out of the normal straight line. In order to achieve ideal movement of this kind, there must be full muscular co-ordination throughout the structure with the action of muscles and ligaments positive, regular and accurate.

Back Transmission: The typical smooth, flowing gait of the Shepherd Dog cannot be maintained without great strength and firmness (which does not mean stiffness) of back. The whole effort of the hindquarter is transmitted to the forequarter through the muscular and bony structure of the loin, back, and withers. At full trot, the back must remain firm and level without sway, roll, whip or roach. To compensate for the forward motion imparted by the hindquarter, the shoulder should open to its full extent – the desirability of good shoulder angulation now becomes apparent – and the forelegs should reach out in a stride balancing that of the hindquarter. A steep shoulder will cause the dog either to stumble or to raise the forelegs very high in an effort to co-ordinate with the hindquarter, which is impossible when shoulder structure is faulty. A serious gait fault results when a dog moves too low in front, presenting an unleveled topline with the wither lower than the hips. The Shepherd Dog does not track on widely separated parallel lines as does the terrier, but brings the feet inward toward the middle line of the body when at trot in order to maintain balance. For this reason a dog viewed from the front or rear when in motion will often seem to travel close. This is not a fault if the feet do not strike or cross, or if the knees or shoulders are not thrown out, but the feet and hocks should be parallel even if close together. The excellence of gait must also be evaluated by viewing from the side the effortless, properly coordinated covering of ground.

It should never be forgotten that the ideal Shepherd is a working animal which must have an incorruptible character combined with body and gait suitable for the arduous work which constitutes its primary purpose. All its qualities should be weighed in respect to their contribution to such work, and while no compromise should be permitted with regard to its working potentiality, the dog must nevertheless possess a high degree of beauty and nobility.

Evaluation of Faults Note: Faults are important in the order of their group, as per group headings, irrespective of their position in each group. Very Serious Faults Major faults of temperament; undershot lower jaw. Serious Faults Faults of balance and proportion; poor gait, viewed either from front, rear or side; marked deficiency of substance (bone or body); bitchy male dogs; faulty backs; too level or too short croup; long and weak loin; very bad feet; ring tails; tails much too short; rickety condition; more than four missing premolars or any other missing teeth, unless due to accident; lack of nobility; badly washed-out color; badly overshot bite. Faults Doggy bitches; poorly carried ears; too-fine in head; weak muzzles; improper muscular condition; faulty coat, other than temporary condition; badly affected teeth. Minor Faults Too coarse head; hooked tails; too light, round or protruding eyes; dis-colored teeth; condition of coat, due to season or keeping. Disqualifications Albino characteristics; cropped ears; hanging ears (as in a hound); docked tails; male dogs having one or both testicle undescended (monorchids or cryptorchids); white dogs.

Styles and types of German Shepherd Dogs within the Breed 

 In addition to each club having a standard there is also something to consider when looking for a breeder. One needs to understand the breed as a whole and also the different variations within the breed. The German Shepherd Dog as been bred of the years in different parts of the world and thus there are slightly different variations out there. Each with it's own style. These variations all look like and are recognized as German Shepherd Dogs only with a few thing that sets them slightly apart. The average person will not notice these differences as breeders and breed enthusiasts do.These variations where purposely bred to have either higher drives, high energy, high eagerness to work, lighter in body, bred for temperament, for movement and conformation and so forth. The German Shepherd Dog is known for being so versatile that it can and will do most any job your ask and train it to do. When looking to add a puppy or dog to your family you need to know what your family life style is. Are you an outdoor active family or a moderate family. Do you have children and or are you single and so fourth. 

To understand the breed and help make the right choice is the key, do your research as that way your new puppy will have the long term loving home it wants and deserves. 

Here are the Variation within the German Shepherd Dog and a bit about them to help you see the variations within this wonderful breed. 

American Show line and Canadian Show line;

The ones seen the most in North American in the Dog Show World. American and Canadian show lines dominate the national kennel clubs and are intended to conform strictly to the standards set by each of the governing kennel clubs. Breeders of this Style are looking for a balanced dog. Both in body and mind.  

Here a Sablehill GSDs I personally love this variation the most, and thus I breed to the Show line Standards. I find the temperament of this style the easiest to work and train, they are easily satisfied in play, work and companionship. Most are medium-drive, great as a family dog. Still needing exercises as with all of the variations of the German Shepherd Dog, just easier to meet there needs. Very loyal and still have the herding instincts of the breed, and can still work and do the job they where originally breed for. I breed to have a versatile working dog. My dogs can and do still do herding, agility, conformation, anything I ask or train them to do they do. Yes Some will argue that show-lines can't but I have seem and had many that will, after all the over all German Shepherd Dog is a versatile working dog. 

West German Show line (WGSL;

The most popular type of German Shepherd Dog in Germany, is the West German show lines. They are bred to conform to the SV standard which also requires the dog to gain health clearances for hips and elbows and a working title in often herding or IPO along with their show title prior to being bred. The "look" of this type is very specific and typically very uniform, most commonly seen in black and red saddle back and its preferred by breeders of this style. They are two common coat types, a plush and or long haired.

West German Working Lines (WGWL);

Dogs of West German working bloodlines are often said to be the closest of all types to the original dogs produced under Max von Stephanitz. Breeding of this line is focused on correct working structure, correct solid temperament and especially to correct, strong working drives and ability. West German working lines excel in many different sports. As with the West German Show line the Working line also required the same health clearances before being bred. The WGWL is not as uniform as the WGShow line, in there are a few things that are allowed that are not in the WGSL. WGWL can come in more colors ( Black/Tan, Black, Black/Red, Sable, Bi-color), they are also more compacted, agile and athletic.

DDR / East German Working Lines;

This style come around after WW-II  from the remaining war dogs. DDR / East German dogs were maintained strictly by the government of East Germany. Rigid control of the original DDR bloodlines resulted in a very distinct look. Are known for their typically correct working structure, large heads, large bone and dark rich pigment. DDR bloodlines are also known for being very sound dogs, though working drives can vary. The very first DDR bloodlines are valued for their phenomenal genetics and temperament. DDR/ East German Working lines are low to medium prey drive dogs. Some DDR/ East German lines have retain some of the strong, old territorial and defensive instincts. They are known for have very good noses/tracking and hunt drive. They are known to be handler soft/sensitive. DDR/ East German Lines bond strongly and are attached to their family and aloof with strangers.

Czech Working Lines;

Originating in the communist Czechoslovakia and built on a foundation of working dogs used primarily for border patrol work, the Czech bloodlines are dominated by dogs who have a foundation of popular border patrol dogs and Czech military dogs. Unique to the this type, the original breeding of Czech dogs revolved around the Czechoslovakian Army’s Pohranicni Straze kennel. Some of the Czech bloodlines contain awesome working drives and tend to be intense, agile, strong working dogs. These dogs are not for the non-active person or family. They need both physical and mental work. Czech Working lines are known to be very high energy and high drives.

Now that you have read some info on the types within the German Shepherd Dog breed. You should have a better understanding of the breed and what might fit into your lifestyle the best.

All in all the German Shepherd Dog is a very unique and versatile breed. They are very affectionate, loyal, and great family dogs. They are my passion and I will always have them in my home as members of my family. My children will grow up raised with this wonderful breed. 

Miss Aurora  2015

Grooming German Shepherd Dogs 

As a Professional Groomer I know the proper way to groom German Shepherd Dogs as well as other breeds. Here is great info on what to use and how to groom your German Shepherd Dog, and what not to do and not to use. 

German Shepherd Dogs are known for being huge shedders. They shed massively in the Spring and Fall. During this time they blow out all the under coat, and it clumps up in the coat and is very noticeable. If not brushed it can mat up. They also shed regularly year round. And need to be brushed out regularly at least once or twice a week. 

German Shepherd Dogs are double coated dogs. Meaning they have two types of fur. Their coat is a combination of straight and short to moderate length fur. The outer guard coat is harsh to touch, while abundant soft down under coat is think and dense to protect the dogs in extreme weather. Form hot to warm and extreme cold. Their coat keeps them form over heating, sunburns, and form freezing. 

German Shepherd Dogs are not to be SHAVED!!, this does not help with the shedding at all. All it dose is shorten the fur, it will still shed! Shaving can and does in fact cause more problems then good. First off if you shave them they are more prone to sunburns and over heating. Heat stokes can and do happen in dogs just like us. Only it is worse for dogs then us. Dogs do not sweat, they pant to cool down and their coats help repels the sun and heat. As said above the coat protects them. Shaving them causes coat damage. The coat will not grow back in the same and the more times its shaved the more the damage will start to show. By damage I mean the coat will start to grow in patches, sometimes think in some spots and thin in others, and or might not grow back fully at all. It can and some have it come back wirery, dry or fuzzy and oily, each dog is going to have damage a bit different. As a groomer I seen this all first hand. There are breeds yes that can be shaved they are single coated thou, not double. They have no under coat and the fur is meant for trims and can be shaved. German Shepherd Dogs and all other double coats dogs are not. I do not shave my dogs and never will, I request and have it in my contract that all my dogs are not to be shaved. 

Maverick May 31 2016 

Wolf going through a shed, and being brushed.  

Wolf being brushed- I have three favorite brushes. This is the rake. I find it gets a lot of the under coat out and it don't take long to do a nice brush out.  

The rake brush used on my boy Wolf. It works wonderfully in the rear area and the thighs.

I groom my Dogs once a month unless we are at a Show or Trail. They get fully washed, shampooed, and dried with my Velocity Dryer. This helps keep their coat in good condition and helps with the fur all over the house. 

Grooming tools to use on a German Shepherd Dog. 

Greyhound Comb


Curved Slicker Brush

Rubber Brush (not pictured)

Pin Brush (not pictured)

Nail Clippers and Styptic Power or Quick Stop

Enzymatic Toothpaste for dogs. I brush my dogs teeth once a week. Also raw bones really help with cleaning their teeth too.

Ear Cleaning solution and facial cleaning pads 

(not pictured)

Wolf at the dog show April 1 2016 

 Brushing your German Shepherd on a regular base will keep the shedding low and help keep the skin and coat healthy. Brushing helps move and stimulate the skin to grow healthy fur and produce oils naturally. Bathing every few months is all that is needed unless your dog gets really dirty or swims in the lake or pond. I will bath mine if they go in the lake or ponds. As in the water there are tiny insects and bacteria that can irritate the skin and cause your dog to scratch and crew themselves a lot and cause sores. 

Brushing with a slicker brush, pin brush, or comb will pull the loose under coat out. Allowing the air to circulate through the coat helping to cool your dog down on warm days, it stimulate growth and keep them form matting. A healthy coat will have a shine and glossy look too it. You can run your hand through and feel a nice clean coat.  Care is needed when brushing with a metal teeth or bristled brush, as if you use too much force or push down on the brush too heavy or over brush in one area you can cause brush burn and or cut your dogs skin. Brushing and combing is not finished till all loose fur is out during massive shedding periods. The areas that hold in the coat more are the chest, neck, shoulders, and rear. Let your hands feel for differences in the areas and learn to feel heavier or denser spots than others, those spots still have under coat and will need more drying time after a  bath with the blow dryer or velocity dryer. Hot spots will occur if you don't brush out the under coat or blow dry(on Cool or Cold, never use a dry on a dog on warn or hot, u can make them over heat) after a bath. 

The next is the comb, I love my Combs, it also gets a good amount of under coat out in a shedding period. 

This is my curved slicker brush, and it works awesomely.