German Shepherd History

From the most ancient times, man in his difficult and dangerous life was accompanied by powerful, large, sensitive, vicious dogs, possessing a well-developed guard instinct, tied to the owner, bold in the fight against predators.

This group of breeds is called "shepherd".

From the most ancient times, man in his difficult and dangerous life was accompanied by powerful, large, sensitive, vicious dogs, possessing a well-developed guard instinct, tied to the owner, bold in the fight against predators. This group of breeds is called "shepherd".

Sheep-dogs are now called a number of breeds of working dogs, historically used as shepherd dogs, assistants to shepherds of sheep (shepherds). In those old times, it was successful to graze cattle, and to save livestock without such co-bak was simply impossible. According to some authors, the group Ovcha-rock was bred in Europe during the period of sedentary farming and developed animal husbandry, when the number of predators significantly decreased, and the pastures as close as possible to the sown area.

The shepherds needed another type of dog: not too large, more mobile, working under the direct supervision of a person and in close contact with him, suitable not only for protecting the herd, but also for managing it. The ancestors of these shepherds took small, mobile hunting dogs, similar to the modern huskies, which were used for hunting in forests.

Through long-term selection, the man significantly changed their hunting instinct to a passerine, which included elements of pursuing an animal, but eliminating its subsequent catching and nibbling. The further coexistence and work of these dogs with a man led to the formation of breeds, the main features of which were attachment to man, possessing a sharp instinct, delicate hearing and abilities for training.

In the 18th century, a small, wolf-like dog spread widely. It has been cultivated differently in different countries and therefore there are more than 30 sheepdog breeds in the world today. Our most famous shepherd is German. Why does she have such a name and when did this breed appear?


In the spring of 1899, German Emile Frederick von Stephanitz acquired a male named Hector Lincirsheim (later named Horand von Grafrath) at one of the co-shows, which was the first in the Breeding Book of the breed and formed the basis of the German Shepherd Rock .

At the same time, the first dog breed club and the German Shepherd Society were formed, headed by Stephanitz himself. At the first meeting of this society, the first breed standard was adopted, and the purposeful formation of the German Shepherd Dog as a separate breed began.

Von Stephanitz, more than thirty years old, was the head of the German Shepherd Dog Society. Thanks to his efforts and the enthusiasm of the representatives of the Society throughout Germany in just twenty years, the breed was basically formed.

Already at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, this little breed, which was fair at that time, began to be successfully used in search, police and military services, which made it popular. Due to the professional selection mainly for professional qualities, this breed has become the most valuable among the service dogs of universal purpose.


For the first time, German shepherd dogs were introduced to Russia in 1904. It was a group of dogs trained for health service (they passed the test in the Russian-Japanese war), and later began to be used by the police.

During the civil war, the livestock of the non-German Shepherd Dog has decreased dramatically.

In the period from 1924 to 1936, for the breeding of German Shepherds in the USSR, the importation of breeding dogs from Germany began (Central school of dog breeding of border guards of the GPU, Central school of dog-hunters of the NKVD ESD, kennels of the Red Army, etc.). Unfortunately, this initial herd was very heterogeneous: along with selective animals, co-bats were brought along with selected animals.

The first attempts of German Shepherd breeding kennels were mostly unsuccessful. The ignorance of the breed, the lack of canine specialists and breeding experience affected. However, gradually it went smoothly. In 1927, sections of amateur dog breeders were created, and in 1928, expert dog training courses. Over time, these organizations were transformed into service dog clubs, uniting amateur dog breeders. In these clubs, thanks to many years of spatial selection, systematic improvement and mass breeding of dogs of this breed was ensured. An important role in the promotion of service dog sy-graley is regularly held dog shows in different cities. The first such exhibition in the USSR was held in Moscow in 1925, at which Bodo f. From Germany became the winner among German shepherds. Toidselsfinkel.

The development of the German Shepherd in the USSR was facilitated by the breeding of a very successful line of the 1939 VSHV champion Abrek O. P. Osmalovskaya. The line was characterized by nobility of forms and strength. During the Great Patriotic War, the German shepherd breed in the USSR suffered heavy losses: breeders sent their best dogs to the front. Almost all dogs of breeding imported from abroad died. The largest cynological centers (in Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, etc.) were forced to begin their breeding work first. (To be continued.)

Andrey Shklyaev,

Deputy Chairman of the Belarusian Public Sports Cynological Association


“At that time, Horand von Grafrath served as the embodiment of a dream for us. Tall — 60–61 cm at the withers, he was proportionally built, had strong, strong bones, beautiful body lines, noble posture, and a head remarkable in shape. He was in his prime : strong and muscular, like a steel bar. His character was wonderful.

First of all, he was a gentleman, loyal and obedient to his master, playful and kind, incredibly energetic, tireless in work and a great companion. He loved people, but without flattery, but on equal terms, and infinitely adored his master. He was looking for a way out of his energy and was in the seventh heaven with happiness when I was engaged with him. "



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