A Story on How GSDs Evolved from Farm Dogs to Sophisticated Service Canines

The German Shepherd breed that today’s dog lovers reward with only the best treats for german shepherd puppies is quite different from its origins as Alsatian farm dogs in the 1800s. They drew attention and popularity as highly intelligent, loyal pet companions and professional service dogs during the post World War I and II eras.

As it was, German dog breeders had set standards in the development and breeding of this easy-to-train and hard-working canines that we now know of as German Shepherd Dogs or GSDs. This was after the breed reappeared in the years following the World War I and II events. However, certain changes took place in their stories, as the canines no longer looked like the long-haired, short-tailed mongrels that worked as animal herders in local German farms.

GSD Origins as Hard-Working Alsatian Canines

The GSD breed was actually created by a former cavalry officer named Max von Stephanitz in Alsace, a French region but formerly under German sovereignty. In fact this breed of dogs were popular as Alsatian canines in the region and other parts of the world.

Stephanitz had cross bred different species of working sheep dogs, as his goal was to develop a farm dog that has the ability to stay on its toes herding for long hours. At the same time, it must have the speed, the agility and keen sense of smell while herding. Most important of all is that they have the courage and fierceness necessary in protecting the animals in their care.

German farmers welcomed the Alsatian breed developed by Stephanitz, They were happy with how the mongrels took to heart, the responsibility of herding and protecting the flock of sheep under their care.

At the beginning of World War I, the Alsatians became quite popular. More so after German dog breeders worked on the standards that would officially recognized them as German Shepherd Dogs. During the period, indiscriminate breeding was rampant they resulted in bad breeding of Alsatians, being passed off as superior breds of GSDs.

Courageous and with a keen sense of smell, the canines gained additional recognition for being easy to train as police dogs. They also exhibited patience and superb observation skills that made them ideal as seeing-eye companions for blind people.

However, because of the World War I and II events, the reference to Germany and the German Shepherd name had a negative connotation, it took a while before the Alsatian title was replaced.