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How Were German Shepherds Made?

At Vom Banach K9, we pride ourselves on working with German Shepherds. But you may be wondering, how were German Shepherds made, originally?

Let’s dive into the history of this breed to find out.

See German Shepherd Puppies

Shepherd's Aid

Koda vom Banach, owned by John Hawkins moves the herd with innate skill and precision.

Throughout history, dogs have been bred to retain and exhibit certain traits. In Germany, herding sheep was a common job for dogs, and many were bred with this purpose in mind. Sometime in the late 1800s, breeders started to consider what makes the perfect shepherd dog, and began to form breeding societies to test their theories.

The First True German Shepherd Is Made

In 1899, a breeder named Max von Stephanitz found what he considered the perfect shepherd dog specimen. He purchased the dog and named it Horand von Grafrath, deeming Horand the first official German Shepherd dog.

The breed was named “German Shepherd Dog” officially at the beginning. Other herding dogs in Germany were also called German Shepherd, but once Max von Stephanitz came on the scene, the other German Shepherd came to be known as “Old German Shepherd Dogs”.

Breeding German Shepherds

Horand von Grafrath was bred with other dogs until a suitable line was found in Hektor von Schwaben. Hektor was inbred with other offspring of Horand (Hektor’s half-siblings) and produced Beowulf, who would go on to sire 84 pups, and be considered the source of all living German Shepherds.