German Shepherd Dog History
The German Shepherd Dog is a herding breed that traces its origins back to the 19th century in Germany. At that time, shepherds needed a dog that was strong and smart enough to herd their sheep, as well as protect them from predators. Captain Max von Stephanitz began developing the breed by selectively breeding only the most intelligent and strongest specimens of local herding dogs. By 1889, von Stephanitz had successfully created what we now know as the German Shepherd Dog breed - at around this same time, he founded what is now known as the SV or Society for German Shepherds (sV stands for Verien für Deutsche Schäferhunde).
The breed quickly became popular with military and police forces due to its intelligence, strength and obedience. In 1908 it was officially accepted into the American Kennel Club working group in 1908. As of 2014 it remains one of Americas most popular breeds according to AKC registration stats. Today, their intelligence, strength and resemblance of humans has made them a common choice as service dogs or even just family pets.
German Shepherd Dog Characteristics