German Shepherd Dog

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The German Shepherd Dog (GSD, also known as an Alsatian), (German: Deutscher Schäferhund) is a breed of large-sized dog that originated in Germany.[2] The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, with its origin dating to 1899. As part of the Herding group, the German Shepherd is a working dog developed originally for herding and guarding sheep. Because of its strength, intelligence and abilities in obedience training it is often employed in police and military roles around the world.[3] Due to its loyal and protective nature, the German Shepherd is one of the most registered of breeds.[4]

Contents

History

Origins

In Europe during the 1800s, attempts were being made to standardize breeds.[5] The dogs were bred to preserve traits that assisted in their job of herding sheep and protecting flocks from predators. In Germany this was practised within local communities, where shepherds selected and bred dogs that they believed had traits necessary for herding sheep, such as intelligence, speed, strength, and keen senses of smell. The results were dogs that were able to perform admirably in their task, but that differed significantly, both in appearance and ability, from one locality to another.[5]

To combat these differences, the Phylax Society was formed in 1891 with the intention of creating standardised dog breeds in Germany. The society disbanded after only three years due to ongoing internal conflicts regarding the traits in dogs that the society should promote; some members believed dogs should be bred solely for working purposes, while others believed dogs should be bred also for appearance.[6] While unsuccessful in their goal, the Phylax Society had inspired people to pursue standardising dog breeds independently.

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