The German Shepherd Dog (GSD, also known as an Alsatian), (German: Deutscher Schäferhund) is a breed of large-sized dog that originated in Germany. German Shepherds are a relatively new breed of dog, whose origins date to 1899. As part of the Herding group, the German Shepherd is a working dog developed originally for herding sheep. Because of their strength, intelligence and abilities in obedience training they are often employed in police and military roles, in forces around the world. Due to their loyal and protective nature the German Shepherd is one of the most registered of breeds.
They're German and they came from sheep herding bloodlines.
Some of these unstandardised sheepdogs were crossed with wolves to be used as wolf-lookalikes in travelling shows.
Max von Stephanitz (a German calalry captain) is recognised as the "father" of the breed. The sheepdogs of old would have no standard, being bred from if they performed well, and not if they didn't. Von Stephanitz wanted to standardise the breed. He bought a dog and named him Horand von Grafeth, and this dog was used extensively as a stud by German sheepdog breeders of the club formed by Von Stephanitz, Verein fur Deutsch Schaferhunde (sorry for misspellings).
At the end of the Great War the breed's name was changed in TheUK, to Alsatian Wolfdog, because of commercial reasons. The 'wolf' part was then also dropped for commercial reasons.
The name German Shepherd Dog was used again after 1977, by breeders in the U.S.A.
G.S.D.s were the breed most used as guide dogs for the blind (seeing-eye-dogs) until the Labrador became the popular choice later..
There are also Belgian and Dutch Shepherd Dogs. The Chinese military bred their Kunming dog as a guard dog, it is a little taller than the G.S.D. and is similar to a Belgian Shepherd dog in appearance, but larger.
In Czech Republic and Slovakia the breed is still commonly called the Wolfdog (Vlcak/Vlcaka). However the breed was improved by Czech and Slovak border police, and the new breed Czechoslovakian Wolfdog was produced for Air-scenting work. The C.S.V. is the ultimate dog.
umm Kitten? If they didn't say German Shepherd DOGS you might think you meant sheep herders who were from or lived in Germany.
Typically, when they came to America, they were given the name German Shepherd Dogs. To most of Europe, they're Alsatians. During WWII people who owned them were sometimes said to be pro-German, so they began calling them Alsatians here during the war.
What always pissed me off is that they actually call them German Shepherd Dogs. Well, no kidding they're dogs!!