110 Years of German Shepherd Dog History!


Starting with the founder of the breed Max von Stephanitz, through to Reinhardt Meyer.


How could one best depict such a long lineage and history?


It will certainly not only interest the established insiders of the German Shepherd Dog world, but newcomers will be just as thrilled with the collective information herein, thanks in part to the modern aid of information technology.


One short glance at a single spreadsheet, and all of a sudden, everything about the dog which pedigree one holds in hand falls into place. Or, the conception of causal relations, after worrying for a long time why the things would be as they are, becomes very evident.


You will be surprised at how much information you are able to view!


We wish you a lot of fun with this adventure into the past!

110 Years of Shepherd Dog history at a glance, with a great number of extra data

           SV-President Dr. Rummel (in the early seventies) was very aware of the fact that Canine Hip Dysplasia needed to be eradicated unconditionally, but he was soon to be sacked and the Viernheim brothers Hermann (SV-President and wholesaler „von Arminius“) and Walter Martin (wholesaler „von der Wienerau“) introduced the Big Business into the association, instead of rigorous selection criteria (whereas these had already been implemented in the former GDR). Those were the Golden Days for a chosen few „Ausleser“ (read: selected breeders, resp.  „Vorzüglich Auslese“-dogs = Excellent Select-dogs). It won‘t surprise you, that this downright lie about „a vast and wide blood basis“ can easily be invalidated. In order to do so, one only needs a single spreadsheet. Included therein are all the big names. And although a lot of individuals are being listed, one can still count the few foundation dogs on one‘s fingers.


           But do have a look for yourselves! Elementary, that with a load of 1.000 until 2.000 desendants of a single „Ausleser“ (Excellent Select dog) there should at least be one good dog included. But that doesn‘t make the blood basis any „wider“, does it?!


           Should things look a little complicated at the beginnning, please don‘t worry, it‘s all quite unsophisticated. We start at the very bottom, with the illustrious patriarch Horand von Grafrath and his sibling Lux Sparwasser. For good measure also Russ, who sired the breed Sieger of 1904, Aribert von Grafrath, and whose entry into the chart was essential in order to be able to actually present ALL the breed Siegers in the table. Then we work ourselves way up through history, from father to son, until today.


           You will soon find out what branches of the tree die back, and where the growth increases. Although some of the males possess a huge amount of progeny, only very few of them secure the continuance of a certain line. At the end you will have a historical overview, and be able to locate certain concentrations, males that have dominated the conformation lines and deliver the new Siegers, others that are associated with the working dog lines but nevertheless sometimes bring an amazing amount of champions.

© Jan Demeyere, Vichte, Belgium 2009

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             The German Shepherd Dog indeed is 110 years old already. Cavalry Captain Max von Stephanitz and his mates created a noble breed out of different strokes from different parts of the country of Germany and by means of massive inbreeding. They were to bring this breed to perfection soon. All went well for a couple of decades, but two world wars and a dramatic separation of the country almost ruined the breed. In the postwar years a lot could initially be rehabilitated, yet by always breeding back to the very same bloodlines of showdogs, the breed came down fast with many diseases.