The Different Bloodlines of the German Shepherd

Different Bloodlines of German Shepherd

Few dog breeds in the world today are more immediately recognizable than the German Shepherd. What you may not realize, though, is that the German Shepherd breed can be further divided into two distinct bloodlines, the American German Shepherd and the European German Shepherd (though other breeds such as the Czech German Shepherd exist as well). While it is true that these two bloodlines share more commonalities than differences, their differences are important and worth knowing if you are interested in purchasing a German Shepherd puppy.

Bred for Work or Bred for Show?

By and large, American German Shepherds are bred for show while European German Shepherds are bred to serve as professional working dogs. This key difference in role between the two breeds has led to a number of key differences in their physical traits and personalities.

The American German Shepherd, which is primarily bred as a show line German Shepherd, features a larger, more rounded body than the working line European German Shepherd, which features a more sloped body and sharper angles.

With American German Shepherds, the primary focus over the decades has been to produce a line of attractive, physically pristine dogs that demonstrate the graceful movements and physical features that help a dog perform well in a dog show. With European German Shepherds, on the other hand, the primary focus has been to produce a line of dogs with athletic, muscular bodies that have the endurance to excel in a professional role that requires long hours of physically demanding work.

These key physical differences between the American and European German Shepherd, though, aren’t the only differences between these two bloodlines; the personalities of the two bloodlines tend to differ as well, with each type once again possessing a personality that is uniquely suited to its specific role.  

American German Shepherds tend to be loyal, calm, and friendly – a personality that is well-suited for competing in dog shows. European German Shepherds are certainly loyal and friendly as well, however, they tend to have a more exuberant and energetic attitude that lends itself toward long days of physically demanding activity.

While there are plenty of other subtle differences between these two bloodlines, these key variances in personality and physical features are what really set the American German Shepherd and European German Shepherd apart from one another.

Which German Shepherd is Right for Me?

The American German Shepherd and the European German Shepherd are both wonderful breeds. Ultimately, which dog is right for you depends on the traits you are looking for in a dog and the role you want that dog to fill.

If you are wanting to purchase a dog to compete in dog shows, the American German Shepherd is the clear choice. Likewise, those wanting to purchase a dog to train as a guard dog, K9 officer, or other working dog will find the European German Shepherd to be the best choice.

However, there are plenty of other people who purchase German Shepherds that don’t fall into either of these categories. In these cases, it is up to you to decide which physical and personality traits will suit you best.

At Delta K9 Academy, we are proud to offer both American and European German Shepherd puppies for sale as well as offer industry-leading dog training for German Shepherd show and working dogs alike. To learn more about these incredible bloodlines or to receive additional help choosing the right dog for you, be sure to contact us today.