Working Line German Shepherd | All About the Breed

The working line German Shepherd is bred specifically for military and law enforcement work, but this breed also makes excellent guard dogs. The physical traits and disposition are ideal for long hours of concentration and the ability to adhere to commands. A working line GSD is generally a healthier dog than its show counterpart and there are distinct differences.

Working line German Shepherd breeders choose their sires and bitches carefully in order to produce the strongest pups with the best genetic lines. This breed excels at K9 training and they are well acclimated to following commands, provided the owner has a firm hand and understands how to best work with the breed.

If you’re looking for working line German Shepherd puppies for sale in Los Angeles, Delta K9 Academy is one of the most respected and trusted working line GSD breeders in the area, and we specialize in world-class dog training.

Stella, working line GSD

The History of the Working Line German Shepherd

The original working line GSD can be traced all the way back to the mid-1800s, in Germany. The working line breed was standardized with the intent of producing dogs that could protect livestock from predators. The breed became more popular around the turn of the 20th century and was introduced in the United States in 1907.

Working line German Shepherd breeders developed and improved breeding techniques and the working line dogs became instrumental in military initiatives for both the Allied and Axis forces during World War II.

After World War II, German and American working line German Shepherd breeders continued to further the breeding process and these amazing dogs have become synonymous with military and law enforcement work over the last century.

What Is the Difference Between a Show Line German Shepherd and a Working Line?

There are a few differences between the working line German Shepherd and the show line in disposition and appearance. The working line dog is bred to be stronger, healthier, and more able to work for long hours. These dogs also enjoy working. They are high energy, which is necessary for the type of work that they do.

In appearance, working line dogs have a thicker coat. They are sturdier and thicker than show line dogs and their back legs are longer, giving them a straight structure. Show line dogs have shorter back legs, giving them a slanted back and a sleeker appearance.

Royce, Bi-color male working line German Shepherd

Three Working Line Types

There are three types of working line German Shepherd, Czech, West German, and DDR (sometimes referred to as East German).

  • Czech. These dogs are bred to be agile and obedient. Excellent for protection, the Czech line is strictly bred and is noted for its dark coat.
  • West German. The West German line is noted for its coloring and pleasing looks. They are also known to be calm in temperament. The line is less boxy than most working line dogs, but their back is not as sloped as a show dog’s. They do have a strong drive and great work ability.
  • DDR. DDR German Shepherds are known for their athleticism. These dogs are more muscular and larger. They were bred for extreme conditions and difficult work, such as search and rescue.

Protectiveness, Intelligence, and Trainability

The working line German Shepherd is naturally inclined to protection. The breed likes and wants to do well with commands. They are very responsive and intelligent. But they need a firm hand from their owner and trainer. It’s important for GSD owners to understand the best way to train and command their working line German Shepherd.

Depending on the line, most GSD can be described as aloof. They are intelligent and highly motivated. These dogs were bred for work, so they need to be exercised and worked regularly to maintain optimal health.

Working Line Breeders: How to Choose the Right One

If you’re interested in working line puppies, it’s essential that your breeder can offer excellent quality in their bloodlines. These dogs are specifically bred to work and to carry specific traits and temperaments. They’re not to be confused with standard German Shepherds or show line German Shepherds. 

Working line GSD are an excellent choice for military, law enforcement, and protection. Your breeder should be able to work with you to find the right dog, type, and temperament, depending on the type of work you want the dog to do.

Is a Working Line Dog Right for You?

If you’re in the Los Angeles area and are considering a GSD puppy, contact the experienced staff and Delta K9 Academy. We can match you with the ideal German Shepherd puppy for your needs and work with you to understand all of the intricacies of the breed and training.