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German Shepherd

GENERAL APPEARANCE L :  The German Shepherd is of medium size, slightly elongated (in relation to height), vigorous, well muscled, with “dry” bone and solid overall construction.

PRO IMPORTANT PORTIONS :  The height at the withers is 60 to 65 cm for male dogs and 55 to 60 cm for females. The length of the body exceeds the height at the withers by approximately 10-17%.

FEATURES :  The German Shepherd must be well balanced (with strong sinews) in terms of characteristics; safe, absolutely natural (except in a stimulating situation) and pleasant, as well as attentive and willing to please. He must possess an instinctive, flexible and self-confident temperament in order to be suitable as a companion, guard, protection, service and herding dog.

HEAD :  Cuneiform and in proportion to the size of the body (its length is almost equal to 40% of the height at the withers), without being coarse or too elongated. Generally dry and moderately wide between the ears. Front and profile, forehead is only slightly arched, with sagittal groove absent or only slightly marked. The proportion between the length of the skull and that of the muzzle is 50% to 50% (1:1). The width of the skull is roughly equivalent to its length. Viewed from above, the width of the skull taper uniformly to the nasal bridge, with a gradual slope to a “stop” not abruptly represented in the wedge-shaped facial region (snout) of the head. The upper and lower jaws are strongly developed. The nasal bridge is straight; any slope or bulge is undesirable. The lips are fitted, tightly closed and dark in color.


Truffle : Black

Teething :  Strong, healthy and complete (42 teeth, according to the dental formula). The German Shepherd's bite is scissor-jointed, that is, the incisors of the upper jaw overlap those of the lower jaw. Pincer articulation and prognathism (upper or lower), as well as the presence of wide spaces between the teeth (gaps) are faults. Misalignment of the dental arch of the incisors is also considered a fault. The jaws must be strongly developed so that the tooth can be deeply rooted in the dental arch.

eyes :  Medium in size, almond shaped, subtly oblique and not prominent. Eye color should be as dark as possible. Clear, penetrating eyes that alter the German Shepherd's natural expression are undesirable.

Ears :  Upright, of medium size, carried high and aligned (not slanted sideways); the extremities are pointed and with the auricles facing forward. Ears carried semi-erect or drooping are faults. Ears carried back when moving or in a relaxed position is not considered a fault.

NECK :  It should be strong, well muscled and without loose skin (dewlap). The angulation in relation to the trunk (horizontal) is approximately 45%.


Top Line :  It runs from the upper part of the base of the neck, along the withers, along the back and up to the croup, which is slightly sloping, but without visible interruption. The back is moderately long, firm, strong and well muscled. The loin is broad, short, strongly developed and well muscled. The croup should be long and slightly oblique (approximately 23° to the horizontal), and the topline should merge without interruption at the base of the tail.


chest :  It should be moderately wide, with its lower portion (chest) as long and pronounced as possible. The depth of the chest varies around 45 to 48% of the height at the withers.

The ribs should be moderately sprung. Barrel chest is considered as serious a defect as flat ribs .

TAIL:  It extends at least to the point of the hock, but should not be beyond (past) the middle of the metatarsal. It has a slightly longer coat on its underside. It is carried pendant downwards in a slight curve, although it is elevated and carried high in a state of excitement and in motion, but not above the horizontal (top row). Surgical corrections are prohibited.




PREVIOUS :  They are straight when viewed from any angle and absolutely parallel when viewed from the front.

Shoulders :  The scapula and humerus are of the same length and tightly fitted to the thorax due to its powerful musculature. The scapulohumeral angulation is ideally 90°, but is usually up to 110°.

Elbows :  they must not be facing outwards or inwards, whether the dog is stationary or moving. The elbows are straight, dry, tightly muscled and absolutely parallel to each other when viewed from either side. The length of the pasterns is approximately one third of the length of the forearms, forming an angle of approximately 20° to 22° with the forearms. Both the very steep (more than 22º) and the very steep (less than 20º) metacarpus impair suitability for work, particularly in terms of strength.

Paws :  they are rounded, well closed and arched; the cushions have hard pads, but no cracks. The nails are strong and dark in color.


HINDQUARTERS :  They are slightly slanted, although they remain parallel when viewed from behind. The femur and tibia are approximately the same size and form an angle of around 120° to each other. The thighs are powerful and well muscled.

Knees :  are strongly developed and firm

Metatarsals :  stand  below the hocks vertically.


Paws :  they are compact, slightly arched; the foot pads have hard, dark-colored pads. The nails are strong, curved and also dark in color.

DRIVE :  The German Shepherd is a trotter. The limbs and angulations must be of balanced length so that the dog can move the hindquarters to the midline (of the body) without any sway of the topline and allowing them to reach as far as the forequarters. Any tendency to over-angulate the hindquarters reduces stability and endurance as well as work ability. Correct angulations and body proportions result in long-range, flat-to-the-ground strides that give the impression of effortless forward movement. The forward projecting head and slightly raised tail result in a consistent, smooth trot, showing an unbroken and slightly curved topline from the tip of the ears, through the nape of the neck and back, to the tip of the tail.

SKIN:  Gently fitted, but without creasing.

  • COAT


By :  The German Shepherd is bred in both double-coated and long, hard outer coat varieties, both with undercoat.

  1. Double layer : The covering coat should be as dense as possible, particularly stiff and properly closed: short on the head, including the inner part of the ears, the cranial side of the limbs, feet and fingers (digits), being slightly longer and thick in the neck. On the posterior surface of the limbs, the coat extends to the carpal and hock joints, forming moderate “breeches” on the posterior surface of the thighs.

  2. Long, stiff outer coat : The outer coat should be long, soft and not too densely packed, with tufts on the ears and limbs; thick breeches and thick fur on the tail, with tufts. Short on the head, including the inner part of the ears, the cranial side of the limbs, on the paws and fingers (digits), being a little longer and densely covered with hair on the neck, almost forming a mane. On the back of the limbs, the coat extends to the carpal or hock joints and forms clear “breeches” on the back of the thighs.


They are black with reddish brown, brown and yellow markings, to light gray. Unicolor black or gray with a darker shading (charred); black mask and cloak. Small, inconspicuous white markings on the chest, as well as a lighter inner coloring, are allowed, but not desired. The nose must be black in all coat colors. Dogs with an absent mask, light or piercing eye color, as well as light or whitish markings on the chest and inner side of the limbs, pale nails and a reddish tip of the tail are considered lacking pigmentation. The undercoat has a slight grayish tone. White color is not accepted.

SIZE : Males: 60  cm to 65 cm

            Females: 55  cm to 60 cm

  • FAULTS  


Any deviation from the terms of this standard should be considered a fault and penalized in exact proportion to its severity and its effects on the health and well being of the dog.



• Deviation from the racial characteristics described above that impair the ability to work.

• Ears set sideways too low, folded with the inner portion constricted, not firm.

• Significant depigmentation deficiencies.

• General stability severely compromised.

• Any deviation from the scissor bite and from the correct dental formula, as long as they are not eliminatory faults




• Dogs with a weak or unbalanced character that bite.

• Dogs with proven and “severe hip dysplasia” (coxofemoral dysplasia).

• Monorchidism or cryptorchidism, as well as dogs with atrophic or clearly asymmetrical testes.

• Dogs with disfigured ears or missing tails.

• Dogs with malformations.

• Dogs with the following missing teeth:

1 premolar 3 (PM3) plus the absence of another tooth, or

1 canine, or

1 premolar 4 (PM4), or

1 molar 1 (M1) or molar 2 (M2), or

in total, 3 or more teeth are missing.

• Specimens with jaw defects: Retrognathism (upper prognathism) of 2 mm or more. Lower prognathism. Pincer bite on the entire incisor region.

• Dogs with more than 1cm of height, more or less.

• Albinism.

• White coat (even if the nails and eyes are dark).

• Long, straight outer coat, without undercoat.

• Long coat (long, soft topcoat, without undercoat, mostly distributed along the back; tufts on the ears; fringes on the limbs and tail).



• Males must have both testicles, of normal appearance, well let down and accommodated in the scrotum.

• Only clinically and functionally healthy dogs with typical breed conformation should be used for breeding.

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