German Shepherd Gains Popularity

The DogWorld editors discuss the misconceptions of the German Shepherd dog breed.

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The German Shepherd Dog is beginning to find his place. The years of free publicity have gone and now come the times when this dog breed must win on his merits without any ballyhooing.

It is to be confessed that not a few German Shepherd fanciers of six years ago delighted in the stories of wolf ancestry, man attack and aggressiveness of the German Shepherd. The movie scenes showing the German Shepherd as half wolf, roaming the wilds, was applauded as fine publicity.

The harvest is at hand. Such publicity did sell some dogs and did establish a craze not for German Shepherd Dogs but for police dogs. Then came the terrible aftermath. This dog breed was held vicious, was considered unreliable, was pictured as devouring children in one town in the east, was declared by a police chief in one city as unfit to exist, and by some was held responsible for the rabies epidemics.

Now this dog breed has had a breathing spell. About one half the number of bitches are being bred; this is a favorable condition. Fewer bitches bred and no shy or nervous bitches bred or shy or nervous studs used, would be fine policy for the German Shepherd during the next ten years.

The German Shepherd will hold a place near the top for a long time. His distinctive, outstanding beautiful lines make him a thing worthy of the sculptor’s art. No other dog breed can be confused with him.

Emphasis on training should continue but no man work, no attack work, should be taught. The curse of the dog breed still remains: the shy dog who too often bites, runs away and causes trouble. The use of the drowning bucket at birth for the culls is to be recommended. Sales have increased slightly, prices are up a bit, and the future is brighter than it was a year ago.


Excerpted from Dog World magazine, April 1923, Vol. VIII, No. 4. For back issues of Dog World, click here.

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