Difference Between German Line GSD and American Line GSD
19 Aug 2010
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There are a lot of differences in structure and temperament between the German Line GSD and the American Line GSD.
Some of them are as follows...
of German lines are normally a little larger than German Shepherds of American lines. The color is another one. German Shepherds bred in Germany are normally darker in color than German Shepherds bred in America. German Shepherds
2. The German breeders have focused on retaining the dog breed's working ability combined with outstanding looks. They focus on maintaining the physical capabilities of the dogs, but the American breeders focus more on what the dog's outward appearance for the show ring reflects and they do not take into consideration the breed's function as a working dog.
3. German Line GSD have a more horizontal back. On the other hand, American Line GSD have a back that has a downward angle which starts at the head and ends at the base of the tail. Their hip joints are also very sharply angled. This makes the dogs bred in America seem longer and totally different from the ones German lines. This stance is not normal in the American Line GSD and it increments the probability of developing hip dysplasia. German lines have a lower chance of having hip problems, mostly due to the breeding requirements by the FCI.
4. American show breeders have been breeding for extreme angulation and the effect is that German Shepherds of American lines have lost their working ability, their drive, their temperament and their nerves.
5. The German line has managed to maintain the "fight drive" of the German shepherd through selective breeding for the trait. Fight drive is inherited. It is an instinct that the dog has to step out and take on whatever the dog comes face-to-face with. The dog will not show fear. No amount of training will ever instill the genetic fight drive of a true German shepherd. The American line has lost this drive. The dogs often exhibit a drive that is fueled by fear instead of the working ability that the German lines focus on. This has made it difficult and almost impossible for many American lines to seriously compete in Schutzhund against dogs from the German line.
6. In America and actually all over the world, extreme beauty wins dog shows. The fact that this dog has been bred for beauty and extremes in America, has made this dog what it is now. American lines are not being bred for their intended authentic purpose, which was to be working dogs. They are being bred to win dog shows.
So what is best for you will depend on how you intend to live with your dog (kennel dog or house companion), how experienced of a dog handler you are with aggressive dogs, and how far you want to go in Schutznund competition. With the higher pain tolerance, the higher aggression and higher Prey drive, you had better know what you are doing and how to handle the dog in a safe manner if you want a working line shepherd.