The Breed Standard

Breed Record Holder
International Champion
Gayvilles Nilo
Owned and Bred by Joan and David Hall

The German Shepherd Dog is registered with the Kennel Club in the Pastoral Group (this is Herding Breeds). Although his original purpose was as a herding and flock guard he is now highly prized in a wide range of jobs from the police and military to search and rescue, guide dogs obedience competition and working trials to a superb family pet.

Characteristics and Treatment. A versatile working dog with out exaggeration, attentive, alert and tireless with keen scenting abilities. He should be loyal, self assured, brave and tractable. Never over aggressive, shy or nervous.

The Head and Skull. Never coarse or too fine or long. Fairly broad between the ears, with slightly domed forehead with little or no trace of central furrow.
Cheeks. Not protruding but forming a softly round curve. From ears to bridge of nose the skull should taper gradually and evenly without too pronounced stop into a wedge-shaped powerful muzzle. The width of skull corresponding to length. The Lips should be firm, clean and closing tightly in firm Muzzle. The top of the muzzle almost parallel to the forehead. Short, weak, blunt, point and overlong muzzle undesirable.
The Eyes should be medium sized, almond-shaped, not protruding. Dark brown eyes are preferable but a lighter shade is permissible if the harmony of the head is not destroyed. The Expression should be lively, intelligent and self-assured. The Ears should be medium-sized and firm texture, high set and carried erect, almost parallel, never pulled inwards or tipped, open at the front and tapering to a point. Folding back during movement is allowed but never hanging. The Mouth should have strong jaws with a complete scissor bite (the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower) full dentition is desirable. The Neck should be fairly long and strong, free from throatiness and carried at a 45 degree angle to horizontal raised when excited and lowered at a fast trot.

The Forequarters Shoulder blades are long, set obliquely (45 degrees) laid flat to body. The upper arm should be strong, well muscled, joining the shoulder blade approximately 90 degrees. The forelegs should have oval bone rather than round and be straight from pasterns to elbows when viewed from any angle. The pasterns should be firm, supple and slightly angulated. The elbows neither tucked in or turning out. Length of foreleg should exceed depth of chest.

The Body Length of body should exceed height at withers in a ratio of 10 to 9 or 8.5 (measuring length from point of breast to rear edge of pelvis) Depth of chest should be 45 - 48% of height at shoulder, not too broad, brisket long and well developed. Neither barrel ribbed on too flat, with relatively short loin the belly should be firm and not drawn up. The back between withers and croup, straight, strongly developed and not too long. Withers long, well defined and of good height, joining back in a smooth line with disrupting a flowing topline, Slightly sloping from front to back. Sort and roach back undesirable. The Loin should be broad, strong, well muscled with long croup gently curving down to tail without disrupting flow of topline.

Hindquarters Strong, broad and well muscled giving effortless forward propulsion of body. When viewed from side the upper thighbone, should slope to slightly longer lower thighbone. Hide angulation sufficient if imaginary line dropped from point of buttocks cuts through lower thighbone just in front of hock continuing down slightly in front of hindfeet. Angulation should correspond approximately with front, with out over-angulation.

The Feet should be rounded with well closed arched toes. Pads well cushioned and durable. Nails short and dark.

The Tail should be bushy haired and reaching at least to hock. At rest the tail hangs in a slight sabre like curve in movement it may be raised and the curve increased but ideally never above level of back. Not short, rolled, curled or generally carried badly.

Gait / Movement Step sequence following a diagonal pattern, moving foreleg and opposite hindleg forward simultaneously. Hindfoot thrust forward to midpoint of body and having equally long reach with forefeet without any noticeable change in backline.

The Coat The outer coat consisting of straight, harsh close-lying hair as dense as possible with thick undercoat. Hair on head, ears front of legs, paws short on back, longer and thicker males may form a slight ruff. Hair on back of legs as far down as pasterns and stifles longer and forming fairly thick trousers on hind quarters. No hard and fast rule for length of hair. Mole type coats undesirable.

Colour All black or black saddle with tan, or gold to light grey marking, sable. Nose black. Light markings on chest or pale colour on inside of legs permissible but undesirable as are pale nails or wishy-washy faded colours. Blues, Livers, albinos, whites or near whites are highly undesirable. Undercoat except in all black dogs, usually grey or fawn.

Size Measured from withers and just touching elbows - dogs 62.5cm (25 in) bitches 57.5cm
(23 in) 2.5cm (1 in) above or below permissible.

Faults any departure from these points should be considered a fault and should be regarded in proportion to its degree.

Note Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

For Further Information: E Mail:
Telephone: + 44 (0) 1207 282801 (Secretary)
Telephone: + 44 (0) 1207 545219 (Chairman)