The debate has been on the table for a long time. The American line and the German line have disagreed on the various qualities that make the German Shepherd great. The controversy is through each sect’s love of the animal and quest to decide which traits make the perfect dog.
In the American line, “ [The] German shepherd is bred with more angular [features] through the body, resulting in the sloping back you see in many of today’s German shepherds.” Because many American German Shepherds aren’t intended for their working ability, they don’t need the straight back that allows them to run quickly. They’re family pets or show dogs over here!
Through the years, German shepherd breeders have entered different bloodlines into the German shepherd, which has taken away many of their original traits – most importantly their straight back. The American line German shepherd is bred with more angulations through the body resulting in the sloping back you see in many of today’s German shepherds. They are now being bred more for show than for their original working ability. The American Kennel Club has adjusted their requirements for what makes the “perfect German shepherd” based on these changes.
Photo: Alan Chan
German breeders think the Americanized German Shepherds aren’t able to perform the tasks and live up to their renowned traits the way they should be able to. The thing is, appearances don’t affect ability. Regardless of how they look, if a German Shepherd can pass the Schutzhund Test of their abilities, they’re winners.
In the case of the American vs. German line battle, the verdict is that perfection is in the eye of the beholder.