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Home Breed History of the German Shepherd Early Breeding in the United States

German Shepherd Background and Evolution | Early Breeding in the United States

The situation for the German Shepherd in America picked up again over the following decades with the introduction of three particular dogs onto the national stage – Klodo von Boxberg, Odin vom Busecker Schloss and Pfeffer von Bern, three German Shepherds of German origin that were introduced into America: Boxberg at the Sieger Dog Show in 1925 , and von Bern and Busecker Schloss a decade later, in 1936 and 1938, respectively. These three dogs were bred extensively, and all three of them can rightly be seen as the early fathers of the American German Shepherd breed as it stands today. That said, however, the intensity of the inbreeding of these dogs and their descendants resulted in some rather more negative traits being passed down from generation to generation: modern American German Shepherds of the Pfeffer lineage, for example, suffer from excessively long coats, excessively long bodies, some missing teeth, and the condition of orchidism, in which animals lack one or both testicles.

It was not until the 1950's when some breeders realized that the breed needed some “new blood” in order to survive and to minimize the inherited genetic defects polluting the German Shepherd gene pool. Thus did Troll von Richterback arrive on the scene in 1957 – Richterback's contributions to the German Shepherd gene pool include a particular strength in the hind legs and straight upper-arms, although many of his lineage suffered from relatively weaker ears than German Shepherds of other lines. Other important canines of the 1950's and '60's include Bernd von Kallengarten and Falk von Eningsfeld; the former, most notably, introduced the gene for pure black coats into the German Shepherd gene pool. Perhaps the pinnacle of American breeding achievement came later, however, with Lance of Fran-Jo, a popular German Shepherd that represented America's definitive break away from German breeds and imports and towards a strong, definitive American line of its own.

Other notable developments in the history of the German Shepherd include early origins of the breed, along with significant nineteenth century developments for this breed. Additionaly, the influence of Max von Stephanitz cannot be overlooked, as he played arguably the most important and critical role in the development of this highly intelligent, devoted and trusted companion.


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