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German Shepherd Facts, Physical Characteristics and Features | Head | Skull | Teeth | Eyes | Nose | Lips | Jaw

Additional German Shepherd facts include a description of the physical characteristics of the head, skull, teeth, eyes, nose and jaw. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the head should be noble and strong, while the skull should be proportionate to the size of its body, with a slightly domed, unfurrowed forehead and a reasonable amount of space between the dog's ears. The skull should taper gradually, and symmetrically, from the dog's ears to the bridge of its nose; the line of the muzzle should in turn be smooth and even, rather than excessively pronounced. In males, the width of the skull should correspond to the dog's width; this is less the case in females. Undesirable qualities in a dog's skull and head include an excessively short or long muzzle, or a muzzle that is either too pointed or too blunt; as with many characteristics of the German Shepherd, balance is key to finding the ideal specimen.

The eyes of the German Shepherd should generally be dark brown in color, although the AKC specifies that lighter shades of brown are permissible. The eyes should be almost-shaped and balanced in the head – neither inset nor protruding. Perhaps most important is the expression; the dog should appear alert and intelligent, interested in and aware of his surroundings. Furthermore, the German Shepherd's ears should likewise be high and erect – almost to the point of being parallel, tapering slowly to a point. Like the dog's general proportions, this specification too is ergonomic, rather than merely aesthetic; erect, tapered ears reflect a keen sense of hearing on the part of the dog, a trait historically useful to its traditional role as shepherd and work-dog.  

Additionally, the  nose should be black, as a German Shepherd without a black nose is to be disqualified.  As for the lips, they are to be firmly fitted, with strongly developed jaws that have 42 teeth (20 upper and 22 lower) that are well-developed, as any missing teeth is a serious default in the German Shepherd.

As for the German Shepherd SV physical characteristics of the head, it should wedge-shaped and large in size, but also proportion to the body, and without being overly long, physically speaking.   Additionally, the forehead is to be slightly arched, with the top of the head being wedge-shaped, followed by strong upper and lower jaws. The muzzle is to be straight, with tight closing lips and also 42 teeth, which is 20 upper and 22 lower. The teeth must be strong, healthy and complete (42, conforming to the established rule). Furthermore, the bite must be scissor like and the eyes are to be medium in size, almond in shape, dark as possible (never light in color), slanted, but never protruding.  

Please keep in mind again that these are merely breed standards and unless your German Shepherd is a "show" dog or "ring" dog, whereby they are being judged on the above mentioned criteria, then it,s perfectly acceptable for your dog to fall outside the official breed standard. Remember, a sound and stable temperament is the most important quality to have in your German Shepherd dog.

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