German shepherd breed standard - (FCI Standard Edition 1993)
Short Historical Overview:
Additions and revisions to the standard were made as follows:
General Appearance: The German Shepherd Dog is medium sized, slightly longer than tall, strong and well muscled, bone is dry, the whole dog presenting a picture of firmness.
Important Measurements: Height at the withers for males: 60 - 65 cm, bitches: 55 - 60 cm. Length of torso exceeds height at the withers by 10 - 17%.
Character: The German Shepherd should appear poised, calm, self confident, absolutely at ease, and (except when agitated) good natured, but also attentive and willing to serve. He must have courage, fighting drive, and hardness in order to serve as companion, watchdog, protection dog, service dog, and herding dog.
Head: The head is wedge-shaped and in harmony with the dog’s size (length app. 40% of height at the withers) without being coarse or overly long. The head should appear dry, and moderately wide between the ears. Seen from the front and side, the forehead is only slightly domed, the center furrow is either absent or only slightly visible. The length ratio of skull to face is 50 : 50%. Skull width approximately equals skull length. Seen from above, the skull slopes into a wedge-shaped muzzle. The stop should not be pronounced. Upper and lower jaws are strong, the bridge of the nose should be straight, not a Roman nose or dish-faced nose. Lips are taut, well closed and of dark color.
The Nose: The nose should be black
Teeth: The teeth must be strong and complete in number (42 teeth as per formula). The German Shepherd has a scissor bite, where the upper incisors must meet the lower incisors in a scissor grip. Level bite, overshot and undershot teeth are faulty, as well as widely-spaced teeth. A straight incisor tooth line is also faulty. Jawbones must be well developed, to permit deep rooting of the teeth in the gum.
The Eyes: The eyes are medium sized, almond-shaped, set slightly oblique and not protruding. The color should be as dark as possible.
The Ears: The German Shepherd has medium-sized, upright ears which are carried erect and perpendicular to one another, pointed and open to the front. Tipped ears and hanging ears are faulty. Laid-back ears are not faulty when the dog is in motion or resting.
Neck: The neck is strong, well-muscled, and clean cut (without folds of loose skin). The angle of neck to torso is approximately 45 degrees.
Body: The top line extends from the point where the neck meets the skull past the well developed withers and the gently downward sloping back to the slightly sloping croup without a visible break. The back is firm, strong, and well muscled. The loin is broad, well developed, and strongly muscled. The croup should be long and have a slight downward slope (approximately 23 degrees from horizontal) and should merge smoothly into the tail set.
Chest: The chest should be of moderate width, the under chest long and pronounced. Chest depth should be approximately 45 to 48% of height at the withers. The ribs should be moderately sprung. Barrel shaped or flat ribs are faulty.
Tail: The tail reaches at least to the hock joint, but not past the halfway point of the hock itself. The coat is slightly longer on the underside of the tail. The tail hangs in a soft, saber-like curve. When the dog is excited or in motion, the tail is somewhat raised, but should not reach past the horizontal line. Surgical corrections are not permitted.
Paws:The paws are rounded, tight, and arched. The soles are hard, but not brittle. The nails are strong and dark.
Skin: The skin covers the body loosely, but without folds.
Coat Characteristics: The correct coat for the German Shepherd is a stock coat (outer and under coat). The top coat should be as tight as possible, straight, coarse, and clinging closely to the undercoat. The head, including the inside of the ears, the front of the legs, the paws, and toes have short hair. Neck hair is longer and thicker. On the rear side of the legs, hair length increases downward to the pastern and hock. The rear of the thighs is covered show moderate "pants".
Testicles: Visual inspection must show two normally developed testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Faults: Any deviations from the above listed points are considered faults. Points deducted must be in accordance with severity of the deviation.
Faults of Dentition: All deviation from scissor bite and number of teeth, unless they are disqualifying faults.
- A. Character weakness, nervous biters, and dogs with a weak nervous system;
- B. Dogs with documented "severe hip dysplasia";
- C. Monorchids and cryptorchids as well as dogs with testicles of visibly uneven size or shrunken testicles;
- D. dogs with disfiguring ears and/or tails;
- E. Malformed dogs;
- F. Tooth faults as follows (PLEASE SEE BELOW)
- G. Dogs with bite faults: overbite of 2 mm or more, or undershot; level bite;
- H. Dogs that measure more than 1 cm over or under regulation size;
- I. Albinism;
- J. White coat (incl. those with dark eyes and nails);
- K. Long stock coat (long, soft loosely fitting outer coat with undercoat, flags on ears and legs, bushy pants and bushy tail with flag on underside);
- L. Long coat (long, soft outer coat without undercoat). This coat type frequently is parted along the center line of the back, has flags on ears, legs, and tail.