German Shepherds from Past to Present

My God What Have They Done!

Over the years, there has been a trend toward breeding German Shepherds away from their classic body style. This has been observed in both the German and North American show circuits; and, for a GSD lover like myself, represents a sad state of affairs in breeding and showing such a potentially magnificent animal.

Were it not for those of us who are enamored with the classic-build of the German Sheperd, the regal stature of this creature would be all but lost.

Here we present a pictorial of the German Shepherd breed, as judged and awarded high honors in the American and German show circuits; as the foundation for our reasoning that the classic lines of this animal should not be bred out of existence by those who seek only trophies, acclaim, and an opportunity to sell an animal for nothing more than its reputation in the show circuit.

In reading through this page, you will see the progressive changes in the body lines of the GS show dog; as compared to those lines which we consider to be true to the original breed–the Classic German Shepherd Dog.

The illustrations below represent the sad state of German Shepherds (new lines) in the show ring today–both German & American. You will be shocked when you see the final pictures compared to those of the dogs in the 40’s & 50’s.
German show lines are compared first, American show lines follow.

1959 Champ

1959 American Show Grand Victor: A BIG, beautiful dog, straight-backed, with normal hock angulation.

2003 Champ

Todays standards give us nothing more than a Roach: Notice the low-slung hips with extreme hind angulation, chest hangs below elbows and a much smaller dog as well.

The comparison is a painful one to make for a German Shepherd lover, like myself.

German Show Line Changes


The Way They Should Have Stayed




Start To See The Change & It Gets Worse




Now prepare yourself for a shock!

Here’s the 1947 Sieger next to both the 2003 Sieger and the VA 2 dog!
(…and some say the Germans are doing a better job than the Americans? Certainly not in my opinion!)

1947 Seiger

2003 Seiger

VA 2

Notice the level back and smooth, sound lines of the 1947 winner.

Notice the roach back or banana back, low slung hip placement and much more extreme hock angulation of these specimens.

Now, prepare yourself for yet another shock!

Here’s the American 1959 Grand Victor next to the 2003 Champ!
(…it looks like the Americans are just as bad as the Germans!)

American Show Line Changes.



1960’s – 1970’s




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