German- Versus US-Bred German Shepherds

If you have decided to purchase a German Shepherd puppy, you may be wondering what the differences are between those bred in the US and a pink papered German Shepherd from Germany. There are significant differences in the breeding practices and animals born in each country.

German Certification

The German Shepherd Club of Germany (SV) regulates European German Shepherds. European dogs have slightly different physical characteristics, such as larger heads, wider backs and straighter hind legs. They are also considered better working, guard and police dogs than US-bred German Shepherds.

Germany has minimum breeding requirements for papered German Shepherds. For example, both parents must come from Germany, and the puppies must be born in the country. In addition, both parents must have working titles. These animals have also received healthy hip and elbow certifications. Because hip and elbow problems are common in this breed, this certification ensures that these dogs retain their joint health. In addition, their endurance and temperament are tested. Their personalities, including their courage, are tested. A breed survey is also conducted and provided for these animals. They also receive an SV-issued number tattoo.

The purpose of European breeding of these animals is the production of working dogs. These animals are trained and tested extensively.

US Breeding

US-bred dogs are slightly larger with smaller heads, bent hind legs and angled torsos. These elegant dogs are graceful and compete well.

Although German Shepherds bred in the US participate in American Kennel Club competitions, they are not regulated to the extent that European German Shepherds are. The dogs’ temperaments, endurance and health are not evaluated.

In the United States, no breeding certification is needed. For example, as long as both parents are German Shepherds, they can sell German Shepherd puppies. In addition, US breeders may not seek out the best breeding stock available. These breeders also rarely train the puppies and may only be focused on passing on the animal’s genes.

These dogs may not have the health or temperament and training to work in the fields. They are typically bred for shows and as family pets.

Importing Dogs

If a breeder imports dogs from Europe to produce puppies they will sell, they are considered a commercial enterprise and must file paperwork with US Customs. They must also post $50,000 or present a bond. Importers will also be responsible for shipping costs and customs handling and release fees.

The US has good, reputable German Shepherd breeders, but if you are looking for a certified working dog, consider looking for a European German Shepherd.