Q: What is a Long Coat German Shepherd and the differences between them

A: In order for a long coat to be produced in a litter, both parents must carry the recessive long coat gene.  This coat factor comes from the beginning of the breed when the dogs used to start the German Shepherd breed were more "Collie Coated." During the development of the breed and the standard it was determined that this coat was not water proof for the dogs out tending the herds.  Also, the long hair that grows between the pads on the feet hindered their ability to do their work in the winter as snow would pack on the hair between their pads.  Other than the longer fur there is essentially no difference between coats, although some believe the Long Coat is more laid back. We find it is easier to collect the hair as it sticks together in bundles. Plus, we love the appearance of the longer coats!

The SV standard did not allow them to be bred up until 2011. Now Long Coat German Shepherds are allowed to be shown and breed surveyed.

Q: How big are German Shepherds?

A: Males stand about 24-26 inches at the shoulder and weigh 75-100 pounds. Females stand about 22-24 inches and weigh 60-80 pounds.

Q. What is the average lifespan of a German shepherd?

A. Most GSDs will live to be between 10-13 years of age while 11-12 years is generally considered the average lifespan. A German Shepherd Dog becomes "middle-aged" between 6 to 7 years of age, and a GSD is generally considered "geriatric" at around 10.

Q: Are German Shepherds good for families?

A: Absolutely...the German Shepherd Dog is one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. They can make a perfect family companion. They have the natural instinct to protect their pack. Interestingly, a GSD puppy can be the most amazing companion for your kids as they all grow up together. One thing that has to be kept in the forefront of your mind...let Fido know that the human members of the family are the "Alpha" members and Fido is the "Omega" member of the pack.

Q: Another great GSD FAQ! Are German Shepherds smart? Easy to train?

A: Are you kidding me?! If you've ever been around a German Shepherd you'll know - these dogs are smart, smart, and smart. So much so in fact that they've been rated as the 3rd smartest dog of all dog breeds according to the author of "The Intelligence of Dogs", S. Coren, even though I think they should rank even higher than that.

Q: What are the general inherent traits in a well bred GSD?

A: German Shepherd Dogs are naturally herding dogs. To 'herd' is their natural inherent instinct. If you have a German Shepherd Dog or if you have seen one, I am sure you have seen the dog leading his owner, giving occasional backward glances to ensure if things are right with the owner. German Shepherd Dogs "follows ahead" his handler. German Shepherds are naturally protective, loyal and intelligent, with sound nose, which makes the dog a worthy police dog and tracking dog. They are royal, calm and have a sound nerve, which stimulates their protective instinct. Their high degree of intelligence can sometimes be a nightmare if not well trained. In the hand of a novice person a well bred German Shepherd Dog can be difficult to manage due to his smartness and intelligence. Also, don't miss reading 5 Basic Instincts of German Shepherd Dogs.

Q: What are the different GSD breed line types?

A: The growing popularity of GSD breeds consequently led to the creation of a wide array of bloodlines and types throughout the world. There are basically three major types of lines prevailing across the world, which are:

  • International working lines - bred for their working ability, thereby putting less stress on their appearance.
  • International show lines - bred for appearance for the purpose of joining dog shows. Hence more stress are laid on appearance than the actual working ability, but must still perform working ability.
  • North American show lines - bred for their appearance, although they noticeably differ from the world standards. They have sloped backs, accompanied by excessively sharp hock angulation.

The working lines and show lines have again been categorized into various types... 

  • The German Shepherds working types are East German ("DDR") working type, West German working type and Eastern European ("Czech/Slovak") working type
  • The German Shepherds show lines are West German show lines (high lines) and North American show line.

There are also variations of the German Shepherd Dog breed that have been derived by crossing lines and types. These are actually non-German Shepherd Dogs, for instance King Shepherds (Shiloh Shepherd - an American attempt of creating giant size shepherd dogs resembling true type GSD), Panda Shepherd (currently registered by AKC), Sarloos Wolfhond (Dutch breed currently recognized by FCI, developed by crossing German shepherd Dog and European wolf), Utonagan (European attempt - cross between GSD, Alaskan Malamute and Siberian huskies), American Tundra Shepherd (American attempt - cross between the North American wolf and German Shepherds), Kunming Shepherd Dog (Attempt made by Communist China to recreate the prototype of GSD with the square, leggier structure used to be found in very early GSD types).

Q: What are the Terms and Titles associated with the German Shepherd and the SV?

A a-stamp'a-stamp' (indicates a passing hip score with regards to testing for hip dysplasia/joint laxity). An SV certification rating. See also OFA, OVC, PennHip. 
a-Normal = certified normal hips 
a-Fast Normal = certified near normal hips 
a-Noch zugelassen = certified hips, still permissable for breeding
aausgeprägt - Pronounced. Used by the judge in describing a dog’s courage and "hardness" see TSB
AAusreichend — sufficient — show or performance rating
ABSTAdvanced Breed Suitability Test
ADAusdauerprüfung - endurance trial 12 miles in 2 hours.
AKCAmerican Kennel Club - American breed club organization. The AKC is not involved in the sport of Schutzhund. The AKC has a working relationship with the FCI, but not with WUSV. The AKC is a club of clubs, and is primarily a registry for purebred dogs.
AZGArbeitsgemeinschaft der Zuchtvereine und Gebrauchshundeverbände — Association of breed registry and working-dog sport clubs — The AZG has the purpose of administrating uniform international schutzhund rules via the FCI, to assure inter-club and international conformity, making it possible to hold identical or similar international trial competitions in many countries. see VDH

Begleithunde - the preliminary and prerequisite test for a dog going on to get his/her Schutzhund titles. A combination temperament and obedience test. B and BH are used interchangeably.
BBesitzer Owner
BSPBundesSiegerPrüfung - trial at the national level
BSTBreed Suitability Test
BSZSBundesSiegerZuchtSchau - show at the national level
Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent. Obedience titles granted by the AKC / CKC
CGCthe dog has a Canine Good Citizen certificate
CHDCanine Hip Dysplasia
CKCCanadian Kennel Club - the Canadian equivalent of the AKC. Unlike the AKC, the CKC has individual members. Primarily a breed registry. Also, Continental Kennel Club, a different and completely unrelated dog breed organization.
DHVThe German "Dog Sport Club" (Deutscher Hundesport Verein), which is the "National parent club" or the "Union" of the Dog Sport Clubs of Germany. 
DVGDeutscher Verband der Gebrauchshundsportvereine e.V. (German member of DHV) A dog sport club and one of the larger members of the DHV. Has some branches in the US and Canada Alternate organization for Schutzhund, with slightly different rules, and a broader breed focus - not limited to the GSD.
EZEinfache Zucht (Simple Breeding) Only one parent has a working degree. 
FCIFédération Cynologique Internationale - the world Canine organization. Membership is currently at 79 countries’ national, purebred dog organizations. 
FH 1, 
FH 2
Fährtenhund - tracking dog title
GGut (good show or performance rating)
GSDGerman Shepherd Dog - common abbreviation for German Shepherds
GSDCAGerman Shepherd Dog Club of America - a member of the WUSV but not the FCI
GSDCCGerman Shepherd Dog Club of Canada
GSSCCGerman Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada - a WUSV member
GZGebrauchshundzucht - Utility Dog Breeding. Both parents have working titles. 
HHündin - Female
HDHip Dysplaysia
IPO also IP 1, 2, 3International Prüfungsordnung (International working tests) Class I, II, III, similar to schutzhund. International Schutzhund titles, functionally equivalent to SchH I, II, III. Now IGP
Körklasse 1 (especially recommended for breeding by the SV) Körklasse 2 (suitable for breeding by the SV) 
KLZKör- und Leistungszucht - Qualification and Performance Breeding. Both parents have breed surveys and all four grandparents have working titles. 
KZKörzucht - Qualification Breeding - Both parents have breed surveys.
LBSTLifetime Breed Suitability Test
LbzLebenszeit - Breed surveyed for life
LZLeistungszucht - Performance Breeding. Both parents and all four grandparents have working titles
MMangelhaft -faulty - show or performance rating
ngnicht genügend - insufficient. Used by the judge in describing a dog’s courage and "hardness". See TSB
OFAOrthopedic Foundation for Animals a non-profit registry which issues "arms length" certification on various health concerns, (not limited to Orthopaedics). Reference is usually with regards to the practice of x-raying hips and certifying the dogs to be free of hip dysplasia. See also "a stamp"
OFA Excellent - no dysplasia, superior hip socket conformation 
OFA Good - no dysplasia, a well formed, congruent hip joint 
OFA Fair - no dysplasia, minor irregularities in the hip joint present OFA Borderline - no consensus between radiologists to place hip into either a normal or dysplastic catagory OFA Mild (Grade I) - mild hip dysplasia present 
OFA Moderate (Grade II) - moderate hip dysplasia present 
OFA Severe (Grade III) - severe hip dysplasia present
OVCOntario Veterinary College (Canada) Hips will be graded as Pass or Fail. See also OFA and "a stamp"
PennHIPDeveloped at University of Pennsylvania (USA) The procedure measures hip joint laxity; it does not grade a passing or failing score. Loose hips are more prone to developing degenerative joint disease. See OVC, OFA, "a stamp"
RRüde - Male
ROMRegister of Merit - title awarded to the sire or dam for the accomplishments of its progeny. 
ROM - Register of Merit: A title given by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America to animals who have produced a minimum number of conformation Champions and other winning offspring. 
ROM/C - Register of Merit United States and Canada 
ROMC - Register of Merit Canada
SchH 1,
SchH 2, SchH 3
Schutzhund, and the 3 levels of titles awarded. Each level is a progression and built on the skills learned in the previous level. Used as an abbreviation, "SchH" can refer to the dog or the sport. Titles are sometimes written as SchH 1, SchH 2, SchH 3. 

Now recognized as IPO and IGP
SchHAA limited SchH title, similar to SchH I but without the tracking portion. 
SGSehr Gut (very good show or performance rating)
SG1, SG2, etc.See V1.
SGRSieger (male) or Siegerin (female) -the best male or female at the national conformation specialty show
SVVerein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (German Shepherd Dog Club) The original GSD breed club and breed registry, based in Germany. The SV is not only the largest breed-specific registry in the world, it’s also extremely active. In addition to being a breed registry, the SV also promotes working-dog activities, i.e. by awarding working titles (SchH). They also sanction conformation show and koerungs (breed surveys). The SV is a member of the VDH. (Schutzhund,IPO etc.) 
SZPrecedes the SV registration number i.e SZ 1234567
TCTemperament Certificate
TD, TDXTracking dog titles granted by the AKC/CKC
TSBTriebveranlagung - fighting drive
TTTemperament Tested
Uungenügend - insufficient - show or performance rating
UD UDXUtility Dog, Utility Dog Excellent. Advanced obedience titles granted by the AKC/CKC
UKCUnited Kennel Club
USAUnited Schutzhund Clubs of America
USAUnited Schutzhund clubs of America (as opposed to United States of America)
VVorzüglich (excellent show or performance rating) awarded to dogs with a working title only 
NZBNachzucht Bewertung - progeny evaluation
v - 
von or vom - in a dog’s name, meaning "of" or "from"Usually indicates the start of the kennel name. I.e. dogname von kennelname. "Von" or "vom" is gender specific to the gender of the kennel name - not the dog. 
V1 V2, V3, etc.Ranking at the BSP, V being excellent and top rating, the top placed dog is V1, second is V2, etc. until reaching the dogs rated SG, then they are SG1, SG2, etc. 
VAVorzüglich-Auslese (Excellent Select show rating given only at Sieger show) (VA-1) See V1. 
VDHDog Society of Germany - VDH (Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen e.V.). It is the "national", "parent", or "main"dog club of Germany, and in turn is a member in, and bound by the rules of that international or "World Dog Club", the FCI. The SV is a member of the VDH. 
Just to be confusing, VDH is also the German Shepherd Dog club in the Netherlands, (Vereniging van Fokkers en Liefhebbers van Duitse Herdershonden) 
vhvorhanden - Present or Sufficient Used by the judge in describing a dog’s courage and "hardness" see TSB, or in the context of a show rating. 
WDAWorking Dog Association
WUSVWelt Union der Schäferhundvereine or World Union of GSD clubs. International breed umbrella for GSD breed clubs. Author and owner of the GSD international breed standard for the FCI (see FCI) Currently represents more than 60 countries, established to bring all GSD clubs worldwide closer together, and in sync with the SV in Germany. (see SV) The WUSV is allied to the FCI through direct communications, as well as through membership in the FCI club, the German VDH. (see VDH) Clubs like the GSSCC and the USA have a dotted-line connection to the FCI and a direct connection to the WUSV, and that strongly encourages them to abide by both FCI and SV regulations. 
ZZüchter   Breeder
Ztgl Zuchttauglich Suitable for breeding. Subject animal passed their ZTP.
Zuchttauglichkeitsprüfung - Breed-Suitability-Test - incorporating hip rating, conformation, and basic working ability.
ZWZuchtwert. ZW-value — Zuchtwert evaluation — is Breed Value Assessment - a number assigned that gives an indication of the genotype of the dog for breeding purposes. A more definitive explanation is here: http://realgsd.ca/GSDinfo/Care/HD/breedvalue.htm

Bergerhaus Long Coat Black and Red German Shepherds, Halifax PA 17032