A German Shepherd Dog is a running dog, and their structure has been developed to meet the requirements of
their work. At a walk they cover a great deal of ground, with long stride of both hind legs and forelegs. At a trot the
dog covers still more ground with even longer stride, and moves powerfully but easily, with coordination and
balance so that the gait appears to be the steady motion of a well-lubricated machine. The feet travel close to the
ground on both forward reach and backward push. The hindquarters deliver, through the back, a powerful forward
thrust which slightly lifts the whole animal and drives the body forward. Reaching far under, and passing the
imprint left by the front foot, the hind foot takes hold of the ground; then hock, stifle and upper thigh come into play
and sweep back, the stroke of the hind leg finishing with the foot still close to the ground in a smooth
follow-through. The overreach of the hindquarter usually necessitates one hind foot passing outside and the other
hind foot passing inside the track of the forefeet, and such action is not faulty unless the locomotion is crabwise
with the dog's body sideways out of the normal straight line.
The German Shepherd Dog is known throughout the world for his uncanny intelligence and faithfulness. This
versatile breed has well-earned the reputation as family companion, guide dog, police dog, and, of course, herder.
The German Shepherd Dog is an excellent house-dog, but if you live in an apartment or a small house you will
need to give your dog daily exercise. They are excellent travelers and love to ride in the car for long trips. They
are truly a companion and can be taken everywhere - fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, etc.
Did You Know
On April 22, 1899, the German Captain Max von Stephanitz founded the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (SV),
the first parent club of the breed now known as the German Shepherd Dog. The first German Shepherd Dog
registered with the American Kennel Club was Queen of Switzerland (in 1908), who was shown in competition in
New York that same year. The German Shepherd Dog Club of America's first specialty took place in Greenwich,
Connecticut, on June 11, 1913.