This page is dedicated to the different types or lines of the German Shepherd Dog. You will find that the different types of GSD's display differences not only in their appearance, but also in their ability and temperament.

German Working Line: DDR (East German), Czechoslovakian Lines (Czech)

West German Show Line

American Show Line

English Lines

White German Shepherd

GERMAN LINES: The German Lines tend to have a blockier head, are heavier in build, and are bred more for workability than the American Show Lines

There are two separate catagories for the German Bred Dog: The "German Working Line" and the "German Show Line".

German Working Line: DDR (East German), Czechoslovakian Lines (Czech)

The German Working Lines are bred for traits involving their ability as working dog rather than their appearance, so their appearance can vary. Dogs from working lines have a very high energy level, and have been bred to have a natural drive for protection, tracking, and obedience. They are bred for consistent temperament, working drive, and intelligence. These dogs make wonderful family companions, but because of their high energy level are best suited for a very active family or a family who enjoys working their dogs. Lots of daily excerise and training to do some sort of job is recommended to avoid destructive or behavioral problems. They excel as military and police dogs, and some are trained as assistance dogs and service dogs. The most common colors for the working lines are sables, but they also come in black and red, black and tan, and bi-colors, as well as solid black .

West German Show Line

The West German Show Line is the breed type most popular in Germany.  They are bred for competition in the show ring, but also must have working titles (Sch). The West German Show Lines tend to be more anglulated, and do not seem to have as much working or prey drive as the working line gsd. They make wonderful family companions, but they do need lots of daily exercise and need training to do a job of some sort to avoid behavioral or destructive problems. They perform well as herding, service, search and rescue, guide dogs, and therapy dogs. The most common colors are black and red, but they also come in colors of black and tan, sable, bi-colors and black.

American Show Line

The American Show Lines are bred for the AKC show ring They tend to have a much sharper angulation in the hindquarters, and are longer and leaner than the German Lines. The American show lines seem to be less active, and are softer in their temperament than the German Lines. They make a wonderful family companion, especially for a first time owner, and also make good therapy dogs, as well as service dog. The most common colors are black and tan, black and red, sables, bi-colors, and blacks.


English Line German Shepherd

English Line dogs are descended from old lines imported into the British Isles. They are heavier in bone, are longer in body, have beautiful shoulders, an even top line, and are calm in temperament, and they vary in drive. The English Line GSDs make wonderful family companions, especially for a first time owner, and perform well as therapy dogs, guide dogs and service dogs. The most common colors are black and tan, black and red, sables, bi colors, and blacks.

White German Shepherd

The White German Shepherd is not an albino. The White Shepherds are less angular, have a more level top line, are heavier in body, are softer in their temperament, and vary in drive. The White Shepherds make wonderful family companions, and perform well as therapy, service and guide dogs. The white gene is not associated with deafness, temperament or any health problems, and is not albinism. They should show dark eyes and skin, black nose, lips, pads and nails.

Sidenote: Breeders may combine different lines of different types of the GSDs, which will influence the structure, type, temperament and overall characteristics of each line. Example:

While searching for your ideal GSD family companion, you will run across the fans of the American Lines, who will tell you that the German Line dogs are unattractive because of their roached backs, are intensely high drive, and aggressive. And the fans of the German Lines who will say that the American lines are unsound because they are over angulated, stupid, are coward and are shy.

We feel that whether looking for an American Line, German Line, or White Shepherd, regardless of their type, a healthy, mentally sound dog can be found in any line. The most important thing is to find a good breeder who you trust and whose breeding stock best fits your lifestyle.


A well bred German Shepherd should always be extremely loyal to their families, should be high in intelligence and trainability.

The GSDs sense of loyalty to, and emotional bond with, their owners is almost impossible to overstate.



We have been asked many times by perspective customers about the Shiloh Shepherd and King Shepherd. These breeds are not recognized by AKC, CKC nor UKC, but are accepted at Rarities Shows. We have provided the following links to answer your questions:

Shiloh Shepherd Breed:

HISTORY: The German Shepherds roots are in the mountain sheepdog of Germany. In 1974 Tina Barber set out to restore the German Shepherd breed. Focusing on large size, intelligence, temperament, and hips she combined German Shepherds and Alaskan Malamutes and changed her Kennel name to " Shiloh Shepherds" which is where the breed gets it's name. Ref:

King Shepherd Breed:

HISTORY: The King Shepherd breed make-up includes German Shepherds of American lines, crossed with Malamutes and/or a Flock Guardian breed (i.e. Great Pyrenees), which were then bred back to German Shepherds of European descent.