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In 1878 German breeders decided to make a first attempt at grouping together to improve the German Shepherd breed. They then decide to create a morphologically homogeneous race.

It is then that since 1910, the importation of these dogs in France has not ceased to increase.

AS may be descended from Hektor Linksrhein, later renamed Horand von Grafath, who was gray in color with long hair.


Horand von Grafath

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Note that the grandfather of this dog, Greif, was white, he would be the origin of the German Shepherd (beauty, work, long hair), the Berger Blanc Suisse and the AS.

Some AS lines come straight from East Germany (DDR lines). To better understand them, we must go back to the time of the Second World War, when 200,000 German Shepherds were on the front and many died during the battles. At this time, in West Germany, Hitler was selecting a different type of German Shepherd, mainly black and tan, and finer than those in East Germany.

Here is a photo below of one of his Blondie female dogs (very fine type, short hair).


From 1949 to 1961 many East Germans migrated to the West, it was then that the authorities decided to build a wall to separate the two Berlins. It was then the beginning of the Cold War which was one of the biggest impacts on the breed because it led to 40 years of "closed breeding", from 1949 to 1989.

The government of East Germany took the decision to strictly regulate the breeding of German Shepherds. He decided to control the selection, the registrations, the breeding with very strict breeding directives.

Military breeding standards wanted dogs that were powerful, stocky, lively, alert, courageous, loyal, self-confident, and highly intelligent!

Their health must have been flawless. When this was doubtful, the dogs were withdrawn from breeding. These standards also included fitness for duty, through endurance, tenacity, ability to climb straight walls, sturdiness and a flair for research.

These dogs were exposed to a very harsh climate and extreme physical conditions to genetically select the most disease resistant dogs.

Each litter was carefully checked (teeth, ears, coat, temperament) worthy of the inspection of a military piece...

These dogs were dark in color with dark pigmentation as well as strong bones.

These harsh regulations created the DDR sheepdog, of which about 1000 were used as border guards.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1990s, the patrols no longer having to guard the borders got rid of these dogs, by selling them, abandoning them or even euthanizing them. A few years later, the whole world became interested in this breed of dog, and very few breeders kept these lines and this selection.

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uro: one of the Berlin Wall dogs, adopted by a family living in Mallorca, Spain – Photo by Mallorca Magazin

The big difference with West Germany is that they are more oriented towards selecting a dog of beauty (black and tan color, sloping back, more pronounced angulations, slim build). This breed, having demonstrated many qualities, was in great demand throughout the world.

Thus, to satisfy dog demands, breeders subjected the breed to a higher percentage of inbreeding, responsible for the appearance of less robust dogs, leaving their character aside. We therefore saw physical changes appear (smaller, thinner dogs, hunched backs, etc.)

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