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Standard FCI N166 del 30/08/91
German Shepherd Dog

Origine: Germany
FCI Classification: Group I – Section I
Use: Utility Dog
General Appearance: The German Shepherd Dog is medium sized. He is slightly long, strong and well muscled. The bones are dry and the structure firm. A pleasing appearance is desired as long as the working ability of the dog is not called into question. Sex characteristics must be pronunced, e.g., the masculinity of the males and the femininity of the females must be unmistakable.
Temperament, Character and Abilities: Sound nerves, alertness, self-confidence, trainability, watchfulness, loyalty and incorruptibility, as well as courage, fighting drive and hardness, are the outstanding characteristics of a purebred German Shepherd Dog. They make his suitable to be a superior working dog in general, and in particular to be a guard, companion, protection and herding dog.

Head: The head should be in proportion to the body size (in lenght approximately 40% of the height at the withers) and not coarse, overrefined or overstreched (snipey). In general appearance, it should be dry with moderate breadth between the ears. The forehead when viewed from the front or side is only slightly arched. It should be without a center furrow or with only a slightly defined furrow. The cheeks form a gentle curve laterally without protrusion toward the front. When viewed from above, the skull (approximately 50% of the entire head length) tapers gradually and evenly from the ears to the tip of the nose, with a sloping rather than a sharply defined stop and into a long, dry wedge-shaped muzzle (the upper and lower jaws must be strongly developed). The width of the skull should correspond approximately to the lenght of the skull. The muzzle is strong; the lips are firm and dry and close tightly.
The bridge of the nose is straight and runs nearly parallel with the plane of the forehead.

Dentition:Dentition must be healthy, strong and complete (42 teeth). The German Shepherd Dog has a scissor bite. An undershot or overshot bite is faulty, as are large gaps between the teeth. A level bite is faulty, as the incisors close on a straight line. The jaws must be strongly developed so that the teeth may be deeply rooted.
Ears: The ears are of medium size, wide at the base and set high. They taper to a point and are carried facing forward and vertically (the tips not inclined toward each other). Tipped, cropped and hanging ears are rejected. Ears drawn toward each other greatly impair the general appearance. The ears of puppies and young dogs sometimes drop or pull toward each other during the teething period, which can last until six months of age and sometimes longer. Many dogs draw their ears back during motion or at rest. This is not faulty.

Eyes: They are of medium size, almost shaped, somewhat slanting and not protruding. The color should blend with the color of the coat. They should be as dark as possible. They should have a lively, intelligent and self-confident expression.
Neck: The neck should be strong with well-developed muscles and without looseness of the throat skin (dewlaps). The neck is carried at an angle of about 45 degrees to the horizontal. It is carried higher when excited and lower when trotting.
The body length should exceed the height at the withers. It should amount to about 110 to 117% of the height at the withers. The chest is deep but not too wide. The underchest should be as long as possible and pronunced. The ribs should be well formed and long, neither barrel shaped not too flat. The abdomen is moderately tucked up. The back, including the loins, is straight and strongly developed yet not too long between the withers and the croup. The wuthers must be long and high, sloping slightly from front to rear, defined against the back into which it gently blends without breaking the topline. The croup is long and slightly angled (approximately 23)
Tail: The tail is bushy and should reach at least to the hock join but not beyond the middle of the hocks. The tail is carried in a gentle downward curve, but when the dog is excited or in motion, it is curved more and carried higher. Docked tails are inadmissible.

Forequarters:The shoulder blade should be long with an oblique placement (the angle at 45) and lying flat against the body. The upper arm joins the shoulder blade in an approximate right angle. The upper arm as well as the shoulder must be strong and well muscled. The forearm must be straight when viewed from all sides. The bones of the upper arm and forearm are more oval than round. The pasterns should be firm but neither too steep nor too down in pastern (approximately 20). The elbows must be neither turned in nor turned out.
Hindquarters: The thigh is broad and well muscled. The upper thigh bone when viewed from the side joins the only slightly longer lower thigh bone at an angle of approximately 120. The angulation corresponds roughly to the forequarter angulation without being overangulated. The hock joint is strong and firm. The entire hindquarters must be strong and well muscled to be capable of carrying the body effortlessly forward during motion.
Feet: The feet are relatively round, short, tightly formed and arched. The pads are very hard, but not chapped. The anils are short, strong and of a dark color.

Angulation and Movement: The German Shepherd Dog is a trotter. His gait exhibits diagonal movement, i.e., the hind foot and the forefoot on opposite sides move simultaneously. The limbs, therefore, must be so similarly proportioned to one another, i.e. angulated, that the action of the rear as it carries through to the middle of the body and is matched by an equally far-reaching forehand causes no essential change in the topline. Every tendency toward overangulation of the rear quarters diminishes soundness and endurance. The correct proportions of height to length and corresponding length of the leg bones results in a ground-eating gait that is low to the ground and imparts an impression of effortless progression. With his head thrust forward and a slightly raised tail, a balanced and even trotter will have a topline that falls in moderate curves from the tip of the ears over the neck and level back through the tip of the tail.
Coat:The outer coat should be as thick as possible. The individual hairs are straight, coarse and lying flat against the body. The coat is short on the head inclusive of the ears, the front of the legs, the feet and the toes but longer and thicker on the neck. The hair grows longer on the back of the fore and hind legs as far down as the pastern and the hock joint, forming moderate breeching on the thighs. A too short or modelike coat is faulty.
Height and weight:
the height at the withers is from 60 to 65 cm – weight from 30 to 40 Kg;
Females: the height at the withers is from 55 to 60 cm – weight from 22 to 32 Kg.
Faults: Faults include anything that impairs working versatility, endurance and working competency, especially lack of sex characteristics and temperament traits contrary to the German Shepherd Dog such as apathy, weak nerves or overexcitability, shyness; lack of vitality or willingness to work; monorchidism and cryptorchidism and testicles too small; a soft or flabby constitution and a lack of substance; fading pigment; blues, albinos and white; over and under size; stunted growth; high-legged dogs and those with an overloaded forechest; a disproportionaltely short, too refined or coarse build; a soft back, too steep a placement of the limbs and anything depreciating the reach and endurance of gait; a muzzle that is too short, blunt, weak, pointed or narrow and lacks strength; an over or undershot bite or any other faults of dentition, especially weak or worn teeth; a coat that is too soft, too short or too long; a lack of undercoat; hanging ears, a permanently faulty ear carriage or cropped ears; a ringed, curled or generally faulty tail set; a docked tail (stumpy) or a naturally short tail.

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