The West German Showline German Shepherd is one of the 5 types of German Shepherd lines in the GSD (German Shepherd Dog) breed.
We listed and summarised the other lines in our guide on the different German Shepherd types.
Before we get into this guide, some quick housekeeping…
The reference to and description of the West German Showline German Shepherd in this guide and across the site is about what the line was originally bred for.
The reality of the last 100+ years of breeding of the German Shepherd means:
- Some regulated programs in modern times are breeding a particular line similar to original breeding standards, but are varying things like traits and characteritics
- In the last 100+ years there has been a lot of unregulated breeding – which has led to dog breeding that are unfit to breed, breeding across the lines etc. > leading to dogs that are not close to what the line was originally bred for
- And, lastly, genetics is a game of chance – so its possible for two west german working line parents with strong bloodlines to produce a puppy missing a key trait of that line
All these factors can lead to people having a particular line of German Shepherd an wondering why it is not EXACTLY like what they might read on the internet, or from a breed expert.
Things like early socialisation, training, how the dog is treated and bonding can play a role in the temperament and behavior of your dog too.
Let’s get into talking about the West German Showline German Shepherd…
West German Showline German Shepherd
West German Showline German Shepherd Bloodlines
You can find a history of all German Shepherd bloodlines in our guide on East German Working Line German Shepherds.
As a summary, between the years of 1899 and 1901, a man by the name of Max von Stephanitz saw a dog at a dog show that he greatly impressed by.
Max wanted to create a dog breed that was the ideal working dog.
Max purchased this dog who became a sire for the foundation breeding stock..
This dog along with the regional/native shepherd dogs in Germany – the Thuringian, the Wurttemberg sheep dog and the Swabian service dog are where all modern day German Shepherds can trace their DNA back to.
In 1901 the German Shepherd was registered as a breed.
From there, there has since been two main lines emerge – show lines and working lines.
There are also two main standards – the US breed standard and the European standard.
US standards place more of an emphasis on appearance (no hip or elbow certification is required), while European standards focus on appearance, health, temperament and a working ability (usually an IPO or herding title).
West German Showline German Shepherd History
Around WWII, there was limited resources and food in Germany – and the original German Shepherd breed was at risk of extinction.
This was also a time when Germany was split up into West Germany and East Germany.
This is where all today’s show line German Shepherds come from.
The show line German Shepherds in West Germany were bred more to conform to showing standard compared to having a working focus like the West German working lines, but they certainly still had meet strict health and temperament guidelines, in addition to possessing working drive or ability.
They were bred to be very visually beautiful dogs.
SV rules currently govern that breeding dogs require a working title (often herding or IPO) and health clearance for hips and elbows.
West German Showline German Shepherd Temperament
The West German showlines had a softer working edge than the working lines, but still maintained a good working drive.
Because there was also a focus on show conformance, they had to have stable temperaments, which made them good family dogs and pets.
West German Showline German Shepherd Physical Appearance and Traits
West German Showlines fit somewhere between an American showline, and the West German Working line in terms of appearance – but they were certainly bred to have more of a show conforming body than a working body.
Their backs aren’t as angled or sloped as the American lines and they tend to have black and red saddles compared to the black and tan, or black and cream lighter saddles.
Their backs aren’t as flat as the working lines and their pigment isn’t as dark.
- Some people think these are most beautiful in appearance of all the lines – bred to have more of a show body with show movements
- Mostly Black and red saddles/coats – but also come in colors of black and tan, sable, bi-colors and black.
- Angle of back and hindquarters isn’t as extreme as American show line, but is more than the East German working lines
- Similar height and length compared to American lines, but certainly stockier and not as narrow in some proportions like the face
- More working drive than American lines
- Better health than American lines because the interpretation of the SV leans more towards hip and elbow certification and avoiding breeding dogs with temperament issues
- Less athleticism and less of a hard working edge than East German working lines
West German Showline German Shepherd Coat Colors
Coat colors are mainly black and red, or black and tan.
Most have the saddle patterning.
Where Find West German Showline German Shepherd Breeders With Puppies For Sale, or Where To Adopt
The most common way people buy an West German showline German Shepherd is by contacting a specialised breeder either in the US, or more commonly in Germany.
However, it is very possible to find an West German showline German Shepherd in a shelter or rescue centre – people may get them as puppies, and then abandon them when they start growing. This is sad but a reality.
Here are some very helpful guides on considerations for breeders and rescues/shelters, and where to find good breeders and shelters/rescues:
- Things To Consider When Adopting or Rescuing A German Shepherd
- What To Look For When Buying A German Shepherd Puppy: Ethical Step By Step Guide
- Where To Find A German Shepherd Rescue or Shelter Near You
- Where To Find The Best German Shepherd Breeders Near You
How Much Do West German Showline German Shepherds Cost?
People can pay a lot of money for the West German showline German Shepherds.
If the bloodline and characteristics of the dog are well maintained, and breeding has been well regulated, you can pay thousands of dollars for a puppy.
Many people will try to source a breeder in Germany where the breeding is better regulated, and ship them over to their country of residence. Please be aware of the dangers of animal and pet plane shipping if this is your intention.
As a comparison, for a standard black and tan show line type GSD, you might pay:
On average, you might pay anywhere from $500 to $1500 for a pet, or family dog type German Shepherd from a breeder.
For German Shepherds with pedigrees, papers, working titles, specific lines, and puppies who have a proven regulated breeding history – you can pay thousands of dollars.
Don’t get ripped off or buy from shady or unethical breeders – read this guide carefully.
When adopting a German Shepherd, you might pay anywhere from $50 to $500 – which covers adoption fees.
Pictures and Images Of West German Showline German Shepherds
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