West German Working Line German Shepherd: 8 Point Guide

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The West German Working Line German Shepherd is one of the 5 lines of the German Shepherd breed.

We listed and summarised the other lines in our guide on the different German Shepherd types.

Before we get into this guide, we’d like to point out something.

The reference and description of a line of German Shepherd in this guide and across the site relates to how the line was originally bred.

The reality is that:

  • Some Breeding programs now for some lines focus on breeding puppies with slightly different characteristics than what the line was originally bred for
  • 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

So, if you read these GSD line guides, and you are wondering why your German Shepherd doesn’t fully fit the description, it could be because of any of this factors.

Things like early socialisation, training, how the dog is treated and bonding can play a role in the temperament and behavior of the dog too.

Now we have that out of the way, let’s get into it…

 

West German Working Line German Shepherd: 8 Point Guide

 

West German Working Line 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 Working Line German Shepherd History

West German show line GSDs are probably the most balanced of the lines between appearance, temperament and working ability, and are said to be the closest representation to the original German Shepherd bred by creator Max von Stephanitz.

Their bodies were bred to have more of a working structure than the West German show lines.

Where the West German show lines were bred more for their appearance and show conformance, the West German working lines in particular were bred to excel in working fields like guarding, protection, working with law enforcement, and to excel where working titles were concerned – like herding and IPO.

Like the West German Show lines, the West German Working line comes out of the former West Germany – which existed when Germany was split into East and West Germany.

East German/DDR German Shepherd lines came out of East Germany.

 

West German Working Line German Shepherd Temperament

Balanced and stable temperament.

They were bred to have a strong working drive and ability, but also a stable temperament both in the working field and away from it.

They do just as well in working and sports fields as they do as a companion and family pet – but exercise and mental stimulation was a must – particular with the higher drive West German working lines.

 

West German Working Line German Shepherd Physical Appearance and Traits

Their bodies were bred to have more of a working structure than the West German show lines.

General Profile:

  • Balance between working drive and ability, and temperament
  • Coats and saddle colors are somewhere between West german show lines and East German working lines i.e. they are black and red, or black and tan, but possess more black than West German Show lines
  • Angle of back and hindquarters is similar to West German show lines – not as angled as the show lines, but not as flat/straight as the East German and Czechs
  • More working drive and edge, and athleticism than West German show lines
  • Less hard edge and more stable temperament away from working application than East German working lines

 

West German Working Line German Shepherd Coat Colors

West German working lines most commonly come as sable.

However, they can come in other colors like black and tan, bi-colors and black.

 

Where Find West German Shepherd Working Line German Shepherd Breeders With Puppies For Sale, or Where To Adopt

The most common way people buy an West German working line 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 working line 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:

 

How Much Do West German Shepherd Working Line German Shepherds Cost?

People can pay a lot of money for the West German working line 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 Working Line German Shepherds

Pictures and Images of West German Working Line Dogs

Pictures and Images of West German Working Line Puppies

 

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