Throughout history, the German Shepherd breed has established it’s imprint of society.
This has led to a growing list of famous German Shepherd dogs like animal actors through to GSDs awarded bravery awards in the line of duty.
There’s certainly some interesting dogs and stories on this list, so let’s dive in and have a look at them!
A List Of Famous German Shepherds Throughout History For Different Reasons
1) Horand von Grafrath
Back around 1899 when the first German Shepherd club and the breed itself was registered, Horand was one of the original studs/sires in the foundation stock of dogs used to start the breed.
The story goes that the man credited with creating the breed, Max von Stephanitz, saw Horand at a dog show and loved the way he looked, and ended up purchasing him.
Although Horand was close to what Max was looking for as a foundation dog for the breed, he had a lot of unbridled energy and wanted to play all the time.
Max used a few other local German Shepherd type dogs along with Horand to get the original GSD breeding lines right.
2) Rin Tin Tin
Perhaps the most famous German Shepherd of them all in his day – Rin Tin Tin was one of the biggest stars in hollywood and around the world among both humans and animals.
Rin Tin Tin lived around the 1920’s, and a big part of his story that made him famous was that he was brought back from a WWI war zone by a US soldier named Lee Duncan.
Lee’s training of Rin Tin Tin led to film work, and he went on to star in almost 30 movies.
Rin Tin Tin would get a lot of fan mail and attention from people in different countries.
Real name – Etzel von Oerigen – Strongheart was a male German Shepherd who also lived around the 1920’s.
Strongheart was his screen name, and he was one of the first dog film stars.
After being trained originally as a police dog in Germany, Strongheart came to the USA and starred in films like
Strongheart had a famous mate – Lady Jule – who he went on to have offspring with.
Appollo was famous for his Search and Rescue work in the aftermath of the September 9/11 attacks.
As a member of the K-9 unit of the New York Police Department, Appollo was awarded the Dickin Medal, the highest award an animal can receive for devotion and bravery in a working or military field, for his 9/11 work.
Quasimodo became social media famous around 2016/17 as the adorable hunchback German Shepherd.
His hunchback is caused by short spine syndrome, which means he is missing vertebrae in his back.
Quasimodo was living as a stray, then got taken into a rescue, and finally adopted by new owners.
Aside from a few small health issues, Quasimodo lives a happy life.
6) Other Famous German Shepherds
- Buddy – The First Seeing Eye Dog
- Chips – Military Hero Dog
- Bullet The Wonder Dog
- Max The Bionic Dog
7) Other Notorious German Shepherds Who Received Attention
You can read here about heroic German Shepherds in this guide.
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