Old German Shepherd Dog

Old German Shepherd Dog (Altdeutscher Schäferhund) was the term used to refer to the breedless herding dogs used in Germany after the standardisation of the German Shepherd Dog, by Max von Stephanitz in 1899. The term is now used to refer to dogs whose bloodline relates to the dogs of the time but are bred for working ability and not to the official standard; the breed is not recognised by the FCI but has its own standard.

The modern breed consists of dogs whose heritage can be dated to pre-standardisation. The dog breed standard for the dogs requires that the animal is capable of herding sheep and cattle. The coat may be any length and can by shaggy, smooth or wiry. They may be black, brown, blue or tan. The ears must be either erect or semi-erect. The German organization The Society for the Conservation of Old and Endangered Livestock Breeds (GEH) listed the breed as "extremely vulnerable" to extinction.

During its development the modern German Shepherd Dog was bred to have strong working ability and a standardised appearance. The Old German Shepherd Dog was bred solely for working ability and thus its appearance differs between each dog however most appear similar to the long-haired variation of the modern German Shepherd, often with slightly different colouring patterns. The standard allows for a coat of any length and a variety of textures. They are generally around the same size as a typical German Shepherd; 55 and 65 centimetres (22 and 26 in) at the withers and weigh between 22 and 40 kilograms (49 and 88 lb) but are known to have been larger.

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