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Standard of Excellence

Lacey stacked

The breed standard refers to what the perfect GSD would lool like, in terms of body construction and character traits.


The German Shepherd Dog is longer than he is tall. Males are 24 to 26 inches tall (at the shoulders), and 22 to 24 for females ( at the shoulders), each with varying lengths.


The head is noble, cleanly chiseled, strong and proportionate to the body. GSD’s wear a keen, intelligent and composed expression, with eyes that are almond-shaped and oblique.

Ears are moderately pointed, open toward the front and carried erect when at attention. Cropped or hanging ears are disqualified from conformation shows.


The chest is deep and carried well forward, and set down between the legs. Ribs are well sprung and long, and carried down to a sternum which reaches to the elbows. The GSD’s tail is bushy and set low. At rest, the tail hangs in a slight curve like a saber.


The ideal GSD has a double coat of medium length. The outer coat should be as dense as possible, straight (or slightly wavy), harsh and lying close to the body. Most coat colors are permissible, but strong, rich colors are preferred.


The GSD is a trotting dog, and his structure has been developed to meet the requirements of his work. The gait is outreaching, elastic, seemingly effortless, smooth and rhythmic. Covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps.