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German Shepherd Dog > Differences in German Shepherd lines/pedigrees. Czeck, East and West German (14 replies)

by afwark15 on 08 January 2010 - 22:01

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 08:31 pm
I realize, and I am very familiar with the differences between working line GSD and show line GSD, but when people talk about different lines of the working line German Shepherd what does that mean? I know that each is their own 'type', I get that, but how can you tell the difference and what are the pros and cons of each type.
More specifically, what are the major differences between an East German and a West German Shepherd? Or the difference between a Czeck and a German bred dog?
I would like to see how many people like one type over another, and why?
And how can you tell the difference in type when looking at a dog or a dog's pedigree?

I was just curious and would appreciate any comments anyone would like to put forward!

Amanda   ^..^

by yoshy on 09 January 2010 - 00:01

Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 07:18 pm
this is an age long arguement/debate.

there are many threads debating the points of this topic if you read thru.

You have a family lineage. Well a dog does as well. You have many lines. There are more than one line as a lot refer to czech lines. there are multiple. I personally own a ddr/czech line cross. My next will be pure czech hopefully full zPS lines. Reason being is i like sound health and temperament dogs that are raw or handler hard with natural instinct and poise of a apidemy of the shepherd as well as nice balanced drives. In my personal opinion you cant top the guys from the zPS farm as they are famous for the dogs they produce steadily and the work there dogs have to complete on a daily basis.

west german, ddr, czech, slovakian,swedish,UK, American, etc..... there are to many to list and debate in one post. as there are thousands of posts on this forum about this topic and hasnt covered it all yet.

by afwark15 on 09 January 2010 - 00:01

Posts: 154
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 08:31 pm
oh ok, I figured it was a personal preference thing but one question: I have heard of DDR lines, but what exactly does that mean or refer to? Does that refer to East German working?

I was just curious in a general outlook how each line performs differently from others. Any main points which make each one different.

Amanda ^..^

by yoshy on 09 January 2010 - 02:01

Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 07:18 pm
Deutsche Demokratische Republik

it is an area in which a lineage can be traced. there are distinct difference with east and west german lines since they were seperated for so many years. Also it is beleived a lot of DDR dogs were mixed with czech lines post wwII because of the shortage of good working military dogs. Honestly there is a ton of research that you would need to do on history and history of the breed to start understand it as most of what you get here is opinion with interpretations of facts.

by k9ulf on 09 January 2010 - 15:01

Posts: 173
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 07:53 am
"Vanesko vom Salztalblick" a DDR Dog? Perhaps I misunderstand yoshy. I agree he looks like a DDR dog type(apart from the colour), but he is not a pure DDR dog at all. All sorts of dogs in his lines, even Austrian( "von der Grundschnelligkeit).There might be a bit east German blood in it, gonna check it.  Though "Salztalblick" is a top kennel in western Germany and Vanesko is a stunning looking dog.
All the best

by yoshy on 09 January 2010 - 17:01

Posts: 463
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 07:18 pm

K-9 ulf,

"You are right I apologize for the mistake in dogs". Yeah i wouldnt mind knowing some facts on him he is a good looking dog. your research would be appreciated. let me knwo what all you find.

afwark15 this site has many great ddr dogs on it so you can see them.

by afwark15 on 09 January 2010 - 22:01

Posts: 154
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 08:31 pm

what do you mean when you say "looks like a DDR type dog"
This is part of the reason I posted this topic....what are the classic characteristics of DDR dogs?

This is the link to my dog's pedigree, It goes back to Lord vom Gleisredeieck, who was a DDR dog.

I guess I was wondering the differences so I could see where my dog's character comes into play

Amanda ^..^

by Kaffirdog on 10 January 2010 - 09:01

Posts: 1137
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 07:46 am
Hi Amanda

Looks like we are "in-laws".  One of my girls is your dogs half auntie through Evita v Champ

Margaret N-J

by afwark15 on 10 January 2010 - 16:01

Posts: 154
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 08:31 pm
Very cool!!! Glad I found some "family" on here!

How do you like your girl? Uschi is very handler focus and works very well. Has a bit of a confidence issue but is learning to work through that.
Did you get her directly through the vom andi kennel?
Since I have a daughter out vom andi parents I was thinking about importing a puppy directly from them, but I have not yet decided.

Amanda ^..^

by k9ulf on 10 January 2010 - 17:01

Posts: 173
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 07:53 am
Hi afwark15,
I sourced Dunja in Germany, she was owned by Frank Schawe owner of the kennels "vom Felsenschloss"
I know "Andi" in person,if you need any help, let me know.
All the best

by gsdk9va on 10 January 2010 - 19:01

Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 01:15 am
Afwark15, To start, I recommend you "search the messageboard" on this and the "General Topics" forums. The "search messageboard"  icons are at the top of both pages. I would use words like "DDR, Pohranicni Straze, East working, West working, Czech lines, Sloavak Policia, Best working studs, best working lines/breeders" etc. There is plenty to read that has already been written that you might find very useful in understanding the differences. Once you get some of those basics down from the bazillion threads here, there will be many people here that will be very helpful w/ more specifics like particular dogs or kennels. Good luck searching. Oh, and make sure you search the general topics's been around longer and has a much larger database of archived topics.

by afwark15 on 11 January 2010 - 02:01

Posts: 154
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 08:31 pm

Thank you, I will definitely take that into consideration.

In your opinion, do you like their breeding dogs? For schutzhund exactly.....


by k9ulf on 11 January 2010 - 07:01

Posts: 173
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 07:53 am
I had to "Felsenschloss" dogs in the past, when I still lived in Germany.Cracking dogs. 
I bought 3 puppies recently off Frank Schawe and they are being brought up in Germany(Pet passport) and they are cracking ones.We Have Dunja vom Andi here, lovely bitch, but we have not done much with her, though I think she has all the talents. I like their breeding in general, especially "Felsenschloss" .
All the best

by doghunter on 13 January 2010 - 14:01

Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:37 am
If you want make schutzhund sport higher than club trial do not buy a pure DDR dog! You will never see DDR dogs in the higher trials! They have most time not enough prey drive, hardness and they are most time lazy in obedience! They are good looking and you could mix them in breedeing with very strong west working lines!
I love this kind of dogs, but not for working (and I see a lot of them

by alexnds on 11 April 2010 - 23:04

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:54 pm
My answer is based on personal opinion and observation, and please take it for what it is: an over-generalized way of making a point.  I will start with color, than physical structure, and finally, temperment differences.

Here's what I can tell you.  The working line dogs, whether East German (DDR) or West German come in coat colors of Black and Tan, and Sable and Pure Black.  Black and Tan ,Black Sable,Tan Sable ,Brown Sable,Dark Brown Sable,

 Now, Sable is a rich color. Very rarely if ever at all, will you find a dog from a workng bloodline that is Black and Red...and that would indicate a show bloodline.  So one of the easiest ways to tell if a puppy is from a non-working blood line is if you have a Black and Red puppy or dog.

Some colors that meant by these words can be seen on this website:

In general, the East German DDR dogs are thicker boned and have a deeper chest that their West German Counterparts. In general they show more "bone" and have a flatter top, closer to the dogs of the 1920's and 1940's. It's sometime in the 1960's and 1970's that the show lines and working lines started separating so much.  Prior to that, there wasn't much of a difference.  In my personal opinion, West German Working bloodlines show a "roached" back, whereas the East German and Czeck dogs show a more straighter back.  The "roached back" is kind of the exact opposite of the over angulated back on the American Show line dogs. Here's a good photo of a Roached back:

A good photo differences between East German and West German Working lines can be seen on this link:  that shows the differences quite well.

In general the Czeck bloodline is descended from the DDR bloodline, but in  my opinion, show more defense drive than prey drive. In other words, the ideal "sport dog" that can do Schutzhund protection work is about 70% prey drive and 30% defense drive, or about 60%/40%.  However, this dog is "prey object oriented" meaning, if they don't see a bite sleeve, they might not react in a real world situation. However, a dog that has more defense drive might be a better personal protection dog and not as good in the Schutzhund world.  The breeding program of the Czeck dogs was very, very heavily influenced by one man: Mr. Jiri Novotny.  He ran the Border Patrol program and it's his "vision" of producing dogs for government used, in a government owned kennel that can be said to product what is today's Czeck bloodline. These dogs are 60% defense and 40% prey the opposite of the West German line, speaking in general terms.  They have higher built-in aggression. 

In my opinion, the Czeck dogs are not for the novice handler.  They have pronounced fight drive, and have higher level of defense drive. However, if you are looking for a police dog, that can do real world police work, this would be the ideal line.  If however, you are looking for a pet dog, this is too much dog for the average handler. 

  So the goal of a breeding program and the goal of the handler are very important to understand. The goals of the Czeck breeding program was not to produce pet quality dogs, but dogs suitable for police or military duty. 

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