Many breeds of dog become popular because they have one or two distinct characteristics that people admire and appreciate. But what perhaps sets the German Shepherd apart from other popular breeds is the unique constellation of attributes that these dogs possess. Loyal, loving, tranquil, intelligent, athletic, eager to learn, cheerful, serious, strong, handsome, dignified – these adjectives can all legitimately be used to define the personality of the highly respected and beloved German Shepherd (GSD).
The personality of a dog is flexible and indeterminate. Dogs can be exuberant or shy; friendly or hostile; fearful or bold; aggressive or passive or some combination of the above. These differences in personality may to some extent be determined by breed, or individual genetics, but for the most part it is based on how and to what extent each particular dog has been socialized.
Historically, dog shows and other related events were developed with a very specific purpose in mind – to select and recognize those dogs with the best breeding characteristics, in order to guarantee the future health, stability and vitality of individual breeds. The practice of dog breeding is dedicated to this purpose, and dog breeders have a responsibility to do what is best for the breeds with which they choose to work.