THIS is a German Shepherd*

The man in this photograph is a shepherd. As it happens, *he’s a Romanian Shepherd tending his flock in the Făgăraş Mountains, of Romania, but if he was in Germany, the chap would be a German Shepherd. You see where we’re going with this, right?

While it’s not true that German Shepherd Dogs are the only breed that uses “dog” in its name (there’s also the American Eskimo Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Spanish Water Dog, Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and Portuguese Water Dog), it’s the one breed name you probably say in it’s entirety: German Shepherd Dog. We learned to do this (true story) when a reader whose relative in Germany was a shepherd corrected us.

In 1914, there was talk of dropping the German attribution and changing the name to “shepherd dog” or “sheepdog” (remember, now, that America was about to enter World War I, and all things German became unfashionable). The American Kennel Club changed the name of the breed to the “Shepherd Dog,” and the German Shepherd Dog Club of America became the Shepherd Dog Club of America. In England, the name of the breed was changed to the Alsatian. AKC members voted to change it back to “German Shepherd Dog” in 1930.

Image of shepherd by friend of Darwinek – friend of Darwinek, CC BY-SA 3.0,

2 thoughts on “THIS is a German Shepherd*”

  1. I guess this German guy had too much spare time :-). A Malinois is also a person living in Malines, Mechelen. You don’t say Malinois shepherd dog. All people know what you mean

    • I might be mistaken but I believe it’s Belgian Malinois. Bit of a difference, splitting hairs I guess.

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