One of the most revered working lines in the German shepherd breed is the West German working line. Believed to be the line that is closest to the original breed created by Max von Stephanitz, this line is bred not just for color and body shape, but for working drive.
As with all working lines, the emphasis is put on the dog’s behavior and personality, rather than on just their body shape and gait, which makes for a much healthier and more active line. While many people choose the West German working line when they are looking for a working dog, these dogs also make great family pets, if the family has enough time for that dog.
West German Shepherd Color and Body Shape
The average West German shepherd is going to mostly black, with tan legs and some tan on his face. You will often also see white tufts on his back legs and tail. The coloring of these dogs is going to vary greatly when compared to show lines. There are some dogs that are completely black, with only a little bit of tan on their legs, while other dogs, even from the same litter, may be mostly brown.
In general, these dogs are not the same tone of brown and black that the American working line exhibits. The black will be darker and less uniform, while the tan will usually be lighter. There is also a fairly common occurrence of sable in the West German working line.
As for body shape, you are going to see the regal head and shoulders, though there may be less bulk in the front of the body. These dogs are generally more balanced, as they are bred both for speed and agility, in addition to bite power.
Characteristics German Shepherd
These dogs have a great temperament. Because Max von Stephanitz was as concerned with the personality of the dogs he bred, as well as how they looked, the West German working line is characterized by hard working dogs, who have an intense drive to please their owners. Unlike other lines that might have issues with aggression, these dogs tend to be great guard and nanny dogs.
They are extremely calm and collected, as well as being fun loving and outgoing. They are great dogs to bring into a family, even if your family has rambunctious kids.
These are going to be brave, responsive dogs that are going to want to have a job around the house, even if that job is just around the house. They are going to be fairly high energy, which means they are going to need a lot of activity in order to be happy.
Because these dogs are very smart, if they are not given enough stimulation, they can become absolutely terrible to have in your home. With enough walk and enough play, a West German shepherd will make a great dog.
Why Choose A West German Shepherd?
There are many different lines to choose from when adopting a German shepherd. If you are concerned about temperament first and foremost, this is the line you will want to look for. They are friendly with people and with other animals, are naturally loyal, and protective.
With the right training, they are going to make great puppies and dogs. Even more so than other lines, these dogs will want to play and they will be very driven to fall your directives and do what they are told.