What should we look for in a German Shepherd Maren von der Heyde – NBS 2012 The German Shepherd Dog has become a concept worldwide for dependability , faithfulness , and many versatile uses . Also the dog can be used as a service dog , protection dog , herding dog , tracking dog , guide dog for the blind , and rescue dog , to mention only some of the possibilities . The extent of the uses has become so great that all of them cannot be mentioned . It is a credit to the goodwill of the dog and the skill of the breeder that the field of use of the German Shepherd Dog is so large . The German Shepherd Dog is a WORKING DOG These eight words form the basis for working with the dog , judging the dog , and thinking about breeding, in short , for all the effort we put in the dog . So you can see how useful it is in judging the structure to keep in mind the achievement and uses of the dog . To be a working dog means that the dog must be so structured and bred that with minimum expenditure of energy the dog can produce the greatest level of performance . Therefore , the structure must be in harmony , with no exaggeration or understatement in the angulation , size , weight , or chest structure . For this reason , the German Shepherd can only be judged , and the characteristics of the breed demand that it be judged , as a working dog . Functionality is above beauty and fashion . His real beauty and nobility are in complete functionality , in the harmonious relationship of all parts . The judge should be cautious in leaving out specific faults or virtues but should weigh them if flaws are of extreme importance for the workuse of the dog . In viewing your dog it should be immediately evident as to the sex of your dog . A male should look like a male and a female like a female . At the first general overview , the judge should consider at first the general condition , sexual characteristics , character , strength , expression , symmetry , nobility , constitution and condition . Size The German Shepherd belongs to the medium sized breeds , which means that it is approximately 60 cm high at the withers , the males measuring 60-65 cm and the females 55-60 cm . The ideal measurements are : 63 cm for males and 58 cm for females . The withers are the only point where height is measured in a dog . The animal is measured standing evenly on all fours , and is measured at the highest point of the withers , with the hair pushed down , vertically downwards , touching the elbow , to the ground . Giants are not agile Performance and use require specific degree of size and strength . If the dog is oversized , he is either too heavy because increased size means increased weight over proportional , or he is long legged , which means he has a poor chest structure and steep ankles . Too large and too heavy dogs have too much weight . It is too difficult for them to stop , jump and climb .Besides , they are mostly unwilling to work and tire easily . Long legged dogs are even more restricted in performance. The poor angulation causes them to not be fluid in motion .In addition to this comes insufficient chest structure , insufficient room for organs , and fine bones . Small dogs With too small dogs , even with harmonious structure , strength is missing . They are fine-boned , they are fast and flexible , but they have little endurance . Or , they have the right amount of strength , but the leg bones are too short . The chest is then too deep , and they have little reach and a rolling gait . The requirements for use – strength , endurance , flexibility and speed – can only be achieved by medium sized dogs . The German Shepherd Dog is a mover ! Therefore he has a sufficiently stretched posture . The relationship of height to length is 9 to 10 . If the dog is shorter he tires faster in trotting and tends to gallop . Long legged animals can only partially use rear quarter strength , and tend to have weak backs . The weight Medium heavy males weigh : 37- 40 kg Medium heavy females weigh : 29 – 32 kg Distribution of weight : Muscles 53% Bones 14% Coat 12% Blood 8% Organs , fat etc.. 13% The strength of the dog lies primarily in muscles and bones . The bone structure should be firm and dry . 13% muscles 8% bones 53% 12% coat blood organs , fat etc… 14% The coat The German Shepherd has a pronounced outer coat with a dense , firm inner coat . Too short a coat exposes the dog to the elements . Too long hair with no undercoat allows the dog to become wet too fast , and exposes him to matting ( which can be torn when going through underbrush ) . Dogs with long hair and no undercoat cannot be bred . The pigment In the entire breeding science of service animals , the fading of colors is tied in with the lack of inner structure and lack of resistance against illness .Signs of fading are light insides of legs , light toenails and red tail tips . The lines of the dog The lines shall be in harmony . The top line begins at the ear tips , and continues without a sharp bend or break , gently falling to the tail tip . The underline begins at the neck and leads across the front and lower chest with a slight tuck up towards the back . The tail The tail is carried saber like , hanging downward . Even in excitement it shall not be raised above the line of the back . The tail can be anywhere from 18 – 23 vertebrae long , but it should not touch the ground when standing . Flaws in the holding of the tail are especially noticeable when the dog is moving . The genitals The genitals in bitches do not require any special judging . In males , judging is to notice if they are strongly developed . The testicles must be visible , strongly developed , and well placed . The missing one or both testicles or if one is insufficiently developed , designates that there is to be no breeding of the male . Such a flaw is a sign that the body does not produce enough hormones . This is an inherited trait . Teeth Puppies have 28 first or “milk teeth” . The molars and premolars are missing . The second set , or adult set , consists of 42 teeth . Upper jaw – 20 ; lower jaw – 22 : 6 incisors , upper and lower 12 2 canines , upper and lower 4 8 premolars , upper and lower 16 4 upper molars 4 6 lower molars 6 total 42 The crushing teeth are the no 4 premolars ( upper ) and the no 1 molars ( lower ) . Between those a pressure of 1.65 kg per square cm can be produced .