Die Beurteilung des Deutschen Schäferhundes
The Judging of the German Shepherd Dog by Rittmeister Max von Stephanitz
Revised and supplemented by Walther Trox, Hagen, published by the SV in 1974
Interpreted by Honey Gross-Richardson, GSDCA/ANKC Interpreter
The coat, which is rather short on the head with the exception of a tuft at the lower edge of the set on of ears, merges into a good stock hair. In males, the region of the set on of neck throat and nape, tends to be heavier coated. In old, strong dogs, especially in winter, a slight, mane like ruff, is formed by the coat growing against the grain. The skin of the neck should be well fitting, should above all, not form any throatiness or dewlap.
As the remaining parts of the body, chest, back and the limbs, as part of the movement apparatus, or being in connection with this, must be dealt with in a similar manner, I shall discuss a few more aspects of lesser significance before I go into them. I shall first of all, stay with the coat. I have just spoken of the coat on the head and neck of the stock haired dog. From the neck, a line of especially long and strong hair goes over the back down to the tip of the tail. The single hair on the back is around 4 to 6 cm in the winter-coat. Whilst the forechest is especially densely, but not long coated, the length and density of the coat on the sides of the body lessens downwards. Only the thighs are again, and this is for protection, longer, and more densely coated. On the underchest the hair is, unless in heavy winter coat, fairly short, whilst the section of the hindmost part of the belly, lying between the upper thighs, and the inner upper thigh where it joins the body is sparsely and only thinly covered with stock hair and is without undercoat.
Forelegs, rear pasterns, feet and toes are covered with short but harsh hair. On the back of the fore legs, the slightly longer hair forms a slight feathering, on the rear side of the thighs, however, breeching. The tail is well coated and somewhat bushy, but does not appear round, but seems flat viewed from the side. The hair is a little longer on the under side, but without flags. Formation of flagging is only found, strictly speaking, only in the longcoats. . In all cases also in the long stock coated dogs. Compared to that, the tip of the tail of the Stock Coated dog, carries a more or less S shaped curved tuft, the lack of which is certain proof of either a natural stumpy tail formation, or for an artificial shortening of the tail. Long coated dogs with over-long, silky soft top coat, generally parted in the middle of the back, tufts on the tips of the ears, pronounced feathering on the fore legs, excessive breeching and flags, very bushy tail as well as lacking undercoat, have been entirely excluded from breeding for a very long time.
For the Working Dog, a weather resistant coat is a prerequisite. The best is offered by the stock hair, (top coat) of the right hardness and length, that is well intermingled with a woolly undercoat. (base hair). A stock hair that is too short lessens the working ability, especially if it has also become too fine. The German Shepherd Dog requires a harsh working jacket, and not a fine society suit. A coat that is too short, can be caused by inappropriately keeping the dog in the lounge. However in most cases it is, just as the coat that is too fine and soft, a result of inappropriate breeding for beauty, instead of for work, sometimes also of over-breeding. In judging the German Shepherd Dog, attention must be given to the coat condition, also to the hair covering the inside of the ears, that I have already mentioned. Mixed types of coat variety sometimes appear as a throwback to crossing coat types of working ancestors. These should only be assessed on their working ability, as they are only of very little significance, breeding wise.
Often the coat on the back and along the sides, instead of a lying straight , is a slightly curled wavy coat that does not permit the coat being close fitting, and is therefore lacking the protection offered by the good stock coat. Long Stock Coats with pronounced feathering on the forelegs, slight ear tufts and tails with flags, or bushy tails, are often lacking the undercoat and lastly have the same deficiency of working ability as the 4 to 5 decades back completely eliminated Shaggy Coat of the Oldgerman Shepherd Dogs with their only slight dense undercoat development. Long Stock Coated dogs are permitted for breeding, however, they can not be Breed Surveyed. Dense, strong hair, and a shiny coat leads one to conclude of good physical condition and good health.