Same type different style...................In conformation judging, health, temperament and performance aside, ‘type’ is the most important thing to identify and promote. In its most basic form ... if it doesn’t look like a German Shepherd Dog it isn’t a German Shepherd Dog.
Type comes first and foremost and within type there are ‘’styles’’ of dogs, as can be seen in the following collage - see web site …
The standard articulates the desired type using descriptive and to varying degrees, quantifiable words and terms, but because breed standards leave room for interpretation, and an example in the context of this subject are the words; ’high’ - ‘long’ – ’straight’ – ’gently curved’ – ’moderately long’, conformation show judging becomes highly subjective. Consequently the definition of breed type and its evolutionary direction also becomes subjective and that is why it is a mistake for anyone to believe judging in its broadest terms is objective, it isn't objective, and this why there are variations of opinion and placing of dogs in shows. The only area in the Specialist ring where there should be no variation is in the grading of exhibits and at Breed Survey in classification.
A final comment in regard to type. Many people, including judges, misuse the word ‘type’ or more precisely the word ‘correct type’ to describe any GSD where its most prominent features are great alertness, black and rich red colour, deep hind angulation, a long thick bushy tail and an excessively sloping topline! It’s a thin line perhaps but what I am trying to say is that the dog being described may well be a dog of very good type but what is being described is a ‘style’ of dog.