The breeding of shepherd dogs is the breeding of working dogs; and this must always be the aim, or we shall cease to produce shepherd dogs.
Breeding should never be made with animals that are not in work. The proof of the education of the dog for work is a necessity for admission for breeding, rather than Show honors, which afford a very misleading idea of a dog’s value for breeding.
Breeding worth and Show Worth are two fundamentally different things which need not have anything to do with each other; and further, a Show award must never be taken as a judgment of Breeding value, but only, and this too with reservations, as an opinion that a dog might possibly be suitable for breeding.
Efficiency for work must count for more with the shepherd dog breeder than the honors of the Show Ring.
Even the most perfectly built dog is of no use if he does not possess the incentive to give of his best and of his uttermost.
Utility is the True Criterion of Beauty.
We have already agreed that our shepherd dog is a service dog, and that he must only be bred as a service dog. He must therefore … only be judged as a service dog. With service dogs, suitability ranks higher than beauty.
The most striking feature of the correctly bred German Shepherd are firmness of nerves, attentiveness, unshockability, tractability, watchfulness, reliability and incorruptibility together with courage, fighting tenacity, and hardness.
Training must give us dogs of the right sharpness, produced by intelligent keeping, careful training, purposeful schooling, which complete the work of the breeder, but the foundations must be already there.
Trust is a necessity and obedience is the foundation of every training: both go hand in hand, and both are inseparable.
Take this trouble for me: Make sure my shepherd dog remains a working dog, for I have struggled all my life long for that aim.
The coloring of the dog has no significance whatever for service; our shepherd dog accordingly is not bred for color. Coloring therefore is only a fad of the amateur and as such is often liable to changes of whim.
Show me your dog, and I will tell you what manner of man you are.
Max von Stephanitz