How to Tell If a German Shepherd is Purebred
If you are thinking about getting a German shepherd, it is important to understand that these dogs can be either purebred or mixed breed. Some dog experts believe that the only way to know if your puppy is purebred is through genetic testing. However, this method can be costly.
Other ways of identifying a purebred German shepherd include observing its coat and checking the markings on its body. While most breeds are prone to shedding throughout the year, German Shepherds shed a huge amount in the spring and fall as their thicker winter coat switches to a lighter summer coat.
It is also important to check whether your dog’s tail is docked or not. A docked tail is a disqualification in breeding, so it’s important to ensure your dog has a healthy, normal tail.
Another great way to determine if your puppy is purebred is to ask the breeder about its lineage and history. A good breeder will be able to answer any questions you have and provide you with documents that outline the parents’ breeds.
Look for the following traits when deciding on your next German shepherd:
Coat Type and Texture
A purebred German Shepherd should have a double coat that is tough and dense. It should be medium to long in length and have a distinctive texture.
The hairs on their face, ears and paws are short while those on their chest, belly, legs, and back are longer. Moreover, their paws should be flat and the nails should be slightly curved or pointed.
This is the American Kennel Club standard for German Shepherds and should be followed by all breeders.
Head and Neck Shape
The German Shepherd’s head is wedge-shaped with proportions that are in balance with the dog’s body size (length about 40 % at the height of the withers). It is erect, parallel to the ears and without any or with only a slight middle furrow.
They have a round, strong muzzle with a square-cut mouth and a black nose. The eyes are medium-sized and brown with a lively, intelligent and self-assured appearance.
Identifying the Color Variations of Your Dog
If you are looking to buy a purebred German Shepherd, you need to be sure that the dog has only one parent with the recessive gene for solid black. The other parent must be of another color, preferably a different breed.
Some other color variations you will see in a purebred German Shepherd are black and tan, chocolate, fawn, white or red. These colors are not found in other breeds and can only be seen in purebreds.
Generally speaking, the black and tan color is the most common variation in purebreds. The chocolate and fawn color variations are more rare in purebreds.
You should also be aware of the white spots on your German Shepherd. There are some dog experts who think that the white spots on a German Shepherd are a sign of purity, but this is not always true.