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As part of the Herding Group, German Shepherds are working dogs developed originally for herding sheep.Since that time however, because of their strength, intelligence, trainability, and obedience, German Shepherds around the world are often the preferred breed for many types of work, including disability assistance, search-and-rescue, police and military roles, and even acting.) is a breed of medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany.The breed's officially recognized name is German Shepherd Dog in the English language (sometimes abbreviated as GSD).

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The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, with their origin dating to 1899.

An experiment in temperament testing of a group of Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds showed that the Retrievers scored higher on average in emotional stability and ability to recover promptly from frightening situations, cooperative behavior and friendliness; while the German Shepherds were superior in aggression and defensive behavior.

These results suggested that Labrador Retrievers were more suited to guide dog work while German Shepherds were more suited to police work.

The modern German Shepherd breed is criticized by some for straying away from Max von Stephanitz's original ideology that German Shepherds should be bred primarily as working dogs and that breeding should be strictly controlled to eliminate defects quickly.

The show-strains have been bred with an extremely sloping topline (back) that causes poor gait in the hind legs.

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