In order to properly investigate the possibility of the formation of a ‘new’ breed an investigation was undertaken, on a management consultancy basis, of the current state of the German Shepherd Breed and the difficulties that may occur. A summary of these is presented here. They are not definitive but seek to illustrate the problems currently faced and likely to be faced in the future.

There is division in the people that support German Shepherd dogs. For the purposes of this document, it is necessary to consider that there are 3 groups of people that may affect the outcome:

• Breeders of German SV type dogs

• Breeders of Alsatian type dogs

• Other breeders who, whilst not immediately involved, have influence within the Kennel Club and may have preferences.

Taking the last group first, it appears that there is a groundswell of support amongst many other other breeders for the Alsatian type. There are innumerable reports of people at dog shows approaching those showing Alsatian type dogs making remarks such as “It’s nice to see a proper GSD” or “I thought that I’d never see a straight backed GSD again”. The fact that such people are prepared to approach GSD breeders and express their preference indicates that support is available in this quarter.

It is expected that the breeders of Alsatian type dogs will be in favour of this proposal. However, even within the Alsatian's supporters there are factions who are opposed to each other. It is not believed that any move to reconcile the German SV type with the Alsatian type will ever work. The German SV type followers will cling to the German standards, rule book and SV tests and will simply not accept that there is a problem in the conformation of the German SV dog. Therefore, any such search for a middle ground is doomed to failure.

Factually, in terms of size, there are currently very few Alsatian breeders. This is partially explained by the lack of available show successes. It is a simple fact that the majority of judges qualified to award CCs come from the SV side. This is understandable, given the proportionate size of the population of breeders. It is known that there are people on the German SV side who are systematically trying to push for a situation where all GSD judges will be German SV. As a result the likelihood of non-German SV style dogs obtaining CCs or being made up to Champions will decrease steadily to the point where it will disappear completely. It is highly unlikely that the situation will ever improve as the 'gateway' to becoming a judge rests with breed clubs and there is currently only one such national club for the Alsatian type recognised by the KC.

It is hoped that the campaign gets the approval and backing of any appropriate breed clubs. However, it must be absolutely clear that the proposal does not and will not come from any one club but from a group of individuals as an 'umbrella' organisation.

Initially, the composition of such a body is open to discussion but should remain fairly small and not exceed 7 people. It is certain that some of those people will represent the views of their respective clubs. Ideally any clubs or individuals that support the campaign will provide a public endorsement.

A strong possibility is that a new “Alsatian Breed Club” will be formed which supporters of the campaign will be encouraged to join. However, this would be a matter for the future.

There are formal procedures to be undertaken with the Kennel Club to register a new breed. However, this proposal is slightly different in that it is proposing a split in a current breed. This has occurred before and, at the appropriate time, approaches will be made to the KC.

It is highly likely that the Kennel Club will seek to impose rules on the new breed which will prevent the awarding of CCs for some years. It is also likely that when CCs are available again the number will, initially, be somewhat limited (as compared to those available to the whole GSD breed today). This will not matter in the long term but may cause people who only have a short term view to question their support especially as it is envisaged that the GSD will go on 'as normal' in the guise of the German SV type.

There will be (a few) people who believe that a middle way is possible and that the German SV and Alsatian supporters can reach common ground. This is unrealistic and evidence is available from other countries which indicates that there is a growing opposition to the German SV type of dog with people looking for an alternative. However, there will be a number of people whose feelings may be hurt.

This campaign is not about the people within the breed. It is about the future of the true German Shepherd dog. As such. although evidence has been gathered from many people from within the breed, it must be made absolutely clear that the initiative has not come from any breed club or officers of any club but from a group of individuals deeply concerned about the state of the breed.


The major problem will be in deciding which dogs should go into which group - Alsatian or German SV. It is believed that this can be accomplished by a phased transition along the lines of:

1. A start date would be announced. From that date there would be a period of 2 or 3 years during which dogs could be registered at birth or re-registered from the GSD breed. Puppies would have to have parents that were all KC registered GSD, all Alsatian or one of each and those parents must have undergone the appropriate health checks. (More about health later).

2. At the end of the 2 year period only puppies bred from 2 Alsatian parents would be allowed.