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Discussion Starter #1
This is strictly a curiousity question - Is there a way to tell whether a GSD is American/Working/German line by looking at them or from their markings?

Until we got Angel, I admit I was very "ignorant" when it came to Shepherds and have LOVED reading and learning so much about them. I still don't know if Angel (rescue) is pure bred or not (and don't care), but after reading some of the various posts on temperments/different lines/nerves etc, I am just curious if there is a way to tell which "line" she might have came from.

Again - this is for no reason other than curiousity/learning. I am also studying to change careers to be a Vet Tech, and am really starting to think about doing a lot more studying on the various breeds so maybe I can be a better tech!!
 

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It can be easy to tell. If the dog has a black saddle and the rest is reddish brownish then its more likely predominantly German show line. If the dog comes in different markings or colors - not cookie cutter like the GSL and has a noticeable rear angulation and loose ligaments when it moves then American show line. If the dog has different markings but not a noticeable rear angulation, has firm ligaments in motion and a more substantial, muscular body type then likely Working Line. If you work in a vet clinic the vast majority of dogs you'll see will be American BYBs and not readily categorizable to the lines we talk about in this forum since they will likely will be a mixture of lines without rhyme or reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!! Like I said - just curious and would love to know some of the history of our dog, but thats likely not going to happen since she was found abandoned at 5-6 weeks!! I think I fall more in love with this breed every day and already thinking of getting another one once Angel grows up some more!!
 

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The more you look at GSDs, the more certain things will pop out at you, and soon you will be able to tell in a split second what bloodline you're looking at.

For example, American show lines are readily distinguishable because of the exaggerated angulation of the hindquarters. When in a show pose, the back appears to slope steeply downward, and the hocks are bent at a steep angle. They come in all colors and patterns.

German show lines are pretty much always black and red saddlebacks. Some of them appear to have a roached back (sort of humped). They are moderately angulated in the hindquarters, not near as much as American show lines.

German (well, European) working lines are often sable, black, or bicolor, with the saddlebacks appearing occasionally. They have a more square build than show lines and are not as angulated.

The differences between bloodlines are most obvious when the dog is stacked in a show pose. If it's just a head shot, or a photo of the dog sitting, it can be harder to discern.
 
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