It is widely known that German Shepherds are loyal, intelligent, and versatile dogs. However, when it comes to German Shepherds, there are two distinct types: straight back and slope back. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to understand the differences before choosing a German Shepherd for your family.
Straight Back German Shepherds
Straight back German Shepherds are the original breed standard. They have a level topline that runs straight from the withers to the tail. They have a more traditional look and are often considered to be more “old-fashioned” in appearance. Some of the advantages of straight back German Shepherds include:
1. Better health
Straight back German Shepherds are less prone to developing health issues like hip dysplasia, arthritis, and spinal problems. This is because their spine and joints are more naturally aligned.
2. Easier to train
Straight back German Shepherds are generally easier to train because they have a more stable and balanced gait. They are also more agile and can perform more complex movements.
3. Better for working
Straight back German Shepherds are still used as working dogs, particularly in fields such as law enforcement and search and rescue. Their straight back and natural gait make them better suited for these types of jobs.
Slope Back German Shepherds
Slope back German Shepherds, also known as “showline” German Shepherds, have a more angled topline that slopes downward from the withers to the tail. This gives them a more dramatic appearance and is favored by breeders who focus on conformation shows. Some of the advantages of slope back German Shepherds include:
1. Better for shows
Slope back German Shepherds are often more successful in conformation shows because of their dramatic appearance. Judges tend to favor the slope back look.
2. Calmer temperament
Slope back German Shepherds are often calmer and more relaxed than straight back German Shepherds. They are good family dogs and are less likely to be aggressive.
3. More predictable
Because slope back German Shepherds are bred for conformation shows, breeders tend to focus on specific traits and characteristics. This means that their appearance and temperament are more predictable than straight back German Shepherds.
Disadvantages of Slope Back German Shepherds
1. Health issues
Slope back German Shepherds are more prone to developing health issues like hip dysplasia, arthritis, and spinal problems. This is because of their unnatural topline and angled gait.
2. Harder to train
Slope back German Shepherds are generally harder to train because of their less stable and balanced gait. They are also less agile and can’t perform as many complex movements.
3. Not as good for working
Slope back German Shepherds are not as well-suited for working jobs like law enforcement or search and rescue because of their angled topline and less stable gait.
In conclusion, when it comes to straight back vs. slope back German Shepherds, there is no clear winner. Both types have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your family. Whether you choose a straight back or slope back German Shepherd, you’re sure to have a loyal and intelligent companion for years to come.