How to Identify the Purity of German Shepherd Puppy | 5 Ways

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How to Identify the Purity of German Shepherd Puppy featured

Do you want to pet a German Shepherd puppy and want to learn how to identify its purity? You’re in the right place.

German Shepherd is one of the most popular, intelligent, human-friendly, and demanding dog breeds.

Because of the attraction, human-friendliness, and intelligence people want to pet German Shepherds, but when it comes to identifying its purity people are dubious for various reasons, like Color, Ears, Back & tail, White spot, lack of knowledge about the different types of German Shepherd breeds, etc.

This article covers all those important ways through which you can identify the purity of German Shepherd puppy.

Following topics will be covered in this topic:

  • Difference between Show Line & Working Line German Shepherds
  • 5 Ways to Identify the Purity of German Shepherd Puppy
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Show Line vs Working Line GSDs

Before you go to 5 different ways to identify a German Shepherd puppy section, you must learn the basic differences between the Show Line German Shepherds and Working Line German Shepherds.

Show Line German Shepherds

The Show Line German Shepherds as from their name “Show Line” are used for dog shows. In order to look excellent, these GSDs have to be perfect in all aspects from teeth to tail.

Show Line GSDs have an angulated back that slopes from high to low as you go from shoulders to rear end.

Working Line German Shepherds

The Working Line German Shepherds have straight back and athletic type of figure, purely built to work all the time tirelessly.

They have bigger heads & bigger bones. Working Line German Shepherds don’t need to be perfect. As clearly evident from their name “Working Line”, always ready for work.

To learn more about 5 different types of German Shepherds, read this:

5 Ways to Identify the Purity of German Shepherd Puppy

Following are the five ways to identify the purity of the German Shepherd puppy:

  1. Tail & Back
  2. Color
  3. Ears
  4. White Spots
  5. Dog DNA Test*

Tip: Remember! Buy a German Shepherd puppy that should be at least 35 days-old or 40 days-old.

01. Tail & Back

  • German Shepherds have a long and bushy tail that hangs down. Show Line German Shepherds have an angulated back that slopes from high to low as you go from shoulders to rear end, but the Working Line German Shepherds backs are less sloped as compared to Show Line German Shepherds.
  • Read our suggested post above about German Shepherd types, if you haven’t read yet.
German Shepherds have a long and bushy tail that hangs down. Show Line German Shepherds have an angulated back that slopes from high to low as you go from shoulders to rear end, but the Working Line German Shepherds backs are less sloped as compared to Show Line German Shepherds.

02. Color

Though German Shepherds are found in many colors, but the most common colors are:

  • Black and tan.
  • Black and light orangish.
  • Pure black.
  • Pure white.

As the puppy will grow, the tan or orangish color will grow upward from claws to body. Some White Line German Shepherds have wolfish gray color as well.

03. Ears

  • For the first week or two whether it is German Shepherd’s puppy or some other breed’s puppy, ears remain down. As German Shepherd puppy grows its ears droop straight whereas ears of other breeds droop sideways.
  • German Shepherd’s puppy mouth is not as wide as the mouths of other breeds are, it is sort of ovally in shape.
As German Shepherd puppy grows its ears droop straight. German Shepherd's puppy mouth is not as wide as the mouths of other breeds are, it is sort of ovally in shape.
  • The distance or gap between the ears of Germans Shepherd is less as compared to other breeds.
  • German Shepherd puppies’ ears fully stand up between 4 weeks to 6 months.
The distance or gap between the ears of Germans Shepherd is less as compared to other breeds. German Shepherd puppies' ears fully stand up between 4 weeks to 6 months.

04. White Spots

When it comes to purity check, the white spots on German Shepherds have always been a debate. There is a general perception among people that white spot on German Shepherd makes it impure, so in order to clear this doubt let’s see some cases.

  • Look for any white spot from above on back, neck, nape, & withers. There shouldn’t be any white spot there, as we have shown in the picture by highlighting that area. You can disagree in this case, but some dog experts are of the view that there can be white spot on any part of its body but shouldn’t be on back, neck, nape, & withers.
  • Let’s say there is a German Shepherd puppy having a white spot on back, neck, nape or withers, and the dog owner/seller suggests you that it is a pure German Shepherd breed! To clear your  doubt you can carry a DNA test for the identification of breed and ancestry.
Look for any white spot from above on back, neck, nape, & withers. There shouldn't be any white spot there
  • German Shepherd puppies do have white spots on paws, legs and upper chest. Always remember that these white spots on paws, legs and upper chest will not make German Shepherd impure, it is normal. Some white spots perish naturally as the puppy grows.
German Shepherd puppies do have white spots on paws, legs and upper chest.
White Spot on German Shepherd puppy's chest.
White spot on German Shepherd puppy's paw
  • This is the picture of famous German Shepherd dog Rumor who won the “Best in Show” award at the 2017 Westminster Dog Show. After 30 years a German Shepherd won this title again, and interestingly this dog has a white spot on his chest.
German Shepherd dog Rumor who won the "Best in Show" award has white spot on the chest.

05. Dog DNA Test

If you are a true GSD lover and want to leave no stone unturned regarding German Shepherd’s purity, health condition, ancestry, traits, etc, then go for the Dog DNA test.

Though there are many Dog DNA Test kits in the market, but the most reliable and accurate Dog DNA Test kits are Embark & Wisdom Panel.

The Dog DNA test using these kits involves only three steps:

  • Collect your dog’s DNA with quick swab of cheek
  • Activate your test kit
  • Mail the sample back to their lab. Normally it takes 2 to 3 weeks for your sample to reach the lab. Once it reaches the lab you get customized comprehensive online report.

These Dog DNA tests help you to better understand your dog and provide the best possible care, food, training etc, that it deserves.

In order to know more about the Dog DNA Test, Read: How To Identify The Purity Of German Shepherd Using Dog DNA Test Kits| Test Results.

It covers the following topics:

  • 5 Reasons For Carrying A Quality Dog DNA Test
  • How Dog DNA Test Kits Work
  • Features Of Embark & Wisdom Panel
  • Embark Vs Wisdom Panel – Test Results(which one is better?)

We hope these guidelines will help you to identify the purity of the German Shepherd puppy. If you like this post then don’t forget to share with other people. Share your feedback in the comments section below.

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15 responses

  1. Avatar
    Anonymous

    Thank you for the article! I wondered how their coloring would start to change, and how and when their little ears cute ears would start to stand up! I'll be bringing mine home in august, and I just can't wait!

    1. Meer Basit

      You’re most welcome. Congratulations in advance for welcoming home a new pup!

  2. Avatar
    Anonymous

    These are indications of a well bred, to standard GSD. Purebreds can look like pretty much anything, but only well bred dogs will mostly follow this guide. Just because a dog has flaws (major or minor) doesn't mean it's not purebred. There are a whole lot of GSDs in the world and most of them don't follow this guide because they're not well bred. Also, GSDs do come in a whole lot of other colors. Fawn, silver/cream, liver, black, white, panda, blue, and depending on who you ask, brindle and piebald, are naturally occurring in the breed in many variations (blue and tan, liver sable, blue fawn, etc). Of course many of the above colors are DQs but do not speak to the purity of the dog, just the quality.

  3. Avatar

    All you “tit-for-tat’s” sound like egotistical lame brains who just ‘gotta have the last word. Thank you for the original post, and anyone buying a GSD should do their own in depth research. At least the article provides something to think about.

    1. Meer Basit

      You’re most welcome! So nice of you.

  4. Avatar

    I have owned and competed with some of the finest bloodlines in the world, and a bit of white on the chest is not evidence of mixed breeding. This topic, strangely, keeps re-surfacing for some reason. https://www.germanshepherds.com/threads/white-patch-on-chest.746797/

  5. Avatar

    AKC accepts what I've stated unless I said otherwise aka panda isn't accepted.

  6. Avatar

    I didn’t include in the proven colors the ones the original poster said: Tan & black, solid white, solid black, I think the “light orangish color” is black & red?.

  7. Avatar

    There is misinformation on this. There is more than the four colors listed here GSD have been *blood tested* and proven purebreds for: Panda, Liver, Solid Liver, Blue, Blue & Tan, Sable, Red & Black. When you look up how to tell if your GSD is purebred DNA testing is likely the only way. The ear growth can’t tell you that, I’ve seen purebred GSD puppies come out with all types of different ears. The ears only really tell you how WELLbred the GSD puppy is (I.e if the GSD’s ears are to large for its head it’s likely not WELLbred). Purebred GSD’s tails can be slightly curved but should never be curled like a husky’s. If you don’t believe me look it up, all of this (except panda) is accepted by AKC standards. Though research into panda you will find it to be a purebred color.

    1. Meer Basit

      This is not the misinformation, correct yourself. These are some of the general tips to identify the purity of the German Shepherd puppy. You are right that there should be a DNA test, but do you think that everyone can carry out a DNA test? I don’t think one would go so deep.

  8. Avatar
    Oliver Jack

    Thanks for suggesting Dry dog food. My dog is absolutely loving this formula (https://www.meersworld.net/2019/11/the-best-highly-digestible-dry-dog-food.html)

    1. Meer Basit

      You’re most welcome Oliver!

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