West German versus DDR Czech Line Import German Shepherds

It has been nearly 20 years since the reunification of Germany in 1990, preceded by the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989. However, a divide still exists, even today, between the German Shepherd bloodlines that were recovered after the Second World War. From 1949 until 1990, Germany was divided into the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) in the East, and the Federal Republic of Germany in the West. The DDR, being a communist state under influence from the USSR, was kept wholly separate from West Germany. This separation is what caused the split in German Shepherd bloodlines that persists to this day.

The DDR and Czechoslovakia, both members of the Soviet Bloc, developed working bloodlines for use as aids to border guards as well as for use as protection dogs. Due to the close relationship between the two, Czech line German Shepherds and East German DDR German Shepherds are essentially the same bloodline. Meanwhile, bloodlines in West Germany were split once more between working line dogs and show line dogs. It is important to recognize that the working line and show line German Shepherds from West Germany are vastly different. Show line dogs are bred to be physically attractive, but lack the courage and strong nerves of a true protection dog.

Accepting that West German show line dogs are unfit for protection work, the true comparison is between the West German working line (often stated simply as German working line), and the DDR/Czech line. There has been much debate over which is superior, and this debate may continue for years to come. Some people consider the West German lines to be superior, arguing that the DDR/Czech lines were developed before the split between working and show lines, and are not extraordinary in either discipline. However, it is important to consider that both were recovered from the original German bloodlines after WWII, and both have been continuously built up and bred for working qualities over the past 60 years. The bottom line is that they are both working line dogs, and they are both a solid choice for work as a personal protection dog.

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