Captain Max von Stephanitz

In 1889 Captain Max von Stephanitz (picture above) began the process of developing the breed. This began at a dog show in Karlsruhe in western Germany. At the show, a dog caught his sttention. A medium-sized yellow-and-gray wolflike dog of power, endurance, steadiness, and intelligence. He noticed how he did not need training other than direction to finish a task. von Stephanits purchased the dog, Hektor Linksrhein, and was renamed Horand von Grafrath (picture below), and became the first registered German Shepherd Dog (GSD).

Horand von Grafrath

With the end of World War I came a new appreciation for the breed. The German Army had made good use of the breed as a war dog.  The popularity of GSD in movies increased with movies, such as Rin-Tin-Tin (picture below).

Rin Tin Tin

Von Stephanitz bred GSD heavily on Horand and also Luchs, his brother, to bring together the bloodline. Horand's puppy, Hektor von Schwaben, the second GSD, was mated with his half-sister and through daughters of his own sons, Beowolf (picture below), of the bloodline.