East German Shepherd Dogs

Updated on August 7, 2019
Sam Shepards profile image

Sam Shephard is an experienced German Shepherd owner and has learned throughout the years how to optimize the breed's health and wellness.

East German Shepherd dogs or DDRs (which stands for Deutsches Demokratische Republik) Shepherds, have become more and more popular over the last few decades. These dogs were incredibly popular during the World Wars and have since made themselves a great name for their ability to work, learn, and provide companionship.

What Is an East German Shepherd?

East German Shepherds, or DDRs, are generally darker than their western counterparts. They usually have big, blocky heads, big bone structures, and lean muscles. Their backs are straight, not sloped, unlike the famous sloped backs of the German Shepherds used in international show lines throughout the world.

These dogs were more bred for their ability to work than for anything else, which means that they have more powerful builds and that they are less susceptible to getting diseases such as hip dysplasia which other breed variations are prone to.

Like any shepherd, they have very high levels of energy and need to be exercised quite often for them to be happy and healthy.

Why the Difference Between East and West?

The reason that there is a difference between the East and West breeds is a result of the Second World War. During this war, Germany was divided into two sides: West and East.

Since there were different living and breeding conditions on either side of the country, the result was that the German Shepherd breed split into two. Both of these respective sides had their own breeds of working dogs and show dogs, each with their own different characteristics.

The majority of East German Shepherds were made to be more aggressive in an attempt to stop people from trying to cross the wall out of East Germany. Others were bred to be used for herding animals, and some of them were used as pets.

Some of the things that are unique about these dogs emerged, because of the way that they are trained. Some of these training tactics are responsible for the strength and loyalty that we still see in these dogs today:

  • Dogs were often made to scale six-foot tall walls so they could capture assailants trying to flee up ladders.

  • Shepherds were trained for extended periods in very rough weather and at low temperatures.
  • Dogs were made to carry heavy weight to build strength and muscle mass.

Dogs With Jobs

You may have noticed that the most popular dogs seen in movies—at least from a few decades ago—were German Shepherds. This is because these dogs were so easy to train. They are smart, loyal, and always eager to learn things.

That doesn’t mean that these dogs were only interested in helping out the police, however. Many East German Shepherd dogs were used for much more serious jobs. These are some of the most important jobs that these dogs have been used for:

  • Border Police dogs: These dogs helped to guard the East German border back in the second World War. This wall was some 850 miles long and needed a lot of very strong, powerful dogs to protect it. They were also known to guard the Berlin Wall, where they would attack deserters.

    After the German borders were finally opened in 1989, many of the dogs that were used to guard these areas were sadly put down. The rest were sold to people who needed guard or attack dogs.
  • Police dogs: German Shepherds have been a staple of the police forces across the world for decades because of their strength, their loyalty, their willingness to learn and the way that they can be trained to be aggressive.

This doesn’t mean that these dogs can’t be held as pets, however. Not all of them are aggressive. In fact, many people have touted them for their ability to make great companions to children and adults alike.

If you’re interested in getting this breed, there are many breeders throughout the world who are working to preserve the breed for people. You should also have a look at the Czech German Shepherd, a subtype of these Eastern-bred dogs.

Now you know that East German Shepherds can be very affectionate and companionable dogs. They still have that roughness and drive combined with high intelligence that makes them ideal for training and doing all kinds of jobs. Give them what they need and you have a friend for life.

© 2019 Sam Shepards


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)