When you think of German dogs, there’s one clear breed that comes to mind: the German Shepherd. It’s not all that surprising considering this European breed ranks second in USA popularity.
But, believe it or not – there are other German dog breeds. In fact, there are many, many more. Most of which, you’ve probably never even heard of. On the other hand, some have become household names.
With nearly 50 different dog breeds, Germany is ranked third in producing the highest number of dog breeds. They’re only behind France and Great Britain – both having 57 registered breeds each (FCI).
With that said, Germany has quickly become one of the largest markets for dog exports. Owners from all over the world have simply fallen in love with these wonderful dog breeds and the numbers have shown it.
RECOMMENDED: 15 Exotic Indian Dog Breeds of Bollywood
List of Recognized German Dogs
There are many more dogs of Germany that aren’t on this list. But because we’re based in the United States, here are the 35 dog breeds that are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Highlights: Confident, Brave, Humorous.
The Affenpinscher is also known as the “monkey terrier” for its eerie physical similarities and expressions of a monkey. These German toy dogs are full of curiosity, often said to be a little adventurous by nature.
Despite their small stature, the Affenpinscher is a bold and confident little dog. They have bright personalities and have a lot of affection towards their family.
Highlights: Kind, Curious, Courageous.
There are few sights as funny and cute as the Dachshund. The world-famous wiener dog was bred in Germany, but have become a massive hit around the world. In fact, they’re the 9th most popular dog breed in the USA.
Don’t judge them so quick based off their short, stubby legs. Dachshunds are deceivingly fast and are known to be skilled hunters of small prey (such as rabbits and badgers).
RECOMMENDED: Are Dachshunds Smart? Here’s Why
29. German Spitz
Highlights: Loyal, Energetic, Alert.
The German Spitz is the lesser known cousin of the Pomeranian. Still, they have the cheerful personality and physical characteristics of the Pom. It’s difficult to tell them apart other than the fact that the German Spitz is slightly bigger.
But if you’re looking for a medium German dog with a lively attitude and the upmost devotion, these dogs are worth a look. And if they pique your interest, take a long hard look at the Pomeranian as well (see below).
28. German Shorthaired Pointer
Highlights: Friendly, Intelligent, Eager to please.
This German dog breed is truly one of the most versatile dogs to hail from Deutschland. German Shorthaired Pointers not only partake in some K-9 units, but are also acclaimed sporting dogs. They hunt all types of game (especially birds) and can even retrieve on land or water.
Combine all this with their affectionate personality and you have the ultimate German dog breed for owners with active lifestyles. Just make sure you give these dogs the physical activity they need to live a healthy life.
RECOMMENDED: 15 Versatile Pointer Dog Breeds
27. Great Dane
Highlights: Reliable, Calm, Friendly.
The Great Dane is nothing short of “great.” They are massive dogs with a surprisingly calm and friendly demeanor, often referred to as gentle giants. On the other hand, they tower over just about any other dog breed.
A Great Dane can weigh as much as 200 pounds and stand upwards of 40 inches tall. In fact, the Guinness World Record holder for tallest dog is a Great Dane named Zeus (fitting, no?). He was 44 inches tall. Amazing!
26. Doberman Pinscher
Highlights: Devoted, Fearless, Vigilant.
The Dobermann is the grand daddy of all Pinscher dogs, and possibly all German breeds. They possess both the brawn and the brains. A quick glance at this muscular 100-pound beast and you’ll know exactly why they’re such respected police and military dogs.
The tenaciously devoted Dobermann is not a dog you, or any potential thief, want to mess with.
25. Giant Schnauzer
Highlights: Kind, Loyal, Dominant.
If you’re looking for a superb worker and companion dog, look no further. The Giant Schnauzer is a stronger and larger version of the standard Schnauzer. They’re as unique as any dog, showcasing cropped ears, a docked tail and a beard with “eyebrows.”
Despite their physical appearance, they’re as loyal and obedient as any other German breed. Owners will tell you the Giant Schnauzer is high in spirits and gets easily bored. If you can keep these massive dogs entertained, they’re definitely a great choice.
24. Standard Schnauzer
Highlights: Obedient, Playful, Good-natured.
The Standard Schnauzer is the medium (or standard) version of the Schnauzer dogs. They’re about half the size of the Giant version and three times bigger than the miniature. But they possess all the characteristics that make the Schnauzer dogs great.
Not only are they highly intelligent, but they’re alert, agile, reliable and have great endurance. All these traits have made the Schnauzer one of the most popular dog breeds in Europe.
23. Miniature Schnauzer
Highlights: Spirited, Affectionate, Alert.
A Miniature Schnauzer brings all the spunk and boldness of a Schnauzer dog, packed into a little fluff ball. Aside from the small stature, they share the same physical characteristics as the Giant and Standard Schnauzer.
They’re by far the most popular Schnauzer breed. In fact, they’re the 17th most popular breed in the USA due to their great temperaments and small size. A huge plus is that they’re hypoallergenic dogs and perfect for ultra-sensitive dog owners.
Highlights: Cheerful, Playful, Friendly.
The Löwchen, which directly translates to “little lion,” is a German toy dog classified as a non-sporting breed. They’re happy, active and playful, making them fantastic companion dogs.
The Lowchens are some of the best show dogs because of their long and wavy coat, shaped in a lion-like cut. But what really makes this breed so favorable is that they don’t like to bark – a huge plus for many people like myself. Still, the Lowchen remains a relatively rare dog breed today.
Highlights: Fearless, Confident, Good-natured.
When people think of a big, strong black dog, it’s probably going to be the Rottweiler. These intelligent canines have earned a spot on the 10 most popular dog breeds list (USA), and rightfully so.
They’re fantastic herders and even better guard dogs. No thief in their right mind would want to mess with a Rottie. Though they look absolutely terrifying, they do have a sweet and good-natured side to them.
In actuality, Rottweilers are calm and obedient. Thanks to Germany, we have one of the best guard (and family) dog in the world.
20. German Shepherd
Highlights: Intelligent, Brave, Obedient.
No German dog breed list is complete without the German Shepherd. It seems like every owner wants one, and the numbers show it. As the second most popular dog in the USA, they’re also the third most intelligent breed.
German Shepherds are also highly obedient, courageous and alert, making them premier police dogs around the world. If you have enough energy to keep up with them, they’re possibly the best guard/family dogs on the market. Their popularity speaks for itself.
RECOMMENDED: 10 Stunning German Shepherd Colors
Highlights: Sociable, Playful, Friendly.
Descending from the German Spitz, the Pomeranian is a small-sized spitz breed originating from Germany/Poland. They are perhaps the fluffiest dogs among all the German breeds – and that’s why we love them.
What other dog can rightfully own the nicknames “tumbleweed” and “pompom?” They’re typically cheerful and playful dogs. Also, they’re more intelligent than you think.
However, due to small dog syndrome, Poms can be aggressive toward other dogs. Regardless, a Pomeranian is a fantastic German dog but comes with a habit of excessive barking.
Highlights: Intelligent, Obedient, Active.
For me, the most surprising dog to originate from Germany is the Poodle. They’re extremely smart, ranking second among all dog breeds for intelligence. As a result, they’re highly trainable and very obedient towards their owners.
There has been a lot of debate over the true origins of the Poodle. Many believe they descended from German water dogs, whereas others believe they descended from the French Barbet.
Regardless, the Poodle is a versatile dog that excels in dog sports, agility training, hunting, herding and more. They’re truly a “complete package” dog.
RECOMMENDED: 31 Most Adorable Poodle Mixes
Highlights: Loyal, Fearless, Calm.
The Boxer is a large German-bred dog known for its strong jaw, square muzzle, underbite and powerful stance. Despite these fearful characteristics, the Boxer is actually playful and bright.
On top of that, they get along quite well with children. They’re patient with kids, but also protective as well.
The misconception of the Boxer being a vicious dog is simply untrue. In fact, owners will tell you they’re not an aggressive breed by nature. Positive reinforcement is key to training a happy and friendly Boxer.
RECOMMENDED: 3 Wonder Colors of Boxers
16. American Eskimo Dog
Highlights: Friendly, Obedient, Protective.
Yes, the American Eskimo dog actually originated from Germany and not the Americas. Like the Pomeranian, this dog descended from the German Spitz and is part of the spitz family.
They were originally bred to protect property, which is why they’re territorial and vigilant by nature. However, they can be loving and affectionate family dogs too.
American Eskimo Dogs rank high in both intelligence tests and obedience trials, meaning they’re fantastic companion dogs. There are few dogs as eager and happy to please their owners as the American Eskimo.
15. German Wirehaired Pointer
Highlights: Willful, Devoted, Affectionate.
The German Wirehaired Pointer is a German griffon dog developed to retrieve a hunter’s game. They were so good at their jobs that they were considered to be the premier gun dogs. However, they’re mostly just hard-working family dogs today.
They’re the happiest when they’re around familiar people and showered with love. The German Wirehaired doesn’t always get along with people though. Owners describe them as aloof when dealing with strangers, but early socialization will help.
14. Bavarian Mountain Hound
Highlights: Spirited, Quiet, Courageous.
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a German scent hound developed to track down wounded game. They have a sharp nose that hunters rely on for their hunting trips. However, their most notable characteristics are their thick, elongated head and neck.
Not only are they quiet and calm, but also extremely attached to the owner. To develop a good relationship with a Bavarian requires an experienced and patient owner/trainer. But if you manage this, you’ll have one of the best hunting companions Germany has to offer.
Highlights: Vigilant, Calm, Patient.
The Eurasier, often referred to as the Eurasian dog, is a German spitz breed known for having a wonderful and pleasant personality. Although they’re excellent watch dogs, they are generally reserved and quiet.
They’re aloof around strangers but not too timid nor aggressive. In other words, they’re a very well balanced dog. A Eurasier needs its family and loves being a part of family activities. And for this reason, many say they’re the perfect German family dog.
12. Elo Dog
Highlights: Obedient, Playful, Sociable.
The Elo dog is one of the more modern and recent dog breed to have been developed by the Germans. In fact, their development didn’t start until 1987. The goal of the Elo was to develop the ultimate family dog, and they did just that.
Elo dogs are naturally playful and loyal around their family. Of course, they get along very well with kids and can even be trusted with smaller children.
But because they’re so playful and energetic, they need a lot of mental stimulation. Failure to do so can result in mischievous / destructive behavior or anxiety.
Highlights: Calm, Self-controlled, Patient.
The Pudelpointer is a skilled German hunting dog, developed with a hunting poodle (pudel) and an English Pointer. They have a steady and consistent temperament with a strong work ethic.
In addition, their water-resistant coat makes them ideal dogs for retrieving game in water. When they’re not working, they’re some of the best family dogs. No matter what, you can always count on a Pudelpointer.
10. German Longhaired Pointer
Highlights: Cheerful, Affectionate, Trainable.
The German Longhaired Pointer is the ultimate multi-purpose gun dog from Germany. They’re closely related to other German breeds: the Shorthaired, Wirehaired Pointer and the Münsterländer.
Like its dog-cousins, the Longhaired Pointer is a hard-working dog with traits favorable for all families. They’re intelligent, kind and love people. In fact, they often exhibit separation anxiety when isolated from the family.
9. German Pinscher
Highlights: Spirited, Loving, Intelligent.
The German Pinscher has been rapidly gaining momentum in the United States, and it’s not hard to see why. Naturally, they’re sweet and loving dogs with a hint of playfulness.
They can protect a family with their fearless demeanors, but can also be docile companions for loving family members. Though, they do have extremely high prey drive and require extensive socialization early on.
8. German Spaniel
Highlights: Calm, Passionate, Friendly.
The German Spaniels are skilled hunting dogs developed by the Germans in the late 1800’s. Although versatile dogs, German Spaniels aren’t very popular outside of Germany.
Despite having strong hunting instincts, they are surprisingly friendly towards both humans and dogs. German Spaniels aren’t just your everyday gun dog, they have the temperaments to be top-tier family dogs as well.
7. Hanover Hound
Highlights: Loyal, Gentle, Aloof.
Hanover Hounds are hunting dogs developed to have a sharp nose for multi-purpose tracking. In fact, they are elite trackers and can sometimes get lost finding a scent. Once they lock in on the smell, it’s quite difficult to grab their attention.
A Hanover Hound isn’t your typical family dog, but their gentleness and devotion is highly admired among families. However, they’re most ideal for hunters living on a large property, where they can get some daily run in.
Highlights: Devoted, Alert, Reserved.
The Hovawart dog originated from the forested mountain range of southwest Germany (Black Forest). They were bred to protect and that’s exactly what they do best. Of course, they’re as devoted and vigilant as any top watch dog.
However, they have the affectionate and calm personality that make them such excellent family dogs too. Today, they’re effective search and rescue dogs for Germany and other neighboring countries.
Highlights: Diligent, Reliable, Strong-willed.
The Jagdterrier is a working terrier and one of Germany’s best hunting dogs for small game. They’re most effective when assigned to drive out rabbits, foxes, badgers and other animals out of their underground den.
However, Jagdterriers can also make excellent pets with the right owners. Even with their strong prey-instincts, they’re quite sociable and get along great with people.
RECOMMENDED: 19 Most Bizarre Terrier Mixes
Highlights: Docile, Trainable, Good-natured.
The Kromfohrlander is a lively, yet sensitive German dog breed, bred for outstanding companionship. They come in two varieties: rough and smooth haired dogs. However, the rough hair version is more popular and sports a distinctive beard.
As companion dogs, the Kromfohrlanders are extremely friendly with people and like to stay by their owner’s side. They’re typical people-dogs with great intelligence and a docile demeanor.
3. Small Münsterländer Pointer
Highlights: Affectionate, Loyal, Confident.
While the Small Munsterlander is recognized by the AKC as a FCI standard, the Large Munsterlander is not. This is because, despite popular belief, the two are not related. They were both bred with different dog breeds.
However, the Small Munsterlander is a versatile dog that’s skilled in retrieving, hunting and tracking (pointing). They require consistency and patience during obedience training, but are very intelligent and willing to learn.
Highlights: Affectionate, Obedient, Playful.
Don’t feel intimidated with a Leonberger, as these dogs are truly gentle giants made for companionship. In fact, they’re often referred to as “gentle lions.” They can weigh up to 170 pounds and are very powerful dogs when necessary.
But most of the time, these big fluffy dogs just want to interact and play with their family. Leonbergers will be submissive towards the family and their devotion means they’re quite obedient dogs.
They’re certainly one of the most well-rounded family dogs Germany has to offer. Plus, owners call them great “nanny dogs” for a reason.
Highlights: Friendly, Loyal, Fearless.
These large dogs were bred for royalty in the 19th century for hunting large game. They are courageous dogs and would often chase down boar, deer and even bears.
Unsurprisingly, they have amazing endurance and stamina, which made them perfect as a hunting companion. Weimaramers have a strong prey-drive and are known to prey on smaller dogs and cats if living together.
RECOMMENDED: 15 Remarkable Blue Eyed Dogs
Other Dog Breeds of Germany
There are many other German dog breeds that weren’t covered in this list. However, to keep this guide complete, these are the other dogs of Germany:
Bullenbeisser, Harlequin Pinscher, Landseer dog, Large Münsterländer, Miniature Dachshund, Saarloos Wolfdog, Stichelhaar, Westphalian Dachsbracke and the White Shepherd.
As previously mentioned, these dogs are not recognized by the AKC. Furthermore, to keep this guide as thorough as possible without overwhelming people – we’ve made the hard decision to leave them out.
Final note – if you plan on getting a male German dog, we have a whole segment on male dog names. Feel free to browse around.
Posts you may like: