When you think of German dog breeds, there’s one iconic dog breed that comes to mind: the German Shepherd. It’s not all that surprising considering this European breed ranks 2nd in terms of popularity among all dogs in America.
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 seen or even heard of. Plus, some of them have become household names all around the world.
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 of which, have 57 registered breeds each according to the FCI.
With that said, Germany has quickly become one of the largest markets for dog exports. Given their stunning looks, intelligence and favorable temperaments, it’s really no surprise why owners flock to these German dog breeds.
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Table of Contents
- Native German Dog Breeds
- 1. Affenpinscher
- 2. Dachshund
- 3. German Spitz
- 4. German Shorthaired Pointer
- 5. Great Dane
- 6. Doberman Pinscher
- 7. Giant Schnauzer
- 8. Standard Schnauzer
- 9. Miniature Schnauzer
- 10. Löwchen
- 11. Rottweiler
- 12. German Shepherd
- 13. Pomeranian
- 14. Poodle
- 15. Boxer
- 16. American Eskimo Dog
- 17. German Wirehaired Pointer
- 18. Bavarian Mountain Hound
- 19. Eurasier
- 20. Elo Dog
- 21. Pudelpointer
- 22. German Longhaired Pointer
- 23. German Pinscher
- 24. German Spaniel
- 25. Hanoverian Scenthound
- 26. Hovawart
- 27. Jagdterrier
- 28. Kromfohrländer
- 29. Small Münsterländer Pointer
- 30. Leonberger
- 31. Weimaramer
- Other German Dogs
Native German Dog Breeds
The recognized German dogs have consistently made the top 10 list for most intelligent breeds, most expensive dogs, dangerous dogs and most widely-used police and military dogs. They’re truly unique and versatile dogs.
That said, here are the 31 German breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Highlights: Confident, Brave, Humorous
The Affenpinschers are also famously known as the “monkey terriers” thanks to their eerily 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’ll have bright personalities with a lot of affection towards their family members. Plus, they tend to bring a positive vibe that meshes well with older kids.
However, they’re not all fun and games when it comes to training. Affenpinschers will be stubborn and strong-willed when it comes to obedience. Even so, don’t let that deter you from enjoying the funny and loving personalities of these little terriers.
- The name Affenpinscher in German directly translates to “monkey-like dog.”
- The French call these dogs “diablotin moustachu,” which directly translates to mustached little devil.
- Affenpinschers were frequently seen in old artwork dating back to the 1500’s.
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 ninth most popular dog breed in America today.
Don’t judge them so quick based off their short, stubby legs and elongated bodies. Doxies can be a handful, as they’re deceivingly fast and known to be skilled hunters of small prey (especially with as rabbits and badgers).
However in the home, they’re loving lap dogs that love being the center of attention. The playfulness of the Dachshund is hard to resist, as they’re all about having fun. They’re also fairly loyal dogs that can develop a solid relationship with anyone.
- These dogs are famously known for their nickname, the wiener dog. However, the original name of the hotdog was the dachshund sausage.
- The first official mascot of an Olympic game (in Munich 1972) was a Dachshund named Waldi.
- In 2014, the first British dog to be successfully cloned was a Dachshund named Winnie.
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3. German Spitz
Highlights: Loyal, Energetic, Alert
The German Spitz is the lesser known cousin of the Pomeranian. Even so, they’ll have the cheerful vibe and physical traits of the Pom. It’s difficult to tell them apart, other than the fact that the German Spitz is slightly bigger.
So if you’re looking for a medium-sized German dog with a lively attitude and the upmost devotion, these dogs are worth a look. And if they pique your interest, I’d recommend taking a long hard look at the Pomeranian as well.
The good news is that the German Spitz is obedient and trainable. They have a high IQ, but it’s the eagerness to please that makes them so responsive to obedience training. Still, these German dogs need positive training and reinforcement.
- The German Spitz exhibit many physical characteristics found in the most ancient European fossil dogs from the stone-age.
- German Spitzes were brought to the United States and renamed to the American Eskimo dog because of anti-German sentiment.
- There are 5 variations of the German Spitz, each variety in a different size.
4. German Shorthaired Pointer
Highlights: Friendly, Smart, Eager to please
This German breed is one of the most versatile dog to come from Germany. The GSP is often seen in K-9 units, but are also acclaimed sporting dogs. That is, they hunt all types of game (especially birds) and can even retrieve on land or water.
And while they’re fierce and eager hunters on the field, they have a soft and affectionate side in the home. This makes them the perfect dog for families that enjoy an active lifestyle. Just make sure you give these dogs plenty of run!
If you’re looking for a highly trainable German dog, then the GSP is the breed for you. They’re some of the most intelligent dogs with an exceptionally high obedience and work IQ. Some love to work for the sake of working and obeying.
- German Shorthaired Pointers love to dig holes.
- Hunters have given the GSP the nickname, the Jack-of-all-trades dog.
- The United States Air Force has a Shorthaired Pointer named Haus. His primary job is to locate bombs and explosives.
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5. Great Dane
Highlights: Reliable, Calm, Friendly
The Great Dane is nothing short of great. They’re massive mastiff 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 out there.
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!
However, there’s more to the Great Dane than just sheer size. They have a reserved and loving side that few people would expect. Plus, they’re loyal dogs that tend to develop strong bonds with all pack members, including the kids.
- Once a fearful hunter, the modern Great Dane had been bred to be great show dogs instead. This was due to the dying popularity of hunting.
- Great Danes were once believed to help repel evil spirits and ghosts. It’s no wonder Scooby-Doo was a Great Dane!
- In 1941, a Great Dane once diffused a bomb by urinating on it. This Great Dane was awarded two Blue Cross Medals.
6. Doberman Pinscher
Highlights: Devoted, Fearless, Vigilant
The Doberman is the grand daddy of all Pinscher dogs, and possibly all German breeds. Not only do they have the brains, but also the brawn. A quick glance at this muscular 100-pound beast and you’ll know exactly why they’re respected police dogs.
On top of that, they’re considered to be the fifth smartest dog breed. Not surprisingly, they’ve become premier guard dogs. Plus, they’re great with older kids. The tenaciously devoted and bold Dobie is not a dog you, or any thief, want to mess with.
Dobermans are confident and bold dogs. There are few things in the world that can scare off your Dobie. After establishing a respectful and loving bond, they will fight to the end with you. As such, a Doberman is often called a large “velcro dog.”
- Kurt the Dobermann was a WWII hero. He went ahead to warn soldiers of incoming Japanese troops, but unfortunately, a grenade set off and killed him.
- Ear and tail docking were done to remove any weak spots on the Dobermann when engaging in fights.
- Dobermanns hate cold weather – avoid at all cost.
7. 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, a beard and “eyebrows.”
Despite their physical looks, they’re as loyal and obedient as any other German breed. Owners will tell you the Giant Schnauzer is high in spirit but gets bored easily. So if you can keep these massive dogs stimulated, they’re definitely a top choice.
But don’t think they’re boring or stoic dogs. Rather, Giant Schnauzers do have a playful side that’s a lot more rare with extra large dog breeds. These good-natured dogs enjoy all human interaction and will welcome any opportunity to play.
- This dog’s name in German is “Riesenschnauzer,” which directly translates to: herculean monster with a walrus mustache.
- The Giant Schnauzer was relatively unknown until the first World War, where they became popular military dogs.
- Prior to working in the police force and military, the Giant Schnauzer was bred to be the ultimate multi-purpose farm dog.
8. Standard Schnauzer
Highlights: Obedient, Playful, Good-natured
The Standard Schnauzer is the medium version of the Schnauzer breed. They’re about half the size of the Giant and three times bigger than the miniature. Despite this, they retain all the wonderful traits that make the schnauzer dogs great.
Not only are they highly intelligent, but they’re alert, agile, reliable and have amazing endurance in the field. All these traits, combined with their strong work ethics, have made the Schnauzer one of the most popular dogs breeds in Europe.
And just like their other size variants, Standards respond well to obedience training. They will be one of the most dependable and reliable German dogs when you need them. Plus, these schnauzers do enjoy a bit of fun too.
- The Schnauzer has made appearances in 14th – 16th century artwork by renowned German artists, including Rembrandt and Dürer.
- Before the 19th century, the Schnauzer was a popular dog among peasant farmers for many centuries.
- A Schnauzer, named George, made headlines for being the first dog to be able to sniff out cancer in a patient.
9. Miniature Schnauzer
Highlights: Spirited, Affectionate, Alert
A Miniature Schnauzer brings all the spunk and boldness of a Schnauzer breed, packed into a little tiny ball of fluff. But besides the petite size, they share the same physical characteristics as the Giant and Standard Schnauzer.
They’re by far the most popular Schnauzer size. In fact, they’re the 17th most popular breed in the USA due to their great temperaments and convenient size. A huge plus is that they’re hypoallergenic dogs and perfect for sensitive owners.
While the Minis may be small, they’re not great lap dogs. These schnauzers are full of energy and will be bouncing off your laps! Despite being just 12 inches tall, they certainly don’t know it. They’re fearless dogs that are surprisingly durable too.
- The Miniature Schnauzer are one of the healthiest and robust dog breeds in the world. They have very little congenital diseases associated with them.
- Although a German dog breed, they were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1926.
- Martial artist Bruce Lee owned a Miniature Schnauzer at one point.
Highlights: Cheerful, Playful, Friendly
The Löwchen, which means “little lion,” is a German toy dog in the non-sporting breed category. The extra-small dog is always happy, active and playful, making them some of the best dogs for all types of families. Their optimism is contagious.
The Löwchens are also some of the best show dogs due to their long and wavy coat, shaped in a lion-like cut. But what really makes them so favorable is the lack of barking – a huge plus for many people like myself.
In addition, these toy dogs strike a great balance. They’re lively and playful, but not hyperactive. A Löwchen needs exercise, but not too much. And although they love to have fun, they will respond well to obedience training.
- At one point, the Lowchen was considered the rarest dog breed in the world. However, they’ve made somewhat a comeback since.
- Due to their scarcity, they’re considered to be the most expensive dog breed in the world.
- These dogs can be traced as far back as 1442, where they’re present in old paintings, engravings, literature and tapestries.
Highlights: Fearless, Confident, Good-natured
When people imagine a big, loyal and strong black dog, it’s probably going to be the Rottweiler. As such, these intelligent dogs have earned a spot on the 10 most popular dog breeds list, and it’s easy to see why. Rotties are as loyal as they come.
In the past, they were fantastic herders, but even better guard dogs. No thief would have wanted to mess with a Rottweiler. And while they can look absolutely terrifying, they do have a sweet, gentle and good-natured side to them.
In actuality, Rottweilers are calm and obedient, though they’re no push-over. Rather, they pick when to use their energy, as all great guard dogs do. Also, Rotties are smart enough to understand who is a friend and who isn’t.
- Rottweilers have a bite force of 328 pounds, roughly half of a shark’s bite force. Their powerful bite is stronger than that of a German Shepherd or Pit Bull.
- The German name Rottweiler Metzgerhund translates to “Rottweil butchers’ dog.” This is because they were used to pull carts with butchered meat to markets.
- The Rottie is one of the oldest herding breed and can be traced as far back as the Roman Empire. They’re believed to be descendants of Roman dover dogs.
12. German Shepherd
Highlights: Intelligent, Brave, Obedient
No German dog breed list is complete without the German Shepherd. As the second most popular dog in America, they are also the third most intelligent dog breed. This correlation between high IQ and popularity is no coincidence.
German Shepherds are highly obedient, courageous and alert, handing them the title as the premier police dog around the world. And if you have enough energy to keep up with them, they are possibly the best guard dogs on the market.
In the home, though, German Shepherds can be as loving as any other German dog. Because of the dog’s supreme loyalty, you can always count on a GSD to have your family’s back. And in the face of a threat, they can quickly become dangerous dogs.
- A German Shepherd can learn a task with just 5 repetitions, performing with 95% accuracy.
- There are two German Shepherds honored with a star on the renowned Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- After these dogs were enlisted as World War I military dogs, people took notice and were impressed. Soon after, they became a household name around Europe.
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Highlights: Sociable, Playful, Friendly
The descendant of the German Spitz, the Pomeranian is a small spitz dog breed from either Germany or Poland. Historians can’t seem to agree. But regardless, Poms are perhaps the fluffiest dogs among all the German breeds.
What other dog can rightfully own and embrace the nicknames “tumbleweed” and “pompom?” All of these names perfectly describe the Pom’s cheerful and playful nature. But they’re not all about fun and play – they’re quite intelligent too.
However Poms tend to be aggressive toward other dogs that are much bigger, thanks to the small dog syndrome. This can be trained out through socialization, though. And just know that this German toy dog will come with some excessive barking.
- The Pomeranian was made popular after being kept by a long line of royalty, including Queen Victoria in the 19th century.
- Wolfgang Mozart dedicated a musical piece to his beloved Pomeranian, named Pimperl.
- Only three dogs survived in sinking of the Titanic in 1912, two of which, were Pomeranians.
Highlights: Intelligent, Obedient, Active
There’s been a lot of heated debate over the true origins of the Poodle. Many historians believe they actually descended from German water dogs, whereas others claim they descended from the French Barbet. Either way, Poodles are wonderful.
These proud and graceful dogs are extremely smart, ranking 2nd among all dog breeds for IQ. As a result, Poodles are highly trainable and very obedient with their owners. These dogs can learn a basic command in just a few minutes!
The Poodle is also a highly versatile dog that excels in dog sports, agility training, hunting, herding and more. And with children, they’re a superb companion that’ll treat them like their own. These dogs are truly a “complete package” dog.
- The Poodle is an ancient dog breed. They’ve been seen on artifacts from ancient Rome and Egypt from the first century B.C.
- Their iconic “lion cut” coat serves the purpose of keeping their vital organs and joints warm while swimming in cold water.
- Although originating from Germany, the Poodle is the national dog breed of France.
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Highlights: Loyal, Fearless, Calm
The Boxer is a large German-bred dog known for a strong jaw, square muzzle, underbite and a wide yet powerful stance. Despite these fearsome traits, the Boxer is actually very playful and bright. In the right home, they’ll thrive as a family dog.
Boxers have come a long way since their old bull-baiting days. Today, they get along quite well with kids. Not only are they’re patient with children, but also protective as well. So if you’re looking for a second pair of eyes, the Boxer can be that.
The misconception of the Boxer being a vicious dog is simply untrue. In fact, owners will tell you they are not an aggressive breed by nature. However, training can “make or break” this dog. As such, a focus on socializing and positive training is required.
- Boxers can be traced as far back as 2000 B.C., where they were popular dogs among the ancient Assyrians.
- A Boxer named Brandy holds the Guinness World Record for the longest tongue – recording an astonishing 17-inch tongue.
- Contrary to belief, the Boxer was the first dog breed to train for the German police force, and not the German Shepherd.
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16. American Eskimo Dog
Highlights: Friendly, Obedient, Protective
Despite what the name says, the American Eskimo dogs actually originated from Germany and not the Americas. And much like the Pomeranian, this dog descended from the German Spitz, which is why they look so much alike.
But believe it or not, these fluffy dogs were originally bred to protect property, which explains their territorial nature and alertness. Even so, expect the American Eskimo to be loving and affectionate when playing with family members.
American Eskimo dogs rank high in both IQ tests and obedience trials. In other words, they’re highly trainable dogs that respond well to obedience. In fact, there are few German breeds as eager and happy to please as the American Eskimo.
- These dogs were renamed the American Eskimo dogs because of the anti-German sentiment during World War I.
- In the early to mid 1900’s, the American Eskimo dog gained popularity as circus dogs, often traveling with shows across the nation.
- The American Eskimo was the first dog ever to be able to walk a tightrope.
17. German Wirehaired Pointer
Highlights: Willful, Devoted, Affectionate
The German Wirehaired Pointer is a griffon dog developed to retrieve a hunter’s shot game. They were so good at their jobs that they were considered to be the premier gun dogs. Today, they’re mostly just hard-working family dogs.
They’re the happiest when they’re around loved ones and at the center of attention. The German Wirehaired doesn’t always get along with strangers, though. As such, they will be aloof when faced with unfamiliar faces, but early socialization helps.
And while the GWP is a willful and strong-willed dog, they have a gentle side that they’ll show in the home with their people. It’s worth noting that they’re active dogs, given their hunting background, and need substantial exercise.
- The German Wirehaired Pointer has a water-resistant coat that makes them perfect for various tasks in or out of water.
- They’re called pointers because of a naturally tendency to point their heads and form the shape of an arrow. They often do this when tracking game, explosives or other interesting scents.
- It took at least five different dog breeds to carefully craft and develop the German Wirehaired Pointer.
18. Bavarian Mountain Hound
Highlights: Spirited, Quiet, Courageous
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a German scent hound bred to track wounded game. They have a sharp nose that hunters rely on for their hunting. 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. You’ll need to be patient and experienced to develop a good relationship with a Bavarian. But if you can, you’ll have one of the best hunting companions Germany has to offer.
On the field, the Bavarian is a completely different dog. Instead of the docile and reserved dog you see in the home, they’re fearless and spirited when out. Because of their quick agility, make sure to keep a close eye on this dog.
- The nose of a Bavarian Hound is so amazing that it can differentiate the smell of an injured animal and a non-injured one.
- These dogs were bred to be able to hunt and track in tough mountainous regions of Germany.
- The Bavarian Mountain Hounds were developed by crossbreeding the Hannoversche Schweißhund with skilled hunting dogs from the Alps.
Highlights: Vigilant, Calm, Patient
The Eurasier, often called the Eurasian dog, is a German spitz breed known for having a wonderful and pleasant personality. Although they’re excellent watchdogs, they’re generally reserved and quiet, even with their family.
Eurasiers will be aloof around strangers, though not too timid nor aggressive. In fact, they’re a very well-balanced dog. For them to thrive, they need to be included in all family activities. For this reason, many say they’re the perfect German family dog.
These dogs do need plenty of human attention though. And if you’re a busy person, you may want to consider another breed, as the Eurasier can’t stand being alone for long periods. On the bright side, the Eurasier is perfect for kids.
- They’re called the Eurasian dog because they incorporate traits from both European and Asian dogs. For example, they have Chow Chow and Keeshond in them.
- Although popular in Germany and Switzerland, the Eurasier is extremely rare in the United States.
- It’s estimated that there are only 8,500 Eurasier dogs left in the world – most of them residing in Europe.
20. Elo Dog
Highlights: Obedient, Playful, Sociable
The Elo dog is one of the more modern 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. They will have the energy to match your kids, but also understand when to calm down.
But because Elo dogs are so active and energetic, they need a lot of mental stimulation. Failure to do so can result in mischief, destructive behavior or anxiety. So long as they get the attention from the family, they’ll be just fine.
- The Elo dog has a registered trademark on its name in Germany.
- The biggest concern with the Elo dog is the number of hereditary diseases involved with the breed.
- The name “Elo” (Eloschaboro) was created by combining letters of the three breeds they were bred from: Eurasier, Bobtail and Chow Chow.
Highlights: Calm, Self-controlled, Patient
The Pudelpointer is a skilled German hunting dog, developed with the old hunting Poodles and the English Pointer. As a result, they have the steady and consistent temperament of the Poodle with the strong work ethic of the Pointer.
Their water-resistant coats (inherited from the Poodle) makes them ideal dogs for retrieving game in water. But when they’re not working, they’re some of the best family dogs. Even-tempered and calm, a Pudelpointer can be a loving companion too.
Though they may be inquisitive and naturally curious dogs, they don’t get into as much trouble as the other breeds with the same trait. Rather, they’re self-composed dogs that only want to please the members of the family.
- After many of attempts, German breeder Baron Von Zediltz finally perfected the Pudelpointer breed 30 years later.
- The Pudelpointer is one of the healthiest dog breed and has an average life span of 15 years.
- What sets this dog breed apart from others is their unique mustache on their snouts.
22. German Longhaired Pointer
Highlights: Cheerful, Affectionate, Trainable
The German Longhaired Pointer is the ultimate multi-purpose gun dog from Germany. And yes, they are closely related to other German breeds like the Shorthaired, Wirehaired Pointer and the Münsterländer.
Like their dog-cousins, the Longhaired Pointer is a hard-working dog with favorable family-oriented traits. For example, they’re intelligent, kind and generally love people. So much so, that they will often show separation anxiety when away from loved ones.
But what makes the GLP stand out is their affinity towards being in water. That is, they love being in water. So much so, that they’re regarded as one of the top waterfowl retrievers in the world, along with the Poodle and Golden Retriever.
- The Longhaired Pointer was bred for high performance both on the field and in the show ring.
- They descended from a combination of bird dogs, water dogs and scent hounds, making them some of the most versatile dogs.
- Despite being bred in the late 1800s, these dogs hadn’t been recognized by the UKC until 2006.
23. German Pinscher
Highlights: Spirited, Loving, Intelligent
The German Pinscher has gained momentum in America. As the hybrid of the Miniature Pinscher and Doberman, they’re known as the prototypical pinscher. But don’t let that scare you – they are naturally sweet and loving dogs with a hint of playfulness.
German Pinschers can protect a family with their fearlessness, but can also be docile and gentle in the home. However they do have extremely high prey drive, thanks to their vermin hunting past, and require extensive socializing early on.
The German Pinscher is a highly adaptable dog breed that fits seamlessly into many families. But the one thing they absolutely need is physical activity. After all, they’re energetic dogs that need to let out a ton of pent up energy daily.
- This Pinscher descended from many popular German dog breeds. Some of which, include: the Affenpinscher, Rottweiler, Dobermann and Schnauzer.
- The German Pinscher almost died out in the mid 20th century. However, breeder Werner Jung had single handedly revived them.
- One of this Pinscher’s greatest attributes is its problem-solving abilities.
24. German Spaniel
Highlights: Calm, Passionate, Friendly
The German Spaniel is yet another skilled hunting breed bred by the Germans in the late 1800’s. On the field, they’re used to track and retrieve – even with black bears. But despite their versatility, these spaniels aren’t so popular outside their home country.
German Spaniels have strong hunting instincts, but they are surprisingly friendly towards humans and dogs of the same pack. They aren’t your everyday gun-dogs because they also have the ability to be top-tier family dogs as well.
Many describe them as a passionate and sociable breed. They love human attention, though at the same time, take their hunting jobs very seriously. That said, German Spaniels need a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation to be happy.
- John Scott, the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain, owned a German Spaniel named Pincher. Many believed Pincher was his favorite dog.
- In Canada, descendants of the German Spaniel are used to track down and flush out black bears from parks.
- German Spaniels are used in Sweden to track and chase out the growing boar population.
25. Hanoverian Scenthound
Highlights: Loyal, Gentle, Aloof
Hanover Hounds are hunting dogs developed to have a sharp nose for all-purpose tracking. In fact, they are elite trackers that can sometimes get lost finding a scent. Once they lock in on the smell, it’s quite difficult to grab their attention.
Although the Hanover Hound isn’t your typical family dog, their gentleness and loyalty is seen in a family setting. That being said, they’re most ideal for hunters living on a large property, where they can get plenty of daily run and exercise.
When they’re not on the field, expect the Hanoverian to be calm and mild. They’ll be sensitive with the owner and can be a bit unpredictable around strangers. The strong work ethic is something to admire, though it’s not ideal for everyone.
- The Hanover Hound is a descendant of bloodhounds from the medieval times.
- Although introduced to France in the 1980’s, they are still a relatively rare German dog breed.
- These dogs were saved from the brink of extinction by an enthusiast group in the 1900’s.
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. Needless to say, they’re as loyal and vigilant as any top German watchdogs.
But surprisingly, they have the affectionate and calm personality that makes them some of the best family dogs too. Thanks to their high trainability, they’ve become effective search and rescue dogs for Germany and neighboring countries.
Don’t expect this breed to be bouncing-off-the-wall energetic. The reserved nature of these dogs are what makes them excellent guard dogs for families. As long as you treat them right, they’ll be by your side and have your back.
- The name Hovawart means “estate guard dog,” which is exactly what they specialize in.
- Hovawart dogs can be traced back to the medieval times, where they were often seen in paintings and literature.
- In the 15th century, they were one of the “5 Noble dog breeds” of Germany. They tracked down robbers and other criminals for law enforcement.
Highlights: Diligent, Reliable, Strong-willed
The Jagdterrier is a working terrier and one of Germany’s best hunting dogs for small game. I mean, their name literally translates to the “hunt terrier.” They the are most effective when asked to flush out foxes, rabbits and badgers.
However, Jagdterriers can also make excellent pets with the right owners. It’s just that these German dogs may not be best with other small pets, thanks to their strong prey-instincts. Even so, they are quite sociable and get along great with people.
The high intelligence of the Jagdterrier makes them trainable and obedient. Yes, they can be a bit strong-willed at times, but that’s because they’re too smart. On the bright side, they’re known to be a very reliable and dependable dog.
- The name Jagdterrier directly translates to “hunting terrier,” which describes their high competence in hunting.
- A Jagdterrier can climb trees to chase down squirrels and raccoons.
- Despite being a rare dog breed, the Jagdterrier is one of the least expensive German dogs to purchase.
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Highlights: Docile, Trainable, Good-natured
The Kromfohrlander is a lively, yet sensitive German dog breed, bred shortly after World War II. The dog can come in two varieties: rough and smooth haired. But, the rough haired version is much more popular and sports a distinctive “beard.”
As premier companion dogs, the Kromfohrlanders are extremely friendly with people and like to stay by their owner’s side. Just think of them as German velcro dogs. They’re people-dogs that are all in on pleasing their owners.
Always optimistic and cheerful, the Kromfohrlander can have a comical side to them. When you’re happy, they’re happy too. It’s why they do whatever they can to brighten up your day.
- The Kromfohrlander descended from a US military mascot during World War II, named “Original Peter.”
- These dogs are extremely rare. As of 2018, there was roughly 60 Kromfohrlander dogs in the USA.
- The first rough hair Kromfohrlander arrived to the USA in 1993. However, the dog was never bred.
29. 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. And despite popular belief, the two are not related. In fact, they were both bred using different dog breeds, and for different tasks.
The Small Munsterlander is a versatile dog that’s skilled in water retrieving, hunting and tracking or pointing. Their desire to be in water is unparalleled, so swimming is a great work out option for them. Plus, they’re very intelligent and willing to learn.
These dogs are always happy, or at least it seems that way. They can be great family dogs because they are attentive dogs that focuses on pleasing. And despite being called “small,” they can grow up to 22 inches tall and weigh 60 lbs.
- The Small Munsterlander was originally bred exclusively for the noble families of Germany.
- Small Munsterlanders worked with falconers prior to the use of guns in hunting down birds. They’re exceptionally adept at hunting and retrieving birds.
- These dogs are believed to be over 500 years old, originating from Münster, Germany – hence the name.
Highlights: Affectionate, Obedient, Playful
Don’t feel intimidated by the Leonberger, as these German dogs are truly gentle giants made for the average family. In fact, they’re often referred to as “gentle lions” because of their lion-like mane. Plus, they can weigh up to a staggering 170 pounds!
While they can look intimidating, most of the time these big fluffy dogs just want to interact and play with their family. Leonbergers will be submissive with the family, and their naturally loyalty translates into obedient dogs.
They’re really one of the most well-rounded family dogs Germany has to offer. As long as the kids are respectful of the Leonberger, they’ll get along perfectly fine. Plenty of happy owners call them great “nanny dogs” for a reason.
- Heinrich Essig, a politician in Leonberg, Germany, is credited for developing this dog breed. His vision was to create a dog that resembled the lion on his town’s crest.
- These dogs were popular among European royalty. For instance, the Prince of Wales, King of Italy and Czar of Russia all had one.
- Karl Stadelmann and Otto Josenhans saved this dog from extinction after World War I with just 5 dogs.
Highlights: Friendly, Loyal, Fearless
Nicknamed the “Gray Ghost,” Weimaraners were bred for royalty in the 19th century as large game hunters. They’re courageous dogs and would often chase down vicious boars, deer and even bears. However, they became bird dogs later on.
Not surprisingly, these dogs have amazing endurance and stamina, making them perfect as hunting companions. Weimaramers are also very intelligent dogs with a strong prey-drive, which can be a problem for smaller dogs and cats.
They may have a skinny frame, but don’t let that fool you. Weimaraners are powerful dogs with a quick step that will surprise you. And according to mom.com, they’re one of the 10 fastest dogs with a top speed of 35 mph!
- They were named after the Weimer Republic, which was a German state prior to World War I.
- President Eisenhower owned a Weimaramer named Heidi. He also kept her in the White House during his term.
- The Weimaramer’s nickname is the “dog with the human brain” because they were believed to be too smart for their own good.
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Other German Dogs
There are many other German dog breeds that weren’t covered in the above recognized list. But to keep this guide complete, these are the other dogs of Germany:
32. Bullenbeisser – Though unfortunately extinct, the Bullenbeisser was an intelligent and fun-loving dog known for their devotion. Also called the German Bulldog, they were excellent guard dogs and hunting companions.
33. Harlequin Pinscher – The Harlequin is all about loyalty. They always have their owners’ backs and as a result, are naturally formidable guardians.
34. Landseer dog – The Landseers are black and white Newfoundlands that were bred specifically in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. However, some believe they’re technically a Canadian dog breed.
35. Large Münsterländer – Unlike the small variation of the münsterländer, the Large is hunting dog that specializes in hunting larger animals. They’re ultra-versatile as they can hunt both on land and in the water.
36. Miniature Dachshund – The only difference between the standard and miniature Doxie is their weight and height. These smaller Dachshunds can grow up to 11 pounds and stand no more than 6 inches tall.
37. Saarloos Wolfdog – The Saarloos is technically a quarter wolf. That is, they were bred by crossing a German Shepherd with an Eurasian grey wolf. Then the offspring were crossed again with another GSD, creating the Saarloos wolfdog.
38. Stichelhaar – These are griffon-type dogs developed in Germany for hunting game. But despite the wonderful breed, they never became popular due to their habit of biting and gnawing.
39. Westphalian Dachsbracke – These are the German version of the Beagle. And like the Beagle, they share a lot of common traits, such as the short legs, powerful noses and low-hanging ears.
40. White Shepherd – Think of the White Shepherd as a solid-wide German Shepherd that may be a bit smaller. Although they were first developed in America, they are still German Shepherds bred in the country of Germany.
Let us know in the comments section below: which is you favorite German dog breed? And do you own one? Let us know what you think.
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