15 German Dog Breeds For Your Family
Some of the most iconic dog breeds in the world have come from Germany. The German Shepherd consistently ranks as one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, as does the Poodle (also from Germany).
Similar to Chinese dog breeds, dog breeds in Germany also have a long, rich history that dates back to the domestication of wolves. Breeds from the Great Dane to the Dachshund are from Germany, and there are many other popular breeds that you may not realise are German too. There are also breeds on this list that are so rare you may have never heard of them.
History of Dog Breeding In Germany
Germany has the third-highest number of dog breeds in the world at nearly 50 dog breeds. The country sits behind Great Britain and France on the list, both of which have produced 57 breeds.
Germany is also believed to be one of the original locations where dogs were domesticated. In recent years, a cluster of canine fossils was discovered that are believed to date back 17,000 - 12,000 years.
Dog Breeding In Germany Today
Today, Germany is one of the largest markets for dog exports. As you’ll see from our list, some of the most popular breeds in the world have actually come from Germany.
German Dog Breeds
Discover our top 15 family-friendly, German dog breeds.
1. German Shepherd
Description: One of the most intelligent and most popular dog breeds in the world, the German Shepherd is a lean but powerful dog.
Personality: German Shepherds are obedient, loyal, and brave. They make excellent guard dogs and are often used in the police and military. German Shepherds are easy to train and enjoy working but they also love playing, cuddling, and being with their owners.
Interesting Fact: A German Shepherd can learn a command in just 5 repetitions.
Two German Shepherds have a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Description: Dobermans are powerful dogs, they have short coats and sleek bodies. This breed is strong, agile, and dignified.
Personality: The Doberman was developed for companionship and protection. These dogs are fearless, loyal, and natural guard dogs. They are also highly intelligent and confident. Once you have a bond with a Doberman they will always be by your side.
Interesting Fact: Dobermans are ranked as the 5th smartest dog breed.
Dobermans hate cold weather.
Description: Boxers are large dogs with a square muzzle and
Personality: Boxers are calm, loyal and playful dogs that are not aggressive. They are excellent family dogs and often show patience and tolerance around children.
Interesting Fact: The Boxer was first bred for the German police force.
The dog with the longest tongue (Guinness World Record) was a Boxer with a tongue of 17 inches.
Description: Originally bred to dig out badger dens, the Dachshund is known for their short legs and long bodies.
Personality: Dachshunds are small dogs that are outgoing and highly adaptable. They are loyal, playful, and love to be the centre of attention. These little dogs can also run surprisingly fast when they need to, and they are skilled hunters too.
Interesting Fact: A Dachshund was the first official mascot of an Olympic Game in Munich, in 1972.
Description: Nicknamed “Grey Ghosts” because of their grey coat and elegant appearance, Weimaraners are beautiful dogs. They move gracefully and have striking blue or amber eyes.
Personality: Weimaraners are courageous dogs with incredible endurance and intelligence. They have a strong prey drive and can move very quickly. Weimaraners are excellent hunting companions.
Interesting Fact: President Eisenhower had a Weimaraner that stayed in the White House during his term.
6. Giant Schnauzer
Description: These large dogs are easy to recognise with their bushy beard and big eyebrows. Their thick coats are usually black or pepper and salt in colour.
Personality: The Schnauzer breed has a strong work ethic, they are obedient, highly intelligent and reliable dogs. This breed loves being around people, Schnauzers are gentle yet watchful and make fantastic watchdogs.
Interesting Fact: The first dog to be able to sniff out cancer in a patient was a Schnauzer.
Schnauzers can be seen in 14th-16th century artwork by German artists including Durer and Rembrandt.
Description: Rottweilers are large, muscular dogs that have a short black and tan coat and a large head. This dog looks imposing but they have a kind nature.
Personality: Rottweilers are obedient, calm, and good-natured dogs. They are extremely loyal and are incredible guard dogs. Although Rottweilers look intimidating, they do have a sweet side and are wonderful family dogs.
Interesting Fact: The bite force of a Rottweiler is roughly half that of a shark, it is stronger than the bite of a Pit Bull or a German Shepherd.
The Rottweiler is one of the oldest herding breeds in the world.
Description: The Leonberger is a gentle giant. They look intimidating due to their large size but these fluffy dogs have well-rounded characters.
Personality: Leonbergers were originally bred to guard but they are extremely friendly and laid back so are better suited as family pets. These dogs are playful, sociable, and self-assured.
Interesting Fact: Leonbergers were popular among royalty in Europe.
The Leonberger breed almost went extinct after World War I with only 5 dogs remaining.
Description: Poodles are known for their distinctive curly coat and their elegance. These adorable dogs come in 3 sizes and are hard to miss.
Personality: Poodles are versatile dogs that are easy to train, very obedient, and love to participate in dog sports and activities. This breed is known for being excellent with children, they are natural entertainers and family-friendly dogs.
Interesting Fact: Poodles are ranked as the 2nd smartest dog breed in the world.
Although they originate from Germany, the Poodle is France’s national dog breed.
10. German Spitz
Description: German Spitz are small fluffy dogs with a thick double coat and upright triangular ears, as well as long tails curling over their backs.
Personality: The German Spitz breed is lively, devoted, and eager to please. These little dogs love to play games and always want to be the centre of attention.
Interesting Fact: German Spitz dogs exhibit many of the physical characteristics that are seen in fossils of ancient European dogs from the stone age.
11. German Pointer
Description: German Pointers are noble-looking dogs that have sleek short coats. Their coats have unique patterns so each Pointer has its own distinctive look.
Personality: The German Pointer is one of the most versatile German dog breeds. They are often used in K9 units, are excellent game hunters, and are known to excel in dog sports too. German Pointers are affectionate, easy to please, and highly obedient.
Interesting Fact: There is a German Pointer that works in the United States Airforce to locate explosives.
Description: The Affenpinscher is a small dog with a small head, short muzzle and prominent chin. They have a distinctive appearance and are sometimes called “monkey terriers” because of their expressions and physical similarities to a monkey.
Personality: Affenpinschers are curious, adventurous, and strong-willed. This breed has a lot of confidence, they love to play and are affectionate with their family members.
Interesting Fact: The name “Affenpinscher” translated to “Monkey-like dog” in German.
13. Great Dane
Description: Great Danes are huge mastiff dogs that are undeniably strong and powerful. They have large heads and a short, thick coat that shows their muscular body. Although big in size, Great Danes are known for being gentle dogs.
Personality: Great Danes are gentle, playful, and devoted to their family. This breed looks impressive and has a surprisingly goofy character. Great Danes are rarely aggressive and are known as fantastic family-friendly companions.
Interesting Fact: Great Danes used to be bred to hunt and were once believed to repel evil spirits.
Description: The Lowchen breed is also called the “Little Lion Dog” thanks to their long wavy coat that looks lion-like in its shape.
Personality: Lowchens are cheerful dogs that are known for being friendly, playful and active. These dogs are popular in dog shows and they respond well to training. Lowchens love having fun but aren’t hyperactive and they rarely bark.
Interesting Fact: Lowchens are very rare and due to this they are one of the most expensive dog breeds in the world.
15. Bavarian Mountain Hound
Description: Bavarian Mountain Hounds are excellent trackers, they are lean dogs with a broad head, sleek body, and short, harsh coat. Bavarian Mountain Hounds have large, floppy ears and long tails.
Personality: The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a scent hound that makes an excellent hunting companion. At home, these hounds are calm, quiet, and docile. Bavarian Mountain Hounds bond strongly with their owners. When out tracking, these hounds are spirited, agile, and courageous.
Interesting Fact: The Bavarian Mountain Hound can differentiate between the smell of a non-injured animal and an injured one.
Found The Right Dog Breed For You?
As you can see, there is a wide range of German dog breeds so there’s one to suit every family and lifestyle. If you’ve found the right breed for you, use Puppies to help you find a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder.