From the time the wall went up in 1961, until it came down in 1989 when Germany was "reunified", the
breeders of German Shepherds were limited and "encapsulated" in their choices of breeding stock. Separate
breed registry was instituted in the DDR, and the SDG -Sektion Dienst- und Gebrauchshunde - (Service and
working dogs), and the SZG Spezialzuchtgemeinschaft (pecial Breeding Partnership) came to be. The SZG
lasted only a very short period of time. The dogs which were not particularly desirable for breeding, (too
large, missing teeth and/or testicles, etc) but were good work candidates became Police and Military dogs,
while the dogs which conformed to the breed standard were kept in the breed pool. These dogs were
surveyed as young adults, checking for such things as soft ears, missing teeth, missing/retained testicles,
proper temperament, and sound "a-stamped (zuerkannt)" hips, as well as a conformation rating, prior to
being allowed to breed. Their offspring had to also be brought before the breed wardens before the sire/dam
were deemed worthy and issued registration numbers. The results of all these surveys were well
documented, and made available to breeders in the form of a periodical book called the Rundschreiben.
(Even with the SDG's Breed Survey books, researching pedigrees can be a challenge due to the absence of
registration numbers in the books!)
Obviously, breeding within the strict and narrow confines of what the breeders had available to them, and
what the SDG approved and/or allowed, the German Shepherd dogs in the DDR developed into muscular
working dogs with strong bone, large heads, strong straight backs, beautiful colors.
With the fall of the wall and the reunification of Germany, many of the former DDR breeders were lured to
the money in West German lines, and sold their DDR dogs - a fact that many of them have lived to regret!
Some of the notable DDR dogs that were sold to the USA include Don v Rolandsteich, Neumann's Jim, Bodo v
Grafental, Quindt v Baruther Land, Bodo v Wolkenstein, Bill vd Wahrburger Strasse. Alk vom Osterburg
Quell, Rex v Haus Iris, Ulf v Haus Iris, Addi vd Tonteichen, Bob vd Neptungrotte, Elvis vom Gruntal, Paula v
Trafalga, and others.
People very frequently ask what is the difference between East German dogs and other German Shepherds.
Mainly, it's pedigree. Yes, the East German "type" did evolve ands still exists to a certain extent; however,
I have seen dogs from straight East German bloodlines that are not "typey", and dogs from straight West
German working lines that have a more "East" look about them. Remember that the East German registry
was only in existence for just under 30 years, and they all go back to WGR dogs. In addition, there were
several West German/Hungarian and Czech dogs (going back to West German lines) that were brought in
with the approval of the SDG, and used in the breeding program. Their offspring were registered as DDR
dogs, and their offspring as well. Some notable dogs here are Rex vom Erlenbrunnen, Fido Cardinal, Canto
Amicos, etc. DDR SIeger Olf v Furstendamm was sired by a Czech dog, Enno x Iglova, from straight West
German lines going back to Quanto vd Wienerau. Again, they all go back to West German eventually.
Deutsche Demokratische Republik
In 1945, After World War II, Germany was divided into four parts by the victorious countries: United States,
Russia, France, and the United Kingdom. In 1949, the three parts controlled by USA, France and UK were
combined to be "West Germany", and the part controlled by the USSR (Russia) became it's own territory
known as "East Germany." It is also known as the "German Democratic Republic" (GDR), or the
"Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR)".
Increasing Prosperity in West Germany, versus increasing poverty and oppression in East Germany led to a
flood of East Germans fleeing to the West. The borders were ordered closed, by fences, dogs, and walls
(most notably the "Berlin Wall") in 1961. Travel was greatly restricted into, and particularly out of, East
Germany. With the separation of Germany there was a need to create a flag with differentiated symbolism.
So on October 1, 1952, the coat of arms of the GDR was added to the flag. The coat of arms stood for the
unity of this people working in industry (hammer), science (circle) and agriculture (grain-garland).For more
information on the many various flags of East Germany, click here.