Top 13 Stunning German Dogs The Smart Canine Ultimate Guide

Dogs are an integral part of human life. Compared to other animals, the connection between canines and humans is one of the strongest. Besides taking the role of a pet, dogs also serve different purposes. You will find them in the army, police force, search and rescue teams, helping people with disabilities, among others. Most of us only have a general understanding of dog breeds. Due to this, we are not privy to specific aspects associated with particular breeds. In light of this, when asked to mention various dog breeds, the German Shepherd is among those that top the list. As such, people associate Germany with this dog. Nevertheless, did you know that apart from the German Shepherd, Germany is home to an array of dog breeds that come with some of the most outstanding features? In this article, we are going to shed light on 13 stunning German dog breeds with a special focus on those that seem popular and those that do not seem so popular; yet they are a great addition.

1. German Shepherd

two german shepherd dog

The German Shepherd is one of the most reputable canines. Its origins point to a link with herding dogs. Captain Max Emil and Sthephanitz are credited to having developed this breed from herding dogs. It is more closely related to the wolf than any other dog breed. Considered as an all-terrain dog, this dog has an inherent ability to perform a wide range of activities that range from search and rescue, police work, helping people with disabilities, to securing gates.

Other notable uses associated with the German Shepherd include serving in wars, detecting explosives, taking note of narcotics, and guiding people with disabilities. The most outstanding features associated with this dog are its notable intelligence, a high degree of reliability, and a balanced character. They have a lot of energy, which makes it needful to take them around for daily exercise. Lack of adequate training leads to behavioral problems that include barking, chewing, digging, and biting. To keep them entertained, make sure you buy safe and chewable toys and bones. These will keep them occupied when you are not around.


  • Temperament: very intelligent, loyal, courageous, and adaptable.
  • Lifespan: ranges between 9 – 13 years.
  • Coat: comes with a furry coat with colors that range from black, tan, sable, grey, and silver.
  • Adaptability: it is an easy to train, very agile, dynamic, and adaptable dog.

2. The Great Dane

great dane

Otherwise known as the German Mastiff, this dog is among some of the popular German dog breeds. It was noted in 1878 as a standardized breed. This giant-sized dog has an imposing figure with a well-proportioned body. Its charismatic temperament is a notable trait that makes it common with families, which helped him gain the title of a gentle giant. The Dane has an inherent desire to please his people. This makes him quite easy to train.

Furthermore, he is one of the most relaxed dogs that get along with virtually everyone, that is, if you do not seem to need defending. Despite their great nature, they also require early socialization. Introducing them to people, places, and various sites and sounds makes it easy for them to adapt with ease into being well-rounded dogs. Their impulsive and active nature in the home makes it difficult to accommodate them in small apartments. For this reason, you will rarely find them occupying city spaces.


  • Temperament: it is one of the most devoted, gentle and friendly dogs that can get along with other people with ease.
  • Lifespan: 8 – 10 years.
  • Coat: it dons a thin coat, which comes in colors that vary from Harlequin, brindle, fawn, black, and blue.
  • Adaptability: As long as you give it what it needs, the devotion and attention, it can cope in virtually any environment.

3. Weimaraner


The Weimaraner is a large-sized dog considered among the most elegant and relaxed breeds. Its history dates back earlier than the 19th century. The Grand Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach holds the credits of creating this breed as he endeavored to search for a dog with exceptional hunting ability. They have a consistent gray hue that ranges from deep charcoal to blue, with either short or long hair.

Due to their curious, intelligent, loyal, and dynamic nature, they are excellent hunting companions. Weimaraners’ hunting instinct drives them towards the prey. They will chase and kill anything resembling prey. Despite this trait, they are house dogs and are unsuited for the kennel or backyard without any form of human interaction. For first-time pet owners, this breed can be quite a task to handle. Their great deal of energy and stamina means that they demand a lot of time in the form of stimulation. Without according them this time, they tend to become high-strung and nervous. As such, they are best suited for people or families that have prior experience with pet dogs. They are also common in search and rescue exercises. Besides, when it comes to dog sports, they never disappoint.



  • Temperament: It has a tendency of being stubborn and aloof. However, it is quite intelligent, powerful, and fast.
  • Lifespan: 11 – 14 years.
  • Coat: It has a unique thin coat that comes in colors ranging from silver, silver-gray, to mouse gray.
  • Adaptability: They do not do well in cities. As such, it is best to have them in places where they can move around and explore the environment.

4. The Doberman

two black dobermans

The Doberman, also known as the Doberman pinscher, is a large dog breed that boasts of an elegant body. Friederich Louis Doberman, a tax collector, is credited with creating this breed later in the 19th century. Historians believe that as he was searching for a protector, Friederich crossed it with many other German breeds to get to this specific one. It is one of the fastest and smartest dog breeds. The Doberman has a characteristic steady, calm, and loyal demeanor. As such, they are excellent in offering security and protection. This super-intelligent and overly active dog is extremely loyal, fun-loving, and ever playful, yet trustworthy. He comes with a natural instinct to protect those he loves. Due to this, he acts every time he senses danger. His aggression is never without a threat or reason. As fast learners, Doberman Pinschers live on the move.

Their physical and mental demands make them easy to train. However, the challenge comes with maintaining that tempo. With the right socialization, one is assured of having a great dog. Leaving them alone is always a great disservice because of their tendency to be right in the mix of things.


  • Temperament: It is a very courageous and intelligent dog. It is always alert, protective, and loyal to the owner.
  • Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
  • Coat: Its coat comes with colors that range from red and rust, black, white, fawn, and blue.
  • Adaptability: Its high degree of intelligence makes it quite adaptable.

5. Dachshund


The Dachshund, popularly known as the Sausage dog, is a small-sized dog with an elongated body and stunning short legs. Its history dates back to 1888 when its first breed got drafted by the first German breed club. They are in three varieties that include the longhaired trait, wirehaired trait, and the smooth or shorthaired trait, respectively. Their friendly nature makes them a delightful addition to any family. It is very playful and tends to have reliable prey drives. Using their short legs, they can dig and maneuver through tight spaces, tunnels, and corners fighting other animals. Their small size often invites people to consider having them in their small apartments. However, the downside that comes with this dog is that they like to bark, which can be annoying.



  • Temperament: This is one clever yet stubborn dog to have. Even though it is small, it is quite playful and courageous.
  • Lifespan: 12 – 16 years.
  • Coat: The colors of its coat range from red, chocolate, cream, tan, to black.
  • Adaptability: Due to its size, it can live in small and large spaces. However, make sure that you give it time for exercise and mental training.

6. Miniature Pinscher

miniature pinscher

It is a small popular German dog breed. The Min Pin is a descendant of the German Pinscher, Italian Greyhound, and the Dachshund. Due to her dynamic and confident attributes, many people often associate this dog with the Doberman. They fall in the category of the most energetic German dog breeds and are not recommended for novice pet owners. It is quite affectionate and highly sociable within family settings.

The miniature pinscher knows their territory well, which makes them aggressive when they spot any presenting threat. They are excellent watchdogs but can pose a challenge with younger children since they do not like experiencing running into any form of mistreatment. Their small size makes them easy to keep in small apartments. If you are thinking of having them in the city, the challenge comes with controlling their barking. So, in this case, make sure that you have space between your neighbors. However, if you can control their barking, then feel free to have them in the small apartments in cities.


  • Temperament: It is quite clever, energetic, playful, and very responsive.
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Coat: It has a thin coat whose varying colors range from black, stag red, to chocolate rust.
  • Adaptability: Its small size makes it quite adaptable in that it can live in both the city and countryside.

7. Schnauzer


It is an ancient race that dates back to 1492 dog shows. The Schnauzer is one of the strongest and most robust German dog breeds. Its origins date back to the 19th century when they were used to kill rodents, accompany carriages, as well as guard stables. It was later crossed with other breeds to get the current traits. It exhibits high degrees of loyalty and intelligence, which makes it ideal for the family. They have a notable instinct when it comes to playing and tolerating children. Besides being lively and alert, it has an active interest in what is happening in its surroundings. Mature Schnauzers have a strong territorial instinct, which makes them ideal guard dogs.

However, it is essential to note that they tend to protect their territory with their vocals, not teeth. They are also distant and offer devotion to their masters. For this reason, it is always advisable to allow the Schnauzer to approach the visitor other than allowing the visitor to approach the dog. Some of their peculiar characteristics make them unique.


  • Temperament: Even though it is small, it bears the marks of a fearless and intelligent dog. It is also quite friendly and obedient.
  • Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
  • Coat: It has very fluffy and hairy coat with colors ranging from black, salt & pepper, to white.
  • Adaptability: Despite its size, it is an excellent dog that can serve as a security dog as well as family pet.

8. Rottweiler


The Rottweiler is a dog famously known as a dangerous dog. Its origins are closely linked with the Roman Empire, where it was used for protection. The first of its kind was brought into existence in Rottweil, Germany, which explains the origin of its name. This tag comes from unscrupulous owners who use them to reinforce fearful and aggressive behaviors. That aside, they are both medium and large.

They also come with an athletic, strong, and robust appearance, which often makes them ideal defenders. The Rottweiler is an obedient, intelligent, and adaptable dog. Despite having a robust appearance, with proper socialization, they become docile and friendly. When left alone, their emotions tend to range from boredom to aggressiveness. As such, they need company. If you live in a neighborhood with other dogs, make sure you fence your yard. They not only strive to protect it from traffic but also tend to be aggressive against other dogs and strangers entering the property. If you own one, it is advisable to put up a post to notify strangers to exercise caution when entering your property.


  • Temperament: It is a calm, devoted, confident, alert, and fearless dog. It is quite protective; as such, it can attack other dogs and strangers.
  • Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
  • Coat: It has a thick hairy coat that comes in three main colors that include mahogany, tan, and black.
  • Adaptability: It can serve as a protective and pet dog. However, it needs space for exercise.

9. The Boxer

boxer dog

It is one of the most docile German breeds. History reckons that this dog first appeared in Germany in the late 19th century at a breeder’s house by the name of von Dom in Munich. The Boxer is a cross between the now-extinct Brabant Bullenbeisser and the Old Bulldog. The Boxer is very patient with children, which makes it very popular with families. Their short, shiny, and soft fur demand lots of care. Besides, they also need both physical and mental activity. Boxers have short noses and coats that rule them out for living outdoors.

However, since they love to play, a fenced yard will always give them room to play around with ease. When excited, they can hurt people by knocking them down because of their muscular bodies. As such, it is crucial to train them. Training enables them to learn how to control their emotions, which is essential in reducing cases of hurting people. One of the most effective ways of ensuring or instilling good behavior is by giving them lots of exercises. The easiest way is by taking them for long walks, as well as participating in dog sports.


  • Temperament: It is an excitable, intelligent, bright, confident, loyal, and friendly dog.
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Coat: Its thin coat colors range from fawn, and white, to brindle.
  • Adaptability: Operates best in the countryside or places where there is a backyard.

10. Pomeranian


Commonly known as the Pom, it is a small dog that has silky hair. This dog emerged in an ancient location between Germany and Poland, called Pomerania, which explains its name. The silky hair gives her an outstanding classy look. Their coat comes in many colors, though some of the most common ones include blue, orange, cream, sable, red, brown, and black. Due to her features, families prefer owning this pet dog. The poms are affectionate and need constant attention.

They are incredibly loyal to their loved ones, which makes them capable guard dogs. Even though they are small and delicate, they are not ideal for families with young children. They tend to get along with older and quieter children. Their furry coats require a high degree of cleanliness. It is essential to ensure that you plan to brush and wash their fur consistently. Their small size makes it easy for them to live in small apartments, which is the reason why they are quite popular in cities.


  • Temperament: It is a quite intelligent, highly sociable, friendly, and playful dog. They are not ideal for families with small children.
  • Lifespan: 12 – 16 years
  • Coat: Hairy and colorful coat. Its main colors include grey-shade, tan, brown, orange, white, or black.
  • Adaptability: Even though they are small, they are capable guard dogs.

11. Bavarian Mountain Dog

bavarian mountain dog

If you are into hunting in the mountainous woods, then the Bavarian Mountain Dog is what you need. This German dog comes with a unique specialization of tracking injured animals and big game. Developed in the 19th century by crossing the Hannoversche Schweisshund breed and some of the hunting dogs from the Alps, the Bavarian Mountain Dog continues to gain popularity, not only in Germany, but in Austria and Hungary as well. As a mountain and hunting dog, any form of separation causes it to develop anxiety. For this reason, when acquiring this dog, it is advisable to have enough space, preferably a backyard. Also, make sure that you schedule time for daily walks and exercise. Even though the dog tends to get along with children of virtually all ages, it is always good to have it around those who know how to handle them.


  • Temperament: It is affectionate and friendly to children. It is also friendly towards strangers.
  • Life span: 10 years
  • Coat: The dog has a dense and thick coat whose colors range from biscuit, brindle, tan, masked fawn, and red to black.
  • Adaptability: As a dog bred for the mountains, it is quite adaptable and has the capacity to tolerate cold weather.

12. Elo Dog

elo dog

Popularly known as the “Eloschaboro,” the Elo appeared in 1987. Heinz and Marita Szobries began the process of breeding this dog by crossing it with Eurasiers and Bobtails. With the objective of adding the genetic base to get the perfect match that they wanted, they introduced other dog breeds that included Chow Chows, Samoyeds, and later on the Dalmatians. Due to these varying combinations, it got the trademark from a German institution dubbed, the Elo Breeding and Research Association. The Elo is a medium-sized dog that comes with a host of variations, which depend on the genetic codes. Owners and breeders describe Elo as one happy, obedient, and playful dog, which is a great family addition. However, when it comes to smaller children, ensure that there is supervised attention. Even with these attractive traits, confining this dog indoors exposes it to boredom. As such, it is advisable to set aside time for exercise and mental stimulation.


  • Temperament: It is one of the most playful, affectionate, and obedient dogs. It interacts with people of all races and ages.
  • Life span: 13 - 16 years
  • Coat: It comes with a coat that bears a double coat, which comprises of short or medium-length hair with various color combinations that include brown, red, black, and/or gray.
  • Litter size: It can have up to 10 puppies
  • Adaptability: As a dog bred for the family, it loves attention and being around the family.

13. Affenpinscher


The Affenpinscher is one of the most popular German dogs associated with the monkey. Affen is a German name that means monkey dog. Her history dates back to the 17th century and their task was to ratter homes, shops, and stables. It is a small and feisty dog that is both adorable and full of energy. Its size makes it possible to live both in the countryside and in the city. In fact, it has turned out to be a darling of the lady-folk. Owners of the Affen testify of its sensitivity and a high degree of gentleness. However, it is always looking for adventure. By the way, just because it is small, do not downplay its protective nature. This dog has a distinct protective nature and it fears nothing.


  • Temperament: It is affectionate and friendly.
  • Life span: 12 – 14 years
  • Coat: It has a shaggy but neat coat, which describes its appearance that comes in silver, tan, red, black, gray and in some cases, her colors range from brownish to orange.
  • Adaptability: As a dog bred for the home. However, needs physical activity for stimulation exercise.

Final words,

Life is always better with a dog. The challenge that comes to the fore is choosing the perfect dog for you. With many breeds existing in the world today, going for the best is essential. This is where German breeds come in. Ranked among the best three countries with so many breeds, dogs bred in Germany promises not only quality dogs, but ones also worth your money. Bred to perfection, these dogs come with all manner of array that range from security, hunting, hiking, stay at home dogs, or even dogs for special purposes. In this article, we have not just covered the top ones, but we have also taken some time to shed light on some of those rare breeds such as the Monkey Dog, or the Elo that you may not hear about as often. As such, before settling on the pet dog to go for, it is essential to know the type of breed best suits your needs. This will not only save you the agony that comes with the wrong selection but will also enable you to spruce up your life.

Further reading and references:

  1. GermanyinUSA Most popular German dog breeds in all 50 states
  2. Dog breeds originating in Germany
  3. Institutional support – or lack of it - in the management of dog breeds.


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