The German Shepherd Dog, known colloquially as the German Shepherd or simply the Shepherd; frequently written in abbreviated form as the GSD; and sometimes known as the Alsatian, is a relatively new breed of dog that originated in the 1890s in Germany where it has been known since its founding as the deutsche Schäferhund which translates directly as the German Shepherd Dog. Under the guidance of the Society for German Shepherd Dogs founded in 1899, and its President until 1935, Max von Stephanitz, the breed consolidated its primary characteristics. Following World War I, it became one of the most popular breeds around the world. The breed was developed from shepherding dogs, and is classified in most Breed Standards under Herding Group, Pastoral Group, Working Group, etc. However, because of the German Shepherd Dog's strength, courage, intelligence and trainability, it has often been the preferred breed for many types of work including guide-dogs, personal-protection, search-and-rescue, police, military, and acting. Over the years, the breed has been criticised and, at times, fallen from favour because of issues related to temperament, health and physical structure. Nevertheless, in 2012, German Shepherd Dogs were the second-most popular dog in the United States and fourth-most popular in the United Kingdom.
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