The German shepherd dog breed dates back to 1882, when dog breeders started combining several herding breeds to create an intelligent, obedient dog. The breed as we know it today was first shown in 1889 in Berlin and was called a Deutsch Schaferhunde, or German shepherd. The German shepherd has become the basis of several other breeds around the world in such places as the United States and Russia.
The Shiloh shepherd is a relatively new variation of the German shepherd breed that originated in the U.S. During the 1970s and '80s, a top German shepherd breeder who was prevalent in producing show dogs decided to try to breed old-style dogs. She wanted to reclaim some of the size that the original shepherds had but had been bred out of the modern-day breed for show purposes. The Shiloh is not a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club, but the breeder has formed a registry to recognize true Shilohs.
The King shepherd is a new variation of the German shepherd and was created by American breeders in the 1990s. It is a large shepherd variety that has been crossed with malamutes and Great Pyrenees. They are several inches taller and more than 60 pounds heavier on average than a standard German shepherd. The breed is suited to harsh, cold environments and is very active. It is an ideal working dog, suitable as a herding animal and watchdog, and possesses all the intelligence of a shepherd with the size and hardiness of the Pyrenees.
American White Shepherd
The American White shepherd, also known as the the white Swiss shepherd, is directly descended from the German breed. The breed is essentially the same as a German shepherd except for its pure white coat coloration. The American White has come to be its own accepted breed with some organizations, such as the United Kennel Club. The breed has been established mainly because people liked the look of a white shepherd and bred the dogs to deliberately produce the white strain.
East European Shepherd
The East European shepherd was developed during the 1920s and '30s as a military dog breed in the Soviet Union. Combining German shepherds with local Russian herding breeds, such as the Caucasian and Central Asian dogs, a larger shepherd was created. Generally 4 inches taller at the shoulder and 50 pounds heavier, the breed is more heavily muscled and suited to harsh Russian climate. The resulting dogs had all the desirable German shepherd traits of intelligence, loyalty and courage, with the power and size of the larger Russian breeds.