The Top 12 Most Popular German Dog Breeds

Germany is the world’s third largest dog breed producer with an endless choice ranging up to 50 different canine breeds. The German shepherds are one of the most popular canines among all of the breeds and usually, the only German breed people are aware of, however, Germany has one of the largest dog exporting markets. There is a huge demand for these different German dog breeds in the world and are widely bred and kept as pets all over.

German breeds are a priority and first preference of all dog lovers. People have a special liking for German canines over others owing to their unique physical and behavioral traits. Germany is home to different canine breeds. Germany has the most popular pets in the world ranging from those, who were bred to hunt to those who are reliable and sweet.

A report in March 2021 Science Alert stated how the recent cave findings in southwestern Germany point to the earliest evidence of domesticated wolves. A genetic study of these specimens appears to match the collective variation of almost all ancient canines – meaning this could possibly be the time and place from where modern-day wolves, foxes and domesticated dogs really began to take shape.

What makes Germany a great dog friendly nation?

Germany is not only home to different dog breeds but they also have a number of dog-friendly laws that also makes it among the top friendly dog nations of the world. According to The German Times, “Dogs are more than pets; they are the source of meaning and identity.” As of 2020, there were about 10.7 million pet dogs in Germany.

As Emma Hurt from NPR reports how Germans love their dogs. There are also strict regulations governing the training and care of dogs. Besides an annual dog tax of roughly around $140 per year ($210 if you get a second one), it is also illegal to keep your dog in a crate for an extended period of time or chained up at all. Another law proposed in the year 2020, would require every pet dog to be walked or exercised twice per day for at least an hour. There is also a German state that administers a test to potential dog parents before letting them to adopt any puppy.

Pet dogs are allowed in tons of public areas in Germany like public transit, restaurants or hotels. So tight regulations are needed which ensures dogs must be well behaved and trained to avoid unpleasant situations. Some dog breeds like Pitbulls, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Bull Terrier are not allowed in Germany because of their fierce nature.

Lets now look at some of the most popular German dog breeds.


Poodles are athletic dogs that love to play outside. They are adorable canines and love their family and easily get along even with cats. They are also easy to train and enjoy exercises like dock diving, swimming, and hunting.

They are famous for the name “pudel” in German and “canich” in French. They were originally developed in Germany but gained huge popularity in France and became the national dog of France. The fact which is unknown to the masses is they were initially bred to be water retrievers. According to Stanley Coren, the poodle is ranked second in the list of intelligent dog breeds in the world. They came in three sizes i.e. miniature, standard, and toy.

The most interesting fact about them is, Poodles have a hair like a human, that never stops growing, and also respond to hormone changes just like humans. They are service dogs and have long necks with a sleek and straight back.

Breed Overview
Size:Medium to Large
Weight:20 to 32 Kg
Height:10 to 15 inches at shoulder
  Color:White, Black, Apricot, Cream, and Sable
 Life expectancy:12 to 15 years
Poodle a German dog breed -- Petsforcare

German Shepherd

German shepherds are one of the most loyal and intelligent breeds. They enjoyed the reputation of easily trainable canines. They are incredibly smart and quick learners.

The pal was originally developed in Germany in 1899 with the purpose of herding sheep. They are working dogs and excel at everything they do. The canine can easily adapt to any lifestyle but needs constant attention and training. If they don’t receive proper training and adequate exercise, they may become destructive. The dogs are famous for their scenting ability and can easily sniff bombs and drugs and are often employed by police and the army.

The dog has a strong build and is remarkably alert, which makes them the best choice for a guard dog, and can easily protect its owner and their family. German Shepherds have dense fur and are medium to heavy shedders.

Breed Overview
Weight:30 to 40kg
Height:24-26 inches
  Color:Black, Sable, Gray, Red and black, etc
 Life expectancy: 9 to 13 years
most popular German dog breed


Worldwide popular with the nickname of “rott”, Rottweiler is an extremely energetic and intelligent canine. They are known for their guardian instincts.

They were developed in 1901 in Germany for the purpose of driving cattle and pulling carts for butchers and farmers. They were also famous for protecting butcher’s money while they visit the market. They are working dogs and are direct descendants of the roman legions.

Rottweilers have double coats and usually shed heavily. They are loving and cheerful canines but must be taught acceptable behavior around the kids. Their food intake also needs to be monitored as they can easily gain weight by overeating and are also prone to food disorders.

Rottweiler is also equally famous among celebrities and is owned by many popular celebrities such as Bruno Mars and Will Smith, and they are adored by them.

Breed Overview
Weight:35 to 48 kg
Height:                        24 to 27 inches
  Color:Black, Tan, and Mahogany
 Life expectancy:8 to 10 years
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Famous by the name “peter pan of dogs”, boxers have a quirky square jaw. They are high maintenance dog and require regular cleaning. They are incredibly smart but are also highly sensitive and don’t like to be left alone. They are extremely intelligent and intimidating and are naturally suspicious of strangers. They are excellent guard dogs and great protector of its family members.

Boxer was originally developed in the 19th century in Germany. They are direct descendants of Brabanter Bullenbaiser and were initially bred for bull-baiting dogs and eventually for helping butcher to control cattle.

One of the most interesting facts about them is that they have long tails but droopy ears, which makes their appearance more adorable. Boxers are excellent attackers and were employed by the military during World War II.

Breed Overview
Weight:30 to 32 kg
Height:                        23 to 25 inches
  Color:White, Brindle and Fawn
 Life expectancy:8 to 11 years


Popularly known as “gray ghosts”, thanks to the color of their coat, Weimaraner’s are extremely loyal dogs with great speed, intelligence, and stamina. They’ve been featured in 11 mosaic murals in New York City and are currently the most beloved canine in the UK.

They were developed in the 19th century in Weimar, Germany as hunting dogs. They used to accompany noblemen for hunting boars and deer. Earlier, they were also famous as gentlemen’s gun dogs.

Weimaraner requires a lot of space and can’t easily adapt to the apartment lifestyle. The eyes of Weimaraner’s are usually blue during birth and are most likely to change as they grow older to amber, grey, or blue-grey. They love to mask their scent and can even roll in something unpleasant to do the same. Their smelling sense is no joke and is often employed to be a part of rescue missions by the military and police.

Breed Overview
Weight:55 to 90 pounds
Height:25 to 27 inches at shoulder
  Color:Silver, Mouse grey and Silver grey
 Life expectancy:11 to 14 years


Famous for being a guard dog the Doberman was developed in the 18th century in Germany by Louis Doberman, a tax collector. Although guard dog they are extremely loyal and friendly dogs. They are particularly affectionate towards children; they’ve been raised.

However, kids should be watched around them, as they are the 4th most aggressive dogs in the world. Their strength and intelligence are no joke. They are usually used for search, rescue, therapy, etc. Their bite is strong enough to break someone’s forearm with a single bite.

However, if trained properly they are people-oriented dogs and love to be around their owner and cuddle with them.

Breed Overview
Weight:                         40 to 45 Kg
Height:                        24 to 28 inches at shoulder
  Color:White, Black, Fawn, Red and Rust etc
 Life expectancy:10 to 13 years


Dachshunds are the 12th most popular canine breed in the US. They are very energetic and clever. They usually came in two sizes i.e., miniature and standard. They can easily adjust to smaller spaces and can easily live in apartments. They love to exercise and play outdoors. They have several nicknames like wiener dog, sausage dog. etc. They enjoy a reputation for being stubborn and fearless.

It is believed that the breed originated in Germany in the early 15th century however their development actually begins around the 17th century. Dachshunds were originally bred as a hunting dog and were used to hunt small animals such as rats, rabbits, and badgers.

Their coat can be of 5 different shades ranging from red, chocolate, white, black, and grey. They have small legs, strong muscles, and are strongly built.

Breed Overview
Size:Standard or Miniature
Weight:              5  to 14.5 Kg
Height:                        8 to 9 inches at shoulder
  Color:Black, Chocolate-Tan, Black-Tan, Blue-Tan
 Life expectancy:12 to 14 years
Dachshunds are quick and agile -- Petsforcare

American Eskimos

American Eskimos share their origin in Germany and are direct descendants of German spitz but were recognized in 1995. The dog’s primogenitor was a Nordic breed called the German spitz but during the first world war dog was renamed as “American Eskimo dog”. They have a history of being farm dogs. They were bred as guard dogs to protect livestock and also as hunting dogs.

 The dog preferred vigorous exercise, and are naturally suspicious of strangers which makes them an excellent choice for watchdogs. They are easy to train and therefore were popular with traveling circuses during the late 19th century. Circuses are one of the main reasons behind their popularity.

Breed Overview
Size:Standard, miniature, and toy
Weight:            8.2 to 16 kg
Height:                        9 to 19 inches at shoulder
  Color:White and biscuit cream
 Life expectancy:12 to 14 years


 Leonberger is a canine that resembles a lion a lot but is not ferocious at all. They are cheerful canine who love their family and can easily be friend with strangers. Leonberger derives their name from the  city of Leonberg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany . They were developed in 1846 by Heinrich Essig. They were bred with the purpose to pull carts and ammunition carts in World Wars 1 and 2.

They are large dogs and have huge built weighting from 90 to 150 pounds. They have tall shoulders and droopy ears. They have a thick huge coat and require regular grooming.

They are smart canines but can act stubborn occasionally. They love water and water exercise such as swimming. They are the best hiking companion. They can have only six puppies on average. They have a great sense of smell and also have powerful noses and were part of many rescue missions.

Breed Overview
Weight:54 to 77 Kg
Height:                        28 to 31.5 inches at shoulder
  Color:Mahogany, Sandy, Red, and Yellow
 Life expectancy:8 to 9 years

German spitz

They are one of the oldest breeds of canine. They are loving dogs who are extremely devoted to their family. They are also known as “northern breeds” and thrive in cold climates. They are strongly independent.

German spitz dog is believed to be developed ages ago, as their earliest mention is in German literature dating back to AD 1450.

Around 1700 they become British society’s fashionable pet and were further used to produce Pomeranians. They are medium-sized dogs with collars around their neck and fluffy tails.

They are alert and attentive and have small ears. Their coat colors can range from black, white and gold, etc.

They are people-loving but require proper training. They are not aggressive at all and can easily get along with other dogs. They are extremely loyal and good barkers at strangers trying to barge into their territory.

Breed Overview
Size:Small and Medium
Weight:             8 to 10 Kg
Height:          9 to 11.8 inches at shoulder
  Color:White, Black, Brown, and Gray shaded
 Life expectancy:13 to 15 years

Great Dane

Great Danes are worldwide famous with the name “Apollo of dogs” or “Gentle Giants” owing to their stately grace. The Great Dane is a powerful and strong canine and is known for its toughness. They developed probably 400 years ago and are one of the most popular family pets. They thrive on heat and can easily adapt to tropical weather.

They were originally bred as hunting dogs in Germany by the German nobility in order to protect the estates in early 1800. They were bred by cross-breeding of English mastiff and Irish wolfhound and are direct descendants of them.

They are also known as “Deutsche doggie” which stands for a German mastiff. A Great Dane is a tall canine with floppy ears. They have mischievous humor and a thin coat. They have unique almond-shaped dark eyes and broad black noses.

Breed Overview
Weight:                         45 to 59 Kg
Height:                        32 inches at shoulder
  Color:Blue, Black, Fawn and Brindle, etc
 Life expectancy:8 to 10 years
Pros and Cons of Great Dane

Miniature schnauzer

Miniatures are cheerful, affectionate, and smart canines. They are highly energetic and need daily exercise to maintain their energy. They are popularly known as Zwergschnauzer (zwerg means “dwarf”), especially in Germany. They are spunky canines but are well-behaved around children and their families. They are the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds, is a generally healthy, long-lived, and low-shedding dog breed.

They originated in Germany in the late 19th century. They were bred to be farm dogs and to protect fields from all kinds of vermin. They were also used as guards and hunting dogs. They are available in four colors worldwide: solid black, black and silver, salt and pepper, and white. They are medium size dogs with a square shape build. They have a double coat with minimal shedding.

They are the 12th most smart canine breed in the whole world and are quick learners. They can easily understand new commands just after 15 repetitions. They are obedient dogs and obeyed almost 85% of the time.

Breed Overview
Weight:             5.4 to 9.1Kg
Height:                        30 to 36 inches at shoulder
  Color:White, Black, Salt, and pepper, etc
 Life expectancy:11.7 to 12 years


Germany as a beautiful country is not only known for its cars, but also for being the country with the most canine breeds. For centuries German people were known to create breeds with specific personalities through crossbreeding of different canines.

This resulted in distinct breeds varying in, particularly appearance and personality. German dogs have become popular worldwide for being the most popular police dogs, guard dogs, and one of the smartest breeds.

In the end, all canine breeds are unique, remarkably versatile, and adorable enough to steal any heart. Dog lovers adore German breeds and cherish them.


Q. What are other unknown German dog breeds?

There are other unknown German dog breeds like Bullenbeisser, Harlequin Pinscher, Saarloos Wolfdog, Westphalian Dachsbracke, Stichelhaar, Large Münsterländer, and Landseer dog to name a few which are of German origin.

Q. Is Neutering Dogs illegal in Germany?

Surgical neutering is considered part of responsible pet ownership in the UK, and performed routinely across the country, but in Germany and Scandinavia, for example, surgical neutering is considered “mutilation” and is prohibited by law.

Q. How many dogs can an owner have in Germany?

It is illegal to have more than 5 dogs in Germany.

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