9 German Dog Breeds

Germany is responsible for producing over 50 of the worlds most popular dog breeds. But do you know what these breeds are beyond the well-loved German Shepherd?
Dachshunds sitting in a row
Dachshunds sitting in a row
Dachshunds sitting in a row

When we say ‘German dog breed’, it’s likely you’ll think of the iconic German Shepherd, but did you know that over 50 dog breeds originated in Germany? The land of beer and fairytale-esque castles is currently ranked number three in the world for producing the highest number of dog breeds, which includes some of our all-time favourites.

There are so many wonderful breeds to choose from, but we’ve done the impossible and picked just nine of our favourites. Keep reading to find out our top 9 German dog breeds, ranging from playful little terriers to big hunting dogs.

German dog breeds

Consistently scoring high on popular breed lists, people from all over the world have fallen in love with German dogs. Their popularity just keeps on growing and unsurprisingly, Germany now has one of the biggest dog export markets.

1. Dachshund

The Dachshund’s short legs and long body gives them an adorable appearance, but their disproportionate body was actually bred for a specific purpose. In German, their name literally translates to ‘badger dog’ and they were created to crawl into badger and rabbit dens. Today, this gorgeous German dog makes an excellent companion and watchdog – but because they’re a hound you’ll have to expect a bit of barking!

2. German Shepherd

This German dog breed is probably the most unsurprising breed on the list, but we just had to give it an honourable mention. One of the smartest dog breeds ever, the German Shepherd is consistently popular with the police and military thanks to their intelligent brains and super-powered snouts. And, they’re beloved in homes all over the world because of their playful and loving natures.  

German Shepherd sitting in the park

3. Pomeranian

Named after Pomerania, an historic region in Germany, this big ball of fluff was originally brought to England by Queen Victoria in the late 19th century. According to Dog Time, she was largely responsible for the German dog breed’s popularity in the UK as she frequently exhibited them at dog shows. Now, Pomeranians make excellent companions for any dog lover, but because of their long coats they’ll require plenty of grooming.

4. Great Dane

Despite being called the Great Dane, it may surprise you to learn that this dog breed actually hails from Germany! Most widely known for their large size, these gentle giants are frequently mentioned in the Guinness World Records, including for tallest dog. This German dog can weigh up to 200 pounds and can grow up to 40 inches tall. Originally bred for hunting wild boar, bears and deer, this German dog breed is now more commonly found warming the sofas of homes around the world.

5. Weimaraner

The Weimaraner was originally bred for royalty in the 19th century for the purpose of hunting large game. They’re incredibly smart and are nicknamed ‘the dog with the human brain’. Some of these clever German dogs have been known to unlock fences, escape crates and steal food. Their unique colouring and affectionate personalities mean they’ve become very popular as pets, but they need to be exercised frequently otherwise they may fall into destructive habits.

6. Poodle

Most commonly known as the ‘national breed of France’, the Poodle actually originated in Germany! The word ‘Poodle’ comes from the German word for ‘Pudel’ which literally translates to ‘splash in water’, which is because the breed was created as a water retriever. Their coat is specially designed so the shorter hairs ensure that it won’t snag on objects underwater, whereas their longer hairs protect their vital organs and keep them warm. Poodles thrive when surrounded by their families and because of this they’re best suited to owners who spend a lot of time at home.

Poodle on a windy walk

7. Affenpinscher

This cute little German dog breed is known for resembling a monkey, so much so that Affenpinscher actually translates to ‘monkey-like dog’! Fans of Star Wars have also noted the breeds similarities to the teddy bear like creatures, Ewoks and also Han Solo’s best friend and co-pilot, Chewbacca. Don’t be fooled by their small size though, they’re incredibly curious and confident and they make characterful companions!

8. German Shorthaired Pointer

Referred to as the jack-of-all-trades dog by hunters, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a very versatile breed. Thanks to their superb hunting skills and stamina, they’re frequently used by the police force and hunters, however they’re also popular with families as they’re great with children and possess a people-loving personality. These German dogs also perform well in obedience and agility competitions – is there anything they can’t do?

9. Doberman

The Doberman is a highly intelligent German dog breed that was originally bred by a tax collector to protect him while on his rounds. He wanted a large guard dog type that would also serve as a loyal companion, and after mixing many different breeds - including the Manchester Terrier and the German Shepherd - he resulted in the Doberman we know and love. In today’s households, they still make excellent guard dogs and loving companions thanks to their very affectionate natures, and love nothing more than snuggling on the sofa.

There’s our list of top 9 German dog breeds! Want to find out more about different dog types? Take our quiz and find out what dog breed you are.