Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz

maxstephanitzMax Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz was born in Dresden, Kingdom of Saxony, into German nobility on December30, 1864.  Although he wished to become a farmer his family was opposed to this choice and Stephanitz ultimately became a career cavalry office.  During his cavalry travels be observed the different Shepherd Dogs working throughout the Countryside. 

While in the Calvary he spent time serving at the VeterinaryCollege in Berlin gaining valuable knowledge about biology, anatomy, and the science of movement.  In 1898 von Stephanitz was promoted to Captain.  Meantime, Stephanitz purchased a large estate near Grafrath where he would spend the remainder of his life developing, writing, and training what was to become the German Shepherd Dog.

Stephanitz enjoyed attending dog shows where he was stuck by the wolfish appearing dogs with prick ears who exhibited intelligence, sharp senses, willingness to work and trainability.  While attending a fair in 1899 Stephanitz saw a large,compact, wolfish grey dog that immediately stuck him as a dog exemplifying the ideals he was seeking.  Stephanitz purchased the dog whose name was Hektor Linkrshein.   

 Stephanitz changed the dog’s name to Horand von Grafrath who would become the first registered Shepherd Dog of a newly formed club.