Facts about the animal kingdom

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. March 6, 2017
The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds

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Have you ever wondered what are the 10 most popular German dog breeds? In this AnimalWised article we will go over a list of the most beloved breeds from that country, as well as their main physical and behavioral traits.

From Boxers and Pomeranians, to German Shepherds and Rottweilers, without forgetting Dobermann Pinschers or Schnauzers, if you like German dog breeds and do not know which one to go for when adopting, keep reading!

Before starting, though, we must remind you that all dogs, regardless of their breed, need to keep their vaccination schedule up to date and see the veterinarian regularly.

You may also be interested in: Most Popular Cat Breeds - With Pictures!
  1. Pomeranian
  2. Boxer
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Rottweiler
  5. Schnauzer
  6. Miniature Pinscher
  7. Dachshund
  8. Great Dane
  9. Doberman
  10. Weimaraner
See more >>


The Pomeranian, or Pom, is a "toy" breed. These small dogs have long silky hair, so it is necessary to brush them often. This breed is commonly classified into three varieties:

  • Fox-faced Pomeranians show a thin, elongated snout.
  • Teddy-faced Pomeranians show a shorter snout and a more rounded face. The eyes are near the nose, giving them a sweet look.
  • Doll-faced Pomeranians are the most popular today. They resemble the teddy-faced variant, but with more bulging eyes and a flatter snout.

As for its temperament, Pomeranians are very noble and affectionate dogs who need constant attention from their owners. They can live perfectly in a small apartment, which explains their popularity in cities.

It is said that the Pomeranian dog breed emerged in an ancient duchy located between Poland and Germany called Pomerania, hence its name. Formerly, they were much larger in size and used as cattle dogs. The FCI classifies them as a dwarf variety of the German Spitz, the Zwergspitz.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Pomeranian


The Boxer is another of the 10 most popular German dog breeds around the world. This medium-sized breed is widely beloved because it is very patient with children and has a docile and loyal character towards its family. Boxers have short, soft and shiny fur and need lots of daily physical and mental activity.

It is said to have first appeared at a breeders' called von Dom in Munich, Germany, in the late 19th Century. The first Boxer dogs were bred by crossing two breeds that are now extinct, the Brabant Bullenbeisser and the Old Bulldog. Boxers were formerly used as messenger dogs, carried wounded soldiers, and served as communication cables in European wars. Today, they are often chosen to be trained as police dogs.

Here you can find our favorite names for Boxer dogs and more about their life expectancy.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Boxer

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a large breed that is able to perform a wide range of activities, such as herding sheep, police work, search and rescue tasks, and services for people with disabilities. Besides being versatile, German Shepherds are notable for their intelligence and balanced, reliable and safe character.

The origins of this German dog breed are linked with their origin as herding dogs. Their history started in 1890, when the cavalry captain Max Emil Frederick with Sthephanitz worked to develop a working dog breed with a noble appearance. Although the German Shepherd still performs herding functions, we can consider it an 'all-terrain' breed.

Here you can find our favorite names for German Shepherds, tips to train them, and their common diseases.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - German Shepherd


The Rottweiler is another of the 10 most popular German dog breeds. It can be medium or large in size, and it has a strong, athletic and robust appearance that has both detractors as defenders.

Their reputation as "dangerous dogs" comes from the misuse of this breed by unscrupulous and irresponsible owners, who have reinforced aggressive and fearful behaviors. In fact, Rottweilers are intelligent, adaptable and obedient dogs. Although their appearance commands respect, these short, smooth and soft-coated dogs can become very docile and friendly if they are properly socialized as puppies.

The origin of the Rottweiler dates back to the Roman Empire, where their ancestors were used for protection and shepherding. The first dog of this breed was born in the German region of Rottweil.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Rottweiler


The Schnauzer is a robust and strong German dog breed, known for its loyalty and great intelligence - these dogs are ideal for any family. They can easily be recognized for their very peculiar physical characteristics, such as their bushy eyebrows, mustache and bushy beard, which makes them very popular worldwide. The word Schnauzer derives from the German word Schnauze, which means "muzzle".

Its origin is in Germany and dates back to the 19th Century, when these dogs were used to guard stables, kill rodents and accompany carriages. Many years later the breed was crossed with several others to find the same qualities but with different sizes, resulting in the three Schnauzer varieties: miniature, standard and giant.

Here you can find our favorite names for Schnauzers, tips on caring for their coat, and advice to deal with their excess energy.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Schnauzer

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher, Min Pin or Zwergpinscher is a small popular German dog breed. It descends from breeds like the German Pinscher, the Dachshund and the Italian Greyhound. Many people think this dynamic and confident dog is the Doberman's little brother, but in fact the Miniature Pinscher breed is much older than the Doberman.

This breed tends to be affectionate and sociable with its family, but it can become dominant with others. The Miniature Pinscher is a very active and energetic dog, but it can still live in a small apartment.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Miniature Pinscher


The Dachshund or, as it is popularly known, the Wiener or Sausage Dog, is a small dog of German origin whose true name means "badger-dog". It is characterized by an elongated body and head and short legs. There are three varieties of Dachshund according to fur and by weight:

  • Standard Dachshund
  • Miniature Dachshund
  • Kaninchen Dachshund (Rabbit-sized Dachshund)
  • Shorthaired or Smooth Dachshund
  • Wirehaired Dachshund
  • Longhaired Dachshund

These dogs tend to be very friendly and playful among their own, but due to their origins they tend to have a very strong prey drive and often run after small animals to attack them. Their history dates back to 1888, where the first breed standard was drafted by the first German breed club.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Dachshund

Great Dane

The Great Dane or German Mastiff is another of the 10 most popular German dog breeds. As its name points out, this is a giant-sized dog. The Great Dane is beloved for its charismatic temperament; it has a well-proportioned and beautiful silhouette and an imposing figure, so it is regarded as "the Apollo of dog breeds" by the World Canine Federation (FCI).

This breed has an affectionate and friendly character, but if not properly socialized it can be reserved with strangers. Among its ancestors you can find the Bullenbeisser, an extinct breed, and various dogs that were used to hunt wild boar. The Great Dane was born as a standardized breed in 1878.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Great Dane


The Doberman or Doberman Pinscher is a large-sized dog breed, elegant and muscled, excellent for working in protection and security. This is one of the smartest dog breeds: it is calm, steady and dependent on its family, but it also requires constant attention. Its body is muscular and compact and shows a short, thick and hard coat.

Friederich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector and kennel volunteer, was the creator of this breed back in the late 19th Century. Due to the insecurity of his work, Dobermann decided to create a breed that was able to protect him and at the same time remained attached to him. It is believed that he crossed many different breeds, including German Pinschers, Rottweilers, Weimaraners, Greyhounds and Manchester Terriers. Here you can learn more about the origin of the Doberman and the false myths around this breed.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Doberman


The Weimaraner is the last of the 10 most popular German dog breeds. This large-sized dog is considered one of the most elegant breeds for its beauty and stylized figure. Weimaraner dogs always gray - from deep charcoal to blue - and they may have short or long hair. They are excellent hunting dogs and have a loyal, curious, dynamic and intelligent character.

Its origin is earlier than the 19th Century; the Grand Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach is often credited with creating this breed, as he wanted a noble dog specialized in hunting. Currently, Weimaraners are used as search and rescue dogs, and also to participate in multiple dog sports.

The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds - Weimaraner

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The 10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds