10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds

10 Most Popular German Dog Breeds

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: Jul 10 2023


Germany is known for many high-quality things like cars, beer, and flawless work ethic, but people rarely think of German dog breeds. Germany is the place of origin of more than 50 dog breeds, and most of them were developed by German owners and breeders.

It is quite fitting that most breeds are working breeds and were developed for a specific purpose.

Germany is a large country with rich, thick forests booming with life. It is a beautiful country filled with many unique characteristics and rich history. Various Germanic tribes have lived in that area throughout history, and even more than 2.000 years ago, these tribes used dogs for different tasks.

Germanic tribes had dogs that helped them during hunting efforts, and dogs helped Germanic shepherds raise and guard livestock against various large predators like wolves or bears. German dogs have always been loyal and brave. To this day, some breeds are praised for those exact characteristics that their ancestors had.

Modern German cynology continues to improve, and with the development of veterinary medicine and science, German dogs keep getting better and healthier. Their life expectancy has been prolonged, and some diseases have been eradicated. So let’s take a look at the 10 most popular German dog breeds.

10. Schnauzer

The Schnauzer is another popular German dog breed in the Terrier family of dog breeds. It comes in three sizes:

  • Miniature,
  • Standard,
  • Giant.

The Miniature and the Standard Schnauzers have similar personalities, while the Giant Schnauzer is a bit more dominant and strong-willed. They are all great watchdogs and have a high prey drive.


These German dog breeds have a history that can be traced back several hundred years and they had a known purpose for all size varieties of the Schnauzer. The Giant Schnauzer was used for guarding estates and families of the German nobility, while the smaller varieties were used as versatile farm dogs whose main purpose was pest control and ratting. These days they are kept around the world as loving family pets that love playing and spending time with their human companions.

9. Poodle

Not many people know that Poodles are a German dog breed. They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world and one of the most popular family pets and companions. These dogs are regularly in the TOP 5 most popular dog breeds lists, and we can clearly see their appeal. Poodles come in three or four size varieties (depending on your governing kennel club) -

  • Standard,
  • Medium,
  • Miniature,
  • Toy Poodle.

American Kennel Club doesn’t accept the Medium variety and places these dogs in the Miniature or Standard variety, depending on their size. Nevertheless, all Poodle sizes are extremely fun to be around, and those who aren’t familiar with the breed are usually left stunned by the intelligence of these German dogs.

german poodle

8. German Pointers

There are four distinct breeds of German Pointers and they are

  • Shorthaired
  • Rough-haired
  • Wire-haired
  • Longhaired

These four German dog breeds are known for their impressive gundog abilities.  They were created by crossbreeding many different Spanish hunting dogs with the Bloodhound, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that these sporting German dogs have a great sense of smell.

These four breeds are still used for hunting sports in many different parts of the world, but most of them are happy, active, and loving family pets that are great with the kids and other dogs from the neighborhood.

german wirehaired pointer

7. Great Dane

The Great Dane has an impressive resume and pedigree. They were originally used by German hunters to hunt wild boar, and Germans kept only the strongest and most elegant Great Danes they could get their hands on. They selectively bred these dogs to create a fearless hunting German dog breed. Even though these dogs were known around the world in places like Tibet, Egypt, and even China, they became their modern selves in Germany.

The tide shifted for these impressive German dogs, and breeders started breeding the most docile dogs. These days, the Great Dane remains an impressive dog breed but is nothing like the brave hunter of old. They are loving family pets that grow to be quite large.

great dane

6. Weimaraner

The Weimaraner is not only beautiful, but it is also a great hunting dog that was used by German hunters since the beginning of the 19th century. It has a popular nickname, “Silver Ghost,” that is clearly referring to their beautiful silver coat. There is also a bit of a mystery that surrounded this breed, especially in the beginning when their ownership was restricted, and their development was hidden.

The mysterious Weimaraner was used for hunting big game like deer and wild boar in the beautiful and rich German forests. These days, Weimaraners make great family pets that are active and love being a part of all family adventures that involve the outdoors.


5. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is one of the most popular dog breeds across the world, and honestly, who wouldn’t like a dog as beautiful and as powerful as this one? Like many other German dog breeds, the Rottweiler was bred with a working purpose. It was trusted to drive cattle to the market, and later they would help their owners pull heavy loads back to the farm.

Their original German dog's name was the Rottweiler Metzgerhund which can be literally translated to “butchers dog from Rottweil”. They are the descendants of the mighty Molossian dogs, and it is no wonder these dogs are used by many military and law enforcement units around the world.


4. Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is a German dog breed that has a legendary heritage. They are a descendant of a large, working German Spitz dog that roamed the historic region of Pomerania on the coast of Europe’s Baltic Sea. It is hard to imagine the tiny, modern-day Pomeranian as a hard-working dog breed, and you would be right to think so.

The modern Pomeranians were specifically bred to be small in size and to become the world’s best companion breed. They love spending time around their human families, and their sole purpose is to be showered with as much love as possible, as often as possible.


3. Dachshund

The Dachshund has a German name that can easily be explained - Dachs means badger and hund means dog. As its original German dog name suggests, it is a dog breed that was used for hunting and driving badgers from their burrows. However, their name can be a bit misleading since these dogs were used to hunt any small tunneling animal like a fox or a rabbit.

Dachshunds might be small in size, but they have the courage and toughness of much larger and stronger dogs. They are not afraid of anyone or anything and will make an excellent watchdog to their pet parents. These days, we can mostly find this German dog in the role of a family pet and companion that is full of love and can occasionally go on an adventure that their nose will take them on.

dachshund wirehaired

2. German Shepherd

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way - the German Shepherd is a German dog breed. These dogs are true Germans - intelligent, powerful, and with an impeccable work ethic that is known around the world. These shepherding dogs were used by German shepherds for more than a hundred years and their ancestors for over a thousand.

German Shepherds are one of the smartest dog breeds, and they love to have their minds occupied by interactive toys. This Outward Hound toy will keep your smart puppy entertained for hours and hours.

The existence of this German breed can be traced to one man - Captain Max von Stephanitz. He was a retired German officer that kept German dogs in a special place in his heart and mind, and he managed to create a breed that is now easily the most recognizable dog breed in the world.

german shepherd

1. Doberman

The Doberman is a relatively “young” breed that was developed in the 1800s. Their exact origin is still unknown to canine historians, but it is one of the most, if not the most famous of all, German dog breeds.

Dobermans are muscular but also skinny, so make sure you get them a cozy bed to sleep in. One of our favorite dog beds is the Bedsure Dog Bed. It is affordable and looks pretty good. Plus, it is quite cozy, so your Dobbie will love it.

Dobermans are fearless, loyal to the bone, intelligent, and, most of all, elegant dogs that will gladly give their life to protect their owner. These German dogs were famously created by a German tax collector by the name of Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who hasn’t shared the truth with anyone about what breeds were used to create these dogs. What is known is that this German dog breed bears his name to this day.


World Dog Finder team