Germany has a long tradition for breeding dogs. The German Shepherd is the most famous dog bred in Germany although it is a latecomer, originating in 1899.
Germany is also home to hedgehogs, groundhogs and squirrels, although these animals are not suitable as pets.
In 1933, the Third Reich passed extensive laws for animal protection. he Nazis ranked certain animals below the Aryan race and above the Jews. Laws were passed regulating transport of animals by car and train. Some senior SS officers became vegetarians and Hitler himself mostly refrained from eating meat. Experiments on animals were permitted under certain guidelines. Hitler himself was a dog lover. He owned an Alsatian dog named Blondi. This dog was in the bunker with him at the end of the war and was killed with poison shortly before Hitler committed suicide.
After World War II, the popularity of German breeds declined due to anti-German sentiment worldwide. Today, the German Shepherd is the second most popular breed in the United States of America.
List of breeds of dogs that originate in Germany:
- Deutscher (German) Pinscher
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- German Spitz (Giant, Standard, Toy)
- Giant Schnauzer
- Great Dane
- Miniature Pinscher
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Standard Schnauzer
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