Vienchen and Vegas in Bellheim
Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz, credited with being the founder of the German Shepherd dog as a distinct breed, was born on Dec. 30, 1864. Born in Dresden, Germany, he was born into German nobility. His family expectations were that he would become a military officer, and even though he wanted to work in agriculture, he followed his family’s wishes and ended up a career officer with the cavalry. This one choice proved to be pivotal, as it enabled Von Stephanitz to travel the country where he encountered a variety of working shepherd dogs.
Max von Stephanitz believed that the ideal breeders of German shepherds would be families with only a couple of breeding dogs, in order to facilitate daily contact with the dogs as a way of carefully choosing the dogs which would enhance the breed in the future.