German shepherds as we know them today is a relatively new breed. This breed is the result of a vision of a man named Max von Stepanitz. His vision was to create a superior German herding work dog. He pictured an athletic, intelligent dog that was fast, capable and had a good sense of smell. In 1899 during a show Von Stepanitz came across a dog named Hektor Linksrhein, which was just like the one he had imagined. Von Stepanitz bought the dog immediately and changed its name to Horand von Grafrath. Soon after that he founded The German Shepherd Association to establish a breed from Horand’s descendants. Rapid industrialization reduced the need for shepherd dogs, so the future of this breed was focused on police and military work.