Camnusch Kennel

Please feel free to use a link to this page!


'The Anatomy of the German Shepherd Dog'


The German shepherd dog, whose planned breeding programme was instituted in 1899 after the foundation of the SV, has been bred from the then existing stock of herding dogs in the central and southern German areas, with the ultimate aim to create a working dog capable of high performances. To reach this goal the Breed Standard for the German Shepherd Dog was defined, referring to its physical structure as well as its temperament and character properties in accord with the proposals of A. Meyer & Max v. Stephanitz at the first General Meeting of members of the SV on the 20th September 1899,

The Lymphatic system

Active movement apparatus - skeletal musculature

Passive movement apparatus - bones and joints

Digesting system

Circulatory system



Male reproduction

Female reproduction

Nervous system

Urinary system

The tooth pattern


Please Note: The following information is simply informational. It's intent is not to replace the advice of a veterinarian nor to assist you in making a diagnosis of your dog in any way. Please consult with your veterinary physician for any physical or health concerns you may have regarding your dog.  Diagrams have been translated (as accurately as possible) from the German - Theresa

Lymphatic system

What Is the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system helps to filter impurities, bacteria, and viruses from the body and is made up of the lymph nodes, spleen, and special tubes that extend throughout the body like blood vessels. It is a complex and vital system that protects the organism from dangerous micro-organisms (it produces and contains white blood cells which produce antibodies against intruders) and drains the inter cellular spaces. It is responsible for the transportation of lymph and for participating in many immune functions of the body.
The lymphatic system includes small glands called the lymph nodes and a series of lymph vessels called lymphatic, and is part of the immune system that helps the body fight off disease. It also works with the cardiovascular system to return fluids that escape from the blood vessels back into the blood stream and fight infections by transporting white blood cells and lymph fluid throughout body. Other important organs in this system include the bone marrow, spleen, thymus and gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), which is the lymphatic tissue associated with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

*Lymph is a clear fluid that travels through your body's arteries, circulates through the tissues to cleanse them and keep them firm, and then drains away through the lymphatic system.

*Lymph nodes are the filters along the lymphatic system. Their job is to filter out and trap bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and other unwanted substances, and to make sure they are safely eliminated from the body.

Where Is the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is located throughout the body and has many components:
Lymph nodes or glands are small round, oval or bean-shaped structures that are located at various locations throughout the body. The lymph nodes are connected to each other by a series of vessels called lymphatics, which carry lymph from place to place. Some lymph nodes lie along the surface of the body (along the neck, under the arms, in the groin, behind the knees), while others lie deep within the body (chest and abdomen).

*The bone marrow lies within the central shaft of bones, primarily the long bones of the body and consists of connective tissue, the cells of which form a delicate meshwork within the marrow cavity. The marrow cavity is permeated by numerous thin-walled blood vessels. Within the spaces of this tissue, the immature and adult stages of different blood cells exist.

*The spleen is located near the stomach in the left forward part of the abdomen and is the largest body of lymphatic system. It is a dark red organ that is supplied with numerous blood vessels. A tough capsule of fibrous tissue covers the spleen. The splenic pedicle is located along one surface and serves as the entry and exit point for blood vessels.

*The thymus is located in the front part of the chest cavity, between the trachea (windpipe) and the ribs and is an organ that varies in size depending on the age of the individual. It is largest in young animals and shrinks to a very small size in the adult.

*The GALT is made up of lymph tissue scattered throughout the GI tract including the tonsils and intestines and is present throughout the gastrointestinal tract.

What Is the General Structure of the Lymphatic System?

The lymphatic system is composed of a network of lymph vessels referred to as lymphatics, as well as certain organs and tissues, including the lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen, thymus and GALT.

Lymph is a milky fluid that flows throughout the system. It contains proteins, fats and a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. Lymph is collected from the fluid of various tissues and eventually is returned to the blood circulatory system. The lymphatic system provides another route by which fluid can flow from distant tissues back into the blood stream, one that is separate from capillaries and veins. It also carries proteins and other substances away from tissues that cannot be removed or transported directly into the blood system.

Similar to the blood circulatory system, the lymphatic system is comprised of fine channels that lie adjacent to the blood vessels. These lymphatic vessels eventually merge into a rather large vessel called the thoracic duct. As the lymph is carried from distant parts of the body, it is collected into larger and larger vessels until the vessels all converge in the chest and deposit the lymph in the large vein (cranial vena cava) leading to the right atrium of the heart.

The lymph moves through the lymphatic vessels toward the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes lie at varying points along the course of the lymphatic chain and can form clusters in some areas of the body. Lymph nodes have a dense fibrous outer coating, called a capsule and are filled with white blood cells and spaces containing lymph fluid. Several types of white blood cells predominate in the lymph nodes, particularly lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages.

Some substantial lymph nodes

1. parotid lymph node
2. mandibular lymph node
3. Superficial  cervical lymph nodes
4. Prescapula lymph node
5. Inguinal lymph node
6. Popliteal lymph node








Active movement apparatus -skeletal musculature


The primary function of muscles is to bring about movement/locomotion to the dog's body. Muscles are attached to the bones by tendons. Flexor and extensor muscles (skeletal) work in pairs to move the structures. Voluntary muscles are distinguished from one another by various names, which refer to there primary action such as: (Flexor) bending action. (Extensor) straightening action. Other associations are: Depressors, Constrictors, and Dilators etc. Involuntary muscles such as the smooth and cardiac are responsible for for the body's needs such as respiratory, digestion, heart etc.

There are three types of muscles in a dog: the skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle, and smooth muscle.

  • Smooth muscle: not striated - Controls movement of viscera/inside -The Non-Striated Muscles: (In-Voluntary) Non-Striated Muscles are a reflex action, which is mostly associated with the Smooth and Cardiac Muscles, which are considered Involuntary or Autonomic, or in other words, not subject to voluntary or conscious control by the individual but to satisfy the body's needs. Smooth muscles primarily play the part for digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and euro-genital systems and are found within the internal organs such as the intestines, stomach, and bladder.

  • Cardiac muscles: - makes up the bulk of the heart tissue. The cardiac muscle is the muscle which is exclusively in the heart.

  • Skeletal muscles: striated - makes up the rest. The Striated Muscles form nearly 1/2 of your pets entire body weight. Skeletal muscles for the most part are considered Voluntary. Striated muscles are predominately attached to the skeleton and have the ability for High Elasticity as they provide Contractual support allowing the dog to perform Lateral, backwards and forward movements with little strain.  These muscles for the most part come in pairs and are attached by their extremities to 'Two-More" bones. When in action one muscle is fixed this is called the "Origin", movable is called the "Insertion".  All of their movements are under the conscious control of the individual. They are involved with such things as walking, eating, tail wagging, eye movement, etc. These muscles also permits the movement of the skin, as the cutaneal muscle is very developed in dogs. The stomach has a very thin covering of muscle. Thigh muscles give explosive energy for chasing. The Hip muscles support the back legs. Tail muscles allow the tail to raise, curl and wag. The neck muscles let the head turn over 220 degrees. Extrinsic muscles are those that you see and are voluntary muscles. The intrinsic muscles control the internal force and action, and extrinsic muscles provide range of movement.

Muscles of mastication: operate temporomandibular joint.

  • The temporomandibular joint: connects the lower jaw, called the mandible, to the temporal bone. To close the jaw the dog uses temporal and masseter muscles to open the jaw dogs use digastricus muscles and gravity

  • Muscles of facial expressions: move nose, lips, eye lids, ears and skin

  • Muscles of the pharynx: (striated muscle) three parts nasopharynx, oropharynx & laryngopharynx


Representation of the musculature lain superficially:


1. Levator Nasolabalis muscle
 Jaw/nose muscle

3. Masseter muscle
4.   Parotido Auricularis
5.   Outside masseter 
6.   Yoke muscle
7.   Temporal muscle
8. Chest/tongue/leg muscle
9.   Supraspinatus
10. Brachialis
11. Brachiocephalicus muscle
12. Pectoral muscle
13. Trapezius muscle
14. Supraspinatus muscle
15. Shoulder - neck muscles
16. Deltoid muscle
17. Triceps muscle
18. Extensor Carpus
19. Common Digital extensor

20. Lateral Digital extensor

21. Extensor Carpi Ulnaris

22. Flexor Carpi Ulnaris

23. Extensor carpi radialis

24. Lumbo Dorsal Fascia

25. Pectoral muscle

26. Aponeurosis muscle

27. Obliqus Abdominus Externus

28. Gluteus medius muscle 

29. Tensor Fasia muscle

30. Sartorious muscle

31. Gluteus Maximus

32. Biceps Femoris muscle

33. Semitendinous muscle

34. Anterior tibial muscle

35. Long Digital Extensor

36. Tibialis

37. Flexor digitorum pedis

38. Flexor Hallicus Longus


Passive movement apparatus - bone and joints


The weight bearing skeleton gives stability to the dogs body and at the same time protects the sensitive organs such as the heart, lungs and the brain. By its complex connections the individual bones make locomotion possible. With the joints one can differentiate a bend angle and a stretching angle. If the joint is bent, then the free ends of the bones of the joint are brought closer, stretched, then the free ends of the bones depart from each other. For the execution of the multiplicity of the courses of motion, the individual joints are very differently built and have a different movement radii. The skeleton of the dog is an articulated structure, moved by the muscles and holds the dog's body. It also protects certain organs and the nervous system. It functions as mineral and blood deposit of the body and is made up of approximately 321 bones: 134 form the axial skeleton (skull, vertebrae, ribs, etc.), and 186 form the appendicular skeleton (appendages). An extra bone has to be added for male dogs which is the penile bone. The dog is a digi-graded animal (it walks with it's toes). 

Anatomy of the Model dog:

1. Intermaxillary bone
2. Maxilla (upper jaw bone)
3. Forehead
4. Parietal (cranium)
5. Zygomatic arch
6. Mandible (Lower jaw bone)
7. Orbital cavity (Eye socket)
8. 1st cervical vertebrae (neck)
9. 6th Cervical vertebrae
10. 1st rib

11. 12th rib -13 pairs (9 True/4 False)
12. 13th rib (floating rib)
13. Beginning of Sternum (fore chest)
14. End of Sternum
15. Dorsal vertebrae/wither (3)
16. Thoracic vertebrae (13)

17. 1st Lumbar vertebrae

18. 7th Lumbar vertebrae (7)

19. Sacral vertebrae/Sacrum (3 fused bones)

20. Coccygeal/Caudal vertebrae/Tail bone
21. Scapula (shoulder blade)
22. Humerus (Upper arm)
23. Radius
24. Ulna
25. Fore tarsal bones
26. Metacarpus/pastern
27. Phalanges/toes
28. Pelvis (Ilium)
29. Hip joint (Coxa)
30. Femur (upper thigh)
31. Patella (stifle joint)
32. Tibia (lower thigh)
33. Fibula
34. Tarsus
35. Metatarsus
36. Phalanges (toes)





Digestive system (salivary glands and body cavity organs)

The digestive system of a dog is very similar to a human one. It ensures the ingestion of food and it's transformation (by mechanical and chemical acts) to simple substances which the dog's body can absorb and assimilate. Food is initially grasped by the teeth and tongue and enters the mouth where it is broken down mechanically and also chemically (saliva and teeth). As the food is swallowed, it passes into the back of the mouth,  known as the pharynx where both food and air pass through on their way into the body. The esophagus is the connecting tube between the pharynx and the stomach and as food leaves the pharynx it enters the esophagus and travels down the neck and through the chest. The esophagus passes through the diaphragm (the muscle that separates the chest from abdominal cavity) and ends at the stomach. The stomach lies in the front of the abdominal cavity, just behind the liver (9). It is situated between the esophagus and the small intestine, (the small intestine is located within the abdominal cavity and extends from the stomach to the junction of the small and large intestine) lying predominantly on the left side of the body. The food then enters the first section of the small intestine known as the duodenum (11) (the small intestine is only 3 meters long but it has a very strong digestion) to finish at the large intestine where the faeces are made.  The cecum is a small dead-end pouch that lies near the junction of the small and large intestines. The colon begins in the lower portion of the right side of the abdomen and travels forward along the right side, then crosses the midline, and proceeds back down the left side. This last portion of the colon (descending colon) leads into the rectum (the terminal portion of the large intestine that passes through the pelvis and leads to anus. Excretion is made through the rectum and then empties through the anus.

A series of added glands produce substances which are used in digestion and they perform various important jobs, the most important being the liver (9) (which is an organ), and the pancreas.


Body salivary glands and body cavity organs

The Digestive system


1. Parotid gland
2. Mandibular gland
3. Glandula sublingualis gland
4. Zygomatic gland
5. Cranial lobe of lung
6. Middle lobe of lung
7. Caudal lobe of lung
8. Heart

9. Liver
10. Stomach
11. Duodenum
12. Descending Colon
13. Omentum
14. Kidney
15. Urethra
16. Bladder








Circulatory system

It includes a four chambered heart, arteries, veins, and lymphatic glands and vessels. The circulation of blood provides the dog's body with oxygen and removes carbon dioxide from it. Oxygenated blood and deoxygenated blood circulate separately 


Deoxygenated blood from the right atrium, go to the right ventricle. It then goes through the pulmonary arteries which go to the alveoli capillaries where oxygen diffuses into the blood. Then it returns to the heart, to the left atrium, by the pulmonary veins. From the left ventricle, the blood, rich in oxygen, goes to the Aorta (3), the principal artery which divides into arterioles to reach every cell of the dog's body. Blood pressure is maintained in arteries by the smooth muscle surrounding it. Through the capillaries, the oxygen and the carbon dioxide exchange. Blood moves through veins because of the skeletal muscle movement. In veins blood is prevented to go back by opening and closing valves. Through the veins, to the vena cava, and then to the right atrium, the blood reaches the heart again and the cycle is repeated.


Circulatory system


1. Bronchial tube
2. Heart
3. Aorta artery
4. Esophagus
5. Diaphragm
6. Liver
7. Stomach
8. Spleen
9. Omentum
10. Kidney
11. Urethra
12. Bladder
13. Descending Colon













Air reaches the lungs by the same system as in humans. The diaphragm contracts, decreasing the size of the lung and therefore expelling the air. Then it relaxes and the change of pressure in the lungs compared to that of the outside, forces air in and the lungs inflate. As with heart beat, the respiration rate in dogs is faster than in humans. Dogs do not sweat through the skin, the respiratory system also plays an important role in regulation of temperature.

In the respiratory system, air goes through the nostrils in the snout. In the nasal cavity air is purified, moistened and warmed.
This dampening is for the saturation of air in the nose with steam and evaporating the products of the glands in the nose which are of importance as smelling is substantially supported. Then it passes through pharynx, arrives by the larynx (where vocal cords for barking are), and then to the trachea. Air is then canalized through the two bronchi- branches of the airways (air passages) in the lungs. One bronchial tube leads to the left lung, the other to the right lung and then inside the lung by the bronchioles which are subdivisions of the bronchi. The last part are the alveoli where oxygen diffuses to the blood. 


Body cavity organs and respiratory system of a dog

Respiratory system

1. Nasal cavity
2. Trachea
3. Bronchial tube
4. Cranial lobe of lung
5. Middle lobe of lung
6. Caudal lobe of lung
7. Esophagus
8. Diaphragm
9. Liver

10. Stomach
11. Pylorus 
12. Duodenum
13. Small intestine
14. Large intestine
15. Kidney
16. Urethra
17. Bladder
18. Ovary
19. Uterus

What is the Respiratory System?

The respiratory system is a series of tracts and organs responsible for respiration, without which life would not be possible. Respiration is the term used to describe breathing. It involves the inhalation of air and the intake of oxygen, as well as the exhalation of waste gases such as carbon dioxide from the lungs.

Besides breathing, the respiratory tract serves other important roles, such as the humidification and warming of air before it enters the body, the trapping and expelling of foreign substances, facilitation of the sense of smell, and the production of vocal sounds (e.g. barking, growling). The respiratory system consists of the nasal passages, the back of the mouth (nasopharynx), the voice box (larynx), the windpipe (trachea), the lower airway passages, and the lungs.

Where Is the Respiratory Tract Located?

The respiratory tract is a large, contiguous system comprised of several structures. The respiratory system begins at the nostrils, involves several structures of the head, continues down the neck and ends at the lungs that lie in the chest cavity. The nose is positioned in the center of the face. The structure and length of the nose varies greatly in dogs. In dolichocephalic breeds of dogs (e.g. collie, Doberman pinscher, German shepherd dog), the nose is quite long and prominent. In brachycephalic breeds of dogs (e.g. pug, Pekingese, Lhasa apso, bulldog), the nose is quite short and flattened. The nasal passages lie within the nose between the nostrils and the back of throat. There are two passages, one on each side of the nose. They are separated by a bony plate or septum until they end at the nasopharynx.The nasal cavity is surrounded by sinuses. The sinuses are air filled spaces within the bones of the skull. The major sinuses lie just below and above both eyes.The pharynx is the structure that lies at the back of the mouth and throat. It is the cavity behind the tongue and nasal passage through which both food and air are transported to deeper structures. The portion of the pharynx that is part of the respiratory tract is referred to as the nasopharynx, and it connects the back of the nasal cavity to the larynx (voice box).The larynx is located directly behind the base of the tongue and soft palate, and lies between the pharynx and the trachea (windpipe). The larynx covers the trachea during swallowing so that food does not enter into the windpipe.The trachea is a cylindrical tube that runs from the base of the larynx to the beginning of the airways in the lungs. At its termination in the chest it splits into two branches, with one branch for each set of lungs (right and left). Within the chest it lies just above the base of the heart, and just next to and below the esophagus.Once the trachea splits into two branches, the airway passages are called bronchi. The bronchi spread out into lung tissue and continue to divide into smaller and smaller hollow channels as they go further into the lungs. The airways eventually terminate in tiny air pockets within the lungs called alveoli. The lungs are on either side of the chest cavity. They surround the heart and fill most of the chest between the base of the neck and the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen.



It is composed of the genital glands (gonads) that produce the reproductive cells, the genital conducts that ensure the transport of the sex cells, and the copulation organs that permit the encounter of the gametes. The male reproductive system, as well as the female one is controlled by the hormones that come from the hypophysis and the nerve signals that come from the hypothalamus.


In the male dog, the reproduction organs of the dog function yearlong. One millimetre of sperm contains 100,000 to 200,000 and the volume and concentration of these lower if the dog copulates too much in a row.

The testosterone, the sex hormone of the male dog, is vital for the production of sperm cells, the definition of secondary sex characteristics (bigger size and weight, and the bark is of a lower pitch), and sexual behaviour. 


The reproduction system of the female dog is much more complex than that of a male dog. The female dog has estruation each six months more or less. There are four periods in the sexual cycle: the pro estruation, the menstruation, the posestruation, and the anaestruation. The anaestruation is the period in which the dog is not ready for reproduction. In the proestruation, which lasts for 9 days, the follicles grow in the ovaries. The dog's vagina swells and it spills a mucus type substance, later blood. The estruation comes next and it longs for 4 or 8 days. There is no more blood coming from the vagina but the dog is very nervous. Ovulation occurs starts 3 to 5 days after the estruation starts. It lasts 12 to 72 hours. The posestruation occurs if the dog is not pregnant and it lasts for 2 months. The walls of the uterus widen because of the progesterone secreted in the ovary. The anestro lasts 3 months and a half and it is the resting of the female reproductive system. 

Male Reproduction

The gonads of the male are the testicles (17) which are inside a sac and the scrotum. The sperm cells are produced there. The prostate(19) is the gland that produces the liquid in which sperm cells are carried. Sperm cells go out through the urethra (15), which is surrounded by the penile bone (1), like urine does. The penis of the dog has tissue around the urethra which is capable of dilatation when extra blood is pumped (for copulation). 

The penis of the male possesses two peculiarities:

        1.    Penile bone (21) gives the organ stability

        2.    the bulbus (20) situated in its wall, which swells upon the joining of the male and female.

NOTE: One must NEVER attempt to physically separate dogs by force that have 'tied' - by attempting to do so you may cause irreparable damage to one or both animals. 

                                              Male reproductive organs

Male reproductive system


1. Intermaxillary bone
2. Tongue
3. Soft palate
4. Esophagus
5. Diaphragm
6. Liver
7. Stomach
8. Spleen
9. Small intestine
10. Large intestine
11. Bronchial tube

12. Heart
13. Main/aorta artery
14. Kidney
15. Urethra
16. Bladder
17. Testicle
18. Ductus deferens
19. Prostate
20. Bulbus
21. Penile bone







Female Reproduction


The gonads of the female dog are composed of the ovaries (14), which are under the kidneys (11). The ovaries produce the eggs. The ovaries are active after the dog is 4 to 6 months old and the process occurs in most bitches every 6 months or so (this is normally referred to as "in heat"). After the egg is produced it goes to the oviduct where it waits for a sperm cell to fertilize it. If fertilization is successful, it stays in the uterus for two weeks until it sticks to the wall, where they settle and develop into puppies.

Female reproductive organs

Female reproductive system


1. Heart
2. Vena cava Inferior
3. Vena cava Superior
Azygos vein
5. Aorta artery
6. Diaphragm
7. Liver
8. Stomach

9. Duodenum
10. Small intestine
11. Kidney
12. Urethra
13. Bladder
14. Ovary
15. Uterus partly opens
Foetus in the Uterus
17. Vagina






Copulation permits the contact of eggs and sperm cells to form zygotes. The penis of the dog becomes erect by filling with erectile tissue with blood as well as the penile bone. Then it is introduced into the relaxed and lubricated vagina of the dog. Then the penis of the dog expands and the female's vagina muscles contract trapping the penis in the vagina for a long time. The vagina then produces three ejaculations in the male dog. The middle one with more sperm than the other two. The female dog then liberates the male dog and there is a possibility of offspring production. If the females eggs are fertilized it generally takes 2 months for the parturition (birth) of the puppies. In the parturition, the female dog expels the puppy after it releases the amniotic liquid and the foetal sacs. The female cleans the puppy with her tongue to familiarize it with its mother and motivate its physiological functions and then she licks her vagina carefully. After, the placenta is released and it is eaten by the mother. The period between puppies is between half and one hour. The puppies sucking of the mother's breast is essential for the further production of milk. The puppies' bumps, with their heads on their mother's breasts is important for the production of hypofisiary hormones in the dog. 


The nervous system is composed of the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system, and the autonomous nervous system. The central nervous system is composed by the brain and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is made up of the nerve cells and the autonomous one is made up of the sympathetic and the parasympathetic systems. The autonomous nerve system is connected to the spinal cord and the peripheral to the spinal cord or the brain. 


The urinary system, is composed by the kidneys and the urinary structures. The blood is purified of toxins and excess water by the kidneys. Then the toxic substances are diluted in urine which passes through the ureters to the urinary bladder (deposit for urine). Then it is released through the urethra to the exterior of the body. 


The Tooth Pattern



The small teeth in the front of the mouth are called the incisors. There are six of these in the upper and lower jaws. They are the tearing teeth. Next are the canines, the largest teeth in the mouth. Behind the canines, we find the molars. Molars can be divided into premolars used for cutting, and molars which are used for grinding known as masticators and grinders.

The total number of teeth in the upper and lower jaw is 42 comprising of:

-6 incisors (upper and lower)

-2 canine (upper and lower)

-premolar (8 upper and lower)

-molar (4 upper and 6 lower)


The following tabulation of the temporary teeth as to number and normal time for them to erupt is:

Incisors (6 upper/6 lower) erupt between 19 - 28 days

Canines (2 upper/2 lower) erupt between 3 - 5 weeks

1st Molars (not in temporary teeth)

2nd Molars (2 upper/2 lower) erupt between 4-6 weeks

The dog has 42 teeth which include canines, pre-molars, molars, incisors.

3rd Molars (2 upper/2 lower) erupt between 3-4 weeks

4th Molars (2 upper/2 lower) erupt between 3-6 weeks

5th - 6th - 7th Molars (not in temporary teeth)

Newborn puppies' teeth are not visible. Large breeds will usually cut their teeth faster than small ones.

Temporary teeth are rarely placed close together and as the puppy grows the opening increases. The lower milk teeth usually come through first but when the permanent teeth appear it is likely the uppers which are first. The permanent teeth, which come through the gums behind the puppy teeth, should push them out, for their roots have been reabsorbed by the system and probably become a part of the permanent teeth. Teeth that are not pushed out can cause problems and are probably best extracted after speaking with your vet.


The number of permanent teeth should be the same regardless of breed. However, it is not unusual to find missing dentition in any or all breeds. The number and eruption of permanent teeth are as follows:

- Incisors erupt at 3-4 months

-Canines erupt at 5-6 months

-1st Molars erupt at 4-5 months

-2nd Molars erupt at 5-7 months

-3rd & 4th Molars erupt just after 2nd Molars

-5th Molars erupt at 4-6 months

-6th Molars erupt at 4-7 months

-7th Molars erupt at 6-9 months

Variation in times will vary between breeds and the health and/or diet of the individual dog.

Cutting teeth is a crucial time in the young dogs life due to drain on calcium and phosphorus whilst building the teeth and bone being produced at the same time. The roots of the temporary teeth is normally reabsorbed into the system leaving the shell of the tooth until the permanent teeth pushes them out.

Sometimes the temporary tooth remains and deflects the permanent tooth resulting in a double row of teeth. Any temporary tooth that causes deflection should be removed after consultation with your vet.



The breed standard for the GSD is designated as the type of bite desirable for the breed as a scissor bite. This describes the manner in which the teeth of the upper jaw meet those of the lower jaw. A scissor bite means that the upper incisors strike just forward of the lower, touching or barely missing them.


A level bite means the incisors strike cutting edge to edge.


The overshot jaw means the upper incisors strike some distance ahead of the lower jaw, sometimes only affecting the incisor teeth and no others. This can be an abnormal extension of the upper jaw, but may also indicate the receding of the lower jaw.


The undershot jaw means the lower jaw extends out in front of the upper jaw. A characteristic of many short faced breeds



Our dogs

Copyright 2003  [Camnusch]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/05/06.


Camnusch German Shepherd Dogs - Beauty, Brains & Versatility...Why settle for less?