Captain von Stephanitz derived the conformation standard from this working requirement. Today, many novices are focusing on some specific features in judging the German Shepherd Dog, such as "a big head", "a big dog", "a read dog", and so on. Such features by themselves do not meet the German Shepherd Dog Standard.

"When judging (the German Shepherd Dog), only the broadest of views which takes in all the points at once in our breeding, will be of any use to our race," wrote Stephanitz. The balance and harmony of various characteristics was set out in a table, assigning marks out of a total of one hundred to each feature:

Shepherd dog nature and expression 20.0
General appearance 15.0
Gait 15.0
Bones and muscles 10.0
Back 7.5
Hindquarters 7.5
Forelegs 7.5
Chest 7.5
Head 5.0
Hair 5.0

The Model German Shepherd Dog

Source: Captain Max von Stephanitz, The German Shepherd
in Word and Picture,
S.V. Munich, Germany, 1925