In the big shows around the world and the major shows in the United States, the dog is shown in a faster gait with the German shepherd running in front of the handler with the dog gaiting counter-clockwise around the ring. This structure is taught as a puppy using “double handling,” which we will go over in detail later.
The gait is outreaching, elastic, seemingly without effort, smooth and rhythmic, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps. At a walk it covers a great deal of ground, with long stride of both hind legs and forelegs.
The feet travel close to the ground on both forward reach and backward push. In order to achieve ideal movement of this kind, there must be good muscular development and ligamentation. The hindquarters deliver, through the back, a powerful forward thrust which slightly lifts the whole animal and drives the body forward.