In the 1850s, people of Europe performed attempts to standardize breeds of dogs. On the basis of traits and appearance, it was decided to make separate categories of dog breeds. There were two main categories to categorize dog breeds such as herding dogs and protecting dogs. In herding categories, necessary skills for dogs include strength, intelligence, smell sense, and speed. On the other hand, skills required in guard dogs include being aggressive, active, smart and energetic. To standardize these breeds, in 1891, Phylax society was formed to categorize dog breeds as per their traits. However, after three years, the society is dissolved due to internal conflicts. Some society members believed that dogs should be categorized on the basis of their working capabilities while others believed that they should be categorized on the basis of their appearance.
An ex-cavalry captain Max Von Stephanitz who was the former student of Berlin Veterinary College believed that categorization of dogs should be done on the basis of their work. At the beginning of standardizing the breed, it was found that it is not easy to categorize breed of dogs. An experiment was carried out on Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd to find out dog suitable for herding purposes. It was found that German Shepherd was the right choice for herding sheep because of speed, strength, and intelligence.