The photo above comes from W.E. Mason’s Dogs of All Nations.
The description goes as follows:
Color: Black, grizzle, reddish brown, either self colored or with tan, white ar white with large dark patches or brindle, with or without tan markings. White on the chest and legs is permissible, but not desirable. Height: 22 in. Weight: 55 lbs.
This is a medium sized dog [emphasis mine], rather long in the body but well built, and is very game and intelligent. The head is lean, skull broad between the ears and long leaves muzzle. The ears are of medium size, carried erect, and pointed forward. The eye are almond shaped, dark in color, full of “fire” and intelligence, but often sour. The body is rather narrow, with deep chest, straight back and strong loins. The tail well coated, carried low when the dog is quiet and gaily but not over the back whe excited. There are three varieties as to coat: A. Smooth coated. Short dense are hard, round the neck the coat is longer and harder. B. Long haired, wavy and hard the hair on the head partially covering the eyes, and with well marked beard are moustaches and tail well feathered. C. Wire haired. Straight, hard and wiry, the on the head and legs being especially short and hard with beard and eyebrows we developed.
The description of the GSD of this time period reminds me more of the Dutch shepherd. The wire-haired and long-haired varieties described could be easily found in certain modern wire-haired Dutch shepherds.
We also know that German shepherd come in a faulty long-coat, which is more like a Tervuren’s, that also exists in Dutch shepherds.
Look closely at the photo above.
Notice how the back is not sloping.
The dog is not exaggerated in the least. It is a very moderate animal.
It is quite a bit smaller than the GSD’s one finds today, and it’s certainly smaller than the so-called “old-fashioned” German shepherds that weigh in excess of a 120 pounds.
The real old-fashioned GSD was smaller, not larger.
And if you want to see something similar to it, look at the Dutch and Belgian shepherds.