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Don't let this happen to any other breeds...


Liz P
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Hello everyone,

 

It is truly disturbing to see what some breeders have created in the GSD. And, then they argue that these horribly disfigured unsound dogs are "correct".

 

Regards,

nancy

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I'd like to see all the people that think it is proper for a dog to walk hunched over and dragging its feet walk just like they make their dogs. They should be forced to walk hunched, and drag their toes on the floor and see how they feel after a full day. I'm sure that cannot be comfortable for the dogs... GRRRRR! :angry:

It still baffles me on how people can take a perfectly good working dog, and force it to become something it's not and completely breed it stupid... :angry: :angry:

 

 

 

 

post-11137-067503100 1289626086_thumb.jpg

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There are 2 ways the average person can get the sort of stance and gait that GSD breeders think is ideal: training or breeding. Given that it is easier to breed for it than have to train each subsequent generation, people breed deformed dogs.

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German shepherds are breed I really WANT to like, but think that finding one sound of mind and body would be so very difficult. Liz, when these videos are posted we often remark on the dogs' toplines, hips, hocks,...can you explain what is going on with the hocks? I can see it's awful but I don't know what's going on inside, structurally.

 

It seems the dogs in this particular video can't even get it together enough to produce an actual diagonal trot. Dog 1 is pacing...I think dog 2 is actually

(especially similar to second horse in video)! The ongoing denial by show breeders that there is something wrong with this...their claims that this is actually "desirable" and "correct"...is just so crazy. If you surround yourself with other like-minded crazy people, does the power of numbers make you right?
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Megan, what I hear from law enforcement folks when they want to buy a working dog, they go outside the US, at least 50% of the time. It's too hard to find sound temperments and bodies here in the States.

 

It's very sad to see, I don't even stop and chat with GSD owners whose dogs are like that, and I'll talk to almost anyone with a dog!

 

The few 'civilian' GSDs that I see that are fit and structurally healthy are a joy to watch in motion.

 

Ruth

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Exactly how their skeleton looks is something I don't know but would love to see. They have a roached back, so their vertebra must have a slight concavity to them. Their pelvis is rotated to an extreme angle. Their back legs are too long for their bodies, even if you corrected the roach back and rotated pelvis.

 

BUT, there is something else going on to cause that gait. If any other breed came in walking like a GSD we would say, "Wow, that dog has severe neurological abnormalities!" Just look at any show bred GSD. They have very little muscle mass on their back legs, no matter how much they are exercised. That is a sign of reduced nerve input to the muscles. Watch them gaiting in the ring and you can see that the muscles of their thighs are flapping around. GSDs do have a tendency for very narrow openings through their vertebra, causing compression of the spinal cord (esp towards the rear). My theory, which may be totally off base, is that breeders unintentionally selected for compressed spinal cords to get the gait they thought was ideal.

 

As a kid I desperately wanted a GSD, but even then I was smart enough to know that I didn't want my heart broken. Sometime in the near future I may be adding a Mal to my pack (the non deformed cousin of the GSD).

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Thanks Liz. So your thought is that the cause of the toe-dragging and weird, weak, wobbly hocks is that it may not be solely due to structural abnormality, but that the structure itself may also be causing neurological issues? I hope I'm expressing my thoughts correctly.

 

If any other breed came in walking like a GSD we would say, "Wow, that dog has severe neurological abnormalities!"

 

Funny, but now that you mention it, I would think the same thing of another breed of dog if it were walking like that. My parents had an Irish Setter some years ago that had a back problem (I don't remember whether it was a pinched nerve/compressed disc or exactly what)--she did the toe-dragging thing too. But I've become so "used to" the GSD being such a physical trainwreck that I had chalked it all up to physical structure.

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My brother used to have the most gorgeous GSD named Brutus--big, healthy, strong. He never looked like the ones in the video. He lived to a ripe old age and was one of the sweetest dogs I've ever known. These dogs definitely look deformed. Poor things. What's wrong with people?! :angry:

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I have always loved German Shepherds and if they did not look like this so often, I would probably have them rather than Border Collies. It breaks my heart every time I see a middle aged GSD that is lame yet the spirit is willing, my husband and I could not bring ourselves to have a dog that would end up lame. At agility trials I often see a large GSD dog who is jumping 12", and I always wonder how a dog that was bred to be athletic ended up this way ( I know the answer but it does not make any sense) . Yet I live next door to a working GSD a bomb dog, who I love but she came from Belgium at vast expense and a federal grant to the state.

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Megan, what I hear from law enforcement folks when they want to buy a working dog, they go outside the US, at least 50% of the time. It's too hard to find sound temperments and bodies here in the States.

Ruth

 

That is no longer any guarantee. I've known people who bough Czech and German dogs and they were severely dysplastic by the time they were a year old. Most of the law enforcement around here uses Dutch Shepherds or Belgian Malinios now.

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I followed some links one day to find GSD's in many European countries, particularly Eastern European countries. In terms of conformation, the photos shown of prominent (show?) breeding dogs showed the same sort of exaggerated build and gait as these dogs in the video - horribly roached backs, walking on their hocks, etc. This isn't just a US or North American problem - it is a show-ring spawned problem that has affected dogs in many nations.

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - a major problem I have with competition, particularly conformation competition in virtually all breeds, is the trend towards extremes - at the cost of health and well-being of the animals. Any perusal of winning animals of many breeds over time will show this detrimental trend of extremity, all while those who believe in conformation also believe that they are "improving" the breeds they show and reproduce.

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I think Sue is right. It's less of U.S./Europe difference, and more of a showline/working line difference. It seems the "classic" black and tan saddle patterned GSD has gone the way of the show. The sable and black GSDs are still used as working dogs and have a better structure.

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I saw a beautiful German shepherd working in the Atlanta airport last week, reddish brown with black saddle, similar to but bigger than the lovely dogs I've seen working in the Rome, Italy, airport. He was just gorgeous, and he had a topline like Rin Tin Tin's.

 

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The Rin Tin Tin image comes from a Terrierman blog entry on the same subject. It is quite weird that people are breeding the beauty and health out of this great breed.

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I was at a dog park last winter and there was a GSD puppy there. The dog was massive and extremely out of proportion for it's age. The poor thing ran around on its elbows and was in obvious discomfort. It couldn't keep up with the other dogs, had a hard time turning and just moving in general and looked so sloppy and disfigured :( The poor thing looked like a dog running with flippers on his front feet.

 

The woman was as proud as can be about the thing and bragged about the "show litter" it came from and his potentional in life. I wanted to throw up :blink: All I could think was, she's going to have to put that poor dog down in the next year because she's not going to be able to carry his 100lb body in and out of the house to pee. You could see other folks at the park pointing and wispering about him too. Very sad :(

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I guess I chime in here since I do have 3 of theese beasts :blink::D:blink:

I whole heartedly agree with everything said here. 99% of the "serious" GSD breeders want that look! I belong to the NM GSD club, and one of theese days I will be kicked out of the club because I am so outspoken about what they consider a GSD!

There are a handful of people with GSD here that "Do" things with their dogs, like herd, track, obedience, rally! Would our dogs ever do good in the Breedring? Heck no, we would be laughed out of it, but heck, at least our guys can do what the are bred for in the "old" days!

 

I see the same thing happening to the BC's you wait and see :unsure:

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