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I was just at the vet's office to get 4th of July drugs.

 

A woman got a German Shepherd out of her SUV. It was one of those that has the really slanted back end.

 

He could hardly walk. It was so painful to actually see what that kind of breeding does to both the poor dog and to the dog's owner.

 

The dog had lost most of his hair on his back end so I could see how he was actually built. Here was this beautiful big dog on the front end. And his whole backend looked about 1/3 too small for the rest of his body.

 

Vet's are still trying to give him some relief but it is so painfully obvious that he can't go on that way for much longer.

 

The owner left crying.

 

The people who breed dogs with these awful physical problems should be shot.

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I have to agree with you Tommy Coyote. It is cruel to have an animal be in such pain when it could be prevented with better breeding ethics. I feel for that dog and owner.

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Unfortunately the owner must bear some of the blame. People are buying those poor dogs and as long as there's a market for them (and judges place them at shows) people will keep breeding them. You'd have to be living under a rock or be pretty much wilfully ignorant not to know the state of the German shepherd breed. If you buy a pup from dogs who are structurally unsound--and deliberately bred to be that way--then it shouldn't come as a surprise when your pup grows up to also be unsound. Sad most of all for the dog.

 

J.

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Soo sad.

 

I agree with all of the above.

 

I saw a GSD at an agility trial earlier this year with a slanted back-end. One could easily tell his back-end was weak, but he was gamely running the agility course - and looked happy doing it. But I have to say that it almost brought tears to my eyes to see such a great heart on a dog with major structural problems.

 

Jovi

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I see it day in and day out. People honestly have no idea. They accept what they see on a daily basis as normal. Because they see GSDs, Pugs, Bulldogs, etc all of the time they don't realize that they are in fact deformed. Yes, having such a short muzzle is a deformity.

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Every time I see a badly deformed GSD it makes me want to cry.. That said I do think people try to do their research As Liz says they just don't fully understand what that research should be or even what the dog should really be.

 

As an example a couple of friends got their new rottie through an AKC breeder, not long after a friend who is into sports of all types agility/obedience/rally got a new rottie puppy. We had had long chats about the breed what she was looking for, what was wrong with the AKC version etc etc. Well my friends who just wanted a friend thought they were getting the gold standard of dogs by going to the AKC website and looking for breeders there. I don't know their dog well, I think it is a perfectly nice dog, but it could have gone wrong, and they would not have had a clue as to why....

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With the flat-faced dogs, the extent of deformity is glaringly obvious in an x-ray, compared to a "normal" skull x-ray. But people love those "baby-faced" dogs that have problems with breathing, regulating their body temperature, and dental issues. People breed (or buy) what they *want* or what will *win* or what will *sell* rather than what is good for the animals produced themselves. When will people understand that extremes, of all sorts, are not good for the dogs? (Or cats, or other living creatures?)

 

I believe that a lot of what people breed for, that is successful in the show ring, is really counterproductive if the overall health and well-being of the animal is considered. My old gelding, once a valuable Paint in the show ring, had the straight hind end (from the rear) that was desirable in the show ring. Too bad stifle issues and other unsoundnesses are associated with hind legs that do not have sufficient angulation.

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There is some good news with regard to the GSD breed. I was at a friend's a couple weeks ago. The friend trains dogs in a 3 week board and train program. When I drove up, she was walking a GSD adolescent around her property. He looked fantastic. His back was straight, his hips were moving normally, she trotted him and slowed him down a couple times, he kept up with no problems and no wobbles what so ever. When I remarked on how structurally sound he was, she said, "Yeah, I'm going to ask the owners who bred him."

 

He might be an imported dog, but he might be American bred. Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?

 

Ruth and Agent Gibbs

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At the vet I used to work for we had Pug and English Bulldog breeders. It was so common for both breeds to not even be able to do the deed that the only one that could complete his task on his own was renamed Cando. They all have to have c-sections to give birth. That is insane.

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Most working bred GSD's are normal. Also look towards the east german, czech dogs. Even Germany produces horribly disfigured dogs in their showlines now. Despite all the required health checks, titles earned. It does not matter what organization, humans that don't understand will mess them all up.

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You can find physically and tempermentally sound GSDs in North America and Europe but you need to know where to look, and that is not in show lines. Even the Eastern European nations that have been bastions of the working dog are now abounding with show-bred (with all its attendant issues) GSDs as the show ring culture invades these countries. A search will find pages of "top-quality" frog dogs proudly displayed as the pinnacle of breeding - and the ignorant purchaser will think they are getting the very best with their (many) dollars when they purchase a pup, here or abroad.

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Most working bred GSD's are normal. Also look towards the east german, czech dogs. Even Germany produces horribly disfigured dogs in their showlines now. Despite all the required health checks, titles earned. It does not matter what organization, humans that don't understand will mess them all up.

 

So true. The German dogs from show lines have that exaggerated curve to their backs. The working bred dogs are more agile, and they are becoming easier to find here in the US than they were in the past.

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I just keep thinking about that poor dog and his owner. I just keep seeing that poor deformed dog trying to walk.

 

His whole back half just looked deformed. It all curved downward. And under.

 

I don't think most people do a whole lot of research before they get a puppy. They really don't have any idea what to research for. It was so obvious that this woman really loved this dog. They both were in a whole lot of pain.

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Recently I handled a German-bred Boxer. Not knowing too much about the boxer breed I would have said he was a mix, or badly bred, at first glance because his face was terribly squished in, his body was stocky but in a weird way that was proportioned funny. He looked nothing like the two Boxers that my friend owns. Both dogs are sound in structure and in temperament. Come to find out this particular Boxer was a champion in the show ring and had earned numerous titles. People paid a ton of money to be able to breed to him. It just blows my mind that that is what people want, not dogs like Jake and Duke, who are happy and healthy. I just can't imagine wanting a dog that is constantly heaving when he's breathing because all his airways are blocked and squished. I hear these dogs try to breathe and it breaks my heart.

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I see it day in and day out. People honestly have no idea. They accept what they see on a daily basis as normal. Because they see GSDs, Pugs, Bulldogs, etc all of the time they don't realize that they are in fact deformed. Yes, having such a short muzzle is a deformity.

I know several Pug owners. They DO know their dog is deformed. They DO know it has breathing problems, eye problems, bacterial infection problems because of the deep creases on their faces, spinal deformity and luxating patellas. They HAVE seen Pedigree Dogs Exposed. (I saw to that.) They just don't care. They want what they want and they think it's cute. When asked if they would consider a less extreme dog they say. "Oh no! It wouldn't be a Pug then, would it?"

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Why did the show people start breeding the GSD with the angled rear end? Did they think it looked good? Was there a reason?

 

I don't get it. It doesn't look good. The animals can't move right.

 

I think it was Liz that was saying that the AKC people were breeding border collies with shorter legs. It is physically impossible for those dogs to do sheep work. They aren't fast enough to cover their sheep. Does anyone know the philosophy behind the shorter legs?

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think it was Liz that was saying that the AKC people were breeding border collies with shorter legs. It is physically impossible for those dogs to do sheep work. They aren't fast enough to cover their sheep. Does anyone know the philosophy behind the shorter legs?

 

I heard someone say once that AKC folks were breeding for shorter legs to give the illusion that the dogs were moving in the "border collie crouch." No idea if this is true or not... but, I can't think of a good reason to breed for shorter legs, so who knows...

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So are they breeding for longer back legs and shorter front legs?

 

Would they really be breeding for something that stupid? That is just jaw droppingly stupid.

 

When I read about why show people breed for this, that, or the other thing, or justify doing so, I find much if not all of it to be "jaw droppingly stupid".

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It gives the illusion of smooth, efficient movement in the ring. Some of the show bred dogs look like Corgi crosses. Even a dog with long legs sometimes has trouble catching up to running sheep. A dog with short legs might be ok in a tiny arena trial, but in real life or field trials they can run into trouble pretty fast.

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It gives the illusion of smooth, efficient movement in the ring.

 

Isn't illusion what showing is really all about? Producing a picture that fulfills an image in someone's mind? Really nothing about producing a dog that is functional in real life or in the home. Just picture the dogs with their impossible coats, for instance.

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