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Old 07-21-2006, 12:52 PM
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Default GSD Conformation

I'm not sure if this is a touchy subject or not, but I'm certainly not trying to offend anybody. It seems that there are quite a few GSD people here, and I'm really curious.

Have GSDs always been bred with such sloping backs? Is there a reason for it? I know the breed has a lot of hip problems - is that related to their build, or are they just the same as many other large breeds?

I ask because a friend has a GSD that she got from what I assume is a BYB - and it's the healthiest looking one I've seen. She's eight, and has no joint issues. Her hips are as "square" as most other dogs. I don't know if that's related to her soundness or not, but it got me thinking.

Thanks to anyone who replies, and doesn't take any offense.
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Old 07-21-2006, 01:10 PM
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The sloping back is more of an American bred trait that has become more prominant in the last 20-30 years. Apparently the AKC people think that is how they should look, and once champions are made with that conformation, everyone gets on the bandwagon. All GSD's have a degree of slant, just not as pronounced as in the show dogs lines.

As far as hip problems, here is a site with some numbers. GSDs are not even in the top 25 for hip problems, and if you look at the number of dogs examined, they are among the most examined dogs out there, so the numbers should be pretty accurate.

http://www.offa.org/hipstatbreed.html
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Old 07-21-2006, 01:13 PM
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GSDs have not always been bred with such a sloping topline. If you look at current German dogs, they don't look half so exaggerated. As often happens when people get carried away with winning- "more is better syndrome" took over, and what was once a slight slope became a great deal more obvious.

Part of the reason for this is because it produces a very flashy action that is supposed to be typical to the GSD,known as "the flying trot." It looks great when the dogs are flying around a ring at top speed, but I can't help but think that it would be detrimental to any dog that was going to be herding for hours on end.

Because of this, I generally prefer German lines to American show lines, although I have seen a few American dogs that I really like here and there.

I too would be interested in hearing from the GSD lovers on this board. I would love to see examples of GSDs that people like as well. it's always fascinating to get information first hand from the people that really know their breeds. And GSD people, feel free to correct me on my post- to the best of my knowledge it is correct, but you guys are the ones who really know your history!
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Old 07-21-2006, 01:19 PM
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here's a few links for correct structure
http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/...rmation/1.html
That's what it should be, its not what always considered the standard at some shows, that's obvious.

This one shows the past VA dogs, you'll notice a big change if you look at recent winners to the ones from about the late 60's and earlier.
http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/...w_winners.html
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:05 PM
Melissa_W Melissa_W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatszmatter
here's a few links for correct structure
http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/...rmation/1.html
That's what it should be, its not what always considered the standard at some shows, that's obvious.

This one shows the past VA dogs, you'll notice a big change if you look at recent winners to the ones from about the late 60's and earlier.
http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/...w_winners.html
Wow, what a change! I don't know much about the GSD, but that doesn't seem right to me. The 2005 dogs look like their butts are about to hit the ground.
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Old 07-21-2006, 02:35 PM
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Those were at least German bred dogs that can still work, looking at American AKC breeds are even worse. Here's another link, kind of a lengthy read on the leerburg site, but the article is written by Jean Mueller. It goes into some detail about the shoulder and hip angles and their effect on gait. It also goes into the the reason they are bred this way ( for a pretty long reaching trot)

http://leerburg.com/gsd-gate.htm
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:31 PM
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The GSD was not created with that obnoxious topline. They were created as a working dog, and looks were not as important as working ability. Stephanitz created the GSD with a thought in mind. " A pleasing appearance is desirable, but it cannot put the dog's working ability into question". Which is what the topline does, compromises their working ability. German breeders continue to breed to that, temperament and working ability FIRST THEN conformation. Then the americans felt the GSD should have the rediculous topline and bred for that. Now GSD's in America are being bred just by having a CH title which means nothing. In Germany a GSD had to attain a SCH title BEFORE it could even enter the showring. But American line are bred to each other for purely conformation and leave out the important aspects of a real GSD. So American showline GSD's are nothing more than showdogs. They are the ones bred with that obnoxious topline.
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Old 07-21-2006, 03:36 PM
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Form follows function.

The American Show German Shepherd Dog has been bred for the most extreme flying trot possible.

This requires an extreme shoulder, an extreme turn of stifle, and a dog which is significantly longer than tall to accomplish.

The topline is consequence of the elongated body, the exaggerated turn of stifle, the demand for a low set and carried tail, and in part, the extreme shoulder angulation.
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Old 07-21-2006, 04:19 PM
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This dog http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/pedigree/2057.html looks like he was built VERY similarly to Bimmer - and Purdue, the first GSD I ever had, who was farm-bred.
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Old 07-21-2006, 04:25 PM
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In the links posted the dogs with hocks that are touching the ground look like mutants...

I get this feeling just looking at them : Stand one leg and bend your knee...

You just get this feeling of unstability... you can feel muscles pulling and straining, and it's not very comfortable..
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