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Old 10-30-2009, 05:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

Sorry if this is the wrong section, if it is can you please move it to the right section?

Hi I was reading about the GSD lineage and what I found was this.

Quote:
Quote:Captain Von Stephanitz, of the German infantry, bought sheep-herding dogs (many of them field trial winners) from all over Europe in the late 1800's and early 1900's and bred them together to create his 'ultimate service dog'. He started a registry and stud book. His favourite dog, Hektor, he gave the first # (SZ 1). Hektor was 1/4th wolf. He was bred to every decent bitch around, and all the dogs originally imported to the UK & America were proudly traced back to him.

In the first decade of 1900, Von Stephanitz wrote a book (in German) about his loyal hard working dogs called "The German Shepherd in Word and Picture". In this book he documents the above heritage and pleas to the breeders not "to add more wolf blood" into his dogs as he had ALREADY found the IDEAL combination. In 1923, an American version was translated VERBATIM. Not many copies were printed and few still exist. Fang@howling.com has a pricey (about $350) original and more may (?) be found by doing rare book searches. In 1932, an 8th Enlarged and 'Revised' (read 'Sanitised' !) version was financed by English speaking 'interests'. All references to the positive wolf heritage were removed and most GSD fanciers have been denying RECENT wolf heritage ever since.
http://www.asuperiorgsd.com/wolf-dog.html

First I'd like to say I have no agenda at all (I have to say this because I'm sure SOMEONE out there will think im trying to talk bad about GSD). I absolutely love german shepherds, I had one during my childhood and I will get one after my finish my school (or maybe before then, depending if I get married during then). I am just simply wondering what % of GSD are wolf?

Also keep in mind that Dogs and Wolves are the exact same species (canis lupis, domesticated dogs are a sub species). By being part "wolf" I mean a recent ancestry with their wild "brothers" (past 200 years).

According to the link he came to this conclusion
Quote:
Quote:From the foregoing, and assuming that all present day dogs are mainly descended from an original 18 dogs in Stephanitz Kennels, it must be assumed that all German Shepherd dogs are from one third to one quarter RECENT wolf!!!
Thats 33 to 25%

Here is another source who talks about "hektor" and his mother.
Quote:
Quote:The German Shepherd Dog Mores Plieningen, SZ #159, who was bred to the first Stud dog, Horand Von Grafath (previously known as Hektor Liksrhein) and whose blood is said to be in the pedigree of every German Shepherd Dog in the world today, was the granddaughter of a wolf at the Stuttgart Zoological Gardens. Their son, Hektor Von Schwaben, SZ #13, figured heavily in the early German Shepherd Dog line.
http://www.shilohshepherds.info/101Wolfdogs.htm
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

The Math sounds off...To me A dog that is 25% wolf is going to have a grandparent that is completely wolf. If you're having to go back to original foundation dogs for wolf heritage, and even those dogs were not pure wolf...well then I would say the percentage is much much smaller.

Sure GSDs might be closer than other breeds, but it still seems far fetched to start calling them "Wolf dogs". I mean if you go back 30 generations and find 1 relative whose Mom was from China, does that make you Chinese?

(And yes I understand we're dealing with compounding linebreeding but every time you cross out it becomes more dilute)
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

The math is TOTALLY off. If the male was 1/4 wolf to begin with (if true), and bred to "every decent bitch" that did not have 1/4 wolf in them, then right off the bat you have 12.5%. Say you take on of the boys from that litter and breed to another "decent bitch", then you have 6.25%. And with each breeding you get a little bit more dilute. You get the point. I'd get a decent, reputable book on the GSD and not some website. What they are writing doesn't make ANY sense. To even go from 12.5% (if true) to suddenly up to 25%-33%?!
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

This is the first time I've ever heard this, and I doubt that it's true.(Not that it would bother me if it were.....) Sounds like the person who wrote this has an "agenda". What does Max von Stephanitz say about Hektor aka Horand? Anyone have a copy of his book (which by the way isn't that hard to find, and you don't have to pay over $300 for it.) Reminds me to get a copy.....

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Old 10-30-2009, 07:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: GSDElsaThe math is TOTALLY off. If the male was 1/4 wolf to begin with (if true), and bred to "every decent bitch" that did not have 1/4 wolf in them, then right off the bat you have 12.5%. Say you take on of the boys from that litter and breed to another "decent bitch", then you have 6.25%. And with each breeding you get a little bit more dilute. You get the point. I'd get a decent, reputable book on the GSD and not some website. What they are writing doesn't make ANY sense. To even go from 12.5% (if true) to suddenly up to 25%-33%?!
Yeah but that is assuming the females werent part wolf themselves. But I was thinking 12.5% as well.
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Old 10-30-2009, 07:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

Here is a source that is more moderate (sorry about the first one, its the first one to come up in my search).

Please read this all.

Quote:
Quote:In 1899 the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde (SV) held it's first specialty show at Frankfurt-am-Main and from that time the Sieger and Siegerin titles were started The Sieger of 1900 and 1901 was Hektor v Schwaben SZ13 who was the son of Horand v Grafrath, out of the bitch Mores Plieningen SZ159. She was a bitch born in 1894, and according to Horowitz (1924) had wolf ancestry. He cited Otto Rahm of the Wohlen Kennels in Switzerland as claiming that this bitch was the result of mating a male wolf to a Shepherd bitch. A record of a litter born in February 1901 by Woofram v Grafrath out of Wolfi v Wolfnest. Wolfi was the inbred Granddaughter of a dog called Wolf (presumably for reasons of colour, rather than ancestry). Her maternal Grandam was Zamba-Saar which the Zuchlbuch records as a She-Wolf. (We can presume that wolves being refereed to in these records are European Wolves.)

Mores Plieningen had enormous influence on the breed and is the ancestor (many times over) of every German Shepherd Dog in the world today. If it is true that she descended from a Wolf, some 100 years ago, there is Wolf blood in the breed. The Dutch Geneticist Hagedoorn (1950), who believed in the Wolf ancestry theory, argued that many of the excellent qualities of the breed, such as it's "unquestioned obedience, and it's exemplary master of self, stemmed from the Wolf." The fact that the breed may have had some Wolf blood a century ago is probably of no great harm, and possibly of some value. However since organized registration began, future opportunities for Wolf mixture have ceased.
http://www.steelcross-gsd.com/history.htm

"Mores Plieningen " being the mother of "hektor".


Also dont worry about terms like "wolf dog" etc thats not what im wondering about since technically everysingle dog even a yorkshire terrier is a "wolf". They are the same species. I was just wondering if GSD had more recent admixture with the grey wolves as part of the breeds history.
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

Hmm sorry for the triple post Im just trying to figure this out. I assume "grandam" means grandparent (it says maternal)? If thats the case, that would make Mores Plieningen 75% wolf and Hektor 37.5%. And assuming he was mixed with just plain shepherding "bitches" with no grey wolf admixture then modern GSD should be 18.75% wolf. Yeah no idea where the guy got the 25-33% from. He's way off lol. And thats even assumine Mores Plieningen was 75%, if she even had wolf ancestry it was probably only 50% or maybe even 25% (only grandparent).

So I think its safe to assume that if there was any admixture with grey wolves its 6.25% to 18.75% and no more of modern german shepherds.

I think the second source I posted is probably correct (and third one kind of backs it up). Her father being pure wolf is not proven, so at most she was a grandaughter of a wolf (as the second one says, which would make the number of wolf admixture in modern day GSD at 6.25% [hektor at 12.5%]).

Anyways if its true I think it's kind of cool actually . Dogs are already technically wolves but having a little bit of admixture with their wild "brothers" somehow makes them cooler haha. That wolfish look to GSDs may have some blood truth to it!
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

If what you're asking is whether or not GSD's do descend from wolves - yes that is pretty well known. Would I call a GSD any % wolf? No, once you get so many generations out, I'd stop counting the wolf.

There are other breeds which have tried to create the wolfdog image by crossing various breeds (gsd's, huskies, etc) with wolves - several of them - and they all have reputations for being very shy, nervy, spooky dogs, most of which are not capable of doing real work. So yes in image it sounds "cool" to have a wolfdog, but dogs have been domesticated for so long for a reason.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

I'm not sure you understand the genetics of breeding if you think that current day German shepherds still contain "wolf" blood. It just doesn't work that way UNLESS you are consistently breeding back to wolves or dogs that have a high percentage of wolf in their pedigree.
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Old 10-30-2009, 04:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Wolf ancestry in german shepherds?

Quote:
Quote:Also dont worry about terms like "wolf dog" etc thats not what im wondering about since technically everysingle dog even a yorkshire terrier is a "wolf". They are the same species.
Wrong & Right. Although they are the same species, a Yorkie is most emphatically NOT a wolf. Sames species doesn't equal same 'breed'. All wolves are dogs...All dogs are not wolves. Kinda like 'all ponies are horses but every horse is not a pony'.

Wolves are a true wild dog. Even Huskies & Malamutes, which tend to have a wild side, are profoundly distinct from the wolf in some very important aspects. Those crucial differences are largely what make Sibes & Mals excellent companions for humans. Wolves very, very rarely make good pets, & only by experienced people in rigorously managed situations. Tragically, far too many people neither accept or nor understand this, usually to the detriment of the wolf.
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