Wildo back to you -- "When you say that the taller Swabian dogs did NOT "become" the sheep through immersion, are you saying that the other
Swabian dogs did get immersed in the sheep"
No , neither one of them got imprinted on the sheep. The Swabian guardian type was that , the guardian - strong protective drive. There are some breeds such as the Pyrenees, the Ovtscharka (probably butchering spelling), Akbash, Maremma, Kangol , are taken and placed with sheep at a very young age , sometimes even suckling on the sheep to seal the deal as it were. They virtually became a member of the sheep family. Unlike the GSD who wants to control them, move them , the flock guardian breeds may even show submissive behaviour to their sheepy family members , but you want to harm them, those lazy appearing dogs can summon up lightening fast speed.
We have a gentleman organic farmer who is a regular at the market I participate in on Saturdays. He has a flock guardian breed, I believe it is a Kuvazs , and he has done exatly this . The dog is totally indifferent to him - not one ounce of desire to work or be obedient , he lives and breaths the identity of the sheep. In an area that is troubled with coyotes , Durham region having the highest number of animal loss to coyotes !!!, and the occassional wayward bear (remember the bear in Aurora) he has had no losses to predators on his acreage.
For those living in Ontario this farmer has a yearly two day event "open house" where you can tour his operation, see the farm animals, learn about organic and bio-dynamic farming . He does everything the old way including using horses to plow. You can see the dogs, the sheep , goats , fowl.
His food is certified organic. Just remind next Aug you Ontarians -- his event is usually the first week in Sept.
His farm is just a bit north of Uxbridge. Just remind me and I'll give you the details. Everyone always has a great time.
Wildo "I know this comparison won't make sense (it makes sense to me though)-- Could you say that the Swabian herders were akin to Border Collies while the Swabian service dogs were akin to GSDs"
Not at all Wildo. Border collies and GSD are very different in behaviour and genetics . If it came to a crisis need to restore diversity in the GSD then border collie would be very low to not on the list . There is so much different. The GSD as a core to sheep herding has an almost obsessive border instinct - it becomes the living fence . They don't focus on the sheep as the border collie would do . The BC's drive with their predatory eye contact . The GSD only bothers with them if they have crossed the border he is trying to maintain . The sheep they work are totally different. The sheep the BC works are lighter and very flighty . The sheep the GSD has to work are heavy and not unknown to challenge the GSD and be a general obstinate block . This is where the GSD needs his physicality and his prescence and his active aggression to over come and control the sheep. Not harm it , that is not desireable either , but to be commanding and assertive and come out the winner (or else all the other sheep will create mayhem!!).
Wildo "So we have: Thuringian, Wurttemberg, and two distinct types of Swabian- which is four, so was Rolf Osnabruckerland a representation of the service Swabian? Rolf is a dog, yes? "
You have these landrace types Thuringian, Wurtemberg , Swabian-herd / Swabian-service , so similiar to Wurtemberger that they could be identified with Wurtemberger.
Rolf , Roland, Racker Osnabrucker Land were indeed dogs.
They are the manifestation of the various indigenous groups we have touched on , Thuringian, Wurtemberger, Swabian .
Other representatives of the pillars of the modern GSD , more recent times , would be R litter Osnabrucker Land just mentioned, Claudius Hain , Junker Nassau , and Nestor Wiegerfelsen. Nestor being largely Thuringian and behind many of the dogs (in concentration) with temperamental problems , whether it be , surprise the show lines , or the flashy sport bred lines .
Doc pretty well nailed it "
Originally Posted by Doc
the Wurttemberg and Swabian dogs were farm dogs. They worked all day for the love of the work; if they didn't work they were useless in the eyes of the farmer. Their job was to protect/herd/shepherd the sheep. They were smart, methodical, and slow to anger. Their "bite" was to keep the sheep in line. Their size and brain was used to ward off preditors. They didn't run after every threat and engage in a battle - they tending the flock and would put themselves between the flock and danger. When pressed, they could defend until the death"
and again , two for two "Originally Posted by Doc
Thuringian dogs were fleet of foot, quick to respond and chase. They were used as guard dogs for the wealthy class to protect their estates and land holdings from squatters. They would were quick to react and run off into the night after things. they also quick to bite without thinking"
not changing font style but now my additional thoughts.
The Thuringian were the source for the much wanted wolf's prick ear . The well to do would buy them and then drive in their autos putting the dogs on parade . They were the prestigious dogs. The Thuringian were also the type used for military , population oppressive , use , so a lot of this regional type drifted into the eastern bloc .
Wildo "The Wurttemberg and Swabian dogs sound just like modern GSDs. I'm curious (and I don't know if any of you guys could know this- but perhaps you read it...) why would the Thuringian dogs be added to the mix"
.............. well some of the modern GSD actually sound more like the Thuringian with some modification. They are very sporty. As Anne the Vandal keeps recalling the dogs with true strong fight drive and active aggression are not as common .
Wildo "why would the Thuringian dogs be added to the mix? Did Max find that the Wurttemberg + Swabian mix just didn't have the "energy" (animation, speed, sharpness, whatever you want to call it) behind them and wanted that extra "zing!" on top? "
not really, the herding dogs were doing just fine thank you very much. Right in the von Stephanitz book , and in accounts from "So" Eiselen , von Stephanitz loved the LOOK. They Phylax society loved the LOOK. The prick ears were premium .
Max was not a herder , and not the best of breeders. He was an exceptional manager of people and system organizer. Often times the herding people would warn him and advice him , and go about breeding as they always had to satisfy their practical needs. Max (von Stephanitz) had the sense to go back and exploit the bloodlines of the solid nerved herding dogs each and every time the breed was at the cusp of failure due to temperamental problems .
The breed as our modern GSD and with the demands for such a variety of performance it is important to keep the balance . All parts of the heritage should be understood and fine tuned for the best of dogs . Too much Thuringian , difficult , sharp shy, hyper active . Too much of the other possibly a little dull and slow to react -
"it fair to say that a modern GSD heavily influenced from Thuringian line would be incorrect to what the GSD was intended to be? "
I would say so - too malinois like .
Chris Wild covered as well as one possibly could "Just as the Thuringian could be too low threshold and too energetic, some of the Wurttemberg and Swabian lines could be too high threshold and somewhat dull. While a GSD shouldn't be trigger happy, it also shouldn't be so slow to anger/react that it doesn't do anything at all. Both extremes are incorrect and a dog strongly representing one line over another would be considered incorrect per the temperament the breed is supposed to have. That is why different types were combined; To help achieve the balance the breed is supposed to have.
The typical physical appearance of the breed also hails primarily from Thuringian genes"