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Old 10-03-2012, 02:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Foundation Lines and what they bring

The GSD was created using three foundation lines. Let's discuss what, in general, these individual lines bring to the table.

Here's what I've found online
  • Thuringian- known for their bountiful energy, sharpness, and wolf-like appearance. Stamped the GSD with their "type" (wolf-like appearance)
  • Wurttember- known for efficient movement, larger bone, active working dogs, intelligence, biddability, powerful yet good natured, aloofness. Stamped the GSD with temperament, trotting structure, working ability, intelligence, and courage
  • Swabian- known for size (larger than Wurttember), intelligence, steadfast, calm, versatility. Courage and conviction that would not back down to a threat. Stamped the GSD with versatility, strong temperament, and working ability.
Source: Developing the German Shepherd Breed

So let's discuss more generally how a mixture of these lines affects a dog. More Swabian brings fight, drive, and courage? More Wurttember brings a gentle disposition and trainability? More Thuringian brings sharpness and energy?
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildo View Post
The GSD was created using three foundation lines. Let's discuss what, in general, these individual lines bring to the table.

Here's what I've found online
  • Thuringian- known for their bountiful energy, sharpness, and wolf-like appearance. Stamped the GSD with their "type" (wolf-like appearance)
  • Wurttember- known for efficient movement, larger bone, active working dogs, intelligence, biddability, powerful yet good natured, aloofness. Stamped the GSD with temperament, trotting structure, working ability, intelligence, and courage
  • Swabian- known for size (larger than Wurttember), intelligence, steadfast, calm, versatility. Courage and conviction that would not back down to a threat. Stamped the GSD with versatility, strong temperament, and working ability.
Source: Developing the German Shepherd Breed

So let's discuss more generally how a mixture of these lines affects a dog. More Swabian brings fight, drive, and courage? More Wurttember brings a gentle disposition and trainability? More Thuringian brings sharpness and energy?
Swabian does not bring more fight and drive. It may have those within but it is their intelligence to know when to, and more importantly when not to, use it that makes the Swabian dog a vital part of the mix. They think before they react whereas the Thuringer reacts then may or may not think about it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ah- thanks for the clarification, Doc!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Just keep in mind - 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 death.
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.
An interesting side bar: Horand was genetically made up of all the foundational bloodlines; I think that was the reason Max feel in love with him. IMO Horand exhibited Thuringian traits to the extreme but Max understood the other qualities were contain within his genetics and went to the bigger, calmer dogs in his earlier breedings - in particular Audiofax and the Madame Krone.
In spite of what most current German shepherd breeders preach, the very early foundation dogs were made up of a great deal of unknown bloodlines. Being such, the German shepherd varied in size all across the board. So much so that the trend was to promote and crown the larger dogs champion until Bodo von Bloxberg was named Champion in a predetermined outcome. Before Bloxberg, the champions ranged from 24 inches in height to 28 inches in height, with the taller dogs dominating the gene pool. After crowning Bloxberg Champion, Max stopped the recording of "oversized" dogs in the official Stud Book to insure smaller dogs. What is important to keep in mind is, even though the Stud Book only recorded dogs under a certain height, those dogs still contained the genes that could produce "oversized" dogs. And those dogs that were "oversized" - particularly the Wurttember and Scwabian lines were being bred by farmers and others.
There is a bitter and often hostile conversation on the board about "old fashion and oversized" German shepherds. Knowing the historical records and history of this breed, there really isn't doubt that the german shepherd was, and still is, found in varing sizes and shapes - its in the genes. The term "old fashion" was actually used in the mid 20s to describe the German shepherds before Bloxberg was crowned Champion. Its in the history books if you don't beleive me.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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This thread is helping me understand why aside from the GSD I prefer LGD and sentry breed dogs rather than, say, Malinois and Border Collie.
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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but the Swabian dogs represented two types - one the Swabian herding sheep dog and the TALLER Swabian service dog more of a guardian type and having excellent qualities for war time and police service . They were used to protect the flock against thieving poachers, wild hogs, bear and intruding stray dogs , without the behaviour that you see in other livestock guardian dogs which "become" the sheep through immersion imprinting at critical developmental times (Konrad Lorenz). This kept them multifunctional . (Hoheb Espe)
The Wurttemberger and Swabian (both) (von der Krone) did bring active aggression -- not reactive which was the case in the Thuringian (which Horand/Hektor was). Horand/Hektor and neither of his parents had HGH. The herding blood was brought in through the females .
Max was never the breeder , never had the success that "So" Eiselen had with Horand . So's reputation was well established and there are articles which give credit to So mixing the different regional types . "So" was the man behind von der Krone - Horand/Hektors best stock was under the guidance of So - to "unknown herding stock" so regional - mid German (Wurtemberg / Swabian ?) type. These became foundation dogs. Max could not ever match the quality of these dogs .
More important Max did not heed So's advice to NOT - NOT linebreed on Horand / Hektor , which he did against the advice bringing a very beautiful dog in to the world Roland Starkenburg -- but temperamentally suspect , excused away by Max as having been spoiled and over indulged.

The "other" lines were not mystery unknown lines , they were the creation of different shepherds relying on the excellence of their dog's , as tools, for their livelihood and well being. Above all they had the gift on instinct for the work. They would have been recorded in personal , private records , memory, reputation -- oral history.
PUBLIC registry , the records of breed clubs , were new on the scene. A very good book to read is Bred for Perfection Bred for Perfection: Shorthorn Cattle, Collies, and Arabian Horses since 1800 - Margaret E. Derry - Google Books
Sometimes numbers were created for some of these females , other times it was "unknown" as shrug unrecorded - but you ask the owner and they knew for sure , if at the minimal they knew the performance ability . All you need to do is to thoroughly read the von Stephanitz book with his details about OTHER herding dogs.
You have to include a fourth pillar of the modern german shepherd and that would be Rolf Osnabruckerland -
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Carmen, you are onpoint...that's why I refer to four types that greatly affected the onset of the breed. Swabian herding dog and Swabian guardian dog. Plus thuringian and Wuttemberg.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you guys for all of this. I never actually read into why my working stock was bigger. Now I understand so much more about it.

Now I have something to throw back at the people who tell me my girl is to big to be gsd lol
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
but the Swabian dogs represented two types - one the Swabian herding sheep dog and the TALLER Swabian service dog more of a guardian type and having excellent qualities for war time and police service . They were used to protect the flock against thieving poachers, wild hogs, bear and intruding stray dogs , without the behaviour that you see in other livestock guardian dogs which "become" the sheep through immersion imprinting at critical developmental times (Konrad Lorenz). This kept them multifunctional . (Hoheb Espe)
Carmen- can you clarify for me? 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? I'm trying to understand the distinction between the two different types of Swabians.

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? What I mean is that BC's are really great herders while GSDs are really great all around service dogs. Those are very different traits. Were the two types of Swabian as different in their traits (one herding, one service) like the "modern" example I'm giving here?

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Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
You have to include a fourth pillar of the modern german shepherd and that would be Rolf Osnabruckerland -
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?
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Last edited by wildo; 10-05-2012 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
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 death.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc View Post
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.
This is really interesting to me. 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? 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?

To borrow from cooking, it sounds like the Thuringian does were that extra splash of lime juice on top of taco meat that makes it stand out as delicious; that makes the flavor come alive and "pop" in your mouth. Is that the intention of the Thuringian? And if so, is it fair to say that a modern GSD heavily influenced from Thuringian line would be incorrect to what the GSD was intended to be?
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