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gsdemack 03-17-2014 08:45 AM

Is there many good working lines around still?
It's a subject I don't know about and the media has led me to believe that the breed is dying out because of all these problems back yard breeders and the like have created.

Is there always going to be good pedigrees out there and generally speaking, do they suffer from the same health issues that are normally applied to the breed such as hip dysplasia for example?


Seeing as I am asking a question in this sub-forum I might ask another one that I have in my mind, and that is regarding show lines with the slanted backs.

Firstly, I am not a fan of these and prefer the look and the abilities of a working line (mine is a straight back). I'm not sure if "working line" would be considered the same as "straight back" in professional terms?

My question is: "Are the haters of the showlines really basing their opinions on factual data, when they talk about genetic problems with inbreeding and the slanted backs causing the dogs to suffer from hip issues in higher proportion to the straight backs?

carmspack 03-17-2014 09:03 AM


carmspack 03-17-2014 09:15 AM

the breed is not dying out - no problems with availability.

what is dying out is the conservation of particular heritage groups , and particular working instincts and drives

hip dysplasia is a complex issue.

published in Das Schaferhund Magazin --- which , very article I read this morning - talk about timing ! authored by Mike Guillard MA VetMB CertSAO MRCVS , in German the title was Die abfallende Ruckenlinie . Ist sie schadlich ?

Here it is in full with translation . Â*Sloping topline. Is it detrimental?

working GSD in Ireland I can't comment on , but there are a few that I know in the UK . You can reference this forum link

martemchik 03-17-2014 09:21 AM

21 Attachment(s)
First...get off the internet.

Second...go to a working dog club and see.

Third...drop the "slanted back" thing. It gets so tiring. You should know that a straight back/slanted back isn't always a way to tell apart a working dog from a show dog. There are much bigger signs that should be focused on rather than the slant of the back.

A GSD back shouldn't be parallel to the ground anyways. There should be slope to it because of the angulation in the back end. Now, how extreme that slope is, that's up to the breeder and who ever is interpreting the standard. A slanted back has NOTHING to do with the quality of the hip joint. Just look at your dog and imagine how you would lower the back would have nothing to do with the hip joint. HD is how the ball fits into the socket...the angle at which that happens does not affect that "fit" what so ever.

All large breeds have HD. It's genetics, and we don't completely understand it quite yet. I have a friend who went to a "reputable breeder" and got a dog out of a dam and sire that were both rated normal/excellent. His dog ended up with HD. I went to a "BYB" and ended up with a dog that has a normal/normal rating. Do BYB dogs have a higher instance of HD? Who knows? People buying from BYB aren't generally getting their dog's hips the statistics are actually mostly based off of show dogs and trialing dogs...which generally come from "reputable breeders."

Blaming genetic issues with the breed on BYB is extremely overreaching. Plenty of good breeders do things that can easily be questioned. Not many breeders out there have had 10+ litters without one instance of a genetic disease or issue cropping up. It just depends on what they do after they see that.

The reason you see working line people have problems with show lines is that they don't have the temperament to work. It has very little to do with their look and more to do with the fact that the GSD is a working breed, and there are a lot of show lines that just can't work.

carmspack 03-17-2014 10:01 AM

and on that note I recommend you visit iceberg breeders

the back and other structural drawings Linda Shaw

Gwenhwyfair 03-17-2014 10:09 AM

.....and you can do a forum search on terms like 'top line' and 'sloping back'. You will find many discussions with lots of information.

It's good that you are asking rather then drawing conclusions without research. :)

It's unfortunate that there is a lot of myths surrounding the different lines....but be aware they are out there.

Gwenhwyfair 03-17-2014 10:23 AM

Interesting article Carmen.

HD is a complex issue. I would have never guessed that the number two breed for. HD according to the OFA, pugs, small breed, Number two bull dogs.

Even mutts can get HD. I'm helping a friend with a smallish pittie mix, probably could put a level on her back, no slope, square frame and she's got bi lateral HD and ACL issues.

Click link for list GSDs are number 40

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

carmspack 03-17-2014 11:50 AM

there seems to be a co-relation between brachycephaly (bull dog type) and mesaticephalic (Labrador retriever) and hip problems.
there is a cephalic index , brachy, Mesati and dolicocephalic (collie)

Dog Skull Shapes | MetroSniff
Mesocephalic Labrador Retriever

A mesaticephalic skull is of intermediate length and width. Mesaticephalic skulls are not markedly brachycephalic or dolichocephalic. When dealing with animals, especially dogs, the more appropriate and commonly used term is not 'mesocephalic', but rather 'mesaticephalic', which is a ratio of head to nasal cavity. The breeds below exemplify this category.[6][7]

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