Why all that bone and substance? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Why all that bone and substance?

Is there some kind of benefit that I am missing to GSDs having "huge bone structure" and just generally lots of substance? I get why the showlines have big bone and substance, seems like in the show ring more=better. But why do working lines also tend to carry so much bone and substance? I realize that having fine bones is not ideal (like sight hounds where they tend to get a lot of fractures) but you would think that for a working (or sport dog) you would want something a little lighter, more agile, better endurance, greater longevity. Am I just missing something? Obviously not all WL have lots of bone and substance, one of my males is a nice medium build but the other is quite substantial and most GSD people I talk to think that his substance (bone, depth of chest etc) is just great. Why?

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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 07:20 PM
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The WL's I see tend to be smaller/agile and not heavy boned. And they aren't deep chested like the SL's.
Some of the Czech or DDR's have a blockier structure, but everyone that has those dogs tell me that they are very agile and fast. I've seen a couple who aren't and a couple who are....but it does depend on the individual dog.
My male is a blend of Czech/WG and is not large boned, but is structurally larger. He is extremely agile and graceful, collects well in his rear. He has stamina, but also has an off switch.
It really depends on the lines and how they were matched up.

The dog should have muscle with the bone/structure to support it.

Can you guess height/ weight based on these photos?


Jane~
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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I do agree that most of the WL are pretty agile and fast for their size. But I really think their bodies take a toll. Compare a GSD build to most malinois and as far as agility, speed and stamina the mal will win every time just because they are a bit lighter. My substatial male is crazy fast, very agile (not very good endurance though) but he hurts himself a lot, his body is just not built for what his mind wants to do.

I would guess your dog at about 85 pounds, hard to tell how tall he is though. I think Havoc is about 25" and he weighs 85 pounds. Heres a few pics of him, second one is more recent. I really would prefer he was less substantial. I notice a HUGE difference in his endurance after several hours of snowshoeing or hiking in hot weather, compared to my other male who is the exact same height but almost 10 pounds lighter.
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Odin ~ GSD
Zuri ~ German Coolie

Havoc ~ (aka "Super") GSD - Rest easy buddy.
Keeper ~ (rest in peace little stinker) (Aussie)
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
The WL's I see tend to be smaller/agile and not heavy boned. And they aren't deep chested like the SL's.
Some of the Czech or DDR's have a blockier structure, but everyone that has those dogs tell me that they are very agile and fast. I've seen a couple who aren't and a couple who are....but it does depend on the individual dog.
My male is a blend of Czech/WG and is not large boned, but is structurally larger. He is extremely agile and graceful, collects well in his rear. He has stamina, but also has an off switch.
It really depends on the lines and how they were matched up.

The dog should have muscle with the bone/structure to support it.

Can you guess height/ weight based on these photos?

25 " , 75 lbs?
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 07:51 PM
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Of course Mal/Dutchies are going to be more agile... I've had a few decoys that are use to working those breeds get really toasted working my dog for more than a few bites worth. Kind of like comparing a GSD to a Rottie.
I agree, GSD's regardless of the line should not be overbulked so they can work(herding comes to mind~after all that is what they are in the AKC's description)and less is more when it comes down to it. Any dog can have punch/power if it's in their heart, they don't have to be huge.

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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 09:31 PM
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I like the look of strong bone and substance, but since I do sports like agility and flyball it's not really practical or healthy. I've been working out Nikon very day to get him into better shape for an upcoming tournament. SchH takes a lot of training and requires a dog to be in shape but not like agility or flyball. So, what I like to look at is not what I own and train. Nikon is "medium strong" according to his breed survey and I'd agree. I like a male to look like a male which I think is definitely possible with more medium/moderate bone, but for the sports I do, I can set aside my aesthetic preferences for heavier bone.

Coke (All-American 7/7/06)
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Why all that bone and substance?

I'm not getting another dog for 3-4 years but I do "window shop" (I figure the more time I put into research the better off I am.) I am having a super hard time finding dogs that are a size that is heathy for agility/flyball and long, challenging hikes. I'm just kind of surprised at how many of the nice working lines that interest me temperament wise but are just not an option because they are super substantial.


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Odin ~ GSD
Zuri ~ German Coolie

Havoc ~ (aka "Super") GSD - Rest easy buddy.
Keeper ~ (rest in peace little stinker) (Aussie)
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 09:53 PM
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I like an agile/fast body with a mind that knows how to balance. It is a fine line, and I also like a bit of eye candy too! I have the best of both in my male, but he's not as driven/sporty as some like.
BTW, he's 27" and 90# but wears it quite well.

Jane~
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 09:54 PM
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Be sure to talk to people who own the dogs and observe in person. A lot of people comment on how huge my dogs are in photos and over-estimate their weights by as much as 25lbs. Most people are surprised to hear Nikon's actual size. He is 75lbs (and I'm trying to take some off, he usually hovers around 70 when it's warmer and we are competing more regularly) and he is 24.5" tall. Even in person people tend to guess he weighs 80-85lbs. I don't know what Pan weighs these days but at 2 years he weighed 71 lbs (after weighing 68-70 lbs from 10 months to 2 years). Pan's father is not any bigger than he is but has more substance and bone, and a broader head but luckily (for sports) Pan's bone is more like his dam. My first GSD was a pure working line female and she weighed 50lbs wet. In our SchH club we have a few females that are 45-60lbs. Sometimes I wonder if dogs like ours that are very involved in sports that require a lot of agility and stamina tend to not fill out and bulk up like dogs from the very same lines that are also healthy and fit, but just not doing the same level of demanding physical work.

Coke (All-American 7/7/06)
Nikon (GSD 9/7/08)
Indy (All-American 5/10/12)
Legend (GSD 10/22/13)
Rainbow Bridge Kenya (GSD)

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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 02-03-2013, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Why all that bone and substance?

Ya pictures for sure can be deceiving. Unfortunately there are not many breeders near me to actually see the dogs in person. I find I get a better feel from videos. Staatsmacht dogs really appeal to me as they are super fast and exude athleticism from the vids that I've seen, don't know what thy are like temperament wise though...

I like males around 70 pounds, Odin is normally 76-77 pounds and 25" he's probably the least substantial male I've met in person (he's a little on the long side.) I know smaller, athletic dogs are out there but they sure seem to be out numbered by the "substantial" dogs. Most dog's weights (when listed) seem to be 80+ for males and 70+ for females.


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Odin ~ GSD
Zuri ~ German Coolie

Havoc ~ (aka "Super") GSD - Rest easy buddy.
Keeper ~ (rest in peace little stinker) (Aussie)
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