WGSL owners: Do people think your dogs back looks slightly "sloped"?? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 02-24-2013, 03:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
Rua
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Default WGSL owners: Do people think your dogs back looks slightly "sloped"??

For those of you who don't know, I have two GSDs. A male and female. The female (Juno) is from not overly clear lines and she has a very "straight" back and is on the smaller end of the scale as far as GSD size goes. I wouldn't be surprised if she had some working line in her somewhere due to her incredibly strong drives, etc. However, temperamentally, she can be very reactive and nervous.

The male (Bowser) has come from WGSL all the way - generation after generation. There is no mistaking it when you look at him. He's got all the classic physical traits for a WGSL and his temperament is very very solid in comparison to Junos, even at his young age.

Out here, people tend to focus a lot on the "straight back" vs "sloped back" differences between GSDs. Obviously, it's not that cut and dried and there is more to it than that. I know that. But the general public don't.

What I want to know is that how do those of you who have dogs who would seem to have a very slight "slope" to their back respond to random strangers who approach you and point out how "banana" your dogs back is? People automatically assume that because Bowser has a very slight "sloped" look to his conformation when he's sniffing the ground (not when he's just walking or running though) that he will automatically have hip issues. The thing is, all of his lineage had great hips and elbows and all the relevant Sch testing, etc.

Then they look at Juno and think she's brilliant based solely on the fact that her back is straight. Yet she is the one who is nervous and has a huge question mark over her background regarding hips, etc. (Don't get me wrong...I still love her to pieces!)

*I just want to say that I know very little about specific conformation traits, which is probably obvious from this posting. I have a LOT to learn myself. What I do know is that Bowsers ability to turn at the drop of hat is incredible, whereas Juno's strength would be her speed, rather than turning ability. I don't know if that has anything to do with how different their shapes are, but that is my observation.

I haven't got a good stacked picture of Bowser, but here are a few of his mum and dad for reference:
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've gotten this question a number of times and I generally tend to ignore the people who ask it. I'm still a novice when it comes to conformation, but those strangers usually have less knowledge. If it seems like they're just looking for an opening to ask me about my boy, then I'll gladly converse about his origins/abilities/health, etc, but otherwise we let his temperament do the talking and go on our way.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Most people who comment on Havs mention that he isn't terribly sloped. I know that when I've attended AKC conformation shows in the PNW the there stilll seem to be a lot of dogs with the very extreme slope--a lot of nerve bags too. It's part of what influenced my decision about where to purchase my pup.

(Through this forum, I've found some great breeders in this region. I just didn't find them through the scant number of shows that I attended.)
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No, but I purposely chose a more moderate dog. People often stop to say they like that he does NOT have an overly roached back, extremely steep croup, or too much rear.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I personally don't feel that Bowser has an over roached back. You don't even see it when hes trotting around the place. It's only when he's got his head down (like drinking water or sniffing the ground) that you see a slight hump at the top of his back and a bit more exaggerated roundy bum.
I actually think it's the fact that he and Juno run around together everywhere and she's got such a board straight back that make his little roach more noticeable.

I must admit, I get sick of the "he's gonna have hip problems" comments I've gotten from people who have no experience with GSDs whatsoever.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is because the GSD is known for throwing bad hips. Then seeing the dogs at Westminster and how they gait has people assuming the hips are the reason for the extreme look.
Look at this shot of my working line, he sure can arch his back! LOL! His hips are just fine.

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Old 02-24-2013, 05:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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LOLOL! I love that picture of him. I saw you post that pic on a different thread awhile ago and thought it was awesome.

Ok...so this is gonna sound like a real noob question, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. Does the angulation actually have an effect on how well the dog turns and moves? Or is that a myth?
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, yes, every piece of it effects how well the dog turns and moves. But remember there is more to it than just rear angulation. A lot of the WGSL dogs *don't* have the extreme rears of the American show lines but they have extremely steep croups which gives them the "banana back" look (curved back that just sort of drops off).

In general, the rear angulation needs to match the front for the dog to move well. How much angulation there should be depends on preference, but if it doesn't match it doesn't matter how much or how little you prefer the dog will not move with balance.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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why would someone's comment about your dog bother you? people's comments don't bother your dog. use people's comments about your
dogs for entertain and something to laugh about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rua View Post

>>>>> I must admit, I get sick of the "he's gonna have hip problems" comments I've gotten from people who have no experience with GSDs whatsoever.<<<<<
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggiedad View Post
why would someone's comment about your dog bother you? people's comments don't bother your dog. use people's comments about your
dogs for entertain and something to laugh about.
Good advice. It's doesn't overly bother me really...but it has left me wondering what I could have said to help inform the person in a simple way that sloping doesn't automatically mean there will be hip issues.
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