|09-11-2013 10:28 PM|
|09-11-2013 09:06 PM|
|09-11-2013 05:28 PM|
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|09-11-2013 05:10 PM|
|LuvWorkingGSDs||Very interesting thread. Brings to the surface a lot of questions I have had swimming around in my head for a while.|
|09-11-2013 04:16 PM|
I think there is a basic misunderstanding of conformation in this thread. The gsd is designed to be a ulitarian breed based off of herding dogs. Their structure is such that they should be able to cover large amount of ground at a trot with little energy expended. Watch an hgh trial sometime and pay attention to how these dogs are moving.
Making a gsd as short bodied and high in the rear as a mal would be eliminating that effortless trot and would not be correct structure. Gsds come in a wide range of sizes and have structure that varies enough that if you are looking for something that is more mal like for your own reasons then get it. But gsds have structure that lends itself well to many different working venues and to change that would be foolish. To make a gsd more mal like to get a better flyball dog or ring dog would be foolish and catering to the exact problems that are already plaguing this breed. Many gsds can easily do the exercises in ring sports. Well they win? No. But who cares? Its a sport.
|09-11-2013 02:22 PM|
Longevity can be hard to promote because say you are looking for a new dog and find a nice litter where the parents are 3 and 6 years old. Everything checks out, dogs have all the necessarily health checks and have been healthy and successful in whatever field of training they do. Now the next year the sire passes away very quickly and a year after that, the dam passes away. Not a great example of longevity but at that point, what can you do other than not breed your own dog? You're still kind of stuck with what you're stuck with at that point and hope your dog lives past 7.
Personally I avoid lines with really heavy bone and any extra "bulk" (too much bone, massive head, barrel chest, huge deep chest, "wet" appearance with loose skin, etc). I know people say these dogs can "work" just fine, but often they are referring to running an AD once as a young dog and then earning IPO titles. While, as someone who does IPO, I can understand the level of work and commitment that takes, I wouldn't call it physically taxing on my dog or his athletic ability the same way as competing at something like flyball or agility above a novice level. So, I don't think IPO is really a test of athletic ability and the dog's potential to physically work until his senior years, but again I don't see that as an issue with the overall conformation of the breed, just people's breeding choices and what dogs they promote.
If the OP wants a smaller, finer boned working line GSD with a more Mal-like structure, fine, go get one. My first GSD was 50lbs, 21", finer boned, lacking a lot of angulation but balanced front and rear. She was probably my best moving dog as far as watching how effortlessly she could gait and how long she could go before even breaking into a pant.
|09-11-2013 01:32 PM|
|Lauri & The Gang||
You would be amazed at the number of people that get a dog for a specific sport and then, when the dog can't make it to the top levels, they dump the dog.
|09-11-2013 01:24 PM|
|KristiM||I don't think the thread is really about how fast they can be in flyball, it's whether or not the current conformation standard is a detriment to the breed's versatility. Flyball is just an example. I personally feel the breed would be better off if there were a higher regard for athletic ability and hardiness, but that's just my personal opinion.|
|09-11-2013 11:02 AM|
Those dogs are completely different shapes, the strides are way different (even between a Mal and a GSD). If you changed the way the lane was setup and how the jumps are spaced, you would have more competitive GSDs. The jumps are too close together, often the runback is too short, the striding on/off the box can be awkward (Pan, who is bigger than Nikon, use dot *try* to triple stride onto the box, somehow still pulled off 3.9 and 4.0 but if we had cleaned that up it would have bought even more time). The smaller dogs and/or more square dogs are just a better fit for the sport, literally. No reason an athletic, normal size GSD can't be running around 4.0 but 3.7 or better...no way, I won't believe it until I see it. The more times the dog can put it's feet on the ground, the faster he's going to be. Same for agility I would assume. Now I say that as someone who will always own a GSD and do these sports, but if I wanted to be seriously competitive I'd get a dog that is better suited, especially for the long term.
I don't see how a GSDs structure is "detrimental" because they are not popular in FR or flyball. I know very little about FR. As far as flyball, we've touched on that but the other aspect is the amount of space they occupy. I know plenty of people that just don't WANT a dog that needs a 36-48" crate in their van and at tournaments, regardless of longevity or how fast the dog can run.
|09-11-2013 10:37 AM|
Totally OT but the mal on my team that's runs low 3.7's doesn't triple stride, neither do a lot of the border whippets around here that run 3.6-3.7.
My biggest concern with this breed doing these physically challenging sports isn't so much how fast and how well they can do it, it's the toll it takes on a heavier set, heavier boned dog. Not that the lighter dogs don't break, its just stacking the deck a little more in your favor to have a dog that is built with athletic ability in mind.
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