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Old 01-09-2013, 12:37 AM   #31 (permalink)
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There defiantly needs to be more research into straight leg shepherds. It does look like there are some mutts that have popped up with it as well as a rottie. I do not know definitively that this is a GSD show dog disease, it is unknown what is causing it. We know it is congenital, does this mean it's genetic? So far it's unknown. Hopefully the missing link will be found soon so that we can avoid producing more dogs like Boomer.

I don't agree that sloped backs have nothing to do with this. The abnormality forms in the lumbar region, and sloped conformation GSDs differ from their straight-backed kin from the lumbar region down. Conformation is breeding for appearances and alone does not produce healthy, sound dogs and never will. Talk to any orthopaedic surgeon about our so-called champion GSD, and s/he won't need radiographs to tell you that that dog is a walking vet bill. There are good conformation breeders out there who have their dogs screened for diseases, titled in a variety of sports to prove that they are athletic, sound and intelligent as well as just pretty. They're a working breed, go back to basics, breed them for the jobs that they are meant to do and form will follow. The GSDs that I admire most are from working lines: Sound in mind and body.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:22 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ShoshanaRVT View Post
There defiantly needs to be more research into straight leg shepherds. It does look like there are some mutts that have popped up with it as well as a rottie.

I don't agree that sloped backs have nothing to do with this. The abnormality forms in the lumbar region, and sloped conformation GSDs differ from their straight-backed kin from the lumbar region down.
If Rotties and mutts are popping up with this syndrome, it sort of defeats your argument that it has anything to do with a "sloped back". Furthermore, the "slope" is not caused by the back, but the rear legs. Because show lines (most notably American show lines) have such acute angulation in the rear legs, it causes the rear end to appear lower than the front end, with the back sloping downward... but if you were to put a normal set of rear legs on the dog, the back would appear more or less level.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:37 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Also, any other suggestions/nuggets of wisdom anyone can pass on would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!
I don't think anyone mentioned this but here's a suggestion. Find a breeder that you think is doing it right - producing the right type of dogs and doing it the way you think is right - and ask them if they would be willing to mentor you.
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