Terms? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Terms?

I for one love reading critiques. It is so insightful reading what reputable breed aficionados have to say about a widely ranging variety of dogs. But for us less informed, where does a flat wither weigh in? What constitutes “good” versus “excellent “ or even “poor” angulation? What is a rabbit foot and what is ideal? Basically, how do we gauge what information we are given in critiques?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 12:20 AM
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Bump...it would be good to hear some authoritative clarification of these terms. I get that it's difficult....but come on, someone who states these terms frequently should be able to help the rest of us understand a little better

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 06:19 AM
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The withers should be higher than and sloping into the level back. The upper thigh, viewed from the side should slant to the slightly longer stifle bone on an angle of about 120 degrees. A rabbit foot is not a strong foot and is too long and thin and not strong and compact or rounded. Toes should be well arched. For me, I don't care about any of the details of the standard as long as the dog has strong temperament and is a reasonably good representative of the breed conformation wise. That is why the show line dogs are GSDs in name only. If you focus primarily on perfection in conformation, which, IMO, is generally structurally incorrect for a working dog, (read frog legged, banana back, hock walker, etc.) you loose way too much of the character of what the breed should be.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:50 AM
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In the thread on the forum options critique my dog I find helpful in learning.

The standard is there so there is an outline to follow. Show lines are german shepherd dogs. The drama between lines are similar to religious wars. It’s easy to see why their is much animosity in the world. The look of the breed is part of who they are and is important. Focus one one thing only for one specific purpose and yes the breed will suffer. Balance should always be the goal for all. Frog legs, banana backs , sway backs, hock walkers, dogs with no angulation, straight legs- are all things that can aid in break down physically at a fairly young age,dogs that don’t look like gsds , dogs that will not be able to settle, dogs that are fearful spooky, not clear headed, dogs that are not capable of excelling in a particular skill, unable to go out in the public, gsd that make poor family dogs are all extremes and poor representatives of the breed.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:20 AM
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It is not drama, it is fact. The show lines put so much emphasis on physical features that the essence of the character of the breed is lost. Show line are essentially a separate breed. They lack the drives and courage to do what the GSD is intended for. There are a few exceptions. Working line GSDs actually look more like GSDs are meant to look than show line GSDs. If they participate in sport or real work, they have to be agile and healthy. Working lines does not always equate with extreme. It equates with handlers lacking the skills and knowledge to handle a working dog with strong drives. To me, family dogs equates with pets. Real GSDs are not meant to be bred as pets, but they can be great companions in the right hands while still pursuing sport or work. Originally, they were herding dogs, not pets. Sheep herders were poor and couldn't afford to buy one dog after another to find a good dog to protect the flock. Now the herding lines are all but gone. I'm not saying all working line GSDs are great or even the same. But the show line dogs have lost the genetics that made the dog a working dog. You see it in practically all breeds bred for show. When you watch the Westminster Dog Show and the announcer gives a short description of what the dog was bred for, the vast majority of those dogs can't do what they were bred for like the original working lines. It is kind of like fake news.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:34 AM
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Chip it is drama - The biggest mistake I would of ever made and made quite a few would be to be swayed from getting a show line dog and to say they are not german shepherds is laughable. I had a working line police trained only dropped because he did not out. Very serious dog. I had experience with animals but still clueless and I required no further training. The dog was one of the among one of the easiest dogs owned despite in different ways- I did not need a PhD in gsds to own him. It just reminds me of the extreme wide range of temperaments balance of drives and thresholds within the breed.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:51 AM
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A dog that will not out can be a training issue as much as a temperament issue. The show lines are a diluted version of the breed. Driving a Ferrari requires more skill than driving a Volkswagen. I'd rather have a Ferrari.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Blasiole View Post
A dog that will not out can be a training issue as much as a temperament issue. The show lines are a diluted version of the breed. Driving a Ferrari requires more skill than driving a Volkswagen. I'd rather have a Ferrari.
He certainly had a solid temperament so solid as being an inexperienced or “unskilled” owner I enjoyed him dearly. I happen to like all the lines I do have a preferable color though. Those are your likes and references to cars not mine.


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Last edited by Jenny720; 05-07-2019 at 09:03 AM.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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As someone who has an extensive background in horses, I view conformation critiques less so as comparisons to the standard and more so in the sense of functionality while maintaining the breeds essence. Does that make sense? I understand that for example a higher wither is preferred, but for what use? Why does that make a dog more structurally sound?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:23 AM
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I think it is for the same reason high withers are desirable in horses. High withers allow for freer forward reaching. The thinking is that the German Shepherd was originally a trotting sheep herding dog that needed the most functional anatomy to work the fields all day. The reality is that now it is just to be correct based on the standard because the show lines strive so much for conformation and movement and in the process have lost the mental traits and temperament that allow the dog to be a true working dog. So what if a GSD has ideal wither height and ideal forward reach and trotting, but has completely lost the trait of genetic obedience which was crucial for a dog to be capable of being a true herding dog. Same for other aspects of show lines and their emphasis on structure and movement. They are of no value, with the GSD now used primarily as a police and military dog if the nerves, drives, and fighting instincts have been swapped out in exchange for ideal movement and conformation.
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