Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven

I am on another dog forum and someone asked a question about finding a German Shepherd. They stated they wanted a dog "Does not have that crippling, sloping back, which predisposes them to hip problems. Does any one know a breeder anywhere in North America that breeds true German bloodline shepherds that have the straight back?"

I explained about OFA certifications and stated that there are many great breeders in North America. I also stated that the sloping back is a result of the way the dog is standing in the stack position and that it is not necessarily a bad thing.

They pm'd me and we discussed how to find a breeder. I suggested this forum, then they got back and said they had found one.

I wanted to cry when they sent the info.

Their "breeder" specializes in AKC "oversized" straightbacked GSDs. They guarantee the puppy or dog will be free from crippling dysplasia for life, but you have to have two orthopedic vets say the HD is crippling.
The parents of the current litter do not have OFA although many of their dogs do. The parents also come from a different kennel. I checked out their site.
They state "If you are looking for a German shepherd for the conformation show ring or the German shutzhund ring, I would suggest you go to another web site. My main goal for my breeding program is to bring back what the shepherd used to be."

The cost for these dogs are over $1300.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 07:59 PM
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven

Bleh; I agree, disappointing. But then again, remember that labradoodles fetched $3000 a while ago? or maybe they still do... Yep, people sure don't always make smart decisions.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 08:08 PM
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven

Well, when I suggested a recent poster here avoid just such a breeding, my suggestion was shot down. I don't agree with this type of breeding, wouldn't have one, wouldn't send someone to look for such. But, they got plenty of support here from some on the board who advocate them. It is a board for everyone afterall.

I agree with how Linda Shaw explains the type:

German Shepherd Dog, Old Style (Old Fashioned, Original, Old World etc). This appears to be an attempt to return to the good old days of the breed, with dogs exceeding 30" at the withers, and well over 100 pounds in weight. They are advertised as being "flat backed" and "straight backed", in reference to the excessive slope of some American show dogs and the roaching of some German show dogs. Many are long haired.

In fact, excess size, long hair, placid temperament and high rear ends were never considered desirable in the GSD. Although these problems did exist in the original foundation dogs, which varied widely in type, concientious breeders have striven to breed out these faults.



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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven

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Originally Posted By: Samba

In fact, excess size, long hair, placid temperament and high rear ends were never considered desirable in the GSD.

That is part of why I am confused by these breeders.

But also, she wants to avoid HD, but is selecting a dog from parents that have no OFA.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 08:44 PM
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven

That is a big mistake. While OFA is not a guarantee that dogs will be free of hip problems, it does stack the deck in your favor. Buying a dog whose parents are not OFA'd is not going to help her avoid Hd, that's for sure!
I don't have a problem with the so-called "oversized" GSDs myself (IF the breeder is responsible and does proper health testing) except when they get ridiculous with the size or if they are sway-backed.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 09:18 PM
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven

I think that the reason so many people go with breeders like this is because they don't like the look of a roached back or a dog with a really low rear end. In many cases, the way the dog is stacked makes this look more extreme. However, I was at a dog event a few months ago (all breeds), and I was NOT impressed by the sheps that I saw there. One of them was so cow-hocked that it looked like he could hardly walk. To me, if it (the way the dog is shaped) doesn't look healthy, it probably isn't. Many people overgeneralize, and assume that all show dogs have an extreme slope and that all working lines have a roached back, so they go with what they think is the only alternative, when in fact there are many good breeders with much less extreme angulation.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 10:16 PM
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven

The claim to be bringing back the "true, old-fashioned" German Shepherd Dog is a rationalization used to explain why they are breeding dogs so far outside the standard. It sounds better than trying to make a sale based on the statement "I am an idiot and don't have a clue about what I am doing".

It is the same for those that claim they don't need to "do" anything with their breeding dogs because they just want to produce nice pets and not show animals. That sounds better than saying "I am too cheap and/or lazy to do this correctly".
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-04-2009, 09:19 AM
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to ven

I think another thing why so many go for this type of dog,,
1. they are Joe Public, and think any gsd with rear angulation means bad hips, which is a total falsehood.

2. they think straight backs, no angulation mean GOOD hips which is also false

3. They want the 'rin tin tin' of gsd's look

4. they think BIG is a GOOD thing , everyone wants a BIG german shepherd

5. They don't look at the big picture,,as in the parents having some kind of health clearances, ie hips & elbows.

I can see 'oops litters' happening, no ofa's,,but for me, when parents are at the very least ofa'd hips and elbows, it shows me the breeder has some interest in the physical status of their breeding dogs.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-04-2009, 10:08 AM
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to

Quote:
Originally Posted By: JakodaCD OA
4. they think BIG is a GOOD thing , everyone wants a BIG german shepherd
I hear that a lot - people bragging about how big their shepherds are. Me, I want mine to be Aslan size, small and fast!
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-04-2009, 10:47 AM
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Re: Helping someone select a breeder, ugh, need to

I think I have an idea which breeder this person went with. If I'm right, this is how they describe their dogs and breeding program online:

Quote:
Quote:We breed for the classic old-style German Shepherd: big bones, massive heads, and flat, level backs. All our dogs have excellent temperaments suited for families with young children, and we never breed for bite work, prey drive, or Schutzhund competition.
The reason I have that quote handy is that I blogged about this idiocy a while back. Their idea of the "classic German Shepherd" has absolutely nothing to do with the idea Max von Stephanitz, the founder of the breed, had for his dogs. Here's what Stephanitz says on the matter of size -

Quote:
Quote:Giants are never nimble. The ligaments soon give under the weight of the bones in times of hard work, especially in the forelegs on which they fall heavily at every step. Such dogs then use themselves up quickly when they are eager and full of ardor. They are, however, generally lazy and easy-going, and for that very reason are already unfit for service.

(...)

The breed type allows about 24" average height for dogs and bitches, with about 2" allowance either way. These dimensions are to be aimed at for all medium-sized service breeds as correct, whether the dogs are used for the flocks or for any other service. The service dog, like a good cavalry charger, must be indefatigable, enduring, and capable of maintaining a persevering, even quiet, but also a rapid gait, that is to say a trot, and also a gallop. Further, he must be mobile, capable of turning easily, and skillful in overcoming obstacles, whether by jumping or climbing. For this it is necessary to possess a specific size combined with strength.

(The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture, page 500.)
Doesn't get any clearer than that, does it? If you're not breeding to what the breed's founder envisioned for the breed, then you are not breeding "classic, old style" German Shepherds. You're breeding what YOUR opinion of the Shepherd is.

As for the "classic, large" Shepherd, here's one from the history books, a male born in 1925. Doesn't look huge and oversized to me.



Actually, looking at photos of GSDs both in Europe and in the US from prior to 1950, this supposed "large, old-style" Shepherd seems to be completely absent from them. I'm seeing a lot of small, thin, working-type dogs in those pictures. Maybe I'm looking at the wrong dogs? Is there some secret photo album of "real, old-fashioned, large, oversized" German Shepherds these breeders have that nobody else is allowed to see?

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