Do you feel as though the German Shepherd breed is being ruined? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Do you feel as though the German Shepherd breed is being ruined?

I had a talk last night at the dog park;with a guy who has a beautiful female shepherd he adopted. He said this is his last shepherd because the breed is starting to be ruined by horrible breeders. I do agree with him to a certain extent. Do you agree ? Do you think the breed is being ruined over the years ? And if so how do we save the breed ?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 11:01 AM
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The curse of any breed is popularity. Once a breed starts to become popular, the public wants them, whether they would be a good fit for their family or not. That's when the bad breeders start breeding and selling them to anyone willing to plunk down the money, with little to no regard for temperament or health.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 11:11 AM
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No, but that's likely due to my sample. Outside of that, in general - maybe it is. Based on what I see and am around regularly, I would say not.

But - short timeline and small sample, so take that for what it's worth.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 11:17 AM
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There are just so many health issues and allergies and temperament problems. If these issues were isolated to poor breeding and one could argue that they are in every case - then why do we still see these problems at all in seemingly well bred lines? It seems like it's so far gone that there are still a lot of problems even among the litters of the best practice breeders.

It would be interesting to know if anyone is working to establish a "control" group if you will of carefully mated pairs that are watched for health issues life long and not allowed to branch out in breeding for many generations to get a healthy control group. Or, if anyone has attempted to "recreate" the breed from the original notes with healthy lines to try to get the genetics healthy again. This could easily become someone's life long special project to restore the breed. It would take so much time and effort but that person would go down in the history of the breed.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 11:54 AM
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Overall, I don't know. In the past few months I've been able to watch some really incredible work being done by GSD's in multiple venues (in person - not online or on TV). Like WateryTart said, I'm certainly not qualified to judge the entire breed.

Regarding Stonevintage's comment, it seems that there are *some* breeders out there that are truly seeking to create exceptional shepherds. Perhaps it is their life's work. Perhaps not.

My personal opinion is best summed up by something I read at a dog event a few years ago. "Rescues save the life of a dog. Breeders preserve a breed. Responsible owners preserve our right to own all dogs."

Since I do not breed dogs, but this (^ above, in bold) is my firm belief, the best thing that I can do is support non-profit organizations and breeders whose vision seems to align with the betterment of the dogs. Vote with your wallet, as it is. All the while, being the best owner I can be for my own dogs, so they can be good examples. Just my $0.02.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Stonevintage View Post
There are just so many health issues and allergies and temperament problems. If these issues were isolated to poor breeding and one could argue that they are in every case - then why do we still see these problems at all in seemingly well bred lines? It seems like it's so far gone that there are still a lot of problems even among the litters of the best practice breeders.

It would be interesting to know if anyone is working to establish a "control" group if you will of carefully mated pairs that are watched for health issues life long and not allowed to branch out in breeding for many generations to get a healthy control group. Or, if anyone has attempted to "recreate" the breed from the original notes with healthy lines to try to get the genetics healthy again. This could easily become someone's life long special project to restore the breed. It would take so much time and effort but that person would go down in the history of the breed.
It sounds so complicated ! Where do you even start to fix the breed ? What bloodline do you go after I would have so many questions for this person. But yes this person would deserve a statue some where !
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 12:37 PM
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I don't think the breed has been ruined. You just need to know what you are looking for and where to find the good ones in that type. There are bad and good lines in every breed/type.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 12:39 PM
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I am a person who only had dogs as pets. I think every breed has their issues. The unpopular breed issues arising from a small gene pool. The popular breeds are exposed to a cloudy gene pool, breeding for politics, people who breed for profit only and puppy mills which all only hurt the breed. There are many good breeders out there with much knowledge and effort that produce a fine dog and continue to learn and make needed improvements.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 12:39 PM
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My thought is whenever humans interfere with nature to create a breed with specific characteristics and mutations that would never occur naturally,the genetic defects that show up are inevitable.You have to inbreed and linebreed in order to set a "type".With a tiny gene pool and little diversity allowed in a breed standard there will always be problems.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 01:47 PM
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Well, we know it's been done once - otherwise they wouldn't be here. Wouldn't you think that if they are about to bring a Wolly Mammoth back to life that it could be done? Max left notes.....

Yes, where would you start? - the task seems impossible, but - look to the simple white lab mice. They are bred to exacting specifications and science has made the technology available to reproduce unlimited numbers of them with exact genetic results. This is necessary for medical science so the money was there to create the way to do this.

If any dog breed in the world was able to be chosen for this "genetic cleaning" I believe the GSD would be chosen by the world. (or maybe I'm prejudiced toward the GSD

I can't see anything but a very specialized and concentrated effort at this point to keep the breed from further genetic problems. As long as the future of the breed is in the hands of those influenced by money or type popularity who do not have access to comprehensive genetic defect testing tools - IMHO it will continue. There's a lot more technology and testing available that is not available to dog breeders or vets. They need access to it, like yesterday.... Perhaps in time, that will happen. I have no doubt that the best breeders would be proud to offer their lines that were proven (by advanced testing) to have superior genetic qualities or welcome a compatible genetically superior dog from a special breeding program into their lines.
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