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Don’t know if this is the correct thread for this post. :eek: If not, feel free to move it.


We are looking into getting a male GSD from a local rescue group. The dog we are looking at is an American show line GSD. Thus far, I have only been in email communications with the rescue (later this week they will bring him over to my house). The current foster parent said that the dog has “a slanted back-side”. She also told me that he had “knock-knee”, which apparently has been corrected with vitamin supplements.

My questions are in regarding to the American show line. I’ve read that there are more health / temperament issues with this line of GSD. Does anyone know if that is indeed true? Does anyone out there have an American show line GSD? If so, how is his/her health? I’ve read that the extreme angulations on this line can cause a greater risk of hip dysplasia. Is that true?

So far, they have sent one picture of him. He was sitting so I could not see his back / hips (he is a beauty, though). They said they would send a full-body picture when they got home. If I can figure out how to get the picture off my son’s cell phone I’ll post it here (I had them send the pic to my son’s phone because he has a larger screen).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!:help:

Thanks!!
 

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the only way to know what the temperament on the individual animal is like is to go meet the dog and interact with him....if he is friendly and open and it clicks, by all means, rescue him. Make sure he fits into your lifestyle - if you want to take him places, that he likes to go, if he is slightly apprehensive about thunder that you can deal with it, etc..and that is for ANY rescue...not just a ASL.

Lee
 

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I'm not a fan of ASL's, but I think it just depends on the dog as far as temperment. You can get a pretty good idea of stability by doing a few simple tests (how he responds to a stranger, sudden big movements, walking on unstable surfaces, etc). I think it's fairly easy to tell general "nerve" of how the dog will be in day to day life upon first meeting. No amount of socializing is going to 100% fix a skittish dog. And it would be very hard to "break" the good temperment of a solid one.

The myth of angulation = higher chance of HD is indeed just that...a myth.
 

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I agree with the above posts,,and it sounds like he may be cow hocked ? which is no big deal (obviously it would be in the show ring),

and what justine said about angulation is soooo true, if he has alot of "rear", it by absolutely no means that he has HD..he just has alot of angulation..

Temperament and soundness first priority..Keep us updated :)
 

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I've had two ASLs and one mostly German showline. My male ASL had epilepsy and died very young from uncontrollable seizures, my other (his half sister) is still doing well at 13 1/2. My GSL girl was 13 when she died and didn't age quite as gracefully as the ASL girl has. She had moderate athritis as she got older but my ASL girl is only occasionally stiff at 13+ and still can and does stand on her back legs, leap off the deck, etc. The GSL girl was by far the most driven and biddable of the three. Both my ASL girl and my GSL girl outlived their littermates though. The GSL girl had a couple littermates with serious health issues (epilepsy, DM, HD and her mother later developed EPI). Both had generally nice temperaments. The ASL girl was far more independent and not as drivey but they both were smart (as in they figured out how to open doors and the such!). The GSL girl was same sex aggressive, as was the ASL boy.

So what it comes down to is, health often depends on the individual, their care and yes, luck. My GSL's mother developed EPI a couple years after she had the litter but AFAIK none of her puppies did. My ASL girl would get hotspots and ear infections very often until she was switched to raw food. I suspect had she not been switched, she may not have been as healthy or lived as long. The health issues which are a concern for the breed are a concern for ASL, GSL, GWL and pet bred dogs, they don't affect just one line or type. I haven't seen much proof that HD is more common in ASLs - both of mine had many generations of OFA good or excellent dogs in their pedigrees. Angulation really does not play much of a role in hip health but extreme angulation often comes with "loose ligaments", which may affect the dog's overall mobility in old age (or may not).

If your purpose is to get a pet, you can find a suitable dog from any line. To weigh the odds in your favor, select from a breeder who does health testing and who's dogs tend to live into old age. The breeder should be as honest and upfront about their dogs as possible. See as many of the relatives as possible and if you like their temperaments and have a breeder who is good at matching puppies with owners, chances are pretty good that if you get a puppy and do your part (GSDs require a lot of socialization and early training) you will end up with a good companion.
 

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Thanks everyone for your replies! Jakoda, what do you mean by “cow hocked”? I don’t know that term.

I’m still concerned about the knocked knee issue. She said that the supplements have really help him and now he goes on hikes without any issues at all! When they first got him, he could not even walk. :( Apparently, he was kept in a kennel all day long and rarely let out. :angryfire: I don’t know if that affected, or caused, the knocked-knees, though. He is also under weight so if we do take him, satin balls will be on his menu!! :wild:

From what the rescue folks have told me, he has a very good temperament which is a big plus, of course! However, he is not neutered. They actually advised me not to have him neutered because, as she puts it; “his temperament is so good now she’s afraid that it will change after he is neutered.” I’m not sure I agree with that logic, though. I’ll have to do some more research on “neutering and temperament changes” but I think we’d most likely have him neutered after his adjusted to being with us and has put on a little weight.

BTW, he is 2.5 years old. His name is Vador but we’ll be changing it.
 

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I'm not sure I believe that logic either, especially with a "rescue" on recommending he not be neutered..Honestly, I'd neuter him:)

Anyhow, cow hocked, basically 'knee knocked" as you put it..but I don't think that would make him unable to walk..I'm thinking maybe he was down on his pasterns but supplements have helped strengthen them up?? I can see if he was stuck in a crate all day, why he'd have walking problems, he probably had no exercise, therefore has little to no muscle tone..

You can build up good muscle tone by swimming,,he may even benefit highly from some PT (physical therapy) wth a water treadmill..
 

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What kind of a rescue adopts out an un-neutered dog? :help:

You want him to gain weight gradually and since he's already potentially got some issues because of poor care I would keep him a little under weight. That's what I do with Rafi. I would also put him on Ester C, fish oil and a good joint supplement. Good nutrition, regular, moderate exercise and a good supplement regime can go a long way in helping joints, muscle mass, etc. Rafi came to me looking pretty ratty and had very little muscle mass, loose hips, a bad shoulder, etc. but he is very athletic now and no one would know he has problems. I'm just careful with what and how much he does.
 

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Check out the individual dog. If you are wanting a companion, you will want to be sure he is of good temperament and sound nerves. You probably don't want a shy or nervous dog. I have had healthy dogs of ASL and unhealthy ones. I have also had the same experiences with German show and German working lines dogs that I have had.

My first GSD was a boy with extreme anguation. He was a nice companion dog. I have three American line dogs now. They are all healthy, have good hips, and would make a family companion without any problems.
 

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From what the rescue folks have told me, he has a very good temperament which is a big plus, of course! However, he is not neutered. They actually advised me not to have him neutered because, as she puts it; “his temperament is so good now she’s afraid that it will change after he is neutered.”
:facepalm:

I can't believe a legitimate nonprofit rescue organization would say this. I'm thinking it might be a private, unregistered party who is collecting dogs, re-selling them, and calling themselves a "rescue".
 

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I have seen dogs who were kept crated for months and months as puppies and they do tend to seem rather crippled. But they also seem like with exercise, they can come out of. The sire of one of my dog's was nearly PTS because he was returned to the breeder after being very neglected. He had been crated so much and exercised so little that he was basically crippled and the breeder had a hard time imagining him being normal. Not only did he recover but he went on to be a well known dog in the breed (and FWIW his hips were OFA GOOD, elbows normal).

The comment about neutering is odd from a rescue but to be honest, I wouldn't neuter this dog until he had developed really good muscling. Neutering makes it harder to put muscle on and he sounds like he is already rather compromised in that area.
 

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:facepalm:

I can't believe a legitimate nonprofit rescue organization would say this. I'm thinking it might be a private, unregistered party who is collecting dogs, re-selling them, and calling themselves a "rescue".
I think you might be right. In one of her emails she wrote that they are “not able to take donations (for tax write-off purposes, etc).” Maybe they are just getting started in rescue and not all of the paperwork for licensing is done. Or maybe it’s something creepy. I have to say, I was really surprised by the “don’t neuter” remark, especially coming from a so-called rescue.

I’m not having a good vibe about this whole thing, tho…..
 

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Well, if you like the dog and can give him a good home, it doesn't really matter if he comes from a reputable rescue or some creeper off craigslist. So long as you're not buying him from somebody who stole him and they're not overcharging you on the adoption fee, you can still go for it. If this "rescue" hasn't given him his shots and hasn't neutered him, I wouldn't give them more than $50-$75.
 

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I think you might be right. In one of her emails she wrote that they are “not able to take donations (for tax write-off purposes, etc).” Maybe they are just getting started in rescue and not all of the paperwork for licensing is done. Or maybe it’s something creepy. I have to say, I was really surprised by the “don’t neuter” remark, especially coming from a so-called rescue.

I’m not having a good vibe about this whole thing, tho…..
Yeah, I have a feeling this "rescue" isn't on the up-and-up. What is their adoption fee? Go see the dog anyway, he needs a home. And you can get him neutered as soon as he's healthy enough to undergo the surgery, and I promise it won't change his personality. :)
 

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Yeah, I have a feeling this "rescue" isn't on the up-and-up. What is their adoption fee? Go see the dog anyway, he needs a home. And you can get him neutered as soon as he's healthy enough to undergo the surgery, and I promise it won't change his personality. :)
Exactly ............ the dog needs a home and if you think his temperament is OK and you can care for him then do it. When he appears to be as healthy as you can make him then neuter him. Neither good nor bad temperaments are likely to change by neutering an adult dog. But I would be happy to be wrong about the bad ones. My son neutered his male and he was still dog-aggressive for the rest of his 14 years.
 

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actually when they say slant backed, that is soo misunderstood, When a dog stands all 4 feet under him in a square/rectangle, the back is probably flat....BUT when you spread the back legs, one back, one forward it changes the back..Sometimes the dogs stand this way on their own, but they also stand square. The angle of the rear has NOTHING to do with hip dysplasia..the only way to know how the hips are is to xray properly and have them read properly, not all vets know this correctly.

I have 2 ASL and wouldn't trade them for anything!! They are great, beautiful, smart, healthy and very excellent tempered. There are good/bad/great/awful in ALL lines and anyone that says differently has closed eyes. Go see the dog, take him to a reputable vet, and if you like him and all seems good, go for it. You have equal chances of a great dog from any shelter/BYB/craigs list dog. So trust yourself adn when you get him sign him up for some obedience classes, even if he is super he needs to bond and learn to listen to you. BUT go to one that is kind, does NOT do rough stuff just cause he's a big dog

Here are pics of my 2, first my female while herding at 20 months and my male hanging at home




 
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