German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First I want to say I am not a breeder or a professional anything when it comes to GSD what I am is a GSD only owner all my life which is 50 years now,and I have been researching over the last few years and one big question seems to keep pooping up. Is one of the GSD lines Superior in physical health over the rest.

I know there are much better bread GSD's than the American lines that I have bought all my life, but after reading several articles about the Old World GSD and how far off we are with today's GSD standards it makes me wonder if a lot of the hip, knees, and spine issues haven't been caused by today's breeding and todays GSD standards.

Here are two links that have me , just a guy that want's to be able to buy a healthy puppy some day asking my self which line to choose.

Whats The Difference between Show & Working GSD's? - Yahoo! Answers
Illustrated Standard of the German Shepherd Dog, TYPE COMPARISON

After reading articles like this it seems to me the Working Line GSD has the most promise for a physically healthy dog. Of course next you have temperament and the working line GSD is bread for just that WORKING which in many peoples lives as my own I don't want a high drive dog I prefer a low drive dog which in most cases could be the Show line GSD.

Now are we sacrificing health for temperament? Are we going to move to looks and pick the show dog over the working dog for it's coat and maybe it's color. Is the roach back ruining the GSD's hind end? Again I don't know all the right words to use but I hope you get where I am coming from and help me out here.

I kept reading if you want to know a good breeder in your area you first need to know what line GSD you want. It's confusing because all I want foremost is the best chance for a healthy GSD and I WANT a lover a family pet and it doesn't really matter which line but it does matter if one line is Superior in physical structure over another. Of course I have a favorite look or color but I am not going to let that sway me from getting the healthiest GSD line I can.

Please educate me in simple terms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,280 Posts
I am not an expert, or a breeder, just an owner of GSDs as well. I had an American showline dog. He lived for 12 years and had 1 benign cyst removed when he was 4 and a kidney infection when he was 11. That was it for health problems. He died in his sleep at age 12 with no suffering and no signs of any illness. My GSD now is a DDR workingline. So far so good as far as health. He is 11 months old. There is a big difference in temperament. My DDR pup seems to be a lot sturdier than my American dog ever was. His legs are thicker and stronger looking. He's a lot more muscular, his back is not as angled as my American dog. He has a different temperament, easier to train because he needs a job to do. My American GSD could be classified as lazy. I would take him for a walk, get to the end of the street, and he would lay down.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I am not an expert, or a breeder, just an owner of GSDs as well. I had an American showline dog. He lived for 12 years and had 1 benign cyst removed when he was 4 and a kidney infection when he was 11. That was it for health problems. He died in his sleep at age 12 with no suffering and no signs of any illness. My GSD now is a DDR workingline. So far so good as far as health. He is 11 months old. There is a big difference in temperament. My DDR pup seems to be a lot sturdier than my American dog ever was. His legs are thicker and stronger looking. He's a lot more muscular, his back is not as angled as my American dog. He has a different temperament, easier to train because he needs a job to do. My American GSD could be classified as lazy. I would take him for a walk, get to the end of the street, and he would lay down.
I do know there are always going to be exceptions everywhere you look but do you feel that the greater percentage is what I out lined above.

I have owned 6 GSD all American GSD, all to big.
"Males 105-115lbs & Females 90lbs. My first puppy died 30 years ago @ 5 months old from parvo, and I last two males to bloat. 1 actually lived past 10 he made it to 12 but he had deterioration of the spine. Now I have 2 girls 10 & 6 and each have had knee surgery and one has had hip surgery.
I am planning my next puppy to have the best potential to be strong , healthy, and able to run past the age of 5.:confused: So this is my season to figure this out if thats possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,280 Posts
I do know there are always going to be exceptions everywhere you look but do you feel that the greater percentage is what I out lined above.

I have owned 6 GSD all American GSD, all to big.
"Males 105-115lbs & Females 90lbs. My first puppy died 30 years ago @ 5 months old from parvo, and I last two males to bloat. 1 actually lived past 10 he made it to 12 but he had deterioration of the spine. Now I have 2 girls 10 & 6 and each have had knee surgery and one has had hip surgery.
I am planning my next puppy to have the best potential to be strong , healthy, and able to run past the age of 5.:confused: So this is my season to figure this out if thats possible.
I think what you outlined is more true now than before. I got my American GSD in 1989. He was born in 1988. While he had a more angulated back than my DDR dog, It was not to the extreme that we are seeing now, 21 years later. So yes, I think that the workingline will have less problems with hips,knees, etc..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,280 Posts
Interesting video on the way a GSD has changed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,005 Posts
I look at that video and the examples are not show dogs you would ever see here, I look at the room and it seems like someone's basement, not a show site. The crufts ribbon makes it look worthy yet the dogs from that show are not shown movign and lots of dogs will occasionally stand wrong. To me that video is as useless as anything coming from Peta that wants all dogs neutered. Sorry but I still maintain all varieties have health issues and the only way to find a healthy dog is to research individual kennels and lines they are using. Ask to see health tests results, ask to see older family members, retired dogs, how is there health?? Do they have older dogs at home that are active, healthy and over 10 and 12?? WE can find bad breeders and good breeders in all lines
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,586 Posts
Health wise the best dog we ever had was my first - Sneaker, who was American showlines. She was born in 1986 and was not physically extreme in any way as the ASL often seem to be these days. Her temperament was great too, and she lived to 14-1/2 years old in relative good health. She had recurring ear infections and flea allergy dermatitis, but that was back before Advantage and Frontline. If we'd had better flea meds back then we would have been able to keep it under control better. We also fed her Science Diet her whole life because we thought it was a good food.

The absolute best dog in every way that we've had was Dena, WGSL, but she unfortunately died at 4 years old from Lymphoma. :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So I guess it does pretty much come down to today's breeders and finding a good one along with asking the right questions. I knew it wasn't as easy as picking a certain GSD line but everybody's in site is worth hearing to me anyway. thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,344 Posts
So I guess it does pretty much come down to today's breeders and finding a good one along with asking the right questions. I knew it wasn't as easy as picking a certain GSD line but everybody's in site is worth hearing to me anyway. thanks
I wish I could give you the answer to your question but I think it does depend on the breeder and the bloodline/health of the parents.

Sinister isn't even 2 years old yet so we are no help. :(
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
I dont think you can get a specific answer, looking for longevity and good health, goes back to the breeder who keeps up with dogs they have bred and health issues.

The gsd's I've had, 3 lived until almost 14, one passed away at 9 complications from spondylosis. They were varying lines, the 9 yr old american lines, the other 3, east german was the majority.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
I look at that video and the examples are not show dogs you would ever see here, I look at the room and it seems like someone's basement, not a show site.
I hate to say it but these dogs are very common in the show ring in my area and they are the ones winning. This is another reason I am not a member of the local GSD club because I feel an overwhelming urge to vomit when I see how crippled their dogs are.

As for the show ring looking like a basement, it could well be in the basement of a building. Again, very common place for dog schools to be and that's where the shows are held.

I had three Am bred dogs and all three of them had serious medical problems over the long haul. I now have a workingline dog and he's the healthiest darn dog I have ever seen. With some research you can find who's breeding the quality dogs and be very up front in the drive level you are looking for and they should be able to help you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I guess thats pretty much my situation. I have bought all my GSD's over the last 30 years from a local reputable breeder in our area. She is a great person but I know now that she didn't breed for health as much as she bread for size and color. So I feel after finding all of you I have learned so much more about my favorite dog in the world and I now have much more direction when choosing my next breeder.

I will start with breeders in my area because I would rather not ship a puppy and it seems we have some not just reputable but very reputable breeders in the IL. WI. area which is what I will be looking for. Not that I wouldn't have a puppy flown in or drive 5 hours to pick up a puppy but I mize well start in my own backyard.

Thanks everyone this was a question I wasn't sure I even knew how to ask and you all have given me your opinions and I now know it's really up to the breeders and doing my homework to research their history of past litters and previous customers.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,219 Posts
This very interesting. Never too much information.

Sad to see how the need for angulation has turned show dogs into freaks. All those angles
put a burden on the muscles and you get muscular dogs who need the muscles just to stand
and move. Try standing with your knees bent for a while. Or lie on the floor and hold a
half pushup position and you will see the negative value of angulation.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
So I guess it does pretty much come down to today's breeders and finding a good one along with asking the right questions. I knew it wasn't as easy as picking a certain GSD line but everybody's in site is worth hearing to me anyway. thanks
Think you figured it out! :thumbup:

It's not so much about the lines......it's about finding a good responsible breeder that knows what they are doing, and supporting their breeding program by investing and getting one of their puppies! The best breeders are breeding the best dogs cause they know what they are doing and not just in it for the money.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,219 Posts
My dog is totally American lines. Slender, athletic, energetic, smart. Sometimes I wish she was a little broader but only a little. Runs like a deer, moves like a lioness. Compliments whereever we go: " What a beautiful dog!".
I do like the look of the heavier dogs too as long as they aren't overly angulated.
Only problem is she's not photogenic.... go figure.... could be the photographer. ;-)
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top