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Discussion Starter #1
After watching Westminster, I am wondering why the so called "flying trot" is so important. Was it necessary for herding? :confused:
 

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The GSD style of herding isn't like the driving you see Border Collies and such do for short bursts of high speed. They are a tending dog. Their job is to be a living, moving fence. The flying trot was an energy efficient gait that allowed them to continue moving for hours at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Well, I'm not noticing our working dogs trotting like that. Of course, I am mostly seeing them at a gallop:D I can't imagine a shepherd keeping that frantic show ring trot up to tend sheep. Right the relaxed suspended trot looks normal, at least to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Right. I understand all too well the crazy roach of the VA dogs, because I have a working dog and a West German Showline who is very roached. But the severe rear angulation of the American Show dogs looks just as wacky even though they don't have a roach. And I hear them talk about rear drive!!!
 

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Wilfred Scheld was a koermeister and the Head Herding Judge of the SV. I had the privilege of showing/koering under him and spending time with him. The last koer he did that I attended - he gave a presentation about herding and it's place in the breed, along with a discussion of the lines, drive and movement needed to tend flocks of up to 2000 sheep. (YES - 2000!!!!)

He stated that the show dogs did not normally have the drive or stamina for real life herding, and that many modern working lines dogs were too high prey - due to sport breeding. He said many real herding dogs were crosses of SL and WL.

He also showed a 3 time HGH Siegerin of Germany - who was a dark sable female - "like your dog - same build and drive" ie - comparing her to my Csabre. He stated unequivocally that the common straighter shoulder of the working dog was just as, if not MORE, functionable for herding movement....that the dogs did NOT tire and if anything, had more stamina as they were not using extreme effort to reach....

I really wish we had taped this presentation!!!!!!

I had shown all my dogs to him as a puppies, and he chuckled seeing his name on Csabre's pink papers on the dental. He remembered her and I was so pleased at his comments during the measurement phase. Then, during the koer, he gathered the crowd around and asked for their attention to critique Csabre, telling them she was a "genetic treasure" due to her size, structure, color and pedigree. He also repeated some breeding advice, then afterwards, we went through the pedigree of my (intended) K litter together.....I wish we had been able to present Kira to him - I looked forward to that! He passed away last year, and will be missed.


Lee
 

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Kira is a great example of functional , durable, endurance movement .
"He stated that the show dogs did not normally have the drive or stamina for real life herding, and that many modern working lines dogs were too high prey - due to sport breeding"

I used to have emails back and forth with an urban shepherd using an altdeutscher hutehund (schaferhund).
I showed her some you tubeys of herding instinct dogs and other , and she gasped expletive - we would shoot those dogs.
The herding dog needs to be calm and commanding , have an inborn presence that you cannot train. The hectic , high prey , easily stimulated dogs upset the sheep and made them out of control .
Balance in body, balance in mind.
 

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Beau regularly works 10-15 miles at a trot on a search shift. It seems pretty effortless. It is not exaggerated and seems to be his preferred working gait. He is also not so high in prey and I like that better.
 

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Yes i don't think any of those show dogs move like that on a daily basis unless they had a crowd cheering them on. I would have a little more pep in my step if there was a energetic crowd cheering me:p An overly angulated dog is not pretty to watch and im sure they cannot go the distance. Good movement is hard to miss just as in horses it eye catching from a distance.Woodsides Megabucks is my favorite out of the show dogs. I know my dog covers much ground incredibly quick with little effort in all kind of weather. He does not get tired although he is only a year and a half. Balance should be the goal in all lines as they each have their own headaches.
 

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Beau regularly works 10-15 miles at a trot on a search shift. It seems pretty effortless. It is not exaggerated and seems to be his preferred working gait. He is also not so high in prey and I like that better.
Sounds like a balanced dog. My daughter had two k9 officers come to her class. One was calm and one was like the energizer bunny could not sit still. The officers both had the dogs jump on the desk. One dog was so amped up he jumped on the desk and fell off it. The officer with the calm dog lived in the officers house with his young kids and great was with his family and other kids. The officer who had the dog who was more wired stayed in a kennel. They both got their jobs done as they were successful in their career.
 

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watch the dogs outside of the ring - watch them walking

if a dog enters the "flying trot" which is no where mentioned in any of the desirable traits in von Stephanitz,
Willis, Elliott or Wooton , there usually is a temperament flaw , or other .

that "other" , is the inability to WALK , or trot at a different speed - that is their specialty

when I was handling at the big shows (not my dogs), there was a recognition of things being not quite right . Many times the judge would ask for a slow circle around the ring . One judge in particular was adamant on getting what he asked for . Frustrated, he brought the contestants to a halt . Made sure the handlers understood he wanted to see them at a slow pace and then asked the group to WALK . If they did not he pulled them to the side for end of line placement .

Boy oh boy . What does a dog do for the most of its life?
Walk . And they could not .

It doesn't have anything to do with cheering . It does have to do with anatomy.
 

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The show dogs are no doubt are overly exaggerated and many hard to watch. I have seen it. But also some attempts for improvement and want to note that. I do have a pet american showline dog (he has one testicle)who have some successful champion line in his pedigree (grandparents and back)he has some relatives who are cadaver dogs. He does not walk on his hocks and has a beautiful trot. I admit i get a bit defensive with the asl talk as im very happy with my dog. I do note there are some differences as i had a working line who was calm and solid as granite. I choose the asl as thought would have less drive but i find it to be equal in my case. I would be afraid to get another asl with all the things i hear about them as i think did i get a rare find.?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My WL girl is perfect and smooth tireless energy. My poor WGSL is SO structurally challenged between his roach,severe angular tibial deformity and severe HD, he tires quickly. His calm nature showed great promise for herding the sheep, but his body just couldn't keep up with his desire....what a shame. He loved it.?
 

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I choose the asl as thought would have less drive but i find it to be equal in my case. I would be afraid to get another asl with all the things i hear about them as i think did i get a rare find.?

While I've definitely seen some bad temperaments, the vast majority of ASLs I've been around have NOT been nervy, spooky dogs. The people that I know have made an effort to weed out sketchy temperaments. As in anything, you have to do your homework.
 

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While I've definitely seen some bad temperaments, the vast majority of ASLs I've been around have NOT been nervy, spooky dogs. The people that I know have made an effort to weed out sketchy temperaments. As in anything, you have to do your homework.
This is good to know. Im glad you said this. It is hard to read anything good about them yet it has not been my experience with mine and extremely happy with my asl. People do say now that is a real shepherd I just love to say he is american:)
 

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suspended trot is not the same as the exaggerated "flying" trot , which often is not even flying

the herding dog has a functional gait . Sometimes the immediate entry into "flying" an excitable , less than confident temperament problem .

Shawlein Fine Art & Purebred German Shepherd Dogs
Thank you Carmen! A picture is worth a thousand words! This was one of the major reasons I turned to wolf shepherds back in the early 80's, after I saw what was supposed to be a very expensive, pseudo well-bred GSD with that "floating" trot. (at the time I didn't know WL GSDs existed, I was afraid they were all that way, lol) The dog stopped moving, and I had to ask whether the dog was deformed... My little boy from Chip Weiss' breeding has the build many of my wolf shepherds did. My only ASL GSD was a rescue, and I loved him dearly, but forgave him his conformation, it wasn't his fault!

Susan
 

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This was Kessy in her element - good tending dogs can go all day long (with conditioning).

 

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I also wanted to add, Kessy's structure is very moderate and she has her faults, but she moves really nicely.
 
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