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Discussion Starter #1
I bring this up as a term I use to identify many of the breeders of German Shepherds today.
Often people query the board about whether to breed a dog with an outward expression of an health issue or temperament problem. I see the breed as an iceberg in that there is a part that is apparent on the surface, but a larger part that is not visible but just as; if not more important. How often do I hear breeders make decisions exclusively on the surface element. I equate a specific dog to the visible part of the iceberg, and the rest of the litter as the invisible part of the iceberg. This is why it is so important to identify source genetically to health issues and temperament issues as opposed to individual expression of a singular dog. Say a particular dog bloats, and the cause is due to extreme poor diet/feeding purposes....that is different than bloating from a dog with a genetic propensity for bloat. Why???? because in the first case the problem was created and in the second case the succeptibility of the problem is inherited. In the first case, the rest of the dogs in the litter are not succeptible genetically, and in the second case the other pups in the litter are. This is important in my making breeding decisions in terms of whether I would breed the dog and WHO I breed the dog to.
Remember, if the underlying causation is genetic due to a compiling of recessives, (usually from reputable breeders trying to acheive a specialty goal), then the other pups in that litter will carry the same risk as the pup giving the outward expression. So if your advice to them is to scrap the dog from the breeding pool....what about the litter bro/sis. Is this maybe the reason certain problems in the breed continue to proliferate??? Would not a better solution be that you bring in completely new genetic blood into the equation, to minimize that recessive.(make sure the blood blood is much stronger in that area.)
My point is just as an iceberg, you cannot make decisions based solely of the visible expression seen. Many many breeders do, and if your decisions don't access genetic impact, then its very probable you may continue to create and reinforce the issues that you are trying hard to eliminate.
Hope this makes sense.
 

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Perfect sense to me. I love the comparison. If only more people thought like you.
 

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makes sense to me to,,I'm still waiting for you to write a book to add to my library:)
 

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I have a picture of Carmspack Allycia UD just celebrating her 14th birthday romping in the with a bunch of family golden retrievers much much younger than her. The owner trials them and has a number of Master Hunter titles on the Goldens . The GSD is still the queen , still in charge , still youthful in attitude although hearing is becoming selective and eye sight starting to be less than .
She underwent a procedure for some damage to her knee . It was recommended , since she was "under" for the x ray to also do an x ray on her hips and spin.
The report was no arthritis on hips or spine , no disorder on spine -- CLEAN , and hips to quote "still tight as a tick" . At 14 .

pedigree represented by her brother Sensei who passed away at age 13 .
Carmspack Sensei - German Shepherd Dog

Kilo was over 13 years of age , Kilos sister owned by Linda Shaw saw as many years plus some -- Addi Tonteichen was that age (will have to check into that).

I had the pleasure of writing the Seidler family , THE breeders of vom haus Iris . Gunther Seidler told me that Rex Iris passed away at age 14 as reported to him by Adam Kuhn, as did the dam Mira haus Iris , Ulf Iris I believe was 13 or 14 also.

Longevity runs in these lines. But this goes far beyond longevity because the dogs are in carefree rugged health to those last days .

There is so much more to understand in genetics than basic mendellian mode . Epigenetics, how outside influences change genes --- big one.

A book I would recommend highly is POTTENGERS CATS that shows the effect of flawed nutrition through generations . This book has been unavailable for decades due to a problem with the estate that inherited the works . 'Finally the problem is resolved and the book is back in print , in limited numbers. I jumped at the chance and bought a few.


more later running behind already
 

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I
My point is just as an iceberg, you cannot make decisions based solely of the visible expression seen.
This, to me, is a no-brainer. A dog's genotype is a massive hidden iceberg, while his phenotype is only the tip. With the new tool of DNA testing, along with deep knowledge and understanding of bloodlines, we're just now beginning to understand more of what we can't see.

I wish all the wannabe-stud dog owners could read and understand this post.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Carmen, you are right in that there are many other facets of the equation such as nutrition, phenotype, recessives/dominants, and studious analysis of the genetic component. And others.
I brought up this example as I figured it was simple to grasp, and easy for people to see why many times the solutions given are like a bandaid and do not address the underlying problem.
Many times I see hobby breeders that have a certain "preference" cloud their decision in breeding or acquiring lines. Case in point, if you have a breedingthat takes place, what are the elements of uniformity that you should seek to have a successful breeding? Man has brought so much imbalanceto the breed in the name of likes/preferencesthat are cosmetic.
Case in point.....The dominant color for German Shepherds is sable. 75% of the registered GS in Germany are Black and Tan or saddleback. How did sable become recessive in phenotype when it is dominant in genotype???It certainly didn't arise from balance.!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If people really understood this they wouldn't have maintained what they did through him in other countries. I have always felt that Germany bred a certain type of dog to market to the world for monetary gain and they developed another type with totally different genetics for work. Do you think it is a coincidence that none of the top working kennels in Germany have used Canto's lines or derivatives of his lines for decades. They know the money is in black and red and there is a vast world out there that places more value on the part of the iceberg they can see. That the continued breeding on these early same dogs leading to higher incidences of health and temperament problems doesn't bother them because they are exporting most of them for profit and keeping only enough for replenishment.
Carmen, you know as well as I, 40 years ago, when there was no separation in lines and VA dogs were all colors and types, YOU could not buy a VA dog. During the sixties/seventies, we had Erko vom Dinkelland for a long time as the only VA dog in the country. They hardley ever parted with VA stock. But as soon as they developed this line off of Canto/Quanto....everything was for sale at the right price.
Oh Well!!
 

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And it is, unfortunately, very difficult to find even working line dogs that don't also carry some Canto.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
That is true Lisa and exactly my point....if Canto is in a dog's pedigree one or two times 9 generations back, then it would indicate the breeders recognized his failings and moved away from going to anything with him in the future. Now if you go back 9 generations and find Canto 8 to 10 times vertically, then it means they kept on breeding to dogs with Canto as they progressed forward and therein lies the problem. No dog is perfect, and Canto had good traits to supplement a breeding for maybe one generation, to pick up those traits....but to use him in a dominant role with his high negatives in health and temperament???????I'm still waiting for some plausible explanation.
Its not the dog Canto, individually, that is bad, (though I would have only used him to insert some movement maybe ONCE), ITS the use of Canto repeatedly by breeders that created the issues. Often breeders take things personal when it comes to individual dogs, all dogs have good and bad in them....its how you use the dog that dictates breeding success.JMO
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Also, you cannot breed with extensive linebreeding on "Great well rounded" dogs for long periods or you will still have these consequences occur, it will just be the unseen negatives the dog possesses. Dogs like Bernd v Lierberg, or Held v Ritterberg, or Mutz v d Pelztierferm, and Marko vom Cellerland, who were all very strong in temperament, structure, and producing temperament and structure in their progeny.....have all showed when breeders have tried to extensively inbreed or longterm linebreed, the results started producing high negatives in teeth, testicle, ear sets and ear standing, oversize, undersize, dullness, sharpness, short upperarms, etc. You see though, these dogs were balanced and strong in all of the areas of the iceberg that we see, they still carried negative recessives that when pounded together generation after generation...started to be dominants. Now these recessive negatives are dominant in the newly created dogs and the sad fact is they started ahead of the game in the beginning. Just food for thought; as some will only see Showline in these posts and not see the overall picture of the damage of indiscriminate breeding. (Of course some don't want to read this because its the basis of their breeding programs:wild:...lol)
 

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I'm having fun trying to research my dog's pedigree, and your posts are very interesting....I think "food for thought" is the key of this topic, because people will usually end up doing things for the dollar value, and bad characteristics will become inherent along the way. It would be very difficult to gather enough ethical breeders to cure these kinds of troubles....JMO.
Anyway, I actually am wondering what the registered name of the Canto that you are mentioning is, so I can research my girl's pedigree from that end too. (Just wondering if and how much "Canto" is in her.

Thanks for your interesting thoughts!
 

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Cliff the negatives that you mention with the Bernd Lierberg Mutz and Marko (all very strong in temperament ) such as ear carriage , ear erect reflect the herding heritage of the original regional dogs , essentially two of the four pillars , of the new breed at its outset , that being the wurtemburgers and swabian dogs working , herding and protection dogs .
Within that genetic assembly were dogs with down ear carriage , a variety of coats from wave, slight curl, longer , harsh .
It was this victorian concept of breed -- which put external uniformity as top priority , which challenged local dog enthusiastics , the Phylax society , to "create" an externally uniform , prick eared dog , for competition. That was Victorian society. Virtually all breeds , standardized types, came out of the "muck" at that time. Once again Bred for Perfection -- fantastic little book -- .
Prick eared dogs came from the Thuringian region , with some wolf blood introduced to seal the deal and ensure that all important prick ear look. So the dogs that brought in the signature feature , prick ear, were problematic . To counter the nerve problems they had selected herding females , preferably with a natual prick ear , to breed to , hoping the next generation had temperament improvement and prick ears . There is your first ledge in the ice berg .
I know how important the ear carriage is . On this very forum we see hand wringing and disappointment when ears are not up and or stay up -- and we see big celebrations when rexy's ears are up . Thank god because now there is no doubt when "other" people see the dog . He is what "I" paid for , a GSD. But the temperament might be all over the place. But he looks the part .
When dogs are in shelters/rescues the prick ear carriage assigns them some GSD blood somewhere , as if there are not hundreds of other dogs with prick ears -- .
Von Stephanitz laid the foundation for the first splits within the "breed", linebreeding on a temperamentally flawed trophy dog to fix a body type.
You can see 14th century statuary of St Francis of Assissi and at his feet for all to see is a dog who for all the world looks like an ideal smaller GSD . These dogs as performance dogs existed for hundreds of years.

The Victorians would be proud of the cookie cutter uniformity of the SV's show dogs . From a distance they look like some computer generated image.

So the question has been raised before about would "you" breed to a dog with less than perfect hips provided all else was there.

What is the thinking if the dog in question either has soft or droop ear , or has been known to produce them -- (male or female) -- but hips and temperament and drive - stellar .

chipping away at an iceburg -

Carmen
Carmspack Working German Shepherd Dogs
 

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Cliff...since we have Show Lines...Canto is prominent in their lines many generations back. I'm not willing to trash the entire show line bloodlines....so we will continue to breed discriminatively and with prejudice. (not looking to be a popular breeder...just a *solid* one.)

*I do read your posts....I always find them interesting, whether I respond or not.*
FWIW...I'm reading through the threads right now, sitting here with a good cup of coffee with my lil "head of lettuce"..:) Good morning Cliff!!
 

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What is the thinking if the dog in question either has soft or droop ear , or has been known to produce them -- (male or female) -- but hips and temperament and drive - stellar .
http://www.carmspack.com
I would--and have (Quattro v Spitzbubezwinger, a Nessel son, had very soft ears--they were up when he was alert, but if he relaxed, they folded). But always with a female with strong ears. I think it's easy to breed away from. I haven't linebred on Quattro--and I might never--but I've never yet had a puppy whose ears didn't stand up. (I did get some ugly earsets though!) It could still happen--I've only been breeding 15 years. And, unfortunate as it is--it causes no harm to the dog, it doesn't cause pain or injury or have any health consequences, and it doesn't affect that dog's ability to function as a companion or working dog--so it's a risk I'm willing to take.
 
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