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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A relatively "new breed" but based on many decades of existence just the old cross not recognized until that the last 40 years or so.

Isn't it odd that though these dogs developed into a preference breed quite far apart geographically and un unrelated breed dogs to make the ideal mix- that their uses overall and their appearance is similar? Lol - that's more than coincidence:smile2:

Italian breeds of dogs: Italian Sheperd

Italy has been moving these dogs into LE and handicapped assistance with success.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Interesting?? I know what I would think it was if I saw one here. :)
Isn't it strange - the Mollissan blood to a tough little small herding dog created this breed that looks initially a lot like the GSD. As far as I can tell, they have zero common ancestry. Yet, countries apart the dual purpose and shape desired to serve in rural areas as both a shepherd and guard dog show an uncanny resemblance. Differences to be sure, but common - the desired "type" was there.:smile2:

Maybe the magic mix isn't so magic after all. I have looked at some sites and they say this breed is awesome with horses in particular which would actually be more useful today, now that nobody's herding much anymore.

When they travel, they tend to have their ears back and the tail and ears are more pyrenees shape to me - intriguing. But they are larger than a GSD and apparently have guard and stamina.
 

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I've seen my fair share of them .
An Italian friend, decoy and vendor to police forces imported several in the mid-80's that his father of other family
member was breeding.
Lots of prey drive . Busy . Looked more like black malinois.
They were okay -- GSD still won out as the prefered breed with the departments.
If "unrelated" I would want to see DNA markers on that .
 

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I've seen my fair share of them .
An Italian friend, decoy and vendor to police forces imported several in the mid-80's that his father of other family
member was breeding.
Lots of prey drive . Busy . Looked more like black malinois.
They were okay -- GSD still won out as the prefered breed with the departments.
If "unrelated" I would want to see DNA markers on that .
The 80's ... that's interesting.

My take is a spin on a "King Shepard" a dog that "looks" like a GSD but is not, but to whatever degree this time, the emphasis was on "Work" instead of "Pet." People luv to "reinvent the wheel as it were." :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've seen my fair share of them .
An Italian friend, decoy and vendor to police forces imported several in the mid-80's that his father of other family
member was breeding.
Lots of prey drive . Busy . Looked more like black malinois.
They were okay -- GSD still won out as the prefered breed with the departments.
If "unrelated" I would want to see DNA markers on that .
Lol, if related I would want to see DNA markers on that.

Is it so unrealistic to you that the Italians had their smart fast mover shepherd and bulky guard dog just like the Germans?

The Cane Toccatore;
 

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Very cool dogs.

Personally, I would bet the farm, that GSDs and the PIs are related, even if distantly. Too similar and too geographically close not to be (Rome and Berlin are only like 700 some miles apart).

Actually I think most of the European herding breeds are related, coming from the same ancient herding dog landrace.

It's hard to see with the modern incarnation of German Shepherds Dogs but when you look at the landrace(s) they derived from - Altdeutsche Schaeferhunds, the similarities become much more apparent. Europe isn't that big and there have been well established trade routes for centuries.

Lots of other shepherdy breeds out there. Give me just about any of the other short haired European tending breeds and I'd be a happy camper. :grin2:
 

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Very cool dogs.

Personally, I would bet the farm, that GSDs and the PIs are related, even if distantly. Too similar and too geographically close not to be (Rome and Berlin are only like 700 some miles apart).

Actually I think most of the European herding breeds are related, coming from the same ancient herding dog landrace.

It's hard to see with the modern incarnation of German Shepherds Dogs but when you look at the landrace(s) they derived from - Altdeutsche Schaeferhunds, the similarities become much more apparent. Europe isn't that big and there have been well established trade routes for centuries.

Lots of other shepherdy breeds out there. Give me just about any of the other short haired European tending breeds and I'd be a happy camper. :grin2:
Wouldn't you love to travel around in Europe and observe and get to know some of those old herding breeds?I'm guessing you would see less health and temperament problems.But maybe I'm just romanticizing.
 

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Wouldn't you love to travel around in Europe and observe and get to know some of those old herding breeds?I'm guessing you would see less health and temperament problems.But maybe I'm just romanticizing.
Sounds like a dream vacation to me! It's a pipe/if I won the power ball dream of mine to help preserve some of those strains. I traveled through europe several years ago one of the highlights of the trip was staying on a working farm with a beautiful pair of schwarzers.

I imagine their focus on working and the genetic diversity would lead to less predisposition towards health and temperament issues as well

Eh. It's also a not so secret wish of mine to do away with closed stud books in general. I do wish more dog breeds were treated the way they do warm blood horse breeds. It would be amazing if one day we could do the occasional outcross to these old herding breeds to strengthen the GSD gene pool.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sounds like a dream vacation to me! It's a pipe/if I won the power ball dream of mine to help preserve some of those strains. I traveled through europe several years ago one of the highlights of the trip was staying on a working farm with a beautiful pair of schwarzers.

I imagine their focus on working and the genetic diversity would lead to less predisposition towards health and temperament issues as well

Eh. It's also a not so secret wish of mine to do away with closed stud books in general. I do wish more dog breeds were treated the way they do warm blood horse breeds. It would be amazing if one day we could do the occasional outcross to these old herding breeds to strengthen the GSD gene pool.
lol. That thought crossed my mind. That's why I was looking around in "isolated pockets".
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I have looked and their is limited information out there but the longevity if accurate seems to support the claims that there are no common diseases or ailments plaguing this breed. Also, some are hesitant to call this a breed. Notice the wide variety of acceptable looks. Some are quite different than others but all have the basic characteristics and what it takes to get the job done.

That has to be attributed to selective breeding and isolation. Hard to believe that simply dipping back into the wolf gene pool as needed would support such a hardy breed but that seems to be the explanation given. I don't know if they are culling unsuitable or sickly dogs but I would imagine so. The dogs have to earn their keep. But, as we know - that probably won't last much longer.
 

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When I lived in Germany we often spent weekends on Volksmarches, walks of a predetermined length and route. Many of them were through the countryside. We often came upon shepherds and their sheep. One flock I'll never forget and wish now I'd taken a picture as the dogs that came out at us to keep us away were some of the largest dogs I've ever seen. Picture a Pyrenees or Mastiff in a GSD shape with long hair, only taller. They were greyish and also one tan colored. Like many herding breeds they appeared to have a set distance they wanted us to stay at and as long as we kept that distance they quieted and just watched us. This was in the early/mid 80s and to this day I wonder what breed(s) they were.
 

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I have Pastore Italiano x GSP mix. He is an amazing dog. 3 years old. Very smart. I learned a lot about the breed by doing my own research. I would recommend this breed.
 

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Hello and Welcome. We'd love to see some pictures of your dog. Are you in U.S.? What does GSP stand for?
I'm curious how your dog differs from our standard GSD.
Glad you could join in the discussion.
 

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I could mistake those dogs for a Belgian Mal any day. Probably that's just me though. :)
 
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