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Discussion Starter #1
Hi could you all take a look to see if my 14 month old gsd has a roach back? Any guess at what line of German shepherd would be helpful too! I got him from a backyard breeder that didn’t have registration but had solid bone x-rays. Any other critiques would be appreciated!
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No idea on the lines since there is no pedigree with him. Probably just a mishmash of lines.

Little bit of a roach. Nothing to worry about.
 

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He also has very extreme angulation in the hind, with a very long lower thigh. This is easiest to see in the first photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info! I usually rescue dogs. This is my first buy from a breeder. Hope it won’t cause health problems. I should’ve done a bit more research, but I wouldn’t trade him for any dog. I’ll keep this in mind for my next GSD. I fell in love with the breed after Kado!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He also has very extreme angulation in the hind, with a very long lower thigh. This is easiest to see in the first photo.
Do you think this will inhibit his athletic performance? We jog together about once or twice a week. I've built up to running 3 miles with him. He never seems tired or in pain. He actually has a lot of energy after runs and will run around the woods while I stretch after the run. I was thinking of getting him into agility or bite work. Would his over angulation inhibit him in these sports (i.e. performance, greater chances of anatomical deterioration, etc.)?
 

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Paul, the main problem overangulation causes is with jumping. I really don't think he's the best candidate for schutzhund. I think the jogging is good for him, though I'd be worried if it was all on hard surfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Paul, the main problem overangulation causes is with jumping. I really don't think he's the best candidate for schutzhund. I think the jogging is good for him, though I'd be worried if it was all on hard surfaces.
That makes a lot of sense; thanks so much for the education! I want to get into a sport to have fun with him and to make sure he gets enough mental stimulation. I’m not looking to compete at a high level. I just want to make sure I’m not hurting him by adding in some bite work or agility once a week.
 

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That makes a lot of sense; thanks so much for the education! I want to get into a sport to have fun with him and to make sure he gets enough mental stimulation. I’m not looking to compete at a high level. I just want to make sure I’m not hurting him by adding in some bite work or agility once a week.
You can't just put him in bite work. No club will allow you to show up just for protection. Per USCA, you can not title just in protection. You must also be entered in at least one other phase. And, protection requires obedience in every portion. By all means, contact clubs near you and see if your dog has the drives. We all started somewhere. Just be prepared to participate in all phases.

Agility is a blast! My retired IPO dog is starting agility next month.
 

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There are full working lines with roaches backs the roach is slight. Your male looks like a full working line to me but I am just merely guessing. My wgsl has a slight roach back it is not the bone of the back but how the bones of the back are lined up that give that appearance. The bones are actually straight- pin straight and not bent in any way that many people who are to be knowledgeable actually say. My female is a powerhouse runner and she jumps she is not at agile as my male Max but she is Surely capable.
Luna
 

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Your dog's back rises above his shoulders and then drops off at the hips. For comparison, here is my boy slightly older than yours is now. Get a second person and try to get a better stack. You stand in front of him to get him looking forward and the other person take the picture. but I don't think that will fix that. Was he neutered early? He is very leggy and that often happens if the dog is neutered/spayed early.

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The stack is slightly bridge - his front legs aren't completely horizontal, but leaning back slightly from the vertical. Get someone to help you with the stack, and see if that makes a difference in his appearance.

I have a black working line female, and believe me, I do NOT think your dog is working line. He may be a mix of German show line and American, or there may be a bit of working line in there somewhere (black is not a common colour in the show lines of either country) but he's definitely not 100% working line, not with THAT structure!
 

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I don't think we need to hammer on this guy and his dog that he obviously loves.

So here's my final answer, repeated from my posts above - there is no way to tell your dog's pedigree from looking at him. My guess is he's a mish mash of lines from a back yard breeder. His conformation isn't the best but there are plenty of dogs doing sports without the best conformation, especially when you just want to have fun with your dog and do local level trials. If you want to do IGP, go to a club and have his drives tested. If you want to do agility, find an instructor. Have fun and love your dog. Don't get to caught up in his conformation. The only thing I can add is if his legginess is created by an early neuter, be careful of his ACL's. There is a correlation with torn ACL's and early spay/neuter. It's expensive and career ending. So when you throw a ball, do not release him to get it until the ball is on the ground. That will stop the sudden starts and stops
 

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Yes your dog is very handsome there is no perfect dog only to the eye of the beholder. I don’t think I ever had a perfect dog but sure close enough for me - what I most enjoy is focusing on their strengths and able to enjoy their strengths and build on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you all for the discussion. I suspected something was wrong with his conformation but couldn’t put my finger on it. For those of you wondering, he was not neutered. What age do you think is appropriate? I was planning on neutering him sometime in his second year. I read it’s best for their bones to wait after they are a year old.

It’s nice to hear I don’t need perfect conformation to have fun in IPO. He’s by far the most athletic dog I have owned yet. I’m sure I’ll be posting updates whether they’re just to show off or talk about health again. Thank you all!
 

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The stack is slightly bridge - his front legs aren't completely horizontal, but leaning back slightly from the vertical. Get someone to help you with the stack, and see if that makes a difference in his appearance.

I have a black working line female, and believe me, I do NOT think your dog is working line. He may be a mix of German show line and American, or there may be a bit of working line in there somewhere (black is not a common colour in the show lines of either country) but he's definitely not 100% working line, not with THAT structure!
I was thinking that too. When I saw him I thought he was show line, but I didn't know enough to say so. I noticed that Jax08's dog was a complete ark of a back from the withers to the tail. Working line is a more flat back. for more agility and flexibility. Am I right there?
 

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There are starting to be more american showline type dogs with that look instead of the 'ski slope' back when stacked they have more of a curve. The WGSL influence is starting to be larger especially on backyard bred dogs due to people buying titled dogs from germany and bringing them here as studs as it makes for an excellent marketing gimmick for the puppies.

To me he looks like a typical byb bred showline mashup with how long in the body he is.
 

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No, you are not.
Then how am I wrong? It would be nice to have a reason...

I thought your dog was show-line. Isn't he?
 
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