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Last night I got to thinking - would Max von Stephanitz be proud of what the German shepherd dog is today?

I can honestly say that I don't know enough about the origins of the breed to say that he would or wouldn't, but here's a few things I was wondering.

What do you think he would think of how popular his breed is? The good and the bad? (BYBs, the good breeders, etc.) Do you think he would be upset that so many GSDs are simply 'pets' rather than out in the field?

What do you think he would think of the different lines?

What do you think would be his preferred line?

Do you think he'd like how the dogs today LOOK?

Anything else you guys would like to add? I didn't get much sleep last night; I know there was more I wanted to add to this....

Anyway - thoughts?
 

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I think that Max is probably rolling around in his grave. But then, there is a reason people get old and die. At some point, we do not keep up with the changes in thought and society and all that.

For example, in Max's day, nobody would shove their hand inside a vehicle to pet the doggie. And if they did, they would be blamed, not the dog if there was in injury. In some places nowadays, you might have a real struggle keeping your dog ALIVE after such an encounter.

Max rolled with the changes up to a certain point, but he wanted total and complete control of the SV. I have read that he was very autocratic. That he did deliberately change the style of the dog as well by which dog he put up as sieger.
He wanted the dog to be utilitarian, and losing that ability, I think he would see that as an ultimate sin on his breed.

Early on, he was able to see the decrease in the need for herding dogs, and pushed the dogs to be more a military or police type dog, to ensure their future. I think if he had wanted the dogs to be just pets, he would have never required working trials. I think he wanted more than just pretty dogs.

I think they are more than just pretty dogs, all the lines. I think that people as well as the dogs themselves have lost or forgotten how to raise and train and use good dogs. I think there are far more dogs out there with untapped potential than dogs that are unsuitable for what their handlers want to do with them.
 

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I also know Max wanted a true "working dog" I just watched that video thats floating around on here about pure breed dogs and show dogs.....wow that was disturbing, these shepherds were walking like their back legs were broken, so sad.
 

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I also know Max wanted a true "working dog" I just watched that video thats floating around on here about pure breed dogs and show dogs.....wow that was disturbing, these shepherds were walking like their back legs were broken, so sad.
You know not all Showline GSDs are like that.
 

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Actually, It's my opinion that threads like this tend to segregate a community rather build and integrate different groups within it.
 

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I don't think people are ever completely satisfied, and in theory thats not a bad thing, there is no perfect dog, well except mine,lol, but we should always be striving to improve the breed, all the lines can use improvement in some degree, and like what we see in horses as well, everyone has their favorite lines within a breed and are passionate about it. The bottom line though is they should be what the breed was meant to be, a muti-functional working/herding breed, I have no problem with people liking the looks of the Working lines anymore than I have a preference for the German Showline, it's the charachter that should be true to the breed. I see lots of not so nice German Shepherds and at the same time, some truly fantastic representatives of the breed, there out there, and a lot of us own them. :)
 

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I don't think people are ever completely satisfied, and in theory thats not a bad thing, there is no perfect dog, well except mine,lol, but we should always be striving to improve the breed, all the lines can use improvement in some degree, and like what we see in horses as well, everyone has their favorite lines within a breed and are passionate about it. The bottom line though is they should be what the breed was meant to be, a muti-functional working/herding breed, I have no problem with people liking the looks of the Working lines anymore than I have a preference for the German Showline, it's the charachter that should be true to the breed. I see lots of not so nice German Shepherds and at the same time, some truly fantastic representatives of the breed, there out there, and a lot of us own them. :)
So dogs originally bred for dog fighting should not have that bred out of them to make them easier pets?

The English Setter was bred so that it could hold a bird in a bush until the hunter could sneak up and throw a net over it. We do not hunt that way anymore. But the net-type setter would not have a problem being gun-shy, while the current hunting methods, that would be a huge draw back.

I think that in order for a breed to remain successful, it will have to continue to be useful in current society. Herding remains, but is much less necessary, the dog's ability to track might be even more important. I think that maintaining a breed to its original purpose could doom a breed to die out. (Though I do not see that happening with our sheps.)
 

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I don't know if this video is in this forum, I'm sure it is somewhere; Maybe that's where I found this one, don't know but here it is.

I'm pretty sure Max wouldn't be too happy with this dog. I realize not all show shepherds are like this but show dogs in general remind me of halter horses, tiny feet, big head, not capable of riding like they were intended. Max did not create a show dog, he created a working dog that could also be a pet at the end of the day after working.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've only been to one dog show, and a few of the GSDs there had wobbly legs like that, but most of them (and there were quite a few there) had good, solid hind ends. One of the puppies looked like something was wrong with her, her knees were almost dragging. That was sad to look at. But that appears to be a video that's pro working dog. That tends to happen. I'm sure there's a video out there showing how aggressive working lines are.
 

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Heagler, i've seen that video. It disgusts me every single time i see the picture whether i watch it or not. I agree that i think seeing that Max would be extremely disappointed and thoroughly pissed.
 

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and then.... you watch the video and you almost cant believe thats a dog huh?
 

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The fact that there are GSD's bred to be almost crippled like that is a shame. Regardless of the fact that all show dogs are not like that, just the thought that there are dogs like that out there is disturbing. Max surely would not think these GSDs should represent the breed.
 

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I don't think he'd be happy with the show standard.

But, needs evolve. He was certainly smart enough to see German Shepherds going away as Sheep herding was a dying profession, not much need for a German Shepherd Dog if you have no German Shepherds!

You really can't compare then to now, what was necessary for the standard - it would be like saying "Are horses breed to pull carts living up to the standard" - how many carts are being pulled around on streets now compared to 1900?
 

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That video is awful!!
 

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Max didn't create the breed to be "just" a sheepdog, however. He knew then that the end was near for sheep-herding as they knew it then. That is why he created a dog that was a master of all trades, that could do protection, guarding, herding, anything that you could think of.
 

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I am proud of the dogs that I have bred. I have worked hard for 20+ years to raise and train dogs that were beautiful, smart, and healthy.
 
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