Search Amazon.com:
Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«14 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Triangulum
Oct 3, 2007


Welcome to the German Shepherd Dog thread!

“Utility and Intelligence” : The History of the German Shepherd Dog

Horand, the first GSD
Prior to the late 1800s any sheep herding dog in Germany was referred to as a “German shepherd”. These dogs became the foundation for what we now know as the German Shepherd Dog and today are called Altdeutsche Schäferhunde (Old German Shepherd Dogs). In 1898 Captain Max Von Stephanitz purchased a dog he named Horand von Grafrath from a dog show in Karlsruhe. Horand possessed all the traits Stephanitz believed were necessary for a working dog: intelligence, strength, mental stability, versatility, and strong scenting ability. Stephanitz founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for the German Shepherd Dog), also known as the SV, and Horand was the first German Shepherd Dog registered. The breed standard was created in 1899 and that same year the first GSD show was held. Horand became the cornerstone to the SV’s breeding program and his offspring were heavily linebred to standardize the appearance and temperament of the stock. This inevitably caused undesirable recessive traits to appear in the GSD so the SV began outcrossing them with other herding dogs and on very rare occasions, wolves. By 1913 the GSD had reached America and the German Shepherd Club of America was founded. Soon after the UK Kennel Club began to accept registrations for GSDs.

The rise in suspicion towards the Germans prior to WWI proved to be a bit of an image problem for the GSD in the US and Britain. The GSD Club of America decided to change its name to Shepherd Club while the UKC went a step further and changed the breed’s name to the Alsatian, a name which remained up until 1977. Following WWI the popularity of the GSD increased drastically due to its use as a war dog by the German army and dog actors such as Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart only served to increase this. However poor breeding stock devastated the American GSD lines causing the dogs to fall out of fashion. In 1922 Germany introduced a breed survey to determine which dogs were appropriate for breeding in order to combat the problems seen in American lines. This system is still in place in Germany but unfortunately never took off in the United States.

During World War II the GSD was a popular war dog among both Axis and Allied forces due to its versatility and intelligence. The breed was highly regarded by the Nazi Party and as a result the Nazis began to interfere with the SV, eventually forcing Stephanitz out altogether. The Nazis banned white GSDs from the show ring due the mistaken belief that they diluted coat color and were responsible for many of the genetic defects (Americans followed suit sometime in the 1950s). The end of WWII began divergence of the American and German lines we see today. Much of the German stock had been killed in during the war and the remaining dogs were outcrossed in an attempt to preserve the breed before it disappeared entirely. German lines eventually recovered around 1945. This period also marked when American lines began being bred for appearance rather than utility, particularly a sloped topline and increased rear angulation.

Appearance:

quote:

The first impression of a good German Shepherd Dog is that of a strong, agile, well muscled animal, alert and full of life. It is well balanced, with harmonious development of the forequarter and hindquarter. The dog is longer than tall, deep-bodied, and presents an outline of smooth curves rather than angles. It looks substantial and not spindly, giving the impression, both at rest and in motion, of muscular fitness and nimbleness without any look of clumsiness or soft living. The ideal dog is stamped with a look of quality and nobility--difficult to define, but unmistakable when present. Secondary sex characteristics are strongly marked, and every animal gives a definite impression of masculinity or femininity, according to its sex.

The head is strong and chiseled with a strong wedge-shaped muzzle and dark brown almond eyes. The back should be straight without roach or sag and fairly short, with the ideal proportion of body length to height being 10 to 8½. The hindquarters are muscled, strong, and well articulated. The German Shepherd is a trotting dog and its structure should reflect this. The back should not sag or roll while in a trot and must remain level. The stride should be powerful and effortless.

correct topline

extreme rear angulation


German Shepherds have a double coat with a coarse, dense guard hairs and a soft wooly undercoat. Both long and short haired varieties are permissible but short coats (also known as stock coats) are by far the most common. GSDs vary in color, the most common being black and tan or black and red. Sable, all black, all white, liver, and blue are also present in GSDs though blue and liver are serious faults and white is a disqualifying fault.

black and tan long coated GSD

sable stock coated GSD


Temperament:

quote:

The breed has a distinct personality marked by direct and fearless, but not hostile, expression, self-confidence and a certain aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. The dog must be approachable, quietly standing its ground and showing confidence and willingness to meet overtures without itself making them. It is poised, but when the occasion demands, eager and alert; both fit and willing to serve in its capacity as companion, watchdog, blind leader, herding dog, or guardian, whichever the circumstances may demand. The dog must not be timid, shrinking behind its master or handler; it should not be nervous, looking about or upward with anxious expression or showing nervous reactions, such as tucking of tail, to strange sounds or sights. Lack of confidence under any surroundings is not typical of good character. Any of the above deficiencies in character which indicate shyness must be penalized as very serious faults and any dog exhibiting pronounced indications of these must be excused from the ring. It must be possible for the judge to observe the teeth and to determine that both testicles are descended. Any dog that attempts to bite the judge must be disqualified. The ideal dog is a working animal with an incorruptible character combined with body and gait suitable for the arduous work that constitutes its primary purpose.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Triangulum
Oct 3, 2007


Show lines, working lines, and the changing interpretation of the breed standard:
There have been a lot of words written about this by much more knowlegable people than me so I’m just going to refer you to this article about the difference between show and working lines and this visual guide to changes in German and American show dogs over the years.

Odin vom Stolzenfels, 1933 Sieger Winner

Vegas du Haut Mansard, 2009 Sieger winner



Health and Grooming:
GSDs unfortunately suffer from a myriad of health problems due to the prevalence of BYB and milled dogs, the terrible misinterpretation of the breed standard by show breeders, and extensive line breeding in its early history. Hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, Von Willebrand Disease, digestive problems, bloat, and arthritis are common in the breed.

Grooming a GSD is fairly simple but be warned, they don’t call them German Shedders for nothing. Being a double coated breed they will blow their coat about twice a year and the outer guard hairs shed year round. Brushing every few days will help reduce the amount of hair coating your home and keep your dog looking nice (long-coated GSDs should be brushed every day). I personally use a flea comb to get rid of the undercoat and a Kong Zoom Groom for the guard hairs. Flea combs work really nicely because the loose hair gets stuck in the comb rather than flying everywhere so cleanup is a lot easier. They don’t really need to be bathed more than a couple times a year unless they get into something gross and overbathing can make them very dry and itchy. Nail trimming can be a bit tricky as their nails are black and very thick so if you’re having trouble consider using a dremel. They’re often are a bit prissy about having their feet handled so make sure to work on desensitizing them to it right off the bat. I’ve found nail care to be easiest if done after a long day at the park. I wait until my dog is about to pass out and clip his nails and he totally ignores me.

Living with GSDs:
GSDs are smart, highly energetic working dogs so training and giving your dog a “job” to do is essential. An untrained, poorly exercised GSD is a disaster waiting to happen. Their intelligence and desire to please their humans makes them extremely trainable dogs and most learn new behaviors (good and bad!) very quickly. One study on dog intelligence indicates that they can learn new tricks within 3-5 repetitions and are the third most intelligent breed behind Border Collies and Poodles. They do very well with positive reinforcement training (for more info see the Dog Training Megathread) and excel at just about any dog sport you can think of. Search and Rescue, herding, tracking, Schutzhund, French Ring, Competitive Obedience, Rally-O, and therapy work are all excellent activities to get your dog involved in. For more information on dog sports, see the Dog Sport Megathread.

Regarding exercise, a walk or two around the block isn’t going to cut it for most GSDs and if you’re looking for a couch potato dog this definitely isn’t the breed for you. These are dogs bred to work their asses off and without a lot of exercise they become neurotic, loud, and destructive. Biking with your dog, running, hiking, swimming, puzzle toys, training, and dog sports are great ways to wear out your high energy monster. Remember: to wear out these dogs you need a combination of exercise and mental stimulation (training, puzzle toys, tracking, etc). Just one or the other just isn’t going to cut it.

GSDs are really vocal and I don’t think anything can prepare you for just how much they whine. Mine “talks” to himself all day long, especially when he’s playing or really happy. He doesn’t bark much but he’s constantly grumbling, whining, giggling like a hyena, and making other weird gremlin noises. They tend to be velcro dogs and are always very curious about what their humans are doing. What this basically means is that they get into EVERYTHING and are constantly trying to "help" you. I can’t remember the last time I took a shower, cooked, or went into abother room without a long black nose poking into check out what I was doing .

"you look like you could use some assistance"

Links:
Breed Standard
Illustrated Breed Standard
Illustrated GSD Club of America Judges Booklet
Front and Rear Angulation in the Working Dog
German Shepherd Coat Genetics
Wildhaus Kennels - PI’s favorite GSD breeder
The American German Shepherd Rescue Association
German Shepherd Rescue U.K

Triangulum fucked around with this message at Jan 30, 2013 around 16:43

WolfensteinBag
Aug 7, 2003

So it was all your work?



Thanks so much for posting this!!!

Now everyone get busy posting about your dogs.

Radio!
Mar 15, 2008

Look at that post.

I don't have a GSD but my neighbors do! I know there are differences in conformation between European and American GSDs, so maybe you guys will be interested to see one from a breeder in Ecuador. His name is Kito and he is the best

I don't have any super great pictures of him from the side, unfortunately.



adventure in the sandbox
Nov 24, 2005

Things change



Great OP, thanks Triangulum!


This dog right here

(Delta)

and this one

(Sigma) (what do fellow GSD people think of his topline?)

are my two dogs. People will pull their cars over to ask if they are police dogs, its pretty funny.

Delta is having issues with one of her feet. She is allergic to wheat, and we let her have a bit of leftovers. Dumb on our part, but she adores fettucini alfredo Her foot has been cleaned, creamed, and bandaged and is improving but now she is limping around whenever we are looking vaguely in her direction. If we aren't to be seen, she can walk just fine. Dog is too smart for her own good.

Skizzles
Feb 21, 2009

Live, Laugh, Love,
Poop in a box.




Shadow is a very majestic GSD (mutty mutt mutt).

Legit content: here is a black long-haired GSD I've met at the park a couple of times, named Nona. She's sweet but a touch shy. It's too bad her owner's a loving moron.

Skizzles fucked around with this message at Dec 10, 2012 around 05:17

Chupe Raho Aurat
Jun 22, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 6 days!


I had a police dog set on me once as part of a display, i thought it would be a bit of a laugh!

I cant recommend it.

Filboid Studge
Oct 1, 2010
And while they debated the matter among themselves, Conradin made himself another piece of toast.

I love GSDs.

Maybe because I'm a Euro, even the 'correct topline' sketch to me looks pretty bad. Horand wouldn't have passed that one!

2tomorrow
Oct 28, 2005

Two of us are magical.
One of us is real.


Man, why you gotta post this thread when I'm insanely busy and can only check in once a week or so? Yet a couple of months ago when I had all the time in the world, nothing.

cryingscarf
Feb 4, 2007

~*FaBuLoUs*~


Great job on the OP. Very informative

Triangulum posted:

The ideal dog is stamped with a look of quality and nobility--difficult to define, but unmistakable when present. Secondary sex characteristics are strongly marked, and every animal gives a definite impression of masculinity or femininity, according to its sex.

I was curious if anyone has more information on this part? I have never heard of that before and find it interesting. Are there specific patterns that are considered masculine/feminine?

adventure in the sandbox
Nov 24, 2005

Things change



cryingscarf posted:

I was curious if anyone has more information on this part? I have never heard of that before and find it interesting. Are there specific patterns that are considered masculine/feminine?

You can sort of see in my pictures, look at their muzzles. Sigma has longer lips that make his muzzle look deeper and heavier, while Delta's lips are just long enough to cover her teeth and give her a sleeker muzzle. Females will often have narrower, sleeker heads and less loose skin/ruff around the neck. I'll see if I can find more pictures to compare my two. Edit: Bah, Sigma is still growing into himself and he often looks kind of scrawny in my pictures. The best examples I have are more of male vs female muzzle. Go to the Wildhaus link and look at their dogs vs bitches. The differences are really evident and I like the looks of males and females equally.

adventure in the sandbox fucked around with this message at Dec 10, 2012 around 18:00

four lean hounds
Feb 16, 2012


Neat thread! I don't know if I have ever met a GSD in person, but I have always admired them. I did not know that they had long and short hair varieties. Learned something new today~

That temperament description is awesome. I like a dog that has an "incorruptible character".

Triangulum
Oct 3, 2007


Filboid Studge posted:

I love GSDs.

Maybe because I'm a Euro, even the 'correct topline' sketch to me looks pretty bad. Horand wouldn't have passed that one!

A lot of that has to do with the way GSDs are stacked combined with whether you are used to seeing American showlines or German/Euro showlines. Unless you live somwhere with a plethora of DDR or Czech working lines, chances are really good that you aren't used to seeing structurally sound dogs. Those illustrations are of stacked GSDs, meaning their hind legs are pulled out to emphasize the rear angulaion and slope of the back. If they were standing naturally, you wouldn't see such an extreme slope in the back. There's also a very distinct difference which in physical traits are bred for in the US and Germany. To be honest, the Germans are just as bad about loving up the structure of their show dogs as the Americans. The American show lines breed for ridiculous amounts of rear angulation and a sort of triangle shaped body whereas the German lines breed for insanely roached backs (and rear end angulation of course ). Both lead to terrible physical problems within the breed, but hey at least the Germans require health testing and working titles to get breeding papers.

But you are correct in a sense. The sketches come from an illustrator who does the artwork for the GSD judging booklet so her sketches tend to show correct show dog structure rather than the most ideal structure for working dogs. Her website is definitely worth checking out, there are a lot of interesting illustations and discussion about the problems within showlines.

This is another good illustration of how European showlines are loving up the GSDs structure just as badly as the Americans. GSDs are about the best example out there of how harmful dog showing can be to a breed's structure, health, and functionality.

cryingscarf posted:

Great job on the OP. Very informative


I was curious if anyone has more information on this part? I have never heard of that before and find it interesting. Are there specific patterns that are considered masculine/feminine?

It's not referring to coat patterns, it means the physical structure of the dog's body. Secondary sex characteristics refer to the structure of the head, the bulkiness of the body, etc. Here's a little illustration:

GOOD HEADS, from the top:
Working/show cross, Tim
West German show, Lasso
American show, Brynn (female)
East German, Falco
Painting by Linda J Shaw

You'll notice a more pronounced stop, wider muzzle, thicker neck, and larger head in all the males whereas the bitch has much finer features.
This thread on the German Shepherd Dog forums discusses secondary sex characteristics more thoroughly.

Triangulum fucked around with this message at Dec 10, 2012 around 18:59

a life less
Jul 12, 2009

We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.


I was at an agility trial yesterday, and there was someone there with a GSD clearly out of American show lines. The dog had a lovely head, great temperament and was jovial and outgoing. But its movement was awkward and ungainly and I didn't like how it looked running the course. It looked like all the dog's concentration was on keeping control of its rear end. It was a shame.

However, one of my favourite dogs to see run is a GSD out of Czech working/sport lines. She's wonderfully put together, petite and INSANE when she's working. If she has a job to do she's going to put her all into it, and then some. She's just off the charts with that lovely drive the breed is known for, and she's put together in a sensible, attractive, functional way.

It's quite interesting to see how these two dogs function in the ring in a state of drive. I can't say I love what the GSD has devolved to as a breed in America.

cryingscarf
Feb 4, 2007

~*FaBuLoUs*~


Triangulum posted:


It's not referring to coat patterns, it means the physical structure of the dog's body. Secondary sex characteristics refer to the structure of the head, the bulkiness of the body, etc. Here's a little illustration:


Thanks. I saw the word "marked" and my mind went to coat markings and got stuck there. I will definitely check out that thread later on after class!

notsowelp
Oct 12, 2012

Though she is small, she is fierce.


Am I right that you don't see so many sable GSDs in the show ring? They always seem to be Black and Tans.

We got a GSD at the kennels following an armed break-in at the property. He is an amazing dog, and I can see why people get really taken with this breed. He's totally alert & engaged with everything around him, very affectionate and silly with 'his people', but you'd better believe he'd have your back in a conflict. Some day I'd love to have a GSD or a dobe, but they definitely seem like a 'lifestyle dog' to me - a lot of effort to keep their bodies and minds active and engaged throughout the day.

I've got to say that I can kind of see why some breeders have bred for an exaggerated flying trot. It's a very impressive gait, beautiful even - just a pity that dogs have had to suffer along the way.

Pile of Kittens
Apr 23, 2005

Why does everything STILL smell like pussy?

Yeah, the overbred look on show GSDs make them look like they're gonna fishtail and spin out on anything sharper than a very gentle turn around the ring. I seriously expect them to go all Tokyo Drift.

Skizzles
Feb 21, 2009

Live, Laugh, Love,
Poop in a box.


a life less posted:

However, one of my favourite dogs to see run is a GSD out of Czech working/sport lines. She's wonderfully put together, petite and INSANE when she's working. If she has a job to do she's going to put her all into it, and then some. She's just off the charts with that lovely drive the breed is known for, and she's put together in a sensible, attractive, functional way.

Are there any videos of this dog? She sounds awesome.

Triangulum
Oct 3, 2007


notsowelp posted:

Am I right that you don't see so many sable GSDs in the show ring? They always seem to be Black and Tans.

We got a GSD at the kennels following an armed break-in at the property. He is an amazing dog, and I can see why people get really taken with this breed. He's totally alert & engaged with everything around him, very affectionate and silly with 'his people', but you'd better believe he'd have your back in a conflict. Some day I'd love to have a GSD or a dobe, but they definitely seem like a 'lifestyle dog' to me - a lot of effort to keep their bodies and minds active and engaged throughout the day.

I've got to say that I can kind of see why some breeders have bred for an exaggerated flying trot. It's a very impressive gait, beautiful even - just a pity that dogs have had to suffer along the way.

There's a pretty big prejudice against sables and solid blacks in the show ring. With solid blacks it's mostly caused by there being relatively few of them in the breeding stock (unlike most dog breeds, GSDs only carry recessive black). Sables are incredibly prominent in working lines but for whatever reason have traditionally done very poorly in shows. The fact that black and tans have been incredibly popular in shows for a very long time combined with the fact that a GSD carrying any other color can never throw a sable pup kind of ends up breeding sables out of show rings.

And you aren't kidding about them being "lifestyle" dogs. My boy's gonna be 5 months old next week and I spend almost all day keeping him entertained. We go out to the park or river for 1-1.5 hrs 2x a day, go on a couple of short training/bathroom break walks, and spend a couple hours inside playing and doing training, and he's still raring to go at midnight when my husband gets home. The fact that we live in a 1 bedroom apartment with no yard exacerbates how much I have to take him out but he's really loving smart and REALLY high energy. They're not dogs for the faint of heart or the lazy. He'd probably be ok with a bit less interaction if I got him used to it, but I don't work at the moment and I don't have too many friends in Germany so it's all dog poo poo every day It's awesome. I wish my life could be like this forever

Triangulum fucked around with this message at Dec 10, 2012 around 21:39

Filboid Studge
Oct 1, 2010
And while they debated the matter among themselves, Conradin made himself another piece of toast.

Hmm, thanks Triangulum. I usually see working GSDs so the roach really throws me every time, even if it's moderate by showlady standards.

McDragon
Sep 11, 2007



I love German Shepherd Dogs. I only ever met one once, but she was lovely and wonderful to stroke.

I assume people in here have seen this adorable thread? http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...hreadid=3496030

Tasty_Crayon
Jul 29, 2006
Same story, different version.

a life less posted:

It looked like all the dog's concentration was on keeping control of its rear end. It was a shame.


We adopted a dog after his owner died, and this was definitely the case with him. Alex was gorgeous but a few months after we had him his hips declined drastically. Poor guy fishtailed like a tractor trailer. We had him two years, and he was ten when we put him down.

His previous owner spoiled him like a child. There is nothing like squatting down to pet a 100 pound dog only to have it go OKAY and plop its rear end in your lap.

Edit: I remember he had a tattoo on the inside of his ear- is this a common breeder practice?

notsowelp
Oct 12, 2012

Though she is small, she is fierce.


Tasty_Crayon posted:

Edit: I remember he had a tattoo on the inside of his ear- is this a common breeder practice?

I think most tattoos are done by pet owners who just get their dogs tattooed for security reasons (like a more permanent microchip), but some breeders do tattoo their pups for their own records, usually when they have large kennels.

I'm curious which breeders the PI GSD nerds rate? Also, which GSDs from the past do you favour? Who would be your 'ideal' dog, physically?

Sweet CupnCakes
Feb 13, 2007

Did you ever walk in a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives.

I have to say that I have been totally put off by this breed because of my crazy neighbor. She has had german shepherds for the last 15 years and she has only gotten worse. When I say crazy I mean it. After her son went to prison 10 years ago she went off the deep end with her alcoholism, pill popping, and depression. She has always had between 3 and 4 shepherds at all times. When she was less crazy and we were friends we would go play with her dogs. They were all very old so they didn't do much but they were nice. Then she brought in a young male that her other son had been training to be a "guard dog" (which means he was training it to be an attack dog). For the last, oh, five or so years this dog has been a terror to the whole neighborhood. It doesn't help that the lady thinks we are all just big meanies who want to take her dogs away from her. This dog has attacked our neighbors goats twice. One time I had to literally beat it off the goat to get it to let go. The pony that was in the goat pen chased it away for me so it didn't attack me. It is constantly getting out and it has charged me on numerous occasions. It waits until your back is turned and then it tries to attack you. I have learned to keep a big stick on my driveway in case I am walking to the mailbox or something. The dog barks at EVERYTHING and he barks at our family who he sees every day like he wants to kill us. I hate that dog and it has given me an unnatural hatred of the breed. I wish this wasn't my only interaction with this type of dog because they seem very beautiful.

Is this type of behavior because it was poorly bred, poorly trained, not exercised properly, all of the above?

Warbadger
Jun 17, 2006


Sweet CupnCakes posted:

Is this type of behavior because it was poorly bred, poorly trained, not exercised properly, all of the above?

I'd guess because it was trained to be aggressive.

Sweet CupnCakes
Feb 13, 2007

Did you ever walk in a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives.

So even though this woman doesn't specifically train it to be that way because it had that training when it was little it won't let go of it without proper training?

I guess I just assumed a dog would get over that type of behavior when he should technically know us. He sees us every day.

Skizzles
Feb 21, 2009

Live, Laugh, Love,
Poop in a box.


I'm willing to bet all of those things are a factor. Poor breeding, stupid training (and probably lovely socialization to boot), and not exercised properly. Wouldn't surprise me.

Tasty_Crayon
Jul 29, 2006
Same story, different version.

My friends parents picked two puppies from the same litter. Her mom picked a sweet little girl and her dad picked a little boy that bit him when he picked it up. Combined with the fact that her dad reinforced the lovely behavior because he liked being the only person the dog liked, the dog became a crazy animal that could rarely be approached. It bit my friends ear so badly she needed plastic surgery!

To contrast, our GSDs have been love sponges you could do anything to- including when Alex needed his dressings changed on his chest wound and hurt him a bunch.

I guess I would compare them to pitbulls in regards to 'awesome, but when it goes bad it can go real bad' territory

Pile of Kittens
Apr 23, 2005

Why does everything STILL smell like pussy?

notsowelp posted:

I think most tattoos are done by pet owners who just get their dogs tattooed for security reasons (like a more permanent microchip)

Wait, you can fish that poo poo out?

Pardalis
Dec 26, 2008

The Amazing Dreadheaded Chameleon Keeper


The dog also probably has barrier aggression issues, especially if kept behind a fence or on a line. GSDs are prone to it since they are so in tune with perimeters and borders as a concept.

Instant Jellyfish
Jul 3, 2007

Actually not a fish.


GSDs really, really need excellent socialization and continued training no matter what their breeding. Pretty much every GSD that comes to the training place I work ends up in our reactive dog class at some point in their lives. A lot of them are from lovely BYBs but not all. They're all bred for neophobia which makes them good protection dogs but can lead to reactivity if you don't actively work on it.

6-Ethyl Bearcat
Apr 27, 2008

Go out


Pile of Kittens posted:

Wait, you can fish that poo poo out?
In theory yes. They show up on X-rays so you could probably locate out and get it removed, but you would have to go to Dr Dodgyvet.

WolfensteinBag
Aug 7, 2003

So it was all your work?



notsowelp posted:

I'm curious which breeders the PI GSD nerds rate? Also, which GSDs from the past do you favour? Who would be your 'ideal' dog, physically?

This is the dog I'm currently smitten over:

http://www.wildhauskennels.com/heidi.htm

Her picture's a little young, so I'm guessing she's filled out a bit since then, but I just love her, and I love her sire. I think part of the reason I'm so taken, though, is that there's a chance she'll be ready to breed by the time we're looking for a puppy, and that would be awesome.

I also really love this guy (Ikon, his actual page doesn't have the stacked shot):

http://www.adlerstein.com/AdlerSteinMales.html

He looks a little short-bodied there, but I think it's because his stack isn't quite right, the one leg should be pulled back more.

I tend to go through phases where I like different shapes, but I think that comes from looking at lots of weird dogs, so then you like the less weird ones, you know what I'm saying? Like, I LOVE the coats/front ends of West German dogs, but I swear to you, they breed them to have a rear for a dog 3x smaller than the front. So I'll get a kick of looking at West German breeders, find some I like with more normal bodies, and think they look absolutely beautiful. Then I go back and look at working line dogs, and go, "Oh..."

As far as breeders, Wildhaus is my first pick. Lately, though, I've been following a couple other breeders on Facebook, MAINLY because PUPPIES!!! Thing of it is, though, I'm not sure how I feel about either of them. They health test like MAD, do tons of activities with their dogs, raise the puppies well, and both donate dogs to working dog programs. But at least the one breeder here in IL started a line with a dog with questionable background, and she has about a billion litters planned when she doesn't even have the one currently on the ground spoken for. The other breeder I think I like more, but still have my doubts. Anyway, here they are:

http://www.granvillegsd.com/ IL breeder

http://www.schroederhausgermanshepherds.com/ WI breeder (that I just noticed has another litter planned for the same bitch that has puppies now, this upcoming spring... )

Needless to say, as hard as it is to wait, nothing is ever QUITE right when these puppies are being shoved in my face, so I'm sure I'll end up waiting for Wildhaus.


Edit: I forgot to add, you HAVE to watch the video of Ikon doing bitework, it's hilarious. You can hear him make contact and he continually knocks the guy over.

WolfensteinBag fucked around with this message at Dec 12, 2012 around 03:36

2tomorrow
Oct 28, 2005

Two of us are magical.
One of us is real.


Pile of Kittens posted:

Wait, you can fish that poo poo out?

The problem I've heard too is that the chip can migrate enough that a normal scan won't pick it up. Obviously that's not a problem if it's a disputed ownership thing, but a visual marker can help back up an ID. I don't know if that's really that big of a deal, just something a vet told me a few years ago.

Warbadger
Jun 17, 2006


Sweet CupnCakes posted:

So even though this woman doesn't specifically train it to be that way because it had that training when it was little it won't let go of it without proper training?

I guess I just assumed a dog would get over that type of behavior when he should technically know us. He sees us every day.

If it was taught that people outside its social unit are threats or targets of aggression, then yes, that trained behavior could very easily stick with the dog basically forever.

I don't put much weight in breeding as a huge influence over complex behaviors like that, which are in my opinion almost wholly a function of experience (training, how it was raised, abuse, etc.).

Triangulum
Oct 3, 2007


Poor temperment isn't a result of experience though, that's almost entirely genetic. Life experience, training, etc. can definitely exacerbate or reduce how reactive the animal is though. And honestly, really lovely temperments are rampant in GSDs.

a life less
Jul 12, 2009

We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane.


Here's a good article describing how nurture can affect nature:

http://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/201...-theyre-raised/

Warbadger
Jun 17, 2006


Triangulum posted:

Poor temperment isn't a result of experience though, that's almost entirely genetic. Life experience, training, etc. can definitely exacerbate or reduce how reactive the animal is though. And honestly, really lovely temperments are rampant in GSDs.

Honestly it's not something supported by science at this point and is at least somewhat based on outdated concepts that used to be applied to pretty much everything including humans ala eugenics. As in humans or any other animal genetics can influence instinctive behavior which serves as a basic foundation for development, but virtually all of our complex behaviors are learned. A well bred GSD/Pitbull/Pomeranian can become a vicious animal or it can also become a kid's cuddly playmate. In some cases they end up being both at different point sin life. A lovely BYB dog can do the same. That doesn't really support the theory that breeding has a hell of a lot to do with it.

The article linked mentions Michael Vick's fighting dogs and attempts to make the claim that because they could be rehabilitated from vicious fighting animals to good companions they MUST have this super genetic influence! That conclusion doesn't really follow though, because I can guarantee you that a great deal of training and new experience was required to change that behavior (and create it in the first place) which is not something that would necessarily require anything to do with genetics rather than learned behavior.

Warbadger fucked around with this message at Dec 12, 2012 around 04:18

Triangulum
Oct 3, 2007


Warbadger posted:

Honestly it's not something supported by science at this point and is at least somewhat based on outdated concepts that used to be applied to pretty much everything including humans ala eugenics. As in humans or any other animal genetics can influence instinctive behavior which serves as a basic foundation for development, but virtually all of our complex behaviors are learned. A well bred GSD/Pitbull/Pomeranian can become a vicious animal or it can also become a kid's cuddly playmate. In some cases they end up being both at different point sin life. A lovely BYB dog can do the same. That doesn't really support the theory that breeding has a hell of a lot to do with it.

The article linked mentions Michael Vick's fighting dogs and attempts to make the claim that because they could be rehabilitated from vicious fighting animals to good companions they MUST have this super genetic influence! That conclusion doesn't really follow though, because I can guarantee you that a great deal of training and new experience was required to change that behavior (and create it in the first place) which is not something that would necessarily require anything to do with genetics rather than learned behavior.

I understand what you're saying but I'm curious as to why you classify all aggression in dogs as a complex, learned behavior that has to be trained for. Some breeds have been bred to display certain types of aggression due to the way their breed historically was utilized (Akitas and same-sex aggression, Pit Bulls and dog aggression etc). Comparing it to human behavior and eugenics is kind of absurd because there haven't been hundreds of years of controlled human breeding programs to ensure specific types of human display specific physical and psychological traits. Yeah, a well-bred dog can still become a vicious terror because training and life experience DO play a big role in how animals behave. And being well-bred doesn't mean that a dog is guaranteed to inherit all it's lines positive traits. But there's a reason every breed standard includes temperment rather than just apperance.

Take the Vick dogs in the article ALL linked. That does make sense when you take into consideration what Pit Bulls have been bred for and the fact that there's no link between dog aggression and human aggression. Pit Bulls aren't trained to fight each other, they've been bred to desperately want to do it. With training they can learn to not act on those feelings, but training doesn't magically stop them from being dog aggressive.

Sorry if that's kinda scattershot and doesn't make loads of sense. I'm sleep deprived as hell.

Triangulum fucked around with this message at Dec 12, 2012 around 08:29

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Rixatrix
Aug 5, 2006



a life less posted:

I was at an agility trial yesterday, and there was someone there with a GSD clearly out of American show lines. The dog had a lovely head, great temperament and was jovial and outgoing. But its movement was awkward and ungainly and I didn't like how it looked running the course. It looked like all the dog's concentration was on keeping control of its rear end. It was a shame.
In one agility trial I went to, this show bred GSD who actually trials a lot had his hind end give way when he was running the course. He had to be carried out. His movement was strikingly horrible the two runs before that, so it really wasn't a surprise to me. He's still trialing and doing a bit better (his movement has improved), but I still think the judge at that one trial should've reported him.

Edit.

Warbadger posted:

Honestly it's not something supported by science at this point and is at least somewhat based on outdated concepts that used to be applied to pretty much everything including humans ala eugenics. As in humans or any other animal genetics can influence instinctive behavior which serves as a basic foundation for development, but virtually all of our complex behaviors are learned. A well bred GSD/Pitbull/Pomeranian can become a vicious animal or it can also become a kid's cuddly playmate. In some cases they end up being both at different point sin life. A lovely BYB dog can do the same. That doesn't really support the theory that breeding has a hell of a lot to do with it.
Some basic temperament traits are influenced a lot by genetics and it's very difficult to change them. In humans, temperament traits such as novelty seeking, agreeableness, neuroticism etc. are influenced a lot by heredity. The set of traits you are born with in turn influence your experiences out in the world, i.e. they affect how and what you'll learn. The same is true for dogs. I enjoyed this lay article on the matter. Here is a more scientific link on it. Current scientific consensus really does hold that genetics plays a significant role in temperament and behavior.

If it were impossible to breed for temperament and behavior and the role of heredity would be small, we would not, for example, have such variation in temperament and behavior between different dog breeds that we have now.

a life less posted:

Here's a good article describing how nurture can affect nature:

http://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/201...-theyre-raised/
Thanks for this! I'm going to refer people to it in the future.

Rixatrix fucked around with this message at Dec 12, 2012 around 09:39

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply
«14 »