GSD Conformation

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by BostonBanker, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Environmental Science
    Location:
    Vermont
    I'm not sure if this is a touchy subject or not, but I'm certainly not trying to offend anybody. It seems that there are quite a few GSD people here, and I'm really curious.

    Have GSDs always been bred with such sloping backs? Is there a reason for it? I know the breed has a lot of hip problems - is that related to their build, or are they just the same as many other large breeds?

    I ask because a friend has a GSD that she got from what I assume is a BYB - and it's the healthiest looking one I've seen. She's eight, and has no joint issues. Her hips are as "square" as most other dogs. I don't know if that's related to her soundness or not, but it got me thinking.

    Thanks to anyone who replies, and doesn't take any offense.
     
  2. DanL

    DanL Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    3,932
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    The sloping back is more of an American bred trait that has become more prominant in the last 20-30 years. Apparently the AKC people think that is how they should look, and once champions are made with that conformation, everyone gets on the bandwagon. All GSD's have a degree of slant, just not as pronounced as in the show dogs lines.

    As far as hip problems, here is a site with some numbers. GSDs are not even in the top 25 for hip problems, and if you look at the number of dogs examined, they are among the most examined dogs out there, so the numbers should be pretty accurate.

    http://www.offa.org/hipstatbreed.html
     
  3. tempura tantrum

    tempura tantrum Shiba Inu Slave

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    pacific northwest
    GSDs have not always been bred with such a sloping topline. If you look at current German dogs, they don't look half so exaggerated. As often happens when people get carried away with winning- "more is better syndrome" took over, and what was once a slight slope became a great deal more obvious.

    Part of the reason for this is because it produces a very flashy action that is supposed to be typical to the GSD,known as "the flying trot." It looks great when the dogs are flying around a ring at top speed, but I can't help but think that it would be detrimental to any dog that was going to be herding for hours on end.

    Because of this, I generally prefer German lines to American show lines, although I have seen a few American dogs that I really like here and there.

    I too would be interested in hearing from the GSD lovers on this board. I would love to see examples of GSDs that people like as well. it's always fascinating to get information first hand from the people that really know their breeds. And GSD people, feel free to correct me on my post- to the best of my knowledge it is correct, but you guys are the ones who really know your history!
     
  4. whatszmatter

    whatszmatter Guest

  5. Melissa_W

    Melissa_W New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    4,290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wow, what a change! :eek: I don't know much about the GSD, but that doesn't seem right to me. The 2005 dogs look like their butts are about to hit the ground.
     
  6. whatszmatter

    whatszmatter Guest

    Those were at least German bred dogs that can still work, looking at American AKC breeds are even worse. Here's another link, kind of a lengthy read on the leerburg site, but the article is written by Jean Mueller. It goes into some detail about the shoulder and hip angles and their effect on gait. It also goes into the the reason they are bred this way ( for a pretty long reaching trot)

    http://leerburg.com/gsd-gate.htm
     
  7. GSDlover_4ever

    GSDlover_4ever New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog
    The GSD was not created with that obnoxious topline. They were created as a working dog, and looks were not as important as working ability. Stephanitz created the GSD with a thought in mind. " A pleasing appearance is desirable, but it cannot put the dog's working ability into question". Which is what the topline does, compromises their working ability. German breeders continue to breed to that, temperament and working ability FIRST THEN conformation. Then the americans felt the GSD should have the rediculous topline and bred for that. Now GSD's in America are being bred just by having a CH title which means nothing. In Germany a GSD had to attain a SCH title BEFORE it could even enter the showring. But American line are bred to each other for purely conformation and leave out the important aspects of a real GSD. So American showline GSD's are nothing more than showdogs. They are the ones bred with that obnoxious topline.
     
  8. Form follows function.

    The American Show German Shepherd Dog has been bred for the most extreme flying trot possible.

    This requires an extreme shoulder, an extreme turn of stifle, and a dog which is significantly longer than tall to accomplish.

    The topline is consequence of the elongated body, the exaggerated turn of stifle, the demand for a low set and carried tail, and in part, the extreme shoulder angulation.
     
  9. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
  10. Roxy's CD

    Roxy's CD New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    3,016
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    In the links posted the dogs with hocks that are touching the ground look like mutants...

    I get this feeling just looking at them : Stand one leg and bend your knee...

    You just get this feeling of unstability... you can feel muscles pulling and straining, and it's not very comfortable..
     
  11. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    As much as I love the GSD, I really don't see ever buying one of the modern ones. If I ever do anything other than rescue from a shelter, it will be finding an old farmer who has raised GSDs for himself and his farm . . .
     
  12. Melissa_W

    Melissa_W New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    4,290
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  13. doberkim

    doberkim Naturally Natural

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    1,380
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    just a comment - if its just american GSD's and its all the AKC"s fault, then why do euro GSD's look like that too?
     
  14. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Environmental Science
    Location:
    Vermont
    Thank you to everyone who has replied. This is such a pleasant board; I post on a few horse boards as well, and sensitive issues tend to cause major blow-ups! I appreciate all the good-natured replies.

    I was really surprised by the hip dysplasia site DanL posted. The top two didn't shock me, of course, but there were some pretty high up that I didn't expect, and some large breeds down near the bottom. I certainly thought GSD would be in the top five or so.

    The pictures certainly are interesting. Along with my friend's dog, the horse farm I used to work at had German Shepherds. They looked a lot like the dogs from the 30's and 40's. It's amazing how quickly we can alter a breed.
     
  15. whatszmatter

    whatszmatter Guest

    German show still went a different direction that america, The americans went with extreme shoulder and rear angulation with exaggerated toplines, and weak and loose ligaments to get a "pretty" gait, and the German shows went with a more banana backed spine to get a longer stride. The German look off, but they are much stronger than any american bred gsd. Good american dogs are very few and far between. Read some of the links, they explain the dif between am, and german pretty well.

    working line tend to look like the older dogs in conformation, although, now they're accused of not taking conformation into account when breeding. To me its a no brainer, but the show judges and what wins seems to change the breed more than "real" conformation.
     
  16. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 + fish
    Location:
    CT
    I've had GSD's, "forever", I have/had, american show lines, ddr lines and czech lines, the later two being what I prefer.

    Sorry to say, the Germans have as many screwed up dogs as the american show lines. The extreme angulation on alot of the american show line dogs, is not something that I like, but as with most "show" dogs, breeders will breed what judges "put up". So you have a vicious little circle going, if your showing your dog, you'll first look for judges who like the "type" of dog you have, IF judges are putting up extreme dogs, breeders/show people, are going to show those "types" of dogs under those judges. If they tend to pick a more "square" dog, well those "extreme" dogs aren't going to be shown under them.

    There is also a HUGE misconception about overly angulated GSD's as well, again, I am not a fan of it, and neither are alot of Joe T. Public's, BUT that does not mean the dog has bad hips. A big "myth". An extreme dog could have excellent hips and your "squarer" dog could be dysplastic. In fact, GSD's "need" some angulation for rear suspension. To "square" of a dog, is not going to be able to propell as well as a dog with some angulation.

    I like my dogs with moderate, "proper" (in my eyes) angulation. I don't like roached backs, I like proportioned dogs.

    Temperament is pretty high on my list and unfortunately that's another thing that has gotten pretty screwed up by not only the americans but other countries as well.

    I could ramble all day about gsd's, but I won't *vbg*diane
     
  17. Shannerson

    Shannerson New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    I am a fan of the GSD, though have never owned one. I would like to some day but when I go as a viewer to dog shows I just cringe at the breed type I see. It is painful to see such extreme angulation and narrow hips. I cannot see how a dog like that can do a full days work. I think I will have to do some major scouting to find a breeder whom I agree with. It really is too bad.
     
  18. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 + fish
    Location:
    CT
    shannerson, you don't necessarily have to go with what you see at shows, and you shouldn't have to do major scouting to find a good gsd breeder.

    There are soooooo many GSD breeders out there, the ones you see at akc shows, are for the most part american lined dogs. Look at DDR dogs, (my favorite), which are old east german working lines. I find them to be pretty easy dogs to live /work with , (tho others may not agree), you won't see the extreme angulation you see at akc shows, but again they aren't american lined show dogs either.

    Good GSD's are out there, and it's not to difficult to find what you want and a good breeder as well.
    diane
     
  19. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    40,739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I love the looks of those GSD's back in the 30's and 40's. There is a GSD at work who has what I think to be very nice conformation. He's more square than many dogs I see, but still angled enough to have a tremendous stride. Very sturdy looking too, not "fishy" like most others I deal with.

    There is almost no comparison to the GSD of 1900 and the GSD of 2005 besides the ear carriage...
     
  20. GSDlover_4ever

    GSDlover_4ever New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog
    A GSD does have a SLIGHT angulation in the rear which was created for their working ability, HOWEVER there is no need for a ver angulated rear, such as those in the showring.
     

Share This Page