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  1. #41
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    Lord God Almighty - if there's any way in hell to get away from those absolutely HORRIBLE sloping hips & hairpin bent back legs - even if you adopt a German Shepherd/Cross - I'd go for it in a heartbeat rather than go for one of these poor purebreds.

    As much as I admire beautiful well-trained German Shepherds, this will always be the one thing that will NEVER have me buy or adopt one. SHAME ON YOU BREEDERS for perpetuating this. (And there are a more than fair number of breeders who feel the same way, but don't have the cahonies to voice their opinions about it. And they won't/can't change their breeding standards, because they won't meet the standard & thus won't sell puppies. TOO SAD.)

    Well-bred German Shepherds NEVER looked like this decades ago. A great aunt of mine had a gorgeous show dog that was a well-balanced dog - not like the freaks of today.

    And for those of you who are aghast at my post, please do explain to me how the exaggerated sloping hips & hairpin rear legs contribute to the stability, health, & purpose of the dog??


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  2. #42
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    Apr. 3, 2006
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    Spooner, WI
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    I just lost my 12 year old girl on Friday. She was the ultimate dog. Not perfect. She became selectively dog aggressive the older she got, and tried to "help" me with the horses a little too much. She was all European, square headed, big chested, not roached or sloped backed, 80 pounds. Not a single genetic issue. I consider myself very lucky in the GSD department. Others in my family have not been so lucky.

    I had been searching for 2 years for a pup before she passed. I gave up and I've had GSD's in my life for 40 years. I didn't want another breed. I have International breeders very local to me. As far as I'm concerned they couldn't give me one. The genetics are so rife with problems the odds are not favorable at all. There was only one breeder I would have considered but wasn't going to $2K for a pup that may or may not live to a ripe old age. I can't handle the heart break.

    So I researched Aussies and bought one of those instead. I still wish I had my beautiful girl back.


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  3. #43
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    Feb. 18, 2008
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    Long Island
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    I don't mean to hijack, but I just want to say that after reading this thread, I decided to google "American German Shepherd" to see what everyone was talking about as far as the sloping backs (the few GSDs I've interacted with had slightly sloping backs, but did not seem crippled or deformed by any means).

    The image search results horrified me. How anyone even THINKS that is an attractive (much less, functional) shape for a dog is beyond me, because if I were to see a dog like that walking down the street, I would probably assume it had some crippling genetic defect.

    This post doesn't have much point except to say wow. Just, wow.


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  4. #44
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    Mar. 10, 2007
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    I just looked for American, European, and German GSD and it didn't get much better.

    What was the original germ of thought in that sloping back end anyway?


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  5. #45
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    Jun. 30, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLR View Post
    Could some of you please post links to your favorite breeders? Mostly in the midwest. We have had 2 German bred ones previously, and am really getting the itch for another. It was so hard on us when we lost each of them, that its taken us a long time to be willing to open our hearts again. I just go back and forth about getting a new one. They really are such a presence in your life. TIA
    I've not been on this GSD forum for ages but it has some wonderful people & breeders - and a very active rescue community that has some amazing dogs



  6. #46
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    Dec. 29, 1999
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    Harrisburg, PA USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    Lord God Almighty - if there's any way in hell to get away from those absolutely HORRIBLE sloping hips & hairpin bent back legs - even if you adopt a German Shepherd/Cross - I'd go for it in a heartbeat rather than go for one of these poor purebreds.

    As much as I admire beautiful well-trained German Shepherds, this will always be the one thing that will NEVER have me buy or adopt one.
    There certainly is a way. The poorly-structured ones make the news but there are THOUSANDS of sound ones out there. None of my 3 have those faults and I have an American pet, a German show line, and a German working line. I had no trouble finding good ones. They're purebred and they're excellent. I had no qualms buying from trustworthy breeders who breed for brains, temperament and soundness as well as looks.



  7. #47
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    Well - if yours look anything remotely like the ones that show up at the upscale dog shows (Westminster, etc.), I still say they're horrid-looking as compared to the normal-looking/structured German Shepherds from way back when.

    And do please explain how/why the sloping backs/hairpin-bent hind legs contribute in a positive way to the breed? Sorry, but that's one thing I will NEVER understand.



  8. #48
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    Dec. 29, 1999
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    Nope. They don't look like that at all. If I could post photos here I would. And I don't get the over-angulated rear ends as well. Don't have needle noses, either. It's like most things, "If this is good, then more is better." Look at the changes in Morgan horses, in American Saddlebreds, in Arabian show horses, in Bulldogs, American Cocker Spaniels, etc. etc. Very extreme from what they were before. If judges reward it, humans will breed it. QH went through it, too. These things are cyclical. I was showing in the obedience classes at a GSD specialty show and they had boxes of old GSD Quarterly magazines there that you could take for free. I took a bunch and you could clearly see that as recently as 20 years ago you didn't see the extreme angulation and that it was quite common for a dog to be both an AKC Champion and also be Schutzhund titled. The prevailing idea seems to be that a big winner everybody bred to (Lance of Fran-Jo) produced the crappy rears, they won, so people continued to breed for them.

    As to the cyclical nature, I know of 3 Schutzhund titled dogs who last year won their AKC Championships. My own German dog got a lot of love from the show-ring people who flocked to see him in the obedience ring and asked to breed to him because they want so much to get back to strength and soundness. I said no because that's me. At the time I didn't want to get into "you'll have to show me their OFA hip ratings, etc." so I just said no thank you.



  9. #49
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    All five of mine were/are pretty squared and not sloped in back. Two were of known background - German lines, titled parents and the other 3 were rescue/rehomed dogs of unknown background.

    Zoey (known background): http://quarterpole.com/dogs/zoey899.jpg

    Fred (known background): http://quarterpole.com/dogs/082302.jpg

    Rohan (rescue/unknown): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

    Rohan & Teal'c (rescue/really unknown background): http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

    I don't have a good conformation type shot of Cody. He was a rehomed dog whose breeding I don't know, who developed degenerative myelopathy around age 9/10. I do have some videos of his gait and he doesn't look horribly sloping and I don't remember him having a lot of slope. He did have bad hips and elbows though which probably didn't help.

    Of the American lines, I did like Dallas aka Kismet's Sight for Sore Eyes who won at Westminster and got some herding titles afterward. I don't think he had super sloping hips either, although in a lot of the posed show photos they have him in that stretched weird position.
    Delicious strawberry flavored death!



  10. #50
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    Can't really tell anything from Zoey's pic, but Fred more closely resembles the "normal" GSD's that I recall from times past. Rohan (the black?) looks good as well; Teal does have those awful hairpin back legs. Geez I wish someone could go & smartly smack the GSD breed-standard folks upside the head. . . .



  11. #51
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    Jan. 27, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLR View Post
    Could some of you please post links to your favorite breeders? Mostly in the midwest.
    We got our most recent GSD though Signature German Shepherds in Richfield, OH (between Akron and Cleveland). I believe their last name is Breccia. Very good folks to work with--they have infrequent litters, few pups from each mother, really socialize their dogs well, etc. They're also plugged in to the network of breeders and may be able to recommend someone closer to you.

    Our boy Kody (Kodiak) is an utter hoot and the sweetest dog I've ever owned. At age 2, he knows a lot of commands, words, and hand signals, and is a great farm dog and companion. Though he'll tell you GSD really stands for "German Stalker Dog". His conformation is a bit long in the back, but pretty solid and correct.

    ETA: In regards to the OP, I've had a sample size of n=6 GSDs, most of whom came to us secondhand. Even the fear-aggressive and/or poorly-socialized dogs became secure, well-adjusted members of the family with time and handling. The only GSD we eventually returned as unsuitable was also the only one who wouldn't bond to people. He acted utterly, neurotically, stressed, constantly pacing or running back and forth and showing little interest in interacting with people or dogs. It was like he had a short-circuit. All the others, even when extremely scared and stressed, sought comfort by joining up with humans and became really good dogs.

    Also, our last rescue had the ridiculously sloping hind quarters combined with poor nutrition and lack of exercise for the first 2 years of his life, which made me fear for his hips. Turns out his hips were fine. We ultimately lost him to severe arthritis in his spine.
    Last edited by WildBlue; Dec. 10, 2012 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Addressing the OP
    ---------------------------


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  12. #52
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    No one has said that GSD's aren't smart, sweet dogs. Unless puppy-mill-bred or abused, most of them are.

    It's the horrible slope-backed, hair-pin back-legged ones that I (& thankfully many others) find reprehensible. And the folks who breed show dogs breed for that. They have to if they want to win, & thus sell show-worthy pups.



  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacardi1 View Post
    Geez I wish someone could go & smartly smack the GSD breed-standard folks upside the head. . . .
    LOL, I hear you. That's the thing, though. The breed standard is fine. Take a look: http://gsdca.org/Noframes/standard/IllStan1.htm

    I don't understand how judges can put up the needle nosed hock-walkers when they are totally against standard.

    Have you seen show American Cocker Spaniels? UGH. And their breed standard specifically states: "The ears, chest, abdomen and legs are well feathered, but not so excessively as to hide the Cocker Spaniel's true lines and movement or affect his appearance and function as a moderately coated sporting dog....Excessive coat...shall be severely penalized."

    Say WHAT? For some breeds their breed standard has nothing to do with what wins in the ring.



  14. #54
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    That's one of the reasons I don't necessarily think that a successful show career equates a well-bred dog.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne FS View Post
    LOL, I hear you. That's the thing, though. The breed standard is fine. Take a look: http://gsdca.org/Noframes/standard/IllStan1.htm

    I don't understand how judges can put up the needle nosed hock-walkers when they are totally against standard.

    No - the breed standard is NOT fine. Look at that pic & that description. That dog is walking on its hocks. Totally unacceptable in my opinion. How can you say that that hind end is acceptable in any way, shape, or form?? And once AGAIN - what does that sloping back & hairpin bent hind legs have to do with a sound, functional dog?? I mean honestly - there has to be some sort of reason (stupid-ass as it may be) for breeders to be shooting for that.

    So far, NO ONE has been able to answer the question re: how/why the sloping back & idiotic sad-ass hairpin-bent hind legs contribute to the solidity of the breed. Gee - wonder why? Because there IS NO REASON WHY. Which is the saddest reason of all.



  16. #56
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    The lowered hocks were supposed to assist in producing the famed "flying trot" of the GSD -- same principal as breeding an "uphill" dressage horse.

    I'm not endorsing (in any way!) just trying to explain the rationale. I don't like it either.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by libgrrl View Post
    The lowered hocks were supposed to assist in producing the famed "flying trot" of the GSD -- same principal as breeding an "uphill" dressage horse.

    I'm not endorsing (in any way!) just trying to explain the rationale. I don't like it either.
    Thanks & ARRGGH at the same time - lol!!!



  18. #58
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    Aug. 21, 2002
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    Ontario, Canada
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    as a pet sitter, german shepherds are one of my favourite breeds. they come when called and like to snuggle. i find they are great at paying attention to me until their people come home. very smart and loving dogs



  19. #59
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    Mar. 26, 2006
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    Back in March, I took in a stray GSD who was dumped at the barn where I lease a horse. History and breeding unknown. I'm guessing he's American show line, most likely backyard bred, and he was definitely tied out and ignored for a long time before someone tossed him. He's hypothyroid and needs (cheap) daily meds. I am still battling his recurring skin yeast infections.

    All that said, he is the just the NICEST dog ever. Super attentive, easy to train, and so loyal and smart. Great with my cats, good with horses, and sociable with other dogs. I used to be a "lab person" but I am now a GSD convert!

    With that in mind, the biggest difference between a lab and a GSD is that the GSD needs to constantly Do Stuff. If they don't have Stuff To Do, they will make something up. And it's really best when the human is in charge



  20. #60
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    I work with a woman who apparently has the "American Pet" variety. Both dogs are neurotic, and other behavioral issues. The dogs don't like and have fear of a variety of things. Both have a tendancy to destroy things in the house and bite the owner. Because of this I would be hesitant to have one.



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