by Hundmutter on 13 June 2019 - 18:06
I think Hexe was pointing out that it is wrong to generalise completely about the Showdogs (or anything else), Centurian. Not every American S/L is a hock-walker, by a long chalk. If whatever gets said or written always says "S/L are this or that" as opposed to saying something like "There is a problem with many S/L dogs in that they often seem to be ...(e.g. 'running on their hind legs like a rabbit'); and you have to choose carefully among lines and breeders to avoid those if you choose a S/L dog." then nobody learns that some people are trying to produce better stock on the American (or the UK 'Alsatian') model. So nobody looks automatically to the truly better breeders.
Of course, we probably wouldn't have the problem at all, had not the US and GB KCs both determined early on that they knew better than the Germans, and their Standards should allow 'a little' extra length in the ratios for proportions for the breed, thus setting a train of a host of misconceptions about structure in motion ... That, and the reluctance of many to keep the breed a working breed, of course !
PS Yes here in the UK we too have a goodly number of established breeders, initially of 'Alsatians', who have "seen the light" and come over to breeding stock of International / more modern German type.
by Centurian on 13 June 2019 - 22:06
However , there are a number of structural flaws and features in the AL GSs , not only the rear hocks . . As been my personal experiences , I have found the majority of the AL are really really poor by my liking. I wrote about the external structure , but also as you have referenced to a degree : many of the behavioral traits have been completely lost or direly diluted too . Many people that breed ALs still just do not understand : once you have lost certain behavioral traits in the GS , in fact , there is no way to put them back. Also as far as breeding goes : there are some structural faults that you cannot simply or just correct in the lines . On those two points ... well ,... I already voiced my opinion.... I guess if that is something , an AL , that someone wants.. who am I to tell them differently .
by old shatterhand on 13 June 2019 - 22:06
by Hundmutter on 14 June 2019 - 17:06
See Hexe, you can say it but you can't necessarily get everybody to acknowledge it ! Nobody trying to bring improvements is ever going to get given credit for it by the likes of Ol' Shatterhand.
Centurian, I do hope you are not completely right re. the American bred dogs (or indeed, by some of the comments on PDB, about most of the output of Germany, either, these days !), in that when great working ability is allowed to drop from the breeding picture, it is lost for ever.
I look at dogs bred in the UK from lines including German import stock AND older British lines (originating, obviously, in German dogs however far back) and I see lots of dogs, especially those used by our Police and armed forces - but not exclusive to those bodies - which do still present a good all-round and capable GSD, especially those being bred by either specialist Working kennels or those 'Show' kennels which care about such things. Thankfully very few people here buy their dogs from the US. Most who do are on the mainly non-working, 'alsatianist', now rather old-fashioned, side of the breed in the UK.
by Centurian on 14 June 2019 - 19:06
I wish that I were not right at all , let alone completely right. But I would like to share this with you too about myself : I like to always learn and better myself. And for me that involves exchange of different ideas , debates , dialogues , experiences and letting go of ' always having to be right '. On that note :
I had an expression when I had my classes : " we all start off one day holding the leash for the first time , we in time , all learn and advance our knowledge when it comes to the dogs or anything else '. My point is : much of what I write on the PDB I have been taught , I have learned , or even better- the most knowlegeable people in the GS world has shared with me .
I now refer the readers to the many poosts & comments in reference to triats , to the loss of traits , to the change or to not the changes in the GS over decades ,in the breeding commentaries by people like Duke , Valk , Blackmalinois , Apple , Gustav , emoryg ,Hundmutter and others also of merit that I haven't gone on to list . I think you will see a pattern or a picture in totality of the GS dog and " Types " [ types in the genetic sense] of the GS dog of today compared to previous years .
Believe me , I would love to be incorrect. But I just about never write anything that I am not sure of. The conversations of many people throught Europe and USA , the most elite and influential people in the whole GS World , say the same : ' Certain traits once lost cannot be added back [ without changing the GS that is] . So years ago on the PDB , I forgot the person's name , he advocated infusing and bettering the working traits into the GS by cross breeding it with a Malinois . There was a big uproar about this in the GS circles/world. Ok selectively breed for traits some people might say .. The result is neither a pure GS or a pure Malimois .. You changed somethings - gained yet at the same time lost. Some people say now - you cannot use that example . But as a fact the Show Line and the Working line have become so sperate genetically that they can be connsidered two seperate , or at least two different subsets , of a GS. This is a fact .. Undisutable . And I do not simply write this as an opinion . When I express an opinion, I say usually say so . In truth , several , I repeat several German SV Judges , and WUSV judges , close friends , have many times discussed this with me and we all agreed that what I stated to you , is so . I don't write for ego , as I try to enunciate , I write to exchange ideas or share info with those that desire to better themselves. For whatever it is worth or matters.
Why cannot they be added back : well my personal feeling on this is that certain traits seem to go hand in hand ,, they are linked in a manner of speaking. Valk talks often about dominant dogs [ and I lkke his posts to read ] . So you have dogs in a lineage that are dominant , head strong dogs and for working purpose , we need a dog to work with us , not just for us. yes ? I forgot the German word .. but there is a specific trait that is genetically passed on . The trait is ' the propensity to have synergy with the handler , and work with the handler ' . Others simply say the willingness of the dog to please the handler. I use different lingo because children and dogs have the tendency to do what pleases them .. Anyway , you get the idea. So , I have observed , this is empiric observation , that when one intensifies that trait for handler synergy you see GS do become to work better and in be synergy with the handler . They do tend to please the handler more . However .. the big however , they also become either more submissive or much softer in that proecess . BTW you have not only changed the genetic make up but also the whole central nervous system genetics in the offspring. . That is to say by intensifying one trait of willingness to work with the handler , you lost something of another trait , dominance. Why is that trait so important... because if you are tending sheep , you cannot have the dog blow you off when he is at distance tending . Same in protection work , if the dog has no desire to take you orders , holy moly are you in trouble. This is but one example how you can really mess things up over generations without a good breeding plan.
The other important trait , a crucial trait , is : the ability of the dog to cope with stress [ threats are one form of a stress , the ability to take discipline another , environmental and so on ] . We don't take dogs that have no stress level , breed to a dog with a good stress level and think the progeny are going to be AOK at the desired sgterss level we want in the dog . Breeding just doesn't work that way . If you want the pups to predicably have a good stress level both parents should have good stress levels . Besides : the parents cannot pass on a trait /traits to the offspring if at first they do not have those traits. The traits have to be present in the parents in order to be passd on ! So in a ,atting pair if I see one parent with acpetable stress level to my liking but not the other .. well , just well ...
So not so easy to have a submissive , very low stressed show line , lineage , and think that you can put all those lost or diluted traits in quantity and quality right back into the lines . And the opposite is true , if you have all the traits in quantity and quality in your stock , why would one want to bred to stock that is lacking ? Hell No , you find suitable partnes , partners that will improve for your breeding stock , woudn't you ? Unfortunately , people look at pedigrees when they should be looking at the dogs .. and they think that is breeding... We've seen that here on the PDB ..
So in the USA when I have seen peole with not so good AL GS and they tell me " oh , I will just breed a German Import to better my bredding. HMMM... well something might get a little better , but I , well .. I, I , I just don't what to say next .... I am lost to say anything else ...
This is a long post but it is the very very short thick and thin overview of this topic .
by Hundmutter on 14 June 2019 - 21:06
Well not entirely; I read recently that in the most recent comparison of the genes of W/L and S/L GSDs, they still could not find the sort of totally separate genetics between the 2 (and I believe this was an American study being quoted) of which you speak. So they are actually not yet two genetically separable 'breeds' under the GSD umbrella, apparently.
This probably goes hand-in-hand with continuing failure to isolate genetic combinations which account for differences of temperament. (Personally I still think at least some of those will be found, eventually).
So while not denying that you have seen/experienced what you have in the dogs you have encountered, maybe there is still some hope ? After all, noone has handled every dog on this planet.