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by susie on 12 March 2018 - 19:03

ValK, in case you'd care you'd wonder how well well bred European showlines are able to move.
Won't change your mind-just saying.

by Gustav on 12 March 2018 - 21:03

Still folks we really have to stop being apologist for malfeasance, imo.
My last 10 dogs raised from puppies, although having different drives and temperaments, and hardness would ALL pass the pre show protection or Seiger show protection at one year of age. It’s really nothing more than the dog showing a committed bite to the sleeve....for a Sch 3 to fail this to me is just inconceivable....really! Truthfully, a Sch one should have no problem with just basically giving a “ grip”.....but threes??? I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that a dog with a three doesn’t give a committed grip regardless of where they are, or accepting this because it’s only a minority of the dogs. I agree with Centurian on this.

by Centurian on 12 March 2018 - 23:03

Not everything is in absolutes .. I always told my students in class , and I have alluded to this on the PDB before. the realm of the canine world is analogous to Ying/Yang.
I agree , yes to understand the GS , you must see many . But then again , there is a limit , because the Standard and what makes a German Shepherd a German Shepherd has minimum and maximum criteria. Yes there is a range , but also the range has a beginning and an endpoint. What you need to know about anatomy and expected temperament is defined. So, ? how many GS does one need to understand this . Yet again the more you see , the more you can enrich what you know.

Competition tells me many things: what was taught to the dog , how good the trainer /handler is , how the dog was trained , what the dog accomplished . But there is more to the dog than just seeing it in competition. IMOP a hell of a lot more. I want to see the dog in life. When I train my dogs for any sport it is no different in the sport than what I do in real life .. Having a dog to me personally : is a ' Way ' of life !! If I sak to heel , the heel in life is the same exact way as a trial . If I ask the dog to protect me , I want the dog to be able to protect me in life and trial in the same way . I expect a GS to be that ![ unless my goal was S&R or Detection services , ] . I trial tell me things such as : how it does in a competition no more or less.. As Gustav and Valk point out.. that does not follow always what a dog will do in real life. No you shouldn't have to compare.. You should know : what THAT dog is and is not.. that simple... The other dogs are irrelevant ! other dogs.. they tell you nothing about that dog in front of you !

One dog evaluated , is not enough for great purposeful breeding either. The serious breeders that have a goal for what they need to produce collect much information about their dogs and other dogs that are within the lineages and their offspring. BTW , when you compete with your dog .. you really never ever compete against someone else, you are compete within yourself .. BTW many of the mistakes in a trial are teaching errors or handler errors...

When I want to evaluate a dog.. I don't care that much about competitions. That is a farce too for me . To comprehensively test a dog. I test the dog in order to understand what the dog is or is not. BTW , This is directed to those doing sport .. I never ever ever work a dog , interact with a dog , unless I first formally nor informally temperament test , evaluate that dog! Never mind my requirements for breeding .. I look for everything about that dog, not just what I would see in a competition only.[ a few such as : what stress the dog will endure, recovery time , courage, hardness , type and amount of aggression in the dog, perseverance etc etc. ] . I told you previously, even years ago we could get temperament deficient dogs titled.. The educated could see flaws perhaps , but those not educated many times could not. How many times , even 25 ears ago .. I would listen to some idiot tell me who trialed : " I breed for the betterment of the breed'. The dog did well in trial, but take that dog off the field and it knew Shi^^. BTW , seen that scenario a lot! One time I was at a national show in USA , a Sch 3 dog , pre show bite work . A woman up next , on the sidelines was patting her dog , pumping him all up , arousing the dog , stimulating him all up. So , I said to her ..." don't do that , you wonder why you see these people worried if the dog will out -, then why do they make the dog crazed before the pre test?. This is Sch 3 , right , he competed and is titled correct .... then does he not want to work" ? I said : " you worked with your dog , trust,your dog, unless you think the dog doesn't have it in him. Simply put the expectation onto him to out and he will out for you .. take a breath and chill... ." The lady looked at me so puzzled. Ya, you folks that want to compete and think THAT makes your dog breed worthy because it trialed. I want to see the dog work for real , in reality !! I guess I am biased and expect to much form the dog...

by susie on 13 March 2018 - 13:03

Let me summarize:

You are proud to claim you learned from " the best European trainers " -
but all those trainers grew up and gained their knowledge within structurised clubs - training, titling, comparing, competing, no matter the country, be it Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, or elsewhere; be it SV, DVG, Ringsport, Mondio, or police.

You regularly import German puppies - puppies bred for x generations out of titled parents.

So you made, and still make, use of a system you don't like.

No problem, but what about all the "average readers" as you call them, who have not been in Europe, who did not learn from the best European trainers, all those who bought a GSD puppy, just because it's fancy and cute?
These people will breed Anka to Rex - they look like a GSD, they are able to bark, and they already learned sit and down on command...

In Europe we are used to disappointments ( not healthy, not suitable for IPO, floppy ears, missing teeth, and on and on ).

The easy way: no competition = no disappointment = ready for the next generation...

by Centurian on 13 March 2018 - 15:03

I also learned by the best in USA too ... Not everybody I learned from were European trainers . I also learned from people that never had a GS or a dog for that matter !!... For example , those people taught me about behavior... For example .. Pavlovian Conditioning and Skinnerian [ Operant Conditioning] ! Learning theory is fundamental , to people , to animals. I gained knowledge from reading psychology books.. by the age of 16 I read every USA college psychology book . Some of that had to do with animal behaviorism ! This helped two fold : first , by the time I even trained my first dog, I had mastered :1. how do people and dogs learn and 2. how do I teach them ! I had genetic courses in college and then I read genetic books on the GS. None of my European friends/ trainers handed to me any of these reference materials - Nor any of my USA , French and Belgium friends. Additionally to books , what I did as I wrote watch all the animal documentaries and TV shows . What I did ... shut off the voice and watched , intently watched , the animals.. This is how I better learned about predatory and prey behavior.. No one watched for me ... BTW , teaching and understanding dogs .. in essence is not all that much different than people [ a different topic].

I want to make a distinction to be honest and fair too ... There is a difference.. a big difference. I attended quite a number .. but I learned very little at a club. Two clubs I attended , I kept my mouth shut , and the Directors came to me and welcomed any input /advice about the training. I learned BEFORE I went to any club here in the USA . And I learned much before I went to Europe and Europe was a part , a smaller part of my learning ... I didn't learn the majority of my knowledge from Germany and other European countries ..

Not all of my German friends learned in a club setting too . Many have but a good number have not. . One of my friends in Germany .. his father bred dogs even before WWII . He learned from his father ,and now he taught his son . They did not learn from a club , although they were club members. Many in Germany learn from friends and family .. , I can't say for everybody .. but I can say the people in Europe that I learned from , the clubs were secondary to their gaining of GS knowledge . But, I qualify this as my individual experience. And ... the clubs for them had a big social component as well as a dog component. I equate this to bowling in the USA -- Many learn from father / mother , take lessons , join a league and perhaps a club . But for GSs , this is not the case in USA , not when it comes to GS dog clubs . This exists , because of lack of mentors , the decline in the interest of people taking onto themselves to learn and other factors such as, the mindset of where you might or have to go to learn . I have seen in USA a number of clubs that I shake my head at . Between the directors and the helpers , I see often that they have limited knowledge. I've been to clubs where I see members trying to learn and they cant.

.. One time I visited a club for a few months . there was a lady who was a club for two years. She was getting ready in a month to title her dog, who wrapped around her in the heel and left turns . Correction after correction after correction , the dog kept doing the same ... So I helped her. But ,first I asked her " why does your dog do that ?". She looked puzzled . She didn't know why [ nor did she know what to do about it. ] .- So , I say : " he does that because he is doing what he was taught and also he does that , simply because he can ". She looked at me . Then I cleaned that up with her ! WHY did not or could not anyone have done this with her. Two years she trained.. and she has a dog that wraps around her in heel . That is the sophistication of joining a that club. This club had been around for 15 years ! The director had a dog that breaks heeling in the Sch3 transport . He had no idea what to do to rectify that . ---- I shut up , but later got my GS , put the sleeve on my right hand , heeled my GS , threw the sleeve on the ground and continued in stride for the Sch 1 heel , did a in motion sit/ stay,caame around back , kicked the sleeve , heeled and picked it up, heeled the dog ,threw the sleeve to the side and walked away with my dog never ever , not even the slightest coming q1 step out of perfect heel position. . That is what you learn or can't learn at that club ! This is not hard to teach the transport to a Sch trained dog .. should it be ?

What I am saying , no the clubs can be the be all and end all , THE place to learn.You will not learn much of what you need to know. ?? Germany possibly for members can be different-- I am not from Germany , so I leave that alone. is different ... They won't teach you in USA in general , not all but most, : how to beed, how to accurately and , precisely temperament test a dog , some even train your dog and so on .. . Goodness , the very first thing I see clubs do is bring the dog onto the field and start working it in prey .. That is how they get to know a dog .. really ? When I see that I want to walk away . As I wrote .. I never ever ever interact with a dog unless I understand that dog completely.
Just saying , that's my criteria. BTW .. competition , titling.. wow.. just look at the GS of today ..what an outstanding breed compared to yesterday [ in USA and Europe ]- it's so, so , so much better than it ever was . I am so impressed what competition and titling has done for the breed !

I really miss the point as a "competition " a ' title' as being the be all barometer/ measure of a dog. I have seen great trainers make average dogs look great , I have seen great dogs appear mediocre. A competition is nothing more or less , than a competition. Same for showing BTW, a show is just a show !! Judges .. they can take a 5 second glance at a dog and tell you how it will rate. If you want to beed , you too should be able to look at a dog in a glance [ with exception of verifying by movement ] and understand exactly what that dog is for structure. IMOp , if you can't do that .. you have no breeding any animal. Clubs[ in USA] they are a just starting point for a little learning !

Note***   : My commentary is not geared for the person that just wants to enjoy their dog in life by competeing in nsport.  My converstaion is geared to people that think they can train a few years at a club  gain a little bit of infromation about the GS and think all of a sudden they are breeders , never gotten off their butts other than going to a rinky dink club to reallyfully  and failing to educate themself in order that they can at least  maintain the GS as it was intended to be. Those that want to claim to be professional GS breeders. 

by ValK on 13 March 2018 - 16:03

susie, i think main point of Centurian is a call to those, whose intent is to breed GSDs, to be careful and responsible in what they doing.
should be pretty obvious in the race for "beauty" and "sport points", GS breed already did lost many traits, which actually did this breed
so popular worldwide - intelligence, capacities, brain, unconditional loyalty, fearlessness and dedication.

p.s. Centurian you beat me with your note :)

by Centurian on 13 March 2018 - 17:03

Valk yes....
I am resentful for what we had for GS and what has been done to them and they have become . When I started out .. I would then say with 100% certainty .. The German Shepherd Dog was THE**** Best Canine in the whole World out of all the breeds !! Then I see , in USA the GS start to take a back seat.. even Law Enforcement veered to Malinois . Because ...

What I have seen : people that say they want to beed for the betterment of the dog . I see through them because what they do represents the desire to make the money way before doing what is best for the breed. In USA , what I see people wanting to achieve prosperity with the mindset that what they do should be easy , with little sacrifice , effort and background skill and knowledge ! They not just want , but they expect , instant success and gratification at everyone else's expense... And this has meant in past years .. for the GS too ! I see for example ... in breeding , people start a fad .. then other people who don't think for themselves , develop their own program , piggy back on those that do . By the time they get going , the people that started the fad have already moved onto something else and the others are left doing the same old thing and /or what doesn't always work . To illustrate ... although this is show line example , same principle happens in the working line : Ursus V. Batu ... everybody was hell bent on the Ursus line and progeny. Many many breed on this for generations . Developing many other lines was not so plentiful as should have been . Other people did the work to bring in this Ursus line but everyone wanted Ursus offspring , or Yasko , Larus , Hill .. everybody flocked to those VA 1 Gs . How many had their own plans ? many many people just piggybacked on those VA progeny. Why .. because that is where the money was.. I am not just talking Germany here.. many many progeny were imported for sale in the USA.. the people that bought these progeny .. did they have their own breeding plan , their own vision to maintain the traits in the GS. I would argue.. no most didn't !?? We could argue , that they bred because they could easily jump on the band wagon of those already existing lines. The result ... a drastic dilution and loss of very very important behavioral traits. Similar happens in the working lines. So this is the state of the people & GS in USA : very few mentors to teach about the GS. Who remains that has vision ?

Last year , the regional show that I showed my GS ... very few people showed their dog correctly or the best that they could. There was no PA system that allowed people to clearly and precisely hear the judges comments. How can people learn ?? One person asked me to evaluate his dog before the show. So as a favor to my friend , I did for the fellow. The judge said the same as I did. But the fellow was upset because his dog was placed 2nd and the judge said because the dog pounded in gate. So I went over to the fellow and said : the Judge was correct. He told you the front and rear were correct , yes? He said the croup was a little long correct? He said proportions were correct , yes. I said the same to you correct. I said to him : " Your dog is probably VA ....I know your handler showed many shows ' But the judge was right to put your dog second because of the show training ! You did not know how to balance the dog's motivation with his gait. When the dog saw you , he pulled forward and dug in therefore the front paws in front , were being held back by the handler/leash. As a result he pounded to the ground. So the judge's structure and pounding comment was right and the placement compared to the dog in front was right ! The two person team handling for the dog resulted in a lesser than desired gait . But there was not 1 person at that show that pointed this out to him- the handler didn't know what to do either.I alsothink...many peole in the show even understood this.  So .. I told him what he needs to do in training to address this. My point... In USA ... where have the mentors gone , who holds to maintain the greatness and traits of the GSd ? There are very few to be found now ? Who takes interest in passing on the knowledge, ame , very few now? And so goes the same for breeding.. who teaches how to beed successfully  ? ... Very few ...


by Jessejones on 13 March 2018 - 19:03

It sounds to me like everyone is actually saying the same thing...
...Everyone seems to agree that some type of system needs to be in place to keep the breed GS from being corrupted.
There is no doubt about that in any ones mind. Are the current systems working, no, not really. But like Susie said, it’s better than nothing.
There is so much wrong in the GS world that it is a painful and hard subject to write about. It makes my heart heavy.
We do have too look at this geographically too.
Everything that Cent. writes so passionately about in the USA is sadly true. I would love nothing more than to join a club, and have a mentor...but there is nothing available. I only have “dog trainers” here in my area that want to charge $100 per hour for undoing the behavioral messes that people have created in their dogs. There is no one I have found to discuss dogs with, ha, much less to train with! I sometimes daydream about moving back to Germany, just to be able to work my dogs and the camaraderie that is there...and sorely lacking in the usa.

As far as breeding in the USA (and other countries too) sad... I see kennels that have a mischmash of GS lines, they post a lot of puppy pics on facebook that folks ohh and ahh over, but the adult dogs NEVER get out of the house or compound ever, except to go the the vet, because a lot of these breeders live very rurally. They don’t have clubs, they don’t get to go for long walks in the wood on or off leash, nor go to cities to learn to walk on crowded sidewalks with the noise of traffic. They lay around like furry slugs, with a few toys scattered around. They are mated to females with no breed testing. One never sees them in motion or rarely sees breeding testing results for DM, HD, elbows,official temperament evaluations, teeth, soft ears, etc. Some are imports, that in Europe have achieved some level of schH so the Breeder can brag to potential customers, but in the US that dog gets to do nothing nothing at all, for the rest of his/her life except breed. Are they loved? Yes, probably...many get to have turns living in the house and laying on a couch once in a while. But really? Is this what a gs is bred for? It is more often than not a side income for someone. The prices for many of these pups will knock your socks off.
There are certainly also some good breeders in the USA, and hats of to you and you know who you is not an easy environment in which to become good in your beloved trade.
Nonetheless, we need to keep going and try to better the system, and try to better ourselves with education.
Cent, you are probably preaching to the choir here, as most here will agree with you. It’s the others... the one’s that don’t bother to read these forums, that don’t bother to actually really think about dogs and what motivates them, to read books, to study anatomy, watch endless YouTube vids., and then to work with their dogs in all conditions and observe the dogs and themselves.
Lastly, some of the posts I read here sadden me too. Dogs are being imported, and carted around the be sold and resold, and re-shipped, and kenneled and sold again... just to make a buck. And some of the sports people that burn through dogs like crazy, eternally discarding and re-buying, searching for the perfect dog, which they will never find, because their training skills are lacking. I do place a lot of blame on the overemphasis on bite work. This macho thing...needs to be addressed. Yes, it is Schutzhund in German (protection dog) but that name perhaps does need to be changed. The move back to Gebrauchshund (working dog) is less romantic but perhaps more correct. Too many people that have no idea, are enamoured with only the bite and protection aspect. The way dogs are also used as cannon fodder in war zones, in the past ...and to this day is shocking. The hundreds ads for jobs today as mercenary dog handlers needed in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, and the amount of military dogs being used up or killed, because of their loyalty to us (and then we turn them into “patriotic” dog heros when they are killed) is beyond words. What dog can stand up to land mines, bombs or machine guns, or even a simple .32 caliber, in time of crisis? Edited:Not to mention 110 degree heat and sand that will fry an egg. Or police outfits that want dogs and buy or import them, but don’t have the money, the manpower, or the skills to train them? The sad story of a Florida officer leaving his black GS K9 partner in the hot squad car under the Florida sun, killing him... are just the tips of many icebergs.
I apologize for a bit of a rant and going out on a limb.


by Hundmutter on 13 March 2018 - 20:03

Good post, JesseJones. You paint a very bleak picture of the GSD scene in the US, and it seems that might explain why some of the things posters say seem - to me - an exageration; because for all our faults, that description does not really fit the state of the breed here in England. Thankfully.

As to the preoccupation with bitework, ValK earlier drew our attention to the meaning of the word Schutzhund being Protection Dog. Yes that's all well and good. But this is the Schaferhund we are talking about. People would do well to google the words of German GSD afficienados and breeders like the late Manfred Heynes, for example.


by Jessejones on 13 March 2018 - 21:03

You’re right...Schäferhund = Shepherds’ dog.
The protection side of things came around the beginning of the 20th Century before WWI during the Militarization of a lot of Europe (my opinion, correction please if needed). Of course, 10s of thousands, if not 100s of thousands of military dogs, mostly German Shepherds were killed in battle, along with millions of horses and messenger pigeons. Man can be truly awful.
There are noises here and there to change the name to Gebrauchshund again.
The all too common misconception that GS are vicious and mean “protection dogs” by nature, is not doing the breed any good. I can’t count the amount of times I read a post from some unknowledgeable family dad, looking for a GS to “protect his family and children”, thinking it is intrinsic in the breed to do so. Or, if they have money, will buy one already trained by someone else for the tune of up to $10,000. What the ....!? Since they then don’tknow anything about dogs...Wait until the kids climb on the dog for the 10th time and no one can read the dogs signals...despite the dog giving ample warnings, unil he bites. Off to the pound then, or worse, to be euthanized. The amounts of GSs in terminal dog pounds in the USA is another sad statistic. It is all a matter of education. And perhaps the internet will help, but unfortunately just as much untruths as truths are being circulated.
While I like bite work, it is one of the ultimate challenges in handling a dog in the highest drive possible, it does a disservice to the GS in the way it is presented today. It should not go away, but needs to be amended. How? I don’t have that answer unfortunately.

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