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by ValK on 19 April 2018 - 02:04


back then wasn't as much artificial entertainments for kids. as a neighboring kids we
loved to go to see how dogs was trained. also we were allowed to play with pups and
take young ones on city walk that they could used to noisy, crowded environment.

i think all kids loves animals. problem is that parents mostly abstain to expose their kids
to world of animals.
complication also arise due to financial/time resources of today's life craziness and
obstacles created by bylaws for dog's owners, particularly urbanites.


oops! forgot to mention - and the dogs now aren't like they used to be Tongue Smile


by Hundmutter on 19 April 2018 - 06:04

Yes I agree with both Centurian and ValK in what they say about the ways in which PEOPLE / society have changed, it is true that many people do not take their dogs seriously any more, do not respect the animals as much; and will not let their chidren get to know dogs like they used to. Some of this is because markets have been flooded with GSDs, and other breeds, where the dogs are NOT as reliable as they used to be. For whatever reason; and Sunsilver's recounting of the Old Blue story is a definite part of that picture. Over-demand, over breeding, people who now consider it some kind of 'human right' that they should keep family dogs even when they have no experience of dogs, no knowledge of training a dog, not enough time/space/money to keep a dog propoerly ...

But the very 'best' dogs (as described by both and JesseJones) have always been a minority. I too could recount tales of 'Titch' in the 60s - but then I would also have to include in all honesty his mate 'Mandy' who had been made a sharp, nervous wreck - I always suspected not so much by breeding as by misunderstanding from her original people and the tormenting they allowed to go on by neighbourhood chidren. Even she had her good and exceptionally clever points ! But in the same way, I could ALSO tell you about Zhang, and Teddy, and Quaxie, and Sasha, and Reg, and Wesley; dogs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s, who I witnessed on a daily basis being equally outstanding in their intelligence and character, distinguishing them from all the rest of the dogs in their home kennels, let alone the GSD population of the UK as a whole.

The majority of those listed, btw, originated from German highlines.

Do members not think, as in so many areas of experience, we get a somewhat rose-coloured view of a 'golden age' of past years, which contributes to legend-building AND to distortion of the facts about overall numbers ?


by Sunsilver on 19 April 2018 - 12:04

Hund, one only needs to look at pictures of the German siegers and siegerins to see how the German high lines have changed in structure over the years. Breeders who have been around for many years will testify as to how the temperaments have changed as well.

We do tend to look back through rose coloured glasses, but this is really NOT the case here. I've watched videos of the sieger show, and seen how dogs that do a crap job in the protection phase can still get a VA rating.

by JonRob on 19 April 2018 - 15:04

Really enjoyed reading about others' superdog GSDs. Rose colored glasses my ass. Those dogs were real and unforgettable.

What grinds me is the response of so many breeders when they hear you want another GSD superdog. If you don't want one of the dog-aggressive, extreme-drive freaks they churn out, then according to them you have no business getting a GSD, you are just an idiot who has no idea how to handle a "real" GSD.

As for health--the AKC now gives the GSD life expectany as "7-10 years."


BTW my girfriend's current service dog is a West German showlines GSD. But she came from a breeder who boots dog-aggressive dogs right out of his breeding program instead of making excuses for them, and breeds for calm, good-natured temperaments. She performs her real-world job beautifully and when off duty has a great time partying with other dogs including females.


by Hundmutter on 19 April 2018 - 16:04

But it is 'apples and oranges' surely to draw comparisons between the sort of information on what a dog could do / was like, when we know or own that dog and see it all the time, compared to what someone else's dog might or might not be like or achieve, when all we know of it is its public record through IPO or what we see it do in a video ?

by Centurian on 19 April 2018 - 18:04

JonRob your wrote :

"breeds for calm, good-natured temperaments. She performs her real-world job beautifully and when off duty has a great time partying with other dogs including females."

Through years , I have found something interesting. Because it seemed to me that many men [ don't mean to be sexist, but this was my experience ] like cars wanted something bigger, faster , more powerful /aggressive and the dog that showed that ! For me the opposite was true . my first dog that I described from 1960 inside was a soldier . Meaning unrelenting , powerful , very high tolerance to pain and a high stress level . Very discerning , faithful , obedient , loyal , always watchful ready willing and able to put his life on the line to protect if needed. However , anyone looking at the dog not only would but RESPECTED this dog .

But here is what you wrote comes to play . He never ever had to be aggressive, he was calm** , approachable and social yet he knew when to be suspicious. He never in a manner of speaking had to act out. He never had to present himself as an aggressor , bully . Yet he could take anyone out in a flash . Yes calm and good natured but you didn't screw around ! I don't know if I express his demeanor , but this is hard to find, I think .

That is why I started the thread on civil : I know extraordinarily how well the word is used . I made my point on the thread. But interesting how a dog is by many coined 'civil' JUST because it BITES a person . WOW... I think differently .. I expect a great temperament GS to be like my Ol School GS , calm , normal good temperament yet tough as a son of a B*** to do what needs to be done if that is his/her bent. [ apologies for the emphasis]

So , I admire the breeder and your description JonRob because to me that is ideal GS .. IMOp of course .


by susie on 19 April 2018 - 19:04

I have seen a lot of good GSdogs, and I have seen a lot of mediocre GSdogs during the last 40 years - no difference, at least in Germany.
People tried to find "good" dogs in the seventies, and people try to find good dogs today.
When I got involved I heard stories about the "great" dogs of the sixties in the club, later on it was the seventies, eighties, nineties, and so on...
And during all these decades people bought and sold dogs, always dreaming about the "one in a lifetime" dog.
In most cases people remember one special dog out of their childhood, no matter their birthdate. Interesting, isn't it?
You should have asked the people who raised and trained those dogs with the knowledge you have today...
And you should give a normal dog a normal life...

My opinion: my last dog has been at least as good as my first dog, all of them had their own character, and there have been at least as many dog aggressive or timid dogs in the past as there are today.

by Centurian on 19 April 2018 - 19:04

Yes and No Susie
But before I go on I don't live in Germany BUT I have been to Germany many many times .. been to many of the world's best kennels in Germany . Also , most of all my 30 GS have been from Germany . So I can say with reasonable certainty , we cannot completely compare one country GS to the other because for many years as a general rule , not all GS in the USA , for I have seen many very good GS in USA .. but as a rule Germany has always had the best GS . The SV made sure of that . That is a fact . So perhaps what you wrote from that point of view may have merit. But , I still say from the circles I have been in , even in Germany , the mentality of the GS has and still is changing and being lost , compared to what once was. No , not every German GS , but as a trend , I think so . But you say different and I leave it at that.

In the USA , no my experience is not that my childhood dog was 'the' once in a lifetime dog because I daydream . Believe me Susie when I write this .. not to toot my horn , but I an well versed in understanding and evaluating temperament and canine behavior as anyone that could visit this thread. I know exactly what I had in 1960 mentally and behaviorally in my first GS compared to all 30 of my GS and compared to thousands of GS I have seen in 30 ++ years. 'Good ' is a relative term and non specifically descriptive. So I won't say GS are better or worse in that respect .. I leave at the GS in 1960 , 1970 IMOp were a very very different animal than they are today .. Therefore to say that there were good GS back then and bad .. to me doesn't say much . Behaviorally qualitatively and qualitatively they were different. And I leave it at that .....

PS .. an acquaintance of mine trained Germany's most famous Bodo Lieberg.. I know what he has said to me, years ago .. to bad everyone couldn't hear what he has to say today let alone back then ....

by Jessejones on 19 April 2018 - 19:04

The point I tried to make in my post about my first gs love, Athena was that perhaps it is not only the changing of the breed, due to fashion, breeding for extremems, division of SL and WL, etc...

But also because of the freedoms we had back then...to let a dog create his character. And that is not looking through rose colored glasses, but a fact.

I think anyone here that is of a certain age can not deny that we had it pretty good back then. We, that lived and grew up in Western Europe/USA, had more freedoms at that time than now.

Now, everything is much more defined, more black and white, called ‘good’ or ‘bad’, many more laws and an increasing militaristic police force (whether one notices it or not...lobster in boiling water syndrome). And the to me, unfortunate militarization of the gsd and and the endless fascination of an aggressive dog type. Just look how many thousands are used in private military companies in the Middle East/Afghanistan and often disposed of shamefully.

Everything is much more structured now. Heck, one doesnt even see kids playing outside any more because their lives are too structured, lessons here-drive there for another lessen, virtual worlds, and parents that are afraid to leave kids do anything alone or with friends. In some places, parents are forced to pick up kids even only at the end of the block when the school bus drops them off.

And yes, Centurian, a short aside to agree with your other observation about kids...I agree. When I went out with my new pup last summer, a fuzzy and impossibly cute BBS, starting at 8 weeks of age, in crowded city streets, I was shocked at how few children, teens and people in general even looked at the pup, much less said anything to me. Mostly we were just ignored and kids did not even look our way! Compared that to my last pup, over 10 years ago that literally stopped traffic back then, I was stunned. But, my instagram/ facebook pictures of the pup get tons of “likes’, so go figure.

Because of this increasing forced structure in our world, we are taking away a dogs decision making capacity. Almost all of their ‘reasoning’ capacity - whatever reasoning capacity they do posses and choice making capacity. Dogs almost no longer have the opportunity to learn by doing without being commanded about all the time.

If one lives rurally, maybe one can still circumvent this a bit and let a dog become mature in character. The drawback there can be lack of outside stimulation though. But any city or suburb folk, need to keep a very tight rein on all dogs, all the time now. (Don’t get me even started on dog parks.)

Who can’t deny that this has a huge effect on a dogs character.

One last point...in my experience since I am American and German, and go back and forth a lot, the gs dogs I see and know in Germany are, on the whole, usually more uniform ‘normal’ in character than many gs that I see and know in the USA.
I am certainly not saying they don’t exists or that there are not good breeders in the USA, at all. Just a higher ratio of unbalanced dogs. Perhaps the breeding temperament test done in Germany does produce a higher ratio of “normal” dogs than the less structured breeding often done in the USA? And, in the USA it is common to neuter dogs very, very young. Before they reach mental maturity. Does that do harm to a dogs character and keep them endlessly immature?
Lots of opinions probably on the last two thoughts.

by joanro on 19 April 2018 - 20:04

Jessee: "I am certainly not saying they don’t exists or that there are not good breeders in the USA, at all. #Just a higher ratio of unbalanced dogs."

Me: # that's because Germany dumps all their rejects on American buyers.

Jessee: " Perhaps the breeding temperament test done in Germany does produce a higher ratio of “normal” dogs than the less structured breeding often done in the USA? "

Me: Germany dumps their rejects on American buyers and reject bred to reject is going to produce majority reject.

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