German Shepherd Dog > Country of Origin - Who breeds the better dog - A civil discussion ;-) (105 replies)
by Xeph on 09 February 2010 - 23:45
|Do you think the average person who needs a service dog would be able to handle, or even want to handle a dog like yours?|
The candid answer to this question is HELL NO!!!!
The long answer?
Strauss is my "first" everything. My first dog that is JUST mine (not owned by the family, but owned, loved and trained by me and me alone), my first sport dog, my first titled dog....my first service dog (something I never thought I would need). I did A LOT of learning with this dog, and will continue to learn with and from this dog. The lessons he has taught me (especially in patience) have been absolutely invaluable.
When I started I had no real experience in training a GSD aside from what I had done with a friend's old retired narcotics boy. I bought Strauss for $250 out of the paper. He drove me INSANE the first two years, and there were nights when I would go home with him and I was mad as the devil that I had bought this dog. I seriously considered rehoming him twice, but am always BEYOND glad that I did not. There have been countless tears shed over him and lots of blood and sweat that mixed wtih those tears...and he is the best God damn dog a person could ask for.
Strauss was doing very very well with his dog sports and what not...but I never saw him truly content until 2 years ago when I put on his SDIT harness and he started a real life every day job. When in harness he is extremely low key and the biggest compliment I receive with this dog is when we are in a restaurant and when we are about to leave, I call him out from under the table. 99% of the time our server says "Oh!!! I didn't even know he was there!" and that is exactly what I want to hear. You SHOULDN'T know he is there. So when he's doing his real life job, he's "just around".
Out of harness he is a hardcore "OMG LET'S PLAY!" Fruit Loop xD He's happy go lucky and a bit pushier because he knows he's allowed to be.
We still love to play agility and everything and will continue to work towards his CDX and some agility titles...but working in harness is what this dog REALLY loves and what he REALLY excels at. I'm glad I could provide that for him (even if it really sucks for me sometimes), but the average owner would have sent this dog off to the shelter or to another home, and that's really sad to think about, because there's nothing wrong with this dog.
He's just a proper GSD and he wants to work with his people.
In case you're interested, here's a link to my photobucket album so you can see his "just being a dog" pictures in the snow from December: http://s169.photobucket.com/albums/u222/Xepherya/Strauss/
The first 2 1/4 pages are said pics :)
by sueincc on 10 February 2010 - 00:15
|Xeph: What a bargain! Strauss is an incredible dog, but you deserve a lot of credit too for all the work you have put in. I know you will say it was all a joy, but it's still a lot of hard work, and it paid off, you guys are a great team. I love the pictures. My favorite is the one where he is running towards the camera with his toy and a snow face......or maybe that great shot of him running full out, all stretched out......or maybe it's the one where he is just coming to a stop and his front legs are in the air. A lot of cool pictures, thanks for sharing!|
by Xeph on 10 February 2010 - 00:17
|Xeph: What a bargain! |
I know, right? Best $250 I've ever spent in my life. I'm getting a new puppy bitch soon to replace him in harness (I'm hoping to have him retired by 8-9) and I am already struggling with it. The next one has a lot to live up to xD
I know you will say it was all a joy, but it's still a lot of hard work
Actually...i'd never say that. I wasn't kidding about the tears. I've been at my kennel club and gotten tons of hugs because he was just AWFUL at practice, and I would be bawling because I couldn't figure out how to get him under control.
There were nights when we went home and I'd feed him and then I'd just ignore him for hours until I calmed down.
Lots of the training completely lacked joy....but overall it was more joyful than not, and even though a lot of it was extremely difficult for me, the lessons that he has taught me are irreplaceable and could never be recreated, and for that, I'm grateful.
by sueincc on 10 February 2010 - 00:44
|I'm contemplating getting another sport dog soon, and even though I still will compete with my current boy, the relationship will definitely change, so I too am struggling - but I think probably the bond with a service dog is much deeper, just by the nature of the working relationship, so I can only imagine your struggle.|
by Xeph on 10 February 2010 - 02:58
|I just keep telling myself that while he only has a couple working years left, he still has a lot longer to be my constant companion :)|
Also, he says "Hai, I would like to go play ball in snow nao, you get off computer?" So I think it's time to go throw the Wubba in the middle of this Wisconsin snow storm xD
by Preston on 11 February 2010 - 05:53
|I cannot comment on the Metz's AKC champions such as Hyabusha and their Grand Victrix, because I haven't seen them closeup. I have however seen one of the dogs they bred and sold, close up and I can say with certainty that this all black dog is one of the finest GSDs I have ever seen, anywhere anytime, German Import or American Shepherd blood (he just happens to be American Shepherd blood). This black dog has always been standup, afraid of nothing, willing to work and rock solid. His conformation is very close to the FCI standard and most Germans would love the dog since he is balanced at both ends, has good prosturnum, has a moderately angulated rear that actually is very sound and works correctly. His proportions are very good. This dog is not overdone in anyway and in my opinion could have been Schutzhund trained and should have been. He is not an American AKC champion because his sidegait is probably not extreme enough (translated it is too correct to the standard, he doesn't lft and hold in front and isn't sickle hocked).|
Now folks that know me understand that I can't stand most American Shepherds because I don't like their typical looks (too long, pushed forward front with no prosturnum, steep long upper arms and shallow angled scapula allowing good lift and forward reach but poor follow through and long lower thights--sickle hocks with steep croups giving good rear drive for shortb periods, snipey heads, poor secondary sex characteristics, lack of bone, poor color, etc.). I like their typical temperaments even less. However, there are always exceptions. I don't know about the rest of the Metz's GSDs but I do know about this solid black male they bred which is a real stallion and very correct temperament wise. So when I see a good GSD and examine him closely and see how he behaves in different situations and it is very good, I have to be honest about it. This black dog is just plain very good. And he will bite when appropriate with no serious protection training. I don't know anything about his breeding other than he is an American Shepherd and I don't know if he has produced anything or even been bred. But this is a GSD I would be proud to own. He has great male type and looks like a male GSD should and acts like one should too. I have have 8 GSD west German imports, 6 showline and 2 working line during my lifetime and the one with the actual hardest most correct, most aggressive, fearless but rock solid temperament just happened to be W. German working line. However, I have had west gernman showline GSDs out of top breedings with advanced Sch training and degrees which had acceptable and good temperament. I have also had 2 w. german showlines out of top breeding which were horrid, one a spook and another an overly aggressive fear activated savage who would go off 100% on anything, anytime--a real hazard---both very incorrect.
I don't care if a GSD is German, Chech or American Shepherd if it is near correct to the FCI standard, I like it. Generally speaking the German's have done a much better breeding temperament/working ability, sex type, proportions, color, coat, robustness. They do have a great deal of problems with roach backs, faulty fronts, hip and elbow problems, health problems and the show lines have a great deal of temperament issues, but so do many of the working line dogs too. Overall with 1200+ GSD SV clubs in and around Germany, one finds more of everything bad and good. My local police buy Chech dogs and have had very good results. These dogs are coarse with good sex type, robust with great bone, too long in back, have poor sidegait, but are worthy because of their typical good health and great working ability-some are truly fearless in combat situations.
by Slamdunc on 11 February 2010 - 06:02
|" This black dog is just plain very good. And he will bite when appropriate with no serious protection training. I don't know anything about his breeding other than he is an American Shepherd and I don't know if he has produced anything or even been bred" |
How could you possibly know he will bite when appropriate with out any serious training?
by Preston on 11 February 2010 - 06:02
|As far as Scootie Sherlock's Ch. Phantom dog. I saw him a number of times close up in shows. He was very correct in very way, had excellent working temperament and was very, very close to the standard. Metz's black dog reminded me of him. Phantom was a very worthy dog that any true GSD enthusiast would have loved to own. There just haven't been many American Shepherds that good.|
by 4pack on 11 February 2010 - 07:01
|Wait, hold on a minute, stop the press! Preston?|
by Ibrahim on 11 February 2010 - 08:35
Since long time I did not see you posting here, I want you to know that I was making many posts asking about the structure and conformation and movement of GSD when I first joined the board and AandA provided me good information and old links on these subjects and I read all I found of your valuable contributions and want you to know they were of extreme benefit to me and I very much hope you keep posting on such important topics and I am sure many share me this request. Just wanted you to know this and I want again to thank AandA for her help and support.
by Xeph on 11 February 2010 - 08:42
|4Pack, I thought the same thing! But I am very glad that Preston so eloquently stated his LIKE for an American dog! An honest man he is. I know he wouldn't say such things about an AmLine if he didn't believe them!|
by Red Sable on 11 February 2010 - 11:49
|Glad to see you here posting Preston. I have heard many good things about you. I would love to see this dog you speak of.|
by AandA on 11 February 2010 - 12:20
|Just wanted you to know this and I want again to thank AandA for her help and support.|
Ibrahim, hoping I'm not going to disappoint you in any way but I am in fact a him...
Well if the truth be told we are a 'we' - Andy & Annie who are Nelsons owners & hence AandA , but it's Andy who does all the posting. Easier to use works (high speed) bandwidth rather than my home dial up.
No offence taken & glad those links proved useful.
by sueincc on 11 February 2010 - 12:27
|Preston! I have missed you my friend.|
by Ibrahim on 11 February 2010 - 12:46
Sorry for my terrible mistake, thank you (Andy & Annie) all my respect to you both.
by AandA on 11 February 2010 - 13:17
|No worries Ibrahim, but It did make me chuckle because if you could see a photo of me with my beard and receding hair (both sadly greying) you couldn't possibly have made the same mistake |
by Sunsilver on 11 February 2010 - 13:49
|Preston, I'm bookmarking your post, because it's the best description of the faults of the American lines Shepherd I've ever seen. I knew there was something wrong with their chests, but didn't quite know the correct way to describe it. The term 'false front', which I've heard many times didn't really explain what was involved anatomically.|
Thank you for that post, and good to see you posting again!
by Gustav on 12 February 2010 - 14:36
|Preston, it is good to see you posting again. I think you are right in your assessment...in that there are some good American dogs that are exceptions!! I will readily acknowledge that!! But you also say that you don't care for most American dogs and even less their temperament. And therein lies the problem...People can't keep singling out exceptions to justify continuing the breeding practices or the dogs that make this nice black dog an "exception". That's crazy, doesn't make sense, and leads to the current condition of the breed, in so that you have to acknowledge he is an exception!! Why would I make breeding decisions or use practices that produces these nice dogs as an "exception". This is crazy!! I know of a few good looking and working American dogs, but they are so few and far between I can't afford to take the chance. JMO|
by Mystere on 12 February 2010 - 15:25
|Xeph: BRAVISSIMO to you and you're dog! If I can help in your puppy search in any way, please let me know. Preston!!! Welcome back---good to see you posting again!!|
by Samba on 12 February 2010 - 16:28
| I have owned three types of GSD, ASL, WGSL and working lines. |
If anyone would apply themselves heartily to working endeavors and possibly get some titles on their dogs this would probably improve breeding. At the National, titles on show dogs, that reveal a lot about the character, drive and working characteristics are extremely few and far between. There just is not the general knowledge or the propensity to choose for a balanced dog within the Am. show fancy. It really is not their thing. This is a breed club that recognizes a Rally Obed. title as sufficient for an Award of Excellence rating!
It is simple genetics and what has been selected for over the years. My friend with a grand victrix, went to a bit of working stuff at a national level show with me and he quickly recognized a difference in the WGSL dogs and the working line dogs he saw there. He also commented that the american lines were so different in temperament and drives, in general, that it might be justifiable to call them a different breed at this point. He saw the deviation and split as enormous. Still he maintained that the Americans had improved movement. I was not able to really argue about the strangenss of concentrating on such with a working breed as it was obvious I would get nowhere. Movement is king in the ring.
My friend ended up being attracted to a strong, dark sable of Busecker Schloss breeding who was there to show. He was allowed to walk the dog about in the vicinity and it was obvious his admiration for this animal. He was quite aware that his lines did not carry much of what made up this admirable dog.
Often my American friends point to the roached back WGSL dogs who tend to lift in front and remark how much better their dogs are conformed generally. It is sad that one camp of extremity points at another camp of extremity to say we have the better form of deviation! The problems that have arisen in the German show camp have not helped the cause for the dogs of the fatherland.
So we have one exhibitor at high levels in the American ring who might assert that their dog is closer to the standard and another who might make the claim that their dogs are far enough from the German dog to be labelled a separate breed! And this assessment based on working characteristics.
I love a dog with nice conformation who has the character, drives and temperamant ,and this includes fight drive, to exhibit itself as a GSD should. Whomever can produce me such a dog, Bravo!! Who should I contact? My american showline friends are impressed with my working guy because they don't have dogs like him. Are there pockets of some nicely conformed, working and winning American show lines out there? I would applaud it for certain. Where should I mark my catalog??
When people spend their time and fortunes on breeding animals, it is difficult for them to see the dogs for what they are. If they do not get out and see all aspects of the breed, but rather stay in their cloister comparing like to like, it is even more difficult. At the working dog trial at the National, TWO conformation people came to watch out of the hundreds there. I spent a a good deal of time explaining the test to a lovely fellow. He was amazed and you could tell, again, that this Am showlines person felt his dogs were very different in character than those exhbiting some propensity to do this work.
Yes, there are some nice dogs out there from Am showlines doing asistance work and therapy work mostly. At least the ones I know of. I believe these animals owe their admirable traits to the origin of the breed as a working dog. They perhaps should not take so much credit for the ad