German Shepherd Dog > What makes a working line gsd breed worthy? (93 replies)
by Two Moons on 29 June 2010 - 05:06
|What makes a working line GSD breed worthy is the same thing that makes anything breed worthy.|
And it's found in the eyes of the breeder at the end of the debate.
Thats how it works.
by Gustav on 29 June 2010 - 12:47
Chris Hruby, you have written a very very good post.
by charlie319 on 29 June 2010 - 14:21
|GSDfan: Sorry if I came across as if I was aiming my statements at you. I was being general as many of the proponents of training and tittling tend to be "professionals" who are just guarding their commercial turf under the guise of self-appointed warden of the breed. There are many people that buy fabulously bred dogs and are quite content to have their impecably temperd dog be a companion and deterrent fortheir household. Does that mean that such a dog is not breedworthy?|
IMPO, tittles are a good tool to reduce the uncertainties involved in breeding, and with some of the prices we see for top breeding litters, every hedge helps; but that is a far cry from saying that breeding tow WUSV competitors will guarantee a similarly accomplished litter. Even at that, many litters of top performers may include a pup or two that acts like it just left a Grateful Dead concert...
That is why it unsettles me to see breeders (more in SL, but increasingly in WL) adhere to formulaic breeding practices that only result in a narrower genetic selection within the breed. Like Steve Schuler mentioned, placing a WL sport-dog in a family companion role happens often, and IMO is a definite mismatch between temperament and drives versus environment... The usual consequence of which isthat the dog ends up being a "problem" and ends up in a shelter.
A proper breed stewardship program would not only look to breed "the best with the best", but also "the right best with the right best" and would look after the preservation of the diverse bloodlines and types within the breed. Ideally, every SchH, working dog club, and even kennel club should have a breed warden subscribed to the regional and national governing bodies (both for conformation and work), and hopefully the international parent organization, to identify and grade dogs on their desirability (not the same as a KKL) for breeding under several different criteria that would include the perpetuation and improvement of particular bloodlines in the country or hemishere. But that would be a bit utopic.
Like you, I believe in seeing the whole dog and not the "trait -du-jour" . Once again, I appologize if I came across in an untoward manner.
by Steve Schuler on 29 June 2010 - 15:57
I live in rural Oklahoma, not exactly the hub of all things 'Dog' Back in 1990 I clued into the USCA, I think while looking at "Dog World" magazine. Remember, this was before the internet and the onslaught of the information age so information was not so easily obtained. I became aware of the S.V. and the general scheme of the system of accreditation required to qualify a dog for breeding. "Good Deal!", I thought, and still do. I imagine there are many reasons and considerations as to why that type of a system has only gained limited traction in the American GSD scene, another topic, I'm sure. Honestly, I actually envy people who have access to a Schutzhund Club, and to think that somebody might be within an hours drive of a dozen different clubs... Wow, How Cool! By my reckoning I'm about 3 to 5 hours drive from 3 or 4 clubs. Heck, I'd be delighted to have convenient access to any type of group training venue. The point of expressing this is that I have tremendous respect and appreciation for the people who do have access to these sorts of endeavors and who actually pursue whatever training goals that they are able to. I don't think I ever have, or ever will, dismiss a handler and dog's acheivements at whatever level or in whatever venue.
by Gustav on 29 June 2010 - 16:53
|It never ceases to amaze me the hypocrisy of hip evaluation in the U.S. Reading radiographic hips is some magical science that can only be done by these three people at OFA who may give a different opinion of the same hips being resubmitted. How many times have I seen a person who has had their dog hip prelimmed after a year of age being bashed by someone who has an import in their kennel that had THEIR hips done before two years of age. So what is it, does the A normal stamp done at 14 months have some magical power that the prelim done at 14 months doesn't. Its all about status as is so much of the breed these days as opposed to empirical differences. One person reads the X-ray in Germany and three do at OFA. The hips are the same regardless!! Then when you say Penhipp, the hypocrisy really begins, because though the testing procedure really gives a better look at the elements of hip assessment, you get these OFA only people who then say, Well, I don't like the way my dogs hips were stretched so that's no good!! Nevermind that they don't know anybody who has a dog that's hips were made worse by the Penhipp procedure, its defending the OFA only acceptable club. |
I believe every dog should be x-rayed after a year of age to assess the hips. I also get the marketing promotional value of the OFA stamp. But to imply this is the only way to have responsible knowledge of your breeding stock is to wait to 2 years of age to assess them is a crok!! And for those of you who do believe this, stay away from the European dogs regardless of whether you re-xray them or not.
This is just my opinion about the "facts" of hip assessment. Not trying to convert anyone, but reading hip radiographs are not this magical science, that can only be done at two years of age and only OFA.JMO
We must be vigilant against hips and hip assessment is very important to this endeavor, but a hip prelim in the hands of knowledgable breeders will be sufficient, and an OFA excellent in the hands of a person breeding two dogs without the knowledge of the other important aspects often produces disaters.JMO
by Steve Schuler on 29 June 2010 - 17:14
Points well made.
I spoke before I thought (never good!) pertaining to OFA prelims, my apologies. It is something that I've seen in conjunction with some other less than optimal credentials, sometimes. But still I spoke wrongly.
Sita's Mom recently posted a thread that linked to a pretty good series of articles dealing with the problem of hip dysplasia.
One of the considerations brought up in those articles is the desirability of not only considering the hip evaluation of an individual dog, but to look into family histories. Easier said than done, although the articles go into that problem, and more, in some detail.
Good reading for anyone, I think, and certainly pertinent to breedworthiness.
by Gustav on 29 June 2010 - 17:44
|No problem Steve, I agree with fully that family history is so utterly important. And again, I am NOT putting down anyone who OFA's. I use them myself in some cases, in some cases I Penhipp as Phila. is near me, and in cases I am raising and training a dog for police academy, (which really needs sound hips) I prelim.|
by Two Moons on 29 June 2010 - 18:44
|OFA or not,|
a breeder who is working his dogs and has had his animals for more than just a couple of generations knows his animals and the line he is working with.
When you consider that there are breeders who have made this their life's work and know exactly what they produce without depending on an x-ray.
There was a time when the work over time weeded out the faults, (before x-rays and a vet on every corner).
There are more reasons to disqualify an animal from breeding than there are for approval.
HD is only one, there are many more equally if not more important faults to consider.
In my opinion too much importance is placed on titles alone.
Work is the key, show me the dog in it's own element doing what it was bred to do.
Let me see it's nature and abilities then we can look at the paper work and x-rays.
Show me an old dog still active and vibrant along side it's descendants.
In my opinion most breeders today are in too big of a hurry for obvious reasons.
Time is the second key to knowing what you have produced and if it's correct.
I have great respect for those who have put years of hard work into their dogs to be the best, not just the most prolific.
And by best I mean the whole picture, not just a bite routine or sit and stay.
Always look back at the original requirements of the breed and the standards, hard to do in todays world but still just as important as it was then.
Confirmation ribbons and titles are only as good as the judge who awarded them.
Knowing your dogs, is priceless.
by charlie319 on 29 June 2010 - 20:25
|In a perfect world, I would prefer a dog with perfect hips, but there have been many signifficant dogs that were less than excellent in that area. If the dog were otherwise stellar, I would have to weigh if a less than excellent hip rating was enough to disqualify an otherwise outstanding specimen from breeding. It is a case of not seeing the forrest because of the trees.|
by Steve Schuler on 29 June 2010 - 20:53
|Roger That, Charlie!|
Again, I am not a breeder and I do not pretend to have the knowledge and experience to even begin to build a competent breeding program.
Anyone who is even minimally knowledgeable or familiar with the breed has got to recognize that there are many risks involved in breeding German Shepherds and very few clear-cut choices. My hat is off to those who are really making their most honest and sincere effort to perpetuate and improve the breed. You know who you are. Thanks!
by Gustav on 29 June 2010 - 23:25
|Two Moons, your last post really hit the bullseye, IMO. There is a lot of wisdom in what you wrote and that is the way dogs were assessed in the past and they didn't do to bad back then.|
by sueincc on 30 June 2010 - 02:29
|Good thread, everyone!|
by Steve Schuler on 30 June 2010 - 16:27
|My final contribution to this thread (I Promise!)|
Knowledge is Good.
Understanding is Better.
Knowledge combined with Experience can lead to Understanding.
Wisdom is best of all.
And the least certain to be realized.
I have a little knowledge, even less understanding and it's questionable whether I have any wisdom at all.
For anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of some of the considerations and factors involved with the complex subject of what constitutes breedworthiness, as I am, there are some really good articles at the SiriusDog website. The articles that they have categorized under the heading "Breeding" can be seen here:
I hope you find the information available there helpful.
When Two Moons wrote, "What makes a working line GSD breed worthy is the same thing that makes anything breed worthy.
And it's found in the eyes of the breeder at the end of the debate.
Thats how it works."
by charlie319 on 01 July 2010 - 14:50
|That is a point that has been raised on the haste to breed by some...|
The KC should require a threshold age for breeding in both males and females in order for papers to be issued.