German Shepherd Dog > Why did roach back become the "in thing" (24 replies)
Why did roach back become the "in thing"
by KuroOokami on 26 March 2012 - 19:17
|I figured that this forum is verstile enough with breeders, general dog keepers, etc.|
As it is I am not trying to start a war or anything. But I am seriously curious as to why roach backs are the apparent approved "in" in the show ring.
Does anyone have any knowledge, information, etc. as to why and when roach backed dogs became the show quality animals and straight backed dogs are the rarity [pet] and/or working line dogs?
I mean any of the original dogs of the breed are obviously straight backed or close to straight back with little angulation - Horand von Grafrath, the breed's foundation, and most of his immediate offspring so obviously do NOT have a roach back.
So as said, I'd like to know just where the concept of "roach" preferred over straight back came in - or from whom - I'd be most interested. I've tried googling it but couldn't figure out the origins.
by aaykay on 26 March 2012 - 19:24
|Check the pictures of the past Siegers and you can probably make out when the trend started moving away from normal backs and changing to roachy backs.|
by Wise Guy on 26 March 2012 - 19:35
|They didn't start breeding "for roached backs". The curved back just came along for the ride. The West German show dogs started having more of a sloping back and extended thigh bone. You can notice this trend starting with a particular dog, notably the 2003 Sieger Bax vom Luisenstrasse (and then Pakros after him.) The preference in curved backs was stronger after SV judge Peter Messler, although he could vary in his decisions.|
by Abby Normal on 26 March 2012 - 20:29
|If you have several days to spend reading it, I think you will find it all here:|
by myret on 26 March 2012 - 21:05
|I dont understand why people like the angulated legs and roached back its is not helthy and not very pretty it looks awful|
maybe if breeders start breeding dogs with a normally built dog like the origins should be
by dogshome9 on 26 March 2012 - 22:45
by TingiesandTails on 27 March 2012 - 00:29
|...and let me be less breed specific...why do people like little necks, big eyes, wrinkles all over the dogs body, cropped ears, docked tails, colours that have proven to be connected with genetic defects, dogs that weigh so much, they can't swim anymore, dogs with little tiny hips they need cesarian sections to give birth...I came to the conclusion that there are a lot of very strange people out there...the only thing you can do is do your research for any breed you prefer....|
PS: ...not a showline person...can't answer your question...
by Doghotch on 27 March 2012 - 00:42
|I read a very good article on the internet some time ago, titled The Martins & More. It is a very interesting article written with knowledge of the dogs mentioned. I have been involved in GSD's all my life and actively since 1966 and have been a reqular visitor to the Sieger Show since that time.|
In those days you could walk into the rings, take your photos and leave. There wasn't so many people around in those days not like today where it is a farce.
Any way I digress, in this article was a chapter - which I quote;-
To reach the top of these greats of the breed, a dog has to have outstanding temperament, good hips, balance and condition that allow the dog totrot endlessly, an overall quality, almost impossible to fault.
However almost consistent with these top winning German dogs is an ugly roach in the back. It would appear that Hermann Martin believed this as desirable and that he managed to convince the German breeders that it is proper. It was not there in the dogs of the sixties nor did I see it in the herding dogs in Germany. It is a matter of Selection.
I hope this puts an end to this load of woffle that has been written. Life is too short, enjoy your dogs. You can't change anything only by lobbying your WUSV representative for changes to be made.
D G Banyard
by dogshome9 on 27 March 2012 - 01:05
Well Said TingiesandTails and Doghotch
by sonora on 27 March 2012 - 01:12
This is a fantastic place for those who want to learn
and understand the German Shepherd Dog.
There are many knowledgeable people on this board,
who are ever willing to help.
All you have to do is, not be afraid to ask.
Please go to the site mentioned below read it well,
it was written by Mr. louis Donald who is very knowledgable
in the breed and has helped guide Australian G S D's to where they are now.
I'm very sure you will be enlighten by this site,as it is very informative.
Hope it helps you.
by Louis Donald on 27 March 2012 - 03:02
|Thanks Sonora and Abbey for directing people to the article - I have to say I don't understand why this matter has repeated itself on the forum as though it's never been discussed before and then the usual run of people who have no idea but profess to know have a go and inevitably create confusion.|
Anyway, I trust those who have the patience to read the article and want to understand the issue and other matters such as the mention by someone in this thread regarding overangulation go to the paper/link and all will be explained and explained in great depth and explained accurately.
by Kinolog on 03 April 2012 - 17:43
|To Louis Donald:|
Love your article - keep going back to it because it is so dense with info! I found so many things I had questions about - and answers or at least opinions. Lots to think about! I recommend your article to other people!
Thanks so much for your dedication to this fantastic breed of dog!
by Ibrahim on 03 April 2012 - 18:04
|A question on topic, reading some posts I get a notion that some think that the breed in its early days reached what the breed standard calls for. My own understanding is that the Captain put down on paper his own vision of what he wants the breed to become/reach and worked accordingly to establish and form the breed he has in his mind but when he died the breed was not at the end point of the road.|
Those who continued the Captain's work, took the breed more steps forward towards his vision. The question: Did the Captain say anywhere in his writings that the breed is now, I mean "at that time", complete and should be kept the same with no further bettering/improvement towards the standard/vision?
by Browser on 03 April 2012 - 18:32
|someone once told me... health first, temperment second and looks third. I will only buy from a breeder who breeds from healthy stock|
No way would i spend 500 - 600 quid on a dog who hasnt had health tested parents when i can buy a dog with all the test for the same price (cheaper if am lucky enough)
all in all.. i dont care how the dog will look aslong as it is healthy :) Hopefully a little bit of breeding with healthy stock can one day produce the pups i would want :)
by Ibrahim on 03 April 2012 - 18:40
|Health alone does not make a breed, standard does not give grades of value to various aspects that constitute the GSD.|
It is left to the single breeder to make his own decision where and when to make necessary compromises as long as dog/line remains within standard parameters.
by joanro on 03 April 2012 - 18:44
|Mr. Donald, I read your article in the Time4 Dogs blog and was stunned to see that some one was actually saying the truth about the gsd breed instead of all the propaganda one sees every where. Thank you for your work.|
by Hundmutter on 06 April 2012 - 16:46
No, if you read Wootton, Willis, Schwabacher, Elliott et al there appears to be concensus that Von
Stephanitz thought the exact opposite, that the breed would go on developing (and should).
Question to Louis Donald:
In a posting replying to photographs put up by sitasmom dated 1 April, you said she was correct,
her bitch looked 'roached' in the first picture because it was being stood badly "because the handler is pushing the hindquarters/croup down and forwards. This happens all the time by novice handlers who think they know it all but don't and this is what also creates the exagerated slope to the back."
You go on to say that the bitch's topline in the two following pictures is correct. (I am assuming that this posting was genuine, nobody forged it in your name ?)
I could not agree MORE with your assessment of the bitch pictured.
Now, can you please answer a further question ? Given that much worse toplines do exist (and can consequently look even worse when stacked), in not just the USA but also Uk, Germany, Italy,
Japan ..., do YOU think the breed is 'going to hell in a handcart' ?? Is there evidence breeders are playing with fire with the health of the dogs if we allow any upward curve AT ALL ?
by Abby Normal on 06 April 2012 - 17:44
|Interesting, I had missed the end of the other thread. I have a question too, are all handlers stacking their dogs incorrectly, and that includes professional handlers at all the top shows, since the majority of dogs seem to exhibit what 'appears' to be a roach back when shown. Some, one quite notable UK dog that springs to my mind, seen 'at rest' still has an evident upward curve to his spine - I have seen it, but others like Sitasmom's bitch don't. So I do accept that the stack can create a roach if done badly, but is everyone doing it so badly?|
In the article the influence of deep overangulation is very enlightening and explains a great deal about it's effect upon the topline. Because of course, one anatomical feature always has an effect on everything else.
by Ibrahim on 06 April 2012 - 18:24
|Thanks Hundmutter, you made it clear, I will go a bit further, so it is not correct when some compare our present GSD with that of the Captain's time because it wasn't still what the Captain had in mind as the end result and it still needed further shaping and developing and if he himself lived more years he would have continued onto developing it. |
And to say that today's GSD is incorrect because its structure is much different from the Captain's GSD is not a logical argument.
I think the development of the type and structure is a great and very important accomplishment for the breed, but in the course temperament, nerves and work desire were compromised plus we face general weakness in ligaments and more tendency towards deeper hind angulation, excessive slopes in backs and or roaches.
What we need at the moment is two paths to try and correct the breed direction:
1. maintain the type and at the same time enhance ligaments by selective breeding within the showlines, make a warning against roached backs and excessive hind angulation.Promoted VAs should be gradually chosen to reflect desired corrections. More emphasis and stress should be put on work ability tests.
2. Another parallel path is at the same time the top of the correctly structured Wl dogs should be promoted to use in the Show breedings and show breeders should be encouraged to do that and should be rewarded for it in order to enhance work ability, strong nerves and character, in this path the type might be compromised in the first few generations but dogs from this path can be crossed again with dogs from path one or vise versa. In the second path if in the near future we loose 20% from type and gain 60% work ability then it is a positive result allover.
Authorities after few generations from both paths, can evaluate results of both and decide to continue both seperately, disregard one and concentrate on the other or bring both paths into one. One more option that can be adapted is path 2 can provide one or more new lines to present show blood lines to cross with, it won't be a waste in anyway in my opinion.
by Hundmutter on 06 April 2012 - 19:42
|Ibrahim, if I knew yet how to send one of those 'thumbs up' emoticons to show you I agree with you, it would be what was in this post now!|