German Shepherd Dog > WL + SL = BL??? (205 replies)
by nypiper127 on 14 May 2012 - 13:05
I now understand (only after reading about it) the benefit of close linebreeding or inbreeding to highlight strong desired characteristics but does it also increase the potential for serious deformities? Before reading about this I always assumed inbreeding was very bad and a big no no! After reading "Breeding Better Dogs" by Kyle Onstott I was amazed to find out that inbreeding could highlight the desired characteristics but what they really don't mention or describe is the amount of puppies with undesireable characteristics that need to be "culled". Again, no science backround here. Before I read the book I assumed that inbreeding (or very close linebreeding) would produce severly deformed puppies....now I know that is not always the case. But does it also produce puppies so poor that they would need to be put down. If it does, then is it really worth the risk reward to carry it out (reasoning that if all went well the first generation or two might suffer for the betterment of the breeding program)?
Again, I apoligize for my lack of knowledge on this and I hope it does not seem that I am going around in circles.
by Gustav on 14 May 2012 - 13:43
|Felloffher and Workingdogs understands exactly what I am saying....in terms of two important issues. 1) As long as you see the COLOR of the dog as a representative of show or working, you are missing the boat. 2) You can produce a nice dog from a show/work mix, but the ability of that dog to produce will not be what it is. So then your values come in, do you value utility or beauty. Until successful show dogs represent all colors,(bi, black, sable, saddleback), you will never correct the problems within the show ring of character and structure. I don't care how you spin it, it won't happen, hasn't happened, and really shows peoples likes having more influence then the love of the breed. I personally don't care what color a GS I own is as long as its within standard.|
And I am not bashing SL, I am giving intelligent discourse on the subject for those who want to learn. Of course the addicted to what I like types will probably view this as bashing, but again their attitudes got the SL into the shape it is today, so why would I concern myself with their feelings?????
by cphudson on 14 May 2012 - 14:53
|Generally you find people / buyers that have main focus of looks / color are the same people that will be drawn toward the SL breeders that hold the same values in their breed stock.|
by Sunsilver on 14 May 2012 - 15:21
|Close linebreeding/inbreeding has to be done very carefully, by someone who has studied the dogs involved and is aware of what they produce, and what the potential risks are. Do the risks outweigh the benefits? Sometimes. Rik will tell you of whole litters that had to be euthanized. Other times, everything goes as hoped for.|
It's all about recessive genes. A certain percentage of these genes are recessive for a very good reason. They cause harmful or even lethal deformities.
Of course, when you cross closely related dogs, the chances of them producing offspring with two copies of the recessive gene (meaning they WILL be affected by that gene) are greatly increased.
Some breeders do test litters to expose recessives, so they will know which of their dogs are carrying them. This involves crossing two closely related dogs. The puppies are usually sold as pets, and the ones that show deformities are culled. Now that the breeder knows what dogs are carrying which genes, he/she can do close linebreeding with more confidence.
In the past there was a theory floating around that if you consistently did inbreeding, you would eventually expose and weed out all the harmful recessive genes. Anyone who has tried this has found exactly what scientists have found when they do the same thing. The offspring become fewer in number due to embryos not being viable (too many defective genes). There is a higher rate of stillborn offspring and perinatal mortality (young dying shorty after birth) and the lifespan of the offspring is generally shorter with each successive generation. The vigour of the offspring is decreased, and they have a much higher percentage of diseases (poor immunity, allergies, digestive problems, decreased size, infertility, etc.)
Here's an excellent article on inbreeding and linebreeding in horses. The principles are exactly the same when applied to dogs:
Another excellent article here, that explains some of the genetic terms:
Ma Shiloh, breed founder of the shiloh shepherd sums up the risks and benefits of inbreeding very succinctly: http://www.shilohshepherds.info/inbreedi.htm
Inbreeding can be a horrible CURSE , or a marvelous BLESSING! It is an excellent tool to be used by conscientious breeders looking for "deeply rooted" recessives! Inbreeding brings these "hidden secrets" out of hiding, so they can be properly dealt with. The great stuff can then be "polished" and strengthened through tighter inbreeding on that particular dog, the BAD stuff can be "washed-out" through identification & elimination! Inbreeding on "pedigrees" without extensive knowledge of the dogs themselves, their littermates, etc is without a doubt the most dangerous form of breeding! It is much safer to just outcross, or "type" breed! That is the reason that most novices are advised NOT to inbreed!!! Without a long-term breeding program in mind, and the resources and dedication to accomplish it , all such breedings are in vain! Worse of all, others will most likely continue to breed such dogs without having sufficient knowledge about their faults & virtues, thereby compounding this problem even more!
by Gustav on 14 May 2012 - 16:42
|Sunsilver, I agree with the principle of what you say....BUT....smile, explain to me why the GSL breeders can't produce better general utility in the black and red lines. Certainly many of those breeders have forgot more about breeding than most and fall into the catergory of knowledge that I suppose would be a blessing.....yet I know of no GSL kennel that is known for producing consistent utility type dogs. My point is even knowledgable breeding practices will not stop decline of breed, if we breed for an end result of a specific color.|
by Sunsilver on 14 May 2012 - 17:20
|Gustav, it certainly COULD be done, but as Koos points out in his article, they seem to be quite happy with the current state of affairs.|
How to get them to change...therein lies the rub! I really don't have a clue as to what will work to bring about change. IF someone wit the knowledge and experience of Helmut Raiser felt it was necessary to split from the SV, what luck is the average SV member going to have in getting things to change?
by darylehret on 14 May 2012 - 17:56
|As hinted earlier, I think the idea of incorporating the B&T pattern into the workinglines on a larger scale would give them a good run for their money (pun intended). Many of their clients have no involvement with the breed, working or showing, and would be none the wiser when they are inadvertently drawn to the workinglines for their "classic" color. Then it can be more accurately in question, "what does the showline dog have, that the workingline doesn't"?|
by nypiper127 on 14 May 2012 - 21:22
Are you in essence asking why the GSL breeders are not inbreeding and close line breeding their top working dogs in the red and black lines? Than would be my question.
As for the whole "culling" thing....that is why I would never be a breeder!!! I would have a bunch of two headed "pets" running around the place!!! (Not a knock on the two headed line...just a saying)!!! HA
But that would be my question...why aren't they?
by workingdogz on 14 May 2012 - 22:49
|Nypiper, have you looked at some of the SL|
pedigrees? I don't think you could find one
that isn't heavily linebred.
It's not just about linebreeding/inbreeding.
The 'raw material' has to be there to start
Even the 'best' workers (and there are some pretty
decent ones) in the SL cannot seem to reproduce
their work ethic/temperment on a regular basis.
by nypiper127 on 15 May 2012 - 01:24
That is a very bleak picture for the SL dogs IF it is true (I just don't know). Why is it they can not seem to reproduce their work ethic/temperment on a regular basis? Is it lack of good mates? DO Good WL dogs reproduce their good work ethic/temperment on a regular basis more than SL dogs or are they also subject to the same laws of probability?
by darylehret on 15 May 2012 - 02:47
|They do, because that is what they were selected for, in priority to color, conformation, etc. But, as there are many finer points regarding specific conformation aspects, there are also finer points regarding working drives and temperament. Characteristics such as prey drive, biddability, courage, athleticism, hardness, aggression and so forth. Some breeders put more or less emphasis on specific attributes, and therefore some might not be as prominently found in specific bloodlines as they are in others. One breeder might be known for selecting with strong emphasis FOR social aggression, while another prioritizes aggression below genetic obedience. So then, you find that specific lines might be known for particular strengths, or for points for concern.|
by nypiper127 on 15 May 2012 - 03:18
|So in the end, accepting the last two posts as truths, it would appear the best possible conclusion is to outcross SL with WL (using the most select, stable, driven sire and dam possible).|
Also interestingly enough, on a side note, I have noticed that there have not been many responses from the SL side (save a few). Almost as if there is no fight left (no pun) HA (it was a joke...don't get crazy on me)! Is the silence an acknowledgement of a problem...or are they sick of hearing this "perception of a problem". As a SL guy...makes me wonder!
by darylehret on 15 May 2012 - 05:17
|I'd say the "best possible conclusion" involves no showline breeding at all.|
by Chaz Reinhold on 15 May 2012 - 05:25
|Lol. 4 pages later, we have a winner.|
by VitoManiac on 15 May 2012 - 06:19
|Amen to that..................|
by Gustav on 15 May 2012 - 11:59
|NYpiper127, I didn't realize you REALLY don't know the history of breeding these lines. Therefore, my posts don't make much sense. The GSL are backmassed on in/linebreeding for over 10 generations straight, with out introducing dogs of WL or a different color pattern in 98% of time. Yet Black and Red is not even the dominant color pattern of the breed. This is further complicated by the genetics of the GSL being heavily backmassed on one of the founding herding/working types called the Thuringian or Trophy dogs. These dogs had the physical look of Eagles that we all look for in the breed....alas but they were not the known for courage or strong nerve.|
No, you are not going to hear the SL people discuss this, there is no disputing these facts or the history. I don't dislike the black and red dogs no more than I dislike a nicely structured dog. Still, I cannot lie to myself about the genetic mess these dogs are in.
Breeders and Judges SHOULD never let what they like override what is sound in practice and knowledge. I have no problem with an owner WANTING to own a pretty Black and Red German Shepherd because they like the looks or it fits THEIR perception of what the breed is. But reputable Breeders and Judges should minimally have the knowledge to know that decisions can't be based on Gait and Color primarily, and the INTEGRITY to always keep the breed moderate and diverse in looks and Excellent in temperament in utility.
This has been corrupted to a point that the simple solutions you propose will not affect anything, until the mindset on color, gait, and utility is altered by Breeders and Judges in this world.
Now my comments have not been incendiary against the SL people, just factual. I have many SL people who agree with me privately, but acknowledge they are addicted to the show world and therefore must play the game in terms of type, to allow them to not waste time and money. Then their are the zealots who are so ingrained in this process, they really can't see the forest for the trees. They don't know and don't know they don't know.
And lastly, the WL line people are slowly going down the same road, only different outcomes. Drive has become more important than temperament...and they are starting to backmass on a few select dogs to take drives to their zenith...but that's another long discourse....lol.
by Rik on 15 May 2012 - 12:36
|piper, I'm pretty much a s/l person and I have no issue with anything said here and disagree with very little of it. As far as I'm concerned, each dog can "speak" for itself. |
You have had to digest quite a bit of info in a short few pages. A sch. title may not mean a sch. trained dog, etc. But it should be obvious that the first priority of a dog commonly referred to as "show line" is to do well in shows.
There was a time, at least in the U.S. when they were called "police dogs" because that is where a lot of people first saw them.
I'm hesitant to throw anything else at you, lest you vapor lock, but also consider this, the GSD is one of the most popluar, and produced, dog in the world. # 1 in some countries. If just a small % of all wl dogs produced could actualy work, then the Mal would still be a rare breed.
by DeesWolf on 15 May 2012 - 12:52
|Again, this has been a thread I have followed and debated whether I would comment. Here is my story.|
Most of you know me, and know that I have absolutely NO use for a show line dog that cannot work CORRECTLY, or any dog for that matter that does not have the correct temperament that the breed should have. I really do not care for the show ring, for several reasons and I find it to be a necessary evil in order to earn a KKL. I don't go to shows or sieger shows looking for studs, I look on the training fields and the trial fields.
I am one of "those" breeders who has combined working lines and show lines. For 6 years it was my intent to train, title my female, and breed her to a working line. I am one of the lucky few who has a show line female that comes from lines that crossed over on occasion, not for color or structure, but for bringing in working ability. I bred my show line female (who was honestly trained and titled by me to SchH3 IPO3) three times. Two of those breedings were to show line males. Each litter produced SAR k9s, personal service dogs, herders, SchH and Police K9s. When it came time for me to breed her to a working line, I found the stud I wanted to use. I contacted the person who knows more about where my lines came from than anyone else. We had several discussions where I was asked, "why do you want to do this?" "what will you do with the puppies?" and then told repeatedly, "you know the show line folks won't want what you produce, and the working line folks won't even look at what you have to offer." All of that is true! I received some nasty emails from some show line folks accusing me of "dirtying" the show lines.
I did this working X show breeding for ME, no one else, BUT ME!!! I normally do not breed dogs to make money. I breed for me, what I want in my next dog. I knew going into this that I would hear negative from so many die hard show folks and working folks, but I did not care. For 6 years I talked to breeders who had done the crosses successfully, and unsuccessfully. I looked to a mentor in Germany who knows my lines, and who has successfully crossed the wl and sl. Unbeknownst to me, I discovered after I had done the breeding, that the mentor had previously crossed the same pedigrees I had done.
Before the litter arrived, the males were all sold, one to a family, one to be a service dog, and one to a police dept. (yes, a police department wanted one of my puppies and was willing to take a chance on a PUPPY instead of a young trained dog. This pup graduates from the academy in June). I knew I would be keeping a female from this litter for me. When the pups were born, I had 3 males and 5 females. Great! I have several females to choose from. The downside, everyone who contacted me about a puppy after the litter was born, wanted a male. It was not a season for females. At 9 weeks, the 3 males left on their new adventures, and the five females were still here. I knew which female I was keeping, but now I had more of a chance to see if in fact my choice for me was the best option. At 3.5 months a female left with a wonderful family, who thought they might like to have a GSD and try this Schutzhund thing. Another puppy left two times and was returned two times, one person gave no reason, saying the puppy was wonderful, but no reason. A young couple took her but later discovered the husband's allergies could not handle her. Sobbing, they returned her to me. I placed her with a friend to get a reading to see if it was the puppy or just two situations that were not her fault. She was a great pup, no issues. At 7 months old that female finally found her perfect family! A husband, wife, two little girls, and it was a working home!! They love her, she loves them, and she has what it takes to be a working dog. The last two females were visited by several interested people. Too much drive, we decided to go with a younger puppy, we stopped by a shelter on our way home saw a great lab, and of course the 20 or so folks I turned away. In February the two remaining puppies turned a year old. In April, one of them went home with a retired state police K9 handler who now works for a town police dept. He understood the value of a stable dog, understood the drives, and energy level. They have been a match made in Heaven. I am down to one remaining female, who has outstanding conformation, incredible color, excessive food drive, high prey drive, and who would be a fantastic dog for anything, as long as her owner knew how to channel her energy and drives.
Not one of these puppies looks like a show dog. The dam is black & red, but does not have the gawd awful show dog structure. She is compact, with correct angulation with NO exaggeration, she is V rated. The sire is V rated all black, and is numerous times SchH3 IPO3 & FH2, who can ONLY produce black puppies. This breeding did not produce typical black & reds. All 8 puppies are blanket backs with some red and tan. VERY dark pigment!!! Dark faces!! dark eyes !! good conformation !!! a couple with outstanding conformation (the one I am keeping is very good, but nowhere near a V) and all have strong drives. There were two issues that have popped up in the 15 months since they were born. One has a slightly friendly ear, that happens when he is tired. One has one eye that is lighter than the other eye. ALL of the puppies, have strong food drive, love to learn and have been the easiest dogs to train, that I have EVER had!!
Should the female I kept be deemed breed worthy, and not just by a KKL, I have every intention of breeding her to a working line. I started looking for a stud for her a year ago. Talking to educated breeders, handlers, and judges to see what young up and coming males are out there. Once again, I will spend the next year or so, researching and discussing with a mentor as to which males would be appropriate.
Bottom line........crossing lines REQUIRES LOTS of research, an understanding that you most likely will not get a saddleback from a first generation cross, puppies will be harder to place because you walk between two worlds of which neither will want what you have. Would I do a wl X sl cross again? If I had another SL female like the female I did this with, YES! Sadly, there are not many SL females like mine. If you are someone like me who highly values working ability over looks, there are even fewer SL males available to cross with a WL female.
by Ibrahim on 15 May 2012 - 13:17
|Daryl, I just want to make sure you read Dee's post.|
Maybe what is wrong is in us, breeders and owners not our show and work GSDs, maybe no one is willing to do the right research Dee did, maybe most want it the easy way !!!!!!!!!
by nypiper127 on 15 May 2012 - 13:35
|Daryl, Chaz, and Vito, your last comments were very narrow minded.|
Gustav...you are correct in assuming I did not REALLY understand the history (or more like the genetics) of breeding these lines. That is why I started this thread and for the most part it has been very interesting and informative. I wouls also argue to you that while I am no means as educated as you or many others on this board, I am by no means a "zealot" as evidenced by the title I chose for this thread.
Rik, you were one of the few I was refering to from the SL who is not afraid to jump into the fray, offer his opinion and take his lumps! HA
Dee, that was a great post and very informative...showing once again that there is no substitute for experience. It is one thing to pontificate, but completely different (and more credible) when speaking from experience. What I found most telling and encouraging is the fact that you would do it again! My question is why would you chose to breed your female puppy to a WL stud rather than a SL stud (I don't have a problem with it just curious on your thought process). Is it to solidify the drive? My next question would be.....if you get great puppies (temperment, drive etc) from that litter....and you kept a choice female, would you breed her then to a SL stud (again best possible candidate)? Or do you think that would bring you back too soon to what you started with?
I have received three other PMs from breeders who have done the exact same thing as you and interestingly, two were very happy with their breedings and one agreed with the "pot luck" comment although I believe their puppies were still of excellent "pet" quality.