German Shepherd Dog > Hock walker? (326 replies)
by Ibrahim on 11 June 2012 - 05:39
It is clear to me where we differ and where we meet and that is okay and natural. I can't figure why we do not agree on the very basic thing, so here's a question we all need to answer:
What is it that the breed creator did new which was not available at his time?
My own answer: He created a new breed from existing dogs then, what is it that those dogs didn't have that made him decide to make a new breed? they had good work ability and temperament. They didn't have a uniform structure that is optimum for the work (at that time herding). So he worked on building up a new optimum form without loosing the work ability and temperament he was fiscinated with in those dogs available then, that is so simple in my opinion.
So to all of you who shared their opinions and views why don't you answer this question? Is it because the answer explodes the basis you built on your understanding of the breed and then the results you came up with and lived with for long?
Aby said: You talk about 'reach', but reach is really only a requirement for show, it actually serves no purpose.
Is it true that reach is only good for show? Aby the breed is and was built about the reach, all the angles, proportions and lengths of bones were designed for optimum reach which is equivalent to efficient movement and minimum waste of energy which results in optimum performance.
To argue that present structure is not the optimum is onething but to say that reach is useless is the most strange thing to be said by a GSD fan. No irrespect is intended here.
Please answer this: What is it the breed creator actually did that was different and new to the dogs of his time by creating the GSD?
Why do we put our dog in a stack and ask others to tell us what they think?
It's not only showlines are put in stack, also the worklines are stacked that way.
If one says that our time and current uses for dogs makes the reach useless and standard needs to be edited, that's a point of view for discussion but our breed is still about optimum physical performance plus temperament, showlines are doing fine in the first only and worklines are doing fine in the second only, both the lines need corrections if one's intention is to breed to the standard.
by Abby Normal on 11 June 2012 - 06:02
|Ibrahim, further on I talk of 'natural reach'. The exaggerated reach that is and the extreme side gait that is sought after is not useful to the GSD. He will never use it naturally in work. This was what I was getting at.|
Ibrahim, I have again to disagree, the breed was not 'built about the reach'. The GSD came into creation as the ultimate utility dog. Von Stephanitz did not set out with the intention of creating a dog with exceptional 'reach' - that was not the goal.
BTW, I love the natural gait of the GSD, but note again, I say 'natural' gait !
I never take offence at anything you say Ibrahim, as I know you are very respectful, and I know I surprised you by what I said LOL.
by Ibrahim on 11 June 2012 - 06:10
|I agree to natural non-exagerated reach and I agree to the GSD being intended for ultimate utility, all above comes from correct form + correct temperament , neither of today's showlines or worklines are doing excellent on both components simultaneously|
by Ibrahim on 11 June 2012 - 06:20
Please have a look at this young dog
Just imagine he develops a little more fore chest and little more open and length to his front upper arm, his pedigree suggests correct temperament, this boy is what I think is a good form + temperament in one GSD.
by Ibrahim on 11 June 2012 - 06:34
|Here's a boy from today's current showlines, no previous VA from the past comes close to this beauty of structure and conformation, oh my God, just look at him|
The German Shepherd Dog is also known as the Alsatian. It is handsome, well proportioned and very strong. It has a sturdy, muscular, slightly elongated body with a light but solid bone structure. Its head should be in proportion to its body, and the forehead a little convex. It has a strong scissors bite, ears wide at the base, pointed, upright, and turned forward (the ears of puppies under six months may droop slightly). The eyes are almond-shaped, never protruding, dark, with a lively, intelligent expression. Its bushy tail reaches almost to its hocks and hangs down when the dog is at rest. Its front legs and shoulders are muscular; its thighs thick and sturdy. It has round feet with very hard soles
by Ibrahim on 11 June 2012 - 07:30
by Gustav on 11 June 2012 - 11:52
Ibrahim, why do you think that they got rid of the 6 ft straight wall in Sch. They still use it in ring, they still use it in all police agility courses, the training regiments that really push the dog's utility (and the Malinois excel at) use straight walls without damage to the dog physically. There is really only one reason. You know show, I know utility and performance in this breed.....trust me the current structure of SL is not optimum for physical or utility work. Its not. Its just not between the ears when they fall short (in general, taking exceptions makes my point), but any longtime trainer of any performance/utility events will tell you the type of structure that excells at speed, strength, endurance, lateral movement, etc.....it is not the structure of SL. The WL structure is superior to SL for working, sport, and herding. That's why with 3 times more animals of the SL type in the world, you find 4 times more WL dogs in any endeavor that requires performance.
by darylehret on 11 June 2012 - 12:21
Nothing. He was not a breed creator, but a registry creator, who selected from the dogs available of that time for their pre-existing characteristics. He was a man, not some god, and never known (by any account that I've read) as an accomplished breeder. More likely, a politician.
According to Lyon's book, "Dog in Action", German Shepherd breeders were not able to lengthen the body as necessary to allow for the "flying trot" until after 1930. What did Max ever say about the flying trot? Nothing, I bet. The "natural gait" did not exist in the seeply angulated, shorter coupled bodies used in show. But by then, showline breeders were already putting acute angulation on the hind legs, "and getting a tremendous drive that resulted in numerous side-wheelers or crab-runners."
The longer bodies that more frequently appeared after 1930 fixed the clipping and crab-running issues that were a result of the steeper angulations when paired with a shorter proportioned body length. Lyons was a WWI fighter pilot, and since he was from the time, I would assume his account bears accuracy.
by Markobytes on 11 June 2012 - 12:55
|Less angulation may help a dog go over a wall, I must admit that is presently beyond my knowledge. However I believe the structure of a well bred conformation dog gives them an edge in endurance and in speed. watching bite work of varying dogs I have noticed that the workinglines that were not put together well seem to labour to propel themselves, their speed comes more from their drive and not from their structure. Watching VA dogs do bite work in training I have seen the natural ability for them to stay on the field longer and to move effortlessly. During bite work a few years ago I heard a statement by a working line breeder who said "you can't get proper structure and working ability in the same dog, you have to breed for one or the other" that was a completely asinine comment but was agreed upon by many in attendance. I even heard a non GSD person say how superior his dogs were in structure to conformation dogs. The dog he was making the comment about was way too stretched, combined with a terribly short upper arm I could see the dog dog was having trouble moving himself. The dog did have super working ability, it was a shame his structure got in the way, too bad his breeder couldn't pick better pups out of the same litter.|
by Sunsilver on 11 June 2012 - 13:52
|Markobytes, I often see the heavily built 'stallion' type showlines labouring to jump for the sleeve. I also see them having trouble keeping their feet under them during the drive. I do not think they are better structured for work at all! They just do not have the agility of the lighter, less angulated WL dogs.|
I'd provide a couple of videos to demonstrate this, but don't have time. However, if you look at the video of a SL's protection routine, someone posted earlier, you'll see him stumble during the first part of the drive.
As for REAL work, what modern SL would be capable of this?
by joanro on 11 June 2012 - 14:05
|Markobytes, Gustav would be a formidable JEOPARDY opponent as he is always spot on, "hits the button" first , and generally leaves nothing unsaid :):) Thank you for your kind words.|
by Markobytes on 11 June 2012 - 14:32
Your point is well taken on the legs during the drive, I have noticed it also. I also have seen VAs be able to keep thier feet under them and not have this problem. Great picture, kind of reminds me of when I was on my roof long ago and turned around to see my female ASL had joined me by climbing a 24 foot ladder. I do think a VA structure would suit it for herding.
I agree with you, you would have to get up pretty early in the morning in order to pull one over on Gustav!
by Blitzen on 11 June 2012 - 14:40
|I have an ASL x GSL, not a hockwalker, absolutely flat backed, angulation and side gait about what I see at SV shows in the dogs that place well. She earned her AD a few months ago trialing with GSL's, WL's, Rotties and a Mali. She was the only AKC CH entered in the trial - that's nothing new. At the end of each 3 mile run she was first in, first ready to go out again, never laid down, and was barely breathing hard in the FL heat. I'm not going to be stupid again and start another argument, so I'm not going to mention the conformation of the GSD's that finished in the worse shape overall . |
I think more angulation and a big side gait is a plus in some events as it allows a dog to cover a lot more ground by expending a lot less energy with every step than shorter gaited dogs. For every step my dog took, most of the other dogs had to take at least 2. As an interesting sidebar, the dogs that fared the worst were the Rotties. One couldn't finish the 2nd round and the other 3 qualified but were way, way behind the rest of the pack and they need to rest a lot longer than the other breeds. If a bigger side gait is a plus for protection work, I do not know. For herding tending, little doubt it would be.
I believe Lyons also said that, in addition to increasing the angulation, there are only 2 other ways to breed a dog that covers more ground, increase body length or shorten the legs. He also said that the GSD was the only breed that could move with a susended gait. When stop action photography became available, that was disproven; it was learned that most dogs of most breeds suspend. In the GSD it is more evident.
There will always be GSD's that are so structurally unsound they will make one's eyes water, but still they have the heart to make great dogs. They will title with good scores and may even end up winning some very important competition due to heart and skilled training and handling. However, they will never obtain a breed survey. Cart before the horse? Horse before the cart? I dunno.....
by mollyandjack on 11 June 2012 - 14:43
|Anecdotally Markobytes, my herding instructor has worked with both ASL and WGSL and said that both lines had trouble changing direction quickly and pivoting. This is only one instructor's opinion, however. She commented favorably on my WL dog's structure and said it was more suited for herding work. We are training in course C - tending.|
by Blitzen on 11 June 2012 - 14:53
|How many "modern" WL's could do that too, Sunsilver?|
by Blitzen on 11 June 2012 - 15:01
|Who is responsible for breed surveys? The Captain, the SV, who? Why were they inititated in the first place?|
by Blitzen on 11 June 2012 - 15:04
|Collies and BC's do a better job of changing directions that do GSD's. They move much closer behind than GSD's and most are cowhocked when standing naturally.|
by mollyandjack on 11 June 2012 - 15:16
|That's true about collies and BCs changing direction better...but even tending breeds need to be able to get out of the way of their own rear ends. My point in replying to Markobyte's comment about VA structure and herding was that success in the breed-appropriate tending style has more physical demands than just an effortless trot. If VA structure improves a dog's ability to perform these other tasks as well, then so be it...|
by Abby Normal on 11 June 2012 - 15:20
There is a part of me that feels that you are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
If we were able to select a dog that had optimum structure that would allow a dog to have the necessary athleticism, strength and endurance to properly work in any discipline be it shepherding, police work, tracking, SAR, therapy (fill in your desired role), yet easily settle to be a good companion as and when required, and have an excellent conformation I think you would find a dog not too dissimilar to those such as Mutz, a representative of the universal GSD as was before the split. I think some of the present structure would have to be sacrificed.
I was looking for a link to an article I read many years ago, but I can’t remember who wrote it and couldn’t find it, but I did find this statement, so you may not be so surprised that a GSD ‘fan’ said such a heretical thing about the flying gait as I did, when Eric Orschler of Von Batu Kennels and SV Breed Judge & Koermeister said something much more contentious about the flying gait! So maybe I am not so crazy after all Ibrahim!!
Quote by Eric Orschler of Von Batu Kennels and SV Breed Judge & Koermeister:
“The fast, so-called 'flying gait' which is for example, shown at the Siegerschau at the end phase, is in fact unnatural. Unless with the influence of his handler, no dog will show this gait in nature. In no area of work is this type of gait with its extreme length of stride required or used. The question then arises whether this gait should be judged at all. Could it be that this 'fast round' has been made faster and faster by our top dog handlers and that our judges have accepted this? It is interesting to note that no other breed has this gaiting test. Nevertheless, a justification for this 'round', quite apart from its spectacular presentation, can be found in the fact that the dog's condition, endurance and resilience can be tested one more time.
V. Stephanitz recognized early on that a correct assessment of movement could really only be done on a dog moving freely in nature. He also knew that with the quantity of dogs presented at a show, that this was not possible. However, as a matter of self-education, each dog owner should calmly and occasionally do just this”
Here is a link to an article by Peter van Oirschot who was for many years Supervisor of Breed Affairs S.V Netherlands. He passed away a couple of years ago. These are notes from a lecture that he gave to the GSD League of Great Britain years and years ago, and it is an interesting read. Surprising how little has changed except that angulation has become more extreme, and some problems are more prevalent now, as the 'more is better' situation played out pretty much as predicted.
by Blitzen on 11 June 2012 - 15:37
As I've said here before, the GSDCA judge's ed committee is pushing for presenters to stop promoting the flying trot. Some judges do understand that is it not correct for the breed, but many still think it's correct. In a recent issue of "The Review" an AKC breeder-judge used a side gait photo of his AKC pointed GSL import with the caption "showing the correct flying trot" He added the comment that some judges do not recognize it as the the correct GSD gait.