German Shepherd Dog > Hock walker? (326 replies)
by SitasMom on 01 June 2012 - 19:32
The stardard which is on this site..........
The German Shepherd Dog is a trotter. His gait exhibits diagonal movement, i.e., the hind foot and the forefoot on opposite sides move simultaneously. The limbs, therefore, must be so similarly proportioned to one another, i.e. angulated, that the action of the rear as it carries through to the middle of the body and is matched by an equally far-reaching forehand causes no essential change in the topline. Every tendency toward overangulation of the rear quarters diminishes soundess and endurance. The correct proportions of height to length and corresponding length of the leg bones results in a ground-eating gait that is low to the ground and imparts an impression of effortless progression. With his head thrust forward and a slightly raised tail, a balanced and even trotter will have a topline that falls in moderate curves from the tip of the ears over the neck and level back through the tip of the tail.
by Sunsilver on 01 June 2012 - 19:59
|That's pretty much exactly what I posted. I copied it from a translation of the FCI standard I have stored on my computer.|
And the dog in the picture still does not meet the standard.
by SitasMom on 01 June 2012 - 20:38
|The limbs, therefore, must be so similarly proportioned to one another, i.e. angulated, that the action of the rear as it carries through to the middle of the body and is matched by an equally far-reaching forehand causes no essential change in the topline|
One would have to see a stacked photo to see if angulation is proportioned front and back. What I do see is equally far-reaching front and back.
Every tendency toward overangulation of the rear quarters diminishes soundess and endurance.
One wold have to see this dog in action to see this dog has endurance and is sound.
The correct proportions of height to length and corresponding length of the leg bones results in a ground-eating gait that is low to the ground and imparts an impression of effortless progression.
This dog does have a ground covering gait...... but once again one would have to see the dog to see how effortless it looks in real life. From the expression of the dog, I cannot see that its putting much effort into gaiting. His eyes and ears are quite relaxed.
With his head thrust forward and a slightly raised tail, a balanced and even trotter will have a topline that falls in moderate curves from the tip of the ears over the neck and level back through the tip of the tail.
The photo shows the head thrust forward and tail slightly raised... the topline falls in moderate curves.. more or less....if the head was a slight bit lower the moderate curves would be easier to see.
Sorry you don't like the breed standard, but it is what it is.......
by Red Sable on 01 June 2012 - 21:17
Just goes to show how the Standard can be so misconstrued.
Ground eating, the standard says, NOT ground covering ( literally as some seem take it).
by trixx on 01 June 2012 - 21:32
|i am a German show line girl and i must say i dont like that roach back over angulation , it looks sick, i like the straight backs and movement like back before all of these changes took place. and if you see my dogs they are not like the show lines of today,i have a show line female that has the body style of the older herding types, but i guess each likes something else.|
by SitasMom on 01 June 2012 - 21:36
ground eating and ground covering is the same thing.....
“He walked with great, ground-eating strides, and every step he took past the boundaries of Chelm, it felt like his chest was expanding, every breath greater than the last.”
The Man Who Left Chelm
“With that, he left Vetch at the door to Kashet's pen, stalking off with his long, ground-eating strides.”
need more examples? http://www.wordnik.com/words/ground-eating you'll find them here.
overangulated hind legs - didn't ignore it - one would have to see this dog in action..
the harder the dog pulls on the lead and the more of a ground-eating stride it has. in the photo, the dog wall pulling quite hard, yet by its expression, it was at ease.
sorry you don't like the breed standard.
I'd love to see a stack photo of this dog and also photos of it working.
by troublelinx on 01 June 2012 - 21:44
|Everyone knows they cant work. I mean you may find one or two that can. So if all they can do is walk in this certain way then I am certain that they will be the best at it. From what I have seen they usually only compete with others of like line. On a lower level. They make great pets.|
by SitasMom on 01 June 2012 - 22:43
nope, they can't
but don't tell them that.......!
they might believe y'all - i know i don't.
the issue is that many show people prefer the show ring to tracking, obedience and protection and their dogs are trained just enough to get titles and get past the breed test every year.
the same can be said of working dogs who cannot gait....thier owners prefer tracking, obedience and protection and won't even train gaiting and end up at back of the line in the show ring..
i know of several working dogs that have done very well in the show ring because thier owner took the time to actually train to gait and to develope the correct muscles so that they could do that ground covering (or ground eating) gait. the judges were delighted!
as far as washouts - ive seen many - both working lines and show lines - unfortunately what i've also seen are clubs and helpers that intentionally washout showlines just to prove a point.
by Felloffher on 02 June 2012 - 00:54
"sorry you don't like the breed standard."
by Markobytes on 02 June 2012 - 01:17
Has anyone considered the depth of the grass? See how far the pasterns are covered, the hock may be five inches above the ground and not resting on the ground as the photo appears. without commenting on the rest of the dog's structure I think we should be careful about slamming a dog based on one picture.
by kitkat3478 on 02 June 2012 - 02:40
|Sitasmom- no offense but your description of angulation and movement totally contradicts the picture of that dog .I love showlines,BUT not looking like that. Anyone that breeds showline dogs and thinks that is acceptable is really, really hurting the breed . There is no logical reason to breed them dogs like that. If I bought a showline dog and that is how it developed, I'd be one pissed off person.|
by Abby Normal on 02 June 2012 - 08:26
In reference to the high stepping gait:-
by Gustav on 02 June 2012 - 13:24
|Abbey Normal....you are right on the money.......Sitasmom....that particular dog you show demonstrates some work.....what about the many dogs of this type I see that just don't have it....WHAT do I tell them.....a lie?????????|
by GSDguy08 on 02 June 2012 - 18:43
|Out of all the show line dogs I've seen "work" in person at schutzhund clubs and in video.......They all except for a select few had real working ability. The lack of drive, lack of intensity, the lack of confidence, and even the desire to work just weren't there. And Markobytes, regardless of the depth of the grass, which doesn't look very deep at all.......you cannot tell me that is normal! |
Show line people try so hard, so often to come up with things to make these horrible structured dogs sound like they should be that way. Many have even tried to pretend it's normal for the dogs who look like they are eternaly peeing.
by Blitzen on 02 June 2012 - 19:26
|Just so we have the record straight, we believe the most HOT titled female GSD in the US, maybe the world, was a 100% GSL. Sch3, IOP3, UD, agility titles, HIC, TC, CGC, etc.. She was one of the few dogs to receive a standing ovation at the German Sieger for her protection work. Maybe some here don't consider AKC titles to be working titles, so this might not be too impressive, but try to put a CDX or a UD on a dog sometime and get back to me. We also believe the most titled HOT male was also a GSL owned and trained by the same owner. It's inaccurate to suggest that GSL's lack the desire and ability to be good working dogs because of their pedigrees. |
The star of our winter trial was a female HOT GSL female.
by Blitzen on 02 June 2012 - 19:47
|BTW structure is very important of course, but even the best specimen will not make a good working dog if it lacks the will to serve. Many unsound, cowhocked dogs have completed the Iditarod and I find it hard to believe that there are no Sch titled dogs that are either too angulated or too straight on one end or both.|
by Skylagsd on 02 June 2012 - 20:09
I suppose this guy would be at the back of the pack if he had to compete in todays showring. The standard havent changed when this dog was there why interpret it differently today?
by Ibrahim on 02 June 2012 - 20:12
From "The German Shepherd History" by Gordon Garrette
Now I have to deviate somewhat to discuss the various bones and their place in
the overall picture. This is not going to be a lesson in anatomy, other books tell us what
they are all called and where they are. Let it suffice that we understand that any
particular bone or angle in one dog does not necessarily correspond to the bones or angles
in another. Therefore we get different fulcrum values in one dog than we do in another.
Also something that is becoming very evident is timing differences, the matching of the
movement of one limb to another. Sometimes when all else fails to explain an extra German Sheph
movement, consider it may be a timing factor. Timing factors that cause problems are
invariably the result of disproportionate bones relating to others and consequently
muscles being disproportionate to what they should be. Tied in with this is the difference
in musculature structure, the strength, and the difference in relative ligamentation, the
sinews that hold the bones together. e.g. long bones - long muscles.
All these characteristics vary from one dog to another, it has been the selection of
the carriers of these variations through the years, by judges and breeders, which have
made the difference in what the breed has become. The choices have affected just how
the German Shepherd or for that matter any breed has become expected to move, and be.
This partially explains the evolution, the change in style or type from one generation to
another. It is a selection process and is shown in pictures as what the breed has become in
Through the years it was found that some characteristics tend to stay with others.
They are said to correlate. From the beginning there were correlatives that were difficult
to break up in the efforts to produce the desired dog shape with the desired mentality.
For example it was found by Fortunate Fields that the light-eyed dogs tended to
be better working dogs but they wanted dark eyed dogs for the show ring. Also from the
same experimental kennels came the belief by the German working dog fraternity that
there is a strong correlation between the dark gray dogs and natural working ability,
which probably dates back to the prominent colour of the Swabian Working dogs. In the
formative years and well beyond, the German breeders tried to get as much Beowolf in
the pedigrees as possible because of his perceived vitality. This went on for many years.
by Ibrahim on 02 June 2012 - 20:14
There are correlatives that are not as obvious, sometimes missing a few
generations. Audifax von Grafrath HGH, when we look at the picture of this herding dog,
we see a kinky coat that probably came from his nondescript ancestors. He also shows an
excellent shoulder assembly with the bones of the shoulder meeting in as close as one
might find to a ninety-degree angle. He also had very upright pasterns. These two
characteristics are almost impossible to get back together. A very interesting observation
is that proper shoulder angulation achieved not through a weakening of ligamentation (let
down pasterns etc.) are often found on animals with kinky coats. Erich von Grafenwerth
who also went back to the herding dogs through Hettal and most particularly Flora with
her unknown ancestry was often blamed for producing kinky coats. From his picture he
looks like he has an excellent shoulder assembly, the link, if there is one cannot be traced
between Erich and Audifax.
Another example of sorts would be if a dog's ligamentation is weak and exhibits a very
let down appearance in the rear, like standing in a semi crouch, it would be expected to
find the same dog let down in the pasterns, being also infirm there. Such animals could
very well show as very free moving animals with good extension of the front legs as they
reach forward. It should also be noted that they do not take the weight of the dog well as
they land and go down on their pasterns but also seen as a weakness in the shoulder
assembly. The Germans called this "falling
on the front".
With the pictured dog, the giving in pasterns
and lifting other front foot in a flip up.
by Ibrahim on 02 June 2012 - 20:17
Also noticed would be extra flipping of the front feet, slapping the ground
(paddling). This looseness of ligamentation could also give the impression that the dog
does follow through in the rear with an extreme angle at the stifle as has become almost
universal. The extreme angle restricts the ability of the femur to move backward. It is
suggested that the extreme angle of the pelvis allows for quicker turns like an actual
pivoting on the hind legs. If this is so it is because it throws the hind end further forward
under the body but loses extension and consequently drive behind. Is it looseness in front
correlating with the same rear, or all over looseness?
Looseness of ligamentation in the rear assembly will allow a certain amount of
flexibility in the hock joint but ironically the stifle remains fixed. It creates the
impression of drive. (Macdonald Lyon in "The Dog in Action" found that a 30-degree
angle off the horizontal was the most efficient angle. It has not been disputed but the
American German Shepherd has moved to a far more extreme angle, of croup and the
pelvis). Lyon based his theories on the work done by Fortunate Fields in the book by
Humphries, "Working Dogs".
Following are pictures taken through time of dogs stopped in motion as I
attempted to catch dogs with all four feet off the ground. It brought a realization that
many dogs do not balance the alternative legs as has been declared in books on the
German Shepherd, but rather a three stage gait, an optical illusion. It is shown in pictures.
This evolution has sharpened the angle at the stifle and hock joints to the point
that they are almost set in immovable angulation, (known as sickle hocks). The angle of
the pelvis is decided by the general angle of the croup which of course includes the
smooth setting on of the tail but the actual angle of the pelvis as it sits on a dog standing
naturally four square, is the important, relative factor.
The pictured female illustrates near perfect
balance of front and rear alternate legs
working as units. They push off together but
don’t touch down together. Is it a short upper
arm? The back is firm, reach is
straightforward and indicates proper shoulder
angle. Croup could be a bit steep, restricting
straightening of stifle a bit. Upper arm is
vertical at forward extension.