Wolf Mask GSD Littlest Hobo Lookalike - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by wolfgsdlover on 09 March 2020 - 12:03

My dad back home in India used to have a dog that looked very similar to The Littlest Hobo, approximately 40 years ago.

Everyone always said to him that he was not a purebred GSD and was a GSD mix of some sort because he doesn't look like a typical GSD, but my dad always insisted that he was a purebred GSD.

Please see the attached pictures. He looks strikingly similar to the Baron von Der Krone dog, a famous early progenator of the breed.

https://i.postimg.cc/4d3ttpfZ/IMG-20200301-000659.jpg (Dad's Dog)

https://i.postimg.cc/9fsVthVM/fhgj-orig.jpg (Baron von Der Krone)

I did research on the internet trying to find out what breed he was (I researched everything from Saarloos Wolfdog to Northern Inuit and everything in between across several months), but I eventually found out that the dog actually was indeed a GSD, but with a reverse/wolf mask, so it appears my dad was right the whole time.

The dog was the love of my dad's life. Tragically, he died 4 years old by eating something poisonous and my dad was completely heartbroken. This was approximately 40 years ago and I wasn't born then, around 1981.

My dad says he got him from a student who's female GSD had given birth to a litter when he was a teacher. I'm surprised a dog like him somehow ended up in rural India. I would like to get a reverse/wolf mask GSD for my family.

I'm trying to find a breeder who has been able to produce reverse/wolf mask GSDs, but it's pretty hard to find one. It seems like reverse/wolf mask GSDs were more common way back then, but this particular facial marking is now somewhat rare.

Does anyone know any breeder that had experience producing the reverse/wolf mask GSD?

Thanks everyone for reading this!


by Sersi73 on 09 March 2020 - 12:03

Yes, I know a breeder who does those. Michele George. She will get people accusing her of having husky mixes.


by Hundmutter on 09 March 2020 - 15:03

Confirming the reverse mask IS a purebred GSD feature, maybe more common than you realise in its various forms.
As to 'London' the Littlest Hobo, 'Sunsilver' is our resident expert on this question; she does not seem to be around much at present. If you do a site search for the topic, you ought to be able to find several relevantThreds. I can't make links for you but if you PM the Admins they'll help you if you need assistance. You could also read though Sunny's history of posting on her User Search page.

by astrovan2487 on 10 March 2020 - 06:03

One of the dogs we competed against a few times last year has a mask like that, really different looking but very pretty. The dog is from a very well known kennel, produced a pretty famous sport dog in the US, and was competing at national, regional, and club level for years as a purebred GSD so theres no question it can happen. But out of the hundreds/thousands of GSDs I've seen I think thats the only one I've seen in person that had the wolf face like you are talking about. I can't seem to find a good picture of that dog that shows the face.

by apple on 10 March 2020 - 08:03

Chuck Eisenmann, the owner of London and breeder of look alike Hobo dogs, was very close lipped about where he got his original dog and who he bred to, to get the other look- a-likes. From the back they looked like a brown sable and from the front, the forehead was almost black with a white patch above each eye and lighter tan surrounding the eyes with a white muzzle with the white extending down to almost the bottom of the neck. Then the color at the bottom of the neck and upper chest was brown with a large white patch across the center of the chest.


by Sunsilver on 10 March 2020 - 10:03

The reverse mask was very popular around 40 years ago. It's a recessive trait, and from what I've observed, was quite common in the DDR dogs. One of the best know DDR dogs to have a reverse mask was Europameister Lord vom Gleisdreieck: http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/dog.html?id=5427-lord-vom-gleisdreieck

As for the Hobo dogs, Chuck didn't breed to one specific line. I heard from Carmen (Carmspack) that when he was filming in Ontario, he was actively seeking out breeders that would allow him to mate his male dogs to their females in the hopes of getting some reverse masked puppies. 

The book about London says he bred London to a bitch near Santa Monica Canyon, California. I also know that London originally came from a breeder in British Columbia. Add the Ontario breeders he bred some of his bitches to (there's some post on this forum from someone who worked for a breeder who allowed that) and the Hobo dogs were diverse genetically, except all of them were descended from London. 

Chuck picked the black and silver colouring because it would show up better on black and white TV.


by Sunsilver on 10 March 2020 - 10:03

The dog in my sig is a reverse masked GSD. Let me see if I can find a larger version of that photo.

Okay, there's a ton of photos here!  http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/community.search?f=german_shepherd_dog&s=Tasha

by wolfgsdlover on 10 March 2020 - 11:03

@Sersi73: could you please send me website/email/contact info for the breeder Michele George?

@Hundmutter, @astrovan2487, @apple, @Sunsilver: Very interesting info on Check Eismann. After doing months of research trying to figure out what breed Dad's dog was, I remembered that when I was a kid and used to watch TV, I would watch The Littlest Hobo every now and then and my dad would always say that he looks exactly like the dog he used to have back home in India. When I went to the Wikipedia page for The Littlest Hobo, the page mentions that all the Hobos were reversed mask GSDs. Everything then finally came together and now I'm doing more research into GSDs. Unfortunately, there's also a lot of ignorance on the internet with people denying the reverse mask as a purebred GSD feature, but for sure it is 100% as @Hundmutter said and everyone else has corroborated.

@astrovan2487: yes from my personal experience, such facial features on GSDs seem uncommon, but perhaps not exactly rare.

@apple: description as per colors is very similar to Dad's dog when I described to him, though it's hard to tell from his Dog's picture that I attached as it's in black and white.

@Sunsilver, Tasha is very similar to what I'm looking for! Do you know any breeders who have experience with her type of look and build?

If anyone else knows of any breeders that they could recommend, that would be awesome!

Thank you very much everyone for your replies! Lots of helpful info on the forums of this website!


by emoryg on 10 March 2020 - 12:03

I trained several dogs that had the reverse mask.  They were all imported from the Czech Republic back in the mid to late 90s.   I also imported a titled female from the CR who I am pretty sure also had the reverse mask.  I would PM a member on this site Duke1965.  He has access to many kennels in the CR and may be able to help.

I have a few observations on the dogs I trained and would be interested in the observations of others who had experience with this type. 

They were all around medium size and had medium strength.  Average bone and none had great angles, which may have made them look long legged.   There were no really strong heads.  All had tight feet.   Shorter gaits, but exceptionally fast in the sprint with good endurance.  The coats seemed short and dense.

They were very willing workers, with little if any handler aggression and this includes working through several rounds of high end compulsion.  All were clever dogs, easy to shape and quick to take capture.  Extremely confident, athletic and agile.  I never experienced any dog aggression, including from the female, with females. 

Something that I found interesting was that all but one made this low pitch, fast growl while playing with their toys or when rough housing with me.  I ended up working with one of the dogs for a year or two and observed him making the same chatter while biting criminals.  He was very committed on his bites and displayed extremely high levels of aggression and dominance when fighting the suspect.  I witnessed this same behavior from the female who missed her escape bite and committed her grip to the handler’s waist.

Lastly, they were all good in the house and took to children immediately.


by Rik on 10 March 2020 - 12:03

looking back through the early years of the GSD, one sees quite a few reverse masks, like SS dog. I do think most breeders in the last few decades have bred away from it, so may be harder to find.

I really cannot imagine what a serious breeder is trying to accomplish if reverse mask is the first priority, but I fully understand you wanting a dog that reminds you of your childhood and father. Here's hoping you find a good breeder and what your are looking for.


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