Sunday, 20 December 2015

GSD winner "among the worst I have ever seen" says world's leading locomotion expert


This is Ch Kysarah's Pot of Gold. Despite the fact that his hock is on the floor, he was awarded Best of Breed at the National Dog Show in the US three weeks ago.

This winner is "among the worst I have ever seen," says one of the world's leading canine locomotion expert, Professor Dr Martin Fischer, author of Dogs in Motion, published by the VDH (German Kennel Club).

There has been quite a lot of chatter about this dog on social media - some saying the dog is awful; others maintaining that he is an improvement on other American showline GSDs. You can see his pedigree here.

Here's a video of him in the ring at the NBC-televised National Dog Show.

If you don't look too closely at him on the move, he looks OK - and the American show dogs don't have the hinged backs you see in GSD showline dogs in Germany, UK and elsewhere.  But they do have paddling-fronts and unstable rear ends which become all too obvious if you freeze the action. Have a look at these frames from this video.*














"His movement hurts almost all biomechanical principles of dog locomotion," says Professor Fischer. "It is not only the almost plantigrade position of the hind foot but - as we know from the hundreds of dogs we have studied - it is also the position of the thigh. The hind foot and femur [thigh bone] move in matched motion, which means that the femur in this dog is placed in a most unfavourable, almost horizontal, position at touchdown.

"Moreover, it is almost certain that any kind of storage of elastic energy in the hindlimb is gone with such a plantigrade position. I cannot definitively not understand how such a dog could have been selected Best of Breed."

These are strong words from Professor Fischer, who is Director of the Institute of Systematic Zoology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Jena. But I thank him for speaking out because show breeders of the German Shepherd - in the show-ring on both sides of the Atlantic - must reconsider what they are doing to this incredible breed.

The saddest thing is that this dog is by no means the worst - although perhaps the worst actually awarded Best of Breed at a flagship show.

No other breed of dog walks on its metatarsals. A dog's hock should never hit the deck when it runs in a straight line. Moreover, it has been proven to make the dog mechanically less-efficient - by Professor Fischer and others - even in the less extreme dogs.

The problem is, of course, that it is so very difficult to convince GSD show-breeders that the way they're breeding the dogs is wrong, as anyone who has ever tried can testify.

What we need is a cohort of experts with real standing, such as Professor Fischer, to lobby kennel clubs and breeders for change.

These pictures landed in my inbox this week, btw - the collateral damage to breeding extreme dogs. This is a 7-mth-old show-bred youngster handed into a GSD rescue in Los Angeles last year; presumably because the breeder couldn't find a buyer for him. (Source here.)




Beautiful dogs, failed by the humans who purport to love them the most. 


* thank you to Ann Cardon for pulling out these freeze frames

254 comments:

  1. Plantigrade is a disgusting thing to reverse engineer on a dog.

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    1. There are very few plantigrade animals, among them bears, raccons, humans, and kangaroos. There are no plantigrade canids, so for people to do this to domestic wolves is a real travesty. Just boycott all dog shows. Seriously, there's nothing else to do.

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    2. I would not suggest boycotting hundreds of breeds because you want to change one! That is a hidden agenda by the animal rights not animal welfare.

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    3. Anon - reading comprehension, here. Nobody has suggested "boycotting hundreds of breeds." Just dog shows. You do know that dogs survived just fine for nearly 30,000 years of domestication prior to kennel clubs and dog shows, yes? Dogs certainly don't need closed studbooks and beauty pageants. No hidden agenda, and the consensus here is that the AR folks are nuts.

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    4. Well said, Merrie. I completely agree. As to Anon's comment about how many breeds to change, it's clear that sadly, the GSD has joined the ranks of many other screwed up breeds that should either outcross to be restored, or else just go extinct. Again, until 200 years ago, there were no genetically isolated breeds, and dogs were better off for it. No hidden agenda here: this is about animal welfare, not animal rights.

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    5. This is a bald faced lie. I went back and watched the breed judging, frame by frame. There is clearly daylight under this dogs hocks.These photos are touched up. While the concept of hocks low to the ground are interpreted far different by GSD breeders than I would interpret you have no right to falsify such things. Pedigree Dogs Exposed why don't you come out and admit that you are fueled by pEta and HSUS and your intent is to eliminate purebred dogs altogether..oh wait, I know why, because if the public knew your true agenda then YOU would be exposed.

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    6. Nirvana Dog, a little bit of daylight is just not enough. Face it: show breeding eventually ruins every animal it touches by shrinking gene pools and creating freakish traits. Compare every breed now to photos from a century ago and you will see how damaging show breeding is. If you are against outcrossing and functional body plans, then you are promoting the demise and eventual extinction of these animals.

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  2. The only way to stop this is for someone to prosecute the breeders. Come on RSPCA ... stop messing about chasing fox-hunters and start protecting dogs!

    Chris R

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    1. THE BREEDERS BREED FOR THESE TRAITS BECAUSE THE AKC AND OTHERS WANT IT..

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    2. This. Exactly. The only way to stop it is to stop supporting the organization (AKC) that promotes it through rewarding this type of breeding.

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    3. I would not put as much blame on the AKC, although they certainly are complicit, as on the German Shepherd Dog Club of America which developed the "standard" by which these dogs are judged.

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    4. AKC is not to blame; look to the parent club, GSDCA. The parent clubs in each breed set the standard and provide the training for judges.

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    5. the breed not for the breed but for the money !!!

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    6. That would be puppy mills, anon.

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    7. RSPCA is concerned about what's happening in the UK, and unfortunately these oarticular GSD dogs are the product of AKC breed clubs and judges. Not every club within the AKC has done comparable things to their breed, but too many have, and the system (selecting the dog that represents the most extreme example of a type in the ring) encourages it.

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    8. please read the standards for this GSD , very little applies to this "Champion"

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  3. First, "qualzucht" (tortured breeding) and now, "plantigrade". I am learning a whole new vocabulary of words with which to tag ignorant dog breeders. --- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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  4. Poor puppy, what a deformity for him to have to struggle with. "Convincing the breeders of GSD that this is so wrong" is easy to remedy BECAUSE THE KC should not allow crippled dogs to be shown, never mind placed. The KCs license the shows for which they are paid, so they have every responsibility to stop these breeding practices.
    The breeders are just getting away with murder literally because the KC chooses to allow it.

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    1. The AKC sells blank "papers" to inhumane puppy mills in order to make money and they lobby against animal welfare legislation! They do not care about dogs except as objects to profit from, just like dog fighters and abusive circuses. They are no better. I wish more people would realize this.

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    2. That's an incredibly ignorant, deliberately provocative thing to say. The AKC investigates AND SUSPENDS thousands of fraudulent registrations every year, as well as banning the purported breeders from all privileges. The AKC, however, is a registry. It's not the police, and its only "weapons" against breach of its regulations and policies are suspensions and fines. It is also not the guardian nor the author of breed standards. That is entirely the purview of the parent breed club. The fact remains that breeders and judges can be a bunch of sheep, blindly following a fad started by a judge who rewards an exaggeration or departure from the standard. As an AKC breeder-judge, I lay the responsibility squarely at the feet of these two groups when a breed trait becomes exaggerated to a dangerous extreme.

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    3. Prove your assertion with facts. This is not true, by any means. This is just you stating your feelings.

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    4. I agree with Corsaire...why should she have to prove that. It's very simple, Anonymous---go look at the AKC website. I know for a fact she's right. What about Quarter Horses? They do the same type of severe breed traits to them and many many other breeds for "pleasure" and "halter". The judges are breeders themselves and are breeding these types. A huge percentage of animals that are bred to be malformed and contrary to the standard are sent to slaughter and shelters daily. It's a huge problem. It's a people problem.

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    5. It is the judges that award ribbons to these dogs that are fault. Judges have the right to withhold awards if the dogs presented do not meet the standard or are lacking in quality. Most judges don't have the integrity or guts to do this because clubs don't hire judges that cause controversy. Breeders usually only breed what they think will win.

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    6. Anon is spot on, if the Clubs did not award these distorted breeds there would be no demand, and the breeders would be forced to give a more physically sound animal or go out of business. If you are a "breeder-judge" corsaire, then these tortured animals are on you and your peers, and as far as the AKC suspending for fraud, I don't know, seems more are suspended for a lack of kick backs (i mean fees) than poor breeding practices.

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  5. Some GSD people need to take a course in biomechanics.

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  6. They should stop breeding show GSD and just breed working GSD. They should also bring in dogs of other breed with KNVP,IPO or similar titles.

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    1. Depends. Some of the dogs with titles from Germany are the dogs with the "bent" back look which isn't any better. Probably best to go back to the original pictures and original breed standard and see if we can find any dogs that still resemble the original look and temperament that Max was breeding for.

      I love the look of a nice Czech dog, but it doesn't look like Max's original idea of the dog either.

      I'm so disgusted though, that this is the one breed I don't buy from show breeders... I rescue or just buy health tested ones from whomever doesn't have ruined dogs. I show other breeds, and I'd love to show shepherds, but I am not sure how to break into something so broken with a decent dog.

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    2. It's such a shame, isn't it? I am getting a puppy from a breeder that breeds old-timey GSDs. Straight backs. Big dogs. Blocky heads. Beautiful dogs.

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    3. Cheryl please let me know the place where you are getting your pup from . I have been looking for a nice GSD e-mail glanceym@yahoo.com. thanks!

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  7. I really hope the breeder that produced those two pups in rescue is having to pay for the orthopedic vet evaluations, at the very least. Disgusting.

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    1. my thought too Merrie, and whatsmore they should be stopped from breeding anymore dogs

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  8. This actually makes me feel sick. So wrong!

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  9. I should hope that breeder - if that is the word for what he does - has to pay for the very extensive orthopaedic corrective surgery needed to restore normal anatomy and movement in these two youngsters. The intelligent eyes looking out from inside that sorry mess of a body... It makes me angry. After all these years of seeing this stuff, it still makes me angry. most people do NOT care for this kind of conformation breeding. Surely, if we got together across the different countries that we live in, we could help put stop to it? We´d have the vets on our side!

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    1. So, how do we go about it? Jemima, any suggestions? Anyone?

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    2. You realize that these 2 dogs are not from the same breeder right? The show dog is a very nice boy! The puppy was overworked by unknowledgeable owners as a puppy. That has nothing to do with bad breeding. I feel sorry for the pup but his owners are the problem nit the breeder.

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    3. Anon, are you trying to say that the reason that pup (the pictured one from the rescue) has his hocks on the ground is due strictly to being over-exercised as he was growing? Nonsense. That structure is largely genetic. Nobody has claimed that the pup in rescue was bred by the same breeder as the winning show dog, just that this trend towards increased rear angulation is producing some extreme phenotypes.

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  10. The intelligent eyes looking out from inside that sorry mess of a body.......that says it all and it is the saddest thing in the world - that someone DELIBERATELY caused this and then washed their hands of it. Sad and shameful.

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  11. Look carefully - this isn't just a hind end issue - those front feet (on both dogs) are a mess, too.

    There is absolutely no excuse to REWARD this kind of breeding. Judges who do should be dismissed.

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    1. The problem is, judges are breeders... and there's a lot of politics that play into judging. They just don't pick judges out of hats.

      So the judges either bred dogs that looked like this and were given championships, or they bred other breeds of dogs to championships and then were able to judge this breed too and this is all they've seen of the breed and they're pressured to reward what's there.

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  12. Considering the crippled, deformed mutant dogs winning prizes I won't be at all surprised to hear that a 2-headed dog has won best of breed in the Cerberus category. How sick is the KC!

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    1. that's three headed in the Cerberus class

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    2. That made me laugh this morning.

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  13. Bloody insanity.

    There's a whole subset of humnity involved with animals who just don't have a brain cell betweem them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSk4sapF9bg


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    1. It's frightening that the mentality is legal and accepted in the dog world, it's like a conspiracy of total blindness and IGNORANCE, lack of compassion, "unfathomable" and all in pursuit of a moment of glory culminating in the receipt of a crummy cheap piece of cardboard. But that piece of cardboard is a lethal document because it triggers the belief that the winner has the right to become a "torture breeder" in order to stand out from the other competitors. Crazy and disgusting.

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    2. Looks like you could use a few brain cells in your spelling.

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  14. Just in case anyone was safely thinking this is just an American disease, look at these at the German Shepherd Sieger Show.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf95aY8E7_E

    They actually make a feature of this cripple parade and make the dogs do laps. Much applaus (sic). Very sick.

    I honestly doubt these dogs can run in any other way. It would be very difficult with such broken construction to get any lift and push in the canter, a pathetic and futile hop. Complete travesty.

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  15. Disgusting. Criminally prosecutable as animal cruelty, surely?!!? Especially the 7 month old.

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  16. Not only should breeders be prosecuted by the damned show judges for promoting this!

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  17. We had Rin Tin Tin, now we have THIS!! What the hell???!?!?!

    I'm not big on legistlation over education, but stuff like this makes me think no one should be allowed to breed dogs without taking several courses on anatomy, genetics, locomotion, etc. Perhaps with an exception for people who have certain university degrees in biology.

    What kills me is that someone reminded me that even veterinarians and geneticists fall for this show crap and can breed just as badly. Wasn't it a geneticist that created one of the more recent breeds of cats that is bald, or perhaps the Munchkin?

    These are living beings that have to LIVE with the bodies you give them people!!! They aren't lumps of clay to do with as you wish. If you want to just see what forms you can make for the fun of it, take up pottery!

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  18. You idiots on the internet will believe anything you read Anyone can look frame by frame at any dogs movement and pull out the worst timed moments. Anyone. I have met this dog in person. He is not crippled. He does not walk with his hocks on the ground nor does he stand that way. He is just set up that way for show. This dog is happy, healthy, well adjusted, has a wonderful spine and hips, and can move around outside for hours on end as the breed is meant to do to herd sheep. He has the most wonderful temperament too. Perhaps you shouldnt be so gullible internet! You people are who make me sick. I hope someone who has never met you or your dogs decides from the worst pic they can find of your dog and lies they heard and repeated from others who also do not know you that YOUR dogs should be taken away and YOU are prosecuted. Jesus Christ Almighty. Stop the hate mongering.

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    1. 'He does not walk with his hocks on the ground nor does he stand that way. He is just set up that way for show. "

      I think you're missing the point that it is impossible for any other breed of dog to stand this way and that to be able to do so is a handicap. You can slow down/freeze frame other breeds as much as you like but you would never see this - you simply cannot stack any other breed this way and IT'S NOT RIGHT.

      No one is suggesting that the dog is not well cared-for or loved - just that their owner/breeder is blind to the rights and wrong of dog anatomy.

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    2. For comparison, take a look at the Belgian Shepherd directly behind the German Shepherd in the very top photo. That's what a normal dog looks like. The BSD couldn't stand the way the GSD does even if its handler tried to set it up that way - it would be physically impossible. You could also take any freeze frame you wanted.

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    3. This video shows how these show dogs move;
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf95aY8E7_E

      Every last one of these poor things slopes DOWNhill right behind the shoulders and moves as if pulling themselves uphill. They can't jump. They can't climb a wall or scale a jump. Furthermore, if this were a functionally correct conformation, the police departments would not be deliberately breeding and buying German Shepherds whose conformation looks like this:
      https://youtu.be/rQsfCSFc17o

      Watch that dog. He moves freely, he's upright and agile, and he does not look like he's frog-walking his hind end along while goose-stepping his front. THAT is how a GSD should move.

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    4. You are comparing apples to oranges here the dogs in the video you show are GERMAN lines. The ones you are condemning above are AMERICAN. They are very different. In every breed there are horrible examples. What you guys are doing is takingthe worst example you can find and then saying that is representative of the breed as a whole or representative of what good breeders think is the standard and are trying to achieve and in both cases you are wrong. This is how a well bred american line german shepherd should move and no they are not supposed to be cranked upright because that is not conducive to the job they are meant to do https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPJPE9oNN7A

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    5. here is the top winning dog in the entire country THIS is representative of the german shepherds that are well bred and winning it the ring not the poorly backyard bred examples you guys keep posting to prove your points and she is not just a show dog, she is a beloved family pet who lives and works on a farm in wisconsin stop believing lies and spreading hate and judgement
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--cYy60SG0BM/VTBdyjIF9hI/AAAAAAAAqXU/7h9HOgY40C8/s1600/GCH%2BCH%2BLOCKENHAUS%2BRUMOR%2BHAS%2BIT%2BV%2BKENLYN%2BBY%2BAmber%2BJade%2BAanensen%2B.jpg

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    6. here is another past top winning shepherd just to show you that the good dogs are the ones rewarded and the ones that conscientious breeders breed- so stop attacking the breed as a whole and go after the unscrupulous people who are actually shitty people to animals instead https://gsdca.org/GSDReviewed/abitches/AltanaMystique.jpg

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    7. You are the one who is mistaken. This is not a case of keyboard warriors talking blindly. I have a Master of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology; and I can assure you, this construction and movement is not normal for any canine and is a detriment to functionality. I would challenge you to watch this dog and any good working bred GSD side by side. The show-line dog shows lack of coordination and balance. It simply cannot function the way a normally-constructed canine can and should. Breeding dogs like this is a shame. It's indefensible. The experts in locomotion have already proven that this construction is inefficient.

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    8. To anon at 19:05: the dog in that video is not an American line dog. It's Dingo - West German showline (well, as it was when this video was shot in the 1980s).Dingo whelped in 1978. You won't see any dogs like him in the show-ring today. Anywhere. If the mis-shaping of the GSD had stopped with Dingo, there wouldn't be the outcry there is today. Sadly, it didn't.

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    9. To Anon at 19:12: look at Altana Mystiques rear right leg. Different dog; same problem.

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    10. Atwater, I would say that even Rocco has a bit too much slope and weakening of the rear, even though he's waaaay better than the hopelessly crippled creatures on this page and in the other video link.

      I'd say THIS is an example of good basic structure in a pet GSD... Not an ideal example of owner behaviour but at least that dog CAN jump onto the counter! And from a standing start! It's because of those lovely square anatomical hips and level topline that power him as nature intended: https://youtu.be/ve4lgP-Yz_Q

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    11. I run a canine rehab clinic and have done for over a decade. We see so many young GSD's in with the same hock problem. I have asked many breeders why they are bred that way now as they never used to be. None can tell me the answer. Maybe you can enlighten me

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    12. Let's just take a moment to look at the video of Westminster and the dog who won Westminster this year... and let's remember that to get into Westminster you have to be in the top, what is it, 20 of the dogs in the states?

      Especially telling is the down and back... you can see the hocks rubbing together. There's no other breed where that would be ok. Border collies are the only other dogs that I can think of that slink when they herd and their hocks are not allowed to do that when they're shown.

      Video: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/videos/Breed%20Judging/2015/Herding/pid:cJRoIuChPeH_

      Picture of winner. Please cry at how low that hock is: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2015/photos/breed/DN33397401.html

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    13. Christina D., dear lord and look at the Westminster winner's pasterns! That looks painful.

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    14. Did any of you take into account how the young owner of this dog must feel hearing you say these horrible things about her beloved pet? Or do you all just blindly follow the AR people and think no one should breed ever! You know that their goal is to end pet ownership. How about you think about this girls feelings and climb back into your holes of petty jealousy and hatred.

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    15. Anon, you are using a strawman argument. Nobody here wants purebred dogs to not exist anymore. We all love dogs - that is why we're here discussing these issues. We want purebred dogs to continue to flourish, albeit in healthier bodies, such that they may lead longer, pain-free, active lives. Personally, I despise the AR agenda. And personally, I think it's a shame if the owner cannot look past their own pride and truly see the arguments we are presenting. I am more concerned with the well-being of this breed and its continued existence than with an individual owner's feelings. Wouldn't you agree that the dogs are more important than any of our own emotions? I would in fact be thrilled to engage with this young owner and discuss functionality as it relates to structure. The goal here is not to make anyone feel bad, but rather education - bringing up important issues that are worthy of rational debate.

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    16. Anon 23:12, 23:36. The young owner of the dog has an opportunity now to look at her dog objectively. She won't love him less, treat him differently, but will come to understand that a dog that uses it's hocks in the same way it would use it's foot is abnormal. Hocks are for propelling forward not to be rested upon. At 17 she is impressionable, innocent, a person beginning life and during that life she would hope to have GSDs by her side. That is good, for youngsters to become involved in another creature's wellbeing is a wonderful privilege, not to be undertaken lightly. So she will see other dogs owned by influential people being shown and winning with the same deformity as her own dog and think it is ok. I was influenced, others are and will be influenced, we copy, we are human beings, survival is to do with copying and staying within the pack, we believe that if we do not we run into a cul de sac. BUT that isn't the case, if we SEE something is wrong we must SAY it is wrong. The youngsters will relook at her dog, she loves him and if she comes to understand that his life may be shortened and painfully compromised she will not want that for her dog. She will become the new voice of GSD's, she will start to use her eyes and ears, she will not use her dog at stud, she will want better and normal skeletal structures for her dogs to come in the future. Yes, I am upset for her, she believes she has perfection from a showing aspect, she does not, he is crippled, however, she does have perfection for owning a wonderful noble loyal dog who happens to be her best friend and dog.

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  19. This dog is not abused or tortured he is the happiest dog in the world, loved and spoiled by his owner and her daughter. He is healthy, well adjusted, cared for and is in wonderful shape. How about you jerks focus on people that ACTUALLY abuse animals.

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    1. This is abuse. The dog is "happy" because dogs are stoic. This dog can never move like a normal dog, never run like a normal dog, but hey, it wins prizes so it must be right.

      The issue is INSTUTIONALIZED ABUSE, the sort that is banal, that is celebrated, and defended (as you're doing).

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    2. Do you live at the persons house and see how they treat their dogs?? Then how do you know their dog doesnt run and play like a normal dog?

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    3. And unknown 20:35 you do? You live there and you know their dog does run and play like a normal dog? As explained by previous contributors it is absolutely abnormal, a deformity, irregular, for a dog to use it's hocks as a platform. A dog uses it's hocks to propel itself forward not rest on. It looks horrible, painful, and it's wicked to inflict such a deformity. Look into the eyes of those 7 month "kangaroo" GSDs and tell me you feel no sorrow at the disability and the weeks of therapy and ops they will have to endure to become "normal". Stop defending the grossness of these breeding practices and if you are in GSD try and make others see what we see. Please, for the dogs.

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    4. The dog doesn't run and play like a normal dog...because it is NOT a normal dog. By its inherent structure it cannot! It undoubtedly does the best it can, but there will be differences in how it moves due to its abnormal structure. And those differences cause the dog to use more energy and put wear on its bones and joints to a greater degree than a normal dog. Not defensible. Why not just breed normal dogs!?

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    5. lets see if you're running away from the police and this dog is chasing you do you have even a hairs breathe of a chance LOL no you don't.. but truly I would love to see it without "bite suit" you would be "down and dirty" in two seconds flat and crying but but I thought it could not run LOL

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    6. I'm sure it could chase you down, and I am sure it can run to a point, can it run as well as a dog with better conformation - probably not. However, the issue here is the lasting damage done by breeding this kind of exaggerated conformation.
      A dog should have 13 good years....not 4 or 5 at the best.

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    7. If you're talking about Ch Kysarah's Pot of Shit? It's more likely to trip over its collapsed criss crossing cow hocks and hit the dirt than catch anyone. Not to say it might not be willing if trained but very very unlikely able to be trained. It wouldn't make the 2meter hurdle never mind the slanted six foot wall.....basic Shutzhund stuff.

      It's just all so sad that this magnificent breed has been reduced to this bizarre man made freak.

      It's not that you can't find decent working bred and structured GSDs of course, but that any animal has to suffer this indignity and handicap put on them by humans is just sickening.

      Not maybe to the same degree or effect but it will happen to other breeds if not enough noise is made about it. Breeds like the Rhodesian Ridgeback where heavy emphasis is placed on the extended trot are already showing signs. Crowds go mad for it in the ring, bursting out in dumb applause. Great Danes are already in trouble as a result. The pelvis ends up tipped too strongly downwards and the back legs go for a ball of crap, cow hocks and spastic angles are the result. The stifle goes out the hocks go in, no where else for them to go.

      This is not the way to breed or judge dogs. Too much emphasis on a showy/flashy movement comes at the price of the whole dog. This is completely besides the fact that as a breed they have absolutely no use for such movement at all.

      Thank heavens you can ask a horse to sit and extend briefly without resorting to breeding cripples. Though there will come a time Im almost sure....IMO it's likely to come from the Dutch who already produce some extreme inbred dressage horses and studs with some very questionable pelvises and joints. Brother sister stuff, it's pure greed. I think cloning would be even be better than this.

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  20. I had a GSD who came from a reputable breeder back in the 80's who had this same problem and only live 2 years. He had a bone infection that spread to his heart and we paid thousadns of dollars on oprthopaedic surgeries as well as heart surgery. Since then, I haven't owned one because of the dissatisfaction as well as the noticeable deformities within the breeding. I currently own 2 Belgian Malinois Rescues with no hip problems, heart disease or derformities. I will never trust another GSD breeder again.

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    1. I have a GSD Belgian Malinois cross. IMO he looks like a GSD should look

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    2. Anon Sarah made a similar point, pointing to the Malinois in the picture next to the sad crock of.....the name just irks me hugely. It does just make your jaw drop.

      That Malinois couldn't even get its back legs into that position even if it was forced, something would break.

      I also had an exceptional GSD cross, with a Rottweiler. His mother wasn't the brachy type you see in the show ring either but from good working dogs with proper heads. He was enormous and strong and healthy, his own head was just like this poor dog above. He was also long lived which is something almost unheard of these days. It does make you want to weep.

      That video someone sent of the wolf is such a bless relief. You can see how much contained power and possibility there is. It's joints, the whole animal, like a loaded spring. Slightly arched back, it could almost have wings, exceptional athletic energy housed in that loping frame.

      Why can we not even learn from nature about these simple things.



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    3. Yeah.
      Honestly, structure wise, I don't see why GSDs have to be different to the Dutch or Belgian Shepherds, after all, they are just variants (from their respective countries) of the same type of dog, yet when one compares them, the GSD is the "odd man out" of the group, working line dogs included.

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  21. First thing one should do when presenting an article condemning someone else from the position of expertise is to get their information correct when pointing to a Sponsor. Not saying this GSD isn't a crap breeding, because it obviously is. But if you don't want to get sued for maligning a brand name such as Pedigree (who has a seriously big legal budget) , you may want to change the brand to Purina ProPlan, since they were the sponsor as noted in the actual photo you posted.

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    1. I take it you are new to the blog Dennis? The Pedigree in Pedigree Dogs Exposed refers to purebred or pedigreed dogs. It's the term used in the UK. Nothing to do with the dog-food brand.

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  22. The Breeders are are where this starts, but the real blame should be put on the judges. They are truly the ones to blame for this. They have destroyed the German Shepard, Doberman and countless other breeds with there stupidity, not to mention that any ethical breeder would not produce such animals if they were at all interested in the betterment of the breed.

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    1. So true, if this "look" didn't win, they wouldn't breed for it. It's not GSDs it several breeds. I've been watching and attending dog shows for years. I see fat, not muscled, labs in the ring, Border Collies that look like clones (all black and white and most couldn't work if they tried) with gay tails instead of straight out or down, paddle foot GSDs (flippy floppy front feet), etc. If it wins, you breed for it.

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    2. Dog show judges are somewhat helpless when it comes to stopping exaggerated breeding. Let's say that the judge arrives at the show to see nothing but crappy GSDs like this NDS winner. What can he/she do? AKC rules do not require him to give any ribbons, and he could also give a 2nd place ribbon so nobody gets 1st and nobody gets championship points. These are allowed, but I've never seen or heard of a judge doing it in the 35+ years I've been involved with AKC sports, including conformation.

      Why? Because any judge that would dare to do it would be blackballed for life--not only by that breed community, but most likely by all breeders and all clubs that hire judges years in advance for shows. They simply would get no more work, and the clubs would go back to hiring people who won't "embarrass" their club members and attendees.

      Sadly, the only way for this to work would be to have ALL judges pretty much unanimously decide to start enforcing this. I think the best way to do this is to have judges' education clinics at national specialties pointing out exaggerations that should be heavily faulted.

      On the other side, I've heard judges say that if nobody brings a correct dog to the show, they have to work with what they have. Many judges would love to see the smooth, working Border Collie types with prick ears, but every dog in the ring is a fluffy, dome-headed, tipped-ear dog like my own (neutered, never-bred) champion BC.

      One thing I've been doing is telling everybody I see with an intact working type or agility BC to enter their dog in conformation. Once these dogs get in the ring, I'm hopeful that most judges will choose them over the overdone conformation version. However, AKC showing is often about what pro handler is holding the leash rather than the quality of the dog...

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    3. Why do you think just because a Border Collie has coat that it couldn't work in the field? Another stupid comment by a uneducated 'expert' sigh.

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    4. SKY, judges do not have to award prizes if they feel that the entry is poor quality. It's a fact. However, people are greedy for money and greedy for success, so it would take a very strong honest character to withhold awards. These judges are very rare and probably in the current situation probably non existent. KCs, judges, exhibitors are all compliant in allowing this torture breeding, and at the centre of this vile denial is money and power. Horrible for such a proud and noble breed.

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  23. I have seen the candid (and also the posed) photos of this dog on the breeder's website & facebook page. His movement in all those photos is NOT normal, unless you accept the travesty that is the AKC conformation GSD as "normal".

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    1. You shouldn't judge a dog by photos you should see them in person and have your hands on them in real life- this is everyone here's problem

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    2. Anon, I've seen plenty of show-bred GSDs in the flesh, as well as plenty of working-bred GSDs, other purebreds at shows, in my everyday life, etc., along with plenty of mixed breeds. The photos you see are not misrepresentative of the dogs in the flesh. That's an oft-used excuse I've heard from every one of the modern showline GSD defenders. Sorry - photography, barring photoshop, is a fairly accurate way to judge structure. You CANNOT make a normally-constructed dog stand or move like what we see here. It's not physically possible, and for good reason.

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  24. I do wonder if these deformities come about because it has been given a name "flying trot". And the exhibitors who do not understand the skeleton of a dog will follow the twit who uses the term and breed "for the same look". It was the same in my time of showing dogs, aka, "line breeding" we said it and did it without realising the real effect, we do today and accept the hard truth that we were ignorant, aka loss of genetic diversity and horrible inbreeding deformities. "Flying trot" sounds good, word bytes it seems, can be devastating and damaging both to humans and species in which we become interested and involved. If the deformity was called "Disabling Trot" the effect on GSDs would be rare and deemed to be 100% undesirable and the people who deny deformity in GSDs today "as a flying trot" would admit to seeing the deformity and want it eliminated asap.

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    1. The "twit" that called it a flying trot was Capt Max von Stephanitz...

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    2. Anon, but the flying trot of today's showline GSDs would be utterly unrecognizable to the founder of the breed. It's not even a trot. And there's no "flying" - I think it originally referred to a moment of suspension, as is seen with any other trotting dog? The only "flying" that occurs is around the ring, because that's the only pace at which you cannot tell for certain that the dog is a completely unbalanced mess!

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    3. It is very well described in In Word and Picture, he called it a flying trot and yes, it refers to suspension. I'm of course referring to a properly built, well structured dog with proper movement, the movement the breed founder described in detail. I appreciate a properly structured dog no matter what its background is. There are many, many properly structured GSDs from all backgrounds.

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    4. Whatever max von Spephanitz was, you couldn´t call him a twit. He found a type of extremely intelligent, fast and cooperative sheep herders anf lost his heart. The rest of his life, he spent making up a breed that he hoped would preserve and develope the abilities of those working dogs. And - yes, there is something you might call "flying trot". I have the great delight of watching it daily in an ageing, working type GSD who spent years of his life on a chain. Now, nearly eleven, he goes for long daily walks. Despite his age and his history, he moves now with a kind of effortless, economical grace which the poor Westminster winner could never attain - he does not have the anatomy necessary for it. So, why do the show people refer to run-on-hocks as a "flying trot"? Probable answer: they never saw the real thing. Or they don´t recognize it if they see it.

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  25. A GSD policedog from a 1965 video ...
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzSEgxJLWoeHY3ZhTE1TQVEtR2s/view

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    1. Exactly, pmcgee. Thanks for posting that.

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  26. http://36.media.tumblr.com/10af2b49059b68078b4427f69727444c/tumblr_no0l1oWuR41tv8nwjo1_1280.jpg

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  27. Some years ago I saw an @ 3 month-old high-line GSD pup at a trainers' conference that was as bad as, or perhaps worse than, the pup in your photos above. Puppy couldn't walk -- he sort of flopped about akimbo -- and whenever his owner would stop moving for a second he'd collapse to the ground.

    Owner was unaware that the pup had any kind of problem, and was VERY proud of the many thousands of dollars she'd spent to buy him, and of the fact that the whole litter had been exported from Germany and sold in the US.

    Of course it was. That breeder was running a mint breeding for export, where he'd never have to see the cripples he was manufacturing in his qualzucht factory.

    I was reminded of the breeder from whom I got my second SAR partner, the greatest SAR dog I have ever met or expect to meet. Mel was not only gifted with drives and talent, her form was pure poetry. Watching her fly over ground in the spell of a scent, or just for the joy of moving a perfect machine, I would forget to breathe.

    When Mel was about four, I met a cousin of hers that someone was trying to make into a SAR dog, and that dog was physically awkward and crummy, mentally deficient, emotionally twitchy. (Not anywhere in the same league as the crippled idiot show dogs from either the US or Germany, but not a well-constructed working dog.)

    One of their breeder's friends was at the same event, and told me that the breeder was "completely rethinkinking his breeding program."

    I objected that he'd produced Mel with his old way of thinking, and no one could possibly find fault with that.

    Yes, but he'd also produced this other bitch. And he was judging his own practices based on the worst outcomes, not the best, and he couldn't live with those worst outcomes.

    Food for thought.

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  28. THIS is what efficient movement in canines looks like. And luckily, *most* breeds retain it, even in show lines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS38wt3HMp8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_d3L4GgY4Q Effortless, smooth, energy-conserving. I'll take evolution over artificial selection any day, and I believe what I see over what any "breed specialist" will say!

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  29. The dog was a bloody mess , disgraceful for the judge to award such a merit, the breed has been destroyed beyond recognition ,Get a grip breeders shame on you all , you have ruined a wonder breed , disgusting

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  30. My friend co-owned "Trek" - JoSan's Enterprise for several years when he was a young dog. He himself was a truly handsome, sound not extreme dog but he did have a really great side gait- this he was used quite a lot. However, he produced a number of physically unsound offspring - some with quite severe problems. I am surprised that anyone would line breed back on him (5-5). Or then again, may I am not surprised at anything if dogs like this can ever get a second look never mind win at a prestigious all breed.

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  31. this is SICKENING! We did a lot of research before we chose a breeder and we chose her specifically because she HATES these perverse traits! Good and responsible breeders DO exist---take the time and make the effort to find them!

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  32. this is SICKENING! We searched long and hard for a breeder who does NOT breed these perverse traits---they DO exist! Please take the time and make the effort to find one----the irresponsible breeders who do the kennel club's bidding are animal abusers!

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  33. Clearly some people need to do a bit of research before commenting. AKC is not the ones that set the standards for the breeds. It is the "parent club" for that breed that sets the standard and then submits them to the AKC. This is why you see certain breed clubs that aren't AKC end up with a split in them when part want to go AKC so they can change the standard to what they want.

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    1. Show breeders breed what will win in the ring. What wins in the ring is up to the judge's interpretation of the standard. Remind us all, Anon 22:54 - Who licenses the judges?

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  34. I think there is some basic difference between the German lines & American lines (taking all the dogs together & averaging them..not picking on a specific dog) ~~ because of the rules concerning Championships & breeding regulations. American dogs get their Ch. by showing in the ring under a judge, like the GSD in the recent televised show ~~ and there are no breeding regulations..only that both parents are AKC registered GSDs. In Germany, dogs show in a breed ring, too, but only after they have passed an endurance test & a temperament test ~~ and there are numerous, strict breeding regulations.. when I 1st read them years ago ~ I thought..'whoa'~!!

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    1. Yeah, there's no set of standards so strict that they can't be undermined by a sufficiently motivated, sufficiently powerful scoundrel or set of scoundrels.

      The German high-line banana-back dogs of the last twenty years are as bad or worse than the American spooks.

      Because there was money in subverting the SV rules.

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    2. I heard from a working line GSD owner/trainer here in the U.S., that those "endurance tests" and protection training requirements that Germany uses are a joke. And people basically bribe judges to pass their dogs.

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    3. Heather, WHY was there money in that? Why was the money not in breeding the working line, normal anatomy, great movement GSD? Given that a great bunch of people would not know how to handle true ability and natural strength, why not breed away just from the keen mind (if that is too great a load of trouble to be burdened with)and keep the healthy body? WHY the other way around? Anyone understands this?

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  35. this is disgusting and a great disservice to this dog, his line and the breed in general. We rescued an 8/9 yr old that only lived 4 months with us. Was neglected but was also bred like this walking on his hocks, he had callous pads almost the length of this part of his leg..Try walking on your calves and see how that works for you.. AKC get your heads out of your A**es..

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  36. There are some nice GSD's bred here in USA but they would never win in the conformation ring. This is the very reason I got out of this breed 20 years ago.

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    1. As a non GSD breed person who owns a breed that has a leg in each corner with moderation called for in every part (Norwegian Elkhound), I thought the bitch posted further up who won BIS recently at the Big US Ekanuba national show in the states was pretty moderate compared to many of the various exagerated types seen in various parts of the world. So not 'all' show breeders/Judges do an awful job of this very popular/numerous dog breed, and judges even forgive her the cosmetic fault (white chest patch). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKazzRhz9-0

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    2. there is nothing in the GSD standard prohibiting a white patch. It's perfectly normal and acceptable. Read your standard.

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  37. And THAT folks, is why I own, train, and breed work line GSD's.

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  38. A lot of messed up "purebreds" get dumped in the shelters. Many will be euthanized.

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  39. I saw the original post with regards to this aberration on a Group yesterday with the girl who first put up the series of this 'winner', highly praising the dogs and claiming over 1100 top awards for them. I was in shock to say the least at the beginning, but slowly and surely through reading the pure ignorance coming from some - my anger started to build. I have always been 'in' Shepherds...Breeding, Showing, Working, Companion and Guarding...they have been in my family for generations and to see this deformity is just heartbreaking. Thankfully what I will say is that although the UK GSD has got issues, which are being worked on but taking time....none have what is seen above. This 'kangaroo' type rear end. IF, someone dared enter a show ring with this monstrosity over here, they would be chased out of the ring. This breed was built for herding, guarding, obedience, tracking and of course companionship....how on earth can this malformed creature do any of these tasks when it can barely move? Von Stephanitz will be turning in his grave to see his beloved breed being turned into a pitiful, lame almost caricature of its former glorious self. My heart hurts to see this beautiful breed being destroyed like this.

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  40. Terribly flat feet! Looks to me more like the puppy in rescue is lacking calcium and other minerals, he has obviously been fed on a very poor diet. Given the right foods to correct this, he will not look quite so bad but is definitely over angulated.

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  41. The only solution is education. It’s obvious that those who breed, show and judge these dogs believe they are breeding to the standard, because they don’t understand the mechanics of movement. Americans really believe that the hyper extended stride created by excess angulation and loose ligaments creates a gait that is more efficient because it covers the distance with fewer strides. They don’t take into account the toll on the dog’s stamina, and that this structure cannot endure over long distances. Germans really believe that the roach back is stronger, like a Roman arch, despite the evidence I’ve found that shows it is a very weak back that is unable to withstand the force of the dog’s stride, and buckles upward under the pressure. Comparisons to horses, and captive wolves, don’t help much. Dr Richter has studied how ordinary dogs really move, but I studied how they should move, by using the wild gray wolf, the ultimate athlete, as my benchmark. I did a frame by frame analysis of a wild wolf and compared it to a frame by frame analysis of Dingo. Dingo, despite being a very impressive mover, did not fare so well. His use of mechanical, pendulum and elastic energy was inferior to that of the wolf. I have published my work in a book, The Illustrated Standard for the German Shepherd Dog. My hope is that this book finds its way into the hands of every breeder and judge who purports to love this breed. Linda J Shaw, www.shawlein.com.

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    1. I've greatly enjoyed reading your entries on your website and seeing your photos and illustrations. Another thing that I think should be pointed out is that *number* of strides is a biologically-meaningless metric to use. The show breeders and show GSD defenders oft-cite their fake "flying trot" - which shows no suspension and is not a trot... - as being superior to the basic trot seen in other breeds. But this movement wastes energy. The metric needs to be biologically relevant. Animals certainly don't count their steps, it's all about *energy* efficiency!

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  42. The statement "The problem is, of course, that it is so very difficult to convince GSD show-breeders that the way they're breeding the dogs is wrong, as anyone who has ever tried can testify." should be re-written........convince AKC ! GSD show-breeders . Look at the pedigree. It's ALL American. Give thanks to AKC for this disaster, not only with GSD's, but other breeds as well.

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  43. The only solution is education. It’s obvious that those who breed, show and judge these dogs believe they are breeding to the standard, because they don’t understand anatomy and the mechanics of movement. Americans really believe that the hyper extended stride created by excess angulation and loose ligaments creates a gait that is more efficient because it covers the distance with fewer strides. They don’t take into account the toll on the dog’s stamina, and that this structure cannot endure over long distances. Germans really believe that the roach back is stronger, like a Roman arch, despite the evidence I’ve found that shows it is a very weak back that is unable to withstand the force of the dog’s stride, and buckles upward under the pressure. Comparisons to horses, and captive wolves, don’t help much. Dr Richter has studied how ordinary dogs really move, but I studied how they should move, by using the wild gray wolf, the ultimate athlete, as my benchmark. I did a frame by frame analysis of a wild wolf and compared it to a frame by frame analysis of Dingo. Dingo, despite being a very impressive mover, did not fare so well. His use of mechanical, pendulum and elastic energy was inferior to that of the wolf. I have published my work in a book, The Illustrated Standard for the German Shepherd Dog. My hope is that this book finds its way into the hands of every breeder and judge who purports to love this breed. Linda J Shaw, www.shawlein.com.

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  44. "This is a 7-mth-old show-bred youngster handed into a GSD rescue in Los Angeles last year; presumably because the breeder couldn't find a buyer for him."

    That is a HUGE presumption on the author's part, and shows a distinct prejudice against breeders putting, in my opinion, much of what else the article author says or surmised into question. Also, how does the author know who bred the dog (that it is "show-bred")? Have they been contacted and questioned?

    Yes, I do agree that the GSD breed has become a caricature of itself and, frankly, I find their movement painful to watch. It's difficult to imagine how they could be functional herding dogs moving plantigrade.

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  45. i bought a puppy from this So Called Breeder!!! look at her page and see all the defects this poor baby has on facebook Kasarah Mias Dancing Queen he is a trash breeder and a scumbag wouldn't return my money wanted the dog back after I had her a year and paid over 2000.00 in bet bills shit hunde is what he breeds!

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  46. Does anyone else see the obvious problem that there even needs to be "working line" GSDs? This simple fact proves that "show line" GSDs are fit for one purpose only. It's no accident that military and law enforcement are switching to Dutchies and Mals...

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  47. The only disgusting and cruel thing is this blog post. This dog is owned by a 17 year old girl, is very much loved and far from sickly. The photos taken from the video were ill timed movement shots. I have seen this dog in person and he is far from sickly, crippled or unloved. Hope you all had a great time tearing apart her best friend and loved pet. Also, since the majority of you are over in Europe and the UK, how the hell do you have magic vision to immediately say this dog is not cared for?

    Wow is all I can say.

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    1. It's apparent you haven't bothered to actually read anything here. The author didn't say he was abused or unloved but his anatomy is atrocious and that he shouldn't have placed. And I just LOVE that "ill-timed movement shot" excuse. No, that's how he moves and you have essentially said that he's a crap mover. Sorry to upset you but the dog is hock-walker. Congrats.

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  48. Records live, opinions die. I invite anyone commenting Negatively on Patrick (Pot of Gold) to come a physically meet him. Test his courage, see how active and capable he is. I do not see the point in arguing with people who only look at distorted pics on the internet. Come, meet the dog in person and pass a valid judgement

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    1. Seems I'm across the pond and you know Patrick well, can he:
      Do Agility
      Jump over a Very tall "Fence" retrieve a Dumbell
      Go on long hikes
      Run and play with other dogs whilst not wobbling or being slow and having a straight back

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    2. Actually, yes, he can.

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    3. And, do you have proof of this? I do highly doubt a show dog, as well as a dog owned by a 17 year old is jumping over tall 'fences' to retrieve Dumbbells in IPO, so would appreciate if you would be able to back your claims up :)

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  49. I'm wonderin', do they feed Pedigree

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  50. You know, I've seen the dog that won at the National Dog Show in person and he is a sound, fluently moving animal. You can pass judgment all day long with your photoshopped, distorted pictures and those taken at the worst possible second. I see a bitter, angry, jealous person who has probably never actually succeeded in the show ring so you attack those that are. This dog could run all day if he was asked to - don't know if his handler could keep up but the dog can move. Grow up, get a life and try to do something productive. Attacking dogs that are not just show dogs, but someone's pet doesn't do anyone any good. Tearing a dog apart with inflammatory accusations doesn't actually make the dog bad - it just makes you look like a poor, bitter, angry loser.

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    1. 'Tearing a dog apart with inflammatory accusations doesn't actually make the dog bad - it just makes you look like a poor, bitter, angry loser.' WTF!? Loser? It's the poor animal who is the loser here - and we are attacking the uneducated and clearly unethical human beings who bred it!

      This is an emotional outburst illogically defending a dog (in case it's feelings get hurt?) that clearly needed defending from whoever bred it in the first place!

      The dog would be unable to comprehend what was happening here and you need to educate yourself on the issues - animal welfare and ineptitude in animal husbandry. It is a vulnerable being that has been exploited due to ignorance and/or lack of moral fibre. The girl will be fine (she doesn't walk on her calves I take it?)- but the dog won't!

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    2. Unless you have had your hands on the dog, not simply drawing conclusions from someone's video and someone else' efforts at pulling stills from it, you are not qualified to comment on the dog. That's why judges touch the dog, feel the angles...and don't simply judge from the comfort of their arm chairs.

      As for the girl being fine...you know this how? Is it your child who is being vilified as the owner, or being told she is a bad person?

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    3. It's clear to see the dog walks on his hocks. None of us need to put our hands on the dog to realize that. Who said she's a bad person? Nobody.

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  51. As ever, someone will step forward to defend the indefensible. Though I do find it ironic that they tried to pass off Dingo vom haus Gero as an American Show line. All I can say is in your dreams...even though Dingo was not perfect. As for the dog belonging to a 17 year old girl, that should not make everyone feel that they have to support the illusion that this is a great and well constructed dog. You must give up fairy tales at a young age...and maybe, just maybe she will at some time realise that the construction is not good, not correct and not ideal for the dog. If she can learn that, it may turn her into a good breeder in the future and bring some hope to the breed which is fast descending into chaos.

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  52. I know very many american show line shepherds and despite you all wanting to believe they are crippled and "not functional" from what I have seen it couldnt be further from the truth. I have watched many of them herd sheep all day long and even successfully lure course (pretty neat even though they arent bred to course game) Just because you dislike the way something looks or have read that that structure is not functional or crippled doesnt necessarily mean it is. Are there bad examples in the word, sure, there are shit shit examples of every breed- even humans as evidenced RIGHT HERE IN THIS BLOG but unless you have put your hands on a dog, seen it in person and watched it live in real life you probably shouldnt judge. The agenda of things like this is to end all domestic animal ownership. Wake up and smell the coffee and stop supporting this kind of hysterical drama and bullshit. Go attack people who do stuff like this
    http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/08/emaciated_dog_thrown_from_vehi.html

    instead of people who give their dogs joyous lives like this
    https://www.facebook.com/pam.martin.102/posts/10206230513940401

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    1. Well first I'd love to see an ASL GSD herd sheep. I mean, *properly* herd sheep. Perhaps you find us some videos? Second, you seem to be missing that it is a top canine locomotion expert that works with the German Kennel Club that has called this dog out as being functionally disabled. Third, I know people would love to dismiss this blog as AR propaganda. But nothing could be further from the truth.

      As you'll find at the top of this page on the right:

      "I grew up with pedigree dogs - English Setters, Great Danes, Labradors and, most recently, Flatcoated Retrievers. Today, I share my home with an assortment of dogs, purebred and mutts. In 2008, I directed Pedigree Dogs Exposed, a BBC documentary which uncovered the extent of health and welfare problems in pedigree dogs. The film has now been shown in more than 20 countries. Campaigning for improved purebred dog health is now a great passion - one fuelled by the fear that those who currently view themselves as the guardians of pedigree dogs are, often unwittingly, the agents of their demise. My mission, then, is to continue to highlight where things have gone wrong and to encourage breeders and Kennel Clubs to embrace reform - particularly when it comes to harmful phenotypes and inbreeding."

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    2. Actually, yes, I have seen ASL GSDs work stock - both in competitions and in the field. As to "properly", please define it. Since I work Samoyeds, I'm very aware that each breed has its own style. I will say that the GSDs I've watched - and admired - move the stock quietly and without panic.

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    3. All of the ASL shepherds I know show and also move sheep as well as participating in a myriad of other sports perfectly well. They are not crippled as you would all like to believe and assume. You people just like to focus on the negative (which exists in all breeds) and put blinders on to the positive

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    4. I'd like to see ASL shepherds herd real sheep not dog broke training/trialing sheep in a small paddock. Like tending 50 head of commercial sheep keeping them in a small area of a 10+ acre pasture.

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  53. I also see that the dog's owner is claiming that the pictures have been Photoshopped. They have not - and in fact, it's totally easy for anyone to check by going to the video link in the main post above. And, again, no one is saying that this dog is not loved or isn't capable of running around. The point being made is that the dog's structure is poor and should not be being rewarded in the show-ring. And it's being made by someone who knows their stuff - top canine locomotion expert Professor Dr Martin Fischer.

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    1. She is claiming that the images are Photoshopped, yet there is an abundance of images that show the dog walking on his hocks on her own Facebook page. Interesting!

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    2. Basically what the owner has just admitted is that she is unaware of how her own dog moves, AND that the freeze frames illustrate bad structure. *This* is what gets tiresome - baseless claims from the other side that their dogs are superior with absolutely no evidence to back them up other than what a show judge says. Go to a real expert in canine anatomy and physiology as Ms. Harrison has done here, and see what they say. Take the dog in person since you are so convinced that videos and photos are unreliable.

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    3. The owner is seventeen. Read that again - SEVENTEEN. She is a CHILD by all comparison. You are assuming that a seventeen year old, who did not handle her dog in the westminster and, therefore, did not stack her dog that way (where are the free stacks from this show? He does not stand this way when allowed to stand naturally) has enough knowledge in dog structure to say what is and isn't correct. You're attacking a child and her limited knowledge right now.

      No one is saying that these dogs are better than any other dogs. If you want a REAL, EXPERT opinion, approach Linda Shaw about it - she will give you an honest opinion on the dog, because she has written an illustrated standard and knows what she's talking about.

      The expert should be, ideally, someone well versed in both structure AND the breed we're discussing.

      And, can we stop and ask WHY an EXPERT of all people is giving his 'expert opinion' without ever having put his hands on the dog? Half the labradors I see are fat, but I'm not so arrogant as to think that I can make a judgement on a dog from a photograph, or a handful of stills of poor video quality.

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    4. Anon, I was referring to Pam Martin's public Facebook post which accuses the dog's critics of Photoshopping images. Not any statement from her daughter (my mistake). I'm not "attacking" anybody, merely attempting to engage in rational debate.

      "You are assuming that a seventeen year old...has enough knowledge in dog structure to say what is and isn't correct." Well I sure would hope so, since she's showing her dog in conformation and potentially making decisions that will affect the future of the breed!

      "Nobody is saying that these dogs are better than any other dogs" - that is *exactly* what the GSD show fancy is saying. These are the top winning dogs, and they claim the working bred GSDs are of incorrect type because they're "not to standard"! You all are claiming that these dogs need to be walking on their hocks in order to herd effectively. Total BS.

      You don't need to know the ins and outs of the GSD and be an accepted "breed expert" to comment on this dog's structure. I would trust biomechanics experts moreso than anyone that advances dogs like this in conformation, that's for sure. It is *clearly* constructed abnormally . I don't care who stacks the dog, it should *never* be able to walk on his hocks.

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  54. I think all the dog's defenders need to brush up on their reading comprehension skills, and look into logical fallacies in arguments. Nobody is "attacking" the DOG. We are criticizing the people who create and perpetuate deleterious phenotypes in dogs. We are criticizing the dog's structure. We aren't saying anything personal against the owner of the dog, nor are we attacking how the dog is cared for. *Nobody* here has criticized the dog's care. So don't make our arguments into something they aren't in an attempt to dismiss them. I have yet to read *one* logical, intelligent response from the "other side" regarding the issue of structure and function. So please - I would challenge any of you defenders to tell us how this structure is beneficial to the dog, and how it is an improvement over that of say, the Malinois.

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  55. This is harassment. I hope his owners sue you for every time you make off this blog, you AR nut job. Its not that you have a problem with this dog, you're using uneducated anger to bring attention to your views, which are anti-breeding and Anti-ownership.

    Tell me, what are Dr. Fischer's credentials that make him so much of an expert than everyone else?

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    1. http://www.vdh.de/en/shop/dogs-in-motion/

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    2. It would be interesting if JH was sued. Then the people in question would really have to prove that what is being said is wrong in a court dealing with facts, with witnesses qualified to actually make judgements such as Dr. Fischer. Personally I do not doubt the outcome.

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  56. I have never met an expert who would offer an opinion off of a video. As a matter of fact it is well known that photos are unreliable and to make a true evaluation the dog/horse/cow whatever must be seen in person.

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  57. Reading these "expert" comments becomes very tiresome. I'm an owner but not a breeder of German Shepherd show dogs. Never have had and don't anticipate any joint, muscle or skeletal issues with my dogs because the real experts of this breed are doing a good job keeping the line clean while you fools waste everyone's time with your little blog. The so called doctor on here is more than welcome to come to Pittsburgh and monitor my dogs as they run circles around your so called properly bred dogs. We can do this for the next ten years and I guarantee you my dogs will be in good health while your dogs deteriorate trying to keep up.

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    1. Good to hear that there are responsible breeders of GSDs, here and overseas. Show us a video, it would be good to see some healthy GSDs,,, over to you.

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  58. This is a warning you are messing with the group of people who love this breed. Quit while you are ahead.

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    1. What do you mean "a warning" Renee?

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    2. Oh somebody thinks they're tough. Can't deal with people criticizing the breed? Well get over it. Don't breed if you can't deal with outside opinions. As they say, if it's too hot than get out of the kitchen.

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  59. https://www.facebook.com/notes/jackie-short-nguyen/the-truth-about-crippled-show-dogs/10153446638533477

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    1. Some interesting thoughts here.. but, boy, was just *completely* thrown by that rear left leg in this pic. That's a *really* weird shape.

      https://www.facebook.com/notes/jackie-short-nguyen/the-truth-about-crippled-show-dogs/10153446638533477

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    2. Well, just because something looks weird, doesn't make it crippled or not functional. This person points out that these are puppies and their puppies often look strange when young and growing but that they tighten up and change and look more moderate with age. They show and perform in events of function. The GSD is a specialized dog intended for moving a flock in a very specific way. Also y9ou can stack a GSD different ways and get drastically different appearances on the same dog. You can even stack them 4 square. Either way I wish people would stop deciding that because it looks odd to them that a dog cannot function or is crippled or is in pain or even that it will have a diminished or shortened life or somehow not have lasting working ability or endurance. Different dogs for different jobs...

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    3. Yes but how long does the dog stay free of pain? your not telling me that with how these dogs walk they dont over compensate in one way shape or another which can lead to even more issues. That is not normal.
      I personally would love to see these dogs at a walking speed...not slowed down in a video, just a walk it points out more.

      Also dogs can hide there pain very well, we have a dog who got diagnosed in October with steroid responsive meningitis polyarthritis. Over four examinations, two in one day he only showed neck pain once. Was he in pain the other times, yes but he didnt show it. Who's to say thats not the case with these dogs?

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  60. Maybe when you don't use PHOTOSHOPPED PHOTO's it would be more believable.. YOU ANIMAL RIGHT NUT F*****G JOBS ARE MORONS!

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    1. The pictures are not photoshopped.

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    2. Slipping to the lowest form of response now William Fussaro. Nothing photoshopped at all. Watch the video and freeze frame it yourself to see.

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    3. It's a pity William that you are not as angry about the deformity perpetrated on the dog by the breeder.

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  61. FUNNY NEED APPROVAL TO POST!! TALK ABOUT CENSORING A BULLSHIT JOURNALISTIC LIAR!!! YOU PROBABLY SUPPORT TRUMP TOO!

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  62. William watch the video of the dog.. The screenies were pulled from the video. You may pause the video at any point you like and you will see the same exact stills. They were not touched at all.

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    1. you can literally take stills out of any video of every dog and get shitty looking pictures. Frame by frame not every shot shows the most graceful points of movement. You can do this to any dog to make it look bad, that is why dog photographers must learn how to capture the exact right moments in motion to show the dog at its best.

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  63. Here again is the video.

    http://www.nbcsports.com/video/2015-herding-group-german-shepherd-dog

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  64. Yes, a quick clip of a dog being shown on carpet. This is NOT how they are really shown... Every dog there was a tiny bit off. How about you grab some video or the same dog outside on the grass, or running a field or hell, even in a regular ring? Why call a 2 min clip fact? WHy not investigate further???

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    1. hey, i know....why not compare with a two minute clip of a dal, or schnauzer or minpin or collie or poodle or golden or wirehair or setter or any of about a hundred other breeds that can actually stand and walk and trot.

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  65. There's a lot more to any dog than just running in a circle a couple times a week
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206230513300385&set=pb.1191621086.-2207520000.1450911843.&type=3&theater

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    1. Those pictures do not prove that he doesn't move about on his hocks.
      And what's the point of showing if it's not to..show..your dog's best? Isn't that the whole point of this??? Really just pulling at straws here. I find it very hard to convince me that he won't land on his hocks anywhere else but in the showring he suddenly does it 95% of the time.

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  66. This kind of thing is in every breed. I used to be involved in the show world... loved training my dogs and showing them in conformation and obedience. I never cared what others thought and focused on health and temperament, then the breed standard details. It is a total package, but there have to be priorities. We did our fair share of winning and had fun, but with all that I saw go on and what show breeders did and said, we eventually got away from it. It's hard to watch and know what goes on "behind the scenes". Unhealthy dogs being bred simply because of their pedigree or big win is a common thing. Grooming magic, medical procedures, etc. I used to think show breeders were top notch, but some of the biggest puppy mills are top show breeders. It's heartbreaking. So it's not just the GSD. Show breeders are out of control as they have greed in their eyes. To find an honest show breeder with the best interest of their dogs at heart is a rare thing... they are out there, but rare.

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  67. Judges CAN withhold ribbons for lack of merit and I have seen it done....but it does take a judge with some backbone, and most importantly, a judge that actually cares about judging and not just seeing it gig to supplement their retirement/Social Security. The majority of AKC judges are well over 65 years old, and the current situation in dog showing actually is encouraging clubs to hire couples so as to save on a night or two in hotel expenses (which I find very small minded given the gravity of what the shows are for--evaluation of breeding stock--and the discouraging of exhibitor entries by hiring the same people that every other club hires). For years, it was almost impossible to get a judge sanctioned in any way for anything short of machine gunning a school bus full of children...now, the complaint process exists, but I find very few judges being removed or sanctioned for poor work....with nearly 200 breeds, it is almost impossible for an individual to be sufficiently conversant in the written breed standards for all. My suggestion is to stop promoting judges getting ALL the breeds and make them pick two groups and that's it. Become better educated in the breeds in those two groups. I would also recommend that judging be video taped so that complaints regarding those judges that ignore stated faults can be validated and a judge be counseled/removed.

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  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. As referenced below, here is Renee's comment:

      "So if your dog is so great why don't you enter you dog in a show...would you win? Is that the whole problem you or your dog can't win a breed ring so you have to nit pick.

      "I have a respect for the german WORKING line (I'm hoping you all know what that is) and American show line. She was the best of both worlds and very sound.

      "Why don't you all your bullshit out there and enter a show.. it's apparent that the only reason why all of you are bitching is..you couldn't win a show so you choose to dissect each and every little thing. Maybe what you should do is, get a dog from a respectable breeder ...get a real good handler and join us in the ring."

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    2. MAy be a shock but many people don't care about showing. There is far more to dog ownership than entering shows. Even those who do enter shows it's often not about winning but the companionship and friendships developed. These are the strengths of showing but they can also be it's downfall when any criticism is immediately jumped on and put down. Even more the case when such groups can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to the health of their dogs.

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  69. If you are so positive you are correct why not spend some money and come on over to the US??? Spend some time with your hands on the dogs? I am not going to argue with people who feel it is ok to watch a video and pass judgement. Spend time walking with the dog. See how he really moves asses his temperament 1-1. I have ZERO issues with anyone who wants to see Patrick in person. I do have problems with people who are to scared to spend time with the dog because they are afraid of being proven wrong. Pam Martin

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    1. I weekly spend time with a GSD with a similar form, it's a healthy and happy dog, it's not a working dog and doesn't need to be particularly fast, nor be able to run endurance. BUT why breed for this trait? No animal has evolved this sort of gait and for good reason, 19% of GSD suffer from hip dyspepsia. I worry about this dog, which I love, not being able to enjoy running around later in life. Breeders and judges should always preference health and function, over form and looks, this is madness.

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  70. "The GSD is a specialized dog intended for moving a flock in a very specific way."

    Yep, like the closely related Belgian & Dutch Shepherds. And you might also notice that HGH German Shepherd Dogs do NOT look or move anything like Patrick. They move like, surprise surprise, a Dutchie or a Belgian. Like a normal dog. There is no advantage to the pile of sticks falling up a hill movement seen in the GSD show ring. It's less efficient, less athletic, less agile, & the dogs that do it lack the stamina & strength to perform in real work.

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  71. This is so sad. Czech Republic had some of the best German Shepherd in the world back in the fifties, and even then the breed's health was unsatisfactory. It was loosing natural instincts, the health was bad, which is why the Army thought of improving in with wolf blood once again. Well, the experiment didn't work out, as wolves have way too MUCH of them natural instincts to be any good as working dogs, even when diluted down several generations, but thanks to that the world now has Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. Just look up their movement, body structure, endurance, and you will see just how a correct canine body should look like.
    http://czertice.deviantart.com/art/I-see-them-long-hard-times-to-come-443069883
    http://czertice.deviantart.com/art/The-Smooth-Movement-of-Czechoslovakian-Wolfdog-269778864
    http://czertice.deviantart.com/art/Shadow-s-Long-Gait-331199396

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    1. Absolutely stunning action shots! This is what the German shepherd *used* to be like. The show folks will look at the historical photos of GSDs in the '30s, '40's, '50's even and say, "well...the breed was still in development!" Umm no...the breed was quite well developed by then, and your predecessors in the show ring proceeded to breed them into exaggerated side gaiters with deformed legs. I'd just love to know what they thought was "wrong" with this basic, efficiently-moving phenotype.

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  72. Interesting fact...my comment was rejected by the author. Apparently I hit a nerve.

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    1. No need for conspiracy theories, Renee. If you check again, it says "this comment was *removed* by the author". The author (of the comment) is you, not me Renee, so you must have hit delete. If I hadn't wanted your comment to appear, I wouldn't have published it at all. As it happens, we have no problems with alternative views here and the only comments that I don't let through are those that are legally contentious.

      I have a copy of it, Renee and will post it above for you so it's in the right place.

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  73. Don't be misled by the name "National Dog Show." It is a show that is prestigious only because television created it, and to think it represents the best of the show dogs is like thinking The Monkees represent the best of the music world. It's a benched show so not terribly well-attended unless you really want to get on TV. The GSD had a grand total of three champions entered---so the fact the winner may not have been so great really isn't a statement about the breed in general.

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    1. I wrote two posts about Crufts' attempt to clean up breeders' acts. In the first I was speculative and was roundly attacked by people who apparently had not been in dogs for very long. In the second I took a stand. http://janpriddyoregon.blogspot.com/2012/03/eyes-on-prize-crufts-2.html

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  74. They tried to police judging choices at Crufts a few years ago and all hell broke out. Dogs have been bred to specific purposes for thousands of years—recent DNA testing seems to support this. There are still responsible breeders and judges, but the sport has taken on an insidious life of its own. http://janpriddyoregon.blogspot.com/2012/03/crufts.html

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  75. Caroline, you are 100% correct, lol. The "National Dog Show" really isn't a big deal. I actually think that there were only 2 specials and a few class dogs. It's just another show. IDK why I feel the need to respond, but for the record (if anyone cares) Patrick is a specialty winner, BIS winner, multiple group winner and futurity/maturity winner. Since he's not yet 3 we haven't done a lot with him. This next year he will get his HIC (yeah, nbd) his TC and start in agility.
    As far as this blog goes the author has every right to express her opinion (even though I think it's wrong) "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
    IDK... What bothers me the most is people passing judgement in any situation just because it's on the internet. I don't expect everyone to like ASL GSDs, I prefer them, but also would never judge any other dog by some pictures, Pam

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    1. Here's the thing - the author's "opinion" is backed by science. It's hardly even her opinion. Would you also say, then, that Dr. Fischer's assessment is one that you do not agree with? What evidence do you have to the contrary? It's not about passing judgement, it's about taking what we know about biomechanics in canines and having a critical look at the dog's structure and movement. No canine should bear weight on the hock. This is unnatural from a structural viewpoint. A dog is not meant to move like a bear, a raccoon, or a human, nor does it have the structural adaptations to do so without causing stress and pain at some point in its life. A dog is supposed to move on its toes. I simply cannot understand how this is controversial, or how the ASL GSDs who are clearly walking on their hocks can be said to be "correct" in any way, shape, or form.

      Nothing could be further from the truth than your statement that people are passing judgement "just because it's on the internet." People who are impassioned about dogs and the future of purebreds are trying, and apparently failing, to get people to see the light on these issues. And again, we're not "judging" the dogs to be mean, we are however judging the breeders who think its A-OK to inflict what boils down to a deformity onto dogs because it's what they "prefer," what sells, and what wins. That is, quite honestly, pretty awful.

      This is what I think is happening: everything we (as in the folks who support the message of this blog) are saying is being outright ignored because people who do prefer this phenotype, who are into showing, and who have spent their professional dog showing lives "investing" in this mindset that what wins is what is correct, simply cannot deal with what they're reading. They don't want to believe that they might be wrong; that judging might be a farce from a soundness perspective, so they chalk it up to a difference in preference, say there's absolutely nothing wrong with their dogs, and act like the folks with opposing viewpoints are just angry (or AR fanatics). That's my only explanation for the statements such as yours that just completely miss the point. Accepting this information would cause cognitive dissonance and a good deal of emotional trauma, so the information is simply ignored or dismissed through some form of reasoning. *That* is what bothers me the most: that folks would rather protect their own well being than risk it for the betterment of the dogs they purport to love and the future of the breed.

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    2. Thank you Merrie. This nails it.

      Pam, *please* take notice of what is being said here.

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  76. http://www.offa.org/ Look to your hearts content

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  77. Why is this movement considered efficient? No other breed of dog trots like this. If it was truly efficient and beneficial, wouldn't other working breeds have developed similar confirmation? Who decided that this movement was efficient? Why did they decide that? Sled dogs don't move like that, even though they work for hours in harness. The Belgian Malinois behind the GSD doesn't move or stand like that.

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  78. Replies
    1. They were reasonable questions. A shame you couldn't answer them.

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