The German Shepherd is possibly the most versatile and loved dog of all times. The breed has evolved to meet the varied demands of today’s society. This is reflected in the different lines.
The European lines are bred for sport and working. These are divided into Dutch, DDR, Check among other types.
The American lines are bred from old working and herding lines.
The King, Panda, White, Shilo are not separate breeds but types of German Shepherds.
Of course everyone is loyal to their type of shepherd. But it is important to remember that they were all the same bloodlines at one time.
Myths and Facts of the American German Shepherd
Show and Obedience breeders work to breed dogs that have the long stride which breeders have prized since the late 60s. Those dogs had the intelligence to work, the stride to cover great distances, and a ‘rock solid’ temperament. They look and move very much like today’s show bloodlines.
#1 Show Stack and Straight Backs
Today’s Show Lines do not have compressed spines, or shortened backs. When they stand they have straight backs.
The signature stack of the German Shepherd is attained by placing one leg under the dog, to show the length of stride.
Let’s take a look at this ‘extreme’ slopped back on this puppy in action…. Notice here in the water that she isn’t ‘slopped’ but has a lot of action. Look at her in the image above, she is ‘flat backed’ when moving.
#2 Hip Dysplasia
There is no proof that one type of German Shepherd has less HD than another. The good news is that of all breeds, the GSD is in the top 3 in number of dogs tested. Even with having so many dogs tested by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, they are 40th on the list of dogs with positive cases of HD.
These numbers are a combination of all types, Show/American lines, Working lines, European dogs, and ‘old style’ German Shepherds.
#3 Temperament Testing
There is a lot of talk that some shows have temperament testing, while others are just political. Any dog that shows, in any ring, is being temperament tested. The Canadian Kennel Club’s dog shows are grueling. The dogs must drive hours, wait in crates, walk to a ring among other dogs, then let a perfect stranger open their mouth, body, etc. The dog must take all this with confidence and still ‘shine’.
#4 Working Dogs
A working dog is a dog that works. There are many American dogs that are working in real jobs as medical service dogs, drug detection dogs, guard dogs, and competition dogs. There are many working dogs that barely complete their titles and then are retired.
Working ability is an individual thing. Heart cannot be bred into a dog. It isn’t a matter of pedigree.
Not all dogs from show lines are show dogs. Not all dogs from working lines are good working dogs. Each puppy is an individual. What it becomes is partly determined by how well it was raised, fed, exercised, and trained. A puppy is a prospect – the rest is up to you.
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