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Decline of the German Shepherd Dog

 Reviewed 11 March 2019 share-a-picture Or go to discussion?join-the-discussion dogphoto

==> All of us see it

But few people speak out

WARNING: This is a topic that is likely to be controversial.

Particularly if you are a certain kind of breeder(??) you may hate me for bringing up this topic at all. No problem, if you can't bear constructive criticism you are most welcome to UNsubscribe. grin

But it is a topic that is close to my heart and feelings as a dog lover (and in particular as a GSD lover). And maybe close to your heart too?!

Further: If you haven't yet read the last two Periodicals, you should certainly read these first:

And the final introductory note:

If you already have a GSD like any of the ones pictured below, by all means cherish your dog and give your dog the best life you can.

Your dog deserves it, nothing of this is the dog's fault!

Now, in this Periodical:

  • The German Shepherd Dog - life at stake!
  • Who sacked the GSD? Why?
  • What speaks against sacking the GSD?!
  • What can we do about it??

The German Shepherd Dog - life at stake!

Decline of the German Shepherd Dog?? Didn't we all always believe that GSD ownership is on the rise? That each year there are more GSDs - like we had learned from the shocking images and statistics in the Periodical GSD Spaying and Neutering?

Well, yes and no. While the number of German Shepherds in the world certainly is still increasing, many people wonder with me, how many of these can really be considered German Shepherd Dogs as they were meant to be?

I am certainly not talking about complying with the breed standard here. No. And not about coat colors either (that topic will come in a future Periodical). No, I am talking about something much more fundamental.

After all, first and foremost, like any other dog, the German Shepherd is meant to be a ... DOG!

Not a cripple!

The problem can easily be depicted with this animation, but explained it can hardly be at all. sad

GSD Sacking

Aue StadiumWhen I look at the winners(!) of the Bundessieger Zuchtschau that annually selects the presumably 'best' German Shepherds in the world (that descend on Germany for this event, in 2013 to this arena in Kassel), then it makes me cringe.

And weirdly, the offspring from these "dogs"(??) command the highest prices:

Winner 2012Winner 2011

Winner 2010Winner 2009

Winner 2008Winner 1954

In fact, the German Shepherd downfall (at its back) is clearly visible since at least 1954 - only it got worse!

Don't get this wrong: The downfall, downturn, decline, demise, fall, come-down, or however you want to call this, is NOT related to the difference between show dogs and working dogs. No: "GHKLR" winner means "Gebrauchs-Hund-KLasse Rüden" winner, or in English: "Working Dog Class - Male Dog" winner.

Of course I know myself that these dogs are no longer working dogs at all (in fact, their only function in life has become show and ... yes, breeding as much offspring as they can produce semen). I saw that last year's winner's puppies go at a rate of 1350 Euro (around 1755 USD), but I heard that uninformed buyers get shaken down for up to 5000 Euro. Nuts!

And that's my next point: Not even the class name in the German "Sieger Show" makes any sense at all anymore! Arnold Schwarzenegger would say: Total destruction - of what was, once upon a time, the prime dog breed (and dog show) in the world. But Arnie also always adds: "I'll be back" - well, hopefully he comes back one more time, to save this dog breed from its demise!

Conversely, in the early years of the German Shepherd Dog breed, and at least until v. Stephanitz died (1936), all was well (he ruled the SV with an iron fist)! See for example these showpieces of nature's (and breeder's) engineering:

Winner 1900Winner 1929

Sadly, like with everything else, many people (breeders in this case) jump on anything that's in vogue - and thus this new kind of "German Shepherd" has found its way from german show arenas into every corner of the globe. sad

GSD sign

Even many German Shepherd signs and stickers now depict the GSD with a downfall at its back.

Worse: Many children now draw the GSD that way, and they believe that this is how it has to be!

So, a message to all children in this world:

NO, this is NOT how it has to be. Not at all.

Never forget, this is how a DOG looks - and in particular how a German Shepherd Dog initially indeed did look:

GSD shape original

Even this shape may be in balance with nature, namely depending on the dog's pedigree - which always is a cross of different breeds of dogs(!):

GSD shape okay

But isn't this shape a poor, sad, and inhumane outcome of human 'creativity'?

GSD shape sick

Sometimes I wonder if the only reason why the Germans went down that route (quite literally!) might be that they failed to get full grip on German Shepherd hip dysplasia?

Because, the downfall has one (questionable) 'benefit' - the legs already have the angle that fits flat into the dog wheelchair:

dog in wheelchair

But is this what we want for our dogs - to be tailor-made for the wheelchair??

Just because the same breeders that caused health issues like hip dysplasia (due to their irresponsible inbreeding, vastly based on pseudo-scientists like Lloyd Brackett) can't get the outcome of their own irresponsible practices under control?

NO, dear children in the world, this is NOT what we want for our beloved DOGS. And certainly they don't want this either!

Who sacked the GSD? And why?

I have no idea. Well, breeders did! But I don't know who started this disaster, who was the first culprit.

And that's quite irrelevant really. Because: Had not so many more breeders happily jumped onto that (band) wagon, then we wouldn't have this problem!

ONE nutty breeder is not preventable - but thousands of nutty breeders I thought would be preventable. I was wrong.

What speaks against sacking the GSD?!

Too much to mention here! But for a start:

Health reasons

With a dog breed that is (still!) prone to Hip Dysplasia, we shouldn't meddle with its hips!

The new 'layout' of the dog puts incredible weight on the hip joints - even when the dog is nothing but standing still. You can figure this out yourself easily: Try to hold - just a tiny weight - with your elongated arm.

It changes a proper, proud, prestige DOG to ... a FROG!

gsd frog backDr. Helmut Raiser, long-standing member of the SV Augsburg, German Shepherd Dog insider, and publisher of documentaries and books - like that high-end The Protection Dog (Schutzhund) book - brings it down to the point. A point of concern:

"Hinten Frosch, vorne Hund".

Meaning: "Dog at the front, frog at the back".

Splendid diction describing the dog's new posture, no?

The breed standard itself speaks against sacking the GSD!

If you are a breed standard sponsor or fan, now sit down and hold tight to your armchair:

Sacking the German Shepherd Dog is even against its very own breed standard, as published by the SV Augsburg, Germany and incorporated by all members associated via the World Union of German Shepherd Dog Associations (WUSV)!

And that are 78 nations in 5 continents, see last week's Periodical.

Need proof? Sure, here's the English version:

"Topline: The withers are higher than and sloping into the level back. The back is straight, very strongly developed without sag or roach, and relatively short. The whole structure of the body gives an impression of depth and solidity without bulkiness."

"level back", "the back is straight", "very strongly developed", "without sag or roach" - doesn't this say everything?!?

Since this is merely the official translation of the GSD standard in the German language, you may believe me that the GSD standard mandated by the SV Augsburg in Germany says exactly the same thing.

Hence it doesn't get into my head why on earth they allow, yes even promote, that breeders sack the GSD!?! Or sag the GSD. Or both. Why?

Promote it? Yes, just look at all the past years' prize winners (see again above).

If I were a judge, by all means I would NOT let a dog win the competition that doesn't even comply with the rules ("level back. The back is straight"). Where are we??

I wouldn't even grant admission to any breeder whose dog doesn't meet the rule book, right?! Where are we??

Why do those daft club functionaries set rules and a "breed standard" if not even they themselves want to comply with that?!! Then why would anyone else?

What can we do about it??

If we want to prevent that this dog:

original GSDRin Tin Tin GSD

via the step of this frod (frogdog):

sagged GSD

ultimately becomes like this Namibian beach "dog":

future GSD?

then we MUST speak out wherever we can!

Nature gave us so many wonderful and outright amazing creatures - then we shouldn't even think of changing them to something like this visibly handicapped frod, right?

sagged GSD

The most powerful measure we can take against this is: NOT to buy our next German Shepherd without having seen the dam and sire (both parents) to establish whether our dog will have a slope/slant back or whether our dog will have a straight back - like DOGS naturally have!

In nature, only hyenas have not.



  • Just two points: Let us not buy our next GSD without having checked dam and sire (both parents).
  • But let us cherish our current GSD, and give our dog the best life we can - because (s)he deserves it!

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