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German Shepherd Dog

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Troy   

The German Shepherd Dog

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=143 )

Group: Group 5 (Working Dogs)

History: According to official resolution, the Association for German Shepherd dogs (Verein Fur Deutsche Schaferhunde) with seat in Augsburg, as a member of the German Kennel Club (Verband fur das Deutsche Hundewesen e.V. VDH) and as a founding association of the breed, is responsible for the standard of the German Shepherd Dog. This standard was originally drawn up at the first membership meeting of the Association in Frankfurt/Main, on the 20th September 1899, based on proposals made by A. Meyer and von Stephanitz. Amendments were made to the standard during the 6th membership meeting on the 28th July 1901, during the 23rd membership meeting in Cologne/Rhine on the 17th September 1909, and the Board of directors and Advisory Committee meeting in Wiesbaden, Germany, on the 5th September 1930 and at the Board of Directors and Breed Committee meeting on 25th March 1961. The standard was revised and adopted by the World Union of German Shepherd Dogs (Weltunion fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, WUSV) on the 30th August 1976 and reviewed and catalogued following a resolution of the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee on the 23rd and 24th March 1991. The German Shepherd Dog, whose planned breeding was begun in the year 1899 after the founding of the Association for German Shepherd Dogs, was originally developed on breeding from then available Central and Southern German herding dogs with the final aim to create a dog highly suitable for the most demanding utility work. To achieve this aim, the breed standard of the German Shepherd Dog was developed, emphasising correct physical structure and particularly a sound temperament and good character.

General Appearance: The German Shepherd Dog is of medium size, slightly elongated, strong and well muscled, with dry bone and of firm overall structure.

Temperament: The German Shepherd Dog must be even tempered, well balanced (with strong nerves), self assured, totally at ease (except when provoked) and good natured, as well as attentive and easy to train. He must possess courage, combativity and toughness in order to be suitable as a companion, guard, service, herding dog and Schutzhund.

Head And Skull: The head is wedge shaped and in proportion to body size (length approximately 40% of height at withers) without being coarse or too elongated. Clean and dry in general appearance, moderately broad between the ears. The forehead seen from the front and side is only slightly rounded and without any or only a slightly indicated middle furrow.

The proportion of the cranial region to the facial region is 50% to 50%. The width of the cranial region corresponds approximately to the length. Seen from above, the skull is tapering evenly from the ears to the nasal bridge and gradually sloping into a wedge shaped foreface, with a slanting not too abrupt stop. Upper and lower jaw are strongly developed. Bridge of nose is straight, any indentation or arch is undesirable. Lips tight, firmly fitted and dark in colour.

Nose: Must be black.

Eyes: Of medium size, almond shaped, set slightly slanting, not protruding. The eye colour should be as dark as possible. Light piercing eyes are undesirable since it affects the dog�s expression.

Ears: The German Shepherd Dog has erect ears of medium size which are carried upright, pointing in the same parallel direction (not inwardly constricted). They taper to a point and the auricle is open toward the front. Semi-drop ears or hanging ears are faulty. Ears carried laid back in movement or in repose are not faulty.

Mouth: The teeth must be strong and healthy; complete dentition (42 teeth according to the teeth formula). The German Shepherd Dog has a scissor bite, i.e. the incisors must fit scissor-like to each other so that the incisors of the upper jaw overlap those of the lower jaw in scissor fashion. Level bite, over or under shot bite are faults as well as larger spaces between the teeth (gaps). Equally faulty is straight alignment of the incisors. The jawbones must be strongly developed so that the teeth are strongly embedded in the dental arch.

Neck: The neck should be strong, well muscled and not throaty (no dewlap). Its angulation towards the body (horizontally) is approximately 45 degrees.

Forequarters: Seen from all sides, the forelegs are straight and, seen from the front, absolutely parallel. Shoulder blade and upper arm are equal in length, well muscled and firmly attached to the body. The angle between the shoulder blade and the upper arm is ideally 90 degrees, but generally up to 110 degrees.

The elbows must turn neither in nor out, while in repose or moving. Viewed from all sides, the forearms are straight and absolutely parallel to each other, dry and firmly muscled. The pastern has a length of approximately 1/3 of the forearm; the angle between them is 20 degrees to 22 degrees. A weak pastern (angle more than 22 degrees) or a steep pastern (angle less than 20 degrees) affect the dogs working suitability, especially in endurance.

Body: The upper line runs, without any visible break, from the set-on of the neck over the well defined withers and over the back very slightly sloping to the horizontal line, onto the gradually slanting rump. The back is firm, strong and well muscled. The loin is broad, strongly developed and well muscled. The rump should be long, sloping slightly (about 23 degrees to the horizontal) and, without any break in the topline, merge with the tail set-on.

Chest: Moderately broad, lower chest as long as possible and well developed. The depth of chest should be 45 to 48% of the height at withers. Ribs should have moderate spring. Ribs which are barrel-shaped or too flat are faulty.

Hindquarters: The hindlegs are placed slightly backwards; seen from the rear, they are parallel to each other. Upper and lower thigh are approximately of equal length and form an angle of about 120 degrees. The thighs are strong and well muscled. The hock joints are strong and firm. The metatarsus stands vertically under the hock joint.

Feet: Forefeet; Rounded, tight with toes well arched; pads firm, but not brittle; nails strong and dark in colour.

Hind feet: Compact, slightly arched; the pads are hard and ark in colour; the nails are strong, arched and also dark in colour.

Tail: Reaches at least to the hock joint, yet not further than the middle of the metatarsus. It has slightly longer hair on its underside and is carried hanging in a gentle curve. When the dog is excited or in motion, the tail is raised and carried higher, but not above the horizontal line. Corrective surgery is forbidden.

Gait/Movement: The German Shepherd Dog is a trotting dog. The limbs must be coordinated in length and angulation that, without noticeable alteration of the topline, the rear legs can propel to the body while the forelegs extend to an equal distance. Any tendency to over angulation of the hindquarters reduces the firmness and endurance and consequently the working ability. Correct body proportions and angulations result in a flat over the ground, far reaching, ground covering gait giving the impression of an effortless propulsion. The head pushed forward and tail slightly raised result in an even, effortless trot showing a gently curved, uninterrupted upper line from the tips of the ears, over the neck and back to the tip of the tail.

Coat: The skin is (loosely) fitting, but without folds.

The correct coat for the German Shepherd dog is double coat (Stockhaar) with the outercoat and undercoat. The outercoat should be as dense as possible, straight, harsh and lying close to the body. On the head, inside ears, on the front side of the legs and on feet and toes, the hair is short; it is slightly longer and more dense on the neck. On the rear side of the legs, the hair is longer extending to the pasterns and the hocks. It forms moderate trousers at the rear of the thighs.

Colour: Black with reddish-brown, brown, yellow or light grey markings. Solid black or solid grey. Greys with darker shading show a black saddle and mask. Unobtrusive, small white marks on chest as well as very light colour on insides of legs permissible, but not desirable. Nose must be black in all colours. Dogs with lack of mask, light to piercing eye colour, as well as light to whitish markings on the chest and the insides, pale nails and red tip of tail are considered to be lacking in pigmentation. The undercoat shows a light greyish tone. The colour white is not accepted.

Sizes: Dogs: Height at withers 60-65 cm

Weight 30-40 kg

Bitches: Height at withers 55-60 cm

Weight 22-30 kg

The length of the body is approximately 10-17% longer than the height at the withers.

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Serious Faults

Any departure from the above described breed characteristics, which affects the working capability of the dog.

Faulty ears. Laterally too low set ears, tipped ears, inward constricted ears. Ears not firm.

Severe lack of pigmentation.

Severe lack of general firmness.

Dental faults: All departures from a scissor bite and correct teeth formula, if not included in eliminating faults listed below.

Eliminating Faults :

Aggressive or overly shy.

Weak temperament and nerves, biters.

Dogs with deformed ears or tail.

Dogs with malformations.

Dogs with missing teeth as follows

- 1 premolar 3 plus one additional tooth; or

- 1 canine, or

- 1 premolar 4, or

- 1 molar 1 or 2, or

- a total of 3 or more missing teeth.

Dogs with faulty jaws, overshot by more than 2 mm, undershot; pincer bite formed by all 12 incisors.

Oversized or undersized dogs by more than 1 cm.

Albinos.

White coat colour (even with dark eyes and nails).

Long outercoat (long, soft, not flat lying top coat with undercoat, feathers on ears and legs, bushy trousers and bushy tail with plume underneath (Langstockhaar).

Long coat (long, soft top coat without undercoat, most parted in middle of back, feathers on ears, legs and tail (Langhaar)

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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Okami   

Hey GSD folks,

Firstly I am absolutely smitten with this breed. :o

I've been waiting for it to come along here in breeds 101... I was hoping to troll through and learn a bunch... But no one has said anything yet!.. I'm keen to hear your stories!

Eliminating Faults

"Long outercoat (long, soft, not flat lying top coat with undercoat, feathers on ears and legs, bushy trousers and bushy tail with plume underneath (Langstockhaar).

Long coat (long, soft top coat without undercoat, most parted in middle of back, feathers on ears, legs and tail (Langhaar)"

Really? I had no idea. I love the look of long hair on GSD's and have seen a few pics here and there...

Do they just pop up here and there and go to pet homes?

Or do some breed them purposefully?

I'm sorry if this sounds a ridiculous question... bear with me, I'm new :D

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Hey Okami I am surprised no one has responded to the questions yet either! One of the most popular breeds!

My girl is a longcoat and she is absolutely adorable, most people I meet in public love her appearance moreso than the standard short coat GSD. I am having my girl desexed, long coats are technically a 'flaw' in the show world, as as a result not really bred 'for' as such, certain lines will carry long coat genes however, and some crop up here and there in litters where these lines exist. My girl was the only long coat out of 6. They are rarer, they can't be shown because of their long coat, but they are absolutely stunning to have as a pet or obedience/agility star!

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What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

this's the first time I'm owning a GSD...my family used to own GSD's long time back but now I'm the sole owner of a handsome GSD...he was adopted by me as my friends had to relocate... been with me for more than 2 years and i'm loving it!!! :laugh:

What is the average lifespan?

the GSD's my family used to own were very healthy and the best I've seen was 15 yrs. sadly, we'd to part with him because he had problems with his arthritis...he was from a working line though..

the worst lifespan i've seen personally is for 10 yrs which's another GSD owned by my family.

What is the general temperament/personality?

this depends more on the way the dogs're socialized. some are timid, some aggressive when not properly socialized. When they're socialized they become one hell of a dog to play with!!!

Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

personally i feel that a first time owner can cope up with this breed, provided they're totally dedicated....or else, the dog ends up with some issues....

regarding the breed standards...

" Any tendency to over angulation of the hindquarters reduces the firmness and endurance and consequently the working ability"

I'm more doubtful about this being followed as many of the GSD's i've come across in show rings do not actually comply. Also, the hindquarter's do not have their legs parallel most of the time....

I'm not being a critic but I want this to be cleared..." DO GSD'S COMPLY WITH BREED STANDARDS EVEN IF THEIR ANGULATION AND GAIT MOVEMENTS ARE

NOT UPTO THE WRITTEN DOWN RULES"???

Edited by dog's friend

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RaafGSD   
QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

first time owner, but with longterm connection to the breed.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Germany late 1800's. Capt. Max von Stephanitz wanted to develop a dog that characterised all his ideals...he purchased a dog that he later named Horand v Grafeth who was to be instrumental in early development of the breed.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Because of their awesomeness :love: , GSD are one of the worlds most popular dogs!!

4. What is the average lifespan?

On average I guess 10-13 years

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Awesome!!! :) Well bred dogs should be highly intelligent, exceptionally loyal, funloving, protective, calm, confident. They have high energy levels.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

They are high energy so need a good amount of excerise as adults. It is important to limit "forced" excerise before adulthood like other large breeds. It is just as important to exercise a GSD's MIND as it is to exercise his body.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

I wouldn't recommend a GSD for a first time owner, however that said, if the first time owner could be an effective leader and was dedicated, and bought a well-bred GSD, and both owner and dog were "well-trained" :) then I think it would work.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

GSD's do much better as being a part of the family.

9. How much grooming is required?

GSD's shed... a good brush once or twice a week is all that is needed

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

I would say yes :( They are high energy and can be very boisterous at times!

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Yes there are, but there are health schemes in place by the GSDCA, and prospective puppy buyers should only buy from respected registered breeders :laugh:

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

elbow and hip scores, breed survey, temp, meet both parents if possible, do your homework beforehand!

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The German Shepherd Dog

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=143 )

Group: Group 5 (Working Dogs)

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Own my 3rd gsd, in the process of becoming a registered breeder. Also handle casually handle at shows.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

The breed was developed to help shepherds with large flocks of sheep. They are developed to work large herds of sheep (100+), moving them with the shepherd from one area to another, then acting as a fenceline, not allowing the sheep out of the allocated area. They are also supposed to protect their herd when necessary, and track any missing sheep. This is where their tracking ability, and protective requirements came from.

3. How common is it in Australia?

One of the most popular breeds.

4. What is the average lifespan?

I think around 12 years.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Very loyal, protective of those that are part of their "herd". Very adaptable and loving to those that are part of their family. It depends on the lines as to the temperament. Some working lines are very full on, high drive and require lots of stimulation. Some show and working lines are somewhere in between, and some are very laid back dogs. They are extremely intelligent, and will to please, so are an easy breed to train when done correctly.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Depends on the temperament and lines of the dog. Anything from half and hour up, depending on fitness, mental stimulation provided, etc.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes, depending on the dog. Some can be high drive and dominant, and this can be used in the wrong way if allowed to be. I've met some that would be fantastic for first time owners, but also some that aren't at all suitable. You really need to know and trust your breeder to give you the right temperament for your lifestyle.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Generally not for prolonged periods. They can develop bad habits such as barking and destruction if not given stimulation when on their own. They do prefer to be with you, as this is where they were bred to be (with the shepherd).

9. How much grooming is required?

Very little. Daily grooming during coat drops to keep neat and avoid as much hair everywhere, otherwise little grooming required.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Again, some can be, some are ideal. I know of a bitch who is so lovely and laid back, she would be ideal for young children. As puppies, possibly too boisterous for infirm people.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Hip and elbow dysplasia. Parents need to be x-rayed and have a and z stamps. Some lines can also carry fear and aggression issues.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

a and z stamps for hips and elbows of parents. Also, both parents should be breed surveyed to demonstrate where they fit into the breed in regards to temperament, quality and confirmation.

It is also important to visit breeders, meet at least the bitch the puppies are out of, and meet their other dogs to get a general idea of the temperaments they breed.

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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Okami   

Great to see folks posting in here :laugh:

Can someone tell me what "a and z stamps for hips and elbows of parents." means...

Thanks a bunch :thumbsup:

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I always get them confused, but they basically mean the dog passes the gsdcl requirements for hips and elbows. With hips, they must have 8 or less on each side, and elbows I think need to be below 2 on each side. I'm sure someone will correct me if i'm wrong, but they need lower scores by the shepherd club than dogs victoria to pass and be able to participate in breed survey.

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Okami   

:laugh: "gsdcl requirements" The what now? :thumbsup:

Are we talking about hip/shoulder dysplasia? (or not)

I'm not really too familiar with the technical terms... or what those numbers mean... (Which I guess is why I'm here :laugh: )

Sorry... and Thank you...

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German Shepherd Dog League of Australia Okami. Yes, we are talking hips and elbows. Just found my girls survey cert, A stamp is for passing hips under the club's schemes, Z is for passing elbows. In order to participate in breed survey, a dog must already have A and Z stamps prior. Hope this helps! :)

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ish   

'A' stamp scheme - Hips that have a sufficiently low score - a maximum of score 8 per hip (out of a possible 53 ), with no more than 3 points in any one area, receive an `A` stamp. 0/0 is the best possible score for hips. The results are all correlated so that statistics on the breed average and that of the major producing sires can be analyzed in an effort to lower the breed hip average and to avoid poor hip producing lines.

'Z' stamp scheme - Elbows are measured for any degree of arthritic change, and are Graded as Normal, Grade 1 or Grade 2. Grade 3 and arthritic changes of greater than 4mm will fail the scheme. 0/0 is the best possible score for elbows. Breeder avoid doubling up on the condition where ever possible.

The Breed Survey Scheme has been set up to evaluate the soundness and quality of breeding stock throughout Australia.

All the presenting dogs must be over 18 months of age, tattooed, must possess the `A` and `Z` stamp and present a 5-generation pedigree at time of survey.

The dogs are all weighed; measured and examined for correctness of dentition, construction and soundness of nerves, ( this involves a gun test and crowd test ).

Class One animals are considered well above the breed average;

Class Two animals are considered above average which may have minor constructional faults, dentition faults. A breed survey book is produced annually which contains the results of all breed surveys within Australia as well as the dogs which passed the `A` &`Z` stamp

(This information came from one of the state GSD clubs website but I can't remember which one :thumbsup: The info is true for all of the state clubs though)

Edited by ish

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Okami   

Thanks Miss Maddy :thumbsup:

Ish, thanks for taking the time :( excellent info. Really helped to clear that one up for me.

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I'm about to buy my third GSD. Been training and competing with dogs (obedience and later showing) for just over 12 years.

I agree with what Raaf, Miss Maddy and Ish have commented about the breed.

MOST IMPORTANTLY:

1.Buy from a breeder who has used breed surveyed parents only

2. Dogs imported to Australia or second generation must be tested and pass H.neg

3. Become familiar with your local breed club and become familiar with breeders in your area.

The GSD does carry a few heart breaking genetic faults so make yourself known at clubs and shows. Those animals from multiple generations of breed surveyed stock are your best bet for a well balanced, long lived, loving family member.

:rofl:

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QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Well, I breed "occassionally" as well as show and compete in obedience. I think I am up to about my 10th GSD with my new puppy.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

The breed was developed in Germany towards the end oth the 1800's!

It was first developed as a Sheepherding dog, that could be multipurposed!

3. How common is it in Australia?

The GSD is one of the commoner breeds in Australia.

4. What is the average lifespan?

The average lifespan is around 12 years+ in my own personal dogs.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

This varies from ones that want to be couch potatoes, to ones that want and need a job.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

A minimum of a 1 hour walk a twice a day.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

This depends on the character of the first time dog owner, for some people a GSD can be the perfect first time dog, for other's they should really think whether a GSD would ever be the dog for them.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Again this depends on the dog, I have had ones that have found ways of amusing themselves and others who are not happy at being ignored for long periods.

9. How much grooming is required?

Officially a quick daily brushing. Unofficially, "mum is that all the grooming I am getting, I could enjoy you brushing me more!"10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

[b]

Yes, but if you buy your puppy from a reputable breeder, who has complied with all the GSDCA's health schemes' for Hips, Elbows and Haemophyllia.[/b]

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

I would hope that a reputable breeder would give the prospective puppy buyer all the information with regards to all health tests, without the puppy buyer having to ask for the information. Note most GSD clubs website's contain information on what breeders should provide to a buyer.

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Astese   

Both my girls have their AZ Stamp and meeting the standard set by the GSDL. They also complete in tracking, obedience , showing and herding so I for one do not agree with having Schutzhund title. The only thing they dont have it attack work and that I dont want. But as far as temperament testing that is done when they are graded by the GSDL. So what is the point! We dont exclude half the requirements but only one little section attack work.

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angelsun   
MOST IMPORTANTLY:

1.Buy from a breeder who has used breed surveyed parents only

2. Dogs imported to Australia or second generation must be tested and pass H.neg

3. Become familiar with your local breed club and become familiar with breeders in your area.

I would like to address a few things separately in this thread based on my experience firstly as an owner and now as part of a home that has bred for almost thirty years.

firstly, having a breed survey is not an indication of quality or compliance to the standard regardless of what many may beleive. There have been many that have said that our dogs would do better if they were breed surveyed, however this house can lay claim to Grand Champions and dozens of Champions as well as many performance titles. All of which obtained without breed survey.

H testing for those that are not aware is hemophilia and it is required that males be tested as they are the ones affected. First generation offspring from imported must also be tested (males).

Both my girls have their AZ Stamp and meeting the standard set by the GSDL

It should be noted that the requirements are not simply set out by the GSDL but the ANKC. You do not have to be a member of the GSDL to test or breed or own a Shepherd, however you must be a member of the ANKC to register a litter/dogs and the same applies to showing.

Tattoo is not the only acceptable form of permanent identification, and many breeders (ourselves included) do not tattoo simply because in many cases it becomes illegible. We have chosen to microchip all our dogs as a means of more secure identification should a dog go missing. We have a dog here that has been tattood and you can not read it. We also chose to chip him....we feel far more secure with the latter form should we need to have him identified. However, I beleive that the Shepherd clubs insist on tattooing and have not in the past recommended chipping. I would like to see that changed and allow breeders the option to choose what method they are most comfortable with for the safety of their pups/dogs.

Buying local is not always the way to go. All too often we fall into the trap that we must by from the local breeder simply because they are local. It is not a problem to buy interstate and many do just that. Although becoming a member of a local breed club can be of benefit, it is important to remember that they are simply one opinion, that has been formed in a coherant group...they do not reflect the beliefs or attitudes of many others out there.

In regards to Schutzhund. The majority of dogs can not attain a title, regardless of breed. It is NOT about attack work, but courage and not limited to German Shepherds who in fact as a whole, do not excel at this sport. The Belgians do a far better job as they have a higher level of strength of mind overall to excel at this sort of discipline. Not achieving a Sch title is not an indication of a weak temperament. Training Schutzhund is very difficult and many dogs are simply not able to do it, regardless of their pedigree. Although I am in favour of a working title to complete a conformation title, I do not beleive that Schutzhund is a title that can be achieved by most, and as such should not prevent a dog from being considered a good structural example of the breed (definition of conformation states appearance and form)

It should be noted that I know of quite a few dogs that have in fact been conditioned to the bite work and yet are not stable examples of the breed. Yes they can achieve a Sch title in such circumstances.

As well, the BH isn't as tough as some think as I've had a few dogs fail miserably at the CD and yet sail through BH. Again, temperament or inner strength has nothing to do with passing or failing...that falls into the hands of the trainer in most cases as the majority of non passing trials are the direct result of handler mistakes or poor training habits. (not all, but more than you would think!)

The same however should be said about the conformation title that should not be assumed is in fact a true test of the quality of a dog.

In the end, a prospective buyer must develop a relationship with a breeder, be it local or interstate and do their research for not only the breed but the breeder. Remembering that we breeders will ask you a ton of questions but in return, you have the right to ask us just as many. Do not take any one breeders 'word for it' as you will always find in any breed, those that will preach one side of a story and exclude all the other possibilities.

This is a very popular breed and like so many others, is also in the hands of the profit making back yard breeders. Do not be fooled by those that use the words "import" or "champion" and assume that these words in fact make a better dog to add to your family.

This breed comes in Long Coats, plush coats and smooth/short coats....they are still GSD's regardless of how hairy they are....They come in black and tan (or shades of tan/brown), bi colour black, solid black and sable (and there are quite a few tones of Sable) as well as white. They are still GSD's regardless of colour.

Like ANY breed, there are lines that are great with young kids, and others that are not....there are lines that are stubborn and lines that are very biddable. You can not pigeon hole the breed as being distinctly one specific thing as like ANY breed, just like people, we have variations. We do however have common traits of loyalty and protectiveness regardless of coat type or colour or pedigree or breed survey or title.

Edited by angelsun

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EISHUND   
as well as white. They are still GSD's regardless of colour.

:) unless you have ANKC papers stating otherwise, like me :):o Sorry just had to add that as I find it funny :)

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angelsun   
as well as white. They are still GSD's regardless of colour.

:laugh: unless you have ANKC papers stating otherwise, like me :rofl: :rofl: Sorry just had to add that as I find it funny ;)

Yes, I know the 'inside' joke on that and I will never agree with the ANKC ruling regarding white shepherds, but remember...I come from a place that had no issues with Whites and called them German Shepherds....as it should be in my opinion.

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grantwit   

Hi,

Im new to this forum and have a 20 week old female German Shepherd (pedigree). I just stumbled across this thread and thought i might put in my thoughts on a few of the questions originally asked.

What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

I grew up with German Shepherds, my father had 2 males that he showed. Ever since i was a kid i have loved the breed. I have one incident when i was about 5 years old and home alone. I felt nervous so i let these two massive male GSD into the house. We sat in front of the tv, one on either side of me and i felt so safe and secure. Since then that is the feeling that is evoked whenever i see a GSD. One of those two actually went on to become a police dog.

What is the average lifespan?

My thoughts are anywhere between 10 and 15 years, there are a lot of variables.

What is the general temperament/personality?

If you purchase your GSD from a breeder registered with the German Shepherd Dog League your GSD should have no temperament problems in general. Years ago there were problems with temperament within the breed and fear biting etc, but this has been successfully bred out. An important reason to only deal with a registered breeder. German Shepherds are also incredibly smart and easy to train. They love to play and learn as well as please their owner.

How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

It depends on the dogs environment, however this is a dog that needs stimulation via exercise. The dog should be walked at least once a day, if not twice. And not just a short walk around the block.

Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

If the first time owner was willing to put in the long yards with training etc. However this is not a dog that you just put in the backyard.

Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Yes and no. It depends on what stimulus you provide for the dog when they are by themselves. However if you are someone that is rarely home, why even bother getting a dog, no matter what the breed!

How much grooming is required?

Not a whole lot.

Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

I would say yes. This is a large breed and are large even as 16 week old puppies. When you combine the excitability of a puppy with the size of a GSD you can have problems with young kids and infirm people. They are boisterous and very strong.

Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

As with a lot of large breeds GSD can suffer hip dysplasia, as well as a blood condition. Always buy from a registered breeder!

When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Always ensure the parents have been hip and shoulder xrayed. If they are registered with the German Shepherd Dog League they have passed all the tests (hip and shoulder scores, blood condition etc) so you are pretty safe in that regard. Then as with any breed view the parents, watch the interaction of the pup etc

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gsdx3   

I would just like to add that I have 3 German Shepherd males ranging in age from 1 year through to 12 years old. My 12 year old was used as a respite dog in an old peoples home as well as achieving Utility Dog Title in obedience. My 6 year old has achieved his Utility Title in obedience (heading for his Obedience Championship) his PT in herding, his Endurance Title, has a pass in Tracking and is also a member of the German Shepherd All STars Team here in Queensland. He was also shown in the Conformation ring and achieved 51 points (even though he hated it) My young boys is getting ready to try his obedience and also is shown in the Specialty and All Breed Show rings. I am not putting all these facts down to brag but to show the versatility of the breed when a little effort is put in to training. I would have loved to have tried Schutzhund but it is not recognised in Queensland. I feel that I have achieved 2 of the 3 requirements for the Schutzhund - just need to do the man work. All my dogs are sound in their attitude but are not whimps. These points, I feel, are what a German Shepherd should be - a family dog, obedience dog, trustworthy, sound in mind and beautiful at the same time.

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