Mating is necessary for the German Shepherd Dog
The end of the German Shepherd Dog
He was an icon.
The image of a wolf.
The German's favorite dog, if not the world's most popular dog breed:
The German Shepherd Dog.
In the meantime he has been retired.
Too underperforming, too sick and too expensive for service dogs. Hardly affordable for normal dog owners and associated with lifelong suffering.
Other races have long since replaced him. Breeds that are more robust, healthier, and more productive.
How the beginning turned into an end
It all began in 1899 with the foundation of the German Shepherd Dog Association (SV).
Back then, the German Shepherd Dog was a little smaller than it is today, built more slender and had the arched bridge skeleton typical of four-pedestrians - four strong, normal legs and a stable spine that formed the arched bridge.
The SV opened its own stud book - with a bitch and two males (brothers), at least one of which was conspicuous due to aggressive behavior towards other conspecifics. A extreme inbreeding started. In the first 30 years after the stud book was opened, over 50,000 puppies were registered - Mass reproduction.
Even then, the first connoisseurs expressed concerns. One spoke of Fashion dog and Hindquarters madness. It was also observed that attention was only paid to appearance and not to character. Many of the dogs allowed for breeding had character weaknesses, are said to have been overly anxious.
Here at the latest you should have pulled the emergency brake and thought about refreshing your blood. Instead, the emphasis was placed on the multiplication of individual champions. Only a few dogs produced thousands of offspring - including genetic defects and hereditary diseases, which after such a long time can no longer be bred away. This was followed by line breeding, which is no longer quite, but still a bit inbreeding.
Today's German Shepherd Dog emerged. Dog in front, frog in the back. Also called downhill sheepdog. More consumption than working dog.
There are worlds between images from back then and the dogs of today. The strongly sloping back and the strongly angled hindquarters make this breed hardly able to hold its own body weight for life.
Today only about half of all German Shepherds are over 10 years old.
The official standard still calls for rectangular dogs. But hardly anyone cares. Least of all the SV.
The machinations of the SV
Inadequate attention was paid to HD, ED, cauda equina syndrome, pancreatic insufficiency and all the other typical shepherd diseases. And although only intact dogs were officially awarded, dogs that were not HD-normal and had clear building defects continued to land in the first place. It was about money. And relationships. That hasn't changed until today.
Of course the fish stinks on the head at first, but hardly any German shepherd breeder - no matter how small and (allegedly) ignorant - is able to produce healthy dogs. Champions are rare, healthy champions are even more rare. They are kept or passed on internally - sometimes for amounts in the 6-digit range. Everything else is rejected and reaches unsuspecting dog owners who want to fulfill the great dream of a German Shepherd.
If you are interested in this topic, we recommend the magazine “WUFF-Das Hundemagazin” and Jan Demeyere's blog.
A new beginning?
Another German Shepherd Association has existed since 2007. The RSV2000 wants to return to old values and turn the German Shepherd Dog into a working dog again.
Maybe the out-of-fashion and this still quite fresh club are a new chance for this broken dog breed.
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