|My article comparing a recent German Siegerin and a wolf generated a tsunami of interesting responses, mostly falling into two camps: One recognizing the dog’s huge divergence from normal morphology, the other trying to rationalize why she looks so terrible. Mostly it came down to pulling on the lead. The wolf was gaiting free, the dog was pulling against the lead. Fair enough. Fortunately, this is an easy claim to dispute; just find a normal dog with good structure and photograph him straining into the lead.|
|The sable dog is a three year old, working line male, IPO 1, totally out of coat. He has a fair bit of rear angulation, so it makes a more useful comparison. He is coming onto the field for protection work (training, not trial), and pulling at least as hard as any show dog. This dog is very strong, very fast and very agile, and I like him very much. I took these photographs a week ago. The other dog is of course the Siegerin. I didn’t do skeletal overlays because they are so time consuming, and the differences should be obvious to anyone willing to really look.
The main points: The sable’s reaching pastern is not elevated beyond what is necessary to extend the foot, and never above the elbow. His spine remains straight, and never roaches. He has normal, high withers. The trunk rises normally as the dog drives, and drops slightly during the support phase. This is normal and typical of canids. His croup remains stable. Pulling on the lead causes his rear to drop somewhat, but his hocks do not rise above his stifles in follow through, and he steps onto his toes, not his hocks. This is a dog with oodles of breed type, and normal, powerful working structure and movement. He also happens to have great working temperament.
THE ILLUSTRATED STANDARD FOR THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG
This book has 200 pages and nearly 500 of my drawings illustrating the structure, anatomy and gaits of the German Shepherd Dog. It is absolutely the most detailed and accurate source of information available anywhere. I have put particular focus on the two issues that have most plagued the breed in America and Germany: excess rear angulation and the roach back. No one who studies the material in this book will be in any doubt about what is and isn’t normal structure and gait in a working dog. I have also included about 90 photographs of really beautifully structured dogs, of many different bloodlines, past and present. For more pictures, click on the Illustrated Standard tab above.
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