[ SHOWGSD-L ] Could Lance win TODAY

  • From: "David Fritsche" <d_fritsche@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "showgsd-l" <showgsd-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2012 14:56:39 -0700

1967 GV Lance and his paternal grand-father, 1957 GV Ch. Troll vom 
Richterbach Sch lll ROM both look more like the dogs in MY backyard......and 
I too have had to explain my show dog's rear structure ( when I had show 
dogs)......which begs the questions ....have our "specialty"Â dogs become 
too extreme?....and don't tell me that there is no difference between 
specialty and all-breed dogs.......what did Judge Judy say?..."don't pee on 
my leg and tell me it's raining".....Ed Hill
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Ed, you brought back some very old memories. Our first show dog was a Troll 
granddaughter. What a dog! Smarter than a fifth grader....

Have our specialty dogs become too extreme? My answer is probably different 
than most, because I have been accused of not thinking in a straight line, 
but thinking sideways. That can be dangerous.

The question for me is not less extreme, more extreme, too extreme or not 
extreme. The question is, are they more functional or less functional?
My answer is - it depends!

As a matter of physics, can the short stroke of the dog with a short stride 
(not extreme, shall we say) propel the dog forward as well as one with a 
longer stride? Answer: Absolutely not. But the problem is, we tend to lump 
all kinds of issues into the questions. The common thinking sold to the 
general public - not by me but by some breeders (you know the ones - not 
seen at our dog shows), is that an extremely angled rear end is a sign of 
dysplasia, DM, locked hocks, and any other rear end problem you can name. 
Not so at all. Some of the worst rears I've seen are from upright, toe 
dragging, locked hocked backyard dogs that are not extreme. So, the American 
Show Dog with some angles is not necessarily the problem, but I have seen 
dogs at our shows that do have problems. You have to define the problem 
before you can answer the question.

Dysplasia - We used to be # 1-3 in incidents of dysplasia of all breeds. We 
are now down to - 37 or somewhere in that range and there is no relationship 
between dysplasia and 'extreme'. In fact, the American Show Dog has better 
statistics than their back yard cousins.

DM - We've had our share in the show dogs, but we do not have a statistical 
comparison from the square, back yard variety of the GSD, so we do not know. 
My vet feels that their incidents are greater than ours because their owners 
do not know what's wrong, just chalk it up to bad hips.

Locked Hocks - again, there is no comparison other than the casual untrained 
observer. What we do see in our ring is that there are locked hocks that 
cannot pull the leg up and back for another stroke, hence the dragging toes. 
This incomplete cycle of the rear does destroy the forward thrust and power, 
but the question is, is that caused by the angles of the rear? If so, then 
it necessarily follows that every dog with a low stationed rear will have 
locked hocks. So I argue - locked hocks has other component factors other 
than the appearance of the rear.

The real issue is the power of the thrust of the rear, with a good reach up 
under the dog and a full powerful pull through the stroke, producing maximum 
forward power and motion. A short step or a locked step will not give the 
powerful thrust. So, I conclude, and ya'all can yell at me now - the dog 
needs enough angles in the rear to produce a powerful forward thrust 
otherwise it is pushing up instead of forward. Do some of our dogs have poor 
rears? You betcha! Do all extreme dogs lack power and function in the rear? 
Wrong question. If they don't, then what is wrong with them?

Does King down the street have better movement because he is upright and 
square than our average CH or GV? Can he run faster, jump higher, cover more 
ground with less motion, herd sheep with less energy, catch a bad guy for 
the police faster, and so on... ??? If so, then we are on the wrong track. 
But take good old King for a walk and just feel the power or lack thereof 
and then, take one of our GV's for a walk and fell for the same level of 
power. Ah yes, there is a vast difference, because the rear is the piston 
that drives the forward power. Problems with the rear are more than a causal 
appearance matter. They have to do with functions that are available in 
short hocks or long, show dogs or performance dogs, pets or GV's. A low 
stationed dog is not the issue - the total mechanism is!

Just my rant for the day!
Dave 

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