German Shepherds!

Breed specific discussion of your favorite breed.

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Salomé
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German Shepherds!

Post by Salomé » Mon May 10, 2010 11:52 am

I didn't see any thread for German Shepherds, I thought I'd start one to discuss this magnificent, loving, brilliant breed. (Yes, I'm slightly obsessive. ;) ) I've had a lot of diff. breeds over the years but I'm now on my 4th GSD and I can truly not imagine life without one. I'd love to hear about your dogs and see photos, so I hope you'll all share.

Since we're technically supposed to talk about issues concerning the breed in this section, I thought I'd ask: have you ever heard of GSDs having something other than a double coat? I was at the dog park the other day and a German lady stopped me to talk about Zola. During the course of the discussion, she mentioned how she had bred long-coated GSDs back in Germany and then said something about him probably having a "coat and a half." I have no clue what she meant and her English wasn't the best so I felt embarassed to press her on it too much, but she did also say that some GSDs have only one coat, some have a coat and a half, and others have two coats.

Now, in all my years as a GSD owner, I'd always thought and heard that they were double-coated. Have any of you ever heard of a "coat and a half"? Or a single coat?

josie1918
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by josie1918 » Mon May 10, 2010 1:00 pm

I have owned shepherds most of my life. We have a client who has several rough coated shepherds. They are a longer, softer coat than what most of us are accustomed to. These dogs are German imports and seem to be a little shorter, heavier boned dog than the shepherds we have here. As far as the coat, due to it's silkier texture, it may well be that it is not a double coat. These dogs are registered pure breds but to me they look like a cross between a border collie and a GSD (My opinion only) if that gives you an idea to the coat type? They are intelligent, lovely dogs, they just look a little different than what I am used to seeing :D

Salomé
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by Salomé » Mon May 10, 2010 1:18 pm

How interesting. I can't imagine what the dog must look like! I've been researching a bit and have now gotten myself thoroughly confused with all the different terms I'm coming across but have never heard of before. One breeder's site refers to everything from an "open coat" (which seems to be what you're describing), to a "normal stock coat," "plush coat," "long (stock) coat," and "long (open) coat." :?: (See, http://www.whispawillowkennels.com/ )

Judging by the amount of hair left all over my house (even after frequent brushing), I'm pretty sure my German Shedder has a double coat. :lol:

I'd love to see photos of your guys, Josie. I'd post some of mine but after seeing the HUGE size of them in a dog thread I posted here (oops!), I'm kinda embarassed now. <blush>

josie1918
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by josie1918 » Mon May 10, 2010 1:39 pm

I brush Sam out 3 times a week during shedding season, Saturday was one of his days a slight breeze came up and OMG it looked like an explosion in a mattress factory :shock: I've been thinking, in this economy if I could paint the stuff pepto bismol pink and sell it to drunks as cotton candy :D Yes, Sam is definately a double coat :D

Salomé
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by Salomé » Mon May 10, 2010 2:20 pm

Why go to all the bother of dying it pink, Josie? We could just sell it "as is," for stuffing cushions! Not only have I actually mulled this possibility but I even once came up with how to market it in today's eco-friendly world: "Forget Goose Down, the GREEN method is recycling downy soft GSD hair!" LOL :lol: I either have too much time on my hands, or too much dog hair. I fear it's both!

Okay, I can't help myself, even if the pictures do show up as abnormally large on this site. Here are photos of my silly, hairy goofball, Zola:

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And this was Kafka, my late soul dog, and the love of my life whom I had to put down exactly one year ago yesterday due to cancer :cry: :

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neil62
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by neil62 » Mon May 10, 2010 4:13 pm

What i hate is all the pics of dog attacking or bad dogs in the adds or news is always shown with a pic of a gsd

Image

my Saphie

luvmydogs
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by luvmydogs » Tue May 11, 2010 7:51 am

I use a furminator on my GSD ..It works great..She still sheds but not as much..It also works on my border collie but not on my pittie mix because she she doesn't have an undercoat..It also works great on cats...I love the pictures of your shepards..They are a great breed ..Malibu is my 2nd one..She is more reactive than my first but I have been working with her and I am seeing a slow improvement...I don't like to compare but my first one Ruby was so awesome..I could walk her without a leash anywhere and she would listen to any command I would give....Malibu on the other hand has selective deafness but I'll keep trying...

josie1918
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by josie1918 » Tue May 11, 2010 12:54 pm

Our shepherds on the farm were just darn fine dogs, the female I brought with me when I moved off the farm was positively brilliant, lived to please her owner, almost psychic in knowing what was expected of her. Sam, my current shepherd is a rescue, it is taking more time with him for a lot of reasons, what is important to remember is while they can never replace the one very special dog you lost, they can add their own unique something to your life. As my great aunt used to say "it's a mighty small heart that only has room for one" :D I am sure as you grow a bond together, sometimes this takes a little longer depending on the dog, you will find some amazing things about your current dog that will make him as dear to you as Ruby was. Sam had the selective deafness for quite some time, then he just sort of grew out of it. ( a MAJOR good day in my life :lol: )

luvmydogs
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by luvmydogs » Tue May 11, 2010 1:13 pm

We actually do have a great bond..She's just not easy as Ruby was..but I have been working with her and she seems to be getting it alittle better...I will post a picture when I have someone here to do it for me..I'm not good with that stuff..She is a sable and about 100#..Thats what makes it hard for me because I'm only 30# heavier so it is hard for me to control her when walking and she sees another dog...I have gotten to a point though where she doesn't react when then are a certain distance so I'm happy with that..As far as people go she is great with them at our home but when it is just me and her she is very protective if someone comes toward me so I have to be careful with that.. I think our lives would be so boring without our beautiful pets...They keep us on our toes and can always make us smile :D

josie1918
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by josie1918 » Tue May 11, 2010 2:01 pm

I want to post pictures of Sam and my 4 dachshunds, but it is definately going to take a brighter mind than mine to do it.
I don't know what the problem is (idiot behind the wheel is my suspicion :lol: ) but yeah, I need help :lol: My Sam is the old fashioned Rin Tin Tin shepherd, not the sleek looker they have now with the 23 degree slope from the withers to the hip, he is like the first one I ever had when I was 5 (that would be in 1850 :lol: ) anyway I, like you do not know what I would do without my gang, they are the reason I get out of bed (literally :lol: )

Salomé
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by Salomé » Tue May 11, 2010 4:40 pm

neil62 wrote:What i hate is all the pics of dog attacking or bad dogs in the adds or news is always shown with a pic of a gsd

Image

my Saphie

Your Saphie is gorgeous! Such a lovely face! How old is she?

As for stories or pictures of bad dogs always being GSDs, I guess I'm lucky in not seeing that because it would definitely make me mad. I only see stories like that about pitbulls/APBTs. The poor breed has such an unfair reputation because of stupid owners who think it makes them all GaNgSTa to turn their pitbulls into vicious dogs. I saw an example of this at the dog park Sunday in fact with a poor puppy who was dressed up in enough hardware to weight him down and the (white) teen owners were strolling around like something out of a movie.

With GSDs though, what I encounter and what drives me bonkers is people reacting badly to my dog simply because it's a GSDs. My boy is trained and relatively calm for his teenage years (minus when he sees squirrels or birds), yet people often cross the street when I walk him. I've had neighbors who constantly say, "Wow, he looks so mean!" Er, why does he look so mean as he calmly ignores you and sniffs some grass?? Just because he's a German Shepherd? Both me and/or my GSDs have been attacked by neighbors' dogs and in *all* the cases, it was a small dog. One was a Yorkie, one a Doxie, and one was a toy poodle. Which brings me to my sore point: just because you have a tiny dog does NOT mean you should not train it. And just because you have a small dog does not mean it won't become a vicious nightmare through lack of training or exercise. So stop labelling my German Shepherd just because of his size and focus on your own damn dog! :evil:

Er.. sorry for that small vent there. As I said, sore subject.

Salomé
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by Salomé » Tue May 11, 2010 4:48 pm

luvmydogs wrote:I use a furminator on my GSD ..It works great..She still sheds but not as much..It also works on my border collie but not on my pittie mix because she she doesn't have an undercoat..It also works great on cats...I love the pictures of your shepards..They are a great breed ..Malibu is my 2nd one..She is more reactive than my first but I have been working with her and I am seeing a slow improvement...I don't like to compare but my first one Ruby was so awesome..I could walk her without a leash anywhere and she would listen to any command I would give....Malibu on the other hand has selective deafness but I'll keep trying...

It's hard sometimes not to compare, isn't it? When you have one who is your soul-dog, then you get another one years later, it's hard not to, even though you feel guilty at doing it. I try not to compare my Zola to Kafka, but Kafka was truly..... <sigh> He had a few serious problems (dog aggression) so he was by no means perfect, while Zola is pretty much is except for his slight OCD about reflections, but I've never felt so much love for anything or anyone as I did for Kafka. It's only been a year since his death, so I hope that it will get easier when it comes to thinking about the two.

I use a Furminator too and love it, but I also need another brush for Zola's top coat as he's one hairy child. LOL. I read somewhere that the Furminator's blades die out from dullness after a while and one has to get replacement ones. Have you experienced that at all?

What does Malibu have selective deafness about? I'd love to see photos of him when you get the chance. :)

Salomé
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by Salomé » Tue May 11, 2010 5:05 pm

josie1918 wrote:I want to post pictures of Sam and my 4 dachshunds, but it is definately going to take a brighter mind than mine to do it.
I don't know what the problem is (idiot behind the wheel is my suspicion :lol: ) but yeah, I need help :lol: My Sam is the old fashioned Rin Tin Tin shepherd, not the sleek looker they have now with the 23 degree slope from the withers to the hip, he is like the first one I ever had when I was 5 (that would be in 1850 :lol: ) anyway I, like you do not know what I would do without my gang, they are the reason I get out of bed (literally :lol: )
1850... Ha! :lol:

Rin Tin Tin was an American-lined GSD, if I recall correctly. I don't know if you know but the look for GSDs from German, American, even Dutch or Czech lines is very, very different. Plus, there is the issue of working versus show lines, even between each one of these.

The sloping look (or what they call "extreme rear angulation") is really only for show lines. Working lines don't have it. My prior GSD was DDR and Czech working lines, but Zola is German show lines and the build is totally different. Massively different in every regard from chest to back, the length of legs (in the back in particular), fur and more. To be honest, I'm not a fan of the extreme rear angulation and when Zola was a tiny puppy, everyone thought he had HD because of it. But his breeder is supposed (according to the German SV judges) to be the best in N. America for GSDs and there is no HD in his dogs. (Or in Zola.) I don't like that the standard has become that extreme for elite dogs but one breeder told me that it helps them run faster. I don't have the expertise to know but, to my eyes, I prefer the body build of the working lines.

What ultimately drove my decision though was getting a dog from the best breeder I could (relatively near me) to ensure that the dog would have the least amount of health problems possible. Obviously, there is no guarantee. Ever. But if one finds a serious, conscientious, responsible breeder who doesn't breed health or genetic problems from line to line, then you have some minimal assurance. My Kafka got Lupus at the age of 5, and what I went through with him (at one point being at the vet every week to 10 days for a 6 month stretch), was just too painful.

Josie, do you have a Photobucket account? If not, go to www.Photobucket.com and open a (free) account there. Once you've done that, you can upload all your photos from your computer to it. Once they're there, it will give you the automatic links to post your photos anywhere. You just copy the IMG link from each photo and then paste it into your post. Voila! Easy peasy. :)

josie1918
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by josie1918 » Wed May 12, 2010 12:23 pm

Hey,
I am well aware of the show ring look versus the working build, but not all readers may be, thus the reference to Rin Tin Tin.
I myself prefer the working breed build as well, simply because I don't like breeds being screwed around with for appearance sake. But that is me. Getting a dog, any dog, from a breeder is a major step and researching the breeder is crucial, I have seen so many dogs for sale in the paper "6 weeks old and ready to go" :shock: None of my dogs have ever come to me from a breeder, and I suppose if I continue with my current profession, they never will. :lol: I am not sure I buy the theory that the slope makes them run faster, I have seen so many of them with a very unstable, almost ataxic gait, but then who am I.
Anyone looking to buy a shepherd should be able to view both parent dogs on site, check them for temperment, have a hip guarantee,(that is a certificate, not the breeder telling you ) and be sure to check for pannus. Thats what I think anyway. :D

luvmydogs
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Re: German Shepherds!

Post by luvmydogs » Wed May 12, 2010 1:45 pm

I have not had to replace the blades yet..I only need to use once a week or every other week..I use it on my border collie but I also need to use a pinbrush on her because of her longer fur...Malibu has the german lines in her breeding so she does not have the sloping hindquarters..I know they like that in the ring because of angulation when they stand..I don't want to get flammed for this but I wish the americans would leave these breeds as they were meant to be..It seems when they start changing the way they look it starts alot of problems the breeds didn't have alot of problems with before..In the GSD case I would say hip dysplasia is one of the biggest problems and I think it has to do with trying to breed to get shorter back legs so they have the right confirmation...I don't know how they could run faster with shorter legs ...I know Malibu can keep up with a border collie...So that may say something..By the way Rin Tin Tin is why I have a GSD... :D

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