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  • German Shepard

    Does anyone know why a German Shepherds sloping hindquarters were bred to angle that way in the first place? We have a discussion tomorrow and this was a question the teacher asked.

  • #2
    GSD

    The reason for the sloped back is to enable the dog to "trot" using less effort/energy and therefore going greater distances. However, the Americanized Shepherd "that bred for conformation" has developed too great of a slope, causing many lower back problems. The GSDs bred for working ability, rather than conformation, such as those used by police, military, etc., have a far less pronounced slope. Thus enabling the dog to cover greater distances w/ less effort, while keeping back problems to a minimum. Good luck on the project.
    Acey

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    • #3
      German Shepherd Dog

      Originally posted by barepaws View Post
      Does anyone know why a German Shepherds sloping hindquarters were bred to angle that way in the first place? We have a discussion tomorrow and this was a question the teacher asked.
      That kind of stuff is answered in The Complete AKC Dog Book, which publishes the breed standards of all AKC recognized breeds. It says, "The whole assembly of the the thigh, viewed from the side, is broad, with both upper and lower thigh well muscled, forming as nearly as possible a right angle. The upper thigh bone parallels the shoulder blade while the lower thigh bone parallels the upper arm." This gives the dog the distinctive gait.

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      • #4
        I could be wrong, but I thought I read somewhere (maybe here?) that they were bred with low angulation to give the back legs more power, and then I guess show lines became exaturated. Don't quote me on that, though.

        Here's a link I found with an interesting write up on their history:
        http://www.germanshepherds.com/thegsd/history/

        It only mentions the angulation briefly at the end saying its a cause for debate.

        I'd like to brag, though, that the old picture they have on there which I think is the first GSD ever looks strikingly like mine.
        http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/gsd/...ee/489594.html

        That website also has a breed description and I'm not sure what else I forgot to finish this post because I started reading it.

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