The author of this contribution is:
- Member of the SV for 50 years
- Breed Judge since 1982
- Breed Surveyor since 1985
- Breed Commissioner of the State Baden, member of the B.A. Executive
- Federal Breed Commission of the SV from 2000 - 2003
In his present article, Leonhard Schweikert deals with the over – typification especially in the area of the hindquarter and the possibility of the latest up to date X-raying diagnostics.
The Cynological long time favourite:
Hindquarter angulation and hock joints
As ever before, a considerable problem in our German Shepherd Dog population, is the over-typification, that is, over-angulation in the region of the hindquarter. The problem should be viewed as more serious than for instance the size, for in comparison with the over-angulated dog, the large dog definitely still has working dog qualities. These are clearly and definitely denied to the over-angulated dog with an instability of the hindquarter! Anyone who still do not wish to face this truth, is sinning, transgressing, against the working dog characteristics of our breed!
To recognize the effect caused by this over-angulation, one does not have to be an expert: the exaggerated sloping back-line that we are constantly being reproached for by the public, and against which we find it very difficult to find a counter argument. This development has been gossipped about for years. Some speak of the “Porsche Design” others call it the steeply sloping rear end. It is high time, that we faced this criticism and do not ignore it any further, or even dismiss it as the idle talk of some who criticise the German Shepherd with ill intent. What does it say in the Breed Standard: “ The topline flows from the set on of neck over the high, long wither, and over the straight back to the slightly sloping croup without noticeable break. “ And at a different place, under the aspect limbs – hindquarter: “ The position of the hind legs is slightly set back, where the hind-legs viewed from the rear, stand parallel to each other. Upper thigh and lower thigh are of approximately equal length and form an angle of ca. 120 degrees, the thighs are strong and well muscled” ( Bold type by the author)
The development of the Depth of Hindquarter
For clarification of the problematic situation, a comparison with horse breeding is definitely appropriate:
When the founder of the breed, Rittmeister Max von Stephanitz created The Standard of the German Shepherd Dog over 100 years ago, the horse must have been his model.
At that early point in time already, there were thousands of years of experience of the breeding of horses as a working animal. The horse was knows as the helper of man and indispensable in everyday life.
Beside the cattle and pig breeding, breeding of sheep was a huge economics factor in the 18th and well into the 19th century for producing meat and wool. For the herding of large herds of sheep, a useful working animal was needed. One could not fall back on the horse, as it was not suitable for herding. At best, in huge pastures, the horse could be used to ride the boundaries, but it was practically impossible to drive and direct the herd with horse and rider. So an animal was needed, with the enduring properties of a horse, in order to assist the Shepherds in their work.