Simple question: what have we done to the German Shepherd?
Old style German Shepherd Dog
Crufts 2016 best of breed winner.
Max von Stephanitz, the creator of the German Shepherd wrote:
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“The breeding of Shepherd dogs must be the breeding of working dogs, this must always be the aim or we shall cease to produce working dogs.
“In contradistinction to working and utility breeding is ‘sport’ breeding, which produces a temporary advance but is always followed by deterioration, for it is not done for the sake of the DOG, nor does it make him more useful, it is done for the vanity of the breeder and the subsequent purchaser.”
As with so many breeds, sport and fad breeding led to more severe evidence of natural traits, and therefore to bad breeding situations that had nothing more in common with working ability.
– he added –
“This may seem nice to the faddist, however, for the true lover of Nature, who doesn’t engage in matters based on eye appeal, it appears as a strange caricature.
“Over-sized, massiveness, height, racing ability, straight front or tucked up racing dog body would be for the shepherd an adverse perception leading to the death of the breed.”