After studying the statistics I just received,
regarding the German Shepherd Dog, I can clearly see WHY this breed has been referred to
They say, "NUMBERS DON'T LIE" so if these
facts are true, then why doesn't SOMEBODY do SOMETHING before it is too late?
There are plenty of organizations that promote Neuter/Spay programs for
"MUTTS" but VERY FEW speaks out AGAINST the people that breed AKC registered
MUTTS! People seem to be blinded by papers! If the dog is "Registered," that's
ALL that counts! Are they getting a GOOD representative of the breed? NOBODY KNOWS! What
IS a GOOD representative anyway? Think about it!
We all know that not every puppy born will grow up to be a show dog. Most will end up
as pets, even some excellent specimens may end up in pet homes, BUT SHOULD ALL of these
pets be bred?
I have chosen to study the statistics regarding the GSD because I'm closer to this
breed then any other. I have totally dedicated over 30 years of my life endeavoring to
produce better shepherds and MUCH of that time I felt like a cowgirl trying to rope a
salmon swimming upstream! While many of the "PRO" breeders acted like a pack of
PIRANHAS out on a feeding frenzy, if you even DARED to say anything "Realistically
Derogatory" about their stock! Unfortunately this attitude has caused MANY a
promising breeder to fall by the wayside, or worse yet join the ranks of the unscrupulous.
Maybe this article will help them get back on the right track!
So let's look at some STARTLING STATISTICS concerning the German Shepherd dog!
If ˝ of these are female
G.S.D. Litters born
It is VERY easy to see HOW MANY OF THE BITCHES BORN WERE PROBABLY LATER BRED!
This should mean that we have THOUSANDS OF TOP QUALITY OFA CERTIFIED dogs in the gene
pool right? WRONG!
NOW let's look at some more statistics! NO STATS were AVAILABLE for 88 & 90,
so we can only look at the following information but that should be enough to give
us a fairly accurate picture!
Please Note: We are using the number of dogs registered in '85 against the number of
dogs earning degrees in '87 etc. Simply because nobody expects little pups to earn
degrees. So we have to "AGE" each group by at least 2 years. We can therefore
assume that the dogs born in '85 would then be old enough to compete for their degrees in
'87 TITLES AWARDED AND % LISTINGS OUT OF 57,598 G.S.D's
'91 TITLES AWARDED AND % LISTINGS OUTOF 58,422 G.S.D.'s
After close examination of these facts it is really AMAZING to note that out of a
pool of 173,632 GSD's (between '87-'91) that would have been old enough to compete for
degrees ONLY 36 earned a TDX! What happened to the other 173,596?
Even WORSE yet are the comparisons of the GSD with the REST of the Herding Group! FOR
EXAMPLE: In 1987 the Herding Group finished 1,865 CHAMPIONS, 2,271 CD degrees and 18 OTCH,
while out of the 57,598 2yr. old G.S.D.'s available only ONE OTCH degree was earned!
Just think of it! AT NO TIME HAS EVEN 1% of all of the G.S. dogs registered EVEN
FINISHED A CHAMPIONSHIP, A-CDX, A-UD, TD, TDX, or OTCH! Not even 1% could earn any of
these EASY Working titles.
Well I guess obedience degrees and Conformation titles aren't everything. So let's see
how concerned these breeders are about the HIPS in their G.S.D.!
The Chart on page 16 of the OFA booklet shows that from 1/74 until 3/89 a total of
24,827 G.S. dogs were evaluated and 23.9% of these DID NOT PASS! So that leaves only
18,893 dogs that passed IN 15 YEARS!
That would average out to only 1,260 G.S.D. with received a PASSING GRADE from OFA
yearly; BUT, if we look at the first chart, we can clearly see that the number of LITTERS
born (and remember it takes TWO dogs to produce a litter so these numbers should actually
be doubled!) well exceeds the number of OFA certified animals!
That's a Total of 146,763 litters born with each litter consisting of 2 Parents
(POSSIBLY 293,526 GSD's.)--All this out of approximately 10,080 OFA CERTIFIED adults. That
would total approximately 3.43%. Does that mean that LESS THAN 4% OF THE DOGS BRED had
their hips certified or does it mean that over 96% of the dogs bred had no hip
certification? If we read the OFA booklet on H.D. (and I would advise
EVERY PERSON THAT PLANS TO BREED EVEN ONE LITTER TO WRITE FOR THIS BOOKLET!), you will
learn some VERY interesting facts! For example: Right on page 1 this book clearly states
that HIP DYSPLASIA CAN ONLY BE REDUCED BY SELECTIVELY BREEDING FOR NORMAL HIPS!
SINCE IT IS NOW A FACT THAT H.D. IS CAUSED BY A POLYGENIC MODE OF INHERITANCE, IT IS
THEREFORE VERY IMPORTANT TO KNOW AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ABOUT YOUR DOG'S ENTIRE GENE POOL! JUST
BREEDING INDIVIDUAL DOGS WITHOUT SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THEIR ANCESTORS AND LITTERMATES
IS PURE FOLLY!
At the top of page 7 you will see in BOLD outline a statement that could save the
future of your Breed!
If you plan to breed dogs you need to read this booklet, BEFORE you produce anymore
INFERIOR animals! If you plan to BUY A PUP you need to read this book so you can properly
question the prospective breeder you have selected! If they can't answer your questions
CORRECTLY go find someone that CAN!
Please take the time to read these charts! The GSD is NOT the ONLY breed affected! H.D.
has been found in nearly ALL Breeds. The AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG runs only 1% better than
the G.S.D! The CHOW, GOLDEN RETRIEVER, BLOODHOUND, and STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER are EVEN
WORSE! The DOBERMAN, IRISH WOLFHOUND, (LARGE!) AFGHAN, COLLIE, BORZOI etc. run a MUCH
LOWER % of H.D! Despite the foolish notion that the smaller dog the better the hips!
I have not taken the time to research exactly how many dogs were registered out of each
of these breeds, verses the amount of dogs that were OFA certified, the statistics
presented are taken from just the records that the OFA has provided.
Please note: Not all dogs x-rays are sent to the OFA. In most cases, when the vet
informs the owner that the hips look bad, they are NOT sent in for grading!
Therefore any breeds listed were not done so to be derogatory against ANY specific
breed only to show that breeds of various sizes have similar results, and that the SIZE of
the dog itself should not be looked upon as a breeding guide to improve hips! The GSD is a
very good example of this perspective. Even though the dogs in America have been bred
SMALLER and SMALLER. There is NO proof that the hips have IMPROVED! On the contrary
statistics seem to show that just the opposite effect has taken place!
We need to take HEED of a quote taken from page 24 of the OFA Booklet.
("Breeders can reduce the frequency of CHD to a more acceptable level. In
some of the breeds, where the genes are not widely distributed and/or the numbers of
breeders are small, breeders may for all practical purposes eliminate Canine Hip
Now lets go back and take ANOTHER look.
Look at these statistics! They are MIND-BOGGLING! Look at these figures---How can this
Aren't we supposed to be breeding to IMPROVE a breed? To maintain the highest
standards? Well maybe NOT!
Maybe too many puppy mills perpetuate the problem! (And) I'm not referring to the FEW
"big ones" that breed for the pet shops. I'm talking about the MONEY MACHINES!
Those that have 3-4 bitches, breed them every heat and produce 40-50 pups per year! These
are the people that sell their puppies through the local papers for $300-$400 each! Why so
cheap? Because they have NO INVESTMENT IN THEIR DOGS! They spend NO MONEY on the breed
itself. They DO NOT SHOW THEIR DOGS. THEY HAVE NO FUTURE PLANS FOR THEIR STOCK. All they
care about is MASS PRODUCING some pups! These people are NOT breeders. They are PUPPY
PRODUCERS. BIG DIFFERENCE!
The biggest excuse they use is that they are "just breeding for PETS!"
PLEASE! The shelters are FULL of these PETS! Any breeder can tell you that there are
PLENTY OF "PETS" available, even from the BEST of BREEDINGS! Nobody has to set
out to produce "pets!" When you purchase a "PET" quality puppy from a
reputable breeder, at least they can tell you WHY that particular puppy was classified as
a "PET." The puppy will be sold for a LOWER price and with NON-BREEDING papers
so that this particular fault will not be passed on! The puppy miller sells all of those
"PETS" with full breeding papers so that others can continue to breed those
WHO ENDS UP GETTING HURT?
A) The poor fool that gets suckered into purchasing one of these pups.
B) The reputable breeder that has poured thousands of dollars into producing a quality
litter of pups but ends up taking such a financial loss that they just give up!
C) The BREED because so many INFERIOR specimens have "flooded" the market that
eventually the entire breed's reputation will end up going "down the drain!"
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Producing BETTER dogs is NOT just the breeder's responsibility!
A) The Breed Clubs need to take MORE CONTROL OVER the FUTURE OF THEIR BREED!
B) The "consumer" MUST BECOME BETTER EDUCATED!
IF YOU STOP BUYING THESE "REGISTERED MUTTS" THEY WILL STOP BREEDING THEM!
C) Their breed clubs should certify reputable breeders as such!
If you had sharp pains in your chest, would you call the Welder next door? How about
the Baker? Maybe you would seek out your local secretary? NO you would call a DOCTOR
---Why? Because YOUR LIFE could be at stake and you want a PROFESSIONAL! But what about
the cost? Wouldn't it be cheaper to just ask your Telephone operator to give you a
prescription? Maybe so, but that Doctor has spent thousands of dollars and an unbelievable
amount of YEARS in school and later in practice in order to learn everything needed so he
could help you! Now he's ready. Yes, he charges more than your mailman does but HE KNOWS
WHAT HE'S DOING!
No, he may not be perfect and he may have some failures but if he kills 99% of his
patients, he will end up losing his license!
So what are we breeding for? TO PRODUCE THE BEST POSSIBLE SPECIMENS OF OUR
CHOSEN BREED. NOTHING LESS THAN TOTAL DEDICATION TO THAT GOAL SHOULD EVER BE ACCEPTED!
S.S.D.C.A, INC. is PIONEERING A NEW PATH FOR THEIR CHOSEN
BREED! INVESTIGATE THEIR REGULATIONS AND SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH YOUR BREED CLUB!
Originally written by Tina M. Barber for the
SSDCA Newsletter 199? ; reprinted with her permission in the
Shiloh Shepherd Learning Center 1998.
For a copy of the OFA booklet please send a donation of $3 to the:
You can submit your questions (or comments regarding this article) to the:
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals,Inc.
2300 Nifong Blvd.
Columbia, MO 65201
Silver Springs, NY 14550
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