Sloped back on the German Shepherd Dog?
Does the sloped back of the GSD cause problems? How?
Rawr - Ohh, I really like the looks of that working one...And I need a new working dog. I may just start doing some research on these working-bred dogs.
✯Love✯ is a German Shepherd Dog - Very informative, thank you so much!
- Anonymous8 years agoFavorite Answer
A WELL BRED, correct german shepherd should have a straight back, slight slope extending from the withers to the croup, and then a slightly sloping croup. No, the sloped back of a WELL BRED GSD causes NO problems at all.
A dog in a "normal" stance to show that there is still a slope present, it is not the stack. The breed should NOT have a level topline
Of course any dog with an extreme physical deformation is going to have structural issues, as is the case with showlined dogs. I don't even consider these dogs to be TRUE german shepherds, they no longer share a temperament similarity and all physical similarity is almost lost.
American showlines are bred with an extreme slope to exaggerate their long flowing trot, a trademark of the breed. And don't even ask me why german show lines are so banana backed. But most of them are extremely cowhocked to boot! Any oversized, a dog with great mass can simply not pull of the physical work required of the breed.
You can look at these animals and tell that there will be structural problems at some point. It's inevitable. The hips are too low, the femurs are too long, the joints are too out of wack. Hocks banging on the ground as they run. Loose front ends.
EDIT: It's not so much THAT the topline is extremely sloped that causes the problems, it's WHY the topline is extremely sloped. In american show lines, you tend to have low set femoral heads, elongated femurs, and weak hocks.
This causes stress on the rear end and an unnatural gait - notice the complete of the metatarsals ON THE GROUND when the dog runs
The front also tends to be very open, and loose. In the above dog the shoulder set in movement does not appear horrible.
In german showlines the spine actually appears to have a "kink", with a sudden plunge downwards. They tend to be bulky and oversized, especially in the front end (head). They also tend to have extremely poorly put together rear ends, it almost appears as if the femur is sitting at the bottom end of the pelvis. I've also seen very few german showlines that weren't somewhat cow hocked, something that should disqualify them ALL.
To watch them move is also horrifying, as they just look so WEAK
Most showlined dogs also appear to have a lack of stability.
EDIT2: FALSE, an extreme stack can cause extreme angulation, however there is only so low and so far you could stretch hips and limbs. If you compare the actual angulations of the stacks on show lined dogs compared to working lined dogs, you would see the true NATURAL exaggeration that is already present in the showlines. Not to mention just watching them gait.
I don't think I could physically stack Zeke to the point of his @$$ AND his hocks sitting on the ground, a physical trait that appears to be present in many american show lines. And I couldn't scrunch Luther up to the point of it appearing that half his spine is pointing towards the ground, as is commonly seen in german show lines.
Stacking can only change so much.
- Anonymous8 years ago
In the breed standard it says the gsd needs to have a 'slightly' sloped back. However I'm sure you are aware that in many dog shows they over-exaggerate this feature. By picking the dogs with the biggest slope and breeding over and over, you end up with a dog that's hind is lower than it's head. This doesn't LOOK healthy, right? So by having a dog that's A*** is almost touching the ground, apparently looks good. But anyway, by the dog having such a low hind it means the legs are closer to the ground, this causes all kinds of hip problems and or means they're weak on their legs or wobble when they walk - it's sad really. So, thats it. If you plan to get a gsd do not touch the American lines, these are the ones I've been typing about. They have been bred for looks and not health or temperament.
Working lines - these dogs are too much dog for an average pet owner:
Ohh and beaware these dogs are in a stance to make their features mor exaggerated (besides working dog) and so generally when walking around these features won't be seen. However because the American line features are SO exaggerated the stance doesn't look much different to their 'normal' look.
Check this website out;
- 8 years ago
The slope back is causing a huge problem with the breed. American breeders, mainly those focusing on AKC conformation are ruining the breed by exaggerating this feature. Look up the working lines of German shepherds, their backs are no where near as sloped as many GSDs.
It's no wonder why the military and police officers and those interested in a real "working" shepherd now prefer the Belgian Shepherd (the Malanois mainly). More and more GSD's are developing Hip Dysplasia. Luckily, the Belgians haven't been as unfortunate and there are still working dogs being bred in America.
One of the many reasons why I support WORKING dog registries such as UKC and FDSB (field dog stud book) for hunting breeds over AKC.Source(s): Dog Trainer, Belgian Tervuren Owner
- Random GirlLv 48 years ago
I believe it puts more stress on the hips and spine, seems logical, plus the hips are the main thing you have to worry about with German Shepherds and I have talked to many German Shepherd people who have owned showline German Shepherds with slanted/sloped/arched backs who had genetic health testing done on them and their parents yet still had the problems that the breeders and owners tested for.
I think there is a risk when buying ANY dog, it's just a matter of how big of a risk.
@✯Love✯ is a German Shepherd Dog - A lot of it has to do with their stance, which NATURALLY should not be stretched out, which is done by the handlers. The problem is when they WALK with an archer back and a wobbly gait. I could stretch my dog out in a position to where he may look like a showline German Shepherd, but as soon as he started walking he would go back to normal with a SLIGHT arch (very slight, about like the working line GSD pics you posted). A probably already know this, but I am saying this for other people who read this aswel. Stable is a work I like to use, when a showline German Shepherd with a very arched back walks it is NOT stable at all, but when a well bred working line German Shepherd walks they have a very nice stable gait.
@Rawr -There are such things as American working line German Shepherds and showline German Shepherds (which also have very arched backs), so a German Shepherd being American bred does not automatically make it trash, nor does a German Shepherd being German bred make it perfect.
@Love is a German Shepherd - True, and I am not saying I can stretch Draco to the point of looking like the first pic of a showline GSD you posted, it's impossible with his built and structure, but I COULD get him to the point where he could pass as a showline German Shepherd. But after positioning a showline GSD's back is much more slanted than how it would be in it's natural position, but of course it would still be very slanted. I'm just saying that positioning plays a big part in how slanted a dogs back is. And it's different depending on how the stands naturally.
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- Anonymous5 years ago
This Site Might Help You.
Sloped back on the German Shepherd Dog?
Does the sloped back of the GSD cause problems? How?Source(s): sloped german shepherd dog: https://tr.im/lRy0O
- MicheleLv 44 years ago
That dog is in a stacked position, making the slope look more exaggerated. The slope is part of the breed standard, a straight back is a fault. Some GSD's have more sloped backs than others, but if the dog in the picture was standing straight, the slope would look much less exaggerated and probably much closer to what you find attractive.
- Anonymous8 years ago
Actually the GSD should have a slightly sloping back, front to back. However for me it's all this extreme 'banana back' (roached) that is all wrong. GSD's walking on their canon bone, cow-hocked etc. Hips have been a problem with the breed for too long too but I'm not expert enough on the breed to know what relationship all this roaching has, on poor hips. I just know I wish we saw more of the old English GSD than we do these days.
@ Love is - Banana backs/cowhocking is just as prevalent in the UK show rings as over there, sadly. Although the KC is trying to address these problems, on the back of 'that show' - but has been meeting resistance from the GSD people, it appears. There have been many German imports into the UK in recent years, which is, I believe, where all these problems have come from!!! The breed in the UK never used to look as they do today.
- Samantha ELv 48 years ago
Yep it can when really extreme, even working GSD have a sloping hindquarter but no where near as extreme as show bloodlines.
I would advise you only buy from genetically tested parent dogs no matter what you buy as the working bloodlines also have genetic health issues dose most dog breeds.