Showsight Presents The German Shepherd Dog

was bred to stay quiet until needed, then was expected to go through swamps or swim in cold water to retrieve the game for its master. Canada, more or less, developed a more difficult kind of Retriever when it introduced the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. It was an orange and white colored dog of about 19" and weigh- ing 45 pounds. The word “toll” means to entice or attract. This Retriever was expected to attract birds and get them to fly within gunshot range. To do this, hunters would sit in blinds or in floating boats. Over time other kinds of hunt- ing dogs were developed for special purposes. The English Pointer and Ger- man Short-Haired Pointer were devel- oped to move more quickly to adapt to the hunting situation regardless of the weapon. HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT As time passed, Shepherd dogs and Hounds were used to produce other kinds of breeds for specific purposes (Goldbecker and Hart, 1967). During the 18th and 19th centuries, farmers in France needed dogs that could rid them of the badger that dug holes under the foundations of their barns and homes, creating major damage. In Germany, the selection of sires and dams resulted in a dog with stubby legs and a round body that could chase and kill prey. It is thought that some combination of hounds likes the Basset and Terriers were used to produce the Dachshund or “badger dog”. In another part of Ger- many, a small group of breeders led by a military captain (Von Stephanitz) set out to produce an all-purpose utility dog that would ultimately be called the German Shepherd Dog. All breeds have a beginning, some dating back several centuries; by the 1980s, breeders had learned that in order to produce better dogs it was nec- essary to develop their skills. Battaglia (2009) found that success in the dog sport involved three sets of skills. One set was needed by those who judge and officiate at dog shows, a second set for those who exhibit and trial their dogs and a third set for those who breed. Figure 1 shows the list of breeder skills. This article explains Skill #2 and uses the German Shepherd breed as the example of what is meant by under- standing the skill called Breed Knowles.

Breeder Skills: 1. Breed Standard 2. Breed Knowledge

and his friend and writer, Jane Murfin, introduced the breed to the film world. It began with a very large, trained police dog, “Etzel von Oringer”, who was renamed “Strong Heart”. He was featured in several silent movies, including Jack London’s Call of the Wild (1921) and White Fang (1925). It was “Strong Heart” who became the first canine movie star. The next GSD to make the big screen was a rescue pup from a bombed-out kennel in Lor- raine, France. He would eventually replace Strong Heart. Military records show that Corporal Lee Duncan and Rin Tin Tin (also called Rinty) would have an inauspicious beginning. It began when Corporal, Lee Duncan was sent to inspect a bombed-out German facil- ity in WWI. During his inspection, he came upon a concrete building at the edge of the German airfield where he found many dogs that had been killed by artillery shells. Among the dead, he heard the whimpering of a female with a litter of five puppies. He took the mother and her five pups back to the base. The dam and three pups were giv- en to another soldier. Corporal Duncan kept one male and female for himself. He named the female “Nenette” and the male “Rin Tin Tin” after a pair of good luck charm dolls made to honor a pair of young lovers who had survived a bombing in a Parisian railway stating at the start of the war. The male pup res- cued on that fateful day of September 15, 1918, would become a very impor- tant part of Hollywood history, not only for German Shepherd Dogs, but also for dogs of all breeds. He set in motion a career that would achieve stardom and fame along with other canine box office stars such as Strongheart, Teddy, Lassie, Asta, Pete the Pup and Benji. The third GSD to become a movie star was “Bul- let,” that was used by Roy Rogers on his TV Show. “Bullet” propelled the breed into second place in popularity in the United States. In 1927, legendary dog trainer, Carl Spitz, emigrated from Ger- many to California and opened his dog training school in Hollywood. Spitz quickly became the master movie dog- trainer. He did amazing things with dogs and became the trainer of “Rin Tin Tin” and the Cairn Terrier called, “Ter- ry” who portrayed “Toto” in the MGM film, “ The Wizard of Oz.” The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) continued to be popular in many

3. Method to select sires and dams 4. Evaluate pedigrees (depth/ breadth) 5. Record system 6. Evaluate litters 7. Pick best puppies 8. Manage, feed and develop what you keep Breed Knowledge has four parts: breed history, function, purpose and health. To better understand this four- part skill, the German shepherd breed will be used to illustrate what under- standing this skill involves. The breed’s history begins with the life work of Rittmeister van Stephanitz who began his efforts in 1899, along with a close friend, Arthur Meyer. Together they set out to develop an ideal utility working dog. Their new breed was developed with a medium size, yellow and grey wolf-like herding dog that demonstrated the working characteristics they were looking for in such a dog. They bought this dog whose name was Hektor von Linksrheim and changed it to Horand von Grafrath and registered him as the first GSD. His registration number was S.Z.1.AS part of the breed’s development; they also established the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, S.V., the national German Dog Club. By the early 1900s, the GSD was becoming popular in the United States as an all–purpose companion and working dog. It was used in a variety of sports, including conformation (dog shows) obedience, rally, agility, herding and the Working Dog sport. Attesting to its popularity, thousands of German Shepherd owners have earned the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification dem- onstrating their good manners at home and in their community. The first GSD registered with the AKC was Queen Switzerland, (Registra- tion # 115006) in 1908. The first GSD to be exhibited in the show ring in Amer- ica was Mira von Offingen, that was shown in the open class at Newcastle and Philadelphia. Mira was imported by Otto Gross in 1907 and handled by H. Dairymple. The popularity of the breed quickly escalated thanks to the entertainment industry and the big screen in Holly- wood. It began when Larry Trimble


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