ALT (old) DEUTSCHER
(German) SCHAEFERHUND (shepherd dog)
written by Tina Barber
reprinted with permission from the March/July 1998
Before attempting to start a breeding program, a
conscientious breeder will outline a plan. Much like a contractor does, before starting a
building project. No experienced contractor would attempt to build a housing complex,
without first examining the blueprints. Likewise, no breeder should start "producing
puppies" without carefully examining several pedigrees of their chosen breed.
Sincere breeders that are willing to devote some intense research into
the Shiloh bloodlines will find that ALL of the dogs in our genepool have
ancestors by the time you reach the 7th 9th generation.
Lets take a look at SHILOHS EASY RIDER, does
have a pedigree that does NOT reflect his name? Maybe you should
look further back? He is the sire of Shilohs Wolfin Sasquach, as well as Shilohs
Captain Caliber-Baker, and dozens of other, less "popular" names in your
pedigree. Most Shilohs have been heavily inbred/linebred on this dog,
from the fact that he is linebred on Ch. Eko-Lans Paladin & Ch. Lance of Fran-Jo, what
else could be hidden in his genes? What problems will start surfacing soon, from
much concentration on him? How many breeders bother to count the number of times
he shows up in the first 5 generations? Their puppies will certainly "draw" in
his faults, as well as his virtues.
Maybe less emphasis should be placed on "gossip &
rumors," and more on true facts. The former will fade with time; the
facts will make or break a breed, depending only on whether they are used in a
or negative breeding program. In 1971 Leon Whitney published "HOW TO BREED
DOGS". To this day, this is one of the most comprehensive books I have read
on breeding. On page 160, he advocates crossing
two INBRED strains.
The chart was amazing, and that is why I crossed the "Kari" line with the
"Ria" line, and also with the "Ursa" line, and it worked! The SIZE was
dramatically increased! A 25" female (inbred
to a 27" male (inbred Ursa) would produce 29-30" males, then (inbred
"Kari") and the Giants were "locked in." This breeding program
continued for over a decade! Unfortunately, all good things must someday end, and I
noticed that the "rest of the story" was coming true. All research done on this
type of inbreeding points to complete infertility by the sixth generation, and most
certainly severe regression by the fifth generation!
In order to maintain hybrid (not wolf!)
vigor, it is imperative that step #1 is repeated by the fourth generation of any inbred
line. During the 80s such an inbred-outcross was being prepared for my lines. The
result of this "specially" designed outcross was Samson, commonly referred to as
the "MAW" line. His first pups were born in 91, and their first official
litter (of 3 pups) was born 12/92, to be followed by 2 more litters in 93. Since
that time this line appears in over 80% of all registered Shilohs, between the 3rd
and 5th generation. Since inbreeding on these dogs is not allowed (for
good reasons). The search for another (inbred) outcross line was started
several years ago, in order to prepare for step #1 to be repeated again! All roads pointed
back to the ADS, since these dogs had the same ancestors 7-8-9-10-11 generations back, yet
were still linebred on the "Old" style GSD that the Shiloh line ORIGINATED
from! Nothing else would allow us to continue producing the same "type" that we
have been trying to "lock in" for the past 3 decades.
Please note the corn; 2 inbreds (on far left) produced the giant corn #1; by the fifth
generation things are going down hill! It is time to go back to step #1, or prepare for
the inevitable. Anyone experimenting with such a program must maintain exact records
on all progeny produced, for several generations (and prepare to repeat step #1),
before attempting to continue inbreeding.
Two years of phone calls, letters, picture exchanges, "cashing in" on family
favors, etc., finally came to fruition in Nov 97, when the litter I was looking for was
born! At this time there are only 18 "recognized breeders in all of Germany.
Most have only 1 litter per year, if that. Only 3 have 2 or more litters. Researching the
pedigrees, LMX data, etc was very difficult, since there is so much mistrust of
"American" breeders. In order to select the perfect dog(s) for our lines, we had
to be sure not to double up on faults we already had, nor bring in new ones that we would
have to deal with in the future! Some of the lines being used would not work, simply
because the aggression level would be far too "strong for our breed, not to
mention other structural faults (like "roach backs") that we most certainly want
to stay away from!
Despite the fact that only time
will prove how well this new blood will work with our lines, I feel very strongly that the
ADS will not only improve on many of the faults we are now dealing with, but will give our
dogs that "special something" we have been slowly losing! We will definitely
reap a burst of new "hybrid vigor," strengthen our hips, and bring more
"confidence" into our temperaments! After 23 hrs. In a crate, when I picked
Artus up at the airport, he stepped out on the dock like he owned the place! I put a leash
on him, and he walked down a flight of (open-grated) icy stairs like it was nothing! In
the dark, strange new place, he grabbed my scarf to play and slipped out of his collar,
while a plane was taking off! I know that many 3 mo. old dogs would have spooked under
such conditions! I just said "here" and he came right back to my side, so that I
could put his collar back on. Who could ask for a better reaction? We cant afford to
compromise the "fearless" qualities this breed once possessed! I see great new
frontiers for the Shilohs to conquer in the future, including many venues in the
world of true "working" titles!
SEVERAL MONTHS AGO WE RAN A "CONTEST" THAT INCLUDED 36
PICTURES (IN 4 CATEGORIES) OF THE ADS & SS. These pictures will be
"blown-up" and posted on our BB at Homecoming, along with the contest results!
(Note: these pictures are still available--see if
you can "pick that Shiloh"--e-mail your answers to the
webmaster! To date no one has been
able to correctly pick every one.)