What type construction guarantees stamina in the German Shepherd Dog
By Herr Walter Rugamer S.V.(Kormeister)

 

The dog has three basic types of movement; walk, trot and the gallop. The amble can take place during the walk and trot. Although ambling enhances stamina, it is not a true type movement. In proportion our dog will walk less than it will trot.

The fastest type of movement, the gallop will with free living wild dogs play a less important role. The closest ancestors of our dogs namely the jackal, hyena and the kojote manage the large distances with stamina and not with speed. For them the trot is most important type of movement. It is not that easy for a wo1f size-hunting animal to find adequate food in a few square kilometers and therefore it has to frequently cover distances of 100 km in one night.

The German Shepherd Dog has, up to now retained the most genuine construction of its ancestors, the trotter construction, which has been in many respects further perfected through systematic breeding.,and is the beautiful shape of a construction aimed at economy, even more so when think of its multi purpose utilization.

The breed standard for instance calls for the construction of a non-tiring tritter which, with the least amount of effort delivers the highest degree of performance. Stephantiz describes this concept: ”as the economy of power”.

Now I would like to mention some important factors, which enhance the stamina of the German Shepherd Dog and for simplicity, they are in the sequence of judging.
First 1y, in general, some remarks regarding the locomotive mechanism of the dog.

This comprises:
The passive locomotion mechanism, which comprises the bones and the joint ligaments. It supports the organism and creates its shape. The active locomotion mechanism,which consists of muscles of the skeleton and its tendons. It makes the deliberate body movement possible. On the one hand, the muscles are designed for quick, instant action and on the other hand, they are also equipped to cope with enduring work resulting in overall balanced and supple movement which should save energy.

It is therefore necessary that the skeleton provides for the correct position of the 1imbs as well as the movement of joints and that it incorporates large levers in order to save muscles energy. For example, the longer the levers whilst within the breed standard, to which the muscles are attached and the better the angulations of these limbs, the higher one should rate(in theory) the working ability of the dog.

In the same way as the passive and active locomotive mechanism compliment each other, the overall picture of our dog should be balanced e.g., each body part should be in the proportion to the total body complex. When all individual parts and also the support columns (legs) fit together in an evenly manner one can say, ”a thoughtful and purposeful constructed body on the basis of harmony and symmetry guarantees the best development of power and stamina”.
Exercise and work require a determined measure of size and strength.

With an increased height the body weight increases considerably and requires more from the muscles to the detriment of muscle power available for movement. The body height therefore has a negative effect on the performance. Dogs that are too large and too heavy carry too much dead weight . they stop, climb and jump poorly. In addition, they are often less keen to work as they tire too soon. The performance will be even more effected when the additional height is caused by “ upright movement” as a result of poor front and hind angulations ,the forereach will be binding and the length of stride will be restricted. With an incorrect chest construction there is too little space for the internal organs and under stamina the performance will visibly suffer. A dog, which is too small, even when it is well proportioned, lacks strength. Although fast and agile, it is too light in construction and possesses too little stamina. When such animals additionally have legs that are too short, the chest will be very deep, and their movement will cover too little ground.

Only the German Shepherd dog of a good medium size 63 cm for males and 58 cm for bitches measured at the withers can count on agility, speed and especially stamina.
The correct size working dog requires the correct strength in the bones and muscles. The outer shape of our dog depends more on the positioning, size and shape of the bones , than anything else. They are extremely well equipped to pass on the forwards thurst during movement.

The elasticity of the bone tissue constitutes 85% of that of iron, and yet the weight of bones, is only onethird of the weight of iron.

The surface of the bones may be smooth and even or be uneven and shows pronounced grooves , which serve to anchor muscles, ligaments and tendons. The bones should be dry and not be coarse or spongy and certainly not too fine.

Bones that are too large reduce stamina as the dog carries too much dead weight.

According to “Klatt”, muscles constitute 53% of the total weight and this, amongst others, creates his working ability and his overall appearance.

The muscles, of which the length and width are determined by the anchor point position on the bones, should be dry and firm and so should be the tendons and ligaments which keep the skeleton parts together, especially those at the joints. As our dog is not a heavy duty animal, the lever lift power of the muscle reduces at the height of leverage , that is the length to which the muscle shortens is greater than the lever arch, which in turn is also dependant on the length of the muscle strands. As a result of muscle contraction, the various connected skeleton parts make movements which can be compared with levers and in general skeleton movements are based on the principles of the leverage.

We can therefore state “Not the thick, but the long muscles are favorable for stamina”.

When we refer to the proportion of the dog, we refer to the ratio of height to length. With the correct height to length ratio all parts are in natural balance, Which is maintained in stance and in movement and requires no undue muscle action.

The optimal proportioned German Shepherd Dog, possess a slightly stretched trotter’s construction of which the length exceeds the height at the withers. According to “Stroße” is the ratio of 10:9 is the best for balance and stability as well as movement and therefore stamina.

The head best expresses the type of breed, sex characteristics and character of a dog. Ear carriage, the expression in the eyes, condition of the coat and pigmentation further provides clues to the health, condition and temperament. The manner, in which the dog moves and behaves, should indicate that there is a healthy mind in a healthy body. All these factors are links in a chain and are the physical and mental conditions required for lasting stamina. And now let us expands on those three body components that determine the degree of power: namely the hind thrust, the transfer over the back and the forereach.

The back has the role to transfer the power generated by the hindquarter action. Only a firm back can form an effective bridge type connection between the hind and forequarters. It comprises the withers, the true back and the loin. The withers are at the front part of the back. The back and shoulder muscles are connected to first dorsal vertebrae, therefore high and long withers do not only enhance the development of strong muscles which create firm shoulder joints, but also provide broad and an angulated coupling for the shoulders, a good reach stamina.

The thrust generated by the hindquarters is wasted in an upward or downward direction with a raised or hollow back. Therefore, only the foregoing referred to type back can enhance stamina. Whilst we require length of withers, the loin part (7 vertebrae) should not be too long, but strong and wide. A short and stiff loin is beneficial for stamina. The pelvic bone, together with the muscles and the cost, form the croup. It is an essential part of the hindquarters and is extremely important for stamina.

The pelvic bone should, like the shoulder blade, be long and diagonally placed. A steep, or a too short pelvic bone, reduces the stride as the back legs will be too far under the body and the thrust generated by the hindquarters will be wasted in an upward direction. When the pelvic bone is placed (+/-450 to the horizontal) the croup will be long and slightly sloping. It commences almost straight and then slopes into a slight arch (+/-230) downwards. In this way there will also be sufficient space for long and strong muscles, a pre-requisite for powerful and especially enduring hindquarter action.

With a flat croup the tail set will be high and the tail is also frequently badly carried. Poor tail carriage disturbs the top line and handicaps the dog during forward and sideward movements because it serves as a rudder and, when required, as a brake. Even this incorrectness effects stamina. A strong dog should therefore have a powerful, well muscled in all directions, slightly flexible tail which ends approximately at the point of hock.

At the beginning I have already mentioned that, in a symmetrically constructed German Shepherd dog, all parts including the (legs) fit together is such manner that. The highest performance can be achieved. Therefore powerful hindquarters should have matching well-constructed forequarters, which can absorb the moving mass and complete the movement cycle which started at the back. The firm connection between the legs and body is provided by the shoulder blade. Connected to it are very powerful muscles that can move it and the upper arm.

1 2
Top
 
 

Services Overview

 
 

 

© 2013 Copyright German Shepherd Dog All rights reserved.