At this point in time, I wish to repeat that the descendants of the DDR-males have been X-rayed without any exception. The reason for repeating this is because the SV-Ausleser (Excellent Select dogs) that are being documented here, have „produced“ a whole lot more progeny. Their collected HD1-results do not really tell us anything about the real magnitude of their offspring. Consequently I have inserted their real „output figures“ into the chart afterwards.
What does this tell us?
For 4.067 of HD-free progeny in the DDR, one only needed 4.391 individuals. What this all amounts to is that the selection measures in the former republic have proven to be totally succesful.
For 5.152 of HD-free progeny, the SV needed no less than 22.721 individuals! That is an evidence of incapacity for the biggest and most influential dog association in the world. I daresay, this comparison or perception is important enough to formally be remembered at all times.
Should you become interested to know the names of these DDR-topdogs, then do go ahead and read Werner Dalm‘s book. I can only give away that some of the absolute frontrunners when it comes to HD were the following dogs:
HD-Prevention: DDR versus SV
The Absolute Reference re HD-Prevention
Barry vom schwarzen Fliess, 137 progeny give 136 HD1 dogs!! – ØHD-quote 1,01
(DDR-Sieger Show-equivalent 1980 V16, 1981 V14, 1982 V9)
Don vom Rolandsteich, 249 prog. give 244 HD1 – ØHD-quote 1,02
(Within the SV, only 77 are being listed, of which 24 X-rayed*) – (1983 V18, 1984 V6, 1985 V5)
Golf von Ritterberg, 188 prog. give 186 HD1 – ØHD-quote 1,02
(DDR-Sieger Show-equivalent 1980 V12, 1981 V10)
Held vom Ritterberg, 270 prog. give 264 HD1 – ØHD-quote 1,04
(DDR-Sieger Show-equivalent 1982 V8, 1984 V7 – Ingo von Rudingen-son)
Ohle vom Rundeck, 455 prog. give 422 HD1 – ØHD-quote 1,11
(DDR-Sieger Show-equivalent 1974 V5, 1975 V7)
*= SV-Genetics Database has only registered HD-results since approximately 1986.
Mister Dalm has really impressed us with his numbers.
Rejoice with me, because there are ways to seriously reduce HD indeed, if one really wants it.
People have asked me on different occasions, how long it might take in my opinion, to seriously repress Hip Displasia. The question is obsolete when one has read the book and studied the history of Werner Dalm and the DDR-dogs. In less than 10, at the longest after 15 years, the HD-free population would have risen above 90%.
If in the process one only uses males that have had sufficient time to fully develop and mature before starting to put them to stud – instead of using the young Sieger-rookies, that have not proven anything yet but have already been crowned and celebrated as an „Ausleser“ (Best of Breed—Excellent Select), then we are talking about as few as 4 or 5 generations.
SV-Bundeszuchtwarte (Federal Breed Wardens) occasionally talk pretty big about trend-setting breeding efforts, scientific counselors and the intensive work of breeding committees, but nothing is being changed at all. One is afraid, because a happy few fear for their lucrative revenues. Therefore it is important to get started exactly there where it hurts. For years now one has lost track about the statutes of the association, more wittingly than unwittingly. The triumvirate Martin-Schweikert-Göbl had taken the initiative (a well-oiled SV-machinery: directing President/Conformation Judge - executive Federal Breed Warden – commissioned Breeder), and made sure, that the entire breed of the GSD would commercially be based and carried forward on THEIR dogs. (The Bottleneck of all Sieger Show events is unexeptionally based on Quando von Arminius (Xaver x Palme vom Wildsteiger Land) and on Uran vom Wildsteiger Land (Irk/Pirol von Arminus), please check the Hall of Fame in that respect.) Other Connections have later followed in their footsteps, but they have built on the same lineages again, just like the former President Hermann Martin had wished: „Preservation of the existing bloodlines“, and the health of the Shepherd Dogs fell by the wayside. Now it is time for a spring cleaning, we have had enough!
Apologies like the one saying something to the effect that a huge ship can only turn very slowly, are ludicrous. One needs a leader like von Stephanitz, ruthless and decisive, to enforce a profound change. The measures of selection should be enforced just like they have been in the DDR. In very few, short periods of time, the entire breeding should be reorganized and based on HD-free dogs only. The first successes will appear promptly, and the breeders will be able to free themselves in the near future from the many claims for damages of unhappy buyers.
Let‘s take the easy way out, sufficient data are available – even when nobody reads it anymore, and let us have a look at how long it took in the DDR.
HD-results in the DDR
The summarizing chart has been taken from the mentioned book of Werner Dalm.
Mister Dalm‘s chart learns us, that with a stepwise implementation of selection measures, such as those which have been radically deployed in the DDR, already after less than 10 years great successes are achieved. The HD-free population rises tremendously fast from 55,7% (more or less the usual SV-level; should one take into account the results which were not sent in, then less than half of the Shepherddogs would document HD-free hips) to approximately 90%.
Who could vote against? I call upon the Association to initiate an immediate and long overdue change of the Zuchtordnung (Breeding Regulations), to follow the example of the DDR and to dam up Hip Dysplasia. It is irresponsable towards the health of the German Shepherd, and towards the SV-breeders and the SV-members, NOT to do this.
If there are any commercial interests at stake, then they do not deserve to be protected. Business (trade/commerce) is explicitly forbidden as the statutes tell us. The SV should finally start to put the results of Siegerprüfungen (BSP = Sieger Trials) at the very beginnning of the December-issue, and move the results of the Sieger Show backwards and put them at the very end, where they belong. The emphasis with the German Shepherd Dog should always be on the „Gebrauchseigen-schaften“ (working qualities), and our Auslesers are certainly NOT the ones that bring these along, in recent years the „Schutzdienst“ (Protection) courage test has become an absolute joke. If one must change the order of priorities again and set them right, then symbolic gestures can be sensationally effective. The marketing department of the Association should buckle up and get to work and announce the deliberate change: „From now on, it‘s all about the qualities of the dog and its health, not about its handsomeness!“
We remember the words of Max von Stephanitz in the Körbuch (breed survey) of 1931:
„Today we know for instance, that and why the outward appearance (phenotype) of a breeding animal is certainly not the only important genetic element to be considered. This knowledge alone should put an end to the wrong breeding selection based on show results. We also had to learn, that the „blood“, as we call it in short, is not the only blessing thing in breeding, that in its overassessment it can even lead to very severe consequences.“
I would now like to complete this subject with two more quotes of Werner Dalm:
„In the first half the chart reveals a continuous increase of the HD-free dogs and at the same time it confirms the validity and effectiveness of the selection measures. Because between 1971 and 1979 all dogs with mediocre and mild HD have been banned from breeding altogether, but also because of the labeling of the HD-status in front of every dogname, which started to involve the breeders into the selection by orientating themselves towards the HD-free dogs, after the effectiveness of the selection by elimination there was this striking increase of HD-free dogs.“
And: „In the year 1985 we had our best result with 94,4% HD-free dogs.“
And what has the SV been up to? (Taken from my manuscripts:)
„The SV has failed at all levels. One has left all of the deficient dogs in breeding, one has even crowned dogs with „Noch Zugelassen“-results (still admissible) as Siegers, as if there were no healthy alternatives with impeccable hips available. Evidence of incapacity for the biggest pedigree dog association of the world and its respective breed wardens. If the kennel club has had its difficulties with this disease for decades now, then it is only because nobody has had the guts to call the shots. All too many commercial interests were at stake.“
More lessons from the book
Now that we have, respectively the history of the DDR at this point in time has proven, that an HD-control is very well possible in the short term and Werner Dalms theses should be taken into account, especially now that the German Shepherd is very badly affected, I wish to repeat two more subjects that people at the SV don‘t want to understand. Especially because they have also been addressed by Mister Dalm in this book: the manipulation of the dog and the double-handling during exhibitions and breed surveys.
To the subject of manipulation:
In regard to the endless manipulation (hand-posing) during the Standmusterung (standing physical conformation exam) and during the pauses of the Gangwerksmusterung (movement control) at conformation shows, Werner Dalm reports as follows:
„Finally in regard to the subject of conformation shows we have to report that during the standing exam the dogs had to be presented totally free of manipulation and solely with the aid of the leash and that any contact with the hands was totally unwelcome. The conformation judge was authorized to forbid he building up (grooming) and the fiddling of the dogs with the hands.“
And in regard to the Double Handling Werner Dalm wrote:
„The excessive luring and the incitement of the dogs during the shows was taboo and it was hated by the judges and the spectators alike. When during the movement control and during the alignment of the dogs the exaggerated incitement didn‘t stop, then our conformation judges were authorized, after one or two admonitions, to demote the dog in question. At our shows things were basically very disciplined, and there was hardly any reason for complaints.“
See! One can really do without! The circus must stop, and people should be able to run a disciplined show, not give us the theatre that now disturbs the audience, let alone the judges. The dog must be presented „au naturel“, without any touching, and it should certainly not be perpetually kneaded, pushed hence and forth or forcefully manipulated into angulations.
Max von Stephanitz had already shown us how to do it: (Thanks Debby and Eric!)
“The judging of the general appearance, expression and nature follows after the dog has been led around quietly, in order to obtain a general impression. He is then made to stand and some of his single characteristics are examined. The judging when the dog is on leash should best take place on an even firm surface; when this is not possible, one must avail oneself of the help of boards. For the purpose of this examination, the dog must stand on all four legs so as to distribute his weight evenly. The forequarters must be perpendicular from the withers, the hindquarters must stand easily and naturally, being slightly drawn back, but never over-stretched, nor unnaturally placed in a special position. In this free natural condition he must be held during the whole of the inspection and he must not be allowed to sit, to lie down, to walk around, nor to strain himself forward on the leash. He must not be held up by the collar or the leash, or made lively by any tricks.”
Hence it is questionable, why the SV would allow it that the dog is being so severely manipulated, as it is the case today at conformation shows. I daresay that a directive of the judge committee could bring clear rules of the game for all the participants. „Lass‘n Sie die Finger vom Hund, sonst geht’s raus!“ (Keep your hands off the dog! Or you‘re out!)
With this last suggestion I rest my case in regard to the absolute reference in HD-prevention, Werner Dalm and the DDR. I sincerely hope that you will be able to take some of it with you in your daily work with the dog and in your local or regional clubs. And should you wish to breed healthy dogs, then you will more than ever be able to benefit from these lessons of Mister Dalm and Max von Stephanitz.
With this in mind, I wish each and everyone of you a healthy German Shepherd Dog.