|Barked: Thu Sep 26, '13 5:14pm PST |
|Breeding whites primarily to other whites began when the breed club decided the color was inferior. People involved in the SV weren't going to mix their colored dogs with the "inferior" white dogs. So from that perspective, yes, you could say the white Shepherd as its own line is newer than the original GSD, but by that token, the same could be said of the American show line GSDs.
I would love to see your source for the claim that whites and blacks have higher occurrence of physical or temperament problems than other colors. Certainly a splinter like white Shepherds is going to attract some bad breeders looking for a quick buck, but there are good breeders who produce consistent white Shepherds that are solid physically and mentally. As a matter of fact, many good WGSD breeders have herding titles on their dogs, and these dogs can be seen doing SAR, drug/explosive detection, service work, obedience, ect. ect. Really, the temperament of a well bred WGSD isn't that far-flung from that of a good American GSD, it's the working line GSDs they differ most significantly from.
Again, blacks can show up in any litter from any bloodlines as long as both parents have at least one recessive gene for the solid black color (the same is actually true of whites). While there are some breeders who breed exclusively black to black, I've yet to see one I would consider reputable. Good working line breeders care much, much more about temperament, health, and working ability than color. Any breeder who places their primary emphasis on color is not a good breeder, especially when they're breeding working dogs. A good breeder pairs dogs based on pedigrees, and the strengths and weaknesses of the dogs.
I can honestly say I've never seen black GSDs painted with the same brush as whites before now. Would you say the black/tan saddlebacks are a new line, more prone to problems because that color and pattern appeared and some people ran with it, breeding exclusively for B/T? Sable is genetically the most dominant GSD coat color, so clearly the genetic pool was reduced to produce the huge numbers of B/T GSDs we have today. There are far fewer breeders breeding only solid black GSDs than there are producing nothing but B/T. Unlike the B/T show line GSDs, most well bred solid black GSDs are from breeders who don't particularly care about color. Many black GSDs are from pairings where one or even both parents were sable, so nothing diminutive is happening to that gene pool based on color; it's not as though the black puppies are any less genetically diverse than their sable littermates.
The AKC is far from the be-all or the end-all in dog breeding, especially when discussing the German Shepherd Dog. Working line Shepherds, while allowed in the AKC ring, will never win over a show line Shepherd because they don't have the structure, or often color, the AKC considers correct for the breed. Yet working line GSDs are the ones doing the majority of the work the GSD was created to do. The UKC, who places a much higher priority on a dog's ability to do its original job, does allow whites and will place working line dogs. So which one is right? Depends on who you ask. Many GSD people feel clubs like the AKC are ruining the breed by rewarding exaggerated conformation and contributing to the loss of the structure and temperament of the original Shepherd. I think the American GSDs have their place, and a moderately bred Am. GSD can be a great dog, but to hail the AKC as the final word in GSD standards is farther than I'll go.
Edited by author Fri Sep 27, '13 12:34am PST
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