Breed Show (SV Conformation Show) Rules, Germany – 1997 version, translated by Fred Lanting

The following rules are enforced in Germany, and offered as a guide to other countries’ clubs.

Breed Show (SV Conformation Show) Rules, Germany

1997 version, translated by Fred Lanting

The club for German Shepherd Dogs (SV) is the parent club of the breed, acknowledged by the VDH and the FCI. For the purpose of the conservation and further development of the breed, the statutes of the SV (delineated at SV headquarters for SV member-clubs) generally and in particular for the handling of the organization, indispensable for the breed, the SV gives the following “breed show rules”. These regulations are to have the effect of law (for members). Continue reading

The 2004 SV/WUSV/FCI Rules for the BH Qualification (Translated into English by Fred Lanting)

The 2004 SV/WUSV/FCI Rules for the BH Qualification

Translation copyrighted by Fred Lanting

COMPANION DOG AND BEHAVIOR/TEMPERAMENT TEST, WITH TRAFFIC SURENESS AND OTHER SPECIAL EXPERIENCE

(Begleithund & Verhaltens Test, BH/VT)

All examinations and qualification events are subject to principles of sportsmanship regarding the performance and behavior of those involved. The execution, demonstration, and evaluation are more thoroughly described below. These regulations are binding for all involved, and all participants have to meet the same performance requirements. One change is that at the BH/VT examination, the gunsureness test no longer takes place. In order to participate in FH, SchH/VPG, IPO, RTP (SAR), Agility, and Obedience events, proof of the BH/VT is required. Authorized to award the BH/VT are SchH/VPG, Agility and Obedience trial judges listed and approved by any AZG-member association. The examination result is to be noted in the appropriate performance record, such as scorebook or Ahnentafel. Continue reading

SchH-VPG-3 translated (by Fred Lanting) to English

Three divisions: Phase A 100 points

Phase B 100 points

Phase C 100 points

Total: 300 points Continue reading

SchH-VPG-2 translated (by Fred Lanting) to English

Three divisions: Phase A 100 points

Phase B 100 points

Phase C 100 points

Total: 300 points Continue reading

SchH-VPG-1 translated (by Fred Lanting) to English

Three divisions: Phase A 100 points

Phase B 100 points

Phase C 100 points

Total: 300 points Continue reading

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Endoparasites

Including excerpts from my book, “The Total German Shepherd Dog” and other copyrighted articles.
Write to me for permission to reproduce
. Find me via an Internet search engine: Fred Lanting

PARASITE CONTROL IN THE DOG, NORTH AMERICA

WORMS

Most worms (nematodes) settle and grow in the small intestine, though some species are found in the cecum, heart, lung, and other tissues in various stages of development. The intestinal nematodes produce eggs, which are carried with the digestive products to exit in the feces. But since the egg-lay­ing does not always coincide with the dog’s bowel movements, stool samples may not show the presence of worms. A 5?day sampling will probably reveal some eggs if hookworms or roundworms are present, but tapeworms or whipworms may still escape detection. For this reason, many breeders rely instead on outward signs of poor coat, flatu­lence and/or diarrhea, loss of weight, and an abnor­mal look or smell to the stool.

In many breeds, the topcoat should lie flat, straight, and smooth, giving a water?resistant thatch over the softer undercoat and skin. If these coarse, straight guard hairs stand up and out, or if the ends curl out away from the body, it may be a temporarily “open” condition due to worms. Lustre and texture also is gone, and the feel is rough and dry, the natural lubrications being lost when worms take their tariff from the intestinal lining’s rich supply of blood vessels, or otherwise interfere with normal absorption of nutrients. In this article you will see the word anthelmintics, which is the more accurate word for “wormer”, “worm medicine”, etc.

Roundworm — This is the most widespread of parasitic worms in dogs, cats, and many other animals. They are present in almost all newborn pups, having passed in larval stage through the placenta into the fetus’s liver. After birth, these larvae are carried by the blood to the heart, then to the lungs. Irritation of the bronchial passages causes the dog to gag and cough the larvae up, then swallow them. This enables the larvae to reach the intestines where they latch onto the walls with lamprey-like tenacity, and in as few as ten days can be found to have matured into identifiable round­worms of egg?laying capacity.

Older pups that get worms a second time usually do so by ingesting worm eggs from stool or stool-­contaminated surfaces. Pups (and adults) may also pick up roundworms from cat stools, which present a tremendous attraction. Larvae have also been detected in bitch’s milk. Swallowed roundworm eggs hatch in the intestine where the liberated larvae penetrate the wall and are carried in the lymph system to the veins. They, too, take the liver?heart-­lungs route, molt, and start laying eggs of their own four weeks after being ingested. So, it’s a good idea to repeat initial worming a couple weeks later, whether it’s a new litter or a dog you have just obtained but aren’t sure of its worming history (such as may be the case with some imports).

Adults and half?grown dogs tend to trap some roundworm larvae in body tissues in an encapsulated or encysted condition, where they do no further harm. Pregnant bitches, however, undergo a hormone change about three weeks before whelping that releases the encysted larvae, freeing them to migrate to the placenta and affect the fetuses as the bitch herself was affected when she was a growing embryo. This dormant stage of roundworm larvae can also exist in transient or intermediate hosts such as rodents, and if mice are eaten, the process of digestion will release the larvae in the dog’s intestine, where they will not migrate (because they are in a different form), but develop into roundworms. Dogs that catch and eat beetles, cockroaches, mice, even earthworms, all of which may be hosts for roundworms, should periodically be given anthelmintics (wormers) as a routine control measure. Pyrantel pamoate (Strongid™, Nemex™) is an excellent anthelmintic for the youngest puppies because it is considered non-toxic and very safe even if rather overdosed accidentally; it is highly effective against round and hookworms. A good routine is to administer 2 weeks after birth, and then again 10 days after that. The next worming can be with ivermectin, but if you have a very small breed, you might want to dilute that. More on this anthelmintic drug later.

Hookworm — Hookworms are much smaller than roundworms and cannot be seen outside the dog, but as in the case of roundworms, eggs can be detected in fecal matter under the microscope. “Hook”, as dog fanciers often call it, is a debilitating disease in adults and a frequent killer of pups. It is possibly the leading cause of death in puppies over two or three weeks of age. In chewing their way to blood vessels serving the intestinal walls, hookworms inflame the lining and make the organ less efficient. As a result, the dog becomes malnourished as well as anemic. Bloody stool, diarrhea, anemia, weakness, and dehydration are symptom of hookworm infestation, in addition to the sign of poor coat condition. There are a number of good anthelmintics, but the one I find most convenient, safe, and effective is ivermectin, good not only for heartworm prevention, but also for preventing and treating for round, hook, whip, and even ticks. Interceptor™ (milbemycin) is another heartworm “medicine” that gets many of these parasites. Since all wormers are potentially dangerous especially to debilitated pups, follow your veterinarian’s orders when worming sick or very weak pups. Hookworm can commonly be picked up at dog shows, veterinarians’ lawns and lobbies, city sidewalks, and parks where dogs defecate. The eggs can live a long time in the soil, but sunlight helps to kill them, and full?strength chlorine bleach can destroy or force them to hatch and thus be susceptible to attack by products available from your veterinarian.

“A whip so small you could not see it, I’ve known to lash the mighty creature till it fell.”

…Emily Dickinson, 1874

Whipworm — Whipworm infestation is usually less of a problem since it is not so widespread, but it’s harder to detect and eradicate. Eggs are extremely resistant to the environment, and larvae can exist for several years in the soil or cracks in basement floors. Whipworms don’t lay as many eggs, or as often, as other worms, so they are more difficult to detect. Take several days’ stool samples (in one mixture) to the vet. Symptoms are similar to those of hook, and repeated doses with specific whipcides are quite effective when strict sanitation is an adjunct. Generally, anything that will kill hookworms or whipworms will also kill roundworms but it might be a longer battle before you are feeling safe. Febantel has generally replaced the old dichlorvos (Task™, Atgard™) as the wormer of choice. Dichlorvos once was widely used for whip, hook, and roundworms as well as a ingredient in impregnated-plastic strips for fly control, but was a bit risky for the youngest pups or dogs with liver or kidney insufficiency or heartworm, or if absorbed along with other cholinesterase inhibitors.

So the lone Taenia, as he grows, prolongs His flatten’d form with young adherent throngs.

…Erasmus Darwin, in The Temple of Nature, before 1800

Tapeworm — A variety of tapeworms (cestodes) infest dogs and all of these flatworm parasites rely on an intermediate host in order to be transmitted from one direct host to another. Depending on the genus and species, some require an insect, others a crustacean, still others a different mammal in which they exist in a non-worm stage such as a larva, usually encysted. Eggs are seldom detected in flotation slides, but the owner may see little white crawling things on the surface of some stools. These are called proglottids, segments of the tapeworm that contain the eggs and are shed by the worm in order to propagate itself while the head and younger segments remain attached to the inside of the dog. The shed segments have been likened to rice grains, cucumber seeds, and tiny blunt arrowheads and can vary in size from those of cucumber seed dimensions down to nearly microscopic particles that can be mistaken for frost if seen on a cold morning. The stool is not necessarily soft, unless the infestation is so bad that diarrhea is around the corner. However, tapeworms should be suspected when the dog has been wormed for hook yet still has flatulence and poor coat. He must then have the specific tapeworm anthelmintic.

Dipylidium caninum, a member of one of the most common flatworm parasite groups in dogs, is transmitted by the dog flea and the cat flea. When the dog bites and eats the flea, the tapeworm larva is given access to the canine intestine where the cycle starts again. The flea’s family members, meanwhile, are waiting in the grass (or even your carpets!) to feed on the eggs in the proglottids shed by earlier tapeworms. The genus Taenia includes several species of tapeworm, the most common of which is T. pisiformis. Most cases of infestation come about when the dog eats a rabbit or mouse in whose intestines can be found encysted Taenia larvae. Prevention of infection with Taenia includes not allowing your dog to eat raw wildlife, particularly the internal organs, and especially rodents. The best preventive measure against Dipylidium is to keep your dog from socializing with cats or visiting places where cats hang out, for our feline friends are typical intermediate hosts even though they are seldom bothered by the fleabites.

A much-used wormer called praziquantel (trade name Droncit™), is nearly 100 percent effective against both of the above types of tapeworm. It causes the tapeworm to lose resistance to digestion by the host, so you will rarely see pieces of the worm in the stool after the wormer has done its job. Other anthelmintics for hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms don’t affect either of these tapeworms. A few minor flatworms are transmitted by the eating of raw fish. Another species, Echinococcus granulosus, is a danger to man, its intermediate host. It is found mostly in Alaska and parts of Canada. There is a tablet anthelmintic sold under the trade name “Drontal™ Plus” which combines Droncit with pyrantel pamoate (the latter paralyzes hook and round worms). There is also febantel, which interferes with the metabolic process of whipworms; a combination with praziquantel is useful in the control of several types of intestinal worms with one dose. Some of these can be also be administered by injection.

Other worms — I have limited these suggestions to worm problems that are most common in North America. There is insufficient room or reason to describe the other, much more minor, worms that can bother dogs in this region, but if your dog exhibits typical “wormy” symptoms and a couple of routine wormings a few weeks apart don’t improve his condition, take a 5?day stool sample into the veterinarian for a complete study.

The changing scene — Wormers, like flea and tick killers, are constantly in a state of flux, so make sure your vet and you keep up to date on the latest studies. But don’t automatically assume that if something new is highly effective, that it is the best. Many old and relatively safe approaches can still be used. Telmin™ (mebendazole), Scoloban™ (bunamidine), DNP, Vermiplex™, and Styquin are effectively off the market in the USA now. Wormers similar to Vermiplex may kill a fairly high percentage of hookworms, roundworms, and considerable numbers of tapeworms, but not enough to completely eradicate an infestation; many of these are principally toluene or similarly offensive solvents. They usually require fasting before effective administration.

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RELATIVE EFFICACY OF THE MORE COMMON ANTHELMINTICS (WORMERS)

Product: Hook Round Whip Tape
Ivermectin* +++ +++ +++  –
Pyrantel (Nemex, Strongid)** +++ +++ – 
Fenbendazole (Panacur™)*** +++ +++ +++ ++(Taenia only)
Dichlorvos ++ ++ ++
Praziquantel (Droncit™) –  –   – +++
Drontal-Plus (prazi- & pyr. pam.) +++ +++ +++ +++
Milbemycin (Interceptor™) ++ ++ ++
Paracitide-10™ (prazi- & febantel) +++ +++ +++ +++


*When packaged for cattle and sold in feed stores without prescription. Ivermectin had long been sold “off-label” for dogs; it has been considered dangerous in Collies, Shelties, and crosses of these, if given in doses large enough for treating intestinal worms.

**Pyrantel pamoate is also sold as a paste for horses, but dividing doses of that form is difficult; the pleasant-tasting liquid sold for dogs is easiest to administer, though tablets are also available. For hookworm, which is hard to rid from the premises, every other week for 6 weeks may be required. Better to switch to ivermectin after the first dose.

***Panacur is effective against only one type of tapeworm (Taenia, not Dipylidium); it is administered for 5 days for the tapeworm and 3 days for other worms.

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In all cases, it is wise to treat the dam 2-3 weeks after whelping, or after her pups start eating “solid” food in the last stage of the weaning process. I have found that almost all intestinal worm problems seen in North America can be prevented by initially dosing pups when they are 2 weeks old with Nemex, effective against canine roundworms and hookworms, and then start oral ivermectin another two weeks after that. For both worms and ticks, I use Ivomec™ (a brand name, and labeled “for cattle and swine”), purchased at feed stores in 50-ml bottles of 1% injectable ivermectin (it’s the active ingredient in Heartgard™). Sold there for cattle & swine, the same stuff takes care of various worms in the canine. One bottle will possibly last most of a little dog’s life, but even with large breeds, you won’t be spending the small fortune that others do. I store mine in the refrigerator, even though there doesn’t appear to be a shelf-life problem at room temperature. It’s up to you (and maybe your vet, if you wish) what you choose, but I have had good results for many years with the protocol I describe in this article.

The Heartgard dosage to prevent heartworm, as I once wrote down from their old literature, is 6 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. But buying the high-priced pills from the vet is too expensive for my tastes, when I get the same results by shopping where the livestock farmers shop. The insert in the package of 1% Ivomec recommends one milliliter (1 ml = approx. 1 cc) per 110 pounds of bovine, and 1 ml per pound of swine. Anatomically and medically speaking, dogs are more similar to pigs than to cows, so I chose the swine dosage as a starting point. Equivalents in medical jargon are 200 and 300 micrograms per kilogram of body weight in cattle and swine, respectively, both much higher than what I use monthly.

The insert explains that ivermectin’s “wide margin of safety [in mammals] is attributable to the fact that… [the active ingredients, lactones]… do not readily cross the blood-brain barrier. In other words, the chemical/drug acts so much more on the brainless parasite than on your smart, “brainy” dog. In cattle and swine, the Ivomec insert says, ivermectin is effective against gastro-intestinal worms, lice, and mites.

Some people ask, “Can I figure out the dosage from the label on the bottle?” Yes, but is it necessary? You may have to do a lot of converting of volume measurements, metric system designations, etc. What others use (it already has been done for you) may be close enough, as long as you feel comfortable with its use in your breed. I have had many years of success, treating my GSDs, Shibas, and Whippets with never a sick dog because of ivermectin.

I dose orally, not by injection, even though I buy the “injectable” form from my local farm supply & feed store. You should understand that less of almost any drug gets into the circulatory system if ingested, than if injected. Keeping that in mind, the manufacturers’ suggested levels (designed for hypodermic injection) are usually a good bit below what they probably would recommend for oral administration.

Heartworm — Only mosquitoes apparently can incubate the heartworm nematode, and only certain species of mosquito seem willing to do the job; unfortunately, they seem to be everywhere. Reportedly, foxes as well as coyotes can keep the problem alive in any given area, but there are enough dogs around that are not on a preventative, that they don’t need any help from wild animals to spread this disorder. A good blood test can uncover microfilariae. An old control measure once used in some parts of the South was the twice?yearly treatment with “arsenic” (thiacetarsamide), to kill adult heartworm. A newer, far less harsh, and far superior preventative is the once-a-month dosage with either ivermectin (most common trademark as sold by vets is Heartgard™) or milbemycin (sold as Interceptor™). Ivermectin was long used by farmers as a cattle wormer; they found it got rid of all worms (except tapeworms) in their dogs, too.

The lifecycle of the heartworm begins with the mosquito feeding on an infested dog. It picks up, with the blood, some tiny heartworm embryos called microfilariae. Within minutes, the microfilariae begin to migrate from the gut to another part of the mosquito, changing into an infective form called larvae. In a couple of weeks these larvae move to the mosquito’s mouth and when the insect bites the dog they escape into the blood, fat, and mucous tissues of that victim. There they continue to develop in the fatty tissue under the dog’s skin and undergo more molts. In a few weeks they enter the veins as immature worms and reach the heart three months after entering the dog. Growing to a length of some seven inches for males and almost twice that for females, they lodge in the heart, copulate, and produce eggs that then hatch into microfilariae, and the cycle is complete.

The danger to the dog is in the worms’ interference with flow of blood, proper opening and closing of the heart valves, effective oxygenation of cells, and proper blood flow to the lungs, especially when the worms die and clog up the pulmonary arteries. The principal danger to the dog with an adult heartworm population being treated with arsenic is when the dead worms let go and obstruct the pulmonary arterial flow; pneumonia is then the most likely cause of death, so the dog must be kept from exercise or exertion during this treatment period.

For heartworm prevention, I aim for approximately 0.15 ml for every 50 lbs. of dog body weight, 0.21 ml for 75 lbs., and 0.27 for 100 lbs. Naturally, you can’t be accurate to two decimal places, even when you use a 1-ml “TB” syringe, but I don’t have to be precise, as it is quite a safe drug for almost all breeds, especially at this low preventive/maintenance level. I dose once a month, and I don’t worry about giving a little more than the above amounts. I don’t even do stool checks any more; just use that dosage as a prophylactic (preventive) approach. Almost any diabetic can get a hypodermic syringe and needle for you.

For actual round-, hook-, or whipworm presence, or high exposure risk such as weekly exhibition on probably-contaminated dog show grounds, I give my dogs a higher dose: 0.3 to 0.4 ml per 25 lbs., or 1 ml per 75 lbs. every 4 or 6 months instead of their regular low-dose level. I also use the higher dose to combat ticks when they get especially bothersome.

TICKS

While I still maintain that the best way to control ticks is to go over your dog every day and pluck them off with a tweezers and drown them in soapy water (or other detergent), you can also get an additional measure of control by using ivermectin. Especially if you have an unusually bad tick year. Higher doses than I use against worms are used in Australia as a public health measure in rural Aboriginal communities (where the children and some of the adults sleep and otherwise are in intimate contact with their crossbred dingoes) to kill ticks and sarcoptic mites on family dogs. There it has been found that dosing every six weeks was adequate in controlling the tick problem on both the pets and their owners. In that country, the use of ivermectin as a public health measure has favorably affected mortality rates of both man and dog, and greatly improved the health of both. When the dogs are made tick-free and cleared of Sarcoptes, the children benefit because they no longer contract these diseases from their furry friends. There is much history elsewhere of using it for mites & ticks. In much larger, more frequent long-term doses, it has been used against demodectic mange. My personal experience, verified by anecdotes from others, is that ivermectin has considerable action against ear mites and ticks (which are non-insects) but not against fleas (insects).

The higher de-worming level I mentioned earlier is what I also use (in alternate months or two to four times a year) when ticks get bad (as in 2007 and 2008 when we in northern Alabama saw the third-worst tick problem in 30 years). Or else, I’ll give the dogs an extra mid-month (roundworm-control-size) dose, and that helps control the ticks a great deal. The nasty little arthropods still bite, but very few survive long enough to suck much blood. They tend to “die and dry”. By the way, this “large dose” (as I call the one I give for other than heartworm preventive), is the same that pigs get by injection. And as I said, not as much gets absorbed through the gut as would if injected subcutaneously.

Procedure: I stick a 1-ml “hypo” (the size used by diabetics, and what used to be called a “TB syringe”) into the rubber-stoppered 50-ml bottle. The first of the month, I pull the desired amount into the barrel, disconnect it so that the needle stays in the bottle (stuck in the rubber seal), and squirt the selected volume into the mouth of the dog.
The website
http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WALTHAMOSU2002&PID=2984

has more on efficacy of medications like this. This information is not a medical recommendation; by law in most states, you need to confer with your veterinarian for that.

BREED CAUTIONS

Owners of certain at-risk Collies, Shelties, Sheltie mixes such as Silken Windhounds, perhaps Australian Shepherds, Kelpies, etc. might want to check current knowledge on vet websites for information on “the mdr1 mutation”. As the moderator of a veterinary medicine Internet chat list says, “Mixes of unknown pedigree should be treated with caution at the higher ivermectin doses.” Which higher doses, you may ask? Well, that’s a reference to using the drug for killing intestinal worms, not the level for heartworm control.

Well-versed and careful researcher John Cargill says, “Moxidectin (in Proheart™ tablets) is given once a month to prevent heartworm disease. [Several] products contain macrocyclic lactones which kill the tissue stages of heartworm larvae and are given once a month. They are generally very safe, but should not be used in young pups as they can enter the brain and cause nervous system symptoms such as depression and signs of stupor. Collie-type dogs are more sensitive to nervous-system effects than other dogs, but even in these breeds, the products are safe at recommended doses.”
http://www.petshed.com/articles/preventative-dog-heartworm-meds.html

Bonnie Dalzell, Borzoi breeder and another respected data researcher, says: The dose I got from a vet working for Merck, using the 1% liquid “horse Ivomec”: for dogs who do not have the MDR1 gene, 1 cc orally for 135 lbs of dog; the heartworm prevention dose, safe for MDR1 dogs: 0.1 cc orally per 135 lbs of weight. I do not try to get an accurate low heartworm dose for a 10-lb. dog — I would use the Heartgard or Interceptor instead. Breeds that have been shown to have around 30% individuals with the MDR1 gene include Silken Windhounds (Whippet cross, probably with Sheltie), Shetland Sheepdogs, Rough Collies, and Australian Shepherds. If you are in doubt, there is now a PCR test for this gene. Since you can test to find carriers, you could even eliminate it from a lineage of dogs. Here are two abstracts:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2885.2005.00692.x
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1476-4431.2006.00196.x

In case you have not heard of that gene Bonnie talked about, here is a news item from late 2007:

A MYSTERY OF DRUG SENSITIVITY IN DOGS CAN BE PUT TO REST!

“When given a high dosage of ivermectin heartworm medication, many Collies developed severe neurological signs that often resulted in death due to respiratory arrest. Statistical data on drug sensitivity included Collies, Australian Shepherds, Bearded Collies, Border Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, etc. and drugs ranging from an over-the-counter anti-diarrhea medication (Loperamide) and pain controller Butorphanol to some chemotherapy drugs. The mystery has finally been solved. A recent study by Dr. Katrina Mealey has identified that the problem of drug sensitivity relates to a genetic mutation in the multidrug-resistance gene (MDR1). One of the responsibilities of the gene MDR1 is the production of a protein called P-glycoprotein (P-gp). This protein allows many toxins and drugs to be removed from the brain. An affected dog lacks functional P-glycoprotein that leads to toxins not being pumped out of the brain and, as a consequence, to an abnormal neurological reaction. The mutation has an autosomal recessive way of inheritance which means that, in order to be affected (super sensitive to drugs), a dog has to have both genes mutated. However, even the presence of a single mutation increases drug sensitivity in a dog. A new DNA test for the presence of the mutation MDR1 gene allows for the detection of affected dogs as well as dogs carrying a single mutation. Knowing the dog’s status will help veterinarians to properly administer treatment and will help breeders to eliminate this disease in their bloodlines. To learn more about ordering the test, see www.healthgene.com/canine/C142.asp

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Ivermectin vs. other drugs:

Here, as additional information, is a collection of some of the statistics on adverse effects of the various heartworm preventatives currently on the market. The data in the following list was compiled from the Food and Drug Administration listing of Adverse Drug Experience Reports, <http://www.fda.gov/cvm/ade_cum.htm> The number of deaths per year is significant, although comparative percentages are not given. Selected other adverse events are also reported.

Ivermectin, Oral, Dogs (Heartgard & other brands) Year approved: 1987

Number of Adverse Drug Experience (ADE) Reports in FDA through 7 June 2007: 1,069 (per year: 53)

Total Deaths: 126 (6 per year since FDA approval); Anemia: 6; Platelets low: 3; autoimmune hem: 3

Reports of ineffectiveness against heartworm: 10 per year

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Ivermectin & Pyrantel combination, Oral, Dogs (Heartgard Plus): Year approved: 1993

Number of Adverse Drug (ADE) Reports in FDA through 7 June 2007: 9,871 (705/yr)

Total Deaths: 97 (7/yr); Selected other adverse events reported: Convulsion(s): 197; Anemia: 25; Autoimmune hemolytic anemia: 20; Platelets low: 9

Reports of ineffectiveness against heartworm: 156/yr

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Milbemycin, Oral, Dog (Interceptor™ brand name) Year approved; 1995

ADE Reports in FDA through 7 June 2007: 4,745 (395/yr)

Total Deaths: 159 (13/yr); Convulsions: 268; Anemia: 29; autoimmune hem: 15; Platelets low: 1

Reports of ineffectiveness against heartworm (total): 2757

Ineffective against heartworm reports per year: 230

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Milbemycine oxide with Luferon, Oral, Dogs (Sentinel™): Year approved: 1995

ADE Reports in FDA through 7 June 2007: 1,777 (148/yr)

Total Deaths: 43 (5/yr); Convulsions: 109; Anemia: 10; autoimmune hem.: 8; others: 4; Platelets low: 12

Total reports of ineffectiveness against heartworm: 775 (65/yr)

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Selamectin, Topical, Dogs (Revolution™) Year approved: 1999

ADE Reports through 7 June 2007: 10,917 (1,365/yr)

Total Deaths: 217 (27/yr); Convulsions: 339; Anemia: 60; Autoimmune hem: 16; Other anenmia: 37; Platelets low: 59

Total reports of ineffectiveness against heartworm: 3,855 (481/yr)

Selected other ineffectivness reports: fleas: 1,622; ticks: 501; ear mites: 206; mites: 61; sarcoptes mites: 56; other ectoparasites: 11; treating for hookworms: 11; hookworm prevention: 45. Selamectin lufenuron* is a once-monthly topical liquid applied to the skin at the back of the neck and sold as a preventative for heartworm and to control fleas (by preventing flea eggs from hatching, but it does not kill adults) plus sarcoptic and ear-mites in dogs. Revolution has about 4 to 5 times the fatality rate of other wormers.
* Luferon, lufenuron: Lufenuron is also sold under the brand name of “Program”. Lufenuron is an insect egg killer; will not work on adult nematodes, it is said. It is sold by dog weight. The active ingredient is Luferon and is promoted as a “flea contraceptive” — prevents fleas from successfully breeding but does not kill adult fleas. Program (Lufenuron) and Sentinel (Luferon/Mibemycin Oxime) break the reproductive cycle by preventing flea eggs from developing. Sentinel also kills heartworm larvae, adult roundworm, hookworm and whipworm.

I hope this has been helpful to you in the management of your dog’s health. For much more on caring for your dog, whatever breed, I suggest you order the following:

Canine HD and Other Orthopedics Disorders” ISBN 0-9764685-0-6 Copyright 2005 by Fred Lanting

In the bright blue cover signifying the second printing, it’s the long-awaited, expanded revision of the popular HD book (the first one, published in 1980, sold 10,000 copies!). This book is a comprehensive (nearly 600 pages), amply illustrated, annotated, monumental work that is suitable as a coffee-table book, a reference work for breeders and veterinarians, and a study adjunct for veterinary students. It is equally valuable for the dog trainer and the general dog owner of any breed, as there is no breed that does not have some sort of orthopedic, bone, or spinal disorder. Do not confuse it with the out-of-print 1980 work, which was much smaller. This new book covers every aspect of HD and most other disorders, and includes genetics, diagnostic methods, treatment options, and the role that environment plays. US $68, plus $5 postage in the U.S., or $** for surface mail overseas. (Ask about international shipments): e-mail or write to Willow Wood, 3565 Parches Cove, Union Grove, Alabama 35175-8422 USA. Volume discounts for clubs and resellers. The author has been studying and teaching this subject since 1966, including lecturing at numerous veterinary schools and breeders’ convocations in some 30 countries throughout the world. He has been described by a former OFA director as the world’s leading non-veterinarian authority on hip dysplasia. He has been a dog breeder since 1945, a GSD owner since 1947, and a show judge since 1979.

Combine orders with “The Total German Shepherd Dog” by the same author ($50 plus postage). 17 of the 20 chapters are suitable for owners of any breed. Search my name on Google for magazine and website articles. Permission to quote brief excerpts is allowed; otherwise no part of any work may be reproduced without prior written permission from the author: mr.gsd@juno.com

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Will the True Working Dog Disappear Part 2 – The Gap Widens

by Fred Lanting

In the German Shepherd Dog world, and echoed elsewhere, we have long heard (and voiced) complaints about the schism that exists between the “show” (Hochzuchtlinie or high-breeding) lines and the “sport” or working-competition (Leistungs) lines. I’ll speak to the issue of the non-standard (AKC, Alsatian) styles elsewhere, but first I intend to discuss the continued and even widening gap in the international type. Here, I will allude a little more to the history of the breed. You might consider this “Part Two”, with an illustrated companion article (though not actually designated “Part One”) having been made available under the title, “Will the True Working Dog Disappear?”

The vision of Max von Stephanitz, which even today is cherished by many of us who love the breed, was to standardize, to “fix Type” in, the many variations of the shepherd’s dog he found all over Germany and many adjoining lands. Some were shaggy, others were short-coated. Some were scrawny, some high in the rear, some had ears that did always stand up. But all that he incorporated into the new “breed” association in 1899 had jobs they worked in.

Besides the flock tending, which was becoming less needed in the age of industrialization and migration to the cities, dogs with these talents and type were finding other occupations. Captain von Stephanitz saw, selected, and developed the abilities that soon made his German Shepherd Dog the preferred breed for police and military service. Before long, its combination of sensitivity and need for nearly-constant human contact, plus its size, made it ideal for the newly-recognized occupation of guide dog for blind people. It was still a dog with “working papers”.

Between the two big wars, the pastime of exhibition and competition grew, designed to select the dogs that looked like they were best qualified to produce the next generation. Coat length and colors, body size and proportions, ear and tail carriage — all these were added to the evaluation of character and some evidence of utility. Conformation competition classes were categorized by age, with any dog over two years old being required to have a suitable training title in order to compete in the “beauty” shows. These titles included the HGH herding certificate and the newer Schutzhund (protection) title. Other, less-encountered service designations were retained for a while.

After WW-2, with the breed in Germany decimated as a result of personal dogs having been commandeered by the military, and most of them killed in action or having disappeared when the concentration camps were found and dismantled, the breed and sport had to start all over with a limited gene pool. Conformation shows were only suspended during a few of the war years. Still, despite different zones of Germany being assigned to the major allies, and many GSDs becoming prisoners of Communism behind an iron curtain, there was still the oneness of the breed, with one conformation standard and set of requirements for proof of working ability.

This united, single-breed status continued for another couple of decades. In Eastern Europe, because of the Soviet Union’s cancellation of such freedoms as communication, dogs on “their side” stopped sharing and exchanging genetic material with their western counterparts. Therefore, we who were around then and for many years later could see the result of this isolation. We could spot, at a glance, the rust-red Czech dog, the bicolor or black East German dog, and the wiry sables from many parts of these imprisoned lands. But in western Germany and in all the countries of the free world that got dogs from there, the GSD looked pretty much the same. Even in North America, where no proof of working ability was or is needed, the international type and styles were honored until the late 1960s.

There are two main annual, national competition events in Germany that are of the greatest interest to people around the world, and I have led tour groups to both. One is variously called the Sieger Show or Bundessiegerzuchtschau (BSZS), and the other is the Bundessiegerprüfung (BSP). The former, held around the first of September, is supposed to select and rank those dogs that conform anatomically, and the latter is to rank those that perform all the schutzhund exercises (tracking, obedience, and protection). The BSP is generally held two weeks after the conformation event, in a different part of Germany. The BSZS is open to all qualified dogs regardless of country of birth or residence, but the practical fact is that if a dog has not been competing in Germany’s local and regional shows during the spring and summer under the judge who will see them at the Sieger Show, and if it has not been placing highly there, it will not get an elevated placing at the big show in the autumn. The BSP is open only to dogs resident in Germany.

At the Sieger Show, there is a qualification performance for adult dogs on the first of the three days. It is commonly referred to as “the courage test” and involves two short excerpts from the SchH-1 (IP-1) exercise. In the first one, the handler and dog walk at heel toward a blind from which an attacker jumps out and threatens them. In the second, the dog is sent from the far end of the field to intercept the “bad guy”. In each case, the trespasser is charging at them, waving a stick as his weapon. The dog must confidently and firmly hit the intruder, and bite steadily with (hopefully) a full-mouth grip. The dog must not “shy” at any time or let go during the struggle.

In each case, after the “out”, the dog must guard the motionless “bad guy” until picked up by the handler. An evaluation of Ausgeprägt (pronounced) enables a dog to be presented for the conformation judging, which for that dog begins a few minutes after leaving the courage test field. An evaluation of Vorhanden (sufficient” means the dog barely passed but with a relatively poor level of courage and fighting drive (TSB). Such a dog can still get an SG (Very Good) rating at most, but is ineligible for the V (excellent) rating, or the VA, which is what the top few qualifiers get. Adult females go through the same process, but since males produce up to ten times as many offspring a year, they are the ones most studied at the show by breeders and potential puppy buyers. The dogs that completely fail to engage, stay on the sleeve, and act protective and brave are sent home or to the kennel box — hopefully in the shade.

Now, here’s the rub. The judge who decides which dogs get the VA and high-V placings (and therefore will contribute most to the Hochzuchtlinie gene pool) does not get to see the actual performance in the courage test. In fact, he doesn’t even get a report on how well or how marginally the Ausgeprägt dogs really did. Many do not deserve a pronounced rating, although the 2006 courage test judge for males did a tougher, better job than average. So, how can the breed judge know what the character, as tested in the qualifying ring, is really like? He cannot. About the only thing he can use as a tiny part of his judgment, is the knowledge of whether the dog passed in the previous year.

In 2006, the Sieger was a dog that had failed the courage test at a prior BSZS, and at least half of his adult offspring did very unconvincing jobs in their own bitework. The vice-sieger was this dog’s father, who has not proven to be much better in either his own work or in producing brave dogs. Von Stephanitz must be turning over in his grave! In third place, a dog that perhaps should take their place next year, unless the Chinese snap him up as they are doing with so many dogs, is Orbit Huhnegrab. He, himself, did a good job on Friday, but had not a single offspring entered that was over two years old. A progeny class of untested dogs, no matter how good they look in stance or gait, should not be used to make a dog the Sieger. In the next several dogs in the VA group, problems with hip ratings, bitework, and other less-than-exciting qualities, made me yearn for the method used in the years of 1938, `41, `42, `74, `75, `76, and `77, when there was no Sieger named and the VA dogs were not ranked in order. I was so disappointed with the “Friday fiasco” lack of courage and preparation, and poor proof of progeny in the 2006 show, that I would not have awarded any VA’s at all.

I had a dream about a week after the 2006 BSZS, in which I was the judge doing the adult males conformation. Not only did I have the authority, but I also was in charge of organizing the show, and formulating official SV policy. I scheduled the courage test for males to begin on Thursday, and instructed the Leistungsrichter (courage test judge) to be as tough and demanding as he would be if he were doing it at the BSP. Instead of sequestering myself in a distant ring and only trying to see which dogs were prettier than which, I took private notes from my viewpoint, which was standing right next to the Leistungsrichter.

Later that night, he and I reviewed those notes and watched the video clips of those dogs that were in the running based on their show placings in previous months and years. We also looked at the films of dogs not usually shown — the “working lines” dogs, many of whom were hoping to compete for the Universal Sieger award, which is heavily weighted on BSP and other trial scores, but influenced by how high a V rating they get in the beauty shows.

In my nocturnal fantasy, I had the backing and encouragement of the Leistungsrichter when I moved certain great-working dogs up in the standings from where they would otherwise be if evaluated only on anatomy. Since the judges in charge of the adult bitch tests and show were in the meeting, too, I persuaded them to look at the bitches in the same light. Having seen several of the females work, I helped formulate those eventual placings, too. I decided to input data on Zuchtwert and “a”-stamp grades into the “calculations” — on a subjective basis, not a mathematical point system. The SV “a”-stamp has improved hip quality in the breed only up to a certain low plateau, and there must now be greater restrictions on what sort of hips and elbows we judges promote with our show placings.

As Chief Breed Warden, I was also formulating suggestions to improve the Zuchtwert system by including PennHIP data. This is the system, now widely used in Denmark, and increasingly in Belgium and Holland, that gives much better diagnosis because of much greater accuracy in determining joint laxity, and a better handle on heritability and progeny prediction. I also directed the responsible parties to work out an arrangement whereby non-German registered dogs could have their radiographs and allied data put into the SV system and database, so that “foreign” dogs did not have to start with 100 for their ZW value.

As an example of the present design not allowing sufficient information, the bitch from the Netherlands, Yasmin v. Nieuwlandshof, SchH3, (Erik Ehrenfeste ex Yelena di Fossombrone); linebreeding: 5-5 Enzo Burg Aliso) was outstanding in both anatomy and TSB. The ZW hip rating on this lovely granddaughter of Timo Berrekasten was 88, but it might have been even better had she not come from Holland and her dam from Italy. One of the bitches in my dream was “Space Geanie”, who in the real-life 2006 show got the only SG in the adult class, was instead advanced to a very respectable V rating in my dream. She gave one of the most exciting, positive, and pleasing performances of the day at Oberhausen. Excellence is more than croup angle and upper-arm length and layback.

Another that was very enthusiastic and practiced was Shalome vom Oasis, and I recommended to my fellow judge that he seriously consider her for Siegerin. Of course, outside of a dream, that would be looked upon as crude interference, but in my imagination-discourse, I was only doing what Captain Max would have done. Shalome had been consistent in both bitework and gaiting in the past as well as on this day. Other bitches that did well in both were VA 8 Oduscha Team Fiemereck, and of course Lothar Quoll’s beautiful VA1 Xara Agilolfinger.

My dreamland consultants and I returned to the subject of the males. They agreed with me that we should give much better placings than would otherwise be based on simply gait and stance, in such cases as the otherwise-V-132 Nando vom Haus Vortkamp. This male was breathtaking in his speed, precision, and enjoyment of being “macho-man” in the protection rôle.

The next day, when I had to build the preliminary order of highest-V down to the few SG dogs, I relied a great deal on the comments of my fellow judges, and the notes I took on the video review and during the protection work itself. The protection judge and my assistant who had done the statistical study were with me when I evaluated the structure, movement, and show history of the dogs in the past 18 months. All this was added to information on how many offspring had done poorly, how many were good, and how many were excellent in anatomy and/or work, especially in the previous day’s TSB. The percentage of progeny that passed the courage test, as well as the ratio of Ausgeprägt to Vorhanden, were part of the picture I based my rankings on.

After the decision on what placing each dog was given, all the Leistungsrichter (working trial judges) at the show came up and congratulated me on the primary emphasis I put on character. I reminded them that I was born the year von Stephanitz died, and ever since I became a show judge, I felt that I inherited his mantle, the way Elisha was chosen to continue the work of Elijah. I told the gathering that it was up to both groups to bring the German Shepherd Dog back to the center, where character, working ability, and usefulness to individuals and society are as important as such aesthetic qualities as good pigment, long croups, strong but normal toplines, good front angulation, proper dentition, and excellence in orthopedic matters.

But alas! Dreams soon are left to wither and fade on the pillow when the sun rises and pierces them with its burning rays. And the dream I was in, about being the Chief Zuchtrichter at the Sieger Show, was no exception. I woke to stark reality.

Instead of foreseeing the “total” German Shepherd Dog, it seems likely I will not live to see a single breed re-created from the two branches that now exist. It’s possible, but nothing to bet the farm on. As long as the breed judges (especially the ones choosing the top males) are isolated from even knowing how good or how marginal the TSB performances are, they will continue to choose on the basis of appearances (beauty) alone. They might as well stay home and judge from snapshots and video clips.

On the other hand, as long as BSP competitors and breeders ignore the cigar-shaped torso, the vertical front, the steep pelvis, and other problems, the gap will not be closed from their side, either. If breeders rely only on numbers — such as Schutzhund/IPO scores — they are also doing an injustice to the breed.

If show dogs need a SchH or IP or HGH title in order to gain recognition in the conformation ring, then “working-line dogs” should be required to have a V rating in the Zuchtschau or perhaps a Landesgruppe show, and a Körklasse-1a in order to rank in the top-ten BSP spots, or in the annual WUSV working trials.

The gap, the “great divide”, was not a creation or intention of von Stephanitz and his colleagues. Nor should it be continued by the SV and WUSV any longer. It was our (breeders, exhibitors, judges) creation, especially since the end of the 1960s, and we should be responsible for filling in that gap, for making the German Shepherd Dog one breed again.


Fred is an SV Zuchtrichter (Auslander), retired because of the mandatory age limit, but continues to judge in many other registries. He also presents seminars worldwide on GSD Structure, and on Canine Orthopedics. His articles can be found by putting his name in the Google or other search engines. He conducts annual non-profit sightseeing tours of Europe, centered on the Sieger Show (still the biggest breed show in the world). For tours or his books on Orthopedic Disorders or on the GSD, contact him at “All Things Canine” consulting division, Willow Wood Services: E-mail: mr.gsd@netscape.com

Will the True Working Dog Disappear?

Fred Lanting

As most of you know, I have been involved with the German Shepherd Dog since 1947 as a trainer, breeder, judge, author, and teacher. My love for the breed is unquestionable and I count it an honor to have fought for its welfare and preservation for all these years. In my zeal for one of God’s great gifts to man, namely, the companionship and utility of dogs, I may step on some toes once in a while. But it never from spite or greed or self-aggrandizement that I call a spade a spade, and wish to correct error. Lately I have been railing against the deterioration of character in the show dog and the unwillingness of the working-only faction in the sport to make peace and use “gentle persuasion” in bringing the two communities back together.

For my usual show-and-tour description, look at “Impressions of the 2006 Sieger Show and Tour” on http://SiriusDog.com , www.angelfire.com/de3/jagenstadt/vonsalixHome.html , and http://www.aniwa.com/renvoie.asp?type=1&id=102350&cid=126426&com=1&lang=2&animal=1 , among other sites. In this companion piece, I want to extend those remarks and expand a bit on what the trends are in the world of the German Shepherd Dog. First, I’d like to give my modified definitions of the words type and style. The former word, especially when I capitalize it, refers to those essential, central characteristics that describe or illustrate the breed or an especially good representative of the Standard. The latter connotes the variation within and diverging a little from that ideal. Where the boundary line is between these words, is a matter of individual opinion.

We have already seen the loss of Type in the AKC dog and the old Alsatian GSDs. In England and its satellite colony-countries, this was caused almost entirely by the unfortunate quarantine system. When a species becomes isolated, it develops in such a way as to accentuate certain recessive traits and, by such inbreeding, fix a new type or style. My book, The Total German Shepherd, gives a good genetic explanation for this phenomenon. We cannot blame the rabies quarantine in the U.S., but isolation there is partly a matter of distance and cost. The great percentage of dogs do not go back and forth across the ocean for breeding and or competition, so the effect of isolation is just as bad. Maybe worse, since England’s proximity to the Continent and, later, the relaxing of those burdensome quarantine times, has allowed the international type to gain a position of prominence there. In North America, the home-bred AKC-style GSD is mostly a dog that very few people want. Instead of being Number One as it is in the rest of the world, it hovers closer to the bottom of the Top Ten in popularity. Canada might as well be considered another state in the USA, as bloodlines and clubs are almost indistinguishable.

In the other major quarantine region, Australasia, body style is still largely in the 1970s and `80s rut of the broken or banana-back topline that came about as a side-effect of the emphasis the Martin brothers put on rear drive, and (following their lead) the neglect by many top SV judges of the normal canine topline. It is improving, but the problem that remains is the Australian National Kennel Club, which is their all-breed registry and 1,000-kilo gorilla. The sport and proofing tool of Schutzhund has been banned by the all-breed club and the government, and the GSDClub of Australia has meekly gone along with them rather than put up a fight for the sake of uniting the breed or at least keeping it a true working-character dog.

So, what happens when the powers-that-be in Australasia, the AKC and CKC, The Kennel Club (UK), and smaller national dog registries have all that power to inhibit the training and competing with protection dogs? They make old Max von Stephanitz spin madly in his grave, for one thing. The breed was developed for the twin purposes of herding and protecting sheep, and protecting their owners and property. This expanded early into using their natural abilities for police and military work as well as Search and Rescue, and guides for the blind. The herding use has become an anachronism in this day of city growth and Border Collie replacement. Guide dogs are more likely to be Retrievers. Even the military and police dog jobs are being given to Malinois, Dutch Shepherds, and mixed breeds.

In the first 65 or 70 years of the breed, the German Shepherd Dog was one breed. The working qualities were stressed almost as much as the aesthetics were. Breeders put almost as much emphasis on training as on conformation. America still relied on imports to keep them reminded about what the GSD was supposed to look like and act like. About the same time that Americans were linebreeding extremely heavily on one dog with weak temperament (the mid-1960s), Germans were beginning to put all their eggs in the one “beauty basket”, at least those who wanted the prestige of a good rating at the Sieger Show.

For me, 1967 marked the biggest pot-hole and detour in the road the GSD had been traveling. In the USA, character was being ignored. The (U.S.) GSDCA’s Grand Victor of 1966 and 1968 produced a large percentage of “spooky” offspring. The 1967 Grand Victor also had a temperament problem and passed it along, notably to such weak dogs as his son the 1971 Grand Victor, as well as structural problems that became intensified due to unwise excessive linebreeding on him. One of the last German Siegers with really super breed character was 1967’s Bodo Lierberg, and he was passed over when he only got as far as Winners Dog (the chief non-champion class) at the American National Specialty that same year. That decision irrevocably skewed the course of the breed in the United States and Canada. After 1967, emphasis in Germany increasingly favored the exciting, driving gait over courage, and several dogs of questionable character strength (or at least, poor character in a large number of offspring) were rewarded with high placings, even Sieger, such as one notable choice in the mid-1990s. The gap was widening rapidly between working-dog and show-dog Type in this all-important feature.

And that gap kept widening. Despite new SV President Peter Messler’s stated desire to make it one breed again, we began to see many conformation-VA dogs with character weaknesses, and high-ranking Leistungs (schutzhund-trial) dogs with weak heads, extremely short croups, and upright fore-assemblies. These are OK for galloping, but not suited for endurance herding and therefore not representative of the historic body construction of the breed.

This trend is short-sighted, even suicidal. In Europe and elsewhere, there is a growing bias against the sport of schutzhund (protection and utility proofing) and the civilian and military/police jobs that this activity was designed to simulate. Why? Many causes. Population growth and career evolution has increased city residence and decreased locations to rear and train your dogs, even though Germany still has a club in easy driving distance in most regions. People elect politicians who are city-dwelling, non-dog-owners — in fact, many of them turn out to be actively anti-dog or easily swayed by the dog-haters such as in the Green Party and other pressure groups. Of course, long ago, the need for sheep-herding all-purpose guard dogs like the GSD started to wither and die, with less demand for wool than for synthetic fibers, and not much demand for lamb versus “factory animals” such as pigs, that demand less land. Besides, the wolves had disappeared and with no need to double as protection dogs, Border Collies are cheaper to maintain, and work at least as hard.

Even in the historic, almost sacrosanct use that gave the other nickname to the breed, “German Police Dog”, that job is being filled more and more by the Belgian Malinois and cross-breeds of that lithe, agile, and speedy dog. They have much lower incidence of hip dysplasia, which is extremely important when one realizes the great expense of training and the shortened useful lifespan that HD brings. Police schools used to depend mostly on donated dogs and purchases at reasonable prices, but GSD breeders generally were not willing to give away their best dogs nor sell them for less than a show-dog or sport-dog buyer would pay. Those schools that do not breed their own, can get good prospects from Malinois breeders at much lower prices than GSDs demand. Therefore, because of the SV’s famous slow (or no) recent progress in hip quality (in spite of more than two decades of PennHIP data), the inherently better hips and longer useful life of the average Malinois, maintenance costs, effete politicians who are more afraid of voters’ bites than that of the breeds they hate, the image of the brave GSD as a police and personal protection dog has been suffering mortal wounds.

That leaves only one small reclusive refuge for the aficionado of the “working dog”: the shrinking world of Schutzhund. As a rule, most of these people are primarily trainers, not breeders; they spend their time and energies in the tracking field, working obedience routines, and building confidence and technique in the bitework. A much smaller percentage or total number of this group breeds litters than we find in the world of the show dog and pet market. The size of the BSP and WUSV performance trials, when compared to the Sieger Show, attest to this. As inflation, living in cities, dog-hating politicians, television (yes, this brain-numbing scourge even exists in Europe) and other factors continue to attack the breed and the sport, the true working dog will suffer.

Shows and breeding of show dogs are also down. Attendance at Sieger shows, of both dogs and people, seems to be less in most recent years, so that even the small stadiums (the only ones available in these days of football schedules booking most dates) look relatively empty. BSP attendance is also down. A few years ago, top VA dogs were getting the maximum allowed number of matings, and now they are not reaching that limit. The situation in the sport dog is at least as bad, and since Schutzhund is the “little brother” in the GSD family, this sub-family in the breed will be hurt even more.

The only way out, the only hope of saving the breed, is to re-unite it. Bring back the two wings as they were in the days of Alfred Hahn and Rummel and yes, even von Stephanitz. How? Well, one step would be to require the conformation judges of the so-called “working dog” classes (Gebrauchshund) to watch the courage tests, perhaps scheduled earlier in the week, and have Leistungsrichters advise them when deciding on the choices of the VA dogs, as these are the ones that get the most breedings. Dogs with high IP scores should be spotlighted and these accomplishments taken into account. Maybe have the BSP before the Sieger Show instead of two weeks later as now occurs, with the judges of the Sieger Show required to watch every dog’s performance. Other innovative ideas should be employed that would encourage the sport dog to enter the conformation shows. Dogs should be moved up quite a few placings if they do good work at the courage test that is currently held on Friday of the Sieger Show weekend. It is a real shame that perhaps the best-working female at the 2006 Sieger Show, the Swedish bitch “Space Geanie”, was only given an SG; perhaps if the judge had seen her courage test, she would have been awarded the V she deserved. In males, the tremendous work of dogs like Nando Haus Vortkamp, a very dark sable sired by Buster Adelmannsfelder, should have been rewarded, not hidden from the conformation judge.

Each year, in the tour that I conduct prior to and following the Sieger Show, we visit a variety of kennels and training clubs: some showdog-oriented, some strictly competition performance. Most of my tour participants hold “the total dog” as their ideal, but all of them appreciate seeing both styles or specialties in the breed. As an SV conformation judge (Zuchtrichter) as well as having put schutzhund titles on numerous dogs, I want to see probable functionality reflected in the anatomy of a beautiful dog, but I also demand that character be the number-one trait for dogs allowed to breed.

In 2006, we were fortunate to meet with the breeders and trainers at Tiekerhook, Karthago, Pfalzerheide, Willems’ Reptrade, and a KNPV (Dutch Police Dog) club close to Amsterdam. Some of my group bought pups from a couple of these, as often happens. You can read about the whole tour on sites such as those listed above, but in this article, I’d like to give, as an example, a kennel that specializes in the working dog. That is, the work that would be suitable for police as well as personal protection and enjoyment. Koos Haasing of Tiekerhook, in the southeast corner of the Netherlands near Eindhoven and the German border, discussed his philosophies and methods over lunch and at his home, where we saw his latest litter and his super dog, Max. Later, he joined us at the training demonstration and practice at the Limburg club about an hour away, where his top dog was one of those demonstrating their abilities.

Koos is a semi-retired police officer, and the principal leader of a club where very difficult challenges are given to dogs in training, so that they would be prepared for anything they might encounter on the competition field and in real life. I have selected several photos of his Max v. Tiekerhook to accompany this article, as well as a couple of examples of poor performance by “show dogs” in the so-called “working” classes at the Sieger show we saw a few days after the visit with Koos.

A companion article, entitled “The Gap Widens” has been offered to websites and magazines, with more emphasis on the historical perspective.


[editor’s note]: Fred is an SV judge as well as a respected all-breed judge for several international registries, and has judged numerous countries’ Sieger Shows and Landesgruppen events. He presents seminars and consults worldwide on such topics as Gait-&-Structure, HD and Other Orthopedic Disorders, Anatomy, Training Techniques, and The GSD. He conducts annual non-profit sightseeing tours of Europe, centered on the Sieger Show (biggest breed show in the world). For tours or his books on Orthopedic Disorders or the GSD, contact him at “All Things Canine” consulting division, Willow Wood Services; 256-498-3319; or E-mail mr.gsd@netscape.com

BOOKS:

Canine HD and Other Orthopedic Disorders (new) by Fred Lanting
It covers all joints plus many bone disorders and includes genetics, diagnostic methods, treatment options, and the role that environment plays. This new “Hip Dysplasia and Other Canine Orthopedic Disorders” book is a comprehensive (nearly 600 pages!), amply illustrated, annotated, monumental work that is suitable as a coffee-table book, reference work for breeders and vets, and a study adjunct for veterinary students, for the dog trainer and the general dog owner of any breed. Order from the author or ask your book distributor.

The Total German Shepherd Dog by Fred Lanting
This is the expanded and enlarged second edition, a “must” for every true GSD lover. It is an excellent alternative to the “genetic history” by Willis, but less technical and therefore suitable for the novice, yet very detailed to be indispensable for the reputable GSD breeder. Chapters include: History and Origins, Modern Bloodlines, The Standard, Anatomy, The German Shepherd in Motion, Shows, Showing, and Training, The Winners, Nutrition and Feeding, General Care and Information, Health and First Aid, Parasites and Immunity, Diseases and Disorders, The Geriatric German Shepherd, Breeding, Basics of Genetics, Reproduction, Whelping, The First Three Weeks, Four to Twelve Weeks, Trouble-shooting Guide. Available from Hoflin.com or autographed from the author.

LEGG-CALVÉ-PERTHES DISEASE

by Fred Lanting

A disorder sometimes mistaken for hip dysplasia is Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, perhaps more frequently referred to by the dog fancier as “Legg-Perthes”. This is an aseptic (not infected), developmental necrosis (dying of tissue) of the femoral head and neck, found almost entirely in toy or other small breeds. On radiographs, it often looks as if the bone is “rotting away”, and lameness is the major or only symptom. It has a history in human medicine, too. In fact, that’s where it was first discovered in 1910 by three researchers working independently. Legg, Calvé, and Perthes each saw a flattening of the femoral head (coxa plana) in affected youngsters and thought that trauma was at the heart of its etiology.

Schnelle in the 1930s first saw the disorder in the canine in Wirehaired Fox Terriers, and Moltzen-Nielsen in Germany about the same time saw it mostly in the Wires but also in a few other breeds Since then, puppies of many other small, toy, and miniature breeds between 3 and 10 months of age have been affected.

Radiographic (“X-ray”) signs of Legg-Perthes are usually gross and the course and outcome discouraging, since many cases are not referred to the vet or the specialist for diagnosis until the dog has been limping for a long time or the disease has progressed to the point that it becomes a more real problem to the owner. These small dogs put so little weight on their tiny hip joints that they almost can compensate for discomfort by “walking on their forelimbs instead of their four limbs”. Many are “couch potatoes” or spend much time being carried, but even then, picking up an affected dog in a certain manner can put more pressure on the joint than does normal locomotion, so pain at that time is often the stimulus to do something about it. Owners have reported “incredible pain” and constant, progressive discomfort, inability to stay long in any one position, and bone lysis (loss through a process akin to dissolving or consuming) at other areas in the limb distal to the hip (further away, the opposite of proximal).

The earliest radiographic signs, should you look for them before they change, include an increased radiodensity (opacity as seen on the radiograph) in the lateral part of the epiphysis of the femoral header Lateral means the part away from the mid-line or medial; the “outside”. Resorption of necrotic (dying, rotting or decomposing) trabecular bone cells is next accompanied by a lysis (dissolving or being consumed) of bone. These are replacement attempts by the body, similar to the attempt to replace bone that takes place during HD remodeling; eventually there is fracture or collapse, like a frame house riddled by termites. As HD may or may not be concurrent, the congruity of the ball-and-socket coxofemoral joint might still be maintained until collapse. See pictures at the end of this article.


Cause


The most probable cause is a genetic weakness that allows abnormal or inadequate blood supply to the ossifying epiphyses. Those are the ends or caps of long bones that are changing from cartilage in the embryo to bone in the adult. Depending upon breed and particular bone portion, ossification is usually complete by 12 months of age. Compression/pinching of the blood vessels in that area leads to the necrosis (death) of cartilage and bone tissue. One unproven idea was that some of these little dogs have excess and premature levels of androgen and estrogen hormones that influence this process.


Treatment


Various treatments have been suggested but the usual one is excision (surgical removal) of the femoral head and neck, again with a similarity to one of the HD operations performed on dogs.

Conservative treatment (as opposed to “heroic measures” such as surgery) has been suggested for those unilaterally limping dogs (lame on only one side and supported well by the other limb) with good congruity and no collapse or deterioration. The dog’s worse limb is put into an Ehmer sling for a time, perhaps as much as a couple of months, then the dog is kept in a crate to minimize activity for another few weeks perhaps, during which time the dog is periodically radiographed. If this approach is successful, the resorbed bone is replaced in a normal manner and radiopacity returns, indicating normal bone cells and regained strength. In such cases, aseptic necrosis is halted and then reversed by keeping the dog’s weight off the limb. Lameness has been reported to cease in perhaps a quarter of dogs treated conservatively, but much of this estimate depends on owners’ reports rather than always being followed up by veterinary examination.

A syndicated column called “To Your Good Health” in the Clarksburg (WV) Telegram of June 30, 1994 included a brief discussion by Paul Donohue, M.D., responding to a reader’s request for advice. Her 8-year old child had recently been diagnosed with Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease and she had seen no improvement after 3 months in a brace. By the way, human infants with HD are put into slings or casts which keep the legs spread apart until the joint begins to strengthen; did you know that people get HD, too? Anyway, Dr. Donohue told her that the Legg-Calvé-Perthes disorder involved a cutting off of the blood supply to the epiphysis (top part of the femur) and that it might take more than a year for the brace to rest the hip enough so that restoration of blood supply can help restore bone there. If unsuccessful after that long a wait, surgery may be needed, he advised. So you see, your dogs are not the only ones at risk for this problem.

Some of us may not have heard of any of our specific breeds diagnosed with Legg-Perthes yet, but that may be because, to many veterinarians, the radiograph looks like hip dysplasia, and it is not sent in to experts for diagnosis and recording of data. On the other hand, I have seen many HD cases mistakenly diagnosed as LCP. If you come across a case of Legg-Perthes in your breed, please report it (accurately, with name and address of person diagnosing it) to the health committee and/or magazine editor of your club.


Copyright, Fred Lanting, 1994. Permission to reprint available if the notice about the new orthopedics book is attached. If you don’t see these below, e-mail: Mr.GSD@NetScape.com for copies. The following or similar notice should also accompany the article:
The new “Canine HD and Other Orthopedics Disorders” book is here! The long-awaited expanded revision now in its second printing is a comprehensive (nearly 600 pages!), amply illustrated, annotated, monumental work that is suitable as a coffee-table book, a reference work for breeders and veterinarians, and a study adjunct for veterinary students. Be sure to look for the blue cover. Do not confuse it with the much smaller out-of-print 1980 work. $73 ppd in the USA. Combine orders with “The Total German Shepherd Dog” by the same author ($50 plus postage). 17 of the 20 chapters are suitable for owners of any breed.
(c) Fred Lanting, mr.gsd@netscape.com . The author is an international dog show judge and lecturer on such topics as canine orthopedic problems, gait-&-structure, the evolution of the modern GSD, and other topics. Seminars can be arranged.