Thursday, June 10, 2010


Sometimes people ask me where I come up with some of the ideas that I write about. Sometimes an idea hits me. Sometimes I research something or sometimes my readers give me an idea. Don’t even ask me where I came up with today’s topic. I just sat back in my chair and was scanning my worn out brain looking for a subject matter and this is what I came up with.

I mean if you think about it, your common sense will probably tell you that the German Shepherd Dog, the Doberman, the Saint Bernard, etc. weren’t born looking like they do today. According to my research there are 157 types of breeds of dogs registered with the AKC. Not one of them looks too much like they did when their breed was first registered. I wonder what the first dogs that stepped foot on this earth looked like.

I mean God didn’t design the German Shepherd Dog or any of the other breeds we see at the dog shows today. Wow, when you think about it, that’s quite amazing. Of those 157 registered breeds, not one of them was designed by God! He never designed a dog to look like the German Shepherd Dog or any of the other breeds either. He just sent us a dog. So although God made the dog, man designed them.

Take a look at some of the first pictures of our breed. They appeared to lack bone, substance and strong heads. That same dog today probably could never compete in the conformation show ring with today’s dogs. So man saw something that he liked and tried to improve upon it. I wonder what the original German Shepherd’s temperament and personality was like. Were they stronger in personality than today’s dogs? I mean if man designed the structure of the dog, he must have been influential in this dog’s temperament and personality as well.

So then God didn’t make the German Shepherd or the Doberman or the Great Dane. He just made a dog and he was called a dog by people of that time. There weren’t any different types of breeds to choose from. If you wanted a dog, you got A DOG. You didn’t get a German Shepherd or any other type. At that time, I guess one type fit all. And then man being what he is…..never satisfied with what God gives him in the first place decided he could do it better. Some wanted a dog with courage. Some wanted a dog to carry around. Some wanted a dog to go hunting with. So man set about designing a dog that would fit his needs. He kept designing and designing and designing until he designed 157 different types. And he’s still designing……that’s why we have what we call now days, the “designer” breeds. Isn’t there any one breed of dog that suits all people? Apparently not!

I always hear moaning and groaning and grumbling from breeders about “those” designer breeds. People get angry that they’re charging such high puppy prices for those “mutts!” Hey weren’t our German Shepherd mutts at one time as well? I admit that when I hear the prices that some people get for these dogs that my “feathers get ruffled” as well.

I remember one time seeing a couple have a lovely looking “mix” bred dog. I commented to them that their dog was very pretty and asked about what breeds their dog came from. They proudly shared that information with me and proceeded to tell me that they spent a couple of thousand dollars for her. “What…..a couple of thousand dollars for a mutt?” Yes, I admit this bothered me knowing that breeders of pure bred dogs were having a hard time getting a decent price for their pedigreed dogs. But some people got restless once again and felt there weren’t enough different breed types of the 157 that are registered to satisfy them. So some people got busy designing some more breeds for the future and yes, we’ll continue to see newer and newer breeds entered in the All – Breed shows as the years go by. I wonder how long it takes for a new breed to be recognized by the AKC.

Do you feel that we’ve “come a long way baby” with the German Shepherd Breed? Have we improved on what the “designers” of yesterday had in mind for our breed? Do we have better German Shepherds today than what we did years ago? Are they better structured to do the work that they were meant to do? Are they better movers? And what about the health of our breed? Do you feel that we have genetically improved on the health of our dogs? Are we seeing better hips and elbows in our breed? How about the character of the German Shepherd? Have we bred for improvement in this area as well?

I wonder of the dogs that breeders are breeding today how many of them serve in the military? How many of them do police or rescue work? Where do the Hollywood studios buy their German Shepherds from? Have any of you breeders been approached from a Hollywood studio to buy any of your puppies? Do the Seeing Eye agencies call you up and ask to look at your puppies for use in their programs? I think some of these organizations breed their own dogs. I thought that I read that somewhere one time. Does anybody famous own one of your dogs? Where do these different people go to when they are looking to buy a dog? After all we breeders are the designers of the German Shepherd Dog.

So God made and gave man the dog to be a companion to him. But some of us wanted more than a companion and set about designing them to be exactly what we wanted them to be. So what do you think, did we do a better job? Did we get it right? Has man designed a better model?

From the book: "GOD'S MESSENGERS: WHAT ANIMALS TEACH US ABOUT THE DIVINE"....."The best animal book ever, A breathe of Heavenly fresh air, Anyone feeling nostalgic about the sentimental angel books of the 1990s will appreciate this collection of animal stories, a follow-up to the Andersons' book Angel Animals. Through nearly 70 vignettes, the authors attempt to answer the classic theological questions: Is there a God? Why do bad things happen? And does God reunite us with loved ones? Some stories are moving and well told; two of the best are "Ferrets Are Made of God," in which an autistic boy gains confidence through the love of his pet, and "A Hamster's Legacy," where chaotic sixth-graders learn to care for others. Many of the sketches are tributes to animals-dogs, cats, horses, dolphins, snakes, squirrels, you name it-that rescued or comforted or inspired their humans. Others veer into silliness, though who wants to argue with someone who believes her late beloved dog is sending messages from beyond? As the authors point out, "Animals have a talent for bypassing the mind and going straight to the heart." All the stories are purpose-driven, either including a lesson or followed by personal questions for reflection: "What if the messages in dreams aren't merely workings of our subconscious minds or the result of what we ate before bedtime? Has an animal communicated with you in a dream about a matter of great importance?" Though much of this book's spirituality would appeal to anyone with romantic views of God and nature, some of its more imaginative accounts overstep the beliefs of any traditional religions."

My rating: All German Shepherds are wonderful: (4)

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