What is a Dog?

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There is and will always be considerable confusion among dog fanciers and other publics in regard to breeds of dogs and their relations to other dog-like animals. One of the words that some of us maintain is misused or, at least, used by various people in different ways, is “hybrid.”

Many dictionaries inadequately define hybrids as being “individuals produced by breeding (crossing) different races, varieties, species, etc.” Disagreements arise when the correspondents do not agree (even temporarily) on the same definition. If you include wolves and domestic dogs in the same grouping because there is no hindrance to one fertilizing the other and resulting in equally-fertile offspring, then I cannot agree to call the result a hybrid. No more than Chinese and Caucasian humans’ children are hybrids. A better term for either might be “mixed” (we use the term “mixed-breed” in speaking of dogs, but usually “mixed heritage” re humans). Since canids mate and produce offspring which in turn are just as fertile, I feel it is wrong to call them hybrids. Dingoes, coyotes, wolves, and domestic dogs are all really breeds of Canis (dogs, canids). Their offspring should not be called hybrids, but rather “crosses” just as we would call a Cockapoo a “cross.”...

Utility and Reliability: PennHIP vs. SV and OFA Hip-Extended Views

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I have written longer explanations of the dysplasia problems and these can be found on Internet sites, as well as a comprehensive look in my large book on canine orthopedic problems (you can do an Internet search for my name and address if you want to order one). The purpose of this current paper is to give a shorter introduction and to encourage you readers, buyers, and breeders to use the better tools available. This will give you much better chances of avoiding hip dysplasia in the pups you buy or sell.

2013 Requirements for Participation at Breed Surveys

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2013 Requirements for Participation at Breed Surveys, translated by Fred Lanting.

Rights and Privileges of Pet Ownership

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The odds are pretty good that you are a dog lover; even better that you have either a dog or a cat, or perhaps another animal pet. So, I know that I am talking to most of you this month. Many of you know that I am called “Mr. GSD” in magazines and websites, although I judge all breeds, not only German Shepherd Dogs. I have judged shows in about 30 countries and have lectured in many of them...

Critique of the German Shepherd Club of Jamaica Specialty in November 2012

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It was a great pleasure and honor to be invited again (my fourth time) to judge in Jamaica, and to find that fanciers continue to strive for balance and perfection while improving the average quality of the German Shepherd Dog here. I will give my observations on the adult classes first, then make some comments on other entries.

2012 Sieger Show Impressions

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For most of the decades that I have been attending the Sieger Show in Germany, I have shared my impressions with you readers. My guided tours (and thus the reports) have included the sights of the countryside we explore, and the kennels and clubs we visit, as well as my opinions of the dogs.

Hip Registries in North America and Elsewhere

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This article is a consolidation and slightly updated version of two or three that have appeared in the canine press over the past decade or so, because a couple of things have changed during that time. It concerns the more well-known hip registries operating principally in the U.S. and Canada. Revising and combining this way should give you a better “meal” at one sitting. I hope to not only bring you up to date on methods and organization, but also stress again the importance that an open registry would be to progress in reducing incidence of HD in the better strains or breeding lines.

Type and Style Variability in the German Shepherd

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I have written in a few publications before, on the topic of genetic diversity, linebreeding, and health, and am now living up to my promise to the club leadership to supply another article on the related topic of phenotype variability as it relates to genotype. That is, “What you see is a clue to what you got.” (“Got” here means “obtained,” not just the teeny-bopper’s or Valley girl’s misuse of the word when they mean “have.”) For it is what you got from the breeders of your dog and its ancestors that you have to work with. If you are a non-breeding owner, you will want to read this to understand more about your dog’s appearance and health...

The Truth about Vitamin C

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Every so often, old arguments resurface and writers try to change public perception about some particular topic. They may be based on well-thought-out scientific studies, or on poorly designed experiments, or on hot air. For years, Vitamin C (also known as ascorbate or ascorbic acid) has caused great controversy, mostly because of extreme and unfounded claims but also on fairly accurate studies with different conclusions because of the design of those experiments. Are most or any of the conclusions valid? There are many things we know or think we know about vitamin C, especially...

Interview with Fred Lanting for the Rottweiler Chronicle

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This is an excerpt from a Rottweiler website interview with Fred Lanting done in mid-2004, by Karim (“RevCamara”) of  von Lowenfels and The Rottweiler Chronicle.

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