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Discussion Starter #1
Our MP unit actually has a few K9 teams assigned to it. I've noted one Malinois and one GSD. The GSD though is huge. It's about 100 lbs of muscle, which leads me to believe it's a European line GSD. I don't have pictures, yet, but the dog has the straight as opposed to the sloped back of an American line GSD, it's got the black and brown and grayish coloration in its fur, and it's larger than the 80-85 lbs by the breed standard. I doubt it's a Shiloh because it's fur isn't shaggy enough. If I were to guess I'd say it was an East German GSD. Does that breed still exist or is it crossbred into other GSD lines?
 

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The color is sable, and he's most certainly a european lined dog.

East German is not a separate breed, but a separate strain of GSD (working lines as opposed to American or German show lines)

I could breed that dog to my American bitch and they'd still be registered as German Shepherd Dogs
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I'd already figured he was European by his build and size. I know European workling lines care more about ability than apperance, right? I guess that's why this guy's over 100lbs. Good thing too, he tends to intimidate feral dogs that sometimes pose a problem for the Malinois, Laborador dogs, and the like. He also tends to intimidate Iraqis quite often.

Thanks for that word on the East German lines. I'd thought those tended to be more muscular and studier built than West German Shepherds.
 

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I was at a UKC dog show this spring and had the privilege of seeing several imported dogs with East German lines. They were definite award winners: large sturdy dogs with wonderful angulation and no exaggerated slope, as well as deep, rich, color. I would happily add any of the offspring, some of which were also at the show, to my pack. Lovely dogs--I hope they are not being brought here because they are becoming uncommon in their country of origin.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lovely dogs--I hope they are not being brought here because they are becoming uncommon in their country of origin.
I think the US Army bought this particular animal because of it's combination of tractability, intelligence, controllable aggression, and strength.
 

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There is certainly no shortage of East German/DDR dogs. They are still bred ALL over the world.

I could post a list of hundreds of East German/DDR breeders
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys, that confirms my question as to what sort of breed the MP in question had. Before I even knew about the East German lines the only GSDs I knew of that got over or near 100lbs were the Shiloh and King GSDs.

I also know German and other European GSD breeders for working lines don't pay nearly as much attention to breed standards as they do to working ability (rightly so) so if a GSD I see is over 100lbs and I'm sure it's a purebred I figure it's from a European working line. Is this assumption correct?
 

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Actually, they DO still pay attention to breed standards. They have to, or they will lose the correct size of the dogs, and they WILL get too big. Dogs that are too large have power, but lack agility, and that is IMPORTANT to have.

so if a GSD I see is over 100lbs and I'm sure it's a purebred I figure it's from a European working line. Is this assumption correct?
No. It could easily be a BYB/Puppy Mill Dog

Height is more important than weight.

My male is a German lined dog primarily. 27" at the withers....he only weighs 85 pounds ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I doubt the Army bought this dog from a puppymill. The purchasing agents/guys actually get most US military working dogs from quality kennels in Europe and select ones in America from what I've seen. Almost all the GSDs I've run into in the military have come from European sources, with a few from some American sources.

I was actually curious as to how this fellow from my original post was larger than most GSDs I've ever run into, but he is still a damn good working dog. He wouldn't have made it through the training let alone into an active unit if he wasn't.

What about the King or Shiloh Shepherds. They're not officially recognized I know, but they are the larger GSD breeds with several individuals in the 90 to 100lbs range. Are they considered a separate strain of the GSD?
 

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I know the Army dog most likely wasn't, but going by weight really is not a reliable way to tell where the dog is from.

The Shiloh's and King's are not another GSD breed...they are "separate breeds" entirely. I generally choose to pretend they don't exist....

They're mixed with Malamute and other such breeds to get all the hair and size.

Size varies within the actual GSD lines, and what is considered "large" to one person, may not be to another.

One person may think your 100lb GSD friend is large, even if he's "only" 24" tall, where another will consider my 27" (oversized by an inch) GSD large, though he "only" weighs 85 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I think my 100lbs GSD is about 25" as the eye measures. He's actually scared off feral Iraqi dogs and those animals don't scare easily, especially if in packs.

On another note, I remember we had a black GSD who was a good MWD but his idiosyncracy was that off working hours he tended to shy away from (save his handler) male soldiers (i.e. 90% of the unit) but absolutely loved female ones (he was particularly fond of hiding behind our admin clerk's legs or going to den under her desk). I wonder if this is a flaw by the GSD breed standard, shyness.
 

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God yeah, Shyness is a HUGE flaw
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wondered how he passed muster for the US Army. But he does a great job when he's working. But for some crazy reason he tends not to like male soldiers, at all. Females on the other hand, he loves them. I've read somewhere that some dogs are just like that. They have their preferred gender of humans they associate with and that's that. I wonder if that's just a quirk of his dog-a-nality rather than a flaw.
 

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I think my 100lbs GSD is about 25" as the eye measures. He's actually scared off feral Iraqi dogs and those animals don't scare easily, especially if in packs.

On another note, I remember we had a black GSD who was a good MWD but his idiosyncracy was that off working hours he tended to shy away from (save his handler) male soldiers (i.e. 90% of the unit) but absolutely loved female ones (he was particularly fond of hiding behind our admin clerk's legs or going to den under her desk). I wonder if this is a flaw by the GSD breed standard, shyness.
Is it possible that this is more a lack of proper early socialization than true shyness?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm not sure, honestly. I'm not quite sure how MWDs are socialized, but I imagine that socialization is big in their training as a well balanced dog is what you want as a guard dog. One who can attack on command and press the assault, yet still be called off at a second's notice.
 

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I have to protest; it's not "dog-a-nality." It's "temperament." Let's not anthropomorphize any more than we have to, please? In any case, the kennel whose dogs I saw was this one:

http://www.altostland.com/

The pictures don't do them justice.
 

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OMG The Alt Ostland dogs have always been uber fab!
 

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I think the US Army bought this particular animal because of it's combination of tractability, intelligence, controllable aggression, and strength.
Yep, I notice that trend here, at Fort Drum, and at Fort Huachuca...Fort Drum had a really nice Malinois as their drug sniffer.
For the most part you'll see lots of imported GSD's though, and an occasional Mal. :)
 

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Do you have comparison pics of East German vs West German vs. American vs. Working Shepherds? I've always been curious.
 
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