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East German GSD versus West German GSD

9431 Views 40 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  LoneRider
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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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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
FT Sill had mostly GSDs when I trained over there last year. They were getting a Malinois up to speed but he was still a puppy.

I did run into a really nice Mal one of the TSA guys had in Bangor, ME when we were flying into theater last year too.
True, but Malinois are equal to if not superior to GSDs in many areas. One is heat tolerance, which in the Middle East is a Godsend.

The Israelis use them almost exclusively for that reason and the fact that they're large enough to handle human sized adversaries yet light enough to be carried by their handlers.

DISCLAIMER: I love GSDs as well, but I might be a tad biased in the Malinois versus GSD debate because I have a Malinois.
But a smart handler will know how to utilize that quick, ball of fire type reactiveness effectively. Knowing his dog and how to tactically employ him or her can mitigate that factor.
Maligators? Care to explain? I'm not quite sure I follow.
Ah. Yes, the infamous bite at the wrong time instinct. Well, I've learned to live with that characteristic from my Mal and love him nonetheless. Great dog he is, that's for damned sure.

I better divert this before this thread gets TOO off topic, so I'll say I actually considered a GSD (I was more interested in a European line one for the fact that they seem to be healthier than American bred ones, IMHO) before I got my Malinois.
I thought the European lines were healthier though. Anyhoo, I heard that most of the health issues cropped up in the '80s and '90s were GSDs experienced a big upswing in popularity.
Nope, not healthier...just dealt with differently.
So would crossing GSDs with healthier shepherd types on the European continent improve the overall health of the breed?
Yes, I meant crossbreeding them with another, healthier breed of shepherd, like the Belgian or Dutch shepherds. Is it not true that the Belgian, Dutch, and German Shepherds were descended from a likely extinct shepherd ancestor anyway?

Also the Russians have created the East European Shepherds for military use, taking DDR bloodlines and crossing them with Russian dogs for military use.
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