Who invented the sheepdog?

More stupid than the police allow


Helmut Raiser is the best-known trainer in the German Shepherd dog scene worldwide. The trainer from Hann. M√ľnden has written many books and co-founded the Sch√§ferhundverein RSV 2000 with the aim of looking after the "cultural asset" of the German Shepherd - and again to breed a "healthy, fit for use" dog.

World on Sunday: Has the German Shepherd changed?

Helmut Raiser: Naturally. That started in the early 90s. At that time, many breeders started breeding only for dog shows. They constructed the downhill dog, which is particularly popular abroad and is still exported for a lot of money. These breeders were never interested in dogs, they just wanted to earn as much money as possible as quickly as possible. They wanted beautiful dogs and they didn't care about their health. It was then that the creature emerged that no longer has anything to do with the German Shepherd as it was originally intended. Dog in front, frog in the back. What is bad about these dogs is the emptiness in the head, the boring, stupid facial expression. These dogs are too dumb to run away. A performance breeder would never deal professionally with these crooked animals. At that time, the wheat was separated from the chaff among breeders: On the one hand, the mafia that was only out for a quick buck, on the other, the performance dog breeders.

World on Sunday: And today?

Helmut Raiser: In the meantime we are trying to turn the wheel back again. And we are on a very good path with our club and some breeders.

World on Sunday: The best shepherd dogs, it is said today, come from the former GDR ...

Helmut Raiser: The Eastern dog had its place, it was sportier, more square, more practical. He also brought fresh blood to the German Shepherd breed. As with all popular breeds, there is also a risk that the German Shepherd Dog will sooner or later be bred to death. The vitality decreases, the dogs become more susceptible, especially to allergies. When the borders fell, it was wonderful for the German Shepherd, because the Eastern dog refreshed the genetic make-up. Mentally he wasn't that good though, he was too scared for that.

World on Sunday: Would you buy a Belgian Malinois Sheepdog?

Helmut Raiser: I already have that. Almost ten years ago. At that time I was fed up with the German Shepherd Dog. About his ailments, allergies, lameness. I bought a Malinois. But that was a mistake. These dogs are faint of heart. They are hysterical, soft, hardly resilient animals with an extremely low stimulus threshold. At that time I understood Rittmeister Max von Stephanitz, the man who invented the German Shepherd Dog in 1898 and founded the breed. Von Stephanitz was very clever, he bred the ideal working dog, a dog with the perfect combination of nerves, drive and vitality.

World on Sunday: Why is the German Shepherd so popular?

Helmut Raiser: Because he's the best working dog in the world. If you have a choice between a Porsche and a Volkswagen - and money doesn't matter - what do you choose? You are right, that question does not arise. It's the same with dogs: if you want to be successful in sports with them, you buy a German Shepherd.

World on Sunday: But if you want a smart dog, buy a terrier ...

Helmut Raiser: Not correct. Terriers are very instinctive - and instinct makes you stupid. The best are dogs that are soft, that can be guided - and they are also the smartest.

World on Sunday: This is exactly what the police say about the Malinois ...

Helmut Raiser: That is a mistake - and anyone who knows something about dogs knows that. The police do without the German Shepherd because they cannot afford it. It has just become priceless.


Helmut Raiser: Frank Rosenbaum is a police officer and dog trainer. He runs a dog school in Korschenbroich on the Lower Rhine and also trains service dog handlers. His own dog is a Malinois.

World on Sunday: Has the German Shepherd changed?

Frank Rosenbaum: Yes, but that doesn't really matter to us at the police. Because the German Shepherd Dog, as it is often shown and criticized, with its steep croup and HD-afflicted, is hardly to be found in the police force anyway. We mainly employ the Eastern dogs, which come from earlier GDR lines. You can recognize the animals by their gray appearance, they have a straight back and are the better working dogs. The dogs do not win beauty shows. Only the other, controversial German Shepherds are traded on them - and at amounts that make you dizzy ...

World on Sunday: How much?

Frank Rosenbaum: