Foundation of the FCI: Paris – May 22nd, 1911 – part II

1911 therefore is the year in which the FCI was founded. Its establishment is the result of the efforts of experienced and perseverant cynologists and cynophiles from Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and Holland. The economic situation at that time – often referred to as the “Belle Epoque” – is favourable for that.

Between the date of its creation and the dramatic first World War, the FCI holds different General Assemblies.  The first conference to take place after the FCI is founded is in Amsterdam, in 1912, under the presidency of the Duke of Lesparre.  In his opening speech, he refers to the mistrust of the different kennel clubs that see the FCI as a possible threat against their authority and independence. The Duke of Lesparre’s motto is “Ni conquérants, ni conspirateurs” (“neither conquerors, nor conspirators”).

The very first CACIB show ever conducted is organised in Brussels on 6-7-8 April 1912 followed by others in France (Paris and Lyon) and in The Netherlands (Amsterdam).  Simultaneoulsy, the very first CACIT trials take place in Belgium (Beuzet) and France (Sandricourt).

In Amsterdam, Dr Kloppert reports on the first financial accounts of the FCI (as of end 1911).  They show a loss of 163 Dutch Florins (80 €) which Dr Kloppert has paid himself!

The national canine organisations of Spain (Real Sociedad Canina en España), Italy (Kennel Club Italiano) and the United States of America (American Kennel Club) are accepted as FCI members, the latter under different conditions still to be worked out.

Another important decision is made and worth a mention: the elected president’s mandate starts at the end of the General Assembly.  He then manages the work and chairs the next General Assembly that will take place in his country.

The following year, in March 1913, the third General Assembly is celebrated in Berlin (Germany) under the FCI President, Lieutenant-Colonel Rausch.  The financial situation (as of end of 1912) has improved with a credit of 3.12 Dutch Florins (1.6 €)!!!

The Baron W. del Marmol (BE) is elected President.  However, for health reasons, he cannot carry out his function and the presidency is taken over by Mr Victor Du Pré.

The 1914 General Assembly takes place in Brussels, on March 30.  Mr Du Pré praises the deceased President and informs, regretfully, that Dr Kloppert, who has been the cement of the FCI foundation, has decided to retire.  The Baron Houtart (Belgium) is given the post of “Secretary-Treasurer” for a 3-year period

Every (federated) member provides the FCI with the list of their national breeds and their standards.  They will have to be respected by all of them and any amendment has to be communicated to the FCI.  In addition, it is agreed that the FCI will take the necessary steps to establish an international directory of kennel names.

The Netherlands should have been entrusted with the organisation of the 1915 General Assembly under the presidency of the Baron F.W.C.H. van Tuyl van Serooskerken.  However, while the President Du Pré had stated in March 1914: “it is a must for us to make sure that our favourite sport can expand and develop better.  We shall comply with our task, whatever the circumstances”, the murder on June 28, 1914 of the Archduke François-Ferdinand (Austria) in Sarajevo will drag Europe into the first World War.  All the efforts towards globalisation are ruined by this cataclysm that will hit Europe and kill 4,000,000 people between 1914 and 1918.  The new-born Federation will not survive either.

FCI Academy: breed-specific education – Istrian hounds (Istarski kratkodlaki)

Dear readers,

Please find below FCI Academy’s introduction to the Istrian hounds (Istarski kratkodlaki), FCI standard nr 151 and 152

Croatian kennel club confirms copyright of the pictures,
with special acknowledgement to the dogs’owners whose photographs were used in
the presentation.

Breed-specific education video: the Istrian hounds (Istarski kratkodlaki).

Foundation of the FCI: Paris – May 22nd, 1911

The following countries were present:
Germany, represented by Baron de Plato and Baron de Rodde (Delegierten Kommission), and by Mr Georg Obreen (Kartell);
Austria, represented by Baron de Plato;
Belgium, represented by Mr G. De Buck, Mr G. van Muylem and Mr J. Lévita;
Holland, represented by Dr A.J.J. Kloppert and Jhr. P. N. Quarles van Ufford;
France, represented by Mr Gramont, the Duke of Lesparre, Count J. Clary and Baron Jaubert.

Count Bagneux, vice-president of the Société Centrale pour l’Amélioration des Races de Chiens en France, welcomes the Federation’s delegates from abroad. At the suggestion of Dr Kloppert, the Duke of Lesparre is nominated as the provisional president. The minutes of the preparatory meeting held in Brussels on March 7th, 1911 are read out by Dr Kloppert and subsequently adopted.

The president goes on to read out the statutes proposed and approved in Brussels.

At this juncture, Baron Jaubert informs the delegates of a proposal coming from the American Kennel Club (AKC), an association representing 116 clubs. Its delegate, Mr Goldenberg, is requesting that the AKC also becomes a member of the Federation. Though the examination of this request for affiliation is postponed till a later date, it triggers a discussion which leads to the term “European” in the Federation’s title being substituted by “International”: the Federation would from now on be known as the “Fédération Cynologique Internationale”. It is also decided that the general committee could only be chosen by associations with their registered offices in Europe and that, indicative of the apparent success of the Federation, a deputy-secretary would also belong to the general committee, acting as assistant to the secretary-treasurer.

With no further comments coming from members, the president puts the adoption of the statutes as currently drafted to the vote. Following their unanimous adoption, the president declares the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) constituted!

The next item on the agenda is the appointment of the general committee for 1911. The following are appointed by a show of hands to form the FCI’s first ever general committee:

President: the Duke of Lesparre (France),
Vice-president: Freiherr von Plato (Germany),
Secretary-treasurer: Dr Kloppert (Netherlands),
Deputy secretary: Mr Obreen (Germany)

During the discussions, the assembly makes major decisions for the FCI: the creation of the title of “Champion International de Beauté” (CIB title) as well the award called “Certificat d’Aptitude au Championnat International de Beauté (CACIB).  These awards are mentioned in the very first version of the FCI Statutes and FCI Regulations.  Another major principle, still applied today and on which our federating system is based, is approved: the mutual recognition, by the FCI members, of the kennel names.

FCI Academy: breed-specific education – The Croatian shepherd dog (Hrvatski Ovčar)

Dear readers,

Please find below FCI Academy’s introduction to the Croatian shepherd dog (Hrvatski Ovčar), FCI standard nr 277

Croatian kennel club confirms copyright of the pictures,
with special acknowledgement to the dogs’owners whose photographs were used in
the presentation.

Breed-specific education video: the Croatian shepherd dog (Hrvatski Ovčar).

FCI Academy: breed-specific education – The Dutch shepherd dog

Dear readers,

Please find below FCI Academy’s introduction to the Dutch Shepherd Dog, FCI standard nr 223:

A well-meant thank you for contributing the pictures to Alice van Kempen, Ron van Dijk, Wil and Els van Ommen, Margreet Bats, Jan Remmerde, Anja Brugmans, Rob Cordes, Pauline van Vliet and Max de Gids.

This presentation was made by: Mieke van Viegen, Rob Cordes, Jan de Gids and Lia Helmers.

Breed-specific education: The Dutch shepherd dog (Hollandse Herdershond)

FCI launches new educational tool: the FCI Academy!

Dear (future) owner,
Dear (future) breeder,
Dear (future) judge or candidate-judge,
Dear FCI media follower,

The FCI General Secretariat is thrilled to announce the launch of a brand-new FCI educational tool: the FCI Academy.

Today, we are excited to start a series of highly valuable publications:
breed-specific education about FCI breeds recognised on a definitive or provisional basis. 

The presentations have been prepared by the national canine organisation (member of the FCI) of the country of origin of the breed.  They are based on a model (in English only) drafted by the FCI Show Judges Commission and have been approved by the FCI General Committee.

The aim is twofold:
– to familiarise and educate the (future) judges and breeders, and
– to promote the breeds among the general public.

The material is composed of PowerPoint presentations, sometimes accompanied by videos, when available.

The very first presentation will be about the Dutch Shepherd Dog. It will be published in the FCI Academy section of this blog on January 23rd. Don’t miss it!

We wish you a pleasant time at the FCI Academy!

FCI announces its 2nd World Congress for Show Judges

The congress will take place on 24-25 June 2019 in the framework of the FCI Americas and the Caribbean Section shows (20-23 June) at “Mundo Imperial Acapulco” exhibition centre.

All Judges around the world are invited to participate! All participants will receive a very special recognition with curricular value, signed by FCI President, Mr Rafael de Santiago.

The judges are reminded that, according to FCI rules, it is necessary for all international judges officiating all over the world as representatives of the FCI to attend this type of congress to keep up to date.

Well-known judges will be the speakers during 2 days, about topics of great interest to the international judges willing to update their knowledge: behaviour, health, genetic predispositoon to hereditary diseases, nomenclature of colours and coats, evaluation in statics and dynamics, hypertypes and evaluation of the dogs, among other.

Full programme and information leaflet available here!


More than 100 years of FCI archives: aren’t we lucky?

One of the most impressive things about the FCI is that, being a hundred-year-old federation, it can be considered as one of the probably restricted number of existing international organisations being able to legitimately claim to be an authentic witness of the last 100 years of contemporary history!

How lucky we are to have access to the full FCI archives! They constitute a treasure of documents, pictures and historic testimonies, not only of FCI’s history, but also of the FCI members’.

Today, we would like to introduce you to a very nice piece of art which has its place in our modest museum: the FCI bronze plate.

In 1928, the FCI decided to have bronze plates produced: two of them were offered to the organisers of every CACIB show and CACIT trial.  The organisers then chose among all the winning dogs of a CACIB or a CACIT to offer them a bronze plate.  The FCI also kept a stock of plates which were available for sale.  154 were sold in 1937 and 333 in 1938.  The FCI stopped the production of the plate in 1947…

The nice thing about it is that a few years ago, in 2009, the FCI Office was contacted by a Dutch person, dog lover, who informed us that he had found such a plate on a flea market in The Netherlands!  The current FCI staff was not aware of the existence of this plate and research had to be made in the very old minutes of the Assemblies; that is how we found information about its creation in 1927!

The plate had been made by a famous Belgian caster called Léon Batardy.  Our thrilling research allowed us to find out that the plate is a reproduction of a painting: one of Saint Hubert’s Miracles, conserved in the Belgian chapel Saint Hubert à la Converserie, in Champlon.

The Dutch dog lover kindly accepted to send us the plate he had bought on the flea market and the FCI Office had it reproduced in its original format, shape and look.  Such a plate was offered to one of the winners of the FCI Centenary World Champion of Champions held in Brussels in November 2011, on the occasion of the FCI centenary.

Hypertypes and breed standards in dogs: a matter of balance by Claude GUINTARD (1) and Anne-Marie CLASS (2)

Full text of the article in its original language (French).


Hypertype in the canine species has been subject to a lot of thoughts and many publications but the novelty of this work is that it associates two complementary points of view, namely the breeder’s and judge’s and on the other hand the anatomist’s and vet’s.

If at shows, the worship of beauty, driven to exaggeration, has taken the step on fitness, one can wonder which tools would be able to avoid these phenomena that are detrimental to the well-being, indeed the soundness of the dogs produced.

The standard lever is often put forward; however, one can wonder whether it is not the interpretation of it (or sometimes the lack of meticulous reading) more than the standards themselves which is the cause of these phenomena.

The writing of the current standards, according to the FCI template, should not be able to lead to hypertypes, it is all about valuation and balance from the various players of the dog world.

Tools other than standards are clearly available to fight against hypertypes, the authors will only enounce them without developing.


Key words: Dogs, hypertype, standards, selection, cynology.


(1) Doctor of veterinary medicine, in charge of Unité d’Anatomie Comparée, École Nationale Vétérinaire de Nantes – Oniris, Member of the Standards Commission of Société Centrale Canine, Member of the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) Standards Commission.

(2) Secretary General of the Société Centrale Canine, President of Club Français du Bullmastiff et du Mastiff, chemist.

The specifics of the conformation and movements of the modern German Shepherd Dog from the Golden section perspective, by Dr Eugene Yerusalimsky

Nota Bene
The following abbreviations are used in the article
BMD –  biomechanical model of a dog
HMD –  harmonic model of a dog
GHN –  general harmonic net of a dog
HJ – hip joint
FL – front limbs
RL – rear limbs
SJ – shoulder joint
EJ – elbow joint
KJ – knee joint
HP – harmonic proportion

The question devoted to the optimal gate of the modern German Shepherd in running long distances has been widely argued among judges. Over reaching trot is said to be such gait and this point of view is shared by some judges specialised in the breed and criticised by others. The argument in favour of this view is simple: on over reaching trot the length of the German Shepherd step is increased. It means that in order to cover the datum distance the dog has to perform fewer steps and so it gets tired less.

We had wondered at this problem and made the research.  We would like to share the results of this study accomplished from the Golden section perspective.

The Golden section is known to be a universal form building principle of harmony, which gives to corresponding forms the perfection of the structure and the optimal values of the functions that aroused these forms to life.

In the frame work of our we consider the German Shepherd of such a  structure that would satisfy the aesthetic needs of specialists on the one side, and at the same time the dog would be able to run long distances with minimal energy expenditure.

To make clear the methods of study, the purpose of particular measurements and the meaning of calculations, let us briefly remind and explain some of the postulates relating to the biomechanical (BMD) and the harmonic models of a dog (HMD) and to the general harmonic net of a dog (GHN)


The Biomechanical Model of a Dog

(applicable for the majority of breeds, with the exception of sighthounds dogs, overbuilt dogs (be higher in rump than in withers), dogs with a peculiar specific top line and with degenerative signs of build, resulting from intentional selection)


The BMD provides breeders with reference points; the use of these points of reference in breeding gives the possibility of systematic breeding for consolidation the complex of qualities for the well-built dogs, including strong back, deep chest, overall compact, as well as correct articulations and their consistency of actions required for the movement balance in reproducible stock.

Using BMD in judging allows judges apply the above mentioned reference points to verify their visual impressions; in return, it increases the objectivity of qualification given to the dogs when judging.

  1. The back, the loin, and the sacrum form a ratio of “2:1:1”, in which 2 units relate to the back, 1 unit relates to the loin, and the second one relates to the sacrum.

This is the most important fundamental principle. It is based on three numbers 1, 1, 2 – the first three figures of the Fibonacci Series. The modification of the Fibonacci Series as it limit is equal to the Golden Section =  (√5 -1)/2 ≈3/5.

Breaking of this principle leads to disharmony of confоrmation.


  1. The angle between the middle line of the shoulder blade and the straight line connecting the hip joint (HJ) with the iliac tuber (the angle of the “pendulum”) is equal to 90°.

The principle of the right angle of the pendulum provides primary balance of the limbs angulations and creates the preconditions for the equality of the step length of the front limbs (FL) and of the rear limbs (RL), i.e. to the movements balance.

  1. The shoulder joint (SJ) and the hip joint (HJ) are on a horizontal line; as well as the elbow joint (EJ) and the knee joint (KJ) are on the other horizontal line.

The principle of two horizontals prevents the appearance of a dog which rump is higher than his withers both in standing and in movement. This principle also promotes to the keeping of the horizontal position of the spine in movement, which is important because motive thrusts are transmitted tangentially to the topline, and in this case the dog does not have to “work” on the rise of the gravity centre.

  1. The elbow joint of the dog (EJ) is under the withers, and the knee joint (KJ) is placed under the root of the tail (when viewed from the side).

The principle of two vertical lines makes it possible to optimise the angles of the SJs and HJs, due to the fact that the slopes and lengths of the humerus and femur have maximum value (from physiological perspective) with such a structure. Equally important that this principle underlies the formation of a movable support in the form of two pairs of joints, which are located exactly under the spinal column endings and mitigate the blows at the moments of jumps and falls.

  1. The centre of the dog’s gravity is on the pendulum plumb line omitted from the vertex angle; unilateral limbs converge towards the base of this line in foothold phase.

This principle called the convergent powers principle provides the most persistent support of the dog in the given phase of movement.

  1. The body length of the dog in correct standing is equal to the distance between its front legs (FL) and rear legs (RL), measured from the side of the hind led placed behind with a vertical rear pastern.

This principle promotes the equality of the FL and RL steps and  the movement balance due to the fact that the body of the dog extends forward relatively to the front and rear supports at the same distance.

Harmonic Model of a Dog (HMD)
(valid for the same breeds variety)

The HMD is the totality of the dog’s proportions, to which the judge’s eye tunes in on evaluation of the overall dog balance.

Harmoniousness of the dog depends on the following proportions; the proportions are equal to the Golden Section each. In so doing the dog is evaluated in the correct standing.


  1. Harmonic Proportion HP1

The chest depth versus the spine length from the withers start  to the tail root.

  1. HP2

The chest length versus the length of the body.

The length of the body is measured from the anterior prominence of the sternum to the tuber of the ischium; at the same time the length of the chest is determined as part of the body  length ending with the posterior edge of the last rib.

  1. HP 3

Body length versus the length of the diameter of the dog.

The diameter refers to length of a projection to the vertical plane parallel to the longitudinal axes of the body of a straight line between the occiput and the foot of hind leg placed behind with a vertical rear pastern.

  1. HP4

The height in the elbow versus the sum of the head and the neck lengths.

(###) … As for most breeds, the elbow joint divides the height at the withers in half, then in the proportion GP4, the height at the elbow He can be replaced by the depth of the chest Dch.

5. HP5

The girth of the muzzle versus the girth of the skull.

The General Harmonic Net of a Dog (GHN)

The GHN is formed by 4 rows (1) of vertical and 4 rows (2) of horizontal lines placed on the silhouette of a dog in correct standing.

Vertical lines (1):

  1. from the withers;
  2. from the back edge of the last thoracic vertebra;
  3. from the anterior margin of the iliac tubercle;
  4. from the tail root.

Horizontal lines (2):

  1. from the upper point of the withers;
  2. from the shoulder joint (SJ);
  3. from the elbow joint (EJ);
  4. through the base of the feet.

In the case when the anatomical sections of the spine are divided in a ratio of 2:1:1,

the 1st vertical  line must pass through EJ;
the 2nd vertical line  must pass through the middle of the topline;
the 3rd vertical  line must pass through the KJ.

If the elbow joint is on the length equal to the half of  height in withers, and the scapula and humerus are of equal length and slope,  than the ratio  2:1:1 determines the entire vertical proportions of the dog. Moreover, in accordance with the principle of two horizontals, the 2nd horizontal  line passes through the hip joint (HJ), and the 3rd  horizontal  line passes through the knee joint (KJ).

In this case, we may say that the dog outline definitely fits into the GHN, and its build vertically and horizontally is determined by the ratio of 2:1:1.

The following data is statistically confirmed:

  1. when using stud dogs whose constitution, being built on the first three numbers of the Fibonacci Series, corresponds to the GHN, their offspring will mostly inherit this correspondence, and in addition, their proportions will line up towards the Golden Section;
  2. the proportion values of the producers /parents themselves, corresponding to the GHN, are to be close to the Golden Section.


Let us now return to the beginning of the article and ask ourselves, how can we lengthen the steps of the dog and to what extend?

At the common sense level, it is obvious that this elongation is facilitated by the body lengthening, which correspond to the more pronounced angulations. They become more open when unbending, that, in its turn, leads to longer steps.

Let us consider this in more detail and imagine that in addition to the elongated body the dog has longer top line due to more sloping sacrum while maintaining the entire spinal column ratio of 2:1:1. Pelvis bones become more obliquely, both ilium and ischium.

Let us remember that the angle β forming these bones is less than 180°.

This follows from obvious considerations.

  1. The upper thigh of the hind leg placed behind normally forms the perpendicular to the ischium, and the upper thigh of the hind leg placed under the body forms the perpendicular to the ilium. This ensures the most economical dynamics of the extensor muscles (attached to the ischial bones) and flexor muscles (attached to the iliac bones).
  2. In natural standing one hind leg of the German Shepherd places behind, whereas the other one hind leg places under the body, so that between the upper thighs there is an acute angle α, and since the upper thighs are perpendicular to the corresponding pelvis bones, the angle between the pelvis bones is β = 180°- α, and it is not a flat angle.

Note, however, taking to account the right angle of the pendulum, that the increase in the inclination of the iliac bones relative to the horizontal  line should not exceed the limit value of 45°, whereas the slope of the shoulder blade versus the horizontal  line should not be less than 45°. Otherwise we would have the acute angle of SJ and the dog would have had to expend excessive effort to unbend such a joint.

Now let us pay attention to the fact that the depth of the chest at the given lengthening of the topline remains the same, which means that the value of HP1 decreased. Although the absolute lengths of the shoulder blades and upper arms remained the same, their relative lengths (versus the lengthened topline) decreased.  In this case, the opening of the SL angle, even if the angle is correct, results in the following: reach forward of the humerus and, accordingly, reach forward of the elbow become  insufficient to ensure appropriate  length of the FL step in comparison with the extended HL step.

Consider the changes occurred on the other part. The ends of the humerus and femur lie on two horizontal lines (the principle of two horizontals retains!). At the same time, now the elongated femur has a slightly more oblique position (otherwise the right angle (90°) of the HJ is impossible), while the humerus, becoming relatively shorter, has to take a more vertical position leading to a more open SJ angle. This fact, mentioned in the German Shepherd Dog standard as the tolerance  of the blunt  SL angle (up to 110°, as in Doberman), as we see, is not without a reason.

Of course, we should not welcome the deterioration of the SL angle, but now it becomes clear that this deterioration is a consequence of the excessive HJ angle, which results in excessive rear angulations.


And the first conclusion* follows from stated above: the rear angulations should not be excessively pronounced, and the step of the RL should not be excessively long.

This is the first answer to the question, to what extend can (or need?) we lengthen the step of the German Shepherd,  and to what extend the over reaching trot is considered to be good?

If, however, to hold the conclusion made*, the deviation of the  SL angle from 90° may be insignificant, while its  optimal value, as well as the optimal value of the HJ angle can be achieved due to the principle of two verticals.


Let us now return to the question devoted to the adequate length of the FL step and how it  may be ensured if the humeroscapular joint opening is not the solution of the issue.

The conclusion here can be the only one: it is necessary to extend the forearm, it, in its turn, let increase the value of the high-legged index.

The question arises: to what extent?

The standard proposes to consider this index in the range of 52-54%.

We approached to this question from a practical point of view, on the sample of 11 German Shepherds, to a large extent random; we measured the dogs provided for their compliance with BMD, HMD, and GHN.

You can see the corresponding table:

N/p 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Hw 62 66 61.5 59 62 58 61.5 59.5 59 64 58
E 32.5 34,5 32.5 29 31 29.5 33 30,5 30,5 32,5 29
T 60 64,5 61 55 61 51.5 61 58,5 57 58 60
Prop N N N 2:0.98:1.02 1.8:1.2:1 1.7:1.3:1 N 1.9:1.1:1 1.7:1.3:1 1.6:1.6:0.8 2:1.3:07
Dch 29.5 31.5 29 30 31 28.5 28 29 28,5 31,5 29
Lb 78.5 82 82 72 72 66 74 70 75 74,5 70
Lch 48.5 49 51 44 41 40 44.5 44 46 44 4
D 128 118 123 114 114 108 116 112 114 117 116
S 52 46.5 46.5 50 52 40.5 50 45 47 47 46
Sk 43 43 46.5 41 43 39 40 44 41 47 43
M 25.5 27 27.5 22 23.5 22.5 25 25 23 28 25
HP1 0.49 0.49 0.47 0.54 0.51 0.55 0.55 0.5 0.5 0.54 0.53
HP2 0.61 0.6 0.62 0.61 0.56 0.61 0.6 0.63 0.61 0.59 0.67
HP3 0.61 0.67 0.69 0.63 0.63 0.61 0.64 0.62 0.66 0.64 0.6
HP4 0.62 0.66 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.73 0.66 0.68 0.65 0.69 0.63
HP5 0.59 0.63 0.67 0.54 0.55 0.58 0.62 0.57 0.56 0.59 0.58
IF 126 124 133 122 116 114 120 118 127 116 121
T/B 0.76 0.79 0.74 0.76 0.85 0.78 0.82 0.84 0.76 0.78 0.77
T/W 0.97 0.98 0.99 0.93 0.98 0.89 0.99 0.88 0.97 0.91 0.93
S/T 0.87 0.74 0.76 0.91 0.85 0.79 0.82 0.77 0.82 0.81 0.77
 IL 52% 52% 53% 49% 50% 51% 54% 51% 52% 51% 50%



Hw – height in withers, He – height at elbow, Lt – the length of the topline,
Prop – proportion of back, loin, and sacrum, Lth – the length of back,
Dch – the depth of chest,  Lb –  the length of body, Lch – the length of chest,
Ld – the length of the diameter,
S – the sum of the head and   the  neck lengths, Sk – skull circumference,
M – muzzle circumference, IF=Lb/Hw –  index of the format, IL=He/Hw – index  of loftiness

Analysis of the table shows that, on average, we receive the following indicators:

IF=120; IL = 52-53%;
Lt/Lb = 0.8; S/Lt = 0.81; Lt/Hw = 0.94; Lch/Lb = 3/5; Lt/Lch = 2/3;
HP1 = 0.52 ≈ (1/2); HP4 = 0.66 ≈2/3;
HP2 = 0.61 ≈3/5; HP3 = 0.63 ≈3/5; HP5 = 0.59 ≈3/5;

Fibonacci numbers are highlighted in red.


The values of all harmonic proportions, except for HP1 and HP4, remained at the Golden Section level. The value of HP1 decreased to 1/2, and the value of HP4 increased to 2/3.

HP1=1/2 means that due to the lengthening of the topline, almost equal to the height at the withers (0.94) the chest depth now being equal to the half of the topline is less than in comparison with the previous value of 3/5.  Since the topline is divided by anatomical sections in a ratio of 2:1:1; now Dch=Lth.

HP4 = 2/3 means that the sum of the head and the neck lengths is less than before (see HP 4).

It means that the head and the neck are now extended forward for a shorter distance than the front leg when the dog makes a step. Now the FL will be forced to hang up in the air* * until the dog’s eye and the FL paw are at the moment of landing on the same vertical line to ensure the equilibrium according to the extended trot criterion.

Let us consider the situation that occurs in the case of the new value HP1=1/2.

Note that 1/2 is the 2nd member of the Fibonacci Series (and 2/3 is its 3rd  member), so the Golden Section still has an impact on the existing transformation.

We were faced with the fact that the format elongation in order to lengthen the steps of German Shepherd had led to the fact that the depth of its body decreased, i.e. its chest became relatively less deeper.

How is this fact consistent with endurance of German Shepherd that should has a large lungs capacity?


Carry out some simple calculations.

  1. Let IL=52%; the depth of chest Dch= 48%.

Let the height at withers is 4 arbitrary units (a.u.), depth of chest Dch=1.92 a.u. The back length is 1.92. The chest width is takes as “B”.

The volume of the chest (V) is approximately (*)

V≈1.92 x 1.92 x B = 3.686 x B. 

( * ) The length of the chest, of course, is greater than the length of the back due to the inclination of the ribs and the prominent prosternum. However, the ribs are shortened toward the abdomen. Therefore, if in the profile instead of the real chest to calculate its capacity, we consider a rectangle whose sides are equal to the length of the back and the depth of the chest, its capacity (the width of the chest remains the same) can be considered approximately equal to the capacity of the real chest.

  1. Now, for comparison, consider the case that is fully covered by the GHN, when IL=50%. In this case, Dch=2; Lt=2 x 5/3=3.33; Lth=1.66.

The volume of the chest V≈2 x 1.66 x B  = 3.32 x B,

which is less than at IL=48%!!!

3. Let us return to the case of greater loftiness.

Now let IL=53%; the depth of chest Dch=47%;

that is, in arbitrary units Dch=1.88 a.u.=Lth; and V≈1. 88×1. 88 x B = 3.53 x B;

  1. e. V is again more than at IL=50%

4. Let IL=54%, Dch=46%,

i.e. Dch=1.84=Lth, V≈1.84 x 1.84xB = 3. 385xB

Chest volume is  V= 3.385, that is still more than at IL =50%

5. Let IL=55%, Dch= 45%,

i.e. Dch=1.8=Lth,

Chest  volume is  V≈ 3.24,  that is lower than at  IL=50%

6. Due to the fact that in normal practice, the height of the elbow is measured at the point of the ulna, and not at the elbow joint, as we do, let us make some additional calculations for the case when IL=51%.

In this case we turned out to reveal the largest volume of the chest V = 3.84, which, of course, exceeds the volume for the case of IL= 50%. (Dch=1.96=Lth; and V≈ 1.96×1.96xB=3.84 x B)


Main Conclusions

Loftiness in German Schepherd in the range of 51-54% leads to a decrease in the value of HP1 to 1/2 and provides an increase of the chest capacity

by 16% at I=51%,
by 12% at I=52%,
by 7% at I=53%,
by 2% at I=54%

With a subsequent increase in IL up to 55%, the capacity of the chest decreases, which indicates further inexpediency of the loftiness.

52-54% – is  the height at the ulna; or
51-53% – is  the height at the elbow joint.

Additional measurements have revealed that at the stage of hang up close to the ground when the dog is trotting at an average speed, its length of the body refers to the length of the limbs span as 3/5, which is not surprising, since the body length and the length of the diameter form the Golden Section.

Rather often the creeping trot is believed to be the typical gate for GSH. This is not correct. Movement of creeping trot begins with an advanced step of the fore limb, which takes on a significant part of the dog weight on lending and greatly facilitates the load of the hind limb in the support phase. Not less important that at the time of the forelimb advancing step, the body is located fairly low above the ground. Therefore “a quasi dog” is getting less tired in comparison with other trot gaits as its hind limbs support is significantly reduced and its centre of gravity shouldn’t be lifted high. These phenomena distinguish the creeping trot from all other gaits. Moving with this trot “a quasi dog” leaves only two tracks. However, in fact, dogs don’t move with this gait; creeping trot is typical movement for wolves.

In reality German Shepherds demonstrate swift (accelerated) trot, when the movement starts with the push of the hind limb.

At this time, the homonymous front limb is thrown forward and hangs up in the air***.  The leg stands on the ground only after the diagonal hind limb has already appeared under the body at the support stage and moved the body forward.

With this  kind of movement the hind limb at this stage does perform unusual function of support, taking the entire weight of the dog and pushing it forward; such movement gets the dog tired and creates the preconditions for the destruction of HJ***.

This gait results in excessive rear angulations, excessive length of RL step in combination with the insufficient SJ angle, and the insufficient length of the FL step.

It would seem that an increase of the FL step due to elongation of the forearm is able to equalise the lengths of the steps of the FL and RL and reduce the load on the RL at the stage of support. However, this is not the case: the elongation of the forearm does not affect the head and neck, and their advanced in comparison with the extended reach of the FL becomes even more inadequate. Thus, the hang of the FL will increase and continue until the diagonal RL does move the body forward to a known vertical, which normally should pass through its paw and the dog’s eye (!!!) at the moment of landing.

It is quite obvious that now the diagonal RL will have to support the dog’s body even longer at the stage of support and move it further forward. In the limit, the RL ceases to cope with the function of support on the paw and will have to support on the rear pastern!

To this we must also add that the opposite FL in this phase will be placed even deeper under the body, which will only increase the overreaching and increase the balance instability.

Of course, we can go for one more compensatory step and direct the selection for an increase in the sum of the head and neck lengths S in order to reach the gold section value G4 = He / S and thereby achieve the vertical passage at the moment of landing of the FL through its paw and the dog’s eye after the minimal hanging of the FL. This will reduce the excessive load on the supporting RL. However, one should not forget that G4 = Dch / S (###), and an increase in S under the golden section principle will result in an increase in Dch, i.e. the chest will descend deeper, and the high-score index will decrease, tending to the value of IL = 50%. As a result, we return to the canon typical of most breeds, which prevents extreme manifestations.


  1. The decrease in endurance due to the increase in loftiness;
  2. Overload of RL***;
  3. Pitching because of the converging powers principle (BMD, p.5) violation;
  4. Worsening of the equilibrium position at the phase of support.


Thus, the statement that the overreaching trot is considered to be a productive gait doesn’t stand up to criticism.

The target of the breeders is to shorten as much as possible the time of hung up at this stage of movement in order to reduce the load on the rear leg and to minimise the dog energy consumption.

This is possible to fulfill by optimising the angles of the limbs and the length of step at the trot, which is determined by the Golden Section.

Let us illustrate this situation by means of photos, in which the GSDs move in different trot.
In the first photo you see a swift (accelerated) trot without overreaching, with a slight hanging. In this GSD, the ratio of the length of the body to the span of the limbs is B:R = 0.6.
In the following photos, the overreaching appears and increases, and the ratio B:R deviates the more towards the decrease of 0.6, i.e. from the golden section, the larger the overreaching becomes. This means that the span of limbs is excessive for the length of the body, which is caused by excessive rear angulations and excessive loftiness.

B:R = 0,6




B:R = 0,53

To achieve this goal, we recommend aiming the breeding toward the implementation of the following selection indicators.

  1. The lengths of the back, loin and sacrum keep the ratio 2:1:1 that determines the harmony of the dog conformation at a basic level.
  2. The scapula (shoulder blade) and ilium (both when viewed from the side) form a right angle, at that the scapula is inclined of 45 degrees, which determines the initial balance of the limbs angulations.
  3. SJ and HJ are placed on the same level,

EJ and KJ are also placed at the same level, which creates the prerequisites for maintaining the horizontal position of the spinal column in movement and prevent the rump from being higher than the  withers.

  1. EJ is under the withers (when viewed from the side).

KJ is under the tail root (when viewed from the side), which allows to optimise the angles of SJ and HJ.

  1. Index of loftiness IL is in the range of 51-53%, which allows to increase the endurance of the dog due to the larger chest capacity.
  2. Index of format IF is in the range of 115-125% (taking into account measurement mistakes) which contributes to the amplitude of legs movement in trot with the average speed in accordance with the Golden Section.
  3. Length of the topline from the withers to the tail root is twice bigger than the depth of the chest. Its length relates to the length of the body as 4/5 and to the height at the withers as not less than 9/10. These ratios serve as points of reference in checking the correctness of conformation.

In conclusion, let us give the approximate values of the German Shepherd  conformation parameters  and some proportions for the given values of the  index of loftiness IL

  1. IL=51%, Hw=4, Dch=1,96=Lth; Lt=3,92; Lch=2,94; Lb=4,9; Lt/Hw=0,98; IF=122, V=3,842.
  2. IL=52%, Hw=4; Dch=1,92=Lth; Lt=3,84; Lch=2,88; Lb=4,8; Lt/Hw= 0,96; IF=120, V=3,686
  3. IL=53%, Hw=4; Dch=1,88=Lth; Lt=3,76; Lch=2.82; Lb=4,7; Lt/Hw=0,94; IF=117, V=3,53
  4. IL=54%, Hw=4; Dch=1,84=Lth; Lt=3,68; Lch=2.76; Lb=4,6; Lt/Hw=0,92; IF=115, V=3,385