by Stephanie Ward, published 2/19/2013
There are increasing numbers of German Shepherds that walk on their back hocks. Many novice German shepherd buyers looking for a GSD dog or puppy for sale may not recognize this problem right away and may buy a puppy from a show breeder because the breeder has “well bred, titled dogs”. I have included some examples showing what this looks like and how some people try to disguise it.
In this first photo, it is clear this dog is very low in the hocks and walks on them. It is a German Show dog from Germany.
In this next picture, the handler tries to disguise the hock walker by putting its tail by the back leg to cover it up somewhat.
This last picture is what I see the most when a dog walks on its hocks. The owner or handler tries to pass the dog off as not “down in the hocks” by putting a foot under the hock to hold it up. For me this is misrepresenting the dog and is nothing short of lying. I had a show breeder tell me one time that this was only done to keep the dog from moving its leg back but if the handler removed their foot, then the hock would be on the ground. Von Ward Kennels would never misrepresent a dog this way nor would we breed a dog like this. Be careful when you are shopping for your puppy. Make sure you look at the entire picture of the parents. Its not just about pedigree.