Monday, July 17, 2017

Tribute to Horand von Grafrath

Horand Von Grafrath - SZ 1

Lets take an opportunity to pay our wholehearted tribute to Horand - Horand von Grafrath (formerly Hektor Linksrhein), "The Foundation Dog" of the GSD breed. An important phase in the evolution of the German Shepherd Dog breed starts from Horand (DOB January 1st, 1895), SZ1.

There’s no better way we can pay our tribute to Horand von Grafrath than by mentioning here what Captain von Stephanitz, the originator of the breed said about this awesome dog.

Here's what he said about Horand:

"Horand embodied for the enthusiasts of that time the fulfillment of their fondest dreams.  He was big for that period, between 24" and 24 1/2", even for the present day a good medium size, with powerful frame, beautiful lines, and a nobly formed head.  Clean and sinewy in build, the entire dog was one live wire.

His character was on a par with his exterior qualities; marvelous in his obedient fidelity to his master, and above all else, the straightforward nature of a gentleman with a boundless zest for living.  Although untrained in puppy hood, nevertheless obedient to the slightest nod when at this master's side; but when left to himself, the maddest rascal, the wildest ruffian and incorrigible provoker of strife.

Never idle, always on the go; well disposed to harmless people, but no cringer, mad about children and always in love.  What could not have been the accomplishments of such a dog if we, at that time, had only had military or police service training?  His faults were the failings of his upbringing, never of his stock.  He suffered from a superfluity of unemployed energy, for he was in Heaven when someone was occupied with him and was then the most tractable of dog."

So by Sir Max's words we can at ease understand what are the desirable qualities that a well bred German Shepherd should actually have. Horand von Grafrath was a name that had been given to the dog by Captain Stephanitz. There is an interesting history behind the Horand’s life story. While attending a dog show in 1899 the captain came across a Thuringian type sheep dog of medium stature, whose name was Hecktor Linkshrein. It was Hecktor's typical shepherding qualities, his nature and anatomical structure that grabed captain's attention, and he fell in love with him at the first sight. He purchased him at the spot and later he changed his name to Horand Von Grafrath registered him with his new name the vereins newly found stud book. Horand was the first shepherd dog to find the first place in the new stud book of the verein. “Verein” here is Verein für deutsche Schäferhunde (shortly known as SV – the “Club For German Shepherd Dogs”).

Later Horand sired many pups, the worth mentioning and most celebrated of which was Hektor von Schwaben - SZ 13, born on January 5, 1898. Hektor von Schwaben was born from the combination of Horand von Grafrath - SZ 1 (born - 1895) X Mores Plieningen HGH - SZ 159 (born - 1894)

Hektor von Schwaben later produced some head reeling offspring such as:

Heinz von Starkenburg - SchH3,  Kkl 1, born from the combination of Hektor von Schwaben X Lucie von Starkenburg - SZ 131 (born - 1896). Heinz achieved some lasting fame through his progeny - the 1906-7 Sieger Roland v Starkenburg - SCHH3, Kkl 1 (born 1903), the first really outstanding dog of the breed.  Humphrey (1926) believed Roland owed little to Heinz and more to Hektor v Schwaben.  

Two specimens that were wisely used to standardzing the German Shepherd breed were Beowulf and Pilot



These three studs - Heinz, Beowulf and Pilot had been used in the breeding program later, and thus their progeny contributed immensely to the development of German shepherd Dog breed.  

Captain Stephanitz heavily inbred on his very favorite Horand as well as his brother Luchs with an aim to strengthen the bloodline. Horand's most celebrated son, Hektor von Schwaben, the second German Sieger, was mated with his half-sister as well as through daughters of his own sons, Beowulf, Heinz, and Pilot III. 

Heavy inbreeding was the base of the development of the breed. But eventually is concentrated undesirable recessive originating from the mixing of the original strains. Von Stephanitz hence decided introduce unrelated blood of herding origin through Audifax von Grafrath and Adalo von Grafrath into his program.

Buzz this


Last Year's Most Read Out Posts

Advertise with us

About This Blog

All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.

  © Our Blogger Template for Aringsburg's German Shepherd Dogs

Back to TOP