Published Articles

Mesenteric Torsion: The Sudden Killer!

Composed and compiled by Judy Grumdahl and Barbara Williams

Below you will find an article on Mesenteric Torsion which is fast becoming one of Our GSD Breed's most deadly Diseases, along with Hemangiosarcoma. Both are Familial and run in Families... No Doubt about the fact,  that affected  Dogs have a Genetic Predisposition to Developing these Diseases. Breeders must be  extremely vigilant and keep Health Records on  All the GSD'S  in their Dogs pedigrees and litters, etc.. as far back as possible.. It is most important to keep track of ALL the LITTERMATES, in every litter, and  their Health History

 Barb Williams

Mesenteric Torsion: The Sudden Killer!

 What is Mesenteric Torsion? It is the twisting of the intestines around the mesenteric axis. The mesentery is the suspension system for the intestines. The many feet of the intestines are suspended by a pretty small mesenteric root that contains the attachment of the mesentery and the major blood vessels providing nutrients to the intestines. Mother Nature designed this amazing network and normally it all functions without problems. However, occasionally, something happens and all goes haywire. This condition is not to be confused with Gastric Bloat/Torsion or Toxic Gut Syndrome, which will be described later. The mortality rate is almost 100% and was once thought to be a rare condition, but evidence has brought to light the fact that this is occurring with ever

Read more: Mesenteric Torsion: The Sudden Killer!

Judging the GSD

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

by Barbara  Lee Williams

In the  Past,   the ‘Glory Days of the GSD ‘ as I call them,  we were blessed with many   outstanding  GSD  Specialty  Judges who knew the BREED  and had the CONFIDENCE in their KNOWLEDGE, to JUDGE   the DOGS, not the  HANDLERS…  Somewhere along the line, those Judges  died, or  were too old ,and many not able to handle the rigors of being all day in the ring, judging 175 GSD’S…(which was the limit ONE Judge was allowed to Judge in a Day…Often , the large Specialty Shows required  2 Judges)

SO, it began to erode, when the  Pro Handlers, and their clients, etc.  controlled the  selection of Judges and  were  usually put up by same. That was the Beginning of the End.. Now, we are in the  ‘Shadow Days of the GSD Breed”, in my personal opinion.. and people, discouraged with  ‘The System”, see no future in fighting a losing battle…So they go on to other  more  affordable and  rewarding  pursuits with their  Shepherds, , such as Herding,  Obedience, All-Breed Shows, etc. and write off the Specialty Shows as a Lost Cause..

The GSD Specialty Shows are  dying from lack of interest and membership and  hope of  winning fairly,  by  the average  GSD Owner, who often also lacks the MONEY for  Specialty Show  PRO   Handling and Boarding and   Training, etc.. I wrote an article, many moons ‘ ago, predicting  such a  Specialty  Show demise and it was titled “ Killing the Goose Who Laid the Golden Egg”.

Read more: Judging the GSD

From Owner to Breeder, Part 1

An Article from "The Dog Writer" featuring Barbara Lee Williams,

Click to read.

I Hear Dead Breeders Talking

First in a Series by Barbara Lee Williams

      Sometimes, when welcome sleep finally overtakes me, I drift off and back into the past ... and I hear and see and remember the times and the people and the voices and the conversations, so very long ago, among the German Shepherd Breeders I so admired and respected. They were the legends of the breed who often were difficult and tired of trying to pass on the messages of importance to those who were new and green and didn't understand the great responsibility to the breed, the task they must assume, if they were to become geniuine breeders and valuable to the breed.


     It is a daunting, exhausting and demanding emotional task to become a true keeper of the flame for the German Shepherd breed, to ensure that the breed remains healthy for generations to come, resourceful and beautiful, in mind and body, living its true legacy as the most respected and sought after canine breed in the entire world.


     Those devoted and dedicated breeders of the glory days were life-long servants as the true keepers of the flame during those grand and beautiful days when our breed stood alone upon the stage of the most admired and respected breeds in the entire world.


Read more: I Hear Dead Breeders Talking

A Matter of Genes

The OFA Answers Questions and Concerns Regarding Elbow Dysplasia

Introduction by Barbara lee Williams 

GSDCA Health First Project Chair 

Because DJD Grade 1 ED evaluations are being assigned to many of our Shepherds by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), a sometimes contentious dialogue developed recently among Showgsd email List members concerning the dependability of the OF A's evaluation of the condition. I volunteered to follow-up on the concerns of those on the List who sent me their questions and first-hand reports of their experiences. I contacted OFA Executive Director Dr. Greg Keller DVM. He was eager to help, and expressed his willingness to participate in any way possible. I asked if he could provide every GSDCA Regional Club with the latest OFA publication on elbow dysplasia as well as a copy of the OFA's Newsletter, The ADVOCATE, Volume 1, Issue 3, which includes an excellent article on elbow dysplasia. I provided 105 mail ing addresses to Dr. Keller who then sent the two publications to everyone on the mailing list. I also sent Dr. Keller 39 of the 78 emails I had received-a selected consensus that expressed the concerns of breeders both on and off the List. Names of senders and the dogs involved were blacked out so that all information was kept strictly confidential as I promised when requesting it. ~ I then contacted Dr. Jerold Bell, author of an article originally printed in the AKC Gazette, then reprinted in the March 1990 Review and in the July-December 2003 WDA Newsletter. Dr. Bell is Director of the clinical veterinary genetics course at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He also, and very kindly, took time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions and reminded me, as did the OFA, that continued use of DJD Grade 1 EO-affected Shepherds could produce any or all of the three known diseases of the elbow joint.

Read more: A Matter of Genes