Working lines have always had males lines that dominate breeding. There are strong bitches too, but for some reason, breeding is still talked about through males. How the lines begin and how they get their popularity is pure coincidence. Some dogs arouse interest with their working presentation, and often high scores in competition help their success. If a dog succeeds produce good characteristics for offspring, the line continues. This is a review of Jeff Eqidius genetic heritage.
The proven genetic heritage of the beloved legend
Behind every successful dog are good parents. One such pair was a combination of Jeff Eqidius x Slava Eqidius. As a result of this breeding, a star called Bora Excalibur Europa was born in the Working GSD sky.
Hereditary factors, health, and the importance of the breeder’s choices are easy to discuss at the theoretical level. On the other hand, things become more understandable when they are dealt with concrete examples. We have the opportunity to take Jeff Eqidius genetic heritage, and his daughter Bora Excalibur Europa as examples because Jeff was my own dog. Thus, the information mentioned below is correct, from the time Jeff lived in Finland, in 2005-2012. Quite solemnly, but also dramatically expressed – attached is the proven Jeff Eqidius genetic heritage.
02/2001 – 10/2012
Review of Jeff Eqidius
Extreme working qualities
Jeff had both drives – strong prey with balanced aggression. He always worked from his heart. Jeff’s determination on guarding the helper was phenomenal. As was his grip, they were full and hard.
Jeff was a kind dog. He was neutral with people and other dogs, including males. Jeff was well-behaved who never fought. He was a gentleman in mating. Despite his vitality, he could go out with the bitches, even during their heat, and still be totally ok – he did not approach the girls when it was not allowed.
The proven Jeff Eqidius genetic heritage
Without a doubt, one of the best producers regarding working qualities. He has excellent statistics in HD/ED and back/spine. However, sadly, he left some illnesses behind. Some of his offspring suffered tumors. Despite his own fertility, many of his offspring were infertile. Unfortunately, there is no tested genetic information about Jeff, e.g. for DM. However, the risk of his autoimmune disease is no surprise if you look at his inbreeding rate: 4.69% and ancestral reduction factor: 80.65%
No longer by my side, but forever in my heart
“A good dog never dies; he always stays,
he walks beside you on crisp autumn days
when frost is on the fields and winter’s drawing near,
his head within our hand in his old way.” – Anonymous
Thank you, “Jeffi”
Jeff was a healthy dog. He hadn’t any eye- or ear problems, allergies, or itching. He ate all kinds of food without problems – raw meat, fat, and dry foods. The only downside was his weakened knee ligament. Jeff was x-rayed in Finland age of 5 when he injured his knee. The images showed earlier but improved ligament damage. However, the loose structure had left the knee exposed to new accidents, and the repeated injury left permanent damage to Jeff’s knee. Otherwise, he was in perfect condition in his bones and joints.
Jeff was a compact and muscular dog, and despite his size, he moved agilely. He had unique characteristics. His grip behavior, balanced drives, and attack power were perfect. As a stud, Jeff was a vital, fertile, and self-confident male. As far as I know, he left no bitches empty. Jeff gave good HD / ED, great work ethic, activity for obedience, and talent for tracking. His strengths emerged in protection, as did with his offspring. Good things usually have opposites. Unfortunately, Jeff Eqidius’s genetic heritage includes some diseases he left to his offspring. One thing is tumors and cancer. Another is impaired reproductive ability. Bitches had weak rutting season, and they did not become pregnant or give birth to small litters. Sterility has also been observed in males. DM is not known among direct Jeff progeny.
J Eqidius -litter
Honza Okal x Tira Eqidius
J -Eqidius litter is legendary; Jackson, Jalk, Jeff, Yalta, Jenny, Jinka, Jutta. And then there is Lanna from another breeding. Jutta Eqidius ‘daughter Eta Eqidius had a litter in Grauenfeld-kennel.
I brought 4.5 years old Jeff to Finland in 2005. He had an SchH3 title, and he was x-rayed HD / ED-normal and LTV0. Jeff had a breed survey and some litters. B-Excalibur Europa, T-Eqidius, and K-Connan Bohemia were Jeff’s last litters before he moved to Finland.
SchH3 IP3 SVV1
2-time Championship participant (2005, 2007)
Breed survey in Slovak
HD/ED normal, upper arm, knees, back/spine LTV0 (in Finland)
was a great dog with unique characteristics, grip behavior, balanced drives, and attack power. Jeff participated in Finish IPO Championships in 2007 (99-85-95) and was elected as a reserve dog in the Finnish WUSV Team.
Especially afterward, I can’t help but think of what Jeff could have achieved in my breeding work if I had had another equally good and healthy bitch like Zoyja v.d. Schwartenzwinger. Of course, the genetic heritage of Jeff Eqidius would still be the same, and health problems would certainly have occurred at some point. But could I have produced, thru selective breeding, Jeff-like but healthier litters? The question of eternity. However, I have not lost my night’s sleep because of it.
Right now, it’s challenging to look for healthy breeding dogs because there are no problem-free lines. It remains to be seen if there will be any dogs in the Jeff line that would allow it to continue. However, the genetic heritage of Jeff Eqidius would be worth saving. I would like to do that myself, but it would require risk-taking and compromises. And I am not sure if I am ready to take those risks. So it will be a fight between reason and heart.
K -Grauenfeld litter was Jeff’s best litter in Finland. Korgan (in the photo left and below) and Khan Grauenfeld were participants in Finish Championships and WUSV qualifications. Kwaz worked as a Military police dog. Kookie was a successful breeding female in Slovakia. Koshi, Kxito, and Kingo were excellent, and achieved unfortunately, only IP1 -titles.
Also, Jeff’s son Tjeff Eqidius lived in Finland, owned by me.
Jeff was a vital, fertile, and self-confident male. As far as I know, he left no bitches empty. In Finland, Jeff’s litters were limited to six (6) because I did not give him to mating. Below his litters born in Finland. Some of his offspring (Joxi, Kookie, Olekta, Otis) have litters in Finland and Slovakia.
Jeff Eqidius genetic heritage from a health perspective
J Grauenfeld -litter
Dam: Yta de Zennevallei: healthy dog, euthanasia, old age
Jiwe: x-ray healthy, euthanasia, old age 11 years
Jowgal: x-ray healthy, euthanasia, spinal disease (CES)
Jooga: x-ray healthy, euthanasia, tumor, old age 12 years
Jordan: x-ray healthy, no other health information
Joza: x-ray healthy, euthanasia, old age 13.5 years
Jorky: x-ray healthy, no other health information
Joxi: x-ray healthy, no other health information (repeated litter)
Jaffo: x-ray healthy, no other health information (repeated litter)
K Grauenfeld – litter
Dam: Zoyja v. Schwartenzwinger: healthy dog, euthanasia, old age)
Kxito: x-ray healthy, tumor, euthanasia at age of 8
Koshi: x-ray healthy, weak heat cycle, euthanasia, old age 12,5 years
Kingo: x-ray healthy, healthy dog, accidental death
Korgan: x-ray healthy, healthy dog, euthanasia, old age
Khan: x-ray healthy, perianal fistula, euthanasia
Kwaz: x-ray healthy, no other health information
Kookie: x-ray healthy, good mother to several litters (still alive, at the age of 13 years)
Kwen: no information (Slovakia)
O Grauenfeld -litter
Dam: Pussi Eqidius: healthy dog, no skeletal problems until old age, energetic and normal mobility. Good, natural breeding bitch and mother, normal size litters. During her life, she had three ear infections, no skin or eye diseases or problems with food. When arrived in Finland as a puppy, she suffered from giardia, which was dealt with medication.
Olekta: x-ray healthy, mother of Lynxfelsen A, D and F litters
> In Lynxfelsen’s A-litter (Sire: Yasco Haus Kasfeld), atopy, skin problems, pannus >> Offspring of A-litter dogs also e.g., eye, skin, and ear diseases
Oprime: x-ray healthy, pancreatic defect, euthanasia
Oblick: x-ray healthy, tumor, euthanasia at the age of 7, sterile
Oxley: x-ray healthy, pancreatic defect, euthanasia
Owax: x-ray healthy, 05/2020 died at the age of 10 years, cardiac arrest
Oqtan; x-ray healthy, euthanasia due to borreliosis
Orris; x-ray healthy, died of peritoneal rot
Otis: x-ray healthy, died of poisoning (3 litters in Finland)
Dam: Aissan Bellatrix, no health information)
Cielu: tumor, euthanasia
Caruso: tumor, euthanasia
Dam: Paula Haus Pixner, spinal disease
Vado: lymph node cancer, euthanasia
Via: spinal disease, suspected lymph node cancer, euthanasia
Vendetta: spinal disease
Jeff Eqidius genetic heritage – who is responsible?
Jeff was healthy until the age of 11.5 years. Without any warning, he got sick – he had a tumor that caused him to euthanize. Like Jeff, some of his offspring had a tumor in the internal organs. Jeff didn’t have RCND, but some of his offspring might have had that. Renal cystadenocarcinoma and nodular fibrosis (RCND) is an inherited cancer in German Shepherd Dogs. The disease has a late onset and is progressive. Affected animals develop multiple firm nodules (dermatofibroma) in the skin, typically by six years of age. There is a gene test for this disease.
The fact that Jeff himself became ill underlines his link to tumors and cancer. Reproductive problems are also strongly hereditary, and although Jeff himself did not suffer from them, it seems he has transferred them further. However, these health issues Jeff has inherited from his parents – but how far?
For Jeff’s sake, it is no longer relevant how he has got these health burdens, but for the future, this information is, however, necessary. Jeff-line lives strong, and many dogs “from his line” are used for breeding. Most of them haven’t been gene tested at all – not in any way. For fertility and at least for PRCD, there are gene tests. So breeders and male owners take advantage of these opportunities and carry out selective (health-promoting) breeding!
This brings us closer to the current situation;
Bora Excalibur Europa
Jeff Eqidius is by no means the only breeding male whose genetic heritage is burdened by health factors.
There is a wide range of problems within the German Shepherd breed that are known to be strongly borne in different lines, both in the show- and working lines. These include, e.g., ED and lumbar problems, DM, cancer, tumors, eye-, skin diseases, and many other autoimmune diseases.
The fact is that the legacy of Jeff Eqidius has been practically in the hands of the Ja Na Ka -breeder. Jeff Eqidius’s genetic heritage continues, in particular, through Bora Excalibur Europa and Bora’s offspring and their offspring, so at least in this context, one can speak of the “Jeff Eqidius -line.”
This line, however, received new problems along the way. In particular, the combination of Bora Excalibur Europa x Leon v. Staatsmacht has had a significant impact, and since Leon brings its own health heritage to that combination, breeders should be particularly sensitive to health issues at this point. Namely, Leon can also be associated with several autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, no one denies that this combination has positively affected the character.
Bora Excalibur Europa is the dam in B, C, D, E, and F Ja Na Ka -litters.
Most significant of Bora’s litters, at least, through the eyes of an outsider, has been B and D litters. The whole B-litter, but especially Bira Ja Na Ka and Bolle Ja Na Ka, are familiar names to all enthusiasts. Both dogs have left offspring with excellent characteristics. Significant is that their offspring have also been able to continue to leave good character. Although Bora Excalibur Europa has several litters, it seems that among daughters, such as low reproductive ability reappears.
As for other health problems, one must consider that the father of the B-litter was Leon v. Staatsmacht, also connected to autoimmune diseases. Viewed in this way, B- Ja Na Ka litter is a risk factor to be considered for certain hereditary diseases. Thus, the offspring of the B-litter has had various health problems. And it’s no coincidence that the same problems show up in the offspring of these dogs. Those whose dogs have experienced these problems can sign this summary. Those whose dogs have avoided health problems may downplay the severity of the phenomenon.
Bolle Ja Na Ka
05/2011- 03/2017, the dog fell ill (tumor)
Bolle Ja Na Ka has offspring in Finland. Some of them have had tumors, for example. In his grandchildren occurred, among other things, cancer, Pannus, skin problems, and developmental disorders in puppies. What comes to health issues, breeding partners, and their contribution to health cannot be ignored either.
It is clear why Bolle’s offspring have aroused interest among breeders and IGP enthusiasts. Not all of Bolle’s offspring are good – also, health problems, like tumors, can be found. But a few “stars” are enough – and many of his offspring are very good in protection. Therefore, Bolle is considered a good producer. Probably his best-known offspring is his son, Bundessieger K’nox v. Tollhaus. He is a great dog who seems to move his work qualities forward. But today, we know that Knox gives ED, tooth defects and cryptorchids occur, and some of the offspring are relatively small. K’nox’s mother, Graska v. Tollhaus, was a good dog. It is great that she was x-rayed and gene tested. The downside behind her is a gene for long hair and cryptorchid, which boost the risk of K’nox’s burden for cryptorchids even more.
Bira Ja Na Ka
has been the dam for G-, H-, I-, J-, K-, and N- litters in Ja Na Ka kennel.
After Bora Excalibur Europe Ja Na Ka kennels breeding is based on Bora’s daughter Bira Ja Na Ka and now Bira’s daughter Illa Ja Na Ka. This involves many dogs, so the chance of detecting health problems is very likely.
This leads to the breeder’s choices. All Ja Na Ka combinations have not been good for health, but the litters have again had excellent characteristics. How breeders choose in the future will be seen.
Breeders are not stupid, but sometimes they seem indifferent
Given how many serious diseases occur, it is confusing to see how certain lines, especially dogs, are repeated today. This applies, for example, to Leon Staatsmacht and Ellute v.d. Mohnwiese, including Yucca v.d. Mohnwiese’s offspring and some other dogs. Enthusiasts and breeders must already know about the health issues in these dogs and lines. Therefore, some breeding choices give the impression of indifference mainly because many dogs also miss essential health data.
Back to Jeff Eqidius. In my mind, the Jeff – line to Bolle, Knox, and other good Bolle sons is too good to be ruined. Neither should we forget the good bitches of this line! Nevertheless, the use of dogs for breeding cannot be like Russian roulette. Pursuing good qualities must not supersede health! Not in any of our working lines, to be specific.
I’m sure Jeff’s breeder agrees; it would be great if Jeff’s line could continue. With the good ethics of breeders, gene testing, and selective breeding, it can be possible.
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Thank you for the info. Beautifully written. I just put down Angry Joe vom Haus Ukres at the age of 3 yrs 3 months due to Lymphoma. He was a Bolle grandson
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Unfortunately, our dogs suffer the same illnesses as people.
I have written about Jeff because owning him gave me enough facts about him and his offspring. Jeff or Bolle, however, isn’t the only “bad issue” when talking about health issues. I also looked at your dog’s pedigree. I have to say that it is one of the worst high-risk lineages. The breeder is one heck of an influencer, and he hasn’t thought much when choosing this combination. It seems that the goal has been to get famous dogs together – Dinoso, Yucca, Bolle, even Leon close inbreeding, and then Jeff. But I can believe that your dog’s quality in all 3 phases has been good.
As said, these dog’s legacy is a phenomenon when it comes to working ethics. That kind of character can rarely be seen among most lines nowadays. But Bolle and his offspring (like so many other stud males) have been used carelessly, and therefore it is hard to find healthy dogs from this line to breed further. At least it would need absolute honesty from the dog owners and selective breeding only with healthy individuals. I have struggled to find a possible stud candidate for my future breeding plan from this line. I haven’t given up yet, but there are not many choices, and it needs lots of work to clarify necessary details from the background. My “recipe” to find decent dog material is to look elsewhere. There are many good dogs, but they come from a bit different direction and less known dogs – not from nowadays worn and unhealthy lines.
I wish you better luck with your next dog!
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I have a 3-year-old Bolle grandson. Great drive all 3 phases 😢 diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma. I am heartbroken and will never get a dog with these dogs in the lines of a future dog!! Yes drives are great but is it fair to the dog and the people who Love them.
commented abowe 🙂
Amazing job Heidi!
Thanks for putting up this information and being 100% honest.
Question, what are the health issues with the Ellute Mohnweise line?
Thank you for your interest!
Unfortunately all lines have been effected already. And the reason is a heavy inbreeding to problematic dogs which have been producing various illnesses already in the beginning (decades ago), but the breeders and dog owners have’t paying attention to them, or kept them in secret)
Ellute / Tom / Haus Antwerpa fatherline are knows among others of HD/ED/Back/spine problems, autoimmune decieses and allergies. Ellute has also known of producing good quality working dogs (sport characters)
I love your honesty, amazing article Heidi !! We need more insights of many other lines.
Also I have a Bolle´s and Black Jack ´s granddaughter, and i I already heard about some issues from Bolles bloodline, but my female is young so I will need to wait and realize if she doesn´t have any of the issues you write. Personally I have confidence in the Teufelskehle line which until now has shown great health and vitality at least with my female.
But I knnow many examples of Bolle grandsons which have cryptorchidism, missing teeths and elbow problems, but i always asume came from the Satoris line of the male which is a proven sick bloodline. But now you make me think.
I´m also concerned about Ellute Bloodline, in fact I was thinking to make a inbreeding with him 4-4 so with new information I will give a second thought.
From my female (Black Jack dad, Amigo Holzinger granddaugther and Ellute grand-granddaugther) the breeder told i should be aware of skin problems, but nothing more, which sound too good to be truth, I will test her in summer for as many genetics issues as possible.
Thank you for sharing with your honesty Heidi
and thank you for being interested. I have experience from many lines and unfortunately their problems too. I’ve been involved with working GSDs so long and during that time owned dogs from several lines. The reason I have taken Bolle-Jeff -line is obvious, but there are so many similar examples. Ellute-Tom line is worse than Bolle-Jeff line but because Ellute represents ”older” lines people doesn’t think his down sides (if they ever have…). But because of his qualities he still is heavy inbred in many combinations. Persoonally I wan’t to avoid that with all costs.
Good luck with your dogs🙂
Terrific and honest information….here in USA, people get angry when this type of information is offered unfortunately.
I have developed a family over nearly 20 years that was free of some of the most common, health problematic lines. I offered a V rated, titled, koer klass male of impeccable character and working ability including very good hunt drive (a female out of his HGH titled littermate is now in Europe for her 2nd time at the FCI IGP FH championship in Poland). Because I personally am older, and never had resources to compete at big events, he got little interest from sport people for breeding services and only had 5 litters. Excellent health, orthopedics and character…..not a single line to Fero v Zeutner Himmelrich or Mink. A few progeny to the sport, including a female who is 3x IPG3 with high scores and placings in all phases.
The US breeders want only “big”names, winners at big event and apparently care little for health and character issues.
That is so very true! Most US breeders chase big-name dogs, overlooking quality right in front of their noses.