Queen Boudica has thus far given us an exciting look thru the history of German Shepherds. Among her ancestors are Schutzhund titled dogs, PH-Polizeihund (East German Police dogs) and MH- Army Messenger Dogs! One of these Messenger dogs is our next link to History: VA Baldur vom Befreiungsplatz. His Pedigree proudly bears the MH title indicating his military career. Baldur was born 19 March 1937, evidently in Germany. Many German shepherds were “drafted” into military service from the farms and fields of Germany. Very likely, Bou’s ancestor, Baldur, was either confiscated or bred into the service. As horrific as the history of Nazi Germany is, the military seems to have treated GSD’s as matters of pride, and cared for them. Notice this example of the Gas/Chemical Mask manufactured for Messenger Dogs:
These photo’s were obtained thru the Military War Dogs museum. Even though they appear somewhat primitive, they were every bit as effective as the ones the soldiers endured! No doubt the sealed atmosphere inspired the dog to deliver his message backpack as quickly as possible, so he could eat!
It’s just possible that Baldur was issued one of these as standard messenger dog equipment.
Schäferhunde (German Shepherds), considered the most loyal and least temperamental of the large breeds and the easiest to train, composed over 90 percent of the Diensthunde (service dogs) in the Bahnschutz. Many of the Messenger dogs were also used on the trains that criss-crossed Germany during the war. Perhaps Baldur served there as well.
While on duty a Bahnschutzstreifer (patrolman) normally would accompanied the Bahnschutz Hundeführer (dog handler) and his dog. This allowed the handler to keep the dog on the leash while the second patrolman could perform routine duties such as checking identity papers. When a arrest was warranted, the Streifer handcuffed the suspects while the Hundeführer controlled the dog.
The Reichsbahn operated a breeding farm and training facility for Diensthunde (service dogs) in Röntgental near Berlin.
The leader of the school, was Reichsbahninspektor Langner, who was an experienced World War I dog handler and trainer; he recognized the importance of matching the appropriate handler for each dog.
He sought handlers who were, above all, Hundefreunde (dog lovers), and spent as much time training the Hundeführer as he did the Diensthund.
Each of the 700 teams of dogs and handlers underwent yearly re examination by Reichsbahninspektor Langner, and teams, that were incompatible disbanded. The K-9 training methods developed by Langner became recognized worldwide.
As noted, these same Railroad K-9 Units, were used later on by the SS during the deportation of millions of prisoners to the concentration and slave labor work camps, as well as POWs!
We are now well into the 20th generation of Boudicas Pedigree. Born in 1926, this proudly carriaged male is VA Curt von Herzog Hedan. Little is written of him, save for the fact that he was a Titled Schutzhund dog and his body reminds us of the straight-backed dogs of Omorrow. Perhaps this dogs most famous feature is that he is a son of a very famous foundation GSD, Klodo Vom Boxberg.
Klodo was imported to this country shortly after his great German victory and quickly acquired his US championship. Surprisingly, Klodo never won the Grand Victor title in this country, perhaps because he was only 24″ at the shoulder and not a very flashy dog, but Klodo and his sire Erich v Grafenwerth were the dog to modernize and more of less revolutionize the Shepherd Breed. Klodo, was truly a dog of magnificent structure, very substantial, good angulation fore and aft, a rich dark pigmented and a quite composed self-assurance. Klodo was a great dog and a great sire while in Germany, siring many greats.
Klodo and Erich should have been used much more by the American breeders, but after six years of age Klodo was a very reluctant stud and could hardly be coaxed to breed. He was probably imported just a little too late.
We are now very close to the beginnings of the German Shepherd dog. This lovely female is SGR VA Hettel Uckermark, born in 1907. One of the very first generation of the breed. She looks like she could be begging chicken gizzards in the barn at Omorrow doesn’t she? Gorgeous girl!
Finally we have reached the very last 6 dogs of that lead to Omorrows Queen Boudica. I want you to see two of them, as they are the very essence of Omorrow beauty. Though born over 110 years ago, Omorrow has returned full circle to what these dogs represented. First, SGR VA Roland von Starkenburg born in 1903. This all black male runs thru most of the bloodlines today, and he is at the very root of nearly every Omorrow German Shepherd that I have researched. Breathtaking…
Our last dog is the famous V Horand von Grafrath registration number SZ 1…The very first registered GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG. I will leave this last photo and quote from the developer of the breed as my last word on Omorrows Queen Boudica…I hope you have enjoyed this brief and partial retelling of her story…
~Captain von Stephanitz
Originator of the breed