Our beloved Max (Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz, December 30, 1864 – 22 April 1936) gave us the beauitful and amazing dogs that we own today when he started the breed by purchasing Horand (then known as Hektor Linkrshein) in 1899 when he was only 35. That was the same year he formed the SV with Artur Meyer. Stephanitz used the knowledge he had acquired during his years at the Veterinary College and "...established a ‘grand design’ he wanted breeders to aim for with judging based on angle of bones, proportions and overall measurements. Horand's son Hektor v. Schwaben and his grandsons Heinz v. Starkenburg, Beowolf and Pilot were also instrumental in standardizing the breed. The first Schutzhund trial was held in Germany in 1901, so while tending was the primary focus of the dogs, it's arguably safe to say that the breed was developed with Schutzhund at least as a thought. So, we have:
His son Hektor
His grandsons Beowulf
and for fun, the first Sieger ever (1899), Jorg v.d. Krone
1913 Sieger Arno
1925 Sieger Klodo
1935 Sieger Jalk
Now, my point in all of this is that the first GSDs looked pretty close to todays malinois. From the first Sieger in 1899 to the last Sieger Jalk, 1935 before Capt. Max's death in '36 the dog became more like todays GSD, yet still lighter and smaller in appearance. In the first 40 some years, it appears that the dogs stayed about the same with some refinement, and some "type" emerging, but still recognizable with the original dogs. However, if you compare even Jalk to a current day Sieger, like Remo
the changes in the last 70 years have been more noticable. In the late 40s and 50s the dogs gained mass and bone. Right around 1968 seems the be the point where the largest shift occured, because after that the Siegers have a less level topline than they have in the past.
I love showline dogs. I own showline dogs. I am not in any way bashing showline dogs (or workinglines either. I have those too). This little trip through history has a point, though, I promise. lol. Showlines that look like yesteryears Siegers still exist and now we get to my point. See? Told you I had one
This is a dog that is living today. I do not own him but I have full permission to use his photo. He managaed to win a puppy sieger title at a regionals but I think that will be the only sieger title he ever claims.
Why can a showline today, that so resembles a VA1 dog of the past, not receive the same or even close to the same rating? Is it that our breed has changed so much? I think probably not, as this dog resembles a dog that preceded him by 80 years closely enough. Is it because our conception of what is desireable has changed? I think that is more likely the case. What do you think?