I think the keys words in your statement are, "by any means necessary." I don't know if you want to clarify that or not, but I'll say there is a difference in fine tuning your training approach and by putting in the time, for example, to get faster sits and downs, or focused heeling that isn't affected by distractions, compared to using harsh or abusive approaches. Trying to get maximum points in sports is a personal choice and depends if the dog is likely genetically capable to obtain a certain level and if the handler and people helping the handler are able to bring a dog to his genetic potential. Saying that, the genetic potential resulting in higher points doesn't necessarily correlate with a better working dog necessarily, but sometimes it can. And the reason people generally compete in any sport is to win. If you have to go to extremes or very unnatural training approaches, you get further away from what the dog is vs. how he has been trained.
Chip, I have no problem with folks training their dog to their potential or seeking to win, or fine tuning their dog. These are givens and nothing wrong with them. I’m talking about the the “ importance” that people put on the titles, the ratings, the singular aspects of a dog,( ie angulation, grips, gait, focused heel ) to determine important breeding decisions and breed assessments. I’m talking about the lack of versatility and the preponderance of specialization.
Today, in LE work more dogs have environmental issues or weaknesses than ever been seen before. So many GS so unsure as soon as they approach something new, or looks daunting, or shaky footing,etc.....why. Rare anymore is the dog that confidently approaches as escalator, or fire escape, or swaying bridge, or bridge period, etc....yet other dogs have no problems with these things. This unsureness, except under ideal conditions, is the result of something, because in years past the sureness of a GS was just like the sureness of many regular mixed breed dogs. We have lost something intangible in our quest for perfection in show, sport, and personal likes. Of course people in these venues won’t admit it, ( of course when too close to something sometimes you don’t see, or maybe the status of the trophies, money, or personal adoration is too much to resist) , but user folks in SAR, LE, military, etc definitely see the trend and thus the proliferation of other breeds for many of these jobs.
But I know I’m preaching into the wind, lol, but as 10 years turns into 20 years turns into even more the truth is inescapable. I walked away from the American Show world in 1975 and felt these dogs were traveling in a direction that they would eventually not be suitable for strenuous work, I walked away from the German Show world in early 90s and felt that this dog was traveling in a direction that they would eventually not be suitable for strenuous work, by 2010, I was seeing the same pattern with sport work. Not in the same ways as other two because one specializes in performance while the other two in structure, yet in principle that the specialization of sport was rendering the breed lacking in versatility of which they were created to be.
Every couple years, I reinstate my strong feelings on this subject, I’m through now, and maybe I’m missing the boat and people aren’t seeing what I see....time tells all!