Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
I have a west German show line dog and I show him WDA and UKC. He's "type-y" in that he has a lot of black, is very red, has the right coat, and has a nice west German pedigree, but he's smallish (normal to me, but maturing slowly so he is smaller than many dogs younger than him and still has a puppy look), doesn't have extreme angulation or that sunken looking croup, or the extreme roached back. But *I* like him and *I* think he fits the standard as well as any other so I show him. He actually does well at club and regional shows. At the Sieger shows there's no chance, even if he was a cookie cutter like the top winning dogs he's not from a kennel with all the money and power to heavily campaign the dog. So like middle is saying, complaining doesn't really change much even if the complaints are valid. Boycott judges and events that are being unethical and enter dogs that you truly feel are winners.
I will say that the past several shows I've been to, the judges have been VERY particular about the size and condition of the dogs. The dogs that were heavy or too large were definitely called out during their critique. My dog showed in the 12-18 month class when he was 13 months. I thought he was going to look so scrawny and place last because he is even smaller than other dogs his age, let alone being several months younger. But, he did really well and his placement was really determined by lack of ring training compared to the other dogs (let's just say I'd rather be working Schutzhund than ring training!) and the judge made no comments about him being too small. On the contrary, several other dogs were criticized for being too large or too heavy.
If I were buying a dog strictly on show rating and conformation, I'd need to see the parents first. So much can be doctored. I see pictures on the pedigree database all the time that are so obviously photoshopped (topline smoothed, color enhanced, etc). I've doctored pics of my own dogs, like removing distractions from the background, fixing glare on the eyes, erasing a white fuzzy off the black saddle, etc. It's really easy. Even with video footage you can be selective about what is show, what angles are used, etc.