Question from GSD pet owner. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question from GSD pet owner.

Just curious after watching the Westminster show. What kind of lives do these dogs have that ascend to these heights? How about dogs that spend their lives showing? I really don't know.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 06:21 PM
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I don't know about those particular dogs, but most show dogs don't spend their lives showing. The ones on TV maybe but these actually represent a very small percentage of dogs and people that do conformation. I'm showing my dog right now and if I can achieve what I want, we only have two more shows left - ever - and my dog is not even 2 years old. There's only so many judges' opinions that I care about before it just becomes a waste of money to keep showing my dog. Unless a dog is really something special and the owners have the money, they usually "retired" from showing once they get the champion title/rating desired. Then they can focus on sports, breeding, or just being pets (or all of the above).
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I don't know about those particular dogs, but most show dogs don't spend their lives showing. The ones on TV maybe but these actually represent a very small percentage of dogs and people that do conformation. I'm showing my dog right now and if I can achieve what I want, we only have two more shows left - ever - and my dog is not even 2 years old. There's only so many judges' opinions that I care about before it just becomes a waste of money to keep showing my dog. Unless a dog is really something special and the owners have the money, they usually "retired" from showing once they get the champion title/rating desired. Then they can focus on sports, breeding, or just being pets (or all of the above).
So while they're showing you can't really let them run around the yard,play with other dogs etc.?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 06:43 PM
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I do! The only thing different about my show dog is that once a month or every few months I take him to some shows on a weekend. Half the time he's not even bathed before a show.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 10:04 AM
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I have a dog that was ranked #2 GSD in the country in 2004. He also won an Award of Merit at Westminster. Between shows he came home and was just a dog. Actually, even while he was travelling with his handler he was basically just a dog. He slept in the hotel room on the bed with her, or he slept on the couch in the RV. He would help pick up dog pans and straighten crate pads in the morning, then get all spruced up for the show, go eat lots of liver, and come back to the RV or hotel at the end of the day.

Westminster is hard on a big dog. The show is set up more for the spectators than the exhibitors. We had to stay on the bench (place where our crates sat) all day so that the visitors could meet the dogs and their people. It was kind of nice tho, to meet so many different people, and my dog is very social so he enjoyed it to. At the end of the day, we went back to the hotel and crashed on the bed. it was fun, but I have no plans right now to do it again.

My dog is now pretty much retired from the show ring -- we ocassionally show in the veterans class at the GSDCA National. He loves being a show dog, hearing the clapping and cheers, getting all of the attention. It was what made him a great show dog.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 10:55 AM
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I have a friend who shows and breeds Presa Canarios. Her dogs lead pretty normal lives but several years ago when she was campaigning pretty heavily with what she was hoping would become her foundation bitch, the female got into an altercation with another dog. (She was NOT fighting her dog at all, I was there and it happened at the dog park.) The dogs were both fine but her bitch ended up with a scar on her face. My friend was really upset because it basically ended her hopes of this bitch getting her championship and founding the breeding program. She was spayed and given to a family member and my friend had to get another foundation bitch.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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It would seem that it would be impossible for these dogs to just be dogs with all the inherent dangers. They do seem happy.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 02:45 PM
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No, I was looking at the national vids and the dog that won had a good sized notch in his ear. It was an injury. He was still shown and won. These dogs live in the house, play in the mud, run in the fields. Some even herd sheep.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 09:14 PM
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We have GSL dogs, and they compete through out the year......they are our family too!

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....where breeding is still considered an art....
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