Since, I started this by griping about the numbers, I'll jump in.
It seems to me that the lack of entries in ASL is making it really difficult to create champions these days on a reasonable budget.
Actually entries are down in general. Not just in GSDs. We were just discussing last week that it used to cost $10 to enter a dog in a class, and I just paid $28 an entry last week. If you are only showing one dog, then fine. But get multiple dogs in the ring, combined with hotel and travel expenses, it gets pricey. Oh, and if you have a handler, then the price goes way UP.
Furthermore, it would also seem to reason that if the numbers for a Major is as little as 15 or less in many regions, then in many classes only one or two dogs are competing. This would not reflect any competition in the class ring more times than not.
Well actually, no.
If there are 14 bitches at a show, it really doesn't make much difference in how they are distributed in the classes. The winners of each class then compete against each other for the points. Kind of like playoffs in basketball, lol. BTW, there are 3 pt majors, 4 pt majors, and 5 point majors. My girl Carly finished with two 3 pt majors and a 4 pt major. It's not impossible.
I have a breeder friend that shows in Bred By Exhibitor. Oftentimes she is the only one entered in her class. She gets the blue in her class, and goes on to compete in Winners. Her male is NICE, and I've seen him get three Best of Breeds over champions, with him starting out as the only dog in Bred By. Just because he had no/little competition in his class, doesn't mean he had no competition to get the points, or BOB.
Does this make any sense? I think I'm rambling now...
why doesn't the leadership of the GSDCA through their Judges program reflect a more moderate dog being able to finish. I think many people who enjoy conformation do not participate because they know their dog does not have the extreme traits to be capable of winning.
It doesn't take "extreme traits" to win in the ring. Believe me there are all kinds of judges out there. They put emphasis on different traits. Some like a moderate dog. Some love side gait. Some have to have a dog that is clean coming and going. And yes some do like an extreme dog. Some judges put dogs up that I haven't a clue what they were going for. That breeder friend that wins Best of Breed from the Bred By class? Very moderate dog.
This is why it takes 2 majors under 2 different judges, and then the rest of your points from at least one other judge.