Well someone once posted The standard or its interpretation allows for the fallacy we see in the breed today.. Thoughts on that?
I think it's Cliff that posted that? Seems like a Cliff thing. Always a good discussion starter. It is true- be it angulation or whatever "extreme" we see. I don't think it has anything to do with blatantly breeding ultra low-drive, oversized, whatever dogs... dogs who are so far outside the standard that it can't even begin to be an interpretation of the standard...
I think most of the fallacy we see in the breed today is because of Joe Shmoe breeding their "pet" because they're uber protective and really big! The number of badly bred BYB dogs probably outnumbers the carefully bred dogs... just in my own observations, what I see daily. GSD's are really common here, and only a fraction of them are fine (or even marginal) examples of the breed. I think that's a much more prominent (and I mean this in terms of scale and numbers, not severity) issue than breeding for too much angulation, breeding dogs who were pushed to an IPO3 at club level but have crap temperament, etc.
In terms of the "a few people dictate what breeders are acceptable", I LOVE opening the "is this a good breeder?" threads. I open every one of them. The ONLY ones who are universally negatively received are the ones who are breeding dogs so far outside the standard it's not an "interpretation." In fact, there's a number of threads where the general stream of thought is, "well, they do at least health test their dogs, so if you're really interested, go ahead and meet the breeder, the parents, etc." Sure, there's political stuff about breeders in the sport realm, but I've seen some pretty even-keel suggestions when people ask for ASL breeders, WGSL breeders, etc. There's even been, *gasp* good debate on if the standards are relevant, etc. There's a lot of nuances in sport and working dog worlds where they get really in depth into temperament and drives and pedigrees and whether so-and-so produces dogs who are all prey and no defense etc etc. I can't really say I've seen that translate towards "pet" people though. I've even seen a lot of the reputable working and sport people on here say that when a pet owner is looking for a dog, titles aren't necessarily the be-all-end-all.
As others have mentioned... there are a great number of seriously knowledgable people here who no longer post because the political climate has actually made it so that they feel they can't be honest to "pet" people. (Not pet people, "pet" people.)