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Do you think the way judging is now days is causing breeders to breed the "extreme drive" dogs? It seems that at most trials(at least ones I have been to), the judges want to see the Mal type drives in the GSD's. It would then be only natural then for someone wanting to go far in the sport to get an extreme drive dog. Breeders wanting to supply the "sport" crowd then produce these dogs. It seems like a downward spiral. It almost seems pointless to breed to standard when judges don't want to see that. They want to see a mal in a gsd body.
 

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That goes in all venues! IPO/schutzhund, AKC Show ring, German show ring....people breed to what wins. Same in the horse world. Problem is that in judging, there is human error and human failing - what they miss, who they know....sometimes to the exclusion of the performances they see.

At a trial one time - there was a dog who had many many flaws in it's routine - it was given a generous 92. The next dog up had a nearly flawless routine....the only criticism in the critique was for slight forging in the back transport. Score? 92. Same as the very faulty dog. Next dog - came off the sleeve at a stick hit. Score? 98.....It all came down to the field, hosts and handlers. In reality the first should have been about an 83-84, the second 98, and the third, being generous, an 85 S.

Quite a few litters were bred from the first and third males. Because of who owned them and their apparent quality as shown in their scorebook. Competition for those breedings in a club is often very political, and to stay on the right side of the helper/trainer/owner/host, you use their males to breed. And as a good club member, you buy your puppies there. This is not always conducive to good breeding. So even indirectly, the judges have impact on breeding.

Lee
 

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My dog isn't a sport dog, and I know we'll be judged for that vs what he actually IS!

I have to live with him, and don't want a kennel dog...so I'll take the points(lack of) because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter to me the scores/but how much fun we have during training and working together.
 

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That goes in all venues! IPO/schutzhund, AKC Show ring, German show ring....
Lee


I Could not agree more. I have discovered it's not the dog being judged. I have also learned that scores don't really reflect how good or bad a dog is. I was at a trial where the judge commented on how nervy the dog was but that dog still scored the highest in the trial for it's class that day. It drove me nuts! Now when I see scores like 96-97-98 I just laugh. It really doesn't mean anything. It's my biggest issue with sport right now. Oh and I definitely agree it's all about who you know. I have some stories about that too!
 

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If the judges want to see these prey monsters, but you(general you) produce balanced GSD's, where are these dogs supposed to go? Pet homes? That seems like a waste. If I'm trying to produce the ultimate utilitarian, then I would want to see my dogs proven in multiple venues and real life work. But if the people actually capable of doing something with one of my dogs wants a dog specialized for there field then I would be screwed.
 

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I've had a few experiences where I hear a judge say one thing and then they judge completely differently, so yes it is confusing especially for someone relatively new to the sport. I don't think a dog that is not a prey-monster or not an "extreme" dog is going to not get the points he deserves, but I do think some dogs can put on such a show that they are judged based on that performance and not what might really be there. Also I don't think this is purely based on judging but on what people like to breed and train. Whether the judging informs this trend sounds like what you are asking....chicken or egg? I don't know, I think a little of both. It seems that before I was born, people had different priorities when they chose dogs to train for SchH and now I see many of my friends very intentionally choosing dogs that fit a different, more extreme style of training. Since I do so many dog sports at once, I am always looking more for the total package since there are many, many aspects to what I do that are never tested in any way during SchH (dog aggression, for example) and I don't really have time to worry about getting a super flashy points dog for SchH because most of the dogs I personally know who would fit that description have some major shortcomings as far as the other sports I participate in. If that's what other people want to train and attempt to live with....whatever! I don't think my dog has been unfairly judged or scored even though he's quite laid back, more medium or medium-high drive, and high threshold. I will leave the "v" scores to people obsessed with getting them. I was telling someone in my club last weekend I am thrilled to have a high "G" or "SG" dog, that means he's very good!!
 

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Yes, judges influence what types of dogs are the "best". A super fast dog that comes very fast into the decoy is going to get high points for this, even if the dog is quite boring to see besides that.

Then maybe we shouldn´t judge a dog too much on what it does on a given day in a trial, seen dogs in bigger championships either hesitating a bit in the reattack or even run away, same dogs that previously or after this had competed with high scores in WUSV or national championships. Is the dog not strong or was it just some lack in training, a bad day or similar that made for these not so good performannce that day? I don´t know but I suppose dogs aren´t machines either.
 

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A breeder that I really respect told me that it is a bad idea to make a breeding decision off a trial performance. He said you need to see the dog in training. Some dogs have very good trainers and live a very easy life and score well in trials. Other dogs go through very harsh training and are still standing to go to trial. Those are the dogs that he wants to breed too.
 

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A breeder that I really respect told me that it is a bad idea to make a breeding decision off a trial performance. He said you need to see the dog in training. Some dogs have very good trainers and live a very easy life and score well in trials. Other dogs go through very harsh training and are still standing to go to trial. Those are the dogs that he wants to breed too.
I agree with the breeder...trial is just a picture of the dog.
Yet, how many allow people to watch the training? I think many don't want an audience viewing their sessions.
 

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I agree with the breeder...trial is just a picture of the dog.
Yet, how many allow people to watch the training? I think many don't want an audience viewing their sessions.
I've never experienced being told not to watch a particular dog train. I really don't think it is part of the etiquette in the community.
It would be interesting to hear from someone who has actually had this experience of not being allowed to watch.
I've never met a breeder that I respect who also breeds purely on the score or trial performance. Sometimes, people may also breed to a dog they've never seen, particularly studs coming from Europe, but they've asked the opinion of experts they trust who've seen the dog train first hand. Sure, there also people who breed solely based on the big name of the dog or the handler (as if the handler's genetics are relevant) or the scores, but they're usually new to the game.
 

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There are also a wide variety of judges. The last trial I saw the judge actually tried to tease out the differences between the training and how the dog is. He would comment on how good the dog is but because of the training he had to deduct points. I like this approach because he seemed to be trying to retain the breed test aspect while still having to come up with scores.

The thing is because it is a sport with winners based on a point score, judges have to come up with ways to give higher points to one team over another. Most of the time, the point differentials boil down to training issues or judge preferences, or simply how the dog was feeling that day.

I have also seen judges who treat it purely as a competitive sport and hardly talk about the dog. I think there are judges who are not even interested in the breed at all.
I like to see judges who are also active at breeding GSDs. Particularly, if that judge also works GSDs in a real life job. For example, a German judge I know who has won the BSP, breeds, and also works GSDs for the Customs agency. Although, I've heard some clubs don't like to invite him because he's too old school.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You are all bringing up some really good points. I personally think what the judges want to see is what people are not just breeding to but training to as well. I recently had a conversation with a training director of a club that's prepping for a trial. She asked me what specifically the judge was looking for(they are using the same judge) so they could train to that. So instead of training for correctness they wanted to cut corners and train to the flashy things that caught the judges eye. Kinda silly but I bet they will have nice scores.

As far as watching training, I have heard people not allowing it. I have not experienced it though. I have been asked to stop filming someone during a trial before. That was weird, you're trialing so you're already on public display.
 

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Only a fool trains to please a specific judge. Most of the people I train with train to achieve the best performance out of their dogs. Yes, some specifically choose dogs that will be impressive and score high in points, but others work their rears off to achieve the same with a different type of dog. I train with two of the top dogs in the USA. They are two very different types of dogs. One is sportier, fast, drivey, sometimes difficult to handle do to drive leaking. The other is a very serious dog, far from a sporty type dog. Both dogs have exceptional handlers working with a great and supportive team.

IMO how dogs are judged has not changed that much in the 21 years I have trained and trialed in SchH. I have trialed under what I call "point" judges and I have trialed under "breed" judges. I have been given a few gifts because the judge liked the power in my dog, but mostly I get the scores I deserve based on the dog and performance that day.
 

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"I get the scores I deserve based on the dog and performance that day."

This is the way it SHOULD be! I appreciate a judge with a sharp pencil as long as it's equally sharp for all competitors. I like knowing the scores were earned. I just don't see too much consistency in Judging. I watched a video of a 99pt IPO1 obedience routine the other day. I was able to catch a few mistakes. Now granted I was not there live and the camera person was not standing where the judge was so maybe angles affected that. Now don't get me wrong it was a beautiful routine definitely in the 90's but a 99? To me that means that team was perfect! It just seems as of late, I have seen a ton of scores for all phases in the high 90's and I don't buy it.
 

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I've seen and heard that what is judged on the WUSV Championship is different than what you see on the all breeds World championship. I even know people who would bot compete at the World ones because they feel it's too much malinois like oriented.

I had been judged only by GSD judges until last year, when I was judged by a malinois handler and breeder, world level. The experience was interesting, some comments he made about the speed of the execution of the exercises I really don't care to train for, given other priorities I need to train to. Otherwise I loved a more strict judging.
 

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One, a judge does not have the advantage of playing a performance over and over again. No watching a video in the club house like in some sports to check their judgement on the field. Judges miss things (I have seen it go both ways, points taken and points given). Yes, there are also some judges that are not that good.

Also each component of each phase only has so many points that can be taken for each type of mistake. The judge looks at the overall performance (the training and the dog) and then decides if what they see is "V", "SG", etc and take the points based on this. For example, a dog with power and shows joy in the work, despite some mistakes will often score better or even the same as a dog that lacks joy yet is 100% correct.

Another good example is in protection. The H&B is an aggression based exercise. The dog should show power and be convincing in his barking. I remember a dog that had a very correct overall performance yet only got 95 pts. The handler was upset. As far as the judge was concerned (and I believe how the rules read) the dog could not "V" because he lacked power in the H&B. The dog looked and sounded like he was barking for his toy.
 

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I think it is pretty irresponsible of the breeders to blame the judges for the direction of the breed. In the past it was always said, "you don't breed to the dogs that win, you breed to the dog that comes in 15-20 because he is too strong to control and maybe not as flashy"... Now Breeders want to point the finger of blame at the judges for their decision to breed to the dogs that win....How about you look in the mirror and see who you are breeding to, the dogs that are winning are getting many many many breedings. But I guess that is also not the breeders fault but the judges fault......We are judging a competition that showcases TRAINING and genetic traits, but it is a Performance COMPETITION, not a breeding showcase. (at the National level)
When you take a very strong powerful correct balanced GSD (and a GOOD stud) and breed to him, they can (and usually will) produce dogs that are better than themselves (part of being a good stud). These can be the dogs that win competitions, as well as producing other well balanced dogs....I was always taught and still believe that the dogs that win are not necessarily a "stud dog" just because they won a "performance competition"....

Breeders should do their research, and don't be swayed into breeding to a dog just because he won a competition or is the internet hyped stud dog of the moment and they have "produced" nothing.

Look to the past, almost all the Big producers were not high level competition dogs... Yes, there are a few (VERY few), but that is the exception and breeders now act like it is the rule.


Frank
 

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I think it is pretty irresponsible of the breeders to blame the judges for the direction of the breed. In the past it was always said, "you don't breed to the dogs that win, you breed to the dog that comes in 15-20 because he is too strong to control and maybe not as flashy"... Now Breeders want to point the finger of blame at the judges for their decision to breed to the dogs that win....How about you look in the mirror and see who you are breeding to, the dogs that are winning are getting many many many breedings. But I guess that is also not the breeders fault but the judges fault......We are judging a competition that showcases TRAINING and genetic traits, but it is a Performance COMPETITION, not a breeding showcase. (at the National level)
When you take a very strong powerful correct balanced GSD (and a GOOD stud) and breed to him, they can (and usually will) produce dogs that are better than themselves (part of being a good stud). These can be the dogs that win competitions, as well as producing other well balanced dogs....I was always taught and still believe that the dogs that win are not necessarily a "stud dog" just because they won a "performance competition"....

Breeders should do their research, and don't be swayed into breeding to a dog just because he won a competition or is the internet hyped stud dog of the moment and they have "produced" nothing.

Look to the past, almost all the Big producers were not high level competition dogs... Yes, there are a few (VERY few), but that is the exception and breeders now act like it is the rule.


Frank
:thumbup:
 

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Frank are you saying that a significant amount of people DoNot breed to winners in show and sport events. Because if they do, then factually it is accurate to say Judges have influence on the direction of the breed. Now if they don't then I stand corrected and both realms have changed dramatically over the years.
Many people breed after much information and not based on results of shows or trials...but I dare say that if you compare breedings to winners of shows and trial , especially regional, national, world, events, I think there may be a correlation. So whether the Judges purposely or inadvertently influence breeding decisions and thus the direction of the breed, I still believe it happens especially in show ring.
Your post seems to attach a blame game here, there are many unintended consequences in life....or at least that has been my experience.
 
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