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this just dawned on me... and i hope i can explain myself properly...

if the kennel clubs & dog shows are to show/demonstrate a dog true to its breed, purpose and standard - how is it that they are now so far from the working lines? and i'm not talking just about a german bred dog vs an american - i mean, even in germany - how is there a difference between working lines and show lines.

and it isnt just with gsd, its with most breeds. golden retrievers for example - show lines tend to be blonde, working lines darker red... if the red is better suited for work - then how and when did the blonde come about?

so basically - if the dogs running around the ring cant perform the duties that they were originally bred for, then how are they an "example" of the breed?

or i guess in even less words - when & how did the lines get split?
 

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What an excellent question.
 

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The showlines differ in MANY breeds.

http://www.terrierman.com/rosettestoruin.htm

I may post more later. I do not agree with bench shows, in fact most conformation shows tend to ruin any breed of dog. Look what it did to the terrier, herding, and sporting groups, to say the least. I think the showring- and AKC acceptance- is the death knell of a working breed.
 

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First of all, I think that "showline" and "show dog" are not always one and the same.

Using the example of Goldens - I don't think coat color per se has anything to do with working ability, it's along for the ride. Let's say that a lighter dog (with little working ability) does well in the show ring. This is of course possible, because the judge is simply judging the looks of the dog. This dog gets breedings because people who want to win in the ring think this dog may be the ticket to success in the ring. In addition to passing on his winning color, he also passes on his lack of working ability (which they may not even realize or care about).

If, though, this dog DID have good working ability, he would probably pass that on as well (which they may not even realize or care about).

Take a darker dog with good working ability. If the judge doesn't like his structure and physical attributes, he won't put him up as the winner. He's judging the conformation of the dogs. This dog may get less breedings because people that want to win in the show ring will look at him as producing more dogs that look like him, which may not do so well in the ring.

Problem is, with the show, the judge can't see the dog's working ability - that's not what he's judging. Whether working ability gets passed on - or is even there in the first place - is a crapshoot, if you are breeding based on show results only.

Other breeders looking for a fantastic field Golden may breed 2 dogs with great working ability and not really care if either has ever set paw in the ring.

Multiply this by lots of dogs in lots of shows over years, and you can see how easily the lines can split.

Christine
 

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Many breeds also have certain characteristics that judges and breeders tend to capitalize on. In springers, it's the coat and the low-set ears. Now we have ridiculous coats on supposed working bird dogs and ears that are melting off the skull. In GSDs, it's the flying trot, and now the American line's structure revolves around that, thus we now have a dog that that trot very well, but little else overall (yes, there ARE exceptions). Look how much the border collie has changed. Now it doesn't look like a dog that could work on the farm. Check out the English bulldog. They took the wide shoulders and huge head to such an extreme that they cannot breed nor birth naturally and too much exercise (which isn't much) could harm them. This is no working breed even though it once was!

Judges pick what they like, breeders see what they like and now breed for what they like, judges like more of it, breeders breed more of it, and the feedback loop goes on.

Quote:if the dogs running around the ring cant perform the duties that they were originally bred for, then how are they an "example" of the breed?
They're not. If a springer cannot hunt in the fields, a border collie cannot herd, and a GSD cannot work, they're not the breeds they should be. A GSD must be able to do the work and be physically built to do the work or it is not a GSD. Many showlines cannot. In the German showline there are those that do. However, one still cannot lose sight of the conformation of the dog or else that can run away as well, but first and foremost should be temperament, ability, and health. Form will follow.
 

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As has been stated, conformation focuses on the structure of the dog. Somewhere along the line (with all breeds) people decided what the 'ideal' dog looked like. And that's what they aim to produce. Whether or not this ideal structure is capable of producing a dog that is able to do the job it was originally intended to do seems to be a moot point in most breeds. Steep upper arm angles and cowhocks are actually more ideal for a working herding dog (ie. Border collie) but they're frowned upon in the showring. Huskies have been breed to have tails that curl over their backs but this actually decreases the length of their back and impedes their running ability.

It's also the judge's opinion that can alter what wings in the ring. Most of us would agree that the dogs being shown under both AKC and FCI standards often don't match the picture of the ideal dog in the standard. There's no mention of roached backs or long stifles in the standards but dogs with these characteristics show up and place in the ring. Why? Because that's what a particular judge likes. And if enough judges like that characteristic (or what the characteristic does for the gait of the dog) then that's what people will breed. If they want to win, of course.
 

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so would it be safe to assume that the very first akc show (or any kennel club for that matter) showed dogs that resemble what we would now consider working lines? meaning that the split between the two happened years into showing and slow evolution of the breeds?

i know that over the years the dogs are getting "worse and worse" - but in the beginning was there ever a point when there was no difference between the lines?

thanks for the info and opinions guys (& gals)
 

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Originally there were no differences between the lines in all breeds. The dogs would come off the farm or out of the field to show for the day and would be back to work the next!

I actually find it quite fascinating to compare the older show dogs to the current show dogs. All breeds have evolved. . .and not necessarily for the better.
 

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Actually this is not true. The GSD has always had what were called "fancy" dogs. These dogs brought the look the founder wanted. They were then bred to the working sheep dogs to create the breed. Throughout the history of the breed there was a split between show and work, with some breeders breeding more one way or the other. They just did a better job of maintaining the balance back then.
 

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To add to what Lisa said...

There where show dogs before the GSD even as born. The Captain (you know, Stephanitz) belonged to an association wich interest was to promote the native shepherd dogs, the "Philax Club", which died because the division between those who put more emphasis in appearance and those who put more emphasis in working ability.

After the SV was born the first years went smooth, but the division appeared again and Stephanitz, wisely, made the members to vote what they preferred. Working ability won. The next years he ruled the SV with a hand of iron and the breed became what we know. When Stephanitz died all went to h... well, where it is now.
 

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Quote: Most say the big spit happen in the late 60's under Martin.
It was actually the 90's Brian . Here is a post I wrote on the green board when a similar topic came up a few years ago.

I wouldn't say they were totally responsible for the "split" since there was one well before the early 90s. This is the time frame when they were in the positions, ( SV president), to control the direction of the breed.
The Martin's were certainly responsible for accelerating the look and temperament issues that exist in the showlines today. Therefore, even though they didn't create the split, they sure did make it bigger.
Certainly, the state the showlines are in today can be traced directly to these two brothers. The method they used to achieve their goal only serves to prove that they were motivated more by the love for money than for the breed.
I think it was clear to both of them just how many of those black and red "stallion type" dogs they could sell both here and to other countries. I think this is the time when the SV started to consider the GSD a "product", as clearly many people were lining their pockets by selling this type of dog. There was a man here in this area who purchased a huge number of dogs from the Weinerau Kennel or with their name.The quality of those dogs was questionable at best. I am sure he was just one of many who was enamored by the look of the dogs and the kennel name. His integrity was also questionable but that's another subject.

It does seem that the entire mind set started to change in the early 90s. It became clear that money had much more to do with breeding than actually breeding a really good dog. I had always considered the German breeders to be breeding for the later but as the century came to a close, I remember starting to experience that same feeling of cynicism that I have felt about almost everything that gets tainted by money. It was also during this decade that I had my first experience with a "SchH 3 " dog who really wasn't ever trained. I had heard about the "midnight trials" but I guess I didn't want to believe it. Then, there it was, right before my eyes. A VA 2 dog, ( USA), that didn't know what a dumbbell was and was only slightly more acquainted with a sleeve.

When I first started in SchH, I was in awe of the German Imports with those SchH titles. I experienced a great deal of pride owning and training dogs from German bloodlines. I saw so many really fantastic dogs with impeccable temperaments. Even the dogs from lines known more for show than work were pretty darn nice. Now it seems to have lost so much of the luster it once had. The complaining about how SchH doesn't test the dogs. The way the SchH trials have been perverted by crooks and money hungry "dog trainers". Basically, it sucks to read this stuff all of the time.
IMO, the Martins introduced "Big Money" to dog breeding and it hasn't been the same since then.
 

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Good Post Anne


This all plays into the "USA Sieger Shows, An Online Petition to enforce change"!!!

I was thinking more about the 3 lines Quanto/Canto (Martin's) then the Mutz line all born in 66/68.
 

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Anne, your statement, is one that has been stated for a long time, sadly however, it has fallen on deaf ears, and an ignorant public.

ONE Statement STILL rings true, and yet, it has been so easily misplaced.


"An able handler may manage to get such a dog on to the trial ground and perform, - but it would be no genuine performance. But to bring such a dog on to the trial ground in order to get for him from an indulgent judge the desired credentials would not only be insincerity -- for the handler cannot have overlooked the dog's defect!-- but also a crime against the breed. In real life such superficial training is of no use, the dog would fail if it came to a struggle in earnest. Thus, however "beautiful" such a dog may be, he is not the dog for the shepherd dog lover to whom he would cause nothing but disappointment, shame and anger, and he is even less a dog for the breed. Away with him!" .....Max von Stephanitz ......This quote is on the petition, and says more for our cause, than any of us could! Who better to state our cause?

Isn't it amazing that after all these years, his words still ring true, yet there are those who have moved away from the intent, and think that they know better than the Master? "ah Grasshopper, when you can take these pebbles from my hand..."
 
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