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Discussion Starter #1
I don't mean to undermine what the show people out there do, but just from what I've read about Max von Stephanitz and quotes from him, I'm led to believe that GSD's don't belong in the show ring at all, and were never meant to have such a rigid, standardized appearance.

Not all show dogs are the mutated things we all have seen so many times, but you have to think, if it weren't for show...we never would have seen such disabled and weak German Shepherds.

Here's a few things that made me think of this:

" Von Stephanitz felt the breed should be founded on hereditary research and not show wins"

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He was never interested in beauty alone, only as it pertained to the dog's soundness and working ability"

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A pleasing appearance is desirable, but it can NOT put the dog's working ability into question." Von Stephanitz

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Take this trouble for me: Make sure my shepherd dog remains a working dog, for I have struggled all my life long for that aim.” Max von Stephanitz

And here's some really good quotes from von Stephanitz pertaining explicitly to showing GSD's:

max v stephanitz on conformation


 

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I guess that's all well and good that the founder of the breed felt that way, but honestly...he's long gone and if people want to show these dogs and introduce people to the wonder and awe of this beautiful breed, then I think it's great.

I don't think you can blame conformation on the poorer specimens out there. I would need more evidence to back up that statement. My own personal experience with my showline dog is that he is physically perfect, and has adapted to my lifestyle with ease.
 

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I am one who believes that shows are the root of all evil, not only on the GSd but in all breeds of dogs. The GSD must fit a standard, but not be bred TO fit such standard. Dog shows strives to extremes, it is a human thing but not natural. In my personal opionion extremist is never good, being it in politics, religion or dog fancy.
 

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I think that conformation should also focus more on the functionality and health of the dogs, rather than just beauty.

Ahh, a girl can dream, can't she?
 

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In the equine world you have many halter horses that do very well in halter classes but are never broke to ride - just bred. If I'm looking for a reining horse, I wouldn't look along that line. It doesn't tell me anything but it's nice to look at. I suspect the same would be in the canine world.
 

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Just because they are show dogs doesn't mean they aren't functional as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am one who believes that shows are the root of all evil, not only on the GSd but in all breeds of dogs. The GSD must fit a standard, but not be bred TO fit such standard. Dog shows strives to extremes, it is a human thing but not natural. In my personal opionion extremist is never good, being it in politics, religion or dog fancy.
One of the quotes on the link i posted actually says "exaggeration is bad in all circumstances" haha
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just because they are show dogs doesn't mean they aren't functional as well.
That's not always true though. I'm not an expert by any means, but from what I've learned it seems as though the traits it takes to be a TOP show dog, also impede the breeds abilities to perform.

I don't think you would ever see a well bred working dog that couldn't function properly, and if that was the case, it wouldn't be bred because--well thats the whole point of a working dog right? However, if that same dog had what the judges were looking for, and went on to be a grand champion show dog, it would end up having 30 litters a year
 

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I like the European system of doing things, where the dog needs to work in addition to being shown, and not just shown and never worked. I think a good dog should be able to do both - you demonstrate the dog's nerve, temperament, and abilities by putting the dog into a sporting venue such as Schutzhund or herding, and you demonstrate that the dog physically meets the breed standard by putting them into conformation. You should be doing both, not just show. IMHO.
 

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I think everyone is dancing around the issue and afraid to say what many are thinking. I do believe that if Von Stephanitz saw the streamlined, refined, steeply angulated, cow-hocked GSDs that you see in the AKC show ring, he would saddened.:(
 

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For the OP....
Max said a lot of things and unfortunately "we" use his words to suit our purposes and ignore the words we no longer agree with. Obviously he understood human nature because he said:

"Whoever will only draw conclusions from the eminence of his own particular point of view, will obtain a distorted picture."

Guess that about covers it.
 

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Ummm... I think what some people are neglecting here, is that it was Stephaniz himself who put into place the SV seiger system. He HAND PICKED the seigers of his time, and those dogs were not judged solely on working ability.

Good structure is to compliment good working ability if you are to have a TRULY exceptional working animal. Max saw this, absolutely, which is why he put up dogs like Klodo von Boxberg (a dog who some people seem to hold a grudge against, due to his influence on American lines). HE selected those dogs, and for reasons beyond just being a good working dog.

It was no Westminster, true enough, but there was always a show aspect. There HAS to be a show aspect on some level, else you never have a chance to gradient good structure... there needs to be, at some point, a "good", "better", and "best", so that the breed can know which direction its heading at. Max put up a dog like Klodo because he wanted the breed in that direction, something different, that had everything to do with structure, and something he might never have seen had there never been a sieger show to begin with.
 

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I guess that's all well and good that the founder of the breed felt that way, but honestly...he's long gone and if people want to show these dogs and introduce people to the wonder and awe of this beautiful breed, then I think it's great.

I don't think you can blame conformation on the poorer specimens out there. I would need more evidence to back up that statement. My own personal experience with my showline dog is that he is physically perfect, and has adapted to my lifestyle with ease.
Max may be "long gone" but what he had to say is as valid now as it was then. If more people still shared his vision I doubt we would see many of the problems with GSD's that we see today. Personally I am not a fan of conformation shows per se whether it is the GSD or something else, I don't think they tell you anything really. The dog runs around a ring a few times, gets a very brief check to see if it fits an artificial standard... and is pretty much done. Max was concerned with utility, not appearance, acknowledging that a dog with poor construction would automatically be unable to perform the tasks he had in mind for it. So it was important, but not paramount. I think a much better "show" for the GSD would be a competition based on the Universal Sieger formula, where they are judged on both conformation AND working ability. (And I mean REALLY judged on the latter, not the easy passes given to weak dogs that you see at the NASS or even the German BSZS.) That way you can allow for both beauty AND functionality!!! And BTW Viva Max - Herr Rittmeister I kinda wish you were still around...
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Susan

Anja SchH3 GSD
Conor GSD
Blue BH WH T1 GSD - waiitng at the Bridge :angel:
 

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I don't mean to undermine what the show people out there do, but just from what I've read about Max von Stephanitz and quotes from him, I'm led to believe that GSD's don't belong in the show ring at all, and were never meant to have such a rigid, standardized appearance.

Not all show dogs are the mutated things we all have seen so many times, but you have to think, if it weren't for show...we never would have seen such disabled and weak German Shepherds.

Here's a few things that made me think of this:

" Von Stephanitz felt the breed should be founded on hereditary research and not show wins"

"
He was never interested in beauty alone, only as it pertained to the dog's soundness and working ability"

"
A pleasing appearance is desirable, but it can NOT put the dog's working ability into question." Von Stephanitz

"
Take this trouble for me: Make sure my shepherd dog remains a working dog, for I have struggled all my life long for that aim.” Max von Stephanitz

And here's some really good quotes from von Stephanitz pertaining explicitly to showing GSD's:

max v stephanitz on conformation


If Capt. Max did not want GSDs to be show dogs, he should not have created and headed up the SV, and should not have selected Sieger/Siegerin and VA dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I just wonder if he ever would have wanted them bred solely for conformation. And I guess the same could be said for many breeds. I tried finding an old "standard" for the GSD, like the one the AKC has but, an older form maybe....does one exist?

I can see how there must be consistency across a breed, but I can't figure out what exactly the show ring accomplishes. I really enjoy watching it, and I think the dogs are GORGEOUS--most of the time, but what are the pro's of having a completely conformational competition? I would think temperament would be one good thing to come out of show dogs, and intelligence maybe?
 

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Max may be "long gone" but what he had to say is as valid now as it was then. If more people still shared his vision I doubt we would see many of the problems with GSD's that we see today. Personally I am not a fan of conformation shows per se whether it is the GSD or something else, I don't think they tell you anything really. The dog runs around a ring a few times, gets a very brief check to see if it fits an artificial standard... and is pretty much done. Max was concerned with utility, not appearance, acknowledging that a dog with poor construction would automatically be unable to perform the tasks he had in mind for it. So it was important, but not paramount. I think a much better "show" for the GSD would be a competition based on the Universal Sieger formula, where they are judged on both conformation AND working ability. (And I mean REALLY judged on the latter, not the easy passes given to weak dogs that you see at the NASS or even the German BSZS.) That way you can allow for both beauty AND functionality!!! And BTW Viva Max - Herr Rittmeister I kinda wish you were still around...
________________________________________
Susan

Anja SchH3 GSD
Conor GSD
Blue BH WH T1 GSD - waiitng at the Bridge :angel:
Written by someone who has never taken a dog into the show ring.

I have only broken the surface in conformation, with a couple of firsts and a BOB in puppy matches. I have taken one conformation class. I will say that it was MUCH harder than anything I had to do to prepare for my CD, HIT, and all the other crap I have done with my dogs including the agility classes I took.

People stand outside the ring, and say, anyone could do that. But being listed as excellent select either here or in Germany is nothing to sneeze at. And when you have managed it, come back and say it is a piece of cake.
 

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I just wonder if he ever would have wanted them bred solely for conformation. And I guess the same could be said for many breeds. I tried finding an old "standard" for the GSD, like the one the AKC has but, an older form maybe....does one exist?

I can see how there must be consistency across a breed, but I can't figure out what exactly the show ring accomplishes. I really enjoy watching it, and I think the dogs are GORGEOUS--most of the time, but what are the pro's of having a completely conformational competition? I would think temperament would be one good thing to come out of show dogs, and intelligence maybe?
The American showlines get criticized most for temperament. There is a temperament deal with show dogs too. I had a judge go all over my dog, and the dance a milkbone in front of him for a while measuring his temperament in the breed ring. I have NO IDEA what he was looking for, and neither did Rushie, who neither shirked nor grabbed for it.

Showdogs have to manage in rings with other dogs, dog aggressive show dogs are going to be a hard sell. They have to be ok around people. And if they are shy, the judges will go so far as refuse to give a first placement. And that is in the American ring, which requires much less than Germany.

Dogs in Germany must be titled in Schutzhund, must pass a breed survey, must pass an endurance test, must pass a protection test, must be able to heel around a ring for hours with others of their own sex. The males also must provide a progeny group. I think they do a great job at their shows.

But America is different. There is an American Sieger show here as well. And if that is your cup of tea, go to that and support that. If the people want that type of a show, they will support it and it will change the American lines as well, as they will try to keep in step.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The American showlines get criticized most for temperament. There is a temperament deal with show dogs too. I had a judge go all over my dog, and the dance a milkbone in front of him for a while measuring his temperament in the breed ring. I have NO IDEA what he was looking for, and neither did Rushie, who neither shirked nor grabbed for it.

Showdogs have to manage in rings with other dogs, dog aggressive show dogs are going to be a hard sell. They have to be ok around people. And if they are shy, the judges will go so far as refuse to give a first placement. And that is in the American ring, which requires much less than Germany.

Dogs in Germany must be titled in Schutzhund, must pass a breed survey, must pass an endurance test, must pass a protection test, must be able to heel around a ring for hours with others of their own sex. The males also must provide a progeny group. I think they do a great job at their shows.

But America is different. There is an American Sieger show here as well. And if that is your cup of tea, go to that and support that. If the people want that type of a show, they will support it and it will change the American lines as well, as they will try to keep in step.
This kind of show sounds ideal--it seems it would be VERY effective in promoting both physically and mentally sound dogs, while prohibiting over exaggerated, weak, loose, or nervous dogs from winning and making a ton on stud fees or brood bitches.
 

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This kind of show sounds ideal--it seems it would be VERY effective in promoting both physically and mentally sound dogs, while prohibiting over exaggerated, weak, loose, or nervous dogs from winning and making a ton on stud fees or brood bitches.
Yes.
....and no
 
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