Monday, 14 March 2016

Crufts GSD owner: "worst nightmare of my show life"


Illustrating just how blind some German Shepherd breeders are to the problems, the owner of the Best of Breed German Shepherd has today released this picture along with a statement defending her dog.

Says Susan Cuthbert:
I was blissfully unaware of all the negativity around one of the best show days of my life until earlier today (Monday) and I am both deeply shocked and terribly upset by all the horrendous comments directed towards my beautiful Tori.  
Words cannot express the heart wrenching experience that I have suffered. This is so unreal I want to believe it is untrue and to wake up. The comments made on television about my lovely Shepherd were unbelievable especially when one considers the brevity of the images. How can you judge a dog on such a brief observation? There is a clear lack of tolerance and knowledge of our German shepherd breed. 
It should not be a surprise to anyone why the GSD breed in the UK are being strongly drawn towards the German SV system – Germany being the founders of our breed just over a hundred years ago and they have established the most comprehensive system of any other breed in the world. The German SV system requires for showing and breeding DNA parentage, microchip identification, to meet strict conformational criteria according to the German breed standard, hip and elbow grades and assessment of the spine along with formal character assessment, endurance test of 20 kilometers gaiting, IPO test of courage, tracking and obedience and a very demanding breed survey (korung) Soundness in mind and body is a crucial part of the German Shepherd breed. 
At Crufts 2016, the vet examined my bitch before she was presented with her Best of Breed certificate and deemed her to have no visible condition which adversely affects her health and welfare. This is the second Kennel Club required vet check she has passed in the last 6 months.
As if it was not upsetting enough that my bitch faltered under the heavy media coverage in the Arena on what should have been the happiest day of my show life to then be tried and convicted on social media and the press this has now become the worst nightmare of my show life.
Mrs Cuthbert also included the dog's health record and a long list of show wins, pointing out that the dog had won under a number of top Kennel Club judges.

I confess I have some sympathy for Mrs Cuthbert. Her dog is now being scapegoated by a Kennel Club seeking to distance itself from the public backlash.  And yet, of course, Cruaghaire Catoria is typical of many German Shepherds in the show-ring today.

It also emerged tonight that the Crufts GSD judge, Davy Hall - publicly condemned by the Kennel Club on national TV last night - is Vice Chairman of the GSD Breed Council.
.
The relevance?

The GSD Breed Council is the body the Kennel Club put in charge of training for German Shepherd judges.

Meanwhile, the GSD League of Great Britain has issued this statement insisting that Cruaghaire Catoria is "a fit, healthy dog" and  "a correct type to the German Shepherd Dog standard.

That statement in full:

Statement from the GSD League of Great Britain incorporating the British Regional Groups and Working Dog Branches 
Re GSD Best of Breed at Crufts 2016 
The GSD League condemns most strongly the manner in which the Kennel Club and the Crufts presenters have created public hysteria regarding the German Shepherd Bitch who gained Best of Breed at Crufts 2016 under breed specialist judge, Davy Hall. 
With complete disregard for all of the many breed specialist judges, including highly regarded judges from the breed’s country of origin, that have awarded this bitch top honours at both Kennel Club and WUSV shows, the Channel 4 coverage acted as judge, jury and hangman without any balance of reporting.Cruaghaire Catoria is a correct type to the German Shepherd Dog standard, she has a KC/BVA hip score of 13 and elbow score of 0 – these scores are well below the maximum for showing at WUSV shows, the Kennel Club have no minimum standard for showing or breeding purposes. She is a fit, healthy, family dog.The judge, Davy Hall, of the Gayville’s GSDs kennels has been an exhibitor and breeder of GSDs for many years having bred, owned, trained and handled many top winning animals and Champions including the current breed CC record holder. 
After being awarded Best of Breed, Catoria was then passed by the appointed Crufts vet to certify that she was fit and healthy to enter the big ring. She had passed another vet health check 6 months earlier. Indeed, no GSD has ever failed a vet health test at a Championship Show since they were introduced as part of the KC’s Breed Watch. 
German Shepherd Dogs are generally shown outside and certainly very few have ever experienced anything like the Crufts Best In Show ring. This young bitch performed extremely well in her breed ring but shortly afterwards in the main arena became overwhelmed by the environment and did not show her true beauty or proper movement, she was not the only dog to react badly to the pressure of the situation. Her internationally renowned handler Craig Rice, who has handled at the top level for many years, explained what took place in the lead up to the group judging and in the main arena….After a foot perfect performance in the GSD Breed ring, where Tori gained Best of Breed in a high quality entry that included 2 VA rated Dogs, we were taken to do the KC appointed Vet Check. The Vet stated that there was absolutely no possible reason that he could not pass Tori as she showed no signs of bad health and her movement was not impaired in any way. This test included movement of the dog. 
After a long wait of over 3 hours, which includes numerous forced photo shoots in the Crufts Best of Breed collection ring, we were finally abruptly told we would be entering the main Arena. This is a situation that no owner, trainer or handler can prepare for. A packed auditorium with hot lights, music, loud speakers and constant cheers and clapping is not an everyday occurrence for any dog. Unfortunately, after a further wait whilst inside the Arena, Tori had become quite agitated. I had tried to calm her by allowing her move around a little but was repeatedly told that I must not let the dog move at all. By the time we were judged Tori was in a high level of distress and was struggling to cope with the situation, which seemed to worsen after the judges rough handling, whilst checking the teeth, of a clearly stressed dog. Tori's uncharacteristic erratic behaviour has clearly given a bad impression of what I consider a GSD of the highest standard in both construction and health test results. 
German Shepherd Breeders lead the World in their attention to health testing and breeding selection and whilst they must not be complacent about any exaggerations in conformation or temperament, the breed should not be victimised in this way by the Kennel Club, the media and social media. 
German Shepherd exhibitors have a viable alternative to Kennel Club shows and it is of no surprise that more and more are turning their back on traditional UK shows in favour of the WUSV style show where DNA recording, identification and health tests are pre-requisites, not afterthoughts. All dogs are graded and critiqued so that their owners and breeders are given a clear picture of what they need to do to improve in the next generation. This is a great responsibility for the judges who are trained to a high level and have to have considerable experience as breeders before they are approved. 
The GSD League will continue to strive to consult with the Kennel Club on matters regarding health of the GSD and hope that our suggestion of piloting compulsory identification of all exhibits, health testing prior to confirmation of Champion title and mandatory minimum health test requirements for all breeding animals will one day become a reality.German Shepherd Dog League
So now you see what all those who want change are up against. Scary isn't it?

67 comments:

  1. She has paid a lot of money over the years to have others reinforce her body-image dymorphia by-proxy and tell her that those wrecks are beautiful and sound.

    Of course she feels blindsided.


    ReplyDelete
  2. I wonder if it is possible for owners of dogs like this to argue without falling back on 'you don't know the breed' or 'you can't evaluate a dog on a few seconds of footage!'

    Its the same rubbish we've heard time and time again, isn't it? Change the record. It IS possible to tell an unsound animal from only a few seconds of footage, let alone seeing it trot around the ring which removed any lingering doubt. You don't need to be a GSD expert to know no CANINE should move like that.

    I do agree that this dog is being used as something of a scapegoat, which is possibly a tad unfair, but you have to accept when your dog wins BOB at crufts, it is being showcased as exactly that: the best of the breed.

    If this dog trotted past me in the local park, I wouldn't give the owner any hassle, I wouldn't do or say anything except perhaps a raised eyebrow. But when that dog is being shown to the public as an example of the ideal, that is a problem, and the owners and breeders of these dogs have to take responsibility for that.

    I really am losing the will to keep fighting this shit, to be honest. Its like talking to a brick wall. When the cognitive dissonance is so strong, its extremely hard, if not impossible, to bash through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon...no matter how good you are, the bird is going to shit on the board and strut around like it won anyway !!

      Delete
  3. We should start a new academic specialty: barkeology, the study of when exactly dogs got ruined.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/siegershow_winners.html

      Delete
  4. Not half as heartbroken as the dog-lovers watching the travesty of a GSD take best of breed! Can't you see it? No, or you'd not have been so foolish as to put such a lame and broken animal forward as a breed representative.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I do feel for the owner. But yes, they're all the same arguments. Been devouring books on dogs for one's entire literate life? Been a dog owner for as long as one could be? Been to dog shows and seen the judging that occurs? Been to IPO trials and training events? Agility? Tracking? Herding? Observed, in the flesh, wild canids of several different species and domestic dogs of hundreds of breeds? Nope, doesn't matter - you clearly cannot judge a dog from photos and videos unless *maybe* you're a judge or breeder yourself...you *must* put your hands on the dog or see it in person, because the footage is unrepresentative of the animal. Come on. I've seen stressed, agitated dogs move. They don't drag their toes, they don't place their metatarsals on the ground, they don't wobble about in the hocks, and they don't look as if their front and back ends belong to different dogs. Do these people ever think, maybe...just maybe...*they're* the ones deceived? That they have surrounded themselves by like-minded breed fanciers who simply continue to parrot the standard? I would love to see the full duration of this dog's working/endurance/drive tests, if they can be called those things. I really would like to see the dog as it compares to say, a top working-line dog, in an actual test of agility or endurance or drive. It's funny to me how the breed league lists these judge accolades, as if they are meaningful. Oh, you mean the judge is also a top GSD exhibitor and breeder? They MUST know what they're talking about! What they do know is how to breed top-winning dogs. And top-winning dogs are not necessarily synonymous with sound, healthy, long-lived dogs, despite what the registries and breed clubs really want the general public to believe. Show me the carnivore biologists, the independent orthopedic vets, the biomechanics experts, the anatomists and physiologists, evaluating these dogs and saying they are sound - and then, well, I might actually place some stock in their evaluations! What the so-called "breed experts" need to start condemning, is not concerns expressed by the public, but breeding practices and consequences that they are directly encouraging - including extremes in conformation, which this BOB clearly shows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well said...I'm a show breeder and can relate to everything you say. There's none so blind as those that cannot see..

      Delete
  6. So health testing is the be all and end all, ignoring conformation problems. Health checks cover exactly how many problems with how many not being able to be checked or even are compulsory/recommended? Show vet checks are a laugh having been restricted so much they are purely a rubber stamp for marketing purposes, as is shown by their reference here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, still not wanting to get it are they! Im surprised the KC hasn't tried landing it at the Vet check door. They're basicaly saying the dog is unsound not a mess of bad construction. I guess they would be saying nothing if the public hadn't screamed foul.

      How this will all play out I just dont know, with the general public behind it now is the time to strike anyway.

      The sheer numbers of fans of this broken construction though means the KC is being held hostage somewhat. As has already been implied the devotees are ready enought to jump ship entirely to avoid this kind of scrutiny or any real change from happening.

      We vill march to das vaterland!

      I hope the German press latch onto this Crufts fiasco involving their national breed as well of course, so we can have der pincer movement on das battlefield yah! Like Kaiser un König Shaka von Zulu.

      Delete
    2. If the KC really criticise they'll have the Canine Alliance on their back. After all any criticism which highlights the core problems of showing in general is not acceptable at all. It's not simply going to be the German Shepherd breeders saying the KC are wrong.

      Delete
  7. Congrats on stealing someones joy. You Jemmima are without a doubt one of the nastiest examples of a human being. You thrive on BS and tearing people down. I totally support the owner of this dog and of all the others shown. You have no real credentials and spread suffering to your fellow humans under the guise of caring about dogs. One day all your little followers will wake up and see you for the fraud you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What joy? Knowing a dog was overwhelmed and totally stressed out, but proceeded on wards, because the winning was more important than the dog.
      The dog has conformation issues as many GSD's do unfortunately, but listening to the handlers comments on how stressed the dog was before going in the ring. If the owner and handler actually truly cared for the dog, they would of not gone on at that point, but it was about winning BOB at CRUFTS sadly, nothing to do with how the dog felt about anything. She did not look like she had any joy being there.
      I get joy from my dogs every day, playing with them, working them and just watching them sleep. That is the joy of dogs and brings joy to a dog.

      Delete
    2. 'Stealing someone's joy' - you have just summed up EXACTLY the problem you fool.

      'I totally support the owner of this dog' - why? Because someone else is analytically criticising her dog, based on ethology, biology and science?

      We are not blind followers - we are supporters who can think critically and independently and don't need to belong to some cult to feel validated in life.

      So sad...

      Delete
    3. anon 10:16 if you feel strongly perhaps you would like to let us know who you are and then we can evaluate your comments openly and fairly. Openly and fairly unlike the way Tori was treated at Crufts, if her owner had loved her, he admits she was totally overwhelmed, he should have removed her into a calmer and more condusive atmosphere, aka take her home, and let her relax. But NO he WANTED to win and his determination showed us exactly how he feels about Tori. She is an extension of his ego, he feels cool because she "floats" he is one big man. Tori was distressed probably in pain from what looks like a deformity and the drivel written by the owner above is a "be sorry for me a liddy biddy woman who wants to win lots of prizes with my dog" is pitifully nauseating. Breed GSD that can move, run jump and be happy. Low hip and elbow scores mean squiddly squat when the topline of this dog is clearly abnormal. Her eyes are perfect, her ears are perfect, pretty colouration BUT, you fool, SHE CANNOT MOVE COMFORTABLY. If you can't see that then you have absolutely no right to be in charge of an innocent animal, none.

      Delete
    4. Yes, there is such joy in being blissfully unaware that your dog is dragging her hind paws along the ground in some neurological dysfunction. Jemima is such a joy kill pointing that out.

      Delete
    5. Georgina Spiers are you referring to my comment at 10:17. I think you need to read it again. I was making the point that the dog has conformation problems and that what also seems to be overlooked is the fact that the animal was stressed by the whole situation and anyone who cared about their dog would of removed her from that situation whether sound or not, but they did not, because to them winning was more important. Personally I think showing is an abomination to any species and causes more damage than good.
      And I don't need winning to enjoy my dogs. I crossbreed to improve a breed and sorry, to tell you who I am would basically compromise the work I am trying to do.

      Delete
    6. Anon 20:40 not to you, your comment is correct it was 2:10 15th March to whom I was responding but put the incorrect reference, always a problem if no names are shown. Please accept my apologies I definitely agree with your view, showing has become an absolute nonsense, pity because I did it for 40 years and loved it until the end, then the light came on!

      Delete
    7. "Because someone else is analytically criticising her dog, based on ethology, biology and science?" really? who is that "someone else"? surely not the blogger who has no medical degree, has never breed a litter, has no degree in biology nor ethnology so exactly who are you writing about? Know what is sad? You do need to belong to a cult.. it is called the cult of misanthropy .. the joy of making others feel horrible is evident here. Validation is not in your perview and hatred is your zealotry . What a sadm sad life you must lead.

      Delete
    8. It's a simple matter, ironing out those stress reactions in a dog, unless they're genetic in origin.

      Do the police have problems with their dogs when they have to confront surging crowds, noise and strange places? No they don't. The dogs become stimulated, emboldened by it all instead. All she needed to do if she doesn't mind the odd horrified reaction is go walkies in Oxford Street on a Saturday to show Cruaghaire Catoria it's all rather normal rather than stressful.

      While there she can pop into Foyles new flagship store. Really not very far away at all. There she can get some tea and crumpet, a few books on canine locomotion and structure, human psychology because ironing out her dogs back end is going to be a hell of a lot more difficult.

      I don't have much sympathy for Mrs Cuthbert and certainly more for the dog itself. As a German Shepherd owner and exhibitor she cannot have not known the controversy surrounding the show German Shepherd. Still having got so far before the KC under public pressure decided to jump fence on her must have come as quite a bit of a shock.

      The decision how to proceed in the world of GSDs is still hers. I just hope this makes her do the right thing for her magnificent breed.

      Delete
    9. bestuvall, do you have all the things you speak of?
      Misanthropy is not 'the joy of making others feel horrible'(that would be more of a narcissistic trait), it is a dislike of the human race. You can dislike the human race, but give joy and be glad of others joy.
      Ironically though a good reason to dislike the human race would be, because of the fact that they breed dogs to be cripples, just to win ribbons.
      Do you ever consider what the dog feels? I suspect not, because you probably think, going from past comments you have made on social media, that feelings are just a human concept.

      Delete
  8. These people are delusional, I feel sorry for them, even worse for their dogs. Eventually the public will stop buying these dogs, but in the meantime many dogs are going to suffer. This really should be covered under some sort of animal cruelty law, it should be illegal to breed any animal, if that animal is going to suffer because of it's inherent characteristics.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It amazes me that people showing this type are still surprised when there is a great deal of public criticism. We have been saying this about German Shepherd Dogs for *decades* now, people. It's not new. And when you put up your dog in the public eye, you're going to receive criticism. If all you want to hear are accolades, then you need to find a different venue in which to parade your crippled dog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But she did.

      Take this poor creature to specialties, and all you will hear is praise.

      Take her to the all-breed shows, and the fanciers of other breeds, some of them less deformed, will just roll their eyes, and you can get good at Not Seeing that.

      These people create a self-referential bubble around their horrible, cruel, disgusting hobby, within which they reinforce one another's hideous delusions.

      And then it's SO UNFAIR when normal people (the ones who don't know what they are talking about because they aren't experts in the breed) shriek in horror and recoil.

      Michael Jackson thought, and was told, that his face looked beautiful after a million surgeries, and he paid a lot of money to not hear otherwise.

      Delete
  10. A classic response from an adherent of the kennel club show culture -- it's all about her rather than the dog. Ultimately the most effective way to change the culture is to use this "it's all about the people rather than the dogs" mindset to the advantage of advocacy for the dogs, by using social media to make pariahs in the dog-owning community and beyond of every breeder, every owner, every handler, every judge and every kennel club who creates, owns, exhibits, and puts up this Darwin's Nightmare of exaggeration for no purpose other than a ribbon and a meaningless title. Criticism and calling to account of these enablers should be accurate, candid and harsh. Only then will these people be motivated to stop supporting the show culture, or to reform it.

    John Parker

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, that's sad.

    She thinks that her dog is being attacked when really, her dog is just a symptom of the ongoing lunacy that is GSD judging/breeding. And that's what's really being attacked - the fact that a dog like this is intentionally bred and rewarded for hobbling around like it has some kind of neurological damage.

    But if you can't see the defect as anything other than beauty, what's to be done? The lot of them are so blind to what's RIGHT THERE, it's shocking.

    Is there no GSD judge who will see a normally-conformed animal and give it a ribbon?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can't figure out why the owner goes into depth about the SV system when her dog apparently has no German titles, has never passed an SV test, and could not possibly gait for 12 miles without collapsing. And her point is???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that is an excellent point, ma'am.

      Delete
    2. I think the owner is trying to say that perhaps the KC should institute requirements similar to the rigorous SV system so that they can refute the "uneducated" opinion of public outcry. She is, perhaps, delusional enough to believe that her dog could meet and surpass these requirements.

      Delete
  13. Something just has to be done! Call ourselves a nation of dog lovers? The owner of this poor unfortunate dog... Well words fail me! Our family has had gsds all my life, I adore the breed, Rusty who owns us now, abandoned at 2 weeks old and left in a box outside a dog rescue centre in Spain is a magnificent specimen. Wish I could post his pic, his back is straight, and his whole demeanour is proud, strong and alert. So there are good breeding stock out there. Please let's turn this sorry story into something positive, KC use this travesy and show your metal! Save this magnificent breed - they are awesomely worth it!




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely story! You should make a little video of him and put it on youtube.

      Delete
  14. Simple answer, live on TV. Get an independent "movement expert" in, go for a run/walk and get their opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This dog has a hip score of 13 and 0-0 elbows....so its all good from that point of view. On their website (and from top judges) it says "Very good front angulation, lovely topline & good croup, very balanced hind angles. Correct height to length ratio, super underline. In movement she is outstanding so clean coming & going & her profile movement was really excellent.." Now...surely we need a dog fit for purpose? I know top veterinary physiotherapists who really know a dogs. They would feel a dog all over and know when a dog has over used certain muscles and has muscle wastage in other areas. This in turn would highlight certain concerns and treat accordingly. Just like me....I can stand their and look great and run around with no issues and be classed as healthy. But a physio would see small issues, and know I am carrying a lower back problem. I walk in a certain way which in turn has produced oversized calfs. If a judge can't see these small issues they have no right to be a judge. Even the German Sieger show has these type of GSD's and they are supposed to show that they can perform the three phases of Schutzhund....which is a joke!!! I doubt their is a show dog alive which is actually improving the breed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. On the cover of 'The New Day'
    'The New Day is one of several papers to feature German Shepherd Cruaghaire Catoria whose appearance at Crufts has caused controversy. The paper questions whether it is to the "shame" of the contest that a dog with a sloping back and some apparent difficulty walking is lauded.'

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've exhibited under the group judge and he would NEVER handle any dog roughly, and certainly not a nervous, stressed one. He's one of the kindest, most considerate and courteous judges you could ever hope to meet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. just a pity that he is blind then in response to first sentence. second sentence - he can be all of those but he can't judge dogs, probably been winging it for years because he one of the kindest, most considerate and courteous judges, pity he didn't pass all of those attributes towards the dog and tell the owner to take her home. that would have been the kindest, most considerate thing he should have done.

      Delete
    2. So are you saying this is a lie?

      Delete
    3. Georgina, are you referring to the breed judge or group judge? The group judge did not put this dog up. He handled the dog gently, had her go around the ring, and then did not give her a placement. The breed judge certainly deserves criticism, but not the group judge.

      Stacey

      Delete
    4. Stacey, sorry didn't make it clear I was so cross when I wrote it, referring to GSD breed judge and all those people for causing so much distress to that poor dog.

      Delete
  18. The emperor has no clothes. It doesn't matter that so and so has vetted this dog and others like it. One glance is all it takes to see that this poor dog has been intentionally deformed by selective breeding. No way this dog could trot for 20 km.

    Of course this bitch should not be a scapegoat. She's the victim of a system that institutionalizes bad breeding practices in all breeds. It's just more obvious in cases like this one.

    And how are they going to fix this? Breed from sound individuals for one thing. But again, gene pools should not be isolated. German shepherds should be mixing with other northern pastoral dogs, like Belgian and Dutch shepherds, as they have for centuries. Ban pure breeding. Stop the insanity.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Catherine Senger15 March 2016 at 15:25

    Excellent bit of research, Jemima. I wonder how many Rimadyl they fed her after the supposed 20km gait endurance test. The poor animal must have been in agony - and if not now then she will be in a few years' time. I do not feel sorry for the owner one bit: Breeding dogs (or any animal for that matter) for show is nothing but a selfish past-time because no matter how much breeders are trying to convince us otherwise - and there is plenty of anthropomorphising going on in the show ring - ultimately the animal does not benefit from the process.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just a random observation from someone outside the UK; it seems like UK show dogs are not accustomed to the kinds of high profile dog shows like we have here in the states (Westminster, Eukanuba National Championship etc). Any GSD that makes it to the group ring at one of our televised dog shows has been conditioned to show under these kinds of stressful conditions through months and months of campaigning across the country. Are top level show dogs not campaigned in the UK? I think what distressed me most about watching this dog was seeing how utterly distressed she was to be in the show ring. That kind of behavior would never land you a spot in a televised dog show unless you were the only one entered in your breed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are "campaigned" dogs in the UK, sure. But not in the same way or to the same extent as in the US. Pro handlers are a minority. There are no RVs and rigs full of client dogs; owners bring their dogs to shows themselves and most are owner-handled. The showing culture is far less industrial in the UK than in the US. There are no cluster shows, in fact not anywhere near as many shows overall and never more than one general championship show in the entire UK on any given weekend. The larger breeds are almost always judged in an outdoor ring. It is true to say that a GSD in most of Europe may not be used to being judged in a hall, never mind under the glare of media. Many dogs could/would spook in that environment. However, that's not to say that this was a sound example of a GSD by any stretch of the imagination.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the insight, it sounds pretty different from what I know of dog shows here in the states. And just to clarify, I would never use that as an excuse for the way this dog acted. Obviously there were plenty of other local dogs in the same group ring who were able to cope with all the lights and loud noises, so I think any proper GSD should have been able to take that experience in stride. This dog seems like a typical nervy show Shepherd; the very reason why they are never used for real police work.

      Delete
  21. Extremes are extremes and should not be rewarded. Be it snipey head, banana backs, fearful or shy character.

    I feel sorry for the owner of the dog, I do. A large show when the dog is not behaving is embarrassing. Benefit of the doubt, it is a huge show, maybe it was just too much for the dog. They are animals, not machines.

    But GSDs arent show pieces, the same dog should be able to do obedience, agility, IPO, conformation and herd and do them all well. The fact that there is such a split on a breed that shouldn't have one says a lot about what needs to improve in the whelping box AND in the ring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there are no dogs who are show pieces...the peke is a companion who should be able to run, breathe, walk normally and lead a normal life in a normal home with a normal family. The overly groomed/coated poodle and the cocker are sporting dogs, the afghan is supposed to be able to run down game. We need to stop seeing them as show pieces and more as DOGS.

      Delete
  22. As a general observation, the majority of show dogs at all levels in the UK are owner handled and live as family rather than being professionally handled on 'the cicuit'.Other than Crufts it's quite low key.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Not surprised by the typical response from the GSDL. They made their position crystal clear 8 years ago. They don’t get it; they’ve never got it, and they never ever will, get it. This is something that needs to be accepted.

    They don’t see what the public see, and they don’t see it because their eyes and minds have become accustomed to the skeleton and movement of these dogs. For them, this is normal; it’s us that has the problem.

    It may well be that there is no other option other than to move on and think about a new healthier style of GSD. If that means the KC disbanding the breed from competition for a few years and working with ‘lesser known breeders’ with the intention of resurrecting the breed, then so be it. Germany had to - a new club with FCI status was approved to compete with the SV. There is dissatisfaction with the SV and their continued promotion of breed destruction in Germany too. This is not a UK isolated problem, however, this style of dog fetches big money in Europe and as long as that continues, nothing's going to change.

    Less visibility and less popularity equal less demand and less money, less pups being bred and ultimately fewer breeders. I think that's the only chance the breed has got!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree! In Nov 2008 the KC breed health and welfare strategy group noted concern about "the roach back,low hindquarters, excessive turn of the stifle, sickle hocks, hind pasterns flat on the ground when moving ... demonstrating extreme cow hocks"
      8 years later the judges in the UK and Germany are still putting dogs with these conformation extremes to the top of their lines, encouraging breeders to further breed for these deformities.
      If it is indeed the German breed authorities/ GSD league etc who are guiding our breeders and judges in the UK to produce GSDs with this exaggerated top line and hindquarters, then is it not best that the KC disassociates itself with the GSD showline dog breeders, clubs and societies and concentrates instead on promoting the more working line GSDs whose structure has not been destroyed and who can lead a normal, healthy working life?

      Delete
  24. Having read the comments from what I presume is the handler, then the probability of the bitch being aggitated is probably correct. However, that doesn't alter the shape of her spine nor the fact that her hind feet do not respond correctly i.e. replacing them correctly on the floor. This relates to poor messages coming down the CNS. With regard to the judges handling in the group ring, what I would say is, I have exhibited under Frank Kane with my dogs (a few years ago, since I don't show any more as I could see how you got placed in the ring and it wasn't by the dogs own merits)and he has never roughly handled. I have also stewarded for him and on any occasion I have had dealings with him he has always been kind (about my dogs even if not placed in a high position), polite and held himself in a gentlemanly manner. I know he is not scientifically qualified i.e., biological subjects, and his degree I believe is in English Lit., therefore, can only aesthetically appriase, but I don't believe that he would rough handle, particularly as I have experienced his judging with my own dogs. But all sorts of things can be said as a 'knee jerk' reaction when you're outnumbered against those who can see the reality of something being incorrect.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Typical ignorant and arrogant dog breeders and breed clubs.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I remember the roach backs first appearing about 35 years ago ish... they looked NOTHING like the regular GSD we all knew and had been brought in by prominent well known people and were made up rapid and as such were used as breeding stock because only they were being given the CC tickets.... LOADS quit because there was no point.... and the result is what you have now. It is the JUDGES ONLY that have decided the shape of what used to be beautiful animals..... JUDGES... YOU have ruined this breed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, it happens in the States as well.

      Delete
    2. Quite agree. The judges need to change ...but then they're all from the same incestuous pool.

      Delete
  27. " did not show her true beauty or proper movement"
    These people are utterly bonkers and that is putting it politely. These dogs are deformed, I've been a fan of the GSD since I was a kid; I'm not that old and I can remember they never used to look, move or behave like this.

    ReplyDelete
  28. What is sad is the ones who should be protecting the breed have destroyed it. All one has to do is look back to the GSD IN GERMANY in the 1945's and see this type today is NOT at all what the originators of the breed bred> So they say the Experts say this is a wonderful breed type. Then those Experts are blind to anything but the sound of their own voices!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dear S Cuthbert,

    Defending yourself by publishing that photograph only doubly condemns you. That dog has weak hind quarters, legs constantly bent and tucked up under it's belly to exaggerate the beautiful line every GSD has for that split second when something grabs it's attention, but you and your fellow show breeders have decided it should hold for minutes perhaps hours at a time and have manipulated by selective breeding and trained your dogs for this unnatural effect and your own narrow vision, interpreting the breed standard in such a perverse and stubborn manner. A well balanced healthy dog, stands on it's toes and drives it's body, not by pulling itself along by it's shoulders, but by pushing off with it's back legs, something these modern show dogs cannot do and something we all saw in the show ring when your distressed animal was trying it's best to get those back legs to work in harmony with it's well developed shoulders, to get itself away from the ring and ended up limping and dragging it's toes over the floor when it found it couldn't achieve the unnatural gait you've bred into it.

    If your handler on the day was not in the position to make the decision to walk away when your dog was so distressed then the whole show world needs to look again at what comes first, the health, comfort and security of the dog or the happiness of a winning breeder/owner/handler.

    If any changes do come from this, then you do have my thanks for showing the world what the human race is capable of in the pursuit of it's own perverted ideals of beauty over functionality, but knowing this has been decades in the making, I very much doubt it will. We're singling you out because your dog won, but we're well aware of the support you'll have from the GSD clubs and the other show dog breeders who will all have dogs with the same crippling conformation. You're all a disgrace to the working roots of this noble breed.

    ReplyDelete
  30. It is obvious that the breed standard for the GSD is up the creek without a paddle if Cruaghaire Catoria is an excellent example of that breed.

    However, what also concerns me is the GSD League of Great Britain’s description of the extremely stressful conditions which this poor dog (and others along with her) had to endure prior to entering the main arena. “...a long wait of over 3 hours, which includes numerous forced photo shoots in the Crufts Best of Breed collection ring...A packed auditorium with hot lights, music, loud speakers and constant cheers and clapping. “ If dogs become distressed because of the conditions at a massive dog show like Crufts (and clearly they do) then, in my opinion, such shows should be phased out and soon! The well being of the animals should always be paramount, otherwise all those involved are quite simply guilty of animal cruelty.

    No GENUINE dog lover would want their dog to have an exhausting and miserable experience just so that they, the owner, can go on a massive ego trip. Neither would they want to be responsible for breeding a dog that conforms to some highly questionable human standard that has seriously compromised the dog’s fitness for life. All of the creatures we share this planet with are deserving of our respect, our compassion and our love. Too many dog breeders sadly seem to lack these qualities and also appear to be devoid of even common sense. If we are going to breed any animal then we must do so with the utmost integrity and always put the health and soundness of that animal first, second and last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note a few things. 1. The breeders and owners of the other dogs that went BOB without being complained about aren't complaining about the noise/heat/time... are they? 2. Crufts has been a huge, noisy place for over a century: the conditions are hardly a surprise. 3. Were not other dogs within the group subjected to the SAME conditions without falling apart?

      Dogs that fall apart easily don't need to be on display. Or in the gene pool.

      Delete
  31. I think the red flag that your breed is in serious trouble is when you can show a layperson a video of modern show bred GSD's and they all say "what is wrong with that dog" If a layperson see's a modern GSD that's just about the first reaction all of them have! If that's the reaction you get, then I think you need to step back and re-evaluate the status quo. Just because everyone else is doing it and can come up with all kinds of weird excuses why a DOGS rear end needs look and move like a rabbit, doesn't make it right, it just doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I showed the clip to my husband who has little interest in dogs other than enjoying them as pets. His reaction on seeing the dog stationary: "I see what you mean, that doesn't look right" ...And then while watching the dog running further round the ring showcasing the weird gait in her back legs: "Oh my God."

    It's not subtle, it's not just the whipped up hysteria of anti-KC Jessica acolytes, it's that normal people used to normal dogs watch and think 'Oh my God. If my spaniel/collie/labrador/westie did that I be horrified, and would take her straight to the vets'.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I remember finding my Dad's book of AKC standards when I was ten years old. At the time, we had a beautiful GSD bitch, working type, with a flat back, and fit for anything she wanted to do. So I immediately flipped through to the section about GSDs in the book. And I just remember staring at the photos of these roach-back, sloped things and thinking, "That's not right. That can't be right."

    ReplyDelete
  34. So *has* this dog passed a 20 km endurance test or is the owner simply stating that those are required by German's SV system? Are these endurance tests legitimate? Because I've heard some talk that they really aren't so rigorous, some dogs are passed when they shouldn't or don't even go through with the whole test, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  35. A fit sleddog could trot 20km without breaking a sweat so to speak. You will not see an over angulated rear end or topline like the dog we saw at Crufts on one of them!

    ReplyDelete