For those of you who don’t show your German Shepherds and don’t really know too much about the dog show world let me tell you what some enthusiastic, nervous show dog people are experiencing this week. This is the big fall event that every German Shepherd Dog breeder, exhibitor and handler looks forward to. This week is the National Specialty Show put on by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America. This year it’s in Ohio. This is the show where the “best of the best” in the German Shepherd Dog world meet to compete for the most prestigious of awards. Win, place or show…..this is the arena to do it in. People from all parts of the country will come here to strut their stuff. The atmosphere is filled with excitement and all are in good spirits for they come to share, compare and watch and enjoy some of the most beautiful German Shepherds in the world.
Right now as I write this, someone is feeding and caring for the future Grand Victor of the United States. He may be lying on someone’s rug or running outside in his dog run, but somewhere, someone owns the future Grand Victor! How exciting is that?! So just what does it take to be a Grand Victor? A Grand Victor is the champion of all champions! When the judge points his finger and says this is it, the enthusiastic crowd responds. Camera lights flash, congratulations are expressed, people run down to the arena floor to get up close and personal with the new winner and still others are left crying in the other corner for having seen their own “hopeful” not achieve this highest of awards this year. The judge congratulates the handler and tells the owner that he was delighted to have had the opportunity to judge and award such an excellent representative of the breed this title.
So the Grand Victor probably is still home right now. To him it’s just another day. Perhaps he’s going to be bathed once again today. His owner sprays and primps up his coat. My, he does smell wonderful. Maybe he’ll be road worked later on towards the evening. He’s fed the best of food, enjoys the health benefits of his supplements and chews contently on his milk bone. To him, life goes on like it normally does. He’s not planning for the big show coming up. He leaves that up to his owner.
The hotel reservations are once again confirmed. The car is filled with gas. Oil is checked. Tires are new. Luggage is packed. Supplies and crate are loaded in the car. Snacks are put in the back seat for later on to enjoy on the long trip to Ohio. Alright, everything is in place and the new Grand Victor is loaded in the car. Little does he or his owner know that a big new beautiful trophy will accompany them on their way back home! It’s what they’ve dreamed about all year long, but right now they haven’t realized that dream……..not yet!
So what does our future Grand Victor look like? Is he any better than your dog or mine? Is he the pretty, plushy dog with the black and red pigment? How about the hard dry, athletic dog that moves nice and easy? Is he a big dog, or maybe a medium guy with great secondary sex characteristics? Does he have an obedience title? Does he have an OFA number attached to the back of his name? Is he a happy go lucky kind of dog? Perhaps he’s a quiet gentlemanly type of animal. Oh there may be better movers. There may be even better looking dogs, but something about this dog will make him stand out among all the rest. He will have that “look at me” type of attitude. He will dare the judge not to put him up because he’s just that darn good! One things for sure his life and his owners will be forever changed.
The Grand Victor is afforded the opportunity of being a part of history for the breed. Many more times than not, he will have the best bitches in the country sent to him for breeding. The door is wide open for him to make his ROM (register of merit) because of the excellent quality of bitches he entertains. Because he is the Grand Victor, does this make him a better producer? Of course not; he just has a better opportunity to become one. He’s not any better of a producer than he was last week before he won his new title. It’s just that more people are breeding to him now. Not every Grand Victor has been a great producer.
The new Grand Victor becomes the “who’s who” in the German Shepherd Dog world. All eyes will be on him especially the first year that he achieves this new title. Breeders will be looking to see what he can produce. Phone calls will be made, notes will be compared and the new Grand Victors offspring will be scrutinized by those who are looking to produce their own Grand Victors. The smart breeders will know that it will take the new “star” more than a year to prove his worthiness as a producer!
So although the new Grand Victor will look forward to returning home to play ball with little Johnny once again, his life has taken a new detour and his chance to alter history is just beginning. His overjoyed owners will soon be answering more phone calls, entertaining more people with their bitches……….their work has just begun. But this is it……..all their hard work has finally been rewarded. Just a few short days ago, they left their home with a champion and returned with a Grand Victor!
My rating: Grand Victor should be the “best of the best”, (4) best of opportunities afforded to him: (4), GV = producer? (3)