Are you of the belief that if a German Shepherd Dog is a good one that he can win in any ring (All Breed and Specialty)? There are some specialty people that wouldn’t be caught dead in an All Breed ring and there are some all breed people that never show their dogs in a specialty ring. Some specialty people feel that the reason some all breed people won’t show in a specialty ring is because they know their dog won’t win there. These same specialty people feel that those all breed dogs are not of the quality of dog that wins at a specialty show. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I don’t know but I do know that there are some great dogs in our breed that can and does win at both of these types of shows!
Like in many things in today’s society, there seems to be a division even among dog show people. Many people put our German Shepherds into two different categories when it comes to show dogs and that is specialty dogs and all breed dogs. Some don’t believe that a good dog will win anywhere. They are of the belief that a good dog is in the specialty ring……period! These same people expect that the specialty dogs are the ones that you’ll see competing at the National level….that is the National Specialty Show at the end of the year that is put on by the Parent Club (GSDC of America). They do not expect or think of the all breed dog competing at this level. But indeed, there are those dogs that have won high honors at an all breed show like taking Group 1st and Best in Show competing at the National Specialty show and many times winning top honors as well.
Recently I was thinking about some of our top winning dogs of the past and was looking at some of their pictures. It got me to wondering that if some of the “greats” of the breed were alive today, how well would they do in the ring against our present dogs? Do you think that they would still be the top winning dogs that they once were?
Let’s take for instance one of the all time history making German Shepherds in our breed. That is GV Ch Lance of Fran-Jo ROM. Why do I call him all time history making? He wasn’t in my opinion (by looking at his picture) that extraordinary looking. But this dog more than any other dog in the history of our breed changed the look of the German Shepherd forever. Gone was the boxy, square looking dogs of the earlier years. He introduced a more sloping top line and with a more extreme hindquarter. The way the dogs were stacked when they were set up was completely different from the years before. Lance produced a prettier standing animal. If Lance was shown today, would he, could he still be crowned the Grand Victor?
Would the extreme front and rear of the GV Ch Mannix of Fran-Jo (a Lance son) make him a competitive and winning dog today? How about the beautiful breed type of GV Ch Woodside’s Nestlé’s Quik, would he still stand out today?
And what about some of the great producing bitches of yesterday? Think that they would be great producing with today’s blood lines? How about Lance’s mother, Frohlich’s Elsa v. Grunes Tahl ROM. She wasn’t a bitch with much angulation at all but she produced her famous son that was dominating in this area. Her father Ch Riter v. Liebetraum had even less hindquarter. Where did all this hindquarter come from then?
How about Cobert’s Melissa ROM who never made her championship but produced some top champions including GV Ch Lakesides Harrigan ROM, Sel Ch Cobert’s Reno ROM, Sel Ch Lakesides Gilligan Island ROM, etc. Would she still be able to produce top winning dogs today?
Does the style of a great dog change from decade to decade? And if it does change, should the standard be re-written to keep up with this change? Just a thought and question for you……what do you think, would the great ones of yesterday be great ones today?
My rating: A good German Shepherd never goes out of style: (4)