Showsight Presents The German Shepherd Dog

JUDGING THE GERMAN SHEPHERDDOG THE WORLD’S MOST VERSATILE & GREATEST PUREBRED DOG

The German Shepherd Dog Club of America ( gsdca.org ) is pleased to present this article for ShowSight Magazine . by MORTON GOLDFARB

T here are three phases involved in judging the breed: 1. Temperament 2. Standing pose 3. Motion A very specific temperament test is required of all judges presiding at our spe- ciality shows. The judge approaches the entry for the first contact with the dog standing on a loose leash with no double handling and the dog must not show any fear, apprehension or aggressiveness. The same procedure is done for each entry. We must insist on sound temperament to continue the functionality of our breed and, if not sound, must be excused from the ring. The standing pose must exhibit what the standard implies within the specified parameters. Motion is judged as any other breed coming and going, and side gait. With these in mind it is important to read and understand our standard, which is very detailed and should be reviewed before every assignment. We have objective parameters, but some degree of subjectivity must exist in each judge’s hands. HISTORY As its name implies, the breed began in Germany with founders Herr Artur Meyer and Captain Max von Stephanitz. These men were looking to create the perfect, most versatile dog known. Its functions were to be of service to mankind, which today it has lived up to many times over and is a tribute to the breed’s found- ers and the generations after them. Herding stock from different regions in Germany were combined to form the German Shepherd’s origin with the first registered animal whose name was Horand von Grafrath. The German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany, or Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde, was founded in 1899 and still today is recognized as the largest and most influential club of our breed, with membership worldwide and whose numbers have surpassed 100,000 members at times. The largest German Shepherd speciality show in the world is held each year at various locations in Germany to determine the best from entries worldwide. In 2012, this show had 1,531 entries in conformation alone! The classes begin with sexes judged separately and never competing with each other. Unlike our shows, only three classes exist; 12-18 months, 18-24 months and open 24 months and older, with a winner sieger or sieger in each class. Now there are separate classes for proper long-coated dogs. All entries must have hip and elbow certification, and the open classes must have working titles (sch or ipo or hgh-herding) with herding dogs judged separately in conformation. The German Shepherd Dog Club of America was founded in 1913 on the East Coast by a group of influential owners and breeders, and its goals and purpose exist today in the hands of a very devoted board and membership that numbers in the thousands—“the keepers of the breed.” Each year, our national speciality has many events besides conformation; these include obedience as well as herding and many other performance events.

236 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2020

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