Note: This article is one of many dealing with every aspect of the German Shepherd Dog - breeding, training, bloodlines, famous German show winners, and a great deal more, that appear on the author, Dennis Fisher's website. Visit http://www.allaboutgermanshepherddogs.com to see these articles.
CONFLICT BETWEEN SHOW DOG BREEDERS AND WORKING DOG BREEDERS.... CAN IT BE RESOLVED?
Why should there be so much conflict today between breeders who concentrate on breeding working dogs and breeders whose main aim is to breed top quality show specimens?
Isn't it possible to have a German Shepherd dog that is a top show winner and also an animal that can also compete successfully in working trials?
It has happened in the past, why not today?
What follows is an in-depth study and comparison of German Shepherd Dog Show Bloodlines and German Shepherd Working bloodlines in an attempt to find out why this situation has arisen.
by Dennis Fisher.
A huge gap exists today between Show German Shepherds and Working German Shepherds. Breeders of the two groups follow completely different paths.
Is it possible to find a way to bridge this gap?
An important question for all serious German Shepherd Dog breeders
Is it still possible to breed top-quality, dual-purpose German Shepherd Dogs today that can win Breed Shows and also excel in Working Trials?
Many believe it is virtually impossible, at the present time, to breed a dog that can win top honors in the Breed ring and also excel in Working Trials. They feel it is an unrealistic, unattainable goal.
Few would argue, however, that if it could be achieved, it would certainly be very beneficial for the breed.
Are you are someone who feels it is impossible to change the present situation, unsatisfactory as it is? Or are you an optimist, like I am, who believes something can and should be done?The present situation should not be allowed to continue. It is important to find a way to bridge the gap between German Shepherd Dog Breeders who concentrate on breeding show dogs and working dog enthusiasts, who focus on breeding dogs that perform well in Working trials, regardless of their construction.
The “von Stephanitz” objective
When the breed was originally founded by von Stephanitz, more than one hundred years ago in 1899, the declared and primary objective was to breed an animal that was not only physically appealing but also useful.
Von Stephanitz made it abundantly clear that the German Shepherd Dog was essentially a working dog. His views with regard to the importance of breed shows – and he judged a great number in many parts of the world - were just as definite:
“The efficiency for work must count far more with the Shepherd Dog Breeder than the honors of the show ring ..."
The views of von Stephanitz have been so well publicized over the years, most serious breeders of German Shepherds, all over the world, are well aware of the original purpose for which the German Shepherd was bred.
It is an unfortunate fact however, that many breeders today, in their efforts to produce animals that will attain high honors in the show ring, choose to ignore this.
The reason for this is clear and understandable. In order to breed animals that will excel in the present-day highly competitive show ring, it is necessary for these breeders to use, almost exclusively, what are known as “show lines” .
In order to breed an animal with the desired, angulation, shape and the spectacular ground-covering gait necessary to achieve the highest honors, they concentrate on “show lines” and completely ignore “working bloodlines”.
Many serious-minded breeders are aware that, by doing so, they are often obliged to sacrifice a great deal, especially with regard to temperament.
It is an unfortunate fact, that a number of animals that enjoy marked success in the show ring, do not have the bold, self-confident, fearless temperament and natural protective instinct that is such a desirable feature of the breed and an essential requirement of the working Shepherd.
It is true, that in order to achieve high honors at shows, and certainly at the annual German S.V. Bundessiegerzuchtshau - Breed show- males must have SchH3 working qualifications.
But the poor performance of many animals, in the “test of courage” at recent Sieger shows, even though they do have these SchhH 3 qualifications, is an indication that this qualification is not always a reliable indication of the animals courage and protective instinct.
On the other hand, most top working dogs perform exceptionally well in this phase of the working trials. Their temperaments are very much harder and they work with tremendous enthusiasm.
In addition to their tremendous energy, intelligence, self-assurance and willingness to work, most competitors in the Working trials display the very desirable, natural, in-born, protective, guard-dog instinct often lacking in many of the top show dogs
Even though there are many “Show” breeders who admire these qualities and would like to include them in their breeding programs, they are reluctant to do so. The reason for this is because, in appearance, most modern “working dogs” do not conform to the accepted breed standard with regard to conformation, angulation, body proportions and structure.
It is unfortunate that the great majority of Working dog breeders appear to have adopted the policy favored by many architects - “form follows function”. To a very large extent, most working dog breeders ignore the breed standard.
It important to keep in mind that the official Breed standard for the German Shepherd Dog, - unlike that of many other breeds - is not based on arbitrary, aesthetic considerations It is based on purely, practical considerations.
The flying, ground-covering gait, an essential requirement for top breed winners, can only be achieved if the animal possesses the correct angulation both front and rear. This is very clearly described in the breed standard.
The oft-quoted phrase: “If a German Shepherd is built correctly, the animal will move correctly”, may have become something of a cliché, but it is has sound factual basis.
The desired angulation, both front and rear, as clearly described in the standard, is based on mechanical principles. Ideally, it provides for an effortless gait that allows the maximum efficiency of movement with the minimum of effort.
The problem with too many “show breeders” is that they focus so much on gait and the structure necessary to achieve the much-admired harmonious movement, they pay too little attention to the equally important quality of temperament.
Working dog breeders are also at fault, but for a different reason. They place too much emphasis on highly developed, dynamic, extreme, “prey” drive, and ignore many of the basic requirements of a well-structured Shepherd.
As a result, there is at present a very sharp division between those breeders who breed animals intended for the show ring and breeders, who have no interest at all in the show ring, but whose main objective is to breed animals that will excel in working trials.
At the present time, there are virtually no working dogs of note with the physical structure, angulation and appearance to enable them to compete with any degree of success in the breed ring
Neither are there dogs with “show bloodlines” able to compete successfully and achieve high marks in working trials.
This is the unfortunate situation today and it has been so for some time. In recent years no more than a handful of working German Shepherd Dogs have competed in the annual German Sieger “Breed” Shows. And not one of them has been highly placed.
Most breeders of show dogs today are understandably reluctant to use top “working dogs”. And it can be appreciated why most working dog breeders do not use show dogs in their breeding programs.
There are a number of reasons for this unfortunate state of affairs. It has continued for a long time and recently appears to have become even worse
Even though the situation does appear to gloomy and the possibility of bridging the gap between the two groups seems unlikely, it is important to remember that the situation wasn’t always like this. The division was not as marked in the 1980’s and early 1990’s as it is today.
If we can pinpoint the reasons for the deterioration in the situation, it may perhaps be possible to find ways to bring about the necessary changes.
AN EXAMINATION OF RESULTS IN THE “BUNDESSIEGERPRUFUNG” -
(THE ANNUAL WORKING TRIALS) - HELD IN GERMANY EVERY YEAR
An examination of show results in the 1980’s and early 1990’s will reveal that there were a considerable number of dogs with “show bloodlines” that competed in the annual working trials. Some of them did well in these working trials and were well placed.
However, if we examine the results in the last few year, and study the pedigrees of the SIRES of the animals entered, we will find there were very few animals with clearly identifiable “show” bloodlines in the last three generations, were even entered in these Working dog competitions.
If we study the pedigrees of the DAMS of the dogs entered, we will find the name of an occasional well-bred bitch from show lines featured.
This is a very sad reflection on the working ability of our modern breed winner. Why are working dog breeders not making use of them?
It is an interesting exercise to examine some of the photographs of the dogs placed first at recent Bundessiegerprufung (Working dog Competion) held annually - the dogs awarded the Sieger title,
It is also very revealing to examine the pedigrees of these Siegers and note the almost complete absence of top quality breed dogs in the last three generations. On rare occasions the names of breed dogs appear in the fourth generation. How did this situation arise and what can be done to correct it?
Below are details about seven recent working Siegers, starting from last year, 2007,. and going back to 2001.
The winner of the Sieger title in 2007 was Falko vom Wolfsblick.
Sieger 2007 "Falko vom Wolfsblick"
Falko is a handsome, very well pigmented German Shepherd with an outstanding working temperament, but he is certainly not an animal that would do even reasonably well at breed shows. But then his breeder had no intention of breeding a dog that could compete at both levels.
His Sire "Falk von der Wolfen", also an outstanding working dog, was a slightly better breed specimen and once received a V rating, but he was also a dog that would be completely overlooked at important breed shows.
His Dam "Luna Westfalenpross" was also not a well-constructed animal from the point of breed. She only received a "G" rating.
One has to go back in Falko's pedigree four generations to find evidence of even one top quality breed specimen - Wanko v.d. Maaraue.
The winner of the Sieger title in2006 was Caro vom Morfelder Land
Here again, it is clear from the photograph that the sable Caro would certainly not be well placed in a breed show, not because of his colour, but because of his general construction.
Interestingly enough, the conformation, from a breed persepctive, of his Sire Branko vom Salztalblick is reasonably good and he did receive a V grading at one breed show. Branko was sired by a well known producer of quality working dogs Rocky von den Zingelgarten.
Branko vom Salztalblick
Caro's Dam, Buffy vom Morfelder Land was only graded S.G
An examination of the pedigree of Caro reveals no breed dog of any note for five generations.
The winner of the Sieger title in 2005 was Ellex vom Salztalblick, whose breeding was very similar to that of the 2006 winner Caro vom Morfelder Land. He was sired by Rocky von den Zingelgarten.
Examination of the pedigree of Ellex shows one has to go back four generations to find evidence of a dog with a good breed background, Uwe von Kirschental. Uwe himself was not a dog that distinguished himself in the breed ring. He was essentially a fine working dog, but his bloodlines represent an interesting mixture of breed and working stock.
2004 Sieger Falco vom Guldenen Winkel
The winner of the Sieger title in the Bundessiegerprufung for 2004, Falco vom Guldenen Winkel, pictured above, and owned by the world authority on training German Shepherd dogs for competion, Dr. Helmut Raiser. Falco would certainly not do well in a breed show. This is not surprising when one examines his pedigree.
One has to go back to the fifth generation to find the name of a breed dog like "Bernd v. Lierberg" and to the seventh and eight generation to find names of top quality breed dogs like Jalk v. Fohlenbrunnen and Klodo aus der Eremitenklause.
Dr. Raiser has of course been competing in the Bundessiegerprufung for years and has a remarkable success record. On numerous occasions dogs he owned and trained were either placed first or placed in the top ten.
It should be pointed out that Dr. Raiser was not the breeder of these dogs, he was trainer and owner. For example the winner of the Working Dog Sieger title in 1982 was Drechsler vom Warnautal, an exceptionally fine working dog whose winning score was a remarkable 298. The dog was bred by Karl-Heinz Schmitz.
Drechsler's pedigree did not include the names of any well-known breed specimens. He received a S.G. not a V grading and he was not a dog that would have been ignored at a breed show.
There were other dogs however, that Dr. Raiser owned that were very well bred. One particualr dog that comes to mind was Heck v. Godewind. Heck was also an exceptionally good working dog and was placed second at the 1970 Bundessiegerprufung. Bred by Helmut Dreistadt, his breeding represented the very best breed show lines. His Sire was the 1967 Sieger Bodo and his Dam, Gunda von Godewind was a daughter of the 1962 Sieger "Mutz aus der Kuckstrasse".
The winner of the title this year was Attaque von der Adelegg pictured below.
Here again we have a superb working dog, but one that could never hope to be well placed in a breed show. His grading was only G. Attaque's pedigree reveals no breed animals of any note for four generations with the exception of the well-bred "Fanto v. Aminius", It is therefore not surprising that his conformation was not that of a well-bred breed specimen.
The working class Sieger in 2002 was Anosch von Adelmannsfelder
Anosch , with his high wither, good hind angulation and well-developed chest, presents quite an attractive picture in show stance. He is a very well pigmented dark grey sable, a colour that I personally find very attractive even though there are not many to be seen in breed shows. In fact one of my favorite breed dogs - the Reserve Sieger Timmo v. Berrekasten - is similar in colouiring.
His movement from, a breed perspective however, was not satisfactory as his back was very loose and he lacked forward reach and hind thrust.
Even though he was graded Koer class 1, his show rating was only G.
The Sire of Anosch was Boris vom Saltztalblick - bred by one of the best known breeds of working dogs. Boris was graded on Koer class 2 with a show grading of G. His Dam, Beike von der Treppelmuhle was koerclass 1, but also received a G grading.
The pedigree of Anosch shows no well-bred breed dogs of any quality in four generations, with the exception of the Munko v. Hasenborn son Into zum Adelingen Holze, a dog I happened to know.
here again we have an example of of one the best known working kennels - the Salztalblick kennels of Willi Muller - neglecting breed dogs competely in his breeding programme
The winner of the working dog Sieger title in 2001 was Bastin vom Kokeltal.
2001 Working Class Sieger Bastin vo Kokeltal
Bastin was an exceptionally good working dog that was a consistent winner in working trials in Germany and was later imported into the United States where he continued his remarkable successes.
Bastin did receive a Koerclass 1 rating and he was graded S.G but he was not an animal that could have competed in breed shows. His Sire, Bernt vom Bamberger Domplatz who was graded only Koerclass 2 as was his Dam, Fatma vom Teuchwald.
Bastin's pedigree shows one breed show quality animal, Wanko v.d. Maaraue, who appears in the third generation. It is quite amazing how often the name of Wanko - who was V.A. 11 in 1981- appears in the pedigrees of the very best working animals. Why the working breeders didn't use other top breed animals as well as Wanko is something of a mystery.
From this brief survey of the working class winners at recent German National working dog competitions, the Bundessiegerprufungs, from 2001 to 2007,it will be clear that these seven animals - although superb working dogs - were certainly not breed specimens of any merit. Their breeders obviously paid little or no attention to the construction as laid down by the breed standard.
But this was not always the case. Below you will find photographs of some earlier Siegers and highly placed working dogs that were also good breed specimens. The reason for this is because the working dog breeders at the time made use of top breed dogs.
Let us turn back the clock to 1974.
BUNDESSIERGER PRUFUNG 1974
The winner of the Sieger title in 1974 was Enno v. Antrefftal bred by Helmut Merle and owned by one of the most successful trainers in the history of the Working compeition, Fritz Biehler.
It will be clear from this photograph - taken more than thirty years ago - that Enno would not be completely overlooked at a breed show even today. He had an excellent Koer reports, was rated Koer class 1 with a V rating. Enno was later imported to the United States.
If we examine Enno's pedigree it will be clear why he was both an excellent working dog and also a good breed specimen His Sire, discussed elsewhere on this website, was the important V.A. dog - V.A. 8 in 1969 - Frei v.d. Gugge, - a dog with an exceptionally good temperament.
His Dam, "Fee vom appenhainer Forst" was also an exceptionally well-bred animal, whose bloodlines went back to the V.A. rated Jonny v.d. Riedperle, a son of the 1955 Sieger "Alf v. Nordfelsen"
Illustrated below is a photographs of Enno's father, the highly rated Frei v.d. Gugge.
Frei v.d. Gugge
The Sire of Frei. - Chlodo vom Schloss Dalhausen - grandson of one of the pillars of the breed Hein von Richterbach - was also a good show specimen, V 23 at the 1966 Sieger Show.
The Dam of Frei,"Connie v.d. Gugge" was also a V rated animal of excllent breeding. She was a duaghter of the well-known very successful Sire, "Vello zu den Sieben Faulen"
Not only was Enno v. Antrefftal an exceptional working dog himself himself - at the 1974 Bundessiegerprufung when he won the title his score was an incredible 299 - he sired two working Siegers, the 1976 Sieger "Drigon von Fuhrmannshof and the 1978 Sieger "Falk v.d. Eichendorfschule".
1976 Sieger Drigon vom Fuhrmannshof
(Enno was also the grandsire of the 1986 Working Sieger Aco v. Burg Esch, who was sired by the Enno son "Bingo vom Schaumberg". A photograph of Aco appears a little further down.)
Enno also sired the V.A. dog "Roland von der Wohrabrucke, pictured below.
Roland von der Wohrabrucke - V.A. in 1979
In 1983 and for a number of years afterwards, the working dog breeders were still making use of breed dogs.
The Sieger in 1983 was DJANGO VOM CASTELL.
The Sire of Django was Gundo v. Noriswand, bred by the well-known breed judge, Ernst Ruckert. Gundo was a grandson of the 1973 Sieger "Dick von Adeloga".
The Dam of Django was Bessie vom Castell, whose breeding represents a combination of the best show lines and working lines.. Her Sire was the 1971 Working Sieger, Racker vom Itzal, a good Koer class 1 specimen with a V rating and grandson of Jalk v. Fohlenbrunnen.
The winner of the Sieger title in 1984 was Perry vom Bellstein
As can be seen from the photographs, Perry was a good breed specimen in addition to being an excellent working dog. He was a very well bred dog and his pedigree included the names of some leading show dogs. His Sire, "Enno v. Bellstein", who was also a good working dog, was sired by the well known V.A. dog, Anderl v.d. Kleinen Fahl..
"Anderl", who was owned by the well-known breed Judge, Erich Orschler of "Batu" fame, was one of "Mutz v.d. Peltzierfarm"s best sons, from the point of view of conformation and temperament.
Perry's Dam, "Susi v. Lirschental" was equall well bred, coming from a combination of the best breed and working lines.
In 1989 breeders were still not neglecting show suitable show lines, which were being used with discrimination. The winner of the Sieger title was Aco v. Burg Esch, who picture appears below.
Aco, as can be seen from the photograph, was a reasonably good breed specimen, certainly better than many of the dogs competing in working trials today. His Sire was the son of the 1974 Sieger, "Enno v. Antrefftal", referred to previously. His Dam, "Otti v. Bielkopf", was the daughter of an excllent breed dog, "Dock v.d. Kieferseck", V.A. 5 in 1976, and V.A.7 in 1977.
THE SITUATION FROM 1989 TO THE PRESENT DAY.
Every year there have been less and less animals entered in the Bundessiegerprufung whose pedigrees reflect the influence of good quality breed dogs. Sometimes the name of a bitch from well-known show bloodlines appears in the pedigrees of the Dams of these dogs.
THE TITLE OF UNIVERSAL SIEGER
This was a title introduced in 1997 with the idea of encouraging breeders of show dogs to enter the working dog competition. It is certain an excellent idea but judging from the breed quality of the dogs that have won the title, this has not been the success that was hoped for.
The winner of the “Universalsieger” title last year in 2006 – a title, introduced in 1997, and awarded to the highest placed dog in the Working trials also entered in the Breed Show – was “EYK AUS DER EICHENDORFF-SIEDLUNG”.
EYK AUS DER EICHENDORFF-SIEDLUNG
“Eyk” was placed 74th in the working trials. He was placed 139th in the Breed show with a grading of only S.G.
An examination of the pedigree of “Eyk” will reveal the reason for his poor placing in the breed ring. There is no evidence of “breed show” bloodlines for at least four generations in the pedigree of his Sire or his Dam.
His Sire, “Tom van 't Leefdaalhof”, was a very good working dog himself and sired excellent working stock. “Tom” is himself the offspring of excellent working dogs bred by the well-known “Haus Antwerpa” kennels that specialize in working stock and appear to have no interest in the breed ring.
The Dam of “Eyk”, “Fenzy vom Fegelhof” also comes from very well known working stock. Her sire was the very well known “Troll von der bosen Nachbarschaft”, an excellent working dog and exceptional sire of many highly-rated working dogs.
One has to go back a long way in the pedigree of “Troll von der bosen Nachbarschaft” to find an important show dog, “Mutz v.d. Peltzierfarm”.
Is it any wonder that the 2006 “Universalsieger” “Eyk" was not able to achieve a higher position in the breed ring?
An examination of dogs that competed in the “working trials” in the 1980’s and early 1990’s will show that the situation was very different in those years.
As we will see, when we examine details of these earlier working trials, there were a number of dogs entered that were sired by very well known “show” dogs with excellent “show bloodlines”.
WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THIS MARKED CHANGE IN THE BREEDING PRACTICES OF THE DIFFERENT GROUPS THAT TOOK PLACE OVER THE YEARS?
Why do present day Working Dog breeders not make use of top show dogs?
One reason may be the fact that in recent years there have been very few dogs from “show” bloodlines entered in working trials. The working dog breeders have therefore not had much opportunity to assess the temperament and working ability of show dogs.
In addition, the limited number of dogs with “show bloodlines” that did compete in the Working Trials during the past few years, did not - with very few exceptions- do particularly well.
This may be a possible reason for the decision of working breeders to ignore animals with show bloodlines completely and concentrate on “pure” working lines.
Another reason could be that Working Dog breeders, attending breed shows, noticed a marked deterioration in the temperament and “fighting spirit” of some of the winning dogs..
Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the split between the two groups has been to the detriment of the breed.
Both groups are to blame for the situation.
Far too many “show” breeders have done a disservice to the breed by attaching too little importance to basic temperament requirements; while the majority of “working dog” breeders have also harmed the breed by ignoring structural faults.
In spite of the negative attitude held by many with regard to the possibility of breeding a German Shepherd that is a good breed specimen and also a good working dog, there are optimists who believe it is goal that can still be achieved
An examination of dogs with “show bloodlines”, that competed successfully in the working trials in earlier years may help to identify which “show bloodlines” to use in order to breed dual purpose dogs.
It may be unrealistic and over-ambitious to expect to breed an animal, so exceptional in both structure and temperament, that it could become a dual ‘Sieger”, the top breed specimen of the year and also the best working dog! - (after all, there has never been a Nobel prize winner who was also an Olympic Gold Medalist!) - but there is no reason why it should not be possible to breed very good dual purpose dogs.
There is no reason why we should not be able to breed show dogs with far better temperaments and working dogs with much better conformation.
Our objective should be to breed a German shepherd that has the first-class, intelligent, responsive temperament necessary to do very well in Working trials, and also the excellent construction to be very well placed in Breed show ring.
The first step towards achieving this goal, should, I believe, be a detailed examination of the pedigrees of dogs with show bloodlines that were very highly placed in earlier working trials.
This will help us identify the names of dogs whose names appear most often in the pedigrees of leading Working dogs. Clearly these were show animals who, in addition to being top show specimens, were also known to have exceptionally good temperaments.
In our future breeding programs, it is the bloodlines of these animals, and the best of their present-day progeny, on which we should focus our attention.
Even in the present unsatisfactory situation, where there is such a distinct split between the two groups, there are a number of positive signs. There are a small number of “show dog” breeders who are very discriminating and do make use of certain selected “working” dogs in their breeding program.
For example, Peter Jansen, founder of the old established “Pe-Ja” kennel, is currently using the very well-constructed dog, grey dog he bred, “Benny v. Haus Pe-Ja” - coming from predominantly working lines - on his bitches, bred from the very best “show bloodlines”.
Benny v. Haus Pe-Ja
“Benny”, a very good working dog, and also a fine show specimen, was placed a very commendable V49 at the 2006 “Sieger” show. "Benny v. Haus Pe-Ja's" Sire, the "V" rated, "Metin v. Stadfeld", was also a well constructed dog, with many excellent qualities.
There are also a number of other old-established "show" kennels, who are anxious to preserve the reputation they have built up over the years for breeding show quality stock with very strong temperaments. They make a point of using excellent show quality dogs- not necessarily V.A. animals - but dogs known to have particularly good temperaments.
The "Arlettt" kennels of Margit and Mathijs van Dorssen, from the time they were established as far back as 1972, have also paid special attention to temperament, more especially because they were personally involved in show training and also training for working trials themselves. One of of the first dogs Margit van Dorssen trained, "Elke von der Rosenmatt", sired by "Canto von der Wienerau" was a bitch with a very strong temperament that also did very well in breed shows.
They have continued to the present day with their policy of making sure the dogs they use for breeding are not only excellent show specimens, but also have very good working temperaments.
It is not surprising their outstanding 1995 Sieger, "Ulk von Arlett", was not only a superb show with an exceptionally good temperament, but also the Sire of many dogs with strong temperaments. This did not happen by chance. It was, to a large extent, due to "Ulk's" breeding. An examination of his pedigree will reveal it represented planned breeding from a continuous line of very good bitches that were not only good show specimens, but also had excellent temperaments.
As we shall see, when we examine dogs with show bloodlines that competed in the annual working trials in Germany, a number of dogs sired by "Ulk" did very well.
I have personal experience of "Ulk's" ability as a sire of animals with excellent working temperaments. A dog I owned and trained some years ago, an "Ulk" son, was one of the best working dogs I have ever owned and one of the easiest to train.
"Ulk" was such an important Sire of dogs that did well both in breed shows and working trials, his pedigree will be discussed at length later.
Another example of a very old established Kennel that bred top quality dual purpose animals many years ago and continue to do so today, is the "Maaraue" kennels of Alfred and Ellen Muhlbauer.
Wanko von der Maaraue
In 1978 they bred the very important dual purpose. show dog and working dog, "Wanko von der Maaraue" , V.A. 11 in 1978. "Wanko" was sired by "Boss vom Amalienhof", a very good show dog and excellent source of working bloodlines. The grandsire of "Boss" was the legendary "Bernd v. Lierberg" whose name appears in the pedigrees of the great majority of the leading working dogs today.
Boss v. Amlienhof
"Wanko's" dam, "Oschy v.d. Maaraue", and also his grand-dam, "Ceyla v.d. Maaraue", whelped as far back as 1971, were also bred by Ellen and Alfred Muhlbauer. Here, once again, we see evidence of breeding from a continuous line of bitches with excellent temperaments.
"Wanko" was used extensively by both show and working breeders. The Muhlbauer's continue today to make use of quality show dogs that have very strong temperaments in addition to excellent construction.
An example of this policy is to be seen in the breeding of their present stud dog, "Focus von der Maaraue", graded "V" excellent at the Sieger Shows in 2004 and 2005. "Focus" is a dog with a particularly good temperament whose outstanding bite-work in the test of courage at these Sieger Shows, stood out
"Focus" was sired by "Alf vom Laubenheimer Ried", an excellent show specimen - V 22 at the Sieger Show in 2000 - and also a dog with a very strong temperament. "Alf" was sired by the Reserve Sieger in 1996, "Cash vom Wildsteiger Land", a dog whose bite work in the test of courage was so dynamic the spectators burst into spontaneous applause.
The dam of "Alf vom Laubenheimer Ried" was "Keggi von der Maaraue", a bitch bred by the Muhlbauers. Her breeding represents five generations of "Maaraue" breeding.
Recently Ellen and Alfred Muhlbauer used an exciting young dog, "Tiras vom Roten Feld", V 22 at the most recent 2006 Sieger Show. He is a dog that combines excellent conformation with very strong temperament.
The above are three examples of old-established Kennels that continue to regard temperament as one of the most important factors in the breeding of a quality German Shepherd Dog. There are others, but not enough kennels at present are paying sufficient attention to temperament, particularly the natural protective instinct that should be the hall-mark of the German Shepherd Dog that von Stephanitz envisaged.
THE S.V. IS WELL AWARE OF THE SPLIT BETWEEN 'SHOW DOG BREEDERS' AND 'WORKING DOG BREEDERS'.
The S.V. is very well aware of the undesirable rift been the breed and working fraternity. In his annual address in 2002, Peter Messler, President of the German S.V. at the time – the controlling body for the breed in Germany, made a special point of drawing attention to this widening gulf between breeders of “show” and “working” stock.
It came as no surprise that Mr. Messler made his plea for some solution to the problem. As he pointed out, it was not a situation that had suddenly come about. It had been in existence for many years. But he drew attention to the fact that the division between the two groups was growing.
Unfortunately Mr. Messler’s plea appears has fallen on deaf ears. The conflicting interests of these two groups were too deeply entrenched for any dramatic changes in policy. In fact since 2002 the division between “show” people and “working” people has grown every greater.
In 2002 it was still possible to find a few animals competing in the annual working trials held in Germany – known as the S.V. Bundessiegerprufung – with “show” bloodlines.
But, as has already been mentioned, in recent years there have been fewer and fewer dogs with “breed show” pedigrees that competed in the working trials
THE 2006 'BUNDESSIEGERPRUFUNG' - WORKING TRIALS.
An examination of the pedigrees of every one of the more than one hundred dogs competing at the 2006 working Trials - the Bundessiegerprufung - will reveal it is necessary to go back at least three generations – in many instances even six and more generations - to find any evidence of a well-known “show dog”.
Obviously Messler’s plea has indeed been disregarded.
Is there any chance that the trend may be reversed? Many are resigned to the fact that the situation is unlikely to change. But in every field – the breeding of German Shepherd Dogs as well – there are optimists. I count myself as one of them. There may be a glimmer of hope!
It should be the goal of all serious German Shepherd Dog breeders, irrespective of whether they are breed “show” dog or “working” dogs, to give meaning to Von Stephanitz’s ideal of a dog that combines, strength, versatility, firmness of nerves, intelligence, willingness to work, and all the attractive physical features that we have come to expect in the modern German Shepherd dog.
For the detailed examination that will follow, we will go back as far 1982 in our survey of dogs with show bloodlines that competed successfully in working trails.
Before we continue with this survey, it is interesting to go back somewhat further than 1982 – to 1967 – when the German S.V. became aware there were problems with the “fighting spirit” of the top show dogs and decided to take positive steps to remedy this.
If you happen to have be an “old timer”, involved in German Shepherd world for a good many years – as I have been – or if you are a serious student of the history of the development of the breed – you will know that in 1967 it was decided to conduct the first “test of courage” at the annual Sieger show.
BODO VON LIERBERG
At this 1967 Sieger Show the winner and Sieger was “Bodo v. Lierberg”. Not only was “Bodo” a very powerfully built dog, with excellent gait, his temperament was superb.
A very good friend of mine, Erich Renner, imported Bodo into America soon after he had won the Sieger title. Erich, an experienced all-round, handler and trainer and German Shepherd Dog enthusiast, who was also a Director of the “Seeing Eye Dog Foundation” considered “Bodo”, a dog with the soundest temperament he had ever owned.
Erich Renner, unfortunately now deceased, told me how much he regretted the fact that “Bodo’s value was never fully recognized or appreciated in America. “Bodo” could have made an enormous difference to Shepherds in America, especially with regard to temperament and firmness of ligaments.
“Bodo”, quite different in structure to the extremely angulated dogs winning at Shows in the States at the time, never did as well at breed Shows as Erich had hoped. As a result he was little used.
At the 1967 Sieger Show, a litter brother Bernd v. Lierberg, was placed V.A. 3.
BERND V. LIERBERG
Although not the equal of Bodo as a show dog, Bernd was a dog with an exceptionally fine working temperament. The Germans recognized this quality and placed Bernd higher than would normally have been the case.
It is to their credit that they did. A vast number of the very best working dogs in Germany over the past few years, and still today, are descendants of Bernd v. Lierberg.
It is interesting to examine the pedigree of Bodo and his litter brother Bernd v. Lierberg. Their Sire, was Vello zu den Sieben Faulen , bred by the very successful Kennels of Heinz Roper. “Vello” was 67 cms. and oversize, but otherwise a very good specimen, with a very sound temperament, and an excellent Sire. He was a descendant, through his dam “Grill zu den Siebern Faulen”, of the famous pillar of the breed Hein v. Richterbach.
But the value of Bernd as a working dog was probably more due to the influence of his Dam – the V.A. bitch “Betty v. Eningsfeld”, a daughter of a famous working dog Sieger “Arko v. Riedersknapp”.
Breeders of working dogs in Germany were of course aware of the value of the “Bernd” bloodlines and make full use of him. It is a great pity that the “show” breeders in Germany did not make sufficient use of Bernd to any great extent. This was probably because they were not sufficiently impressed with his show quality.
Had his better constructed brother, “Bodo”, remained in Germany, it is highly likely that he would have been used to a considerable extent by the show fraternity. He could have left his mark to a far greater extent on the breed in Germany
“Bodo” did sire a number of excellent sons and daughters in Germany before he departed to the States. He was certainly a very impressive animal, with a superb temperament and many excellent qualities. In my opinion, American breeders criticized “Bodo’s lack of angulation and minor structural deficiencies far too harshly,
Insufficient attention was paid to his excellent qualities, such as muscular strength, firmness of ligaments and of course, ideal temperament. For this reason I believe useful purpose will be served by listing some of his important sons and daughters.
BODO VON LIERBERG PROGENY.
JOLL V. BEMMHOLT
One of the most important dogs that “Bodo” sired was “Joll v. Bemmholt: “Joll” was a very handsome, dark dog with a very strong temperament, highly placed V5 by Dr. Funk at the 1968 Sieger Show.
My friend, the well-known English breeder and Judge, Percy Elliot, recognized, “Joll’s qualities and breeding potential and imported him to England. Even though he was quite different to current winning dogs at the time, he enjoyed a fair amount of success in the Show ring and sired some very good sons and daughters in England.
He also left some fine sons and daughters in Germany, including “Hardt vom Spruhturm”. V.A. 8 in 1970 and V.A. 7 in 1971. Hardt’s pedigree is very interesting indeed, because his Dam, “Anka vom Junglingsquell” was daughter of a famous working dog, “Mike vom Stalhammer”.
“BREDO VOM LICHTBURGHOFF”
The real value of “Joll” however, lay in the fact that he was the Sire of “Bredo vom Lichtburghoff” V.A 10 in 1969, under Dr. Rummel.
“Bredo” in turn sired a bitch that was to have an enormous influence on the breed in Germany, “Wilma von der Kisselschlucht”. “Wilma” proved to be a remarkably good producing bitch.
“Wilma”, when mated to “Canto v.d. Wienerau” produced another exceptionally good producing bitch in “Flora vom Konigsbruch”. She was the dam of some fine animals, such as “Dax v.d. Wienerau”, “Nick v.d. Wienerau” “Reza von Haus Beck” and a host of others.
“Wilma’s” greatest value to the breed however was the fact that, when mated to the important V.A. dog, son of “Quanto v.d. Wienerau” and excellent producer, “Lasso di Val Sale, she produced the X litter “Arminius”, a litter that was to exert an enormous influence on the breed.
THE 'Q' LITTER ARMINIUS
This was a litter of superb quality that included “Xaver von Arminius”. Mated to the “Nick v.d. Wienerau, daughter “Palme v. Wildsteiger Land”, “Xaver” was the Sire of one of the most important litters in the history of the modern German Shepherd, the “Q” litter Arminius, that included, “Quando” “Quana” and “Quino”.
“Bodo” sired a number of other important “Bodo” sons, such as the V1 dog at the 1969 Sieger Show, “Bodo von der Paderquelle”, “Verus von der Ulmer Felswand”, also imported to England by Percy Elliot, and exceptionally good working dogs such as “Hasso vom Lahlblick”’ “Alf v. der Haus-Bockler Strasse: “Heck von der Godewind” and many others.
“Bodo” was also the sire of the V.A. bitches, “Malve v, Grubenstoltz”, V.A 5 in 1969 and “Biene zu den dreizen Buchen” V.A. 7 in 1966.
Because I also admired “Bodo” tremendously, as soon as I was able to find a “Bodo” son reasonably near my home, I took advantage of this opportunity to use him
The dog I used, the “Bodo” son, “Condor vom Luffe Park” had the additional advantage of being a daughter of “Karla vom Hexenkolk”, a daughter of the “Siegerin” “Assie vom Hexenkolk”.
“Karla” was sired by “Gero v. Haus Elkemnann”, an animal with far more angulation than most of his contempories. V.5 at the 1962 Sieger Show, he was far ahead of his time and proved to be an important producer.
Not surprisingly, the litter sired by “Condor v. Luffe Park” was of very good quality and exceptionally good temperament.
The reason I have drawn particular attention to the progeny of “Bodo v. Lierberg” is because I believe that by using animals with his bloodlines - even though it does mean researching quite a good back - could be very useful in producing animals with exceptionally good temperament, working ability and firmness of ligaments. It could help to bridge the gap between show animals and working animals.
AN EXAMINATION OF DOGS WITH “SHOW” BLOODLINES THAT COMPETED IN THE ANNUAL BUNDESSIEGERPRUFUNG - “WORKING TRIALS” - FROM 1982.
The detailed examination of dogs with “show bloodlines” competing in Working Trials that follows, has been done in an attempt to identify the particular “show bloodlines” that were favored by breeders at the time wanting to breed “dual purpose” dogs.
The working dog breeders at the time were obviously aware which show dogs had first class temperaments as well as excellent construction.
It will be clear from this examination that certain names keep re-appearing. These were obviously dogs that had achieved high honors in the breed ring and were also known to be animals with very strong temperaments.
This information could prove useful to present day breeders who consider it is still possible to breed quality dual-purpose dogs.
Obviously research will be necessary to trace suitable present-day progeny of these dual-purpose dogs of the past. But it is research that could prove well worthwhile.
1982 is a useful date to start our exercise. It represents twenty-five years of breeding, during which time there have, of course, been a number of changes. In spite of these changes, the fundamentals remain very much the same.
A good German Shepherd must still be a strong, athletically built animal, able to move with powerful, ground-covering strides. It must be a versatile, all round, working animal capable of performing the wide range of duties for which it was originally bred.
Nothing has changed with regard to temperament requirements. The German Shepherd, according to the standard, should have steady nerves, be alert and interested in his surroundings, good natured, courageous, with a keen, protective instinct.
This was the general standard by which dogs were judged in 1982 and it is still intended to be the basis of judging today, in 2007.
1982 ‘SIEGER’ NATAN V.D. PELTZIERFARM.
The winner of the “Sieger” title in 1982 was “Natan v.d. Peltzierfarm”, who was also the winner of the title the previous year in 1981. If one compares photograph of Natan taken in 1982, with photographs of recent “Siegers”, there are clearly certain differences, particularly with regard to front and hind angulation.
But the differences in appearance are not so marked as the differences one often sees today, between certain dogs with “working” bloodlines and some leading show dogs.
Let us return once more to our discussion with regard to the possible reasons for the striking differences in the physical appearance once sees nowadays of winners of breed titles and winners of working dog titles.
It is a difficult to determine what the exact reasons are and how they came about, but by examining some of the top dogs in both groups over the years, we will attempt to provide some insight into how the differences developed .
If we examine the pedigree of “Natan” the 1982 Sieger, who was also the Sieger in 1981, we will see that his Sire, Quax vom Bubenlachring, his grand-sire Reza von der Wienerau and his great-grandsire, the important pillar of the breed “Quanto von der Wienerau” were all top show winners, all V.A. dogs.
“Natan” was clearly the result of concentrated “show” bloodlines. It is not surprising that he was so highly regarded and became a double-Sieger.
It so happened that “Natan”, in spite of his excellent breeding, unfortunately did not turn out to be a very dominant sire. Although he was used a great deal, he did not breed any animals of particular note. But that is another story! The riddle of pre-potency is a fascinating subject. It will be dealt with in an article I will write shortly.
What follows in the next few pages is an examination of the pedigrees of dogs of “show bloodlines” that performed well at the annual working trials over the past twenty five years.
If you are the type of person who finds the detailed study of German Shepherd Dog pedigrees interesting and informative - as many serious German enthusiasts do - you will find this section instructive and probably helpful.
If however, you find statistical information of this kind boring and uninteresting , I suggest you skip this section and go straight to the final section that follows.
This Section is Summary of the main points raised in this in-depth analysis of how the problems between show breeders and working dog breeders arose. It also deals with a detailed analysis of show and working dog bloodlines in an attempt to identify which “show” bloodlines are the more likely to be assistance in breeding a “dual purpose” dog.
You will also find positive suggestions, in this Summary, how the problem can be resolved and the unfortunate situation improved.
DOGS WITH ‘SHOW’ BLOODLINES HIGHLY PLACED IN THE 1982 WORKING TRIALS.
“GRANDO V. SCHLOSS CRAILSHEIM”
The third placed dog in the 1982 working trials, was “GRANDO V. SCHLOSS CRAILSHEIM”, who achieved a very impressive score of 295 points out of a possible 300. He was bred from the finest show bloodlines!
When considers how competitive these working trials are, where the difference in a marks can result in the loss of several positions, it will be appreciated what a creditable performance being placed third really is.
“Grando’s sire was “Datscha vom Patersweg”, V.A.6, at the 1974 Sieger Show; V.A. 4 at the 1975 Sieger Show, and Italian Sieger in the same year.
Datscha vo Patersweg
His Dam, “Anka vom Colico Hermes”, was a daughter of an important breed dog “Pascha von der Bayern Waldperle”, V.A. 6 at the 1972 Sieger Show.
“VELLO VOM HAUS RUIKEN”
The sixth placed dog was “Vello vom Haus Ruiken”, sired by Vello von Unterhain”, an important “Quanto v. Wienerau” son.
Vello vom Unterhain
“NATS VON AROLSER HOLTZ”
The eleventh placed dog was “Nats von Arolser Holtz”, bred by a kennel that still active today in the working field and one that has consistently made use of certain, selected “breed” dogs over the years.
It is interesting to trace the breeding pattern over the years of the founder of the “von Arolser Holtz” Kennels, Horst Sitzmann, still very active today. If Horst Sitzmann decides to us a dog with “show bloodlines” you can be absolutely certain sure this dog has a very strong temperament.
Natz sired a considerable number of top working dogs and was used by many of the important working dogs kennels at the time, many of which for example the Jungen Hansen and Emsbogen kennels are still active today
WIENERAU DOGS WITH WORKING TEMPERAMENTS.
It is interesting to reflect on the fact that “Nats” was sired by “Ulrich von der Wienerau”, bred by Walter Martin. The name of the late Walter Martin is always associated with the development of the “modern” show-type, German Shepherd. This is quite understandable as he played an enormous role in the emergence of the glamorous type of dog dog winning at shows today with marked hind angulation, greater height at wither, longer croups and sloping backs.
A great many of the younger breeders today are under the impression that all "Wienerau" bred dogs have temperaments that make them quite unsuitable for working competitions. This of course is quite erroneous.
An examination of the pedigree of Ulrich v.d Wienerau" the Sire of "Nats" , presents an interesting exercise. It represents an interesting combination of the very best show winning breed dogs who also happened to have exceptionally good temperaments.
ULRICH VON DER WIENERAU
"Ulrich" was sired by an excellent dog, "Olden v. Asterplatz" V17 in 1970.
Olden v. Asterplatz
In addition to being a fine show specimen. Olden was also a dog with an excellent temperament who passed this on to many of his progeny. He was the Sire of the winner of the 1977 Working dog competition ("Budessiegerpruffing") "Eck vom Charlottenhof" who achieved a remarkable high score of 298.
The Sire of "Olden", "Nico v. Haus Beck", in addition to being a first class top show specimens, V2 a the Sieger show in 1967, also proved to be an excellent sire. He was used by the leading show kennels, including the von Haus Schuetting kennels of Dr. Funk. Nico produced top show dogs like "Rebel v. Haus Schuetting" V.A. 7 at the 1969 Sieger Show and "Fedor v. Grunen Luckener"
Nico von Haus Beck
Not only did "Nico v. Haus Beck" produce top show specimens, he was also used by the leading working dog kennels such as the well-known "Bungalow" of Manfred Schmidt. A "Nico v. Haus Beck" son "Nanouc v. Bungalow" was a top working dogs.
"Nanouc v. Bungalow"
The Sire of "Nico v. Haus Beck" was the 1961 Sieger "Veus v.d. Starrenberg", the son of the 1955 Sieger "Alf v. Nordfelsen.
1961 Sieger "Veus v.d. Starrenberg"
From this survey of some of top show dogs, it is clear that there were many occasions in the past when these dogs were used by both breeders of show dogs and breeders of working dogs. Although the objectives were different, both groups of breeders were satisfied with the results they were able to obtain.
The construction of many of the top working dogs of the past was infinitely better then than it is today.
This will be obvious when one compares the illustrations of many of the top working dogs of previous years with the winning working dogs today.
It is certainly true that from the point of construction there has been a marked improvement in the modern top winning German Shepherd as compared with previous top winners. But can one say the same with regard to temperament.
Before we continue examining the pedigrees and photographs of some of the top working dogs of previous years, it is appropriate to make some comment about dogs bred by Walter Martin with the "Wienerau" prefix.
The name of the late Walter Martin and his “Wienerau” kennels will come up a great deal in our examination of dogs with “show” bloodlines that competed in Working Trials.
WALTER MARTIN AND THE ‘WIENERAU” KENNELS
Walter Martin, who I was fortunate to meet on a number of occasions, was somewhat of a controversial character. Some found him blunt, opinionated and off-hand. I personally found him forthright, outspoken, exceptionally knowledgeable and very pleasant.
There appears to an impression by some people in the German Shepherd Dog world, that Walter Martin was too a large extent responsible for the present huge gap that now exists between “show people” and “working people”
Whether there is any basis for this belief will be discussed at some length later
Continuing with our survey of dogs, highly placed at the 1982 Working Dog trials, with the bloodlines of top breed dogs. .
INGO VOM UNTERHAIN The 13th placed dog, “Ingo vom Unterhain” was sired by “Vello vom Unterhain”, whose name has been mentioned above. The Dam of “Ingo”, “Xenia vom Unterhain”, “Xenia vom Unterhain” had bloodlines of the 1972 breed “Sieger” “Marko v. Cellerland.
MARLYL V. HIL-KA-FORST
The 15th placed dog “Marlyl v. Hil-Ka-Forst” was sired by “Werro v. Kopenkamp”, a son of “Gauner v. Grundel”, V.A. 8 in 1976 and V.A. 6 in 1978, with the bloodlines of “Jonny v.d. Rheinhalle” and “Mutz Peltzierfarm”
The Dam , of "Maryly', “Walkure v. Lauerhof” was a grand-daughter of the 1973 Sieger, “Dick v. Adeloga”, one of “Quanto v. Wienerau”’s most important sons.
1983 WORKING TRIALS.
The situation in 1983 was very much the same as 1982. Here again there were a number of highly-placed dogs in the annual “Working Trials”whose bloodlines indicated showed the very strong influence of “show” animals.
The influence of “Quanto von der Wienerau” and “Canto von der Wienerau” was very apparent.
1984 WORKING TRIALS..
“JONN V. FICHTENSCHLAG”
"Jonn", bred by Kennels now very prominent in the “breed” show ring, was sired by by an important working dog, "Wicko v. Meran" whose bloodlines go back go back to to the show winner, "Jalk v. Fohlenhbrunnen", V.A.2 in 1963.
The Dam of “Jonn v. Fichtenschlag”, was “Hefta v. Fichtenschlag”.
“Hefta” was a daughter of the important show dog, “Jonny v.d. Rheinhalle” V1 at the 1973 Sieger Show. “Jonny” was a son of “Mutz v.d. Peltzierfarm”, one of the most successful show dogs of his time and regarded as one of the “pillars” of the breed. Her pedigree also includes the name of "Bernd v. Lierberg".
“KANTO VON DER STROTHEIDE”
The dog placed 4th in 1984, “KANTO VON DER STROTHEIDE” was another dog that came from very prominent show dog bloodlines. He was sired by “Apoll v. Haus Tigges”, V.A. 4 in 1981.
“Apoll” was a “Caesar v. Arminius” son. “Caesar”, litter brother of the 1978 Sieger “Canto v. Arminius” was sired by “Canto v.d. Wienerau” out of a Quanto v. Wienerau” daughter.
The Dam of “Apoll” had the bloodlines of the 1972 Sieger “Marko v. Cellerland”.
“JIMMY V. TEUFELKREIS”
The fifth placed dog in the working trials in 1984 was “Jimmy v. Teufelkreis”.
Here again the influence of “Canto v.d. Wienerau” is evident. “Jimmy” was sired by “Veit von Haus Koder” a son of a leading show winner “Asslan v.Klammle”, a very influential son of “Canto
“ARRAS V. DILLINGER RATHAUS”
The 9th placed dogs was “Arras v. Dillinger Rathaus”, sired by “Vax v.d. Bimsgrube, a very well known “show dog” from the kennel founded by the highly respect breed Judge, Oster.
“Vax was a son of the important V.A. dog, “Zorro v. Haus Beck” whose bloodlines also reflected the influence of “Canto v.d. Wienerau”. The dam of “Arras” was a daughter of the 1978 Sieger “Canto v. Arminius” – a “Canto v. Wienerau” son.
1985 WORKING DOG TRIALS.
“BLITZ V. DIETERSDORFER WEG”
The dog placed third was “Blitz v. Dietersdorfer Weg”, a son of the 1980 “Sieger” “Axel von Hainsterbach”, one of the exceptionally prepotent sire, “Lasso di val Sole’s best sons.
The pedigree of “Axel” is interesting. In addition to having an exceptionally good breed dog “Lasso” as his Sire, his Dam – “Paet von Blue-Iris” was very well bred. She was a grand-daughter of the Double Sieger – 1988 and 1989 – “Heiko vom Oranien Nassau”.
The pedigree of “Paet” also reflected the influence of two very important dogs with exceptionally strong temperaments, “Frei v.d. Gugge” – V.A 7 in 1970 and the 1967 Sieger “Bodo v. Lierberg”, who has been discussed at length. The name of "Frei" appears in the pedigrees of numerous top working dogs.
“KANTO V.D. STROTHEIDE”
The dog placed 10th was “Kanto v.d. Strotheide” a son of the V.A. dog “Apoll v, Haus Tigges” mentioned previously. The Dam of “Kanto” was a daughter of the Reserve Sieger in 1982, “Grando v. Patersweg”.
It is interesting to note that the handler of “Kanto” at these 1985 Trials was the very well known, expert handler Fritz Biehler, whose dogs have been in the top positions in the Working Trials for years. He is still active! His dog “Caro vom Morfelder Land” was Sieger at the last trials, in 2006.
“OLF V. FORSTER HAUS”
The 14th placed dog was “Olf v. Forster Haus”, the Ulan von Adeloga son with whom we have already dealt.
The 18th placed dog was “Arras” with whom we have also dealt.
There were a number of other highly placed dogs in the working trials this year sired by animals with “show” bloodlines. Probably the most interesting however was the dog placed 23rd. “SIRO V. SEEBLICK” This may seem a fairly low position, not really worthy of comment. It must remembered however, that to be placed twenty third in a field as competitive as this is certainly commendable.
“SIRO V. SEEBLICK”
This dog “Siro v. Seeblick” was sired by “Roland von der Wohrabrucke” who was V.A. 13 in 1979. What is interesting about “Roland” is he was sired by one of the most influential dogs in the development of the “working lines” “Enno v. Antrefftal”,
If one examines the pedigrees of current working dog winners, one will find the name of “ENNO V. ANTREFFTAL” coming up regularly.
The Dam of “Siro” was sired by an excellent show specimen Kuno v. Weidtweg”,
Kuno v. weidtweg was one of Jonny v.d. Rheinhalle”s most important sons. It is difficult to understand why more use was not made of this very well bred dog “Siro v. Seeblick” was also a very good show specimen, having been placed a very creditable V 50 at the 1985 Sieger Show.
1986 WORKING TRIALS
Here once again , some of the highly placed dogs in the competition were bred from “Show bloodlines”.
“CLIFF V. MITTELFRANKISCHEN LAND”
The dog placed 6th, “Cliff v. Mittelfrankischen Land” was sired by the important show dog, “Fanto v. Bayerischen wald”, V 2 in 1978, a “Caesar v. Arminius” son.
“Cliff”s Dam "Ivonne v. Unterhain” had two famous “show” Grandfathers, “Quanto v. Wienerau” and “Marko v. Cellerland”.
The dog placed 8th, “Olf v. Forster Haus” with whom we have already dealt, was sired by “Ulan v. Adeloga”, a descendant of both “Quanto” and “Canto v.d. Wienerau”. The Dam of “Olf”, “Umsa vom Bungalow” reflected the influence of a very strong working line, that of the famous “Bungalow” working dog kennel.
Here is perhaps a clue to the achievement of our desired objective. of breeding quality dual purpose dogs.
It may be a very good idea to use a stud dog, from show lines, known to have a very good strong character, and mate him to a bitch from working lines that is a reasonably good specimen, but not necessarily a “V” rated show bitch.
Dog number 10 was “Arras”, we referred to earlier.
“ANDO V. BURGWINKEL”
Dog Number 15 was “Ando v. Burgwinkel”, sired by “Quane v. Schornfelsen”, a kennel that continues to breed top quality show dogs to the present day. “Quane” was another “Canto von der Wienerau: grandson.
“KIMON V. HOENINGHAUSER LAND”
Dog number 17 was “Kimon v. Hoeninghauser Land” sired by the V.A. dog, “Veit v. Koniigsbruch”, V.A. 3 in 1982, a “Quanto v.d. Wienerau” grandson.
1987 WORKING TRIALS.
“CLIFF VOM HUHNEGRAB
1987 saw the emergence of an interesting new name in the working dog scene. “Cliff vom Huhnegrab”, bred by Heinz Scheerer, and sired by the well-known V.A dog, “Derby v, Adeloga”, V.A. 12 in 1985.
Derby’s pedigree includes three important names, “Quanto v.d. Wienerau”, “Canto v.d Wienerau” and “Marko . Cellerland”.
“Cliff” was placed a very high 3rd. in the Working Trials that year
Because of his excellent bloodlines, structure and dual capacity performance as an excellent show specimen and also a top quality working dog, “Cliff “ was a very popular stud. He was well used by both breed and working breeders and sired some excellent stock.
Not only did he come from excellent show stock from his Sire, “Derby v. Adeloga”, his Dam, “Venja von. Wildsteigerland” was a daughter of the Reserve Siegerin in 1985, “Ulme v. Wildsteigerland”, litter sister to the famous “Uran
Quite apart from being an excellent working dog “Cliff” was a very fine show specimen, placed V61 the following year at the 1988 Sieger Show.
In 1987 the fourth placed dog was “Olf”, the “Ulan” son we referred to earlier.
The 5th placed dog was “Cliff v. Mittelfrankischen Land” – the “Fanto” son we referred to earlier.
WICO VON DER BERGNAPPE
The dog placed 7th “Wico von der Bergnappe”, was also sired by a V.A show dog, “Benny von Heideloh” placed V.A. 7 at the 1983 Sieger Show.
Here again the influence of “Canto v.d. Arminius”, “Canto v.d. Wienerau”s most famous son, is very much in evidence,
“Canto v. Arminius”, the 1978 “Sieger” was the grandsire of “Wico”s” Dam, “Banka vom Wendelsheim”. The Sire of “Wico” “Benny” was a grandson of “Jonny v.d. Rheinhalle.
1988 WORKING TRIALS
MAX VON BATU
Once again a dog from a famous “breed” kennel was highly placed. The dog placed 4th was “Max von Batu”, bred by Erich Orschler.
“Max” was sired “Natz vom Hasenborn”, an exceptionally fine show specimen, reserve Sieger and V.A 2 in 1986. The Dam of “Max” was the “Lasso di Val Sole” daughter “ Swenja von Batu”. His breed represented the cream of German “show lines.
JASKO VOM STAHLBERG
The dog placed 6th, “Jasko vom Stahlberg” was sired by the V.A Show dog “Boss v. Kreuzbaum”. V.A. 12 in 1982.
Boss v. Kreuzbaum
“Boss”, sired by “Reza von Haus Beck” was a grandson of “Quanto von der Wienerau”. The Dam of “Boss”, “Halla v. Kreuzbaum” was the very important Show dog, “Frei v.d. Gugge”, the dog with an exceptionally strong character referred to earlier
V.A. 7 at the Sieger Show in 1970, “Frei” features very prominently in the pedigrees of many famous working dogs.
EROS ON HAUS REITERLAND
The dog placed 19th, “Eros von Haus Reiterland”, bred by a well-known breeders of show dogs, was sired by Lasso di Val Sole, whose name keeps cropping up.
The Dam of “Eros” was a daughter of the V.A.3 dog in 1977, “Greif v. Bielkopf”
1989 WORKING TRIALS
In 1989, “Cliff v. Huhengrab” improved his position from third to second.
“ITZ VOM STAUDERPARK”
The dog placed 12 th, “Itze vom Stauderpark” was also a dog with excellent “show” bloodlines. He was sired by the “Herzog von der Adeloga” son, “Bandit v. Huisbergtal”.
“Herzog” who was placed V.A.1 at the 1977 “Sieger” Show – (It must be remember that during the period 1974 to 1977, no Sieger titles were awarded).
“Herzog, son of the 1973 Sieger “Dick v. Adeloga”, was an excellent show specimen and dominant sire, who produced very good stock.
To introduce a personal note, when I heard that a very well-constructed son of “Herzog v. Adeloga”, a dog that I admired very much because of his structure and strong temperament, was available at stud in a city accessible to me, I immediately took advantage of the opportunity to use him.
The dog I used, “Veus v. Ecclesia Nova” – V.A. 5 in 1978 - was a son of “Herzog” out of a “Canto v.d. Wiienerau” daughter, “Ondra v. Ecclesia Nova. “Veus” produced an excellent litter. The pups were typical of the Sire, strong-boned, dark in pigment, and outgoing in temperament.
Because vom Stauderpark is such an old-established German Kennel, and is still active today, an examination of the breeding program of the very knowledgable and experienced founder of the kennels, Mr. Werner Iwanowski should be both interesting and instructive.
Founded by Werner Iwanowski as long ago as 1952, these kennels are among the oldest kennels in Germany. They have always specialized in breeding “show” dogs with very strong temperaments and have bred dozens of very good show specimens.
The dogs with “show” bloodlines they have always used are, in most instances, dogs that performed very well indeed in the breed ring and have also very strong temperaments.
There are few breeders in Germany with as much personal, hands-on experience, and depth of knowledge both as a trainer and a breeders as this old gentleman, Werner Iwanowski .
In our attempts to breed dogs that can be both good show specimens and excellent workers there is a great deal to be learnt by examining his breeding program and noticing which show dogs he decided to use on his bitches.
LASSO VOM KAMPCHEN
One of his obvious choices, some time ago, was the 1997 “Universalsieger” “Lasso vom Kampchen”. When the title of “Universalsieger” was introduced in 1997, “Lasso” was the first dog to achieve this honor.
“Lasso” was sired by the 1995 “Sieger” Ulk v. Arlett,
Ulk von Arlett
Lasso von Kampchen was a well deserved winner of the “Universalsieger” title. He was placed 43 rd. in the Working trials, in 1997 and in the same year was placed V 32 in the Breed ring. Certainly an commendable performance.
As mentioned previously, "Ulk" was an important sire of other dogs, in addition to "Lasso" that did well in the annual working trials. His pedigree will be discussed at some length later.
Iwanowski has also used the excellent show dog “Noris von Gloria dei”. She was mated to his “Lasso vom Kampchen” daughter, “Nada vom Stauderpark” with very good results.
It interesting to examine the performance of “Noris” in “the test of courage” at the Sieger show in which he was entered.
The fact that “Noris” was disqualified in 1982 from the open dog class for insufficient control in the “test of courage” and received a T4 grading, obviously did not discourage Werner Iwanowski from using him. The dog was certainly a top quality show specimen and of excellent breeding.
A number of breeders attach importance to “lack of control” in the test of courage. Others do not. Often it is simply due to lack of training. It is therefore quite understandable why Werner Iwanowski decided to use “Noris” in spite of the problems with lack of control.
The reason for his choice of the well-known stud dog, “Solo von Fruttetto” however, merits further discussion.
SOLO VON FRUTTETO
“Solo” was certainly a top quality breed dog, consistently placed in top positions. His breeding could not have been better. He is a son of the 2000 Sieger “Ursus” and his Dam the “Siegerin “Connie vom Farbenspiel”. This is identical breeding to that of the double Sieger “Yasko vom Farbenspiel”. He a full brother of “Yasko”.
But at the 2003 Sieger Show, “Solo” received only a T3 grading in the test of courage. This shows that his “fighting spirit” was present “vorhanden” , but not pronounced.
Obviously Mr. Iwanowski knew about this lack of pronounced fighting spirit to which many breeders attach a great deal of importance. For someone who has always insisted on a strong temperament in the stud he selects, is it not perhaps surprising that Iwanowski decided to “Solo” rather than another dog with a “pronounced” fighting spirit?
I have never had the opportunity to ask Mr. Iwanowski this question personally, but for sake of argument, here is a possible answer I believe he may have given.
Hypothetical though this answer may be, it may provide us with a clue to how to go about selecting a stud dog that will help produce the dual purpose Shepherds we are looking for.
It must be remembered “Nada v. Stauderpark” the bitch Mr. Iwanowski intended mating to “Solo”, was the daughter of the exceptionally good working dog, “Lasso vom Kampchen”.
Another factor in “Lasso’s favour” was the fact that he is the son of the 1995 Sieger “Ulk v. Arlett. “Ulk”, as has already been mentioned, was also a dog with an exceptionally sound temperament and pronounced fighting spirit in addition to being an exceptionally good show specimen.
Another factor that presumably entered Iwanowski’s mind, was the fact that not only was “Nada” an animal with excellent temperament, her Dam “Erla vom Stauderpark” was also an excellent working animal, with full training qualifications, achieving very high scores in all her tests.
“Erla” was sired by “Apoll v. Laacher Haus” V.A. 10 in 1995 an animal with marked “fighting spirit”. The dam of “Erla”, “Randi” was also known to have a very strong temperament. So “Nada” was obviously a bitch that came from a long line of animals with very strong temperaments.
There is no question that “Solo” was a top quality dog with an outstanding pedigree. He was also a very dominant sire that had already produced a number of excellent progeny.
The fact that there may have been some reservations with regard to his “fighting spirit” did not deter Iwanowski from using him. He knew his bitch, “Nada”, came from such a long line of animals with strong temperaments.
There is a lesson to be learnt from this study.
If your aim is to breed animals of show quality that also have excellent working temperaments – and your bitch comes from a background of animals all with excellent temperaments - it is still possible to breed excellent working stock, even if the temperament of the top show dog you intend using, is not quite as strong as you would like it to be.
An present day example is to be seen with the V.A. dog, "Hill v. Farbenspiel". "Hill" is sired by "Huppy v. Arlett", a V.A animal and very good good show specimen, but a dog dog that once failed the courage test. There are no problems with the temperament of "Hill". When mated to bitches with suitable blodlines he also produced animals with excellent temperaments.
Another present-day example is the current Sieger "Zamp vom Thermodos".
It is interesting to note that many breeders, who are usually very particular about using stud dogs with very strong temperaments, that have performed very well in the “courage test” at the Sieger show, are making use of the current “Sieger”Zamp vom Thermodos”. This is apparently because they are confident their bitches have very strong temperaments and also come from bloodlines strong in this department.
“Zamp’ is a superb show specimen. What is even more important is the fact that he is proving a remarkably good sire. But at the most recent Sieger Show his bite work was not all that impressive and in 1994 in the test of courage, his “fighting spirit” was only “vorhanden” – present, rather than the comment of “pronounced”.
Clearly this does not seem to concern some of the breeders who are using “Zamp. Because their bitches comes from a strong background of animals with outstanding temperaments, they probably feel there is no harm in using a dog with so many other exceptionally fine qualities, even if he is somewhat lacking in “fighting spirit”.
There are many instances of dogs, whose temperaments were not ideal , that consistently produced excellent working dogs when mated to suitable bitches. “Canto v. Wienerau”, as we have seen was an excellent example of this.
Let us now continued with an examination of other dogs with “show” bloodlines that performed well in the 1989 working trials.
1989 WORKING TRIALs
Troll vom Korbelbach
The dog that was placed 18th, “Troll vom Korbelbach” had a very interesting pedigree. He was sired by “Bojar de Lupis Fidis”an attractive grey dog of very good construction and strong temperament.
WANKO VON MAARAUE
What is interesting about “Bojar” is that he was sired by an important V.A. rated dog, “Wanko von der Maaraue” – V.A. 11 in 1981. “Wanko”s importance lies in the fact that he was extensively used by both the “breed” and the “working” dog breeders.
Although the pedigree if this dog has already been discussed, I feel it is worthwhile discussing the pedigree of dog further as he figures prominently in the pedigrees of many working dogs today.
“Wanko”, as has been mentioned, bred by Alfred Muhlbauer, was a son of “Boss vom Amalienhof". a very good show specimen, V.20 in 1978. An interesting fact about “Boss” is that, although bred by Amalie Buschmann, he was owned by certainly one of the most knowledgeable and successful breeders of Shepherds, Erich Orschler.
Erich mated a bitch he bred – “Nadja von Batu” – a daughter of the excellent show specimen “Blitz von Bayerseich” - V 4 in 1970 – to “Petro vom Bischberg”, a son of the extremely important “Bernd vom Lierberg”, who we discussed in detail earlier. “Boss” was the result of this mating.
When mated to Alfred Muhlbauer’s “Oschy von der Maarue”, he produced “Wanko”.
What is interesting about “Oschy” is the fact that her Sire, "Iwan vom Bierstadter Hof, bred by the well-known Judge Rudiger Mai, comes from a long line of animals of the old “Busecker Schloss” working dog kennels of the late Alfred Hahn.
In addition to having been an excellent show dog, “Wanko” was an excellent source of working dog bloodlines. Wanko” was used extensively by many of the most important working dog kennels, and produced some fine working dogs. He also bred some excellent dogs that did well in the show ring.
It is very interesting to reflect how many of the successful, well-known working kennels, such as “vom Lippetal”, “vom Schloss Veitenstein”, “von der bosen Nachbarschaft” and a great many others made so much use of the V.A dog, “Wanko”.
This they did on many occasions. Why was this so?
“Wanko” was, of course, a well-known, top breed dog with a V.A. rating. Working dogs breeders were also aware of his pedigree, a source of valuable working lines. But success in the show ring does not seem to have been a factor in the past when well-known, old-established working dog kennels selected a stud.
Although “Wanko” was known to have had an exceptionally good temperament, he did not have a record of having been entered in the annual working trials and achieving a high place.
Furthermore, it was not common for working dog breeders to use V.A show dogs
Apart from the well-known " von der Jungen Hansen” working dog kennels, I cannot find any record, in recent years, of specialist “working” kennels making use of a top V.A. “show dog”
Heinz Scheerer did make use of made use of top show specimens on a number of occasions to produce excellent working dogs, but the "Huhnegrab" kennel of Heinz Scherer can certainly not be considered a specialist working dog kennel
The " vom Liborious Brunnen"Kennels of Gunter Koch, breeders of the V.A. 8 dog in 1977 and again in 1978, "Marko vom Liborious Brunnen", also used "Fedor v. Arminius" to produce "Olf vom Liborius Brunnen", but here again they are essential breeders of show dogs.
The "von der Jungen Hansen" Kennels the only specialist working dog kennel to use a V.A. show dog, used dog, “Fedor v. Arminius” to breed "Blue von der Jungen Hansen" who competed in the Working Trails in 1990 and was placed 24th.
Specialist working kennels have, for the most part, ignored the top show dogs. But in “Wanko v.d. Maaraue” they must have recognized special qualities of temperament that persuaded them to use him.
Obviously it must have been "Wanko's" pedigree that appealed to working dog breeders.
Since the days of “Wanko” there were not many top show dogs used by the Working dog breeders. What is the reason for this? It would appear to be that working dog people had lost complete confidence in the ability of top show dogs to produce dogs with the temperament they were looking for.
This is clearly still a problem and one that has to be addressed.
In pursuing our aim to breed to good quality show specimens as well as good working dogs, it is important to keep in mind the value of the bloodlines of a dog like “Wanko” when selecting a suitable stud.
In the same way as it is a good plan to mate a bitch that comes from good working stock to a top show animal, it is also a good idea to mate a bitch that comes from excellent show stock – and is herself an excellent show specimen - to an animal that excels in working trials.
It is advisable to select working dogs with pedigrees that include dogs that were both good show specimens and also a good source of “working” blood. They do exist but research is necessary to identify them.
In this regard, if you do have an excellent show bitch you intend mating, it may be worth while keeping in mind animals with the bloodlines of “Troll vom Korbelbach”.
If one can find a stud, not necessarily a dog of top show quality but a reasonably good specimen that has “Troll” in his pedigree, it could prove very useful in achieving the goal of a dual purpose German Shepherds.
Although “Troll” was never entered in Breed shows, he was nevertheless, a Koer class 1 dog with a “V” rating. What is also of importance is the fact that “Troll’s” Dam, “Umsa vom Bungalow” came from a long line of the well-known “Bungalow” stock. “Bungalow” was one of the foremost working dog kennels in Germany at the time.
“Troll” sired a number of excellent working dogs, including the dog was placed 5th in the 1996 Working Trials, “Wumm v.d. Kaiserlaule”, a dog we will discuss later.
1990 WORKING TRIALS.
XIN VOM HUHNEGRAB
The winner of the second place at the working trials in 1990 was another dog bred by Heinz Scheerer, “Xin vom Huhnegrab . “Xin” was sired by a remarkably good show dog, “Tell v.d. Grossen Sand”.
“TELL V.D. GROSSEN SAND”.
“Tell”, V.A 2 in 1985, and reserve Sieger to “Uran” that year, was a superb show specimen. In fact I am one of many who believe he was a better show specimen than “Uran”, although certainly not his equal as a producer.
In 1982, “Tell” was the winner in the Jugendklass, being placed ahead of “Uran”, who was placed in the 6th position. “Uran v. Wildsteigerland” however, proved to be one of the most dominant stud dogs produced in Germany for many years. For this reason alone, he certainly deserved the title of Sieger in 1984 and again in 1985. “Tell” unfortunately, was disappointing as a Sire of consistently good show animals.
FANTO V. HIRSCHEL
Neverthless, "Tell" did produce the exceptional fine show dog “Fanto v. Hirschel”, the double Sieger, the deserved winner of the Sieger title in 1990 and again in 1991,
Even though it is not relevant to our present study of show dogs that were also successful in the working ring, it is interesting to note that “Fanto v. Hirschel”, much in the same as his Sire, “Tell” did not prove to be a great success in producing exceptional male progeny. He did however, produce a number of very good bitches.
There is no question however, that both “Tell” and “Fanto” were dogs with very strong temperaments. Here again I am speaking from personal experience as I bred a very useful litter sired by “Fanto”. There is another interesting feature with regard to the offspring of "Fanto".
What I have noticed personally, and some other breeders to whom I have spoken have also remarked upon , is the fact that "Fanto" stock, although very sound in temperament, can be very aggressive with other dogs.
SONNY VOM BADENER-LAND
“Tell”s sire, “Sonny vom Badener-Land” was also a very good show specimen, although not the equal of his son. He was sired by 1978 “Sieger” “Canto von Arminius”, the “Canto v.d. Wienerau” son.
His Dam, “Jenny vom Grossen Sand”, was a “Lasso” daughter. “Lasso di Val Sole” was a “Quanto v. Wienerau” son, and so here again we have an example of the remarkable success of this “Quanto”, “Canto” combination.
“Xim v. Huhengrab's dam, “Hasel vom Huhnegrab” was also very well bred. She was a daughter of the important V.A. dog, “Zorro vom Haus Beck”. “Zorro”’s breeding also represented a combination of the “Quanto” and “Canto” bloodlines.
ZORRO VOM HAUS BECK,
“Zorro”, a dog that was also known to have a very strong temperament, was sired by one of “Canto v. Wienerau”s most important sons, “Frei vom Holtkamper See”. His Dam, “Gitta vomHaus Muhlenberg” was a “Quanto” daughter.
The “Canto” blood was again very strongly represented in “Hasel”’s Dam, “Eli vom Hasenborn” who was sired by the 1979 Sieger, “Eros von der Malvenburg”, a “Canto v. Wienerau” grandson.
“Eli vom Hasenborn”s Dam, “Nicki vom Huhnegrab” was also a “Canto” grand- daughter.
Although “Xin” would appear to be a valuable source of “Canto” blood, combined with exceptional working ability, he unfortunately does seem to have produced any sons of note
In 1990, the signs of dogs with show bloodlines competing in Working trials, already seem to have lessened. Apart from “Xin” who achieved the very creditable second place, the next dog with show bloodlines was “Blue von der Jungen Hansen” who we discussed earlier, who was placed 24th.
“Blue” was bred by a famous Working Kennel, still active today. His pedigree is a good example of the possible route I have been suggesting in order to try and breed a dog that is both a good show specimen and a good working dog.
“Blue”s Sire, “Fedor v. Arminius” was one of the most important breed dogs at the time. V.A 7 at the 1987 Sieger Show, he was an excellent producer. His temperament was also described as “highly commendable”. "Fedor's" pedigree was impeccable, featuring both “Canto” and “Quanto” very prominently in the pedigree of both Sire and Dam.
Fedor von Arminius
The Dam of “Blue von der Jungen Hansen” came from the finest working bloodlines, featuring important producers of working stock such as “Ulrich v.d. Wienerau” and “Fang vom Stalhammer, the Working Class Sieger in 1969, who won with an amazing 298 points out of a possible 300.
In addition to excellent working dogs, “Blue’s pedigree included an important show dog, “Dock von der Kiefersheck”, V.A. 5 in 1976.
What more could anyone ask for? It would be very gratifying to report that “Blue” was both a successful show dog in addition to being a top class worker. It would also be very rewarding to report that he proved to be an excellent producer of dual-purpose dogs.
But unfortunately this was not the case. “Blue” was a reasonably, good German Shepherd, with a Koer Class l, and a “V” classification. But he did not produce any progeny of real note.
“VON DER JUNGEN HANSEN”
This is certainly not intended as any form of criticism of the “von der Jungen Hansen” kennels. On the contrary, they are to be commended for their attempts to introduce breed dogs into their breeding program. They are one of the oldest, most successful breeders of working dogs.
The “von der Jungen Hansen” kennels of Karl Maikler, bred working dogs from as far back as 1970. He was also one of the first working dog kennel to make use of dogs with show bloodlines.
In 1973 he mated his bitch “Kitty van der Jungen Hansen” to the 1972 “Sieger” Marko von Cellerland”. In 1974 he used the well-known show dog, “Mec von Arminius”, a “Canto v. Wienerau” grandson. On another occasion he used the V.A. dog “Derby von Adeloga”.
Dogs bred by Karl Maikler are still competing successfully in working trials. Last year, at the 2006 Working Trials “Uwe von der Jungen Hansen” was placed a creditable 28th . Regretfully his pedigree shows no evidence of any “show” bloodlines.
It would appear he unfortunately no longer considers the present-day show dogs suitable for his breeding program.
As long as breeders of working dogs believe that the show dogs winning top places today do not have the temperament necessary to add value to their breeding program, they will continue to ignore ignore them.
By the same token, as long as Working Dog breeders continue with their policy of paying no attention to conformation as laid down by the standard, breeders of show dogs are unlikely to make use of top working dogs, in spite of their excellent temperament.
What is the solution to the problem? Obviously structures must be set in place to change this unfortunate and undesirable situation that exists today. Until this is done the goal of breeding an exceptional dual purpose dog will be very difficult to achieve.
At the end of this survey of working dogs and show dogs over the last twenty five years, you will find some positive suggestions I have made how the situation can be improved. The recommendations might take time to implement, but the end result could be a marked improvement in the temperament of show dogs, a significant improvement in the structure and appearance of working dogs and an end to the on-going rift between show breeders and working dog breeders.
Please be patient and wait until the end of this survey before going to the summing up of the situation and the recommendations I have made. In the meantime, let us continue with the examination of dogs with show bloodlines that competed in Working Trials from 1991.
1991 WORKING TRIALS.
“OLF VOM LIBORIUS BRUNNEN”
In 1991, once again, a dog with a pedigree that included the names of excellent show specimens was very well placed.
“Olf vom Liborius Brunnen” , bred by the well-known show Kennels founded by Gunter Koch many years ago was placed third. "Olf" was sired by “Fedor v. Arminius”. His Dam “Cora zur Schlosswache”, was also very well bred. She was a daughter of “Jupp von der Haller Farm”, V.A. 12 in 1978 and an excellent source of “Mutz Peltzierfarm” blood. “Jupp's sire, Jonny v.d. Rheinhalle, was sired by “Mutz”
“Olf” was also entered in the 1989 Breed Sieger show and was placed 139. He did however, still receive a V rating from Herman Martin at the show.
The next dog with “show” bloodlines competing in the 1991 Working Trials was a bitch bred by the well-known “vom Emkendorfer Park” kennels specializing in breed dogs.
“GESHA VOM EMKENDORFER PARK”
The bitch “Gesha vom Emkendorfer Park”, was another very well-bred animal, sired by “Natz von Arminius”, V.A. 10 in 1984, a son of the 1983 “Sieger” “Dingo vo Haus Gero”. “Dingo”, of course was a son of “Caesar v. Arminius”.
“Gesha”’Dam, was “Santana von Hi-Ka Forst, a daughter of “Atlas aus dem Schwarzen Zwinger” She was placed a very high 11th at these working trials.
As a young animal, she had also been entered in the Jugendklasse at the 1987 Sieger Show, but she only received a very low “G” rating by the Judge at the time, Erich Orschler.
DIDO VOM RAUBACH
There was only one other animal with “show” bloodlines that received a good placing at these working trials, this was “Dido vom Raubach”, a son of “Orno vom Murrtal ,V.A. 4 in 1987, who was placed 15th.
ORNO VOM MURRTAL
“Orno” was a very popular stud and widely used by a variety of breeders, including“von Stauderpark” a kennel dealt with in some detail earlier.
He was sired by “Sonny vom Badener- Land”, a dog we have discussed earlier. "Sonny" was a son of the 1978 Sieger, “Canto vom Arminus”and, it will be remembered, also the Sire of “Tell von der Grossen Sand”, the father of “Fanto vom Hirschel”
It is clear from our analysis that by 1991, the number of dogs with “show” bloodlines entered in these working trials had been reduced tremendously.
There are two possible reasons for this. In the first place, as mentioned before, working dog breeders had apparently become dissatisfied with the temperaments of many of the current breed show winners.
A another reason may have been the emergence of some exceptionally good working dogs that were proving remarkably dominant. These dogs were consistently siring animals highly placed in the Working Trials.
Working dog breeders, intent on breeding dogs that would win competitions , were aware that by breeding their bitches to these extremely dominant Sires of good working stock, there was every likelihood of breeding a litter with the working qualities they were looking for.
Their main goal was to breed working dogs, not dual purpose dogs. It is understandable that they were reluctant to venture into the unknown and breed their bitches to breed show winners.
DOGS THAT CONSISTENTLY PRODUCED EXCELLENT WORKING STOCK.
Here are some examples of very dominant Sires, consistently producing excellent working stock, that were becoming increasingly well known and very popular studs among working dog breeders
“ALY VOM VORDERSTEINWALD
“Aly vom Vordersteinwald” sired a large number of exceptionally fine working dogs that were very highly placed in the Working Trials in 2002.
A very good working dog himself, “Aly” was also the son of a very dominant sire in the working field, “Troll von der bosen Nachbarschaft”. “Troll” was also the sire of “Rocky von den Zingelgarten” who was very well placed at the 2002 Working trials and subsequently also the Sire of a working class Sieger
There were however, no “show bloodlines” in “Aly”’s pedigree except for “Anderl vom Kleinen Pfahl”,going back to the fourth generation. “Anderl”, an excellent show specimen, V.A. 4 in 1974, was a son of “Mutz von der Peltzierfarm” and owned by Erich Orschler.
If anyone is aware of the background to the problems that that arose between show dog breeders and working dog breeders, it is certainly Erich Orschler, one of the most knowledgeable, experienced - and also successful – German Shepherd Breeders.
Although “Aly” was a dog of reasonably good structure, receiving a V grading, he was by no means an excellent show dog. He was however, a consistent sire of dogs with excellent hips, another point in his favor.
“Aly” was the sire of a dog “Camp von Muhlteich” who won the title of “Universalsieger” in 2000. He was placed 13th in the Working Trials that year .and 109th in the breed show,
“Camp” had no animals with “show bloodlines” in his pedigree apart from “Ulan v. Adeloga”, again five generations back and “Anderl vom Kleinen Pfahl”
“ASKO VON DER LUTTER”
Another dog that was proving to be an exceptionally good sire of working stock was “Asko von der Lutter” At the 2003 Working Trials, he the most successful sire of dogs in the top places.
Unfortunately from a breed point of view, “Asko” though a fine working dog himself, in addition to being an amazingly successful sire, was not sufficiently well-constructed to be a good show specimen.
He was graded only Koer Class 2, with a SG rating. There were no “show” bloodlines among his immediate ancestors. It is necessary to go back far in his pedigree to find important show dog’s names. Dogs such as the V.A. dog, “Benny von Heideloh”, “Jonny v.d. Rheinhalle”, “Mutz Peltzierfarm” “Dick v. Adeloga” and “Canto v.d. Wienerau” and the famous dual-purpose dog “Bernd v. Lierberg” do appear, but very far back.
YOSCHY VON DER DOLLENWIESE
This very dominant sire of excellent working stock was himself the son of a very fine working dog and important sire, “Troll von der bosen Machbarschaft”to whom we have referred before.
An examination of his pedigree shows very good working stock, but the only ancestor with “show bloodlines” was “Mutz von der Peltzierfarm” and “Bernd v. Lierberg” going back five generations.
“Troll” was also the sire of another dominant working dog. “Rocky von der Zingelgarten
ROCKY VON DER ZINGERLGARTEN
“Rocky” was placed 3rd. at the 2001 Working Trials and also proved to be a dog that was able to reproduce his own fine working qualities in his progeny. Through his Sire, “Troll”, he also had “Mutz” bloodlines five generations back.
Through his Dam,”Kisa v. Lutzing”, he was able to boast of a dog with an excellent show record “Atlas v. Restrauch”, who was V2 at the Sieger Show in 1979. But this was also five generations back.
If one examines the pedigrees of a great many other important Sires of working stock. one will find that there are a number of names that keep re-appearing. It was clear that the gene pool was becoming increasingly narrow.
This situation was just as unsatisfactory in the “working dog” field as it was later to become in the “show dog” field. Problems started appearing in working dog stock, with regard to health and stamina, in the same way as it did with show dogs.
Knowledgeable working dog breeders were of course aware of this, but the main motivation – as with any sport – is to win and some of these undesirable features that were creeping in were ignored.
The working dog breeders were clearly becoming more concerned with winning working competitions than with breeding a dual purpose dog. They were rapidly losing interest in the breed. Success in Obedience, obviously, relied to a far greater extent on individual effort than breed shows,
There was also the growing feeling that the breed shows were dominated by important “big names”. There was a general feeling of dissatisfaction and working dog breeders started concentrating on breeding dogs for “sport” competitions rather than breed shows, over which they felt they had no control.
This was certainly a critical time for the breed as a large gap started developing between the two groups. The working class people became disinterested in the structure of a dog. Their main concern was whether the animal could work!
At this point I feel it appropriate to digress for a moment to discuss someone who, at first glance, seems to have had absolutely nothing to do with German Shepherd Dogs
It is an athlete for whom I have always had the greatest admiration, Emil Zatopek.
There is a field of competitive sport - long distance running – that would appear to have very little in common with German Shepherd Dog working trials. But when examines the situation further, one is struck by many areas of similarity.
Emi Zatopek, was one of the most successful long distance runners of the 20th Century. At the 1952 Olympic Games, he won the 5,000 meters, the 10,000 meters and, amazingly, also the Marathon. His style of running was also probably the ugliest the world had ever seen.
Known as the “Bouncing Czech”, Zatopek appeared to be forcing his unwilling limbs to extend themselves forward in completely un-coordinated fashion by sheer strength of will. His face was contorted in agony as he ran. In spite of this Zatopek always finished first in the race!
Competitors in working trials, are not concerned with the physical appearance or construction of their dogs, or whether their dogs run like well-oiled machines – as is the case with breed dogs.
Their main concern is that their dogs perform their duties with perfection, with as little margin of error as possible; losing as few points as possible in the process..
This is quite understandable, given the huge gap that now exists between working dogs and breed dogs. But whether it is desirable for the breed is another matter.
Having digressed enough from our main topic, let us return to our examination of dogs with “show” bloodlines entered in the 1992 working Trials.
1992 WORKING TRIALS.
At this show, “Olf”, who we discussed earlier, was only 12th. Already there were signs of fewer and fewer dogs with “show” bloodlines being entered in the annual working Trials.
“KALLO VOM BEGMANNSHOF”
The next most successful dog with “show” bloodlines, “Kallo vom Begmannshof,was only placed 30th.
"Kallo" was bred by the successful “show dog” kennels of the well respected S.V. Breed Judge, Rheinhard Meyer. Richard Meyer was breeder of many excellent Show dogs, including the 1989 Sieger “Iso vom Bergmannshof”.
“Kallo” was sired by “Bond v. Trienzbachtal" who we discussed earlier. His Dam, “Lona vom Bergmannshof” was equally well-bred, coming from the very best show bloodlines.She was a daughter of am excellent animal. “Felix von Arminus”, V 12 in 1986
What was more important, is the fact that “Lona” came from a very strong bitch line, bred by Rheinhard Meyer, going back continuously for five generations.
The pedigree of “Kallo” is of particular interest. If ever there was an excellent example of planned breeding in order to produce a top show dog and also a first class working dog, this certainly was one.
Let us examine the pedigree of “Kallo” in greater detail, in the hope that it may provide us with further clues as to which bloodlines are more likely to produce the type of dual purpose dog we are looking for.
BOND VOM TRIENZBACHTAL
The Sire of “Kallo”, “Bond vom Trienzbachtal, was V 5 at the 1989 Sieger Show”. “Bond” was a dog with a very strong, dominant “Trienzbachtal” pedigree. There were some outstanding males in his pedigree and no less that three female “Siegerins”, “Anusch” “Tannie” and the double “Siegerin” “Ute”
I can confirm from personal experience that “ Trienzbachtal” stock were dogs very strong indeed in temperament, particularly the bitches.
I visited Leopld Bucher, founder of the “Trienzbactal” Kennels in Mosbach in and saw at first hand, the particularly strong, but stable, temperament of his stock, especially his double Siegerin “Ute|.
“Bond” it will be recalled, was Sired by the V.A.dog, “Gundo vom Triemzbachtal”. Although “Gundo” was not noted for a very strong “fighting spirit”, having been placed only 96th at the 1986 “Sieger” show because his “fighting spirit” was only “present”, he was the sire of many excellent dogs with very strong temperaments.
JACK VON TRIENZBACHTAL
A “Gundo” son, “Jack von Trienzabachtal” V.A 3 in 1991 was certainly a dog with a very pronounced fighting spirit, as was the important “Jack” son,”Cash vom Wildsteigerland”. V.A. 2 and Reserve Sieger in 1996.
CASH VOM WILDSTERIGERLAND
The bite work of “Cash” was so dynamic at the Sieger Show he drew tremendous, spontaneous applause from the crowd.
“Gundo” also sired another fine dog with pronounced fighting spirit, “Don v. Lenneftal”, V.A. 3 dog in 1990, .
The Dam of “Kallo vom Bergmannshof”, “Lona vom Bergmannshof”, as we have pointed out, was the result of five generations of breeding from his own bitch line by the well-known, highly respected, very knowledgeable S.V. Judge, Rheinhard Meyer.
The reason why I have gone to such lengths to analyze the pedigree of “Kallo” is because his breeding represents, intelligent planned breeding by a very knowledgeable breeder. As good as the results were, one would have expected them to have been more impressive.
Without doubt this was a planned breeding by a breeder who knew exactly what he was doing. Theoretically, “Kallo”, should have been a very fine show specimen. But as it turned out, although he was a very good working dog, he was only of average breed quality. He never ever made his mark in the show ring..
Why was this so
The question is not as difficult to answer as it may appear. Quite simply, Rheinhard Meyer was not as lucky as he hoped , expected and perhaps deserved to be!
The unknown factor of “luck” can never be overlooked. Genes have correctly been referred to as “the dices of destiny”. As knowledgeable, as astute and as experienced as any breeder may be, “luck” undoubtedly plays a very significant part in one’s breeding success.
With luck, “Kallo” could easily have turned out to be a top breed specimen.
At this point I would like to introduce a personal note to illustrate how important luck is breeding success, especially if one hopes to breed a “dual purpose dog”.
LASSO DI VAL SOLEs
Some years a friend and I purchased a top quality daughter of “Argus v. Aducht”, a son of “Argus v. Klammle”, one of “Canto v.d. Wienerau”s many excellent sons. Before leaving Germany our bitch was mated to the leading Sire of the day “Lasso di Val Sole”and sent to us in whelp.
“Lasso” certainly seemed the most suitable stud to use. Quite apart from the fact that he was a particularly fine show specimen, having been classified V.A. a number of times, he was also a remarkably successful sire. A further point in his favor was that he was one of Quanto v. Wienerau’s best sons.
We knew the value of this “Quanto”/ “Canto” combination. It was a tried and tested formula for producing superior stock.
The resultant litter was certainly a superior one. There were a number of remarkably good animals in the litter, which we called our “A” litter.
But there was one pup in the litter, I named him “Argus”, that really stood out. Not only was the best-constructed pup in the litter, his temperament was superb. In my opinion he was clearly the best of the litter with regard both to temperament and construction.
I was convinced that in” Argus” I had the making of a dog that could go all the way in breed and also in working trials. But it was not to be. My wonderful dog “Argus” turned out to have a missing pre- molar, unfortunately making him quite useless for the show ring.
The word “unfortunately” is appropriate. That awfully fickle lady “Luck” was not at my side. Argus lived to a good old age. He became the faithful, lovable pet and house dog of my daughter and never saw the inside of a show ring!
When all is said and done, luck plays a very important role in one’s success.
Let us now return to our study of dogs with “show” bloodlines that competed in the 1993 Working Trial
1993 WORKING TRIALS.
The dog with “show bloodlines” placed a very high fourth in the 1993 Working Trials, was “Argus vom Haus Santiages”
ARGUS VON HAUS SANTIAGES
“Argus” was sired by the very well bred “Cliff v. Huhengrab”, who we dealt with at length earlier. “Cliff” it will be recalled, was a son of the V.A. dog, “Derby v. Adeloga”. He was placed, it will be recalled, a remarkably high second in the working trials on one occasion and third on another.
The pedigree of “Argus” on his Dam’s side reflected almost entire working stock "Argus von Haus Santiages" was quite a popular stud, but not with “show breeders|”.
The next best placing for a dog with “show bloodlines” was “Nino von Kaltenwangen
NINO VON KALTENWANGEN
Nino was placed 23rd. He was sired by “Max v. Batu”, bred by Eric Orschler. “Max”, it will be remembered, was a dog with excellent show bloodlines son of the important show dog and reserve, Sieger in 1986, “Nats von Hasenborn”.
Nino’s Dam - “Fina von Kaltenwangen” – was equally well bred from a show point of view. She was sired by the Reserve Sieger, “Tell v.d. Grossen Sand” who we also discussed at length earlier.
The Dam of “Fina” also reflected the breeding of a very, successful, old-established, breeder, Ruth Stuttchen, whose Murrenhutte suffix was very highly regarded in German Shepherd Dog circles.
It is unfortunate that a dog of such excellent breeding seems to have been completely overlooked as a stud.
FAX VON DER BARENSCHLUCHT
This dog, "Fax" , bred by a well-known Kennel specializing in dogs with show bloodlines, was 25th. He was sired by a very important dog that had done particularly well in breed shows, “Karo v. Asbacher land”, bred in Holland, and V.A. 3 in 1987 and 1988.
“Karo”’s temperament was very strong indeed as was that of his sire, the V.A. dog “Putz v. Arjakjo”, also Dutch bred. “Putz”, subsequently exported to the United States, was a dog with a very strong temperament. His performance in the test of courage at the Sieger Show was quite spectacular.
The bloodlines went back to other important show animals, “Jupp v. Haller Farm” and“Jonny v.d. Rheinhalle”, a “Mutz” son.
The bloodlines of “Fax”’s Dam were equally impressive, as would be expected from a dog bred by the “Barneschlucht” Kennels of Wolfgang Krumnack. With the V.A. animal “Reza v. Haus Beck” as her Sire her pedigree showed the influence once again of the “Quanto” “Canto” combination.
Unfortunately “Fax”, does seem to have been used to any great extent by breeders.
1994 WORKING TRIALS.
It is of interest to note that at this show, the dog with “show bloodlines” placed highest was bred by the well-known working “vom Lippetal” Kennels.
GRANDO VOM LIPPETAL
This very good working dog was sired by a show dog with a very fine temperament, “Dando aus Nordheinland”, who was placed 20th at this show.
I remember seeing “Dando”, an excellent “Sieger” Dingo v. Haus Gero” son, at the 1985 Sieger Show, and fully expected him to be in the V.A. Excellent Class, instead of V1. He was an exceptionally fine moving dog, as was to be expected from a “Dingo”son.
It is not surprising that the working “vom Lippetal” kennels, recognized the worth of these bloodlines. The Dam of “Grando” was, for the most part, from working bloodlines, but “Lasso di Val Sole” did appear in the fifth generation.
MEIK VOM DREISEENTAL
The next highest dog with “show bloodlines” “Meik vom Dreiseental” was placed 25th. He was sired by the very well-bred, “Joll vom Elzmundungsraum” a son of double Sieger “Quando v. Arminius” and “Imme von “Trienzbachtal”.
“Imme” was a daughter of the double Siegerin “Ute”, an animal with a superb temperament, to whom I referred earlier.
The bloodlines of “Meik”s Dam, were for the part those of working animals, but “Neck v. Arminius”, a “Dingo” son does appear in the fourth generation.
1995 WORKING TRIALS
NASTOR VOM WOLFSBURGER SCHLOSS
This year there were very few competitors in the working Trials with “Show bloodlines”. The highest placed dog, “Nastor vom Wolfsburger Schloss”, was placed 42nd.
"Nastor" ,however, very much more successful the subsequent year in 1996, when he finished fourth. As his pedigree is an interesting one, it will be examined when the 1996 Working Trials are discussed.
“SANTOS VON ST. MICHAELS-BERG”
There were only two other competitors with “Show bloodlines”. The dog placed 72nd, “Santos von St. Michaels-Berg” came from a well-known Kennel, still active today, that has concentrated mainly on breeding dogs of show quality.
In spite of coming from very good show stock, “Santos” was not a particularly good breed specimen and was graded only Koer Class 2.
His Sire, Irk vom St. Michaels Berg, was a V rated dog, entered in the 1991 Sieger Breed Show, but only placed 110th by Herman Martin. His Dam, “Iska von der Prinzenbrucke”, was only classified Koer Class 2 It is therefore perhaps understandable that “Santos” was not a good show specimen.
“TOM VOM KIRCHGARTEN”
The next dog from “ show bloodlines” placed at these 1995 Working Trials, was placed 78th. He was “Tom vom Kirchgarten”, sired by an excellent Show dog, “Olymp v. Bad Boll”.
The pedigree of “Olymp” included the names of a number of especially fine show specimens. He was sired by the very dominant, well-bred, “Cello von der Romerau” out of the equally well bred “Palme von Bad Boll”.
“Olymp” was particularly good Sire and produced a number of very good dogs. But, in so far as show quality was concerned, “Tom”, in spite of his good show breeding did not distinguish himself.
1996 WORKING DOG TRIALS.
This year,”Nastor” to whom we referred earlier, was placed fourth. He was sired by the excellent dual purpose dog, “Cliff v. Huhengrab” discussed earlier.
“Cliff” had distinguished himself as both an exceptional working dog and also a fine show specimen. Although “Nastor” proved the equal of "Cliff" as a working dog, he was however, not as successful in the Show ring. He was placed 112th at the 1998 Sieger Breed Show.
The Dam of “Nastor”, “Kyra v. Godinghofer Weg” was also a very well-bred animal, coming from good show bloodlines. She had a reasonably good show career, doing reasonably well in the Junghundklasse at the 1999 Sieger Show.
“Nastor” was quite well used by working dog breeders, but his hip score of 103, must have been regarded as a drawback by some breeders.
In 1996 the next highest placing by a dog with “show bloodlines” went to “Argus v. Hause Santiages”, also sired by “Cliff , who we discussed before. On this occasion he was placed 11th and . The Dam of “Argus” “Jenny v. Bayerischen Oberland” came from strong working lines.
“FAX VON DER BARENSCHLUCHT”
The dog placed 39th was “Fax von der Barenschlucht” who we discussed in detail in dealing with the 1993 Working Trials.
The dog placed 44th was “Ben vom Schnee”, sired by “Wanko von der Maaraue” a dog that we discussed in detail earlier. “Wanko” was a particularly fine show specimen, having been placed V.A. 12 and also very well used by many of the leading working dog kennels.
The Dam of “Ben”, “Daisy von Haus Ingwa” was the product mainly of working dogs, but further back in her pedigree the names of “Lasso” and “Canto v. Arminius” do appear.
The dog that finished 69th at this show was “Santos” who we dealt with earlier.
1997 WORKING TRIALS.
At this show “Nastor” improved slightly in his third place the previous years, and was placed third, expertly handled once again by his owner, Ingeborg Balonier, a name that has appeared frequently over the years as the handler of a top dog in the Bundessiegerprufung.
“WUMM VON DER KAISERAULE”
The next dog with “show bloodlines”, that was very well placed, was “Wumm von der Kaiseraule”, who finished sixth. The sold black dog, “V” rated, was a son of “Troll vom Korbelbach”, the “Bojar” son and “Wanko” grandson, who we discussed earlier
His Dam, “Jutta von der Kaiseraule” did have some very good breed dogs with “show bloodlines” in her pedigree. He gransire was the 1972 Sieger “Marko v. Cellerland”
“Wumm” proved to be a very popular stud with Working breeders and he sired a number of very good working dogs.
TOM VOM KIRCHGARTEN
The dog that received the next highest placing at the 1997 Working Trials was “Tom vom Kirchgarten”, a son of the important Breed dog, “Olymp v. Bad Boll” who we discussed in dealing with the 1995 results. On this occasion “Tom” improved to a very marked degree over his 78th placing in 1995, he was placed 23rd.
In 1997 the title of “Universalsieger” was introduced for the first time; awarded to the dog that finished highest in the working trials and, at the same time, highest in the Breed show that year. The winner of the title in 1997 was " Lasso vom Kampchen"
LASSO VOM KAMPCHEN
The winner, “Lasso vom Kampchen”., was an excellent son of the 1995 Sieger “Ulk v. Arlett”. His Dam was "Elke vom drei Maelhaus", whose breeding we will discuss shortly.
In view of the fact that "Ulk" is such an excellent source of dual-purpose bloodlines, I feel it appropriate at this point to examine the pedigree of "Ulk" at greater length,
ULK VON ARLETT
When we examine the pedigree of "Ulk" , it is clear his breeding represents planned breeding from a continuous line of very good bitches. As experienced breeders will tell you, this is the key to success in breeding.
"Ulk"'s Dam, "Dolly von Arlett" was sired by the very important V.A. dog "Fedor v. Arminius". "Dolly" was a very well-constructed bitch with an excellent temperament, she well placed, S.G. 21 in the Junghund class at the 1989 Sieger Show.
"Dolly"'s Dam, "Bambi vom Feldschlosschen" was a particularly fine show animal, V.5 at the 1987 Sieger Show, also with faultless temperament. Her Dam, "Ursa v. Wienerau", was also an outstanding bitch, V.A. 2 in 1981.
"Ursa v. Wienerau", was sired by "Argus von Aducht" - an excellent show specimen, V.A. in 1977. "Argus" was known to be a dog with a very strong temperament. He consistently sired animals with sound temperaments.
I have personal experience of this. I was fortunate to have owned an excellent daughter of "Argus". She had an ideal temperament, brave, very friendly but a discriminating protection dog and completely unconcerned by any unexpected events that might upset dogs with less stable temperaments.
The Dam of "Ursa", "Carlie v.d. Wienerau", was sired by the very dominant "Canto" v. Wienerau". "Carlie", one of the two foundation bitches of the newly established "Arlett" kennels, turned out to be an outstanding producer, in addition to having had a successful show career,
The breeding of "Ursa" is interesting: "Canto" was the grandsire of both "Argus v. Aducht" and "Carlie". There are those who are under the impression that "Canto" was responsible, to a very great extent, for the deterioration in the temperament of show winning dogs. There is so much evidence of "Canto" appearing in the pedigrees of animals with faultless temperaments, it is clear there is little foundation for this viewpoint.
Later in this study, the bloodlines of "Canto v.d. Wienerau" will be discussed in greater detail.
Although "Ulk" obviously owes a great deal to his Sire, the V.A. "Eiko v. Kirschental" son, "Yago vom Wildsteigerland" , there is no question that an important factor in the breeding of this exceptionally fine animal was the strong line of bitches from which he was descended.
As "Lasso", placed 43rd. in the Working Trials in 1997 and a very high 32nd in breed, was certainly a dog more deserving of the title "Universalsieger" than any other dog dog apart from "Cliff von Huhengrab", let us continue with an examination of the female line in his pedigree.
His Dam, Elke vom drei Madelhaus” also had some very good show dogs in her pedigree, such as “Dax vom Reusch”, V 40 in 1983.
“Dax”breeding represented excellent show bloodlines, as he was a son of the very important “Nick von der Wienerau”, out of the V.A. “Frei vom Holtkamper See” daughter “Malve vom Forsthaus Hattlich”.
There were also some very good “Farbenspiel” dogs in her pedigree, such as “Zara vom Farbenspiel”, representing the consistently successful “Canto”/”Quanto” combination.
Also “Hatto vom Farbenspiel”, a Sieger “Canto v. Arminius” son, out a Siger “Marko vom Cellerland” daughter.
“Lasso” was fairly well used by a number of “Show” breeders. Margit and Mathijs van Dorssen of "Arlett", used him to produce some fine bitches. But he was not used as much as one would have expected, considering his excellent pedigree and his noteworthy performance in both breed and working competitions.
He sired a number of very good bitches, such as |Nada v. Staudepark” to whom we referred to earlier. But unfortunately there were not many sons of any note.
NATS VOM HEIDELOH
The next dog with “show bloodlines” to be fairly well placed in 1997 - 48th - at the Working trials was ”Natz vom Heideloh”, a kennel that had produced a number of first class show specimens.
“Natz” was also an “Ulk” son out a bitch that had a few good show specimens in her pedigree, “Hera v.d. Goldbergheide”. “Natz” was used by a few working dog breeders, but “show” breeders did not seem to see any purpose in using him.
1998 WORKING TRIALS.
At this show, “Nastor” was once again placed 3rd. He was awarded the title of “Universalsieger”, because of his success in being placed 112 in the Breed Show.
The dog placed 46th at this Show was a bitch, “Unze vom Rosenstock”, sired by “Volker vom Fourniemuhlenbach” a very well- bred dog bred by the well-known Kennels of the Judge, Herman Munster. “Volker” had a reasonably successful show career. The Dam of “Unze” came from working bloodline.
“EROS VON DER ROTTUNDUNG”
The dog that finished 48th - “Eros von der Rottundung” was sired by the very well bred “Luck v. Batu” sired by “Vax v.d. Dolomiten”. “Luck v. Batu” was first in the Jugendklasse, when judged by his own breeder Erich Orschler in 1992, and 19th in the open class, in 1995, when judged by Peter Messler.
The Dam of “Eros”, “Cess v. Haus Ruiken” was equally well-bred. She was sired by the 1989 “Sieger” “Iso v. Bergmannshof”. “Eros” however, does not appear to have been used at stud to any great extent. His pedigree does reflect the names of two important animals in the “show scene”, the double Sieger “Quando v. Arminius” and the double Sieger “Uran v. Wildsteigerland”
At this Show, the title of “Vize Universalsieger” was awarded to a dog who was placed 94th in the Working Trials, and 123 rd. in the breed ring that year, “Lasso vom Lippesteg”
“LASSO VOM LIPPESTEG”
This dog “Lasso vom Lippesteg” came from excellent show lines, having been sired by the V.A. dog, “Don vom Lenneletal” who we discussed before, out of a very well-bred bitch “Timba v. Kornfeldshof , who was a daughter of the 1989 Sieger “Iso v. Bergmannshof”.
This gives us an indication how difficult it is to breed an animal that is going to excel in the breed ring, regardless of the breeding.
1999 WORKING TRIALS.
At this show, the “Luck v. Batu” son, “Eros” who had been placed 48th in 1998, improved his position and was placed 34th.
“Nastor” who had done so well in previous years, was only 47th in 1998.
“COMET VOM STAUDERPARK”, a son of “Hoss v. Hasenborn”, V.A.3 in 1993 and 1994, was placed 84th. The breeding of Comet’s dam, “Randi vom Stauderpark” was also impressive.
“Comet” was entered in the Sieger “Breed” show in 1999 and was placed 134th. He did however, receive a “V” rating.
2000 WORKING TRIALS.
CAMP VOM MUHLTEICH
In this year, the name of Ingeborg Balonier featured once again, as the handler of the dog that finished 13th, “Camp vom Muhlteich”. “Camp” was also entered in breed at the Sieger Show that year, received a V rating, and was placed 109th. He was awarded the title of Universalsieger for the year.
Besides “Ulan v. Adeloga” , whose name appears in the fourth generation of his pedigree, and “Mutz” that appeared a long way back, “Camp” s breeding was primarily that of working bloodlines.
His father was the well-known producer of excellent working dogs, “Aly von Vordersteinwald” who we discussed earlier. “Aly” was a reasonably well-constructed Shepherd, having also received a “V” rating in his survey, but he was never entered in a breed show.
JECK VON DER BILDEICHE
The next highest placed dog with show bloodlines, “Jeck von der Bildeiche”, was placed 33rd. in the 2000 Working Trials.
As a show dog “Jeck” also did reasonably well, having been placed 89th at the 1999 Seiger Show.
The pedigree of “Jeck” is worth discussing, because he came from a Kennel that concentrated for the most part in breeding show dogs. His pedigree represents the show bloodlines of some of the best known show breeders in Germany.
His Sire, “TENNO V. NORICUM”, a very good show specimen, shown with distinction in Italy, was bred by the well-known Judge, Theo Lugbauer.
“Tenno” was sired by the important pillar of the breed “Mark vom Haus Beck”. His Dam, “Annett vom Noricum”, a daughter of “Uran v. Wildsteigerland”, was also the Dam of one of the most important and dominant Sires of the modern period, the 1993 Sieger “Jeck v. Norcum”.
“Tenno”’s Dam, “Zissie vom Kirschental” was bred by the equally famous Kennels of Karl Fuller, and came from a long line of excellent “Kirschental” bitches. She was sired by the 1993 Reserve Sieger “Atlas v. Bad Boll”.
With “Jeck”s breeding and his fairly successful career as a working dog and also show dog, one would have expected him to have been used more often by “Show” breeders, but unfortunately this was not the case.
SINDY VOM ROTEN FELD
The only animal worthy of note that "Jeck" sired, was the bitch “Sindy vom Roten Feld”, who we will discuss later with regard to some excellent animals that were shown at last year’s 2006, Sieger Breed Show.
ULAN VOM TANNEBRUCH
Here was another dog that came from a well-known “show” kennel. “Ulan v. Tannenbruch” was placed 42nd at the 2000 working trials. “Ulan” was also entered in the Sieger Breed Show and was placed 111 th. He was placed third in the “Universalsieger” award.
“Ulan” was sired by a excellent show specimen with a remarkably strong temperament – “Cash v. Wildsteigerland” who we discussed earlier. In 1996 “Cash” was reserve Sieger, and – as was mentioned before – his bite work in the test of courage was so impressive that the onlookers burst into wild cheering.
The pedigree of “Ulan”s Dam, “Meggi vom Wasserad” was equally impressive. Her Sire, “Vopo v. Kirschental” had the identical breeding to the 1978 Sieger, “Eiko” He was also a fine show specimen, having been placed V 27th in 1987.
I can also recall having been particularly impressed with the quality of his bite work in the test of courage in 1997,
“Meggi”’s dam, “Irka von der Silberklemme” was also a very well-bred bitch, sired by the 1980 Sieger “Axel v. Hainsterbach”, one of “Lasso di Val Soles” best sons.
Here again it is disappointing that more use was not made of “Ulan” as a Sire, considering his excellent breed background.
Even though he was placed only 111th at the 2000 Sieger Show, he was an animal of reasonably good show quality. One gets the feeling that if he had been used by a breeder with a really excellent bitch something useful could have resulted with regard to working ability and show excellence.
If one wants to breed dual purpose dogs that can excel in both fields, it is often necessary to be more creative and look further that the top V.A. dog
2001 WORKING TRIALS.
The number of dogs with “show bloodlines” entered at this show was even less this year.
HONDA VOM PETERSBRUNNEN
The animal placed 41st. was the bitch “Honda vom Petersbrunnen”who was placed137th in the breed show. As the highest placed animal in both breed and working, this earned her the title that year of “Universalsieger” – not a very good reflection of the state of the breed with regard to dual purpose animals.
She was sired by the important working dog “Aly vom Vordersteinwald”, to whom we have referred on a number of occasions, as he was a particular successful sire of working animals. But, as previously pointed out one has to go back four generations to find any evidence of any show animals.
The next highest placed dog, placed 45th, was HOSS VOM DER HAUS VORST . Both his Sire and Dam came predominantly working stock. But his pedigree is of interest and worthwhile discussing for a particular reason.
The Dam of “Hoss” was a bitch named “Dayna vom Weinsbergtal” bred by one of the most famous and successful working dog kennels in Germany, still active and still very successful today. “Dayna” came from a long line of very good working bitches, bred by this kennel.
But if one examines the breeding records of the founder of the “aus dem Weinsbergtal” kennels, Erika Schroder, one will find that in the past, on a number of occasions, she made use of top breed dogs in addition to working dogs.
For example, the Sire of “Panja aus dem Weinsbergtal”, a bitch from which “Dayna” is descended, was sired by the excellent show dog, “Atlas vom Restrauch”, V2 in 1979, a dog of the finest show bloodlines and bred by the German Shepherd Dog Judge, Gunter Koellges.
As has been pointed out before, working dog breeders at present are not using show dogs as they did in the past. There has been a distinct change in attitude towards top show dogs.
BRENDA VOM WINZERDORF
The animal that was placed 60th at this show was “Brenda vom Winzerdorf”, sired by “Negus von der Noriswand” bred by the well-known Kennels of the German Shepherd Dog Judge, Judge Ernst Ruckert.
2002 WORKING TRIALS.
Nor surprisingly, 2002 showed no improvement in the numbers of dogs with show bloodlines entered in the Working Trials.
The highest placed dog with show bloodlines at these working trials was NANUK VON DER ROHRBRUCKE who was placed 68th . He was also entered in the Breed at the Sieger Show and received rather a poor place of S.G. 6.
“Nanuk” was sired by the “Ulk” son, “Natz. V. Heideloh”, a kennel that has produced a number of fine show specimens, including the V.A. 7 dog in 1983, “Benny von der Heideloh”.
It must have been rather disappointing for the owner and breeder of “Nanuk”, Erwin Schlechter, to receive these placings in both the Working and Breed Show. He is however, to be highly commended for having taking the time and effort to have entered both shows.
It is to Erwin Schlechter's credit that he entered the Working Trials again in 2003. This year he improved his position and was placed 52nd. In 2004 there was a significant improvement in his performance and he was placed a creditable 25th.
TAPS VON DER SUMPFHEIDE
“Taps”, son of a very good dual working dog, “Greif von Tor zum Sauerland”, V 49 at the 1996 Sieger Show, and a frequent competitor in Working Trials, unfortunately did not do as well as his father. At the 2002 Working Trials he was placed 114th and in the breed show that year, Peter Messler, placed him S.G. 3.
His Sire, “Greif” was a popular stud with both the show breeders and also the working breeders and produced some fine dogs with strong temperaments.
2003 WORKING TRIALS.
Here again there were very few dogs with show bloodlines that did well.
The winner of the “Universersalsieger” title this year was “CORAX VOM ROSIER CLAN”, placed 7th at the Show. Hispedigree shows very little evidence of ancestors with show bloodlines.
Although he was 7th in Working Trials,"Corax" was only S.G. 1 at the Breed Show. Still this was enough to earn him the title. This is a reflection of the poor breed quality of dogs that were winning the title of "universalsieger" at the time.
URIEL VOM AROLSER HOLZ was placed 35th at these 2003 Working Trials. He was bred by a old-established Kennel that had, in the past, been prominent in breeding quality dual- purpose breed and working stock.
His pedigree, however, now reflected very little ancestors with show bloodlines. In the Breed Show that year he was placed V 135.
At this show NANUK, who we discussed earlier, was placed 52nd.
It was now clearly apparent that the conformation and structure of the Working Dog competitors, had altered dramatically from previous years.
The dog that was placed 59th, ADONIS VOM MORFELDER LAND was placed V143 in the Breed Show that year. Even though he did receive a V rating, there hardly any evidence whatsoever in his pedigree of dogs with show bloodlines. He was bred almost entirely from working stock.
The Sire of Adonis, ASKO VON DER LUTTER, a Koer class 2 dog, that we discussed before, was a remarkably successful sire of working stock, but certainly not a dog that could not in any way be termed a good breed specimen.
2004 WORKING TRIALS
“Nanuk” was the highest placed dog with show bloodlines. He was placed 25th, a significant improvement on his previous placing in the previous years.
PASCHA VOM SEEWOLF
The next highest placing by a dog with show bloodlines was the dog placed 98th, “Pascha vom Seewolf , sired by a very well bred dog “Troll von Fourniermuhlenbach”, V66 at the 2002 Sieger Show.
“Pascha” was the youngest competitor in the 2004 Working Trials, born on the 26th February 2002. For a dog of such a young age to compete with such relative success in the fierce competition of these working Trials was an excellent accomplishment.
“Pascha’s” Sire, “Troll” was a son of the Reserve Sieger in 1999, “Jango vom Furstenberg” an outstanding breed specimen, and a dog very highly regarded as a first class producer of quality Show dogs.
“Troll’s dam, “Palme von Fourniermuhlenbach” was equally well-bred. She was sired by the very important show dog and Sire of excellent breed specimen, “Natz v. Steigerhof .
The Dam of “Pascha”, “Kira von der Schanze” was a daughter of “Greif Tor zum Sauerland” who we discussed earlier.
There was no “Universalseiger” title awarded in 2004, an indication that working breeders were losing interest in showing their dogs in the breed ring.
2005 WORKING TRIALS.
This year was very similar to the previous year in that there were very few dogs with show bloodlines, even four generations back, that competed in these working trials
DANNY VON LESIMO.
Special mention however, should be made of the dog that was awarded the title of “Universalsieger” that year, “Danny von Lesimo”. “Danny” was placed 50th in the Working Trials and when entered in Breed at the 2005 Sieger Show, he was placed 139th.
A well-constructed grey dog, “Danny” was sired by an important working dog , “Xato von der bosen Nachbarschaft”, whose bloodlines go back to “Mutz v. Peltzierfarm”. As we have seen, “Mutz” was an important producer of show dogs as well as working stock, often through his V.A. son, “Jonny Rheihalle”.
“Danny” ’s dam, “Jana vom Bernhardinerhof” was also from working bloodlines. One has to go back three generations to find an indication of an animal with show bloodlines, “Ulrich v.d. Wienerau”, in her pedigree.
“Ulrich v.d. Wienerau”, who we discussed earlier, was sired by the excellent dual purpose dog, “Olden v. Asterplatz”, a son of “Nico v. Haus Beck”. His bloodlines also reflect the influence of the 1961 Sieger, “Veus v.d. Starrenberg” and “Jalk v. Fohlenbrunnen”.
Earlier the question of “luck” in breeding was discussed at some length. The breeding of “Danny” is certainly a case in point. The “Lesimo” kennels was established only a relatively short time ago, in 1997.
There are breeders who have been trying for years to breed an animal of this quality without success. But “Danny” was the result of the very first breeding by this Kennel!
The founder of the Kennels purchased the bitch “Jana vom Bernhardinerhof and the first mating was to “Xato von der bosen Nachbarschaft” “Danny” was the fortunate result of this mating.
Even though the comparative newcomer to the breed would probably argue that it was due to his remarkable foresight rather than pure luck in choosing “Xato” to mate to his bitch, there is no question that “luck” was a very important factor
2006 WORKING TRIALS.
There were no dramatic changes in last year’s Working Trials. Most of the dogs entered showed very little evidence of “show bloodlines” in their pedigrees.
The “Univeralsieger” title was awarded this year, to a dog that was placed 74th in the Working Trials and only S.G. 1 in the Breed Show. This dog, “Eyk aus der Eichendoirffsiedlung” was sired by “Tom van “t” Leefdahlhof”.
The only evidence of “show” bloodlines in the pedigree of “Eyk” is that of the dog “Canto v. Amicos” who was sired by the V.A. dog, “Jonny v.d. Rheinahlle”, going back several generations
2006 SIEGER BREED SHOW
There were a few dogs with “working bloodlines” that competed in the Sieger Breed Show in 2006. But they were not well-placed. The dog placed 135th, ‘Evergray’s Kenny”, known to be frequent competitor in working trials, although not in the main BUNDESSIEGERPRUFUNG in 2006, was Reserve “Universalsieger”.
He was also an animal that came from a working background, without marked evidence of any show bloodlines.
Finally, mention should be made of “Golo von der Waldesruh”, who was placed 137th in breed at the 2006 Sieger Show. “Golo” was sired by an exceptionally fine dual purpose dog, “Laius vom Moorbeck” a “Vando vom Moorbeck” son and “Ulk” grandson
“Laius”, in addition to being a top quality show dog, V 16 at the 2002 Sieger Show, was a dog with an exceptionally good working temperament. It is unfortunate that “Golo” did not happen to be a better show specimen otherwise it is highly likely he would have been used by both show and working breeders.
Earlier mention was made, in our discussion about the 2000 Working Trials, of the very good working dog with show bloodlines, Jek v.d. Bildeiche who was placed 33rd.
Attention was drawn to the fact that although “Jek” did not produce any sons of note, he did produce a very good daughter “Sindy vom Roten Feld”.
At the most recent Sieger Show, in 2006, one of the stars of the show was a young dog, placed 22nd, “Tiras vom Roten Feld”
TIRAS VOM ROTEN FELD
“Tiras”, a son of “Sindy vom Roten Feld”, impressed everyone with his performance in the “Test of courage”. It was quite obvious that the influence of his grand-sire, “Jeck v.d. Bildeiche” was very much in evidence. More especially, because the Sire of “Tiras”, “Yello vom St- Michael’s- Berg, although a good sire of excellent breed specimens, was not noted for producing dogs with very strong temperaments.
I regard this as very encouraging. If one has a reasonably good show bitch, that comes from a combination of good show and strong working stock, and she is mated to an excellent show dog, known for producing good show animals, there is every chance of producing an excellent dual purpose dog even if the Sire does not have an especially strong temperament.
Very often the Dam is of far greater importance with regard to temperament than the Sire.
This concludes the examination of dogs that entered in Working Trials in the past 25 years, some of which had prominent Show dogs in their pedigrees.
It is clear from this survey that every year there were fewer and fewer dogs with show bloodlines that competed successfully – or competed at all for that matter – in the annual working Trials.
SUMMARY: AN ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION - POSSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE PROBLEM - AND SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS.
It is clear that “show breeders” appear to have lost interest in competing in Working Trials. Let us look for possible explanations for this unsatisfactory situation. Why were “show breeders” now not taking part in working trials as often as they had done in the past?
1. It is possible that many show dog breeders – many of whom had previously been active in both areas - recognized that the dogs they were breeding from current top show winners, were not as strong in temperament as dogs they had used in the past. There was no point in competing in Working Trials.
2. The time required to train a dog to perform adequately in the show ring had become more and more demanding. Unless a dog showed special promise they were not prepared to spend the countless hours necessary to train a dog to achieve success in Working trials as well as the show ring. The rewards were not attractive enough.
3. The title of “Universalsieger” had lost its appeal. While there were a few breeders who attached a great deal of importance to this title, the majority considered it relatively unimportant. This had become more and more apparent over the years. The title had become less and less prestigious. It was a title now being awarded to dogs with only mediocre performance in both areas.
The “working breeders”, for their part, had also become less and less interested in competing in Breed Shows, also for a number of reasons.
1. In the same way as the “show dog breeders” recognized that many of the dogs winning top honors in the breed ring were not temperamentally suited for the rigorous training required for success in Working Trials, this was even more apparent to Working dog breeders.
2. Many of the “old time” working dog breeders who had previously participated in both Breed competitions and working Trials, formed the impression that in order to now win in breed shows, one to belong to a certain elitist “clique”. They considered the judging was not as fair and as transparent as they would like it to be. Certain bloodlines were being favored and promoted.
3. There were many features of the current top winning dogs that did not appeal to them. Even though these dogs had very flashy side gaits and moved in a very spectacular, crowd-pleasing manner, this was not the type of movement they considered most suitable for a “working” dog. Many of the working breeders considered this flashy movement, as attractive as it appeared to be to spectators, was basically unsound.
4. The title of “Universalsieger” had lost its appeal for them in the same way as it had done for the “show” breeders.
5. They were dedicated to winning top honors in Working Competitions and this was their goal and primary purpose.
6. Many of the competitors in Working Competitions, who had been competing for many years, were very experienced but people of more mature years. Although they were fit enough to still take part in Working competitions, as arduous as this undoubtedly was, handling a dog in the breed required a completely different athletic ability.
It is hoped that an examination of the above list of possible explanations for what is, without doubt, an unsatisfactory situation may help us in coming up with positive suggestions for remedying this situation.
The situation has deteriorated gradually over quite a long period. It is obviously not possible to find an immediate solution – an instant “quick fix” - but for the sake of the breed, it is necessary that something should be done. The S.V. is certainly aware of the situation.
Here are some positive suggestions that may in time be helpful in producing the desired effect.
Dog breeding – and that includes the breeding of German Shepherds - like most other activities, is to a very large extent dominated and dictated by fashion. Obviously fashions change. As they change people are influenced to an enormous extent by the prevailing mood of acceptance of what is fashionable and acceptable.
There are many who are inclined to regard the “Breed Standard” as “holy”; something that cannot be arbitrarily changed by whim of fashion.
But the fact remains that, although the words in the standard have not been changed to any appreciable extent, what has changed quite dramatically over the years, is the interpretation of the standard.
What is necessary, is a complete re-evaluation of the type of German Shepherd we would like to have. Obviously there will be no unanimity in this regard. There will be serious differences of opinion, certainly with regard to structure.
But it will be necessary to come to some definite decision with regard to soundness.
Some questions must be asked:
Are Working Dog breeders, who have departed so radically in their breeding from the currently accepted view of what constitutes a well-constructed German Shepherd, completely off the mark in regarding the movement of current top-winning Shepherds as basically unsound and unsuitable for prolonged work?
While the dynamic, side movement, a feature of top show specimens today and essential for success in the show ring, is without doubt attractive, is it the most practical basis for soundness?
Is too much emphasis placed in the Show ring today on the pronounced angulation, both front and rear, necessary to produce this ground-covering gait, that is so appealing?
Is soundness being correctly assessed in the Show ring?
Is enough importance being placed today on away movement, with firm hocks, which was a more noticeable feature of judging in the past?
Because of the marked hind-angulation in vogue today, is it necessary to turn a blind eye to looseness in hocks, a feature often associated with of this type of angulation?
The above points have not been raised to criticize the present judging. It is rather an attempt to draw attention to questions raised by prominent breeders of working dogs who no longer make use of “show bloodlines” in their breeding program.
Is there sound basis for their views, or are they completely off the mark?
These matters are concerned with the structure of the modern show German Shepherd. When one discusses “beauty”, there are many subjective factors and many individual opinions involved. It is difficult to form a balanced, objective opinion. “Beauty”, to a large extent, it is always in the eyes of the beholder.
But temperament is completely a different matter. There is no question that the modern German Shepherd Dog is not as “hard” as it was in the past. Some would argue - and there is justification for their argument - that in the present age, “hardness” is not necessarily a virtue.
It all depends of what one is looking for in a German Shepherd Dog.
Is it a sweet-natured, lovable, affectionate, handsome animal, with a completely reliable, stable temperament, friendly to everyone, that you are looking for, – and what is probably more important – what the buyers of your pups are looking for?
Or is it a strong, athletic, good-looking animal you require, that is completely reliable and friendly with family members, babies and children, tolerant of strangers, not over-aggressive, but still a dependable protection dog, sufficiently discriminating to know the difference between a situation that may be potentially threatening to its owner and one that poses no danger?
It is quite clear that there has been a marked change in the temperament of the Shepherd over the years. Without doubt, there are many top-show winning Shepherds today that do not have the same protective instinct that was once more common than it is today.
These are also the complaints by the Working Dog breeders. Unlike structure however, which is a far more complicated issue, something can be done about this with more immediate effect.
The test of courage, as has been pointed out, earlier in this article, was instituted in 1967, when “Bodo v. Lierberg” became Sieger, because of his excellent, self-confident protective instinct. It is still a feature of the Sieger Shows every year, but is sufficient attention being placed on this important test of temperament?
Sometimes, because of the striking beauty of the animal being shown, its excellent proportions, construction and exceptional gait, Judges at Sieger Shows have been inclined to overlook a somewhat hesitant display of “courage” in the compulsory test.
Here again, this is not meant as a criticism of Judges. Very often the animal in question, in addition to being a strikingly handsome animal, has proved to be a remarkably dominant sire, passing on its own qualities of excellence and producing numerous sons and daughters of similar quality to himself.
Is the slight hesitancy in the “test of courage” of sufficient importance to penalize the animal and place it in a far lower position that would otherwise have been the case?
These are all factors to be considered, and considered at great length.
It might appear , from the wide range of suggestions directed at “show breeders”, that I consider the unsatisfactory situation that exists today is entirely their fault.
This is certainly not the case. Many “working Dog Breeders” should also pay more attention to many areas in need of improvement.
It is incorrect to accept automatically that the temperaments of all top working dog winners are as faultless as the breeders would have you believe.
It is a well-known fact that some working dogs, that went on to win top honors, did so after they changed hands. Their original owners and handlers were unable to control these animals.
Because of the emphasis on dynamic, and at times frenetic, even frenzied and over-excitable behavior , that many breeders insist on to gain maximum points, many dogs with “working dog bloodlines” have such extreme “prey drive” this aspect of their temperament supercedes everything else.
Is this due entirely to training or is it part of the nature of the animal
“Prey drive” is of course extremely important in a working dog. But control and obedience is of far greater importance. In any event, there are known instances in which the working dog with a very highly developed “prey drive” instinct is so concerned with the “prey” that it loses all sense of discrimination in so far as protection is concerned.
Sometimes the animal is so conditioned to attack the “arm” of the "criminal" that it can only focus on this “prey object”. If in a real life situation, a real criminal – not the “trained assailant” - were to discard the “arm”, it is possible, in many instances, that the dog would be quite satisfied to attack this “prey object” and forget its real purpose.
Of course this is not always the case and it does depend, in many instances, on the correct training, but it is incorrect to assume because the dog is a trained “working dog” and has competed in working trials, it will necessarily be a completely reliable “protection dog”.
It is possible that the above suggestions may have some positive effect in narrowing the gap between the two groups. Clearly however, even if these suggestions are implemented it is going to take time.
A POSITIVE SUGGESTION TO IMPROVE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORKING DOG BREEDERS AND SHOW BREEDERS.
I have left for last, what I believe to be a positive suggestion that will not take much time to be implement, but could result in a significant improvement in the relationship between “show dog breeders” and “working dog breeders”.
At the beginning of this section that deals with an analysis of the reasons for the problem and possible solutions, I mentioned the importance of fashion, and the fact that popular opinion is very much influenced by fashion.
In every field the perception of the public of what is most currently sought-after, popular and desirable is dictated by fashion.
What determines what is currently fashionable? This question is not difficult to answer. It is promotion. This applies to every important sports tournament; every event in which the public is invited to participate as spectators or competitors; every contest and every competition.
It makes no difference whether it is a hairdressing competition; a fashion show, a beauty contest, a dog show, or any other competitive event, promotion is the key to the success of the event.
Sponsors use various means of effective promotion to persuade contestants and spectators that the event they are sponsoring is of major significance. It makes no difference whether the contest is one that involves throwing a pole the longest distance, or remaining on a wild horse for the longest time, with effective promotion the public comes to accept the contest is a very important event. As a result, the winners of these contests are admired and held in great esteem.
What does this cynicism have to do with a positive suggestion to introduce a common meeting ground between Show dog breeders and Working Dog breeders?
It is concerned with the effective promotion of the “Universsalsieger” title; a title introduced in 1997, but one that appears to have lost its appeal completely.
It will be recalled that the title of “Universalseieger” was won that year by “Lasso v. Kampchen who was placed 32nd in breed and 43rd. in the Working Trials, certainly noteworthy accomplishments, considering the intense competition in both fields.
The praise heaped on this exceptionally good dog and his expert handler was fully deserved, and the subsequent coverage in the Dog magazines understandable.
But Since 1977 the title has steadily assumed less and less importance each year
As has been mentioned, the winner of the “Universalsieger” title last year in 2006 was “Eyk aus der Eichendorff-siedlung”. His standard of achievement in both the breed show and the working trials was considerably less impressive than that of “Lasso”.
“Eyk” was placed 74th in the working trials. He was placed 139th in the Breed show with a very unimpressive grading of only S.G
Why this should be?
The answer is simply because the title has been insufficiently and inadequately promoted. The incentive for winning what should be an extremely prestigious title has been absent for years.
The title of “Universalesieger” should be one of the most important titles a German Shepherd Dog can win. It is the ideal that von Stephanitz always had in mind.
As a consequence of effective promotion, the title of “Universalsieger” could come to represent a goal that every breeder of show dogs and also every working dog breeders should strive to achieve.
How can this be done? There could be far more prestige attached to the winning of this event. Although every Sieger Show has a very full agenda of events, the awarding of the “Universalsieger” title should be marked by a special event, accompanied by all the necessary fanfare, speeches and congratulations both to the owner of the dog and the breeder.
Special attention should be made to giving the breeders of the "Universalsiegers" due recognition for their efforts.
It would mean a tremendous boost for the prestige and standing of the kennels of a German Shepherd Dog breeder – whether it a well known kennel or one that has only started recently – if there was greater public recognition, admiration and prestige attached to their efforts.
If German Shepherd Dog breeders, all over the world, were asked today to name the winners of the “Unversalsieger” title” since it was inaugurated in 1977 and - what is probably more important - the names of the Kennels in which they were bred, how many Kennels names would come immediately to mind?
Certainly not many. This is not as it should be. Their names should be just as familiar to the German Shepherd show going public as “vom Huhnegrab”, “von Batu”, “von Arlett”, “von Arminius”, “Karat’s” “vom Farbenspiel” “von Frankengold” “vom Holtkampfer See” and all the other famous Kennels with which German Shepherd enthusiasts are so familiar.
German Shepherd Dog breeders, whether they are “show breeders” or specialist “working dog” breeders – should be given every encouragement to breed top- quality dual-purpose dogs, capable of winning a title that should be regarded by everyone as a remarkable breeding achievement.
They must be rewarded for their efforts. What better reward is there than public acceptance, recognition. admiration and high regard by German Shepherd Dog enthusiasts all over the world.
It all revolves around promotion. With effective promotion, that could begin immediately, there would be a dramatic change in the efforts of breeders. This would be to the great benefit of the breed.
In the hope it will help us identify which show bloodlines are more likely to produce the dual purpose dogs we would like o breed, let us return to the analysis of the dogs with show bloodlines that competed in the Working Trials from 1982 to 2006.
It will be apparent from the examination of the pedigrees of the breed dogs entered in these Working Trials - some with more marked success than others- that certain names keep re-appearing.
As has been pointed out previously, the Canto v. Wienerau/Quanto v. Wienerau combination keeps cropping up in the dogs with show bloodlines entered in working trial.
Very often it was a “Quanto” son mated to a “Canto” daughter, or the other way around, that resulted in a good working dog.
Even though “Canto” was regarded as a dog with a temperament unsuited for top quality working trials, there is no doubt that the combination of “Canto” and “Quanto” consistently resulted in many animals of excellent character.
Of course these animals, famous in the past, are no longer with us. But many of their progeny are. With judicious, intelligent and discriminating breeding from the best of their progeny, it should be possible to take advantage of what these dogs were able to offer.
When one studies the diagrams, published each year, featuring the descendants of the top working dog at the annual Bundessiegerprufung (Working Trials), it is important to keep in mind that these diagrams, for practical reasons and lack of space, reflect only the male line.
It is not practical to include the female line as well as the male line for every single dog entered in these Working Trials. If one goes to the trouble to examine the female line as well as the male line, one will be surprised to find how often the name of “Canto v.d. Wienerau” and “Quanto v.d. Wienerau” appear in the pedigrees of the Dams of the working dogs
Even if one examines only the male line, one will see that there are still a number of dogs currently being shown in the Working trials that are direct descendants of “Quanto v.d. Wienerau's male line
At the 2006 Working Trials, for example, “Elly von der Donauvorstadt” was placed a very creditable 22nd. “Evergrey’s Kenny” was placed quite low down in the 95th position, but he also competed in the Breed ring.
In 2004 there were also a number of “Quanto” descendants who competed.
“Quanto” produced a number of excellent sons, such as “Lasso di Vale Sole” whose name often appears in the pedigrees of current working dogs. He was also the grand-sire of the 1996/1997 Double “Sieger” “Quando v. Arminius”, also an important source of working bloodlines, combined with show bloodlines, through his son “Odin Tannenmiese”.
The name of the double Sieger, “Uran v. Wildsteigerland” –1994/1995 – another descendant of “Quanto v. Wienerau” also appears in the pedigrees of a number of working dogs.
Even though “Canto v.d. Wienerau” was criticized for not having sufficient “fighting spirit”, there are also a number of working dogs with very strong temperaments that are direct descendants of “Canto v.d. Wienerau”, though Canto’s son, the 1978 “Sieger” “Canto v. Arminius.
If you go back to the discussion about the 1984 dogs with show bloodlines that competed in the working trials that year, you will find mention made of “Kanto von der Strotheide” placed a very high 4th. “Kanto” was sired by the “Caesar v. Arminius” son, “Apoll v. Haus Tigges” V.A. 4 in 1981.
“Caesar”, litter brother to “Canto v. Arminius”, was sired by “Canto v.d. Wienerau” out of a “Quanto v.d. Wienerau” daughter.
“Caesar” produced a number of dogs with very good temperaments such as the 1993 Sieger “Dingo v. Haus Gero” and “Fanto v. Bayerischen Wald”, V.2 at the Sieger Show in 1978.
Some other names of well-known show dogs, whose names that appear fairly often in the pedigrees of the dogs that competed in working trials are the following:
Quanto v.d Wenerau
Frei v.d. Gugge
Quando v. Arminius
Ulan v. Adloga
Tell v.d. Grossen Sand
Sony . Badener Land
Derby v. Adeloga
Benny v. Heideloh
Lasso di Val sole
Natz v. Arminius
Fedor v. Arminius
Karo v. Asbacher Land
Ulk v. Arlett
Blitz v. Bayerseich
Ulrich v. Wienerau
It is important to keep names such as these in mind in any breeding program aimed at producing tip quality dual purpose dogs.
Before I conclude I would like to make further reference to a point I raised earlier with reference to the “Wienerau” bred dogs of Walter Martin.
WALTER MARTIN AND ‘CANTO V.D. WIENERAU”
It is felt, in some quarters, that the person more responsible than anyone else for the rift between working dog breeders and show breeders was the late Walter Martin. Based on success in the show ring, he was, without doubt the most successful breeder in the history of the German Shepherd.
Detractors of Walter Martin frequently make reference to the faulty temperament of one of the dominant animals the breed has known – “Canto von der Wienerau”.
They consider that the dawn of the modern, well-angulated German Shepherd Dog, introduced by Martin, was also associated with a marked deterioration in temperament.
They believe the dog responsible for this, to a greater degree than any other, was “Canto v.d. Wienerau". There are many who also have the erroneous impression that a great many “Wienerau” dogs have faults in temperament. This, of course, complete nonsense. Many dogs bred by Walter Martin had very strong temperaments indeed.
I have personally owned and trained two animals, sired by “Wienerau” bred dogs, with exceptionally strong temperaments. One, bred by the very highly regarded "Murrenhutte" Kennels of the late Ruth Stuttchen, was sired by the three times V.A. dog, and Sieger “Zamb son, “Esko v.d. Wienerau” ; the other sired by “Flex v.d. Wienerau”, a son of the Double Siegerin “Vanta v. Wienerau”, also known to have a very strong temperament.
“Canto” s bloodlines are often represented in the pedigrees of working German Shepherds. In order to arrive at a fair assessment of “Canto’s” importance in the development of the modern German Shepherd, let us examine accurate details about “Canto”, particularly with regard to this temperament
Although Canto v.d. Wienerau died young and sired relatively few litters, because of his remarkable prepotency he is still regarded as one of the three most important dogs who shaped the modern German Shepherd dog.
Canto was born on the 17th September 1968 and sired by Hein von Konigsbruch out of the Jalk v. Fohlenbrunnen daughter Liane von der Wienerau.
It is interesting to examine his pedigree in some detail, as this may provide clues to his quite exceptional prepotency.
In spite of having produced only a limited number of progeny during the short time he was at stud, a large proportion of these received the high classification of Korklasse 1. Six of these animals were V.A. in Germany. He also sired two American Champions. Canto sire, “Hein v. Konigsbruch”, born on the 10th March 1965, was a very interesting dog, for a number of reasons.
It is also interesting to reflect on the possible the reasons why Walter Martin decided to use “Hein v. Konigsbruch”, rather than a more popular stud dog, to mate to his excellent bitch “Liane von der Wienerau” , a V bitch of exceptionally good breeding.
Although Hein’s Koer report was satisfactory, he certainly did not have a very illustrious show career in German. In 1968 he was placed in a relatively low position of S.G. 7 in the Open male Class under Dr. Funk.
In 1969 he did no better under Dr. Rummel, being graded only G because of his lack of working qualifications.
His “Koer” report describes him as ….. “ a large, stretched animal with harmonious lines, good angulation, ideal backline, and ground covering gait”
It referred to Hein’s temperament as being sound. His fighting spirit “kampftrieb” however, was described as “vorhanden” – present rather than pronounced.
It is somewhat surprising why Martin decided to use him. “Hein” had not sired many litters at the time, so there was little evidence to indicate what he could produce.
Why then did Walter Martin decide to use him rather than more popular, proven animals who had already demonstrated their ability in the show ring and also their prepotency?
The answer to this, I feel, is because Walter Martin was a visionary with a remarkable eye for a dog. Hein represented a departure from the mostly square dogs of the time, with limited hind angulation.
Hein was somewhat over-angulated compared to many of the leading dogs of the time. He was a very glamorous dog and Martin recognized the qualities he had to offer.
Moreover, he was aware of Hein’s pedigree. His Sire “Fix zu den Sieben Faulen was a very good dog, as was the sire of “Fix”, “Asslan vom Maiweg”.
I remember seeing “Asslan” earlier in Germany and was very impressed with his beautiful clean lines and – what was unusual at the time – his very good croup.
Another excellent point in “Asslan”s favor was the fact his Sire, “Alf vom Walddorf – Emst was an exceptionally good do and also a very dominant sire.
Walter Martin was clearly aware of the qualities of "Alf". Taking, what some people might have considered a calculated risk, he reckoned that in Hein, he would be able to perpetuate the fine qualities that "Alf" possessed.
I remember seeing “Alf”, ten years old at the time, at the home of his owner Walter Lueg, with whom I corresponded, and was very impressed indeed with this outstanding animal. Not only was "Alf" a very imposing dog, even at 10 years, when I saw him, he also had an outstanding temperament, bold, self-confident, but friendly when there was obviously no threat to his elderly owner.
Alf’s breeding reflected the successful combination of two of the most successful Sires of that period, Rolf v. Osnabruckerland and Axel v.d. Deininghauserheide. "Alf's Sire was Rolf and his Dam, Elga vom Villosahaus, was an Axel daughter.
Walter Martin must also have taken into account the fact that his own bitch’s temperament was very strong indeed.
Liane was a daughter an exceptionally good dog, Jalk v. Fohlenbrunne, who also had a background of very good temperaments. Her Dam “Dixie v.d. Wienerau” was a daughter of the V.A. dog “Arno vom Haus Schwingel”
Moreover, Liane was one of an exceptionally good litter. Her litter sister Landa v. Wienerau became a Siegerin, and a litter brother “Lido” was also an outstanding specimen, a very dominant Sire with a very strong temperament.
Hein was exported to the Tadellos Kennels of Mrs. Egger in Britain at the age of 5 where he was reasonably successful in the Show ring, winning two C.C. s.
He also sired some good stock in England. The best assessment of Hein v. Konigsbruch”s temperament was made by my good friend Percy Elliott in his book “The Complete German Shepherd”. This is what Percy Elliott wrote:
“Hein had little working ability and for this reason was downgraded to good at the 1969 Sieger Show. He was not shy, just a normal friendly enough dog and satisfactory if not too much was asked of him…”
I can agree with this assessment. Many years ago, in the vain hope that I would become the proud owner of another "Canto", I imported a young Hein son from Mrs. Egger. My dog was a very lovable, friendly, good-natured dog but somewhat lacking in protective instinct. He was however, an ideal family pet.
Canto was described as a dog of medium size (64cm) and medium strong with excellent proportions. His front angulations was very good indeed and hind angulation was marked.
Special mention was made of his very well laid, long croup, a feature he passed on to many of his progeny. Negative features included a head that was lacking in masculinity and also lack of strong pigment. There was also a distinct tendency towards loose hocks which was particularly noticeable when he was a young dog
As a young dog he was placed 4th – S.G. 4 in the Youth Class. At the Sieger Show in 1971 he was V.1 in the open dog class
His temperament was not as bold as one would have liked and in this respect he took after his father rather than his mother. It must also be mentioned that Canto is regarded as the first known hemophiliac in the breed. This was not discovered until later when it was found that his daughters began to produce affected males.
Although he died at the very young age of four he produced a vast number of exceptionally good dogs.
Very important Canto sons whose names appear in the pedigrees of a huge number of today’s top winners are the following.
Frei v. Holtkamper See, Canto Arminius and to a lesser extent, Argus Klamme and Caesar v. Arminius.
Frei V. Holtkamper See was sired by Canto out of Iris v. Sudfeld, a bitch whose breeding reflected the valuable Vello zu den Sieben Faulen influence.
Frei was the most successful of Canto’s progeny with 5 V.A. progeny, one of which, Zorro v. Haus Beck - V.A in 1981 – produced the very important Lasso v. Wiederbrucher Land.
Lasso v. Wiederbrucherland in turn, produced the exceptionally successful sire, “Fedor v. Arminius” who was V.A in 1987.
Fedor’s name is to be found in the pedigrees of a vast number of top winning show animals, in many instances through the important V.A. Fedor son, Mark v. Haus Beck, whose name also appears in the pedigrees of a number of working dogs
Mark has proved to be one of the most important sires of top quality show dogs recent years and is the sire, among many others, of the Sieger Kimon Dan Alhedys Hoeve.
Kimon is the Sire of the V.A rated “Karly v. Arminius. “Karly” has also proved to be an exceptionally good sire and produced the V.A animal “Jello Michelstadter Rathaus”, an important sire in his own right.
Canto v. Arminius the other very important Canto v. Wienerau son was Sieger in 1978 when the title of “Sieger” was re-introduced after having been discontinued since 1973.
Canto v. Armnius was an exceptionally good mover. When I saw him at the Sieger show for the first time, I was amazed at the fluidity and effortless nature of his gait. Although he produced better daughters than sons, he did produce a very good animal in Sonny v. Badener Land, who in turn produced the Reserve Sieger to Uran – Tell v. Grossen Sand.
"Tell's" litter sister, Tina v. Grossen Sand , was Siegerin.
Tell produced the double Sieger “Fanto v.Hirschel” – 1990 and 1991 and also "Fanto's" litter brother, ‘Frei v. Hirschel”, who was also an important Sire in his own right, producing very strong temperaments.
The “Frei v. Hirschel” son, Amigo v. Belgier is considered by knowledgeable judges to be a ideal source of excellent temperaments, He is the Sire of a number of very good dogs who have done well at Sieger Shows, including the very highly regarded, Italian bred, V.A. animal “Quartz v. Templari” whose temperament has been described as “exemplary”.
The Canto Arminius litter brother, Caesar v. Arminius, was also an important Canto v. Wienerau son. Considered by many to have a stronger temperament than his litter brother, he was the sire of the Dingo v. Haus Gero, Sieger in 1982. Dingo was an exceptionally good mover with a spectacular gait.
Although widely used at first, and the Sire of 4 V.A. animals, Dingo was later not favoured by German breeders as it was felt that he produced too many animals whose hips were suspect.
Argus v.Klammle was sired by Canto out of Zilly v. Klammle, who was later exported to American where she became a Champion. Argus was known to be a dog of excellent character.
Argus’s influence continued mainly though his excellent son Argus v. Aducht who is represented in animals sired by Manto Overdinger Land and Miro Holtkamper See.
It is clear that Canto v. Wienerau’s influence though his sons and daughters has left an indelible impression on the breed. He can truly be regarded as on the three pillars of the modern German Shepherd Dog. Even though his temperament might not have been as ideal and as strong as one would have wished, many of his offspring had no problems whatsoever in this regard.
They produced animals of excellent show quality and – when mated to the right bitch – also of excellent working ability. The bloodlines of “Canto v. Wienerau” are certainly well worth considering for anyone whose aim is to breed top quality, dual- purpose animals.
After digesting all that has been written about the present state of the breed and the marked differences in the objectives of those who breed primarily for show and those whose interest lies exclusively in working dog trials, let us return to the original question posed at the beginning of this detailed study of show and working dog bloodlines.
“Is it possible to breed a German Shepherd Dog that is not only an excellent show specimen, but also an exceptional working dog, able to take top honors at breed shows as well as working trials?
The answer to this is: "Yes! I believe it is possible! It can be done!""
But this answer has to be qualified with the following important conditions and provisos:
1. To breed a dual-purpose dog that can succeed at breed shows and also in working trials, you have to be extremely knowledgeable with regard to German Shepherd Dog bloodlines. You have to be fully conversant with the special virtues – and faults - not only of the dogs you decide to breed from, but also the dogs in their pedigrees. This applies as much to temperament as it does to construction.
2. The bitch you breed from must be a reasonably good show specimen, although not necessarily a top winner herself. She must have a strong, stable temperament and come from very good show stock, with a background in her pedigree of some animals known to have been good working dogs.
3. After you have made an exhaustive study of pedigrees and selected what appears to be the most suitable mate for your bitch, you will also have to make a point of finding out what type of progeny the male has produced, with special emphasis on temperament.
4. Once you have bred a litter from the very best stock and the finest bloodlines available, you will need to be very lucky indeed to find even one exceptionally good pup in the litter - not just a very good pup but one that is exceptionally good.
5. You will have to be even luckier to find that the best constructed pup in your litter also happens, by chance, to be the one with the very best working temperament - the most intelligent, anxious to please, dynamic bundle of energy you have ever bred!
At first glance, it may seem that the odds are stacked against you and the chances of this happening are almost nil. But in practice this is not really so. It happens far more often than you realize. The two distinct qualities of excellent conformation and excellent working temperament are not mutually exclusive.
There is no logical reason why the best constructed pup in a litter should not also be the pup with the best working temperament.
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6. Once you have selected your future dual-champion and started the training process, you must become completely obsessed with achieving your goal. You will have to spend an enormous amount of time conditioning and training your dog to perform at his best in the show ring - a highly specialized form of training.
7. In addition to the hours you spend training your dog for the breed ring, you must be prepared to spend even more time training your dog to be as perfect as possible in every exercise required in Working Trials.
8. You will need to be to be an exceptionally good trainer to do well in the highly competitive working dog trials.
If, for example, it is the Bundessiegerprufung you have entered, keep in mind you will be competing with men with years of experience and exceptional skills – like Dr. Helmut Raiser, Friedrich Biehler, or Ingeborg Balonier. These are men with such a remarkable degree of training expertise they are able to win, or be very highly placed, year after year.
9. If you do not have the skill or sufficient time yourself to spend countless hours in training your dog to compete successfully in breed shows and also working trials, you will have to find someone with sufficient expertise to do this for you.
10. In order to be successful in breeding a top-quality dual- purpose dog, all the above conditions are important to be successful. There is one requirement however, that is probably more important than the rest. It is luck! You have to be very lucky indeed!
As everyone who has ever participated in any form of competitive sport knows, luck is an essential ingredient for success. But successful sportsmen and sportswomen are also aware, that the harder they train the luckier they get!
The following words of encouragement and advice written many years ago by the Scottish poet, Robbie Burns, apply just as much to the German Shepherd Dog breeder whose objective it is to breed an exceptionally fine dual-purpose dog, as they do to anyone else committed to achieving their personal goals: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again!"
Persistence is the name of the game and the key to success. Keep on trying to breed that exceptional, dual-purpose German Shepherd Dog you have firmly fixed in your mind. Don't give up!
It is something I have been trying to achieve for almost 50 years. I still haven't given up!
In conclusion, I wish you the very best of luck in the very difficult - but not impossible - task of breeding a dog that is going to make you and your kennel famous - a top breed show winner and a highly successful competitor in working Trials.
Dennis Fisher. March 2007.