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Show quality Shepherd, I think not.

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  • Show quality Shepherd, I think not.

    There's a Shepherd at my work this week boarding. His owners dropped him off and told us not to put him with any dogs because he's a show dog and they don't want to take the chance of him getting injured.

    I'm not a judge and not an expert on show dogs, but this one is far from it.

    He's extremely thin, extremely skidish. He was walking around the yard and a rock moved, he freaked and ran. His tail curls up instead of dropping behind him. His left ear has a bunch of hair that's gone because his ear is covered in scars. Plus is other ear is all scared up as well.

    Other than that, he's gorgeous. But a far cry from a show dog.

    His owners swear he took 4th in nationals.
    Becky

  • #2
    Just smile and nod. Smile and nod! lol
    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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    • #3
      Edited.
      Last edited by pamperedpups; 02-25-07, 04:18 PM.

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      • #4
        Skidish don't cut it in the show ring! And "nationals" hmmm what is that? Maybe he has seen hard times since his big wins! don't remember ever hearing about any 4th places either.

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        • #5
          i hear this from people when i know in my heart that it is most likely not the case...just smile.

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          • #6
            CKC (Continental Kennel Club) showring?

            Tammy in Utah
            Groomers Helper Affiliate

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            • #7
              You never know

              People can say things in certain ways to make things "better". The dog could have actually taken 4th place at his breed clubs AKC Nationals. As a pup for instance, in the puppy classes with only 4 entered in that class (or American Bred, Novice etc.). AKC clubs do not have a 4th place for the whole shebang of their National breed show. It is Best of Breed (the big one), best of Opposite Sex and can be Awards of Merit for dogs that the Judge feels should be acknowledged for their fine merit.

              Wouldn't see a Shepherd skitish winning, but who knows about the circumstances than and now. Thin wouldn't have gone over, but again who knows the when. Same with bald ear. Heck it could have won 4th of 4 a few years back.

              I think a dog should be treated well because it's a dog personally. But if being shown currently and in coat or such some special precautions would be made.
              Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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              • #8
                We all deal with these kinds of clients. I had a lady a couple weeks ago bring in her Shih Tzu for grooming. Informed me he was, and I quote, 'a show dog.. he has a passport and everything'. Her 'show Shih Tzu' was the size of the average Basset Hound, with a nose like a Lhasa, and a clipped coat. We all just oohed and aahed over her dog, and laughed about it for the rest of the day.... if some folks knew the fun we had at their expense after they dropped off their doggies.. .they'd probably never come back.. but it sure makes the day go faster! hehehe
                I own a Whippet who is now 16 years old, has one ear that sticks straight up (that started when she was around 12 for some reason) and she IS a finished champion... though certainly doesn't look like it now! But I love her even if she has forgotten where 'outside' is, and barks at the toilet from time to time for no apparent reason.... as an earlier poster said.. 'smile and nod'...

                Laurie

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                • #9
                  I don't know about GSDs, but in many working, sporting and terrier breeds, honorable scars are not penalized. So the scars on the ears may not mean a thing.

                  If by thin you mean a lighter body type, that could be a problem. But if you mean weight, that doesn't account for much, in regards to showing.

                  Many show dogs are so micro-managed by their handlers that skittish doesn't figure into it, either. I've seen many dogs that are skittish outside the ring, but once they walk through the gate, they're ring manners are perfect.

                  Fourth? That's a class placing. There may have only been 4 dogs in the class, lol. Doesn't mean much, unless there were 20 dogs in the class. It's the dog show equivalent of "also ran" in horse racing. But at least it means the ribbon wasn't withheld for lack of merit.

                  The gay tail? Now that's a problem. But I don't think it's a disqualifying problem. And "show dog" really boils down to a dog not having any disqualifying faults. If it doesn't, it can be shown. It's really not proof of quality...there are a lot of "show dogs" that are entered simply to build points. Especially in rare breeds.

                  But in the end, what does it matter? If it makes them feel better to call their dog a show dog, who is it hurting?

                  Smile and nod.

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                  • #10
                    I don't know a thing about show dogs either, even though my first job was working with a dog handler but I was 16 at the time (long time ago) and all I really came out of that experience is how to clean kennels, bath and brush dogs.
                    I just fell these people just love their dog and maybe at one time he "showed" in something and they are just proud of him.
                    I did show a champion Pom once and we came in 3rd, there were only three of us LOL. Had to show this little dog for points or something for one of the dogs my boss was showing, or something like that, don't really know. I had never shown anything and there I was with this little dog, it knew more than me!! LOL
                    "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                    Diane

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                    • #11
                      I would never say anything to the owners. We just laught about it at work. His tail curls up over his back like an Akita. He's thin, he's skinny too, but he's thin. About half the size of what Shepherds usually are. He kinda looks like a Greyhound mixed with a Shepherd, thin. He has a great gait though and his stand is impeccable.

                      I know the skittish part is probably because he's in a new place. The scar on his ear is from when he was playing with a another dog, and he other ear is from him catching it on chain link.

                      There's another show dog that comes to my work. A Fox Hound. She is absolutely gorgeous. She took best of breed and is being used for breeding now.
                      Becky

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                      • #12
                        It can be true!

                        I have to say that this is one of the reasons why I dropped out of the conformation ring with my Shepherds. Yes - I totally believe that this skittish, slight dog can take fourth at the Nationals. It depends upon who is judging and who is showing the dog. Just think - a dog that slight and that skittish can run like the wind around a huge ring. It really has been a sad commentary on my breed. I love this breed, but hate what has been happening to it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by barknpurr View Post
                          I have to say that this is one of the reasons why I dropped out of the conformation ring with my Shepherds. Yes - I totally believe that this skittish, slight dog can take fourth at the Nationals. It depends upon who is judging and who is showing the dog. Just think - a dog that slight and that skittish can run like the wind around a huge ring. It really has been a sad commentary on my breed. I love this breed, but hate what has been happening to it.
                          Yep, agree with Lisa. There's a breeder here in town that consistantly wins BIG at the GSD nationals and their dogs are as two dimensional and flighty as they come.

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                          • #14
                            I used to believe in breeding for show. Then I started to hear all about show dogs with serious illnesses. A groomer I used to work with owns 2 "show quality" Shelties. They have a genetic tooth issue. The girl, being a vet tech for 17 years and also a former show groomer, mentioned that that would be a disqualifying factor. The breeder said, "I know, but I can show you how to hold the mouth open so that the judges don't see the defect." She kept breeding them with this because they kept winning.

                            Then a line of Champion Huskies have a liver problem. No warning signs or anything, just one day the dog acts strange and by the time the dog is taken to the vet that same day, it's dead. The liver pretty much turns to liquid. They keep breeding because they are also winning. So next time I go to buy a dog and if it might be show quality, I'm going to ask what horrible medical problem it has.
                            Becky

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Raggs View Post
                              I used to believe in breeding for show. Then I started to hear all about show dogs with serious illnesses. A groomer I used to work with owns 2 "show quality" Shelties. They have a genetic tooth issue. The girl, being a vet tech for 17 years and also a former show groomer, mentioned that that would be a disqualifying factor. The breeder said, "I know, but I can show you how to hold the mouth open so that the judges don't see the defect." She kept breeding them with this because they kept winning.

                              Then a line of Champion Huskies have a liver problem. No warning signs or anything, just one day the dog acts strange and by the time the dog is taken to the vet that same day, it's dead. The liver pretty much turns to liquid. They keep breeding because they are also winning. So next time I go to buy a dog and if it might be show quality, I'm going to ask what horrible medical problem it has.
                              And you think this only happens with "show quality" pups? Show quality, or not show quality, has nothing to do with it. It's irresponsible breeding, and it happens whether people are showing or not. My guess is that it happens more often with back yard breeders than show breeders.

                              One shouldn't be breeding for show, one should be breeding to the standard, to improve the overall quality of the breed. Yes there are damaged lines, just like there are sound lines. And there are unethical breeders, but there are also ethical breeders. The two instances you gave are examples of unethical breeders who are not breeding to improve the breed.

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