Thursday, July 16, 2009

German Shepherd Dog Show – What Does a Judge Look For in a perfect GSD?

perfect GSD, german shepherd dog showGerman Shepherd Dog Show

Candidly speaking, I don’t show my dogs like the many other dog breeders and owners around me. I try to attend as many dog shows as possible – especially the German Shepherd Dog specialty ones. If you want to learn about the German Shepherd Dog breed, it’s not enough to just read books. You need to visit shows and should try to evaluate why certain dogs win and others don’t. Reading books and gathering information about German Shepherd Dogs is like the home work that you used to do back in your school days. Try to apply your knowledge in the dog show; be a judge yourself. Remember, judging a dog – especially a complicated breed like German Shepherds is just next to impossible unless you know the breed well. At the same time you must know what actually a judge looks for in a dog in the ring. Well, he looks for mainly working ability, for which the German Shepherds were originally developed. Keeping this in mind, judges compare every single dog exhibited in the ring to his image of a perfect specimen of the breed (as per SV standard)... not only anatomically, but mentally too.

Here’s a synopsis of the major criterion based on which the dogs are judged in the show rings:

german shepherd dog show perfect german shepherd dog
Proportions of body: By this I mean to say specially the ratio of height : length. The H : L ratio of a perfect German Shepherd Dog should be 8.5 : 10, which gives a harmonious blend of length to height.

Strength of the rear portion: An ideal GSD must have a strong back, with tight ligaments of the hind legs. This is checked during standing and while on move too!

Angulations:
This is of utmost importance. The judge checks the angles between the bones of shoulder and hind quarters. Over angulated specimens are rejected.

Development of chest:
The judge checks if there is enough room for the lungs. The dog should have good depth of chest, which is around 50% of the total height of dog at wither.

Gait and extension:
This is checked when the dog in on trot. The dog should effortlessly reach forward with powerful propulsion, thereby covering the maximum amount of ground. The trot should not be suspended.

Masculinity and Femininity:
This is all about expressions! Dog like bitches and bitch like dogs are undesirable.

Temperament:
The dog must calmly accept the examination – especially on touch. Irrespective of gender, the subject should not react fearfully or with shyness to the gunshots. The dog should remain lively through out the session.

Endurance and Condition:
The dog should have sound physical condition. It shouldn’t tire out after a few trots round the ring.

Dental Configuration and Jaws:
Ideal GSD has scissor bite. Undershot lower jaws are undesirable. Jaws must be prominent and strong enough with a full set of dentition.

Monorchidsm:
The dog should have both the testicles descended.

This is not just the end of the story. GSD is a shepherd dog and hence expected to bear all the most desirable shepherding traits. The judge merges the above qualities with the correct shepherding traits that a perfect specimen of the breed should possess.

Correct shepherding traits of a perfect German Shepherd Dog

Correct shepherding traits include his most important aspects of nature that he should possess to carry out his work as a shepherd dog successfully. A perfect specimen of the breed must have a strong personality, with keenness to work, alertness in his job and aloofness towards the external factors, apart from his job. Let me try to describe these traits distinctively.

Keenness: Keenness is the degree of interest to work as a shepherd dog with the livestock. Without having this trait in his dog, the sheepherder cannot expect him to manage the large herd of sheep grazing around. With high degree of interest to work the German Shepherd Dog breed can be put to any kind of work, apart from just herding.

Alertness: A perfect example of the most appropriate specimen of the breed must show alertness while on work. A good shepherd usually reacts to the slightest alteration in the situation. He would be attentive enough and would tend to keep eyes on the surroundings of his working area.

Aloofness: Often misunderstood as unfriendliness, this typical trait of the German Shepherd Dog is worth mentioning when it comes to his working ability. The dog owners (the sheep herders) will never expect his dog to leave his work and run behind some other things and animals while on duty. He may show a brief interest on the external factors (strangers, other animals, or other distracting factors), but should not show high degree of excitement. As soon as he determines that the external factors (strangers and other animals) are not menace to the herd of sheep, he would turn back to his job.

With all these physical and mental traits in appropriate degree, a dog can be a perfect GSD, and a perfect German Shepherd Dog can work under any condition. All these factors merge in perfect blend to make German Shepherds the world’s most versatile breed. Being put to any kind of job these dogs have shown stand out results. Starting from herding sheep to war, rescue, guiding blind, guarding properties, sniffing out narcotics and land mines, acting in the movies, acting as therapy dogs, police dogs etc, the German Shepherd Dog breed earned a great deal of fame across the globe.


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All you need to know about German Shepherd Dogs. Read out what I have to share with you regarding the amazing German Shepherd Dog breed. Are Alsatian dogs and German Shepherd Dogs same? Who was Max Von Stephanitz and What is SV? Also learn a bit more in depth on German Shepherd Dog training tips, German Shepherd puppy care tips, German Shepherd Dog behavior, German Shepherd instinct, German Shepherd Dog standard and history of German Shepherds.
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