The German Shepherd Dog

2011 Educational Seminar

Judging The German Shepherd Dog:

What a challenge to judge what is arguably the most versatile breed in the world! The various jobs this breed may be required to do demand that form follows function. We judges really need to always keep that in mind when making decisions. This is where we all need to understand that the dogs used for herding and the dogs used as working dogs require a different structure. No need to argue American vs. German these are just facts and they are all German Shepherds!
Our Standard is among the best of all the breeds but clearly we need visualization to bring the words to life. Hopefully, this weekend at the GSDC of Canada will be a rare, wonderful opportunity for all attendees to see the cream of the crop. Please take a moment and look at the photos of gaiting dogs in your folder. That elusive moment of correct extension is almost impossible to capture but please keep these images in your mind as you judge or assess dogs at ringside.
What significant words come to mind when you describe the Essence Of The Breed? The look of eagles, strength, curves not angles, ground covering gait? The first thing should be confidence of temperament. Without this the dog is not able to do what we require. Pet or show dog or herding or working they must all have the correct stable and sometimes aloof temperament. We can analyze any standard until it becomes parts and pieces but our breed demands the totality of the dog must be strong and sound in all aspects and move covering the most amount of ground with the minimum number of steps. This cannot be seen if a dog is strung up on a tight lead and racing around the ring. The Essence Of The Breed are those things that make a herding dog that can stand and move on its own with soundness, strength and balance.
Joan F. Fox




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