[ SHOWGSD-L ] Our Breeds in Society

  • From: Jessica MacMillan <spotted101@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <marcatoshepherds@xxxxxxxxx>, <showgsd-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 09:05:15 -0600

As a person who has two breeds with lousy reputations (GSDs and Dals), I can 
tell you that unfortunately, whether or not we like it, we do have to change 
the breeds somewhat to fit society.

 

No matter what we do, GSDs and Dals will still be high energy, strong, smart 
and need training. The goal as a breeder should be to MODIFY it so that the 
dogs have less prey drive, are less tough, less sharp and are more able to fit 
into our society as it is NOW - not 40 years ago or a 100 years ago.. These 
dogs have to live with neighbors 8 feet on either side, kids walking down the 
street, little dogs yapping through the fence, the FedEx guy and the insurance 
man..

 

I walk either breed down the street and I still have people who move to the 
otherside of the road because they are terrified that my GSDs or my Dals might 
bite someone.. THAT'S the image we need to get rid of whether it be by breeding 
dogs that aren't quite so tough or by public education.

 

As my mom says "we are breeding dogs for the average idiot" - these are dogs 
where people CAN make a few mistakes, but not have to pay for it on the back 
end with a dog bite. But we still have to maintain the breeds.. We just need to 
take off the sharp edges.

 

One thing I will tell you from personal experience. Although I understand the 
need for doubling, it really makes GSDs look like freaks at dog shows as they 
drag their handlers out of the rings, make all sorts of noises cause they can't 
stand at ringside quietly and can't stand for exam because they are so busy 
worrying about where mom or dad is... You know how all that looks to the 
average "Joe"... NOT GOOD... that and the fact that people don't like to see 
the dogs walking on their stifles is what JQP sees when he goes to all-breed 
shows.

 

With the Dals we did the AKC RDOD/K9 Challenge - I had more SHOW people come up 
and comment on what wonderful temperaments the Dals had and how social they 
were - why? Because people are used to seeing two of the Top 10 Specials who 
are screwballs in the ring and try to bite kids and go after dogs outside the 
ring..

 

It isn't just the public that thinks these breeds are idiots - its the folks we 
show with too... We need to spend some time getting out with SHOW people and 
educating THEM also about the fact that Dals and GSDs are wonderful dogs.

 

Time to get our heads out of the sand and start doing some PR for our breeds 
and PUREBRED dogs in general - DoG knows we need it!

Jessica MacMillan
Paisley Dals (www.paisleydals.com)
& The Shepherd Girls (Simmie, CGC, TDI, TC, HIC & Pepper, HIC)
Member of: DCA, GSDCA & GTCDC

                                          
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