The GSDCA in Trouble, part 3 That Dallas has been the most influential stud of the last 20 years is not an especially good thing. He seems to have been a very nice dog, and a welcome step away from the exaggerations of the last several decades, but he was still too long and too angulated to function as a full time working dog. I’ve read that he worked in “all three phases” of schutzhund, but did he achieve any titles? He himself was more of the same genetically – Lance, Lance, Lance – and he would have been unable to bring the hybrid vigour and genetic diversity that American lines so desperately need. The breed doesn’t need prettier show dogs. It needs stronger dogs – physically, constitutionally, structurally, mentally, immunologically and genetically.
Amidon blames handlers for the demise of interest in American style specialty shows. They haven’t helped. The specialty show has become a caricature. More importantly, handling show dogs doesn’t qualify someone to direct the genetics of a working breed. Remember Lamar Kuhns and his idiotic mantra of “all lines to Lance”? Kuhns was a genetic illiterate, but his idea has been pretty much achieved, to the breed’s detriment.
It’s not Lance’s fault. He appears to also have been a very nice dog, if untested and untitled. It wouldn’t have mattered how good he was. It is the level of inbreeding that the “fancy” has engaged in that has weakened the breed in North America.
Are breeders to blame? Of course. The stampede for National trophies bigger than their dogs was more compelling than producing solid, proven, performing dogs that could pass on the breed’s best attributes. Judges who rewarded ever greater exaggerations should have been sacked. Kennel clubs that couldn’t be bothered to ban inbreeding or the breeding of defective animals are no less to blame.
“New activities” aren’t going to renew interest in American specialty shows. That is missing the point. The shows aren’t important. Returning to the standard is. Unfortunately I don’t think anything will change under current governance. If they were going to uphold the Standard they would have done it by now. The old Baby Boomers who are obsessed with their extreme dogs will die off eventually, and younger people who still believe in the GSD as a great working breed will hopefully carry on. Whether they carry on with contemporary American bloodlines remains to be seen.