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The British GSD Scene 2010

November 2010
David Payne - VIDEX GSD

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I totally disagree with the Kennel Clubs “GSD Undertaking”. This was obviously discriminating against the GSD breed as no other breed clubs have been faced with such a Kennel Club undertaking. I also firmly believe the Kennel Club have used and abused the GSD breed in this manner to detract from far more serious and obvious health problems in many other pedigree dog breeds. These serious health problems include enlarged brains, too large for the dog’s skulls, very serious lifetime breathing problems, reproduction only facilitated by caesarean section because the breed’s heads are far too large, serious skin diseases and numerous other appalling known health problems. The GSD has become the “whipping boy” for the Kennel Club and many other Pedigree Dog Breed Clubs. Such behaviour is despicable, especially considering that the GSD breed is one of the healthiest breeds and the GSD breed organisations are making strenuous efforts, surpassing all other breeds, to make the GSD breed even healthier.

The “GSD Undertaking” certainly divided our breed here in the UK, which has been a very beneficial aspect. It presented our breed with a golden opportunity to rally around and strongly support an initiative developed by the GSD League of Great Britain (GSDL), our breed’s premier national breed club, and a WUSV member Club. This initiative introduced a GSDL/WUSV structure within the UK for exhibiting our GSD breed. A structure, far superior than the Kennel Club system of exhibiting pedigree dogs. This initiative is unstoppable, and will continue to develop to provide real opportunities for meaningful exhibition of our breed, which fully embraces identification of exhibits, health screening and breed survey requirements. The Kennel Club Shows obviously, stubbornly and continuously avoid such fundamental and necessary requirements.

Subsequent to the “GSD Undertaking” GSD entries at Kennel Club Shows have plummeted and I am certain this will continue, despite ridiculous attempts by minority factions, such as the “Alsatian” and “Middle of the road” factions within our breed, who quite stupidly think they can fill the gap left in Kennel Club Show support by the loss of the “Internationally Correct GSD” majority. There is only one way the Kennel Club can attract the majority of GSD exhibitors back to their shows, and that will require an amendment to clause 9 of the “GSD Undertaking” as follows:

Clause 9. The Club confirms that it will act in good faith with the Kennel Club on all matters including confirmation that it will not, without the express permission of the Kennel Club, run any events under the rules or regulations of any organisation other than the Kennel Club.

The Kennel Club should give serious consideration to adding the following sentence:
"The only exception being that events run under the rules or regulations of the WUSV, then the Club are only requested, out of courtesy, to inform the KC of any future proposed dates when these events will be held.

Such an amendment would trigger an improvement in the relations between the Kennel Club and the GSD community here in Great Britain and afford opportunities for future further beneficial development for our breed.

Loose hocks in our breed are a problem which is known and is certainly receiving attention from our GSD breed authorities. Significantly the SV club, the “founding” German GSD breed club of our GSD breed. It is certainly not a common problem in our breed, and could genuinely be described as a relatively small problem which requires attention to ensure it is reduced even further. The GSD League has also taken significant and practicable steps to resolve this small problem.

More important to our GSD breed and all other pedigree breeds in the UK is for the introduction of FULL IDENTITY requirements, such as Microchip and DNA parentage for each and every pedigree dog that is exhibited and bred from. This is fundamental to ensure that every aspect related to each dog is genuinely meaningful, pedigree, health screening tests, identified health problems and many more aspects. The Kennel Club is afraid to introduce these requirements because of the American experience which resulted in a 25% failure rate in DNA parentage tests on registered pedigree dogs, and ten years later still has around a 10% failure rate. These figures certainly indicate that a significant amount of pedigrees are not worth the paper they are written on, and totally undermine the title “pedigree dog”. The Kennel Club will twist and spin about this issue, to avoid dealing with it, but I am very confident that many breeds, particularly traditional “in house” breeds, those that keep their breeding within their own kennel, like most toy breeds for example, have to be regarded as mightily suspicious regarding their pedigrees. They certainly want to avoid any introduction of DNA parentage testing.

If breeders could NOT register or sell their puppies WITHOUT health screening tests, they would have them done. The practicality of creating such circumstances are straightforward and largely in the hands of the Kennel Club and Legislation. In the meantime if we agree the concept, meaningful strides can be taken, unfortunately the Kennel Club places “registration income” above all else, and spins excuses after excuses in its efforts to cover this fact up.

Without the amendment to clause 9 of the Kennel Clubs “GSD Undertaking”, as described above, I have absolutely no doubt that the GSDL/WUSV GSD Event structure in the UK will become overwhelmingly dominant in the exhibiting of GSD here I the UK. The Kennel Club offers a meaningless alternative which requires fundamental changes in order to survive.

Exhibiting your own GSD in Europe and especially in Germany offers a far more meaningful and satisfying way of exhibiting. With all the identity, health and character requirements, it is clear in its endeavour and determination to retaining our breed’s fundamental qualities. There is much to improve and I sincerely hope the SV and their international counterpart, the World Union SV (WUSV), seriously and strenuously proceed with such required improvements, particularly the significant concerns of every aspect relating to “integrity”.

The name “Alsatian” needed to be removed from the name of our breed here in the UK. The name “German Shepherd Dog” is its only name world wide, it is simply ridiculous and extremely arrogant of the Kennel Club here in the UK, not to have adopted our breeds correct name many years ago.

David Payne

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