Potentially showing a GSD under FCI..... Questions! - Page 2

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by fullmoonwss on 27 August 2020 - 06:08

First of all, I’d reallyyy appreciate your thorough explanation of different types of GSD’s ! Thank you !

Over the weekend, will have to take a closer look on the computer / do some studying by matching your description with pictures on the side (As I was reading it was difficult to imagine exactly the type of GSD, so better if I accompany it with visuals to help me understand.)

But to clear things up, not sure how the idea of me looking at dogs via “ads” was created… but it might be because I used the word ‘online’? That I looked at dogs online. But I meant it as in I looked at no kidding - thousands of photos of dogs, breeders, and kennels, via Facebook pages, breeder *Websites*, online pedigrees... etc. Which yes, is all technically "Online" ! (In the 21st century, do we really walk around the neighbourhood looking for a breeder though..? ;-) ) And to find out about these dogs in the first place, it wasn’t even through litter announcements or online ads, I did my reserach from connecting Handler profiles / who are all connected to all sorts of breeders, and then their profiles get connected to specific breed profiles so I can see a bunch of other breeder's personal profile's... etc etc... I personally think nothing gets as close to being as "real" as viewing a breeder's personal profile as their are hundreds if not thousands of comments, opinions, and you can see literally everything from the past to present, their breeding evolution, achievements, constant updated photos of the dogs of their daily life, etc etc....

Heh so It’s totally possible to find connections without ever searching for an ad specifically !

Also, the kennel(s) I have been ‘eyeing’ as mentioned in OP, don't post any litter announcements as I have not seen any and feel as though they did not need to. (Good sign, is it not?)

My bad, sorry if it came off that way! But did feel the need to defend myself a bit for that though for various reasons.. ;-)

All of my family’s past imported dogs from various countries in Europe were given to us  (plus two that I personally imported) after LOTS of communicating with the breeders back and forth, before / after a litter and still continue to keep in touch via social media frequently to this day. It was standard procedure you know the whole deal… Reservations, deposits, months long waiting, etc…

Also in this day in age I don’t think “options” are that limited anymore even in terms of importing - One shipping cost was a abnormally pricey compared to my imports, so I flew back and forth with no sleep for almost 72 hours with 2 layovers once to personally pick up a dog. So at this point, I don’t believe in any “detours” for a dog that you will LOVE !! haha after that trip, I started to believe I as superwoman and that anything is possible…

Phew, so I got that out of the way on to other topics discussed -

So my 3 personal dogs, are yes, as you guessed - White Swiss Shepherds (which is how I was introduced to PB & the forum in the first place.)

It’s no secret that there is a long running WSS vs. GSD debate / very strong opinions between the two with many so I don’t want to get into any of that, BUT let me just say that I am a bit more open minded than many, plus the first dog I ever fell in love with was my neighbour’s GSD growing up. So how is it possible to not love the foundation / my “first dog love”? Been open minded since day 1 and eventually wanted to micro-examine / study the GSD which is why I am here doing this today…….

So anyway, going on- I will admit, I have never tried to stack my Swiss in the classic GSD stack, but from reading your suggestion @hundmutter I think it’s best, even though slightly different angulations now, to at least try and take photos. That way I have a visual in hand to study. Obv, results with my future GSD will be slightly different but it’s def the closest thing i’ve got to see something visually right now…

I did not not know about the “little touch” policy. I feel that is a huge factor to consider esp if i’m going to compete (ultimately the goal here) My dogs would not stack naturally in that position so something to consider if i’m going to get a GSD with a similar straight back. (stack train, etc..)

Yes, AKC and FCI shows may have the same ‘procedure’ round about, up and down, judge evaluation, however from what i’ve heard, different vibes, and mindset with the European judges vs American judges…. No? In technical terms, I always knew there is probably no difference but not what I was asking in the OP. Besides technicality, I did feel that a judge’s judgement was the biggest factor in placement… (Like some have mentioned - ongoing changing trends, or types, etc. depending on each judge) Which is why I asked if anyone had any personal experience or at least know how the European judges *in general* like to judge GSDs / what they look for-  at FCI shows.


by fullmoonwss on 27 August 2020 - 07:08

Also i’d like to add -

Whether or not being the only breed at a show guarantees / gives higher chances of getting placed is true or not,

I wanted to hear about other people’s experiences with the FCI. Why?
Because I personally would have some shame if the dog became a Champion, yet someone who KNOWS the GSD is looking at me through the sidelines knowing that I don’t deserve it / thinks it doesn’t fit the standard / isn’t what other Euro judges or SV judges would look at, etc…

It’s also about morals. and I just want to compete knowing that I fit within the standard, deserve whatever prizes, whilst getting along with the fellow SV members of the country having very different type of GSDs.

So, that is why I was asking in the first place- To educate myself on the FCI standard asking about specifics (wish there were more pictures in the standard) and what european FCI judges look for (do they stick exactly to the guidelines or not?) to be more clear, if the western working lines (The type mentioned that I am looking at) are acceptable / praised at beauty competitions.

Also, I found VERY FEW videos on youtube when I searched ‘FCI dog show German Shepherd” as compared to other typical breeds that I typed, which also made me wonder (back to my OP) do very few compete in beauty competitions and if yes, then whats the reason for that?

….But I guess after everything I have read so far, it seems as though the popular opinion right now is that judging is mainly subjective no matter what show AKC or not...

It's funny in the beginning of the discussion, I understood everything with confidence, but now I am getting more confused with my thoughts and understanding as the discussion goes on, lol! Started to sound like I am contradicting myself by focusing on what FCI judges think but also caring about what the GSD people think too. I guess it's a mix of everything - 50/50. All in all, believing that FCI shows, like any other shows, are always subject to be subjective but at the same time probably follow guidelines.... (as I have personally experienced with FCI shows, just not GSDs)

Ultimatley I KNOW there will be no issues with showing the dog here, but like I said, it was ALSO about morals or being respected amoungst other GSD people and I just want to "do it right" and not go into the show so ignorantly with my GSD with possible "GSD people" who've known the breed 30+ years judging me separatly. Which is why I was interested in getting opinions from fellow GSD enthusiasts who own all sorts of types of GSDs here. I feel like the opinions of super GSD enthusiasts matter more to me than some judges sometimes, honestly! Who am I trying to impress really? Even I'm confused, ha. I think I am wanting to please both sides or at least find a middle ground. :)


by Hundmutter on 27 August 2020 - 08:08

No, in most countries we can go to a local dog club / training establishment and get talking to other 'dog folk' in the know - not sure how possible that would be for you re. numbers / availability ?
Actually, to cut a long story very short, I DID find my mentor by walking past her front door, essentially - but I appreciate that does not work for everyone !
You have to be willing to chat to people, whether its at the ringside at a Show, or next in line or over a cuppa at Training. Here in the UK we also have a weekly dog newspaper Our Dogs (it is also available online and has a FB page); that helps get information circulated about dog matters in general, Shows and show results in particular, plus the availability of some litters, etc. We also have several monthly glossy magazines, and a GSD-dedicated Breed Council national mag too.

Sounds like your approach through handlers is as good a way as any of the above, its always hard to tell from the little we get in most initial questions just how 'sussed' people already are; and we always have to bear in mind a lot of people other than the questioner will be reading, so whatever we can put in that further informs the whole readership ...

The PDB is not a big 'meeting place' for anyone except Americans & Canadians. There are only a few of us on here regularly who are from the UK (used to be more, once upon a time, but that was 'the bad old days' when folk were at each others virtual throats much of the time ... and still then it was overpoweringly US- used). A couple of guys from eastern and central Europe, mainly those with frequent American buyers. Virtually no one from other Euro nations. Some from India, Pakistan etc etc but they mainly arrive, ask a question or two and disappear again. We 'regulars' used to have someone from Jordan but he's not here any more. Some people stay interested; but just like dog owership and breeding, some get fed up after 4 or 5 years and move on...
So that explains why nobody is immediately jumping up to give you the lowdown on showing under FCI rules, 'cos they ain't here to see your post. Even those in Germany itself are quiet currently; and their contact with FCI - even though greater than others' here - will, in GSDs at least, be heavily subsumed by the WUSVs practices. You might still find someone with 1st hand experience chimes in, but don't hold your breath.

Plus its a site which leans heavily to the Working side mostly, so S/L people & queries don't get a great share of the items discussed unless we keep pushing. ;-)

Which brings me back to the 'types' within the breed; you may be getting this by now, but there often isn't a huge physical / conformation difference between all the W/L (various sorts) and S/L (various sorts) ! The bigger differences apart from the look of the spine are what you cannot see in a photo, they are about temperament, aptitudes, energy levels. It is still (just about !) the same breed. Even where more W/L are sable or black, & more S/L are black&tan, it isn't that fixed. You might find a dog from W/L will be a bit 'much' dog for you, energy-wise, if you are looking to find a GSD which is a clone in energy levels to your WSS and ideal for Showing. There again, maybe you will prefer that difference. That is certainly part of the explanation for why more are not shown; along with two other factors: 1 showdogs often don't get worked, working dogs often don't get shown, because it is a huge time and energy commitment from the owner to do both things properly. 2 it is all subject to human fads n fashions, just as judging often is - if the 'thing' of the day is training for sport or personal protection, the people involved tend to stick with what they know, and even disparage the alternative options. So that depends on where you are and what enthusiasts in that country / area want to spend time on.

by fullmoonwss on 29 August 2020 - 22:08

Just wanted to give an update-

So I found this old thread from 2014: "FCI standard vs the AKC standard"


and on PAGE FOUR is where it starts to basically answer / blend in with my OP topic


Group 1 -Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs).
Section 1 –Sheepdogs With working trial. <-----********


UNLIKE AKC where it is strictly judging for conformation, Under FCI, in order for GSD show dogs (because the breed as a whole is classified as a "working dog") to recieve a "beauty" title , a dog must ALSO pass a working exam.

now, what specific exam or details required was first unclear to me as the FCI only stated that ^ however fci always follows the breed's home country's basic requirements (usually)

...and also after reading some more hints / clues were found:


"In Europe (not just Germany), to get a breed survey a dog must have BH, AD, IPO1, passing hips/elbows and a show title of at least "good" or BH, HGH, passing hips/elbow, and a show title at least "good""


"I was at a GSD speciality show a few years back and a WDA trial was held at the same time at the same venue. Show was indoors trial was outdoors. In between classes, demonstrations of obedience, tracking and protection work were preformed inside."


"The SV is the Kennel Club of the GSD.
The SV requires a working trial....SV stipulates what the working trial will be.
Rules and regulations of the working trial are on the FCI website.

The FCI collects pedigrees from all countries and/kennel clubs that have originated breeds.
The FCI classifies breed per the originating kennel club/country."


The GSD came from germany, the only way an adult can be shown is IF it has a working trial title, and hip/elbow certs. After a certain age, it must also have a breed suvey.

FCI says "with working trial".........IMO, if the dog does the working trial (herding or IPO) and fails it would what would it prove? Just because the dog competes in a trial, it doens't proove itself until after it earns a title.


Which then, all answers alotttt of questions I had concerning why I cant seem to find much evidence of GSDs at FCI shows online (bc I have been searching for the wrong thing the whole time), why i've never even seen one personally at a FCI show, and also why I noticed a lot of parents without the beauty titles - - - because it simply is a lot of requirements and time or money as some have mentioned, to be successful in both for some.

Anyway , as originally planned , will start attending the club specialty shows instead of the FCI shows to ultimatley gather all my information ~ Just wanted to ask on here before attending the shows so I at least had some base knowledge ;-)


by Hundmutter on 30 August 2020 - 02:08

One of the complaints a lot of W/L owners have about the SV is that at the (major ? / might apply to all) German Shows, [these days run alongside FCI rules] they feel the IGP element has become very 'watered down' and otherwise interfered with by the SV establishment, in order to ensure the 'pretty' dogs Pass. I don't really know how true this is; maybe its not as bad as some convince themselves ? (And there is disparagement because after all, that's 'only Sport, it isn't real work, is it' !) But it is always worth remembering that e.g. UK exhibitors HAVE to put in the basic training work in order to compete in German Shows; something they probably would not have got around to doing, judging by the majority of Show owners here, still, had they not had to. Still, for the Breed it is a good development; it was after all conceived as a "working breed".

Of course, the FCI stricture about entered dogs having to have a working qualification can surely not apply to those (many many) dog breeds where there ARE no working qualifications to be achieved ...


I hope you find your way successfully, fullmoon, and have a great time & lots of luck doing  it. An intelligent approach and determination to learn should be rewarded; too many people come in (& then out) of dogs without ever giving a thought to many aspects of the game... has been good 'chatting' with you.


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