SV Prejudice Against Sables - Page 5

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by Hundmutter on 25 September 2021 - 02:09

Johan, you can (and I would) also argue that stand Hassemans Affe a little differently, getting him to place both his rear paws a little further forward, and you would see a different topline in that photo. Admittedly not as extremely curved as we see in some dogs today, mainly but not exclusively 'WGSL types', - but nevertheless in a dog without exageration of breeding, there is a lot you can do with exageration of stance.


But as Mackenzie points out, that has nought to do with Sables, the topic for the thred.  In some cases grey dogs may have deteriorated in all sorts of ways (working ability; temperament; dentition; structure & conformation, all included) BECAUSE their numbers have been restricted by lack of popularity, in favour of Black & Bright Red dogs (Martin Bros influence) - but that to some extent also applies to other permutations of colour in GSDs. There probably are fewer Blacks and Bi-colours because of the 'weakening' of sable dogs, due to reduction in quantity, but it follows there are also the same difficulties with dogs with a slightly paler tan on them ! And that really only applies to the Show  and 'purely pet' sectors, given the number of sables used by Working kennels.

We still have a problem if owners / breeders and worst of all Judges [ both Show and Sport ]  - SV or anywhere - reject Sable dogs simply because they do not  'like'  the colour. Aesthetics / personal likes & dislikes always ought to run a very poor second to the prescription in the Breed Standard !

Can anyone produce ANY argument as to WHY they do not like Sables much ?  Over the decades I've heard all sorts of nonsense against all-black (or 'all' white) dogs, based on views about intelligence, trainability etc - but I don't recall hearing ONE 'reason' against sables, other than "I don't like them". Do they remind people subconsciously more of wolves, perhaps ? (For me that would actually be a point in their favour; but we know there is still a (usually unreasoning) fear of the Wolf. Maybe people won't discuss how they feel, because being afraid of the big bad wolf might be regarded as juvenile.

mrdarcy (admin)

by mrdarcy on 25 September 2021 - 04:09

While I have enjoyed the read it's nice to get back to the topic of this thread "SV Prejedice Against Sables"

by johan77 on 25 September 2021 - 05:09

Hundmutter, regardless of how a dog looks in photo there is a real difference in real life from the modern showdogs and the old type of GSD that is more in line with the structure of todays workingdogs, I guess that´s why many workingdbreeders say they are the ones who breed according to the standard regarding structure.

This is in line with the topic about prejudice against sables. There would be no prejudice against sables and functional structure if the judges paid no attention to personal taste and trends, and there would be no split, at least not so much in the structural development after the 1960s and forward. The same could be said about the protectionwork in the siegerschau that is often looked down upon. If the judges was stricter in their judgement the character/workingability of the dogs would not be questioned so much.

by ValK on 25 September 2021 - 09:09

"They don't really need to jump much if they are tending a flock of sheep ?"

jump isn't just for jump. it's more to prove dog's ability in regard of health and correct stucture without which dog won't be capable to do so.

"stand Hassemans Affe a little differently, getting him to place both his rear paws a little further forward, and you would see a different topline in that photo."

change of stance won't change dog. you rather should note good proportion of that dog front vs. back. he has good muscular mass of the hips, enough to push that dog into strong jump and provide power for dog to keep long non-stop run.

"With regard to jumping, I would point out that at the Sieger Show, all of the dogs in the working class have to have an IGP title."

you skipped the part in which vertical wall have been replaced by "A" frame, which eliminates dog's jump in trial.

"we cannot nor should we own dogs that have what he calls civil aggression and what I believe he refers to is the old type of suspicious GSD that might go off on someone on a moments notice if they made a sudden or unexpected move"

i used word "healthy" in front of word aggression.
aggression is an aggression but causes to trig it up and the form of its execution much varying. dog can demonstrate madness when stranger approaching near but back off if this stranger don't demonstrate fear and would attack only on condition when senses own superiority against this person.
also dog can be totally calm and indifferent to approaching stranger but instantly react by aggressive response upon receiving command from handler or independently if action/moves of this person pose threat.


by Rik on 25 September 2021 - 09:09

I want to disagree a little on going off topic. this thread has over 7700 views at this point, so I think it has been very interesting to quite a few, including me.

Also, when was the last time a very interesting subject that got lots of views did not go off topic?

all anyone has to do to bring it back on topic is post relevant info to the original topic, which did start to run a little thin.

Rik keep on topic, I owned a sable one time. :)

like was posted before, I also don't think much effort is put into sables as far as show because it really does have to be exceptional to do well. Arlett has had some nice ones IMO.

by Mackenzie on 25 September 2021 - 10:09

Any divergence from a thread should not be permitted. The divergent material should be opened in a separate thread and not used to take attention from an original thread.
Simple,I am surprised that Admin does not step in.



by Dog1 on 25 September 2021 - 12:09

There have been some very interesting observations brought up by many knowledgeable and informed people. If we're back on topic and finished with another show vs. working debate, let's look at the topic and try to understand the Prejudice Against Sables. How and why it exists and does it exist?

First of all let's understand the Prejudice only exists among the show line dogs. There is no Prejudice in any of the working lines, any working events, anything but in the show ring at a show with black and red dogs running around.

Having cleared that up, let's take a look. Where do we start? We've all heard about it, we've all seen the working line dogs jumping around at the back of the class for their one and only time in the ring. What's the deal?

Here's my perspective as the first person in the US to have a sable go VA.

Here's the Reader's Digest answer. There is some prejudice, but, I would probably say that about most anything that has to be judged by a human being. How much? Depends on the judge. Overall I would say 50% to 60% of the SV judges I've encountered have absolutely no prejudice. That was the answer when I asked and what I observed. The rest, varying degrees, maybe 5 to 10% is the overall gut assessment I have over the years.

To really understand the situation, you have to understand what the GSD Community is up against. The challenge to get a sable that's good enough to compete with the thousands of black and red dogs. For me it was and is the ultimate challenge as a GSD enthusiast. The good sable is as rare or elusive as any prized collectable. The rare coin, the rare firearm, rare book, etc. In every endeavor there is the challenge to acquire what no one else has.

by Klossbruhe on 25 September 2021 - 13:09

The post was SV (not the general public, i.e.not yours or mine or the posters here) prejudice against sables.

I think to be clear as to what is meant by the poster, I think we can say the SV as is probably meant by the poster refers to its judges, officers and individuals in positions of administrative power within the organization and not the general membership. So then, why do current SV judges have a prejudice against sables? If as Mackenzie says, it can be traced back to Hermann Martin and his infatuation with dogs like Lasso di Val Sole we know the original reason for the prejudice---simply one man's, albeit the most powerful man in the SV at the time, prejudice which was hardly based on any scientific or other rational fact, much like Stephanitz's unfounded bogus genetic argument and bias against white shepherds (and I am not talking about the white shepherds of today but the earlier ones, for example from Brauschweig, circa 1900, a photo of one which appears in his book The German Shepherd in Word and Picture on page 127 in the English translation. Unfortunately, I loaned my German copy and never got it back)

The Martin brothers, Hermann and Walter have been dead for 25 years--that is a lot of generations of dogs but not too much has changed since the days of Uran Wildsteiger Land and Quando Arminius. Why? Because many of the circle of breeders and judges who became part of the Martin Circle are still with us and hold power and share his bias against sables. I do not wish to list all of these people in this post, but suffice to say that most of the prominent breeders of show lines dogs, names most people will at least have heard of, are in that circle and many are also judges.

But to give just two examples, the current president of the SV though not a judge was and is a breeder influenced by and a friend of the Martins. And the current breed warden, who has never bred much of note was a student and acolyte of Reinhardt Meyer, himself, a breed warden and a prominent member of the circle who wielded great power until the tax man caught up with him.

But to be fair, with regard to sables, Reinhardt Meyer at the Sieger Shows he judged created a special award for the dogs that had the best protection performances with the idea of showcasing the sables with the best bitework and structure. Peter Messler, brother of Heinrich, past SV president and breeder, as was noted earlier in this post, did try to put up a sable for Sieger but the powerful Martin Cabal led by Hans Peter Rieker prevented this.

So, the answer to the poster's question is that those in power still harbor the same prejudice that Hermann Martin infected them with. And also, and this is important, money talks. The fact that the Martin type was put up as VAs and high Vs sold the public with the desire to own these dogs. And the Germans found out that lots of money was to be made selling dogs that did well at breed shows and even the Bundessiegerprufung. Helmut Raiser and Fritz Biehler sold dogs for more than 30,000 euros to would be competitors from the US and Japan. A mere pittance of course compared to what breeders or owners can get for a top show dog, especially if they have Josephine Kao, the Taiwanese power broker, as their middle man.

With regard to the prejudice against all black shepherds, I have heard more than one show judge say the reason is that it is hard to see their structure as easily as the black and tans. Perhaps the eyesight of today's judge is not as good as those who came before them who were apparently able see the structure of black dogs. But to be fair, there have not been very many all black Siegers. I could only find two--Roland von Starkenburg in 1906-7 and Norbert von Kohlwald 1911-1912. There have however been several bi-color siegers who were mostly black except for the bottoms of their paws, the last being Bodo von Lierburg in 1967.


by Rik on 25 September 2021 - 17:09

off topic alert. so don't read if offended.

kloss made a very interesting comment on black GSD.

I have heard the "can't see the black structure" for decades. while I might agree that it may be more difficult and many AKC/GSDCA judges might not see structure clearly (on any color) as the requirements are really quite slim.

But not on a SV judge. they serve an apprenticeship, and are very well qualified and certified by the time they "graduate". I doubt any of them do not recognize quality or would even claim not to know it.

they know what they are looking at. and maybe some are prejudiced.


by Sunsilver on 25 September 2021 - 17:09

Agree 100%, Rik! And as YOU know as a former AKC handler, an experienced handler will make sure they pose the dog to show off its structure to the best advantage, and make sure they are wearing something that won't make it difficult for the judge to assess the structure. (The handler of a black dog would not wear a black outfit, for instance!) Also somewhat OT: saw this on FB last week. People on this board have often talked about how the dog is stacked can make the structure appear different! Well, here ya go!


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