Did you ever notice how easily judges, exhibitors and breeders get used to changes within a breed? In many cases it even goes so far that these changes are gradually lifted to the level of required characteristics. It is mostly dogs of well-known breeders / exhibitors that start a certain change (read: set a trend) within a breed.
There is for instance the somewhat bigger Miniature Schnauzer with the terrier "look "; the some what leveller, elegant looking Shih Tzu with its long neck; the Weimaraner who becomes bigger and bigger and more impressive; the "American" English Springer Spaniel, to name a few breeds.
As soon as a dog with of a slightly "deviating" –type starts winning, the ball start rolling. The dog goes to the ring of honour, the one judge bends over to his neighbour and says; "have you seen that beautiful dog?" Breeders and exhibitors notice that judges like that particular dog and start trying to breed or to buy that type of dog. At such a moment the original Breed Standard does not seem to be of importance to some exhibitors, winning in the show ring is all that matters to them.
When after some time you are sitting at the show ring looking at that breed again, it could happen that you see in a class e.g. 5 dogs of which 4 are "deviating" (deviations) from the standard next to a correct "standard" type of dog. At most shows the (correct) (complying to the) "standard" dog will be considered to be the "odd one" and the true "deviating ones" will be placed behind the boards 1 through 4. For those breeders that adhere to the Standard this is a very frustrating experience.
The temptation is of course very big. Many of the deviating dogs are often very flashy looking ones, and often show a gait, exterior and motion that looks more spectacular than the movement of the "standard" dog. One has to be very strong and come from a good breed conscience background to resist the temptations and keep on preaching the true belief and keep breeding in compliance with the standard.
Often the appearance of difference in type in a breed leads to polarisation between judges and breeders alike. One of the hallmarks of this polarisation is that certain characteristics of the dogs are even more exaggerated to make it stand out and be recognisable.
So one can observe that and conclude that the non-adherence to the standard of many breeders / exhibitors and judges poses a direct danger to the existence of our breed population.
Except for getting used to trends within a breed, the getting used and the acceptance of inherited faults is a problem of the same kind or even worse.
When judges repeatedly reward dogs with these faults with an "excellent" and also give them their championship tickets, breeders will not be challenged to improve the breed: they are already winning! In such cases only the die-hards and true idealists remain faithful to the breed and try to improve on it, but how many of those people do we have within one breed?
Accepting without any objection of changes that please the eye but are against the standard is an open invitation to the "silent breed killer" to do his job and carry out his devastating work within the breed.
Seen from the perspective that breeding is nothing more then passing on genetic material to the next generation, allowing this to happen means that one wilfully accepts and helps spreading of genetically deviating material in an irresponsible way that will pollute the genepool (hereditary material).
Would it not be good if breeders and judges would, at least once a month take the standard at hand of the breeds they are entrusted, and what would it be valuable to organise regular meetings with breeders and judges to discuss certain trends and "faults" that creep up in a
breed. Never forget that the only guideline during judging and breeding should be the FCI-approved breed standard.
So, behave and act as true disciples and spread the gospel according to the original breed standard.
Okay, here's my attempt at explaining what I think happens when working breeds are lost. Assume the border collie is the theoretical breed, where many strong workers existed in the original breeding pool and the need for their work was not lost or reduced but instead the dogs became less and less useful for it.
I believe it helps to think of the different levels of workers in more concrete groups, even though, in reality, the scale from all to none is graduated. Imagine something such as a dart board, with a bull's-eye and several circles that indicate areas farther and farther from the middle target. Let's say the bull's-eye circle is red, the next circle is orange, the next yellow, and the very outside circle is white. The actual area within these circles varies depending on the number of dogs in each class at any one time.
Now let's define the groups of dogs in the different colored circles. Please remember all of these categories in this hypothetical situation represent the genetic potential of these dogs. In other words, this is what's in the gene pool. I'm not talking about what people think the dogs are or don't know whether they are or not due to not having tested them:
Red circle (bull's eye) = The very top working border collies. A working definition might be dogs who are exceptional enough to save a great deal of time and manpower for a livestock operation.
Orange circle = Useful dogs who save time and manpower for the operation but who are not top quality.
Yellow circle = Dogs who will work a little, but wouldn't be considered useful workers on a real livestock operation because they would cost time and cause too much trouble. IOW, someone may want to pretend they're actually helping, but they really aren't and sometimes they're hindering. Although they may show some herding instincts, it's not the right package for work.
White circle = Dogs not interested or not capable of doing anything with stock except maybe chasing. So, not useful or way less than helpful.
Livestock working ability is comprised of many complex traits. These traits all need to fit together just right and in the right amounts for the dog to be the complete package, and be considered a top worker -- the bull's-eye. Achieving this package with the consistency needed requires stringent evaluation and selection for working ability every generation. Because of the complexity of reproducing behavioral traits such as these, it's difficult to get this package that is a top worker, in every pup, or even close, despite crossing the best to the best. This is partly because some dogs, for whatever reason, aren't good breeders, no matter how good they, themselves, are. So let's say if only red circle dogs were crossed, only 80% of that number of red circle dogs would be produced in the next generation. (This is a hypothetical number -- it may actually be less.) Therefore, breeding only red circle dogs will not replace all of the red circle dogs, and the number of red circle dogs will drop each generation if only these crosses are used.
As with other breeds used for other purposes, many a top sire gets bred to a mediocre bitch. Because the working genes are still highly concentrated in the border collie gene pool, the chances of hitting upon a dog who may not be a top worker herself but is a good breeder, are still pretty good. This type of good breeder would be mostly in the orange circle with a few in the yellow circle, but almost none in the white circle. Breeders of these top working sires may take a stud pup from these crosses to increase their chances of hitting on a good breeder should their top bitches not be, or not cross well their sire. In other words, the top breeders still rely on the peripheral pools of dogs who are not as good themselves but who are good breeders, to provide some of their next generations of top red circle dogs. As long as the emphasis is on breeding for work and the momentum of most of the breeding is going toward breeding for the bull's-eye and concentrating only the working genes, the number of red circle dogs will be replaced each generation and maybe even expanded.
Now, suppose the breed becomes popular for dog shows, pets, and dog sports such as agility. Suppose these people do not only buy puppies from the working bred dogs. Now instead of a mostly dead end gene pool -- dogs that will not be bred, these dogs with no working ability will be bred. The number of white circle dogs increases. And since people seem to want to claim their "borders" can still herd with the best of them, or the sport dog people need to tap into the working traits for success in their endeavor, they will look to the working circles for breeding to try to get these traits in the pups. Regardless of how it happens, however, now the momentum has changed and the working genes are being diluted, instead of concentrated, in this peripheral gene pool that has formerly been the source of good breeders to help replenish the red circle top workers. As this progresses, the good breeders in the peripheral gene pool become more rare, the yellow circle fades more to white, the orange fades more to yellow and the red fades more to orange. Unable to replace themselves without the help of the strong working genes formerly present in the peripheral gene pool, over time, the number of dogs truly in the red circle diminish until the gene pool is too small.
Die BG Düsseldorf aus der Landesgruppe Rheinland war in diesem Jahr Ausrichter der ranghöchsten Zuchtschau des ADRK.
An dieser Stelle ein besonderes Dankeschön an Herrn Remmel und Frau Claudia Kamp, die nach der Herbstkörung 2003 nunmehr auch die Klubschau 2004 für den ADRK veranstalteten.
Für die von den Mitgliedern der BG Düsseldorf erbrachte Arbeit bedanke ich mich vielmals.
Mit einer überwältigenden Meldezahl von über 400 Rottweilern konnte auch in diesem Jahr den zahlreichen Besuchern ein Überblick über das derzeitige Zuchtpotenzial aus 25 Nationen geboten werden. Besonderer Dank gilt auch den vier Zuchtrichtern. Uwe Pctcrmann. Hans Jürgen Radtke. Dieter Hoffmann. Werner Waller und dem Richteranwärter Frank Hedtke. die an beiden Tagen Höchstleistungen erbringen mussten.
This year saw the IFR world championship held in the German town of Rottweil. The winner of the competition was Greta Marani and her rottweiler Balu vom Turnleberg.
Greta Marani & Balu vom Turnleberg
Firstly congratulations on winning the IFR again – this is in my opinion to most prestigious rottweiler award – how does it feel to be a two time world champion?
Thanks very much for this interview, I am very happy and honored!! The First time was great but in Germany is incredible. The victory of this year in Germany, in the home of the Rottweiler, has given me a great satisfaction; more than the victory of the last year in Italy.
When did you first start training in IPO and how did you start in this field of endeavour? I started 8 years ago with Mobidick Del Cavaliere Nero was my first Rottweiler with training IPO. With him I have done IPO 3 in Italy Champion Rottweiler, and then I have bought Balu vom Turnleberg. Balu is my second dog for training.
Following is a reprint of sections of an interview between Anton Spindler and Erika Beqaj that was published in the The Rottweiler Quarterly magazine.
TRQ: Herr Spindler was born in Munich, Germany in 1956. He is an FCI-VDH-ADRK Rottweiler Breed Specialist as well as an ADRK-licensed helper. He has also held numerous positions in the ADRK which include:
Our 9th National Rottweiler Championship Show ’98, held in Sydney NSW , was judged by Herr Anton Spindler. We are pleasured with an opportunity for Anton Spindler to answer my questions.
Anton is a Judge, Certified ADRK helper and Koermeister, Trainer and Breeder. Has previously held ADRK offices of interim President, Vice-President, Treasury-Auditor and is currently on the Laws, Business & Head Office Affairs Committee. Toni has Judged in such countries as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, the United States
Der Obmann für Öffentlichkeitsarbeit des ADRK Herr Henrik Bagdassarian hat ein sehr interessantes Interview mit Frau Dr. Barbara Schöning geführt. Da es im allgemeinen um die Thematik "gefährliche Hunde" geht und nicht nur um die Problematik bei Rottweilern hat er uns freundlicherweise das Interview zur Veröffentlichung überlassen.