Monday, 14 March 2016

Crufts 2016: KC admits GSD shouldn't have won... But...


Faced with widespread concern about the German Shepherd Best of Breed at this year's Crufts, the Kennel Club did the right thing: it went on TV on Sunday night and admitted the dog shouldn't have won.

But don't be fooled by the suggestion in this clip that this win was a one-off aberration by a rogue judge. Nope, this dog has actually won dozens of times under many different judges - all under Kennel Club rules.  And no one has batted an eyelid.


Here are a couple of judges' critiques of the dog - the second one, incidentally, by the daughter of the judge that awarded the dog Best of Breed at Crufts on Saturday.

1st - CRUAGHAIRE CATORIA (MR & MRS S CUTHBERT)This bitch is so correct throughout, lovely feminine head & good expression, neck well set on to body. Very good front angulation, lovely topline & good croup, very balanced hind angles. Correct height to length ratio, super underline. In movement she is outstanding so clean coming & going & her profile movement was really excellent.. Very pleased to award her the CC & BOB. Later I was informed that I gave her 1st award as MPB, which pleased me & thinking back I recalled a very moulded shapely little pup of quality and a real baby but what a bitch she has grown in to now!
Mr W Armstrong ( Corn Stalk ) Working & Pastoral Breeds of Scotland 7th November 2015

1st Cuthbert CRUAGHAIRE CATORIASire: Ch. Conbhairea Waro Dam: Korzwin Zynti3 years black and gold female of ideal middle size and strength, excellent general proportions, feminine expressive female with well shaped head dark eye and excellent ear carriage, normal wither into straight strong firm back, well laid croup which could be a touch longer, very good forehand with very good underline, excellent hindquarters with strong broad thighs, in top show condition, this female shows a willingness to perform in all phases, demonstrating excellent reach and drive, this was a super class of females, in my opinion this is a female who deserves the highest of accolades, a pleasure to judge. BEST BITCH AND BOB.
Ms Samantha Hall ( Gayvilles) North Eastern Open Show October 2015

The problem here is not this one dog. There are hundreds more just like her being shown in the UK (and in many other countries) because no one has called "Stop!" to the train-wreck that is today's show German Shepherd.

The problem is the mass delusion among show German Shepherd breeders that what they've done to the breed is an improvement.

The main reason for the hand-wringing on TV last night is because the awful truth was suddenly evident to the public, mostly via this blog, and because the Kennel Club's social media was over-run by so many shocked people.

The Kennel Club had no choice last night. It would have been PR suicide to try to defend the dog.

Of course, some people have praised the KC for its willingness to admit there was a problem with the dog,  but it is important to know that the Kennel Club also said it would act after Pedigree Dogs Exposed in 2008 highlighted the problems in German Shepherds - and again in 2010 after there was criticism of another top-winning GSD at Crufts.

Very little has changed.

Sure,  the problem is complex. There are thousands of German Shepherd breeders out there who will look you in the eye and tell you there's nothing wrong with their dogs.

But we've got to try to tackle this.

Please... can we use this opportunity do something for this breed?

See also:

REVEALED: The Crufts GSD footage they didn't want you to see.

GSDs at Crufts: the continuing travesty

43 comments:

  1. The Daily Mail has the story as its lead story at the moment - so you are generating publicity. Let's hope this time something happens.

    Chris R.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are nearly 500 comments of disgust o the Daily Mail.

      This is such an interesting response from the public. Do you think its because the GSD is a dog that has 'traditionally' been athletic and conformationally sound? Therefore, many people have a frame of reference with lots of good examples and the deformity in the bob bitch is obvious? Whereas Pugs and other brachy dogs have always been bred to have disabled morphology so it may be difficult for people to actually understand that the features in these dogs are abnormal?

      Delete
    2. People don't envision a pug coming to their rescue when they break a leg hiking, or taking down a man with a knife.

      Well, normal people don't, anyway.

      So yes, the normal person's unconscious says "Wait, that will not work, will it?" when they see such a mess.

      The dog -- Peke or GSD, pug or basset -- suffers just the same, as a dog, not as an idea of a kind of a dog.

      Delete
    3. Yes I think the biggest shock is how much GSD's have changed, I agree pugs and the like are just as sad and deformed - but for most of us we are used to seeing pugs like that - this BOB is so so far away from what most people see as a GSD. It also explains why the people who breed dogs that look like the BOB just cant see there is anything wrong with that dog

      Delete
    4. Why, for example, has the Telegraph reported the outrage with the GSD, but has chortled along with the rest of the public with the Peke? Because people EXPECT a Peke to look like that? Even though it is deformed and dysfunctional, that is NORMAL for a Peke.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/12193067/Meet-Eric-the-tiny-Pekingese-at-Crufts-who-stole-the-nations-heart.html

      'Despite not winning Best In Show, the pain au chocolat lookalike won the hearts and minds of the British public when he trotted across that famed green carpet.'

      People who frequent this blog know better....

      Delete
    5. The simple thing is do not buy show dogs! Do not buy from a breeder who has more rosettes than an over privileged 9 year old Pony Club member. Buy from people who supply the Police with their dogs.

      My wife wanted a Labrador, I insisted we buy a gun dog not a show dog. Our Labrador will never meet the breed standard of the KC, he is 110 lb of pure muscle, so laid back he is almost comatose and so clever it is like dealing with Moriarty on a daily basis, in other words a real Labrador. He is calm in nature, addicted to cuddles, powerful and the most stunning looking dog out. But he will never win a CC and I never want him to, he is healthy, lively and curled up in an armchair!

      Delete
  2. The video has been blocked by C4 on copyright grounds.

    It would seem that the public are shocked, saddened and clearly disgusted with the KC. How can we use the public momentum to pressurise the KC to get its act together with the breed clubs and judges? What exactly needs to be done?

    This dysfunctional and cruel behaviour by breeders is being reinforced and the constant reinforcement means that this behaviour will be repeated unless it is prevented! Therefore, if C4 stop broadcasting Crufts would this be a step in the right direction? There will be a public acknowledgement that breeding dogs for showing is no longer morally and ethically acceptable.

    There are hundreds of comments about this on both the KC and Crufts Facebook public pages. There has not been a single comment from the KC. I have no faith in them as an organisation to be responsible for the welfare of dogs. We need an alternative and effective organisation. And we need to take action...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And mixed breeds are so much more sound. Yea, right. And yet NO ONE decries the wholesale breeding of mutts. Sick, crippled mutants. But he, that's ok, let's just badmouthe purebred and stick our heads in the sand about the vast numbers of mutts being produced. Why not be fair and do a "Mutts Exposed" you are promoting the breeding of mutts by attacking purebreds.

      Delete
    2. I absolutely agree after seeing the badly deformed German Shepherd which shocked me to my core!
      I've completely lost faith in Crufts and the Kennel Club and I think it's both sick and disgusting that the Kennel Club seem to be trying to pass off a sloped backed obviously deformed dog which looks in constant pain because it's legs and spine are not properly aligned. The rules are that German Shepherds are supposed to have straight strong backs as they are pastoral working dogs and of course they are police dogs. How on earth can that poor German Shepherd that won best of show possibly even climb upstairs or jump with deformed back legs and crippled back.
      I think an urgent independent organisation should be in place for the welfare of all breeds of Dogs to stop this awful cruelty of breeding deformed dogs. Theres no excuses, everyone can tell when a dog looks happy and healthy.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous #2--nice try.

      " "Jemima Harrison hates dogs/pedigree dogs"
      Jemima loves all dogs and her family has always had pedigree dogs. Her grandparents had Borzoi and English Setters; her parents had English Setters, Great Danes, Labradors and Jack Russels. Today, Jemima runs a small independent dog rescue rehoming retrievers, setters, spaniels, labradors and mixes. She shares her home with several dogs - including a working-bred Flatcoated Retriever, Maisie, and several rescue crossbreeds."

      Source: http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/p/pde-myths-busted.html

      And Jemima questioned the breeding of "mutts" just three days ago in this blog post: http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/2016/03/exclusive-crufts-winner-bert-easdon.html

      I take it you're upset because you approve of the terribly constructed GSDs who won at Crufts?

      Delete
    4. "breeding dogs for showing is no longer morally and ethically acceptable". Wrong. Breeding unhealthy and unsound dogs for any reason, including showing, should never be morally and ethically acceptable. On the flip side, breeding healthy and sound dogs, fit for purpose, for showing is perfectly morally and ethically acceptable.

      Delete
    5. 'On the flip side, breeding healthy and sound dogs, fit for purpose, for showing is perfectly morally and ethically acceptable.'

      According to whom? Your opinion?

      Show me the evidence.

      Please see Patricia McConnell's latest blog post on animal welfare (science and ethology are referenced). http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/the-pain-of-being-alone

      I'd say that according to the latest evidence she probably wouldn't agree with you. And from a companion animal's perspective, I'd rather be living with an educated and empathetic and compassionate person like Trisha than any dog shower or breeder that I have known that competes in dog shows....

      I would say that if a dog is healthy and conformationally sound and there is an owner or handler on board who has some education (and not just experience!) of canine ethology and behaviour and the dog actually ENJOYS participating (body language and lack of stress signals and urine cortisol levels are low), then one could argue that it's a good activity and can actually be a good educational platform. However, even if the dog is healthy and conformationally sound, the competitive element in dog shows exploits the weakness in people who just want to win. How many dogs are left for hours barking in cars at Crufts? Lots! No matter how healthy these dogs may be, there are other welfare considerations at hand with regard to dog shows.

      http://www.glasgowdogtrainer.co.uk/
      'I spend my working life doing my best to advocate for dogs' welfare. I viewed some of the conditions which show dogs have to endure. Being restrained on a stand by the neck for grooming prior to entering the ring. Sitting on benches for hours, some of them appear happy to do this and seem to relax and go to sleep but many, many others sit panting with stress or kicking off barking at people and dogs as they walk past the benches where their owners are absent. We also have the horror of breeding for conformation and all the health problems associated with that. Despite all their propaganda, nothing has changed in the last 10 years after Jemima Harrison's expose on it. If anything, it's worse than before. Dogs being strung up by the neck on slip and show (choke) chains to keep their heads up as they prance round the ring. You know your dog can hold that position on his own and you just need to train him to to it in the ring, no?

      Delete
  3. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/startling-pictures-show-crufts-dog-7552808

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/6999632/Outrage-as-deformed-German-Shepherd-wins-best-in-breed-at-Crufts.html

    'Blogger and documentary maker Jemima Harrison on her blog Pedigree Dogs Exposed slammed the award as dreadful calling on her readers to draw their disapproval to the attention of the Kennel Club.

    She wrote: “Of course a dog this stressed is not going to show at their best, but "Tori", as she is known, is just dreadful and it is so sad to see her - especially given some small improvements seen in the UK show-ring in the past few years.”

    ReplyDelete
  4. What are the odds that the 2017 coverage will be a delayed broadcast after KC editing so the KC can avoid having another KC approved and selected judge put up a dog that the viewing public can easily tell is not fit?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't encourage them!

      Delete
  5. "normal wither into straight strong firm back"

    WHUT?

    So... they actually aren't seeing what everyone else is seeing? That's a powerful self-delusion they've got going on there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Want change.. pressure the sponsors such as Eukanaba.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's not true that 'no-one has batted an eyelid'. The Alsatian Breed Campaign has been pointing this out for years. It has sent the KC evidence as to why the back curve causes the poor rear end movement. And the Kennel Club has ignored it. Just as the KC has, in conjunction with the GSD Breed Council, tried to show that this problem doesn't exist. The damage limitation exercise by the 3 stooges and Clare Balding was a farce.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Will consider if necessary.." = "will do it only if negative publicity makes it necessary otherwise continue as normal and it will all go away again".

    ReplyDelete
  9. What show were those other judges watching?? A dog of any other breed would have been thrown out of the ring, if not taken directly to the vet if it showed up like this.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The KC signed a memorandum of understanding with the German SV a few years ago indicating that these two organisations would work closely for the betterment of the breed. What happened then? Well,Elmo was showcased throughout the UK and went on to win the pastoral group while SV officials had best seats at Crufts and went home AFTER Elmo won. Then it all went away.

    Even PDE 2 failed to highlight the frequency that this problem is becoming entrenched in the GS show line. Why? Where have u all been?

    Mark my words, the KC would NOT have come out about this if the public had not have bombarded them with complaints. They would have buried it.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Video blocked by ch4!" Perhaps ask CH4/KC presenter Clare Balding as to why CH4 is being so selective as CH4 happily allow other footage?She's on facebook and twitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can watch the video above on the Terrierman's Daily Dose blog http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.co.uk/

      Delete
  12. Keep at it, Jemima. Eventually the obvious cannot be ignored. --- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

    ReplyDelete
  13. The breeders of this poor dog admit on their website that they breed GSDs according to what they think they should look like and only use the KC standard as a guideline. Why do they then enter them into KC shows?!!

    http://www.cruaghaire.co.uk/litters.html


    ReplyDelete
  14. For over 100yrs the GSD has served us. In times of war and peace we have used his strength, loyalty and intelligence to keep us safe. He was the iconic servant of the police,army, air force,Guide Dogs for the Blind, search and rescue teams as well as being a film star!This dog did not need 'improving'. He did not need to be genetically modified. Show breeders have tried to destroy him. We must work with those last few breeders who are attempting to preserve the original -pre 1970s GSD. The KC and GSD breed societies must be made to change what they are doing and maybe this is the time to rally the public support which is so clearly out there.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Until the KC disqualify the CC winners at Crufts 2016, reprimand the judge nothing will change. Because the breeders of these GSD type will continue on because nobody is challenging them and anyway the KC will accept their money for entry to their shows so there is no incentive to stop. The KC can stop them and should be seen to publicly acknowledge that these awards were wrong and act accordingly. The KC is fearful that if they make a fuss then another body will rise from the ashes and they will revenue and that is the only reason for their mild reaction to this furore.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Does OFCOM have rules on animal cruelty and can people complain about C4 and the coverage of both this and the pekingese?

    ReplyDelete
  17. The statement from the GSD League of Great Britain is exactly what could be expected - they really are'nt that bothered about the KC. Many if not most of the exhibitors/breeders of this type of GSD are really not interested in all breed shows etc. and if pushed they will simply turn their back on the KC. 121 dogs entered at the show everyone is supposed to aspire to is hardly a big entry, bearing in mind Gordon and English Setters as vulnerable breeds managed 192/200 dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The judges' comments are just a collection of seemingly authoritative, catchy sound bytes, much like the tasting notes one finds on a pretentiously-packaged bag of whole bean coffee or a hundred dollar bottle of wine. Strength and clean movement? What ARE these judges seeing? It just really highlights the BS so rampant in the show world. I'm so glad that the breeders and judges are now fully in the spotlight. I just hope this coverage allows people to realize that we are not "slating a breed" but criticizing breeders, judges, and registries. Let's hope that real and meaningful change is implemented, and soon.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That dog was no worse than what has been pouring out of German Sieger shows for ten years, and I have no idea why they are attacking her. She is just as awful as all German showline dogs, but certainly no worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So what you're saying is that all German show line dogs are badly built, poorly constructed, conformationally unsound, and not fit for purpose.
      Attacking who? Certainly no one is attacking the dog. But we are certainly criticizing not just the breeder, but the breeder of all GSDs that think that fit for function means moving like a big lick Tennessee Walking Horse.

      Delete
  20. Something has to be done somewhere if breeders around the world are creating German Shepherd mutants poor creatures that cannot walk properly or even stand without wobbling! Here we are supposed to be a nation of animal lovers and good provider's of animal welfare. And I for one does not ever in my life want to see a German Shepherd hobbling down the street looking like the one on Crufts! It's just so upsetting to think sick breeders are violating this hardworking dependable breed. German Shepherd are supposed to have straight backs supporting their body's. There is no excuse for deformity causing needless pain. I think that the RSPCA should be far more present at the Kennel Club and Crufts and keep tight regulations on all breeders, handlers owners and judges with very heavy fines or imprisonment for acts of cruelty like this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. IMO the KC just created a worse PR nightmare by declaring this GSD should not have won BOB based how the dog looked on the video from the Group ring. Here is what I think happened.

    This GSD performed in the breed ring just like it has in all the previous showings (no video evidence to show otherwise). The dog likely appeared no more or less unsound than in those previous showings and was likely no more or less unsound than the other GSDs in the breed ring.

    Between the breed ring and the group ring, this dog lost it, became mentally stressed out. In the group ring the stressed GDS likely has its worse performance ever. The video shows an unsound GSD (likely no worse or better than the other GSDs) accentuated by the dog being highly stressed and nervous (wanting to leave the ring). The KC panicked because of the appearance of this unsound and stressed GSD in the group ring.

    Instead of dismissing this dog from the group ring due to its mental state the KC decided, based upon the dog's appearance in the group ring video, to void the BOB win. The KC declared that the judge was wrong, the vet who check this GSD was wrong, and that all the previous judges were wrong about this dog. In other words, the KC declared their system was wrong. We all know that their system is wrong; but what has the KC opened itself up to by declaring their judges, vets, breeders, etc were wrong for following the KC's own system?

    I'd expect that we'll be hearing from the breed judge and possibly the vet who did the vet check just like we've heard from the owner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That dog has a perch back, I have seen smaller humps on a Dromedary. My family has had 2 German Shepherds, neither of which looked like Charles Laughton!

      Delete
  22. Channel 4 have blocked the video now on copyright grounds - I suggest using a proxy or http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.co.uk/.

    The mock outrage on displaying during the 'sofa discussion' is nauseatingly false. lots of waffle about reviewing the processes and presenting this case as an anomaly when everyone knows the GSD is doomed under current breeding trends.

    Why are these people so obsessed with breeding these hump backed cripples?



    ReplyDelete
  23. The KC admission is a start. We, concerned dog lovers, should continue applying the blowtorch of reason and canine health reports, through social media and other means, to extract a further step towards ending the appearance of a deformed dog on television from the KC

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have just sent an email to The Kennel Club putting in my complaint about the plight of the German Shepherd on Crufts.
    If anyone would like to complain and put there thoughts directly to the Kennel Club. The Kennel Club email address is hbs@thekennelclub.org.uk

    ReplyDelete
  25. How many thousands of 'dog breeders' are there in the UK alone?
    It is a very profitable business, whether they are breeding 'giants' or 'teacups' - and if their sires and dams are KC registered, then they can register the resulting pups without question.
    I very much doubt if the KC does regular checks on the conditions in which their 'registered' dogs live or breed?
    Crufts has become a massive money maker not only for the KC, but also for TV - and the 'breeders' of course.
    Sadly, the RSPCA is pretty poweless to intervene, as well....
    Unscupulous humans will continue to thrive on dog-breeding. It's only the dogs themselves who will continue to suffer.

    ReplyDelete
  26. That's why the general public have to keep on putting in complaints about deformed dogs like the German Shepherd. The more breeders will get the message loud and clear that no one wants to buy deformed unhealthy dogs, which goes without saying! I really don't know what has gone on in the minds of breeders and judges of that German Shepherd but at least public outrage shows that we are prepared to put up with it!

    ReplyDelete
  27. That's why the general public have to keep on putting in complaints about deformed dogs like the German Shepherd. The more breeders will get the message loud and clear that no one wants to buy deformed unhealthy dogs, which goes without saying! I really don't know what has gone on in the minds of breeders and judges of that German Shepherd but at least public outrage shows that we are not prepared to put up with it!

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is a joke. In poor taste, and black humour maybe, but a joke nonetheless. As an animal lover, I am APPALLED that these morons who position themselves as "dog lovers" continue to maim their animals in the pursuit of self-aggrandisement. The public needs to take a stand against this treatment by refusing to buy any animal which is bred by a breeder who is registered to a show federation.

    ReplyDelete