Broken Hearted Founder

Written by Tina M. Barber

reprinted from the March/July 1998 Newsletter

During my drive to this show, nostalgia flooded my soul; images of the dogs I judged nearly 8 years ago danced in my mind. Korcha, what a magnificent smooth coat! Dozens for me to remember, putting a smile in my heart! No, they were not perfect, but their shortcomings were certainly overpowered by much more crucial qualities! Captain was a bit short coupled, but his magnificent head, movement, and huge bone, could not be denied, even by the least experienced novice. He drew huge adoring crowds wherever he went. It gave me such a feeling of satisfaction to watch these beautiful dogs in, and out of the ring! All the years of sacrifice and disappointments were well worth the effort, now that the cream could rise to the top for the whole world to see!

I was getting old, and could not breed dozens of litters any longer. I felt that if future breeders devoted their time, while I provide them with all of my knowledge and experience, these magnificent creatures would certainly flourish! The demand for these "Shilohs" had far outweighed the availability.

Without any regard for "politics" I poured myself into this new goal. Naively I was convinced that others were as dedicated to the future of this "breed" as I was. NOT! I soon learned that "people" are not at all like these dogs! They have ego’s that replace loyalty. Instead of trust, they prefer rumors and gossip. When I was involved in SAR, I always told my students to "trust your dog." We have to depend on his sense and instinct, because we can not smell what he can. Yet over and over I kept watching the novice "handlers" throw their dogs off the right trails, because they thought they knew more than their partners! What a shame! Human nature can be very strange indeed.

This morning I was looking at what "politics" created, and it broke my heart! Watching pet quality dogs competing for championships, how depressing! Did these dogs at least carry the genetic probability of producing dogs like the ones shown 7 years ago……not! Their gene pool was already starting to overflow with all sorts of faults, that I had worked so hard to eliminate.

I realize that people love their pets, and think they are beautiful, but should that be enough reason to mass produce such specimens? Worse yet, selling them to the poor unsuspecting public with GOLD papers, for thousands of dollars. I had one member approach me requesting that I stop "so & so" from selling such puppies (If I went to this person and insisted on some changes, it would only infuriate that breeder and send him/her running to the "new club" registry!) The shows were designed to "pick out" only those that best resemble the breed standard. At best, some of the dogs that I have seen this weekend make a mockery of it.

While watching these dogs, I had a flash back to Canada, several years ago. During a break I went over to the AKC rings to watch the GSD. I was appalled at the needle nosed, fine boned, little creatures….then I spotted him! A dog with presence, heavy bone, and a beautifully sculptured head! Ok this I had to see! He moved with a beautiful easy floating trot, not as "flashy" as the high flyers, but certainly a trot that oozed with endurance. He was clean "going away," not like the cow hocked (egg beaters) in front of him. I sat there "rooting" for this majestic fellow. My heart sank to my toes as I watched the others being placed in front of him. As he walked out of the ring, with his head held down, I could not stop myself from rushing over to his owner, to tell her what a beautiful dog she had. Come to find out, she had been breeding these dogs for nearly 40 years. The male I liked so much traced his lines back to my "Ria" line. He had some of the greatest (and most beautiful GSD’s I’d ever known) in his pedigree! What a shame, when a dog with such qualities, can be overshadowed by "politics." As I left this heavy hearted breeder, I thought, THANK GOD for the Shilohs, this will NEVER happen to us!

Seven years later, as I sit ringside watching the Shilohs, that same feeling of hopelessness I felt in Canada is overwhelming me again. This time it is even worse, because I am watching my "breed" being destroyed. A new "type" seems to be emerging that looks very much like those GSD’s I saw in Canada, only with longer hair. Most of those dogs should have been sold as "pets" since they BARELY make the MINIMUM size requirements, much less the other qualities that made this breed so special to begin with.

As I sit under this cloud of depression, suddenly my heart leaps, when I noticed a beautiful heavy boned bitch enter the ring. I watch her fluent movement, my eyes examining every inch of this regal lady, as check marks go off in my mind… head – YES, front – YES, top line – YES, length of body – YES, stifle – YES, etc, etc. My excitement is starting to mount, for a fleeting moment, until the judge puts up a small – short coupled – hook tail instead! HORROR sets in my heart, no way, how can this be? Thank God the bitch started "acting up" in the last class and did not place as winners bitch, but this was a close one! After the show I approached the judge with our breed standard, she admitted that she had NOT had time to read it! She thought that our dogs were supposed to be "just like German Shepherds with long hair," that’s why she rejected the "oversized" ones! NO, this is NOT an isolated case!

IF YOU PAY TO BE "JUDGED" make sure that the "judge" has taken the time to READ our breed standard!! YOU HAVE THE RIGHT! Don’t expect me to be at every show to do this for you!

How could such a poor quality "pet" bitch even enter the ring? POLITICS! Breeders are selling their pet quality puppies for big bucks, to people that WANT to show, and are willing to spend large sums on "professional" handlers to get a championship. They are in it for the sport and are willing to do whatever it takes to win. As a result, many others that own the REAL giants are content to stay home and just enjoy their dog, because they don’t want to "try showing" and lose.

I see the handwriting on the wall! Twenty-four years ago I saw this scenario coming to the GSD, in less then a decade the entire breed was on a path, like a runaway train, heading toward the "show type" we see today. Let me assure you that the MINI-SHILOH’S will reach their end even quicker! I spent 7 years of my life practically dragging people (or their dogs) to the shows, doing all in my power to teach them everything I could, for what? Yes, I know many people "out there" that are thankful that they own a champion. They are proud of their dog, but for various reasons (CLUB SPLITS/PERSONALITY CONFLICTS/ETC) don’t want to "get involved." Most of these dogs will probably never be bred, or even seen by the public, and the gene-pool will inevitably suffer a great loss.

Personally I can’t stand to watch those beautiful "gentle giants" fall by the wayside, therefore I am determined to continue breeding toward the standard. I am confident that there’s still a few good people left that feel the same way, and will do likewise. The final outcome for these dogs will depend on the public. Will future buyers INSIST on a guarantee that their bitch will reach a minimum of 28" and the male pups at least 30"? If you insist on these size requirements for a good show/breeding prospect, and only buy from breeders that HAVE produced such dogs in the past, then this breed may survive, otherwise the mini’s will win by default!

I really miss seeing those big beautiful GSD’s that used to be practically everywhere. They have been replaced by those "powder – puffed – mini’s!" I have heard many an old GSD lover call them much worse. What will they be calling the "Shiloh" seven years from now?





I was just informed that the "ISSDC" has changed the breed standard! What changes were made? I guess we will all find out soon, since it is being printed in the Dog World’s Rare Breed issue! How often do they plan to change it? What changes will they be making in the future? How will all this affect the breed? Those are only a few of the questions serious breeders/fanciers need to be asking themselves! Don’t hide your head in the sand, while the freight train runs over your behind! If you love these dogs, and want to see the breed continue as it was originally meant to be, you must contact someone and offer to help!

Be Sure to Read the Other Articles in the Continuing Series of "Live" Reports from the Shiloh Shepherd™ Breed Founder:

Broken Hearted Breed Founder (1998)| Cherry Blossom 1999| Brookville Report (2000) |
Frederick Report (2001) | Sportsman Show (2004) | Broken Hearted Breed Founder Redux (2004) | Cherry Blossom Classic 2004 | Cherry Blossom 2004 Collage | What Should a Shiloh Shepherd Tail Look Like? (A Lesson for the Judges) | NCA Show 2005 | Rarities Show at the Hartford Pet Expo 2005 | Canada Show Update: May 2006 | Cherry Blossom Classic 2006 | NAKC and Rarities Show: October 2006 | Empire Classic: July 2007 | Rarities Show: Lums Pond Park: September 2008 | Broken Hearted Breed Founder Series |

Be sure to read:

What is a Shiloh Shepherd? |Examples of Real ISSR Shiloh Shepherd Pedigrees |Real Questions Honest Answers from the  Shiloh Shepherd Breed Founder | Puppy Producers: What are They? | Shiloh versus Long Haired GSD | Don't Fall 4 the Fraud | Registry Comparisons | Protecting Breed Development | Shiloh Fraud | Learning Center

And to see what the ideal Shiloh Shepherd should look like, please view our ISSR, Inc. Illustrated Breed Standard and don't miss Tina Speaks!

Shiloh Shepherd Story: Against the Wind - A Breed is born

Kennel of Origin | Club History: the First 7 Years | SSDCA Officers: Where are They Now? | Back Issue Creates Chaos |Back Issue Redux--ShilohShepherd Posts 20001996 Election | Glory to God Letter (Dec. 96)| History of the Club Split | 1999 Election |SSDCA Highlights: 1997-2004 | Shiloh History: the first 40 Years | 2002 Election | 2005 Election | 2008 Election |
Other ISSR, Inc. Reports:

Breeding Related:
ISSR Registered Litters (by kennel) ISSR Litters born per year (Charts) ISSR Licensed Breeder Matrix
ROM Points Widely Used Studs  

Health Survey (2000) and Ongoing Genetic Task Force Database:

Importance of the health survey
(Summer 2000)

Health Survey 2000
(a word from the Breed founder)

Health Survey 2000 Preliminary Results
Health Survey 2000 Final Results
 (Fall SSDCA NEWSLETTER 2001, includes Dr. Padgett's report)
GTF Database
(Reported diseases from 2000 Health Survey)
Ongoing On-Line Health Survey


Littermate X-ray Program Methods of Hip Certification Shiloh Shepherd™ Hip Ratings


Litter Evaluation Program Manual (updated 2010!)

other articles of interest:


Real Questions Honest Answers Investigate Before You Invest

The ISSR at work, for the betterment of the Shiloh Shepherd™ Breed, since 1991.

Shiloh Timeline | Investigate Before You Invest | Confusion | ISSR Litters by Breeder |
Conformation Show Titles: What Do They Mean | An Analogy | Brokenhearted Breedfounder | Registries: What are They? | ISSR, the real Shiloh Shepherd Registry |