REFLECTIONS on the 8th Annual

"Shiloh Shepherd Specialty"

by Tina Barber

In the Bible 8 is the number of new beginnings. Does this mean that this year will mark the new "show" trend for future Shiloh’s? Since the first Cherry Blossom show, there has never been such a small number of dogs in attendance. If I am recalling correctly, I believe our 3rd show had 42 dogs entered, and in ’95 we had even more! Most of all I remember the LARGE camps we had, with lots of people visiting, continuously amazed at the BIG dogs that were being shown! Dozens of "the works" packets were sold, and lots of business cards exchanged hands! We always had lots of adorable puppies around to draw in the crowds! This year I only saw one puppy! Most of all, our group was known for being one of the happiest & friendliest around! Members were always rooting for each other’s dogs, helping the novices, etc. You could tell when we were in the ring by listening for the cheers! This year there seemed to be a total lack of enthusiasm in the "new" club crowd, although our small SSDCA group of visitors still clapped for the dogs.

Even though ARBA had one of the largest turnouts that I can remember, and the show site was moved to the center mall with more room and shade (a definite improvement) the Shiloh ring did not draw those huge crowds this year. Worse of all was the fact that less then 2 dozen dogs were shown, with 3 of those being members of the SSDCA/ISSR. Only 10 (new club) ISSDCR dogs were entered in the breed competition, plus some old ISSR champions were brought in for the National Specialty. Keyword-National, yet only 7-8 States (2 of which were ISSR dogs) were represented! I do not recall seeing most of the club officers, or West Coast leaders in attendance. It was quite obvious that this "new" breakaway club has done NOTHING POSSITIVE to encourage people to attend these "mixed" shows! There was a MUCH better representation of Shilohs, both in number & quality, at the small SSDCA Regional BADASS Specialty show on Long Island!

When I first arrived at the mall I couldn’t help but notice the GIANT Shepherds camped on the east side. It was very obvious that they were in the 30" range, with broad heads & heavy bone, like the Shiloh’s that used to show there just a few years ago! Then I noticed their owners and realized that they were not Shilohs, but that these big dogs must be KING SHEPHERDS!

King Shepherds in the ring at the Cherry Blossom show

My first reaction was to look for faults! Ah, I spotted a hook tail! It was time for a much closer (critical) look at the "competition." Immediately I noticed one that didn’t move very clean, could it be bad hips? I was determined to spot every flaw I could find! As I stood there watching them ringside, a lady was talking to someone behind me. I clearly heard her brag about the beauty of these dogs (they were exactly like the GSD’s she remembered as a child) not like the scrawny little Shiloh’s on the other side! I was ready to turn around and give her a piece of my mind! Obviously she never saw any good Shilohs, like Captain-London-Orso-Laz, and the list goes on! The ones in the Shiloh camp must be PUPPIES! The older ones are probably crated, so how dare she attack their size! SCRAWNY-SPINDLY BONED SPOOKS, give me a break! Was she looking at some other breed? Yes, the Kings improved drastically from what they looked like 2 years ago, BUT they were NOT bigger then the Shilohs! Just as I was getting ready to have a show down with her, some of those dogs she had been describing were walking over to their ring!

The ISSDCR dog on the left is a grandson of ISSR Ch. Moriah's O' Daughter of Zion, the King Shepherd on the right is her son. These pictures represent a good example of the drastic changes that can be attained in only 1 or 2 generations. For a more in depth study please read the SSDCA, Inc. Newsletter articles on inbreeding.
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Had someone changed the breed standard? Where it says, " The muzzle should NOT be long, narrow, or snipey in appearance. When was the "NOT" removed? I could not believe my eyes; the judges were putting up these dogs hook tails & all! Flashy movers?

Maybe, but I have seen much better in years gone by. The GSD "show" dogs are "flashy" movers too, even more so, but is this what the Shilohs should look like? They sure seem to be heading that way……fast…….propelled by the "new" club! In less then 2 years the "shift" toward the small-spooky type is definitely starting to become evident. WHAT A SHAME! The biggest dogs (all 3) that I saw were SSDCA/ISSR stock!

Several people approached me that have seen our web site/read the AOL BB. I was thankful to discover that at least the public is becoming aware of the difference between the ORIGINAL and the "NEW VERSION" Shilohs! They all praised our web site, and many offered their condolences for the poor (pet) quality Shilohs being shown. One man said "it must break your heart to watch what they are doing to your breed, now I can understand why you sound so upset on the BB." I assured him that there are still PLENTY of good Shiloh breeders out there that want my advice, and will continue producing excellent quality dogs! Most of all I was very impressed when the same "King" official that I argued with 2 years ago (about the poor quality dogs they were producing) approached me to ask HONESTLY what I thought of the changes they were making with the Kings. I had to admit that aside from the 3 SSDCA Shilohs entered, his dogs looked much better. We then went into a long conversation about his breed, the changes they were planning on, the RC program they were using (just like our's) etc. He admitted that they had some faults, but that they would love to be able to ask me for advice along the way. I assured him that I would give them all the help they needed, after all their dogs looked more like my "ideal" Shiloh, then the "new version" dogs! My biggest concern would be the hips, but I will try to help them overcome those potential pitfalls too! I will never refuse to help anyone that WANTS to learn. I have only refused to teach those that already "know" more then I do about the Shiloh!

I was very pleased with all of the positive comments I received from the many people that were impressed with Valiant Glory of Trillium Hill, the 11-week-old Artus puppy that accompanied us. Many of the King people (since they had used a GSD outcross for their breed) asked questions about the results of our NB1 breedings. One man in particular wanted to know why we didn’t show "him" in the Specialty, we had to inform him that SHE was too young!  I was also proud to watch a Shiloh receive the ARBA award for earning the #2 position in the TOP TEN dogs for ’98. The highest award ever earned by a Shiloh! G.V. Ch. MB’s Frequent Flyer of Liberty, Congratulations! I would also like to honor the 2 beautiful LARGE males that helped me prove to some people that the SSDCA/ISSR dogs are not getting smaller.  NS Ch. London Shoen-Hirn Von Zion, and our newest Ch. Shadow Hill Shilo O’Freestate. Congratulations are also forthcoming to DANICA Kennels for winning the last 2 shows with their "Stony" finishing his well-deserved Championship. Unfortunately I was not there to take pictures (one day was enough for me) but we plan to publish his award picture on our news page as soon as we receive a copy!

In conclusion, I would like to encourage anyone that plans on showing their dogs in future ARBA shows (where both "clubs" will be competing) to hire a professional handler and ask the ring steward to have a wicket on hand! I have been told that some judges are going by the ISSDCR breed standard published in Dog World magazine, so be sure to bring the official ISSR standard to each show! You may also want to study both carefully, so that you will know the differences between them. I wrote a small article in the March/ July 1998  issue of the SSDCA, Inc. Newsletter, that might also help clear things up for you.

For those of you that may be losing interest in this breed, DON’T! Plan on attending our 25th ANNIVERSARY HOMECOMING this year, and I promise you that you WILL see plenty of BIG beautiful dogs, and friendly owners. 

Comments or questions about this article? Please send them to  Tina Barber.

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

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