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 Shilohs? 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 others 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 couldnt 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 Shilohs 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 didnt 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 GSDs she remembered as a child) not like the
scrawny little Shilohs 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
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.
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!
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
.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 didnt 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. MBs 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 OFreestate. 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, DONT! 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.