The SV Zeitung’s Editorial Message from the President: March 2016
Many Roads lead to Rome. Dear Readers!
On a regular basis I am confronted with question from sports friends of all regions of our Verein, whether the present selection for authorization for breeding exclusively through the IPO is keeping up with the times. This is valid on the one hand for the enormous investment of time for the training. On the other hand, there is a persistent understandable uncertainty on the specific value of the “Sporting-test” IPO for us, as the Breed Club, “German Shepherd Dog”.
Constantly it is lamented that a “normal” dog handler, not to mention a beginner, with a “normal” dog is not in a position, to absolve the demanded test within an acceptable time frame and appropriate effort. The absolutely necessary and motivating experience of success in passing the test, moves into the far distance for the new handler “getting into” the sport, this leads to frustration, and, as a last, worst consequence he withdraws from the dog sport and our Verein. On a regular basis it was alluded that in view of the high standards set and enforced here, these were rather circumvented than adhered to, consequently bearing the logically arising losses. Consistently pursuing this thought, we find we are losing in our function of the Breed Club, in increasing measure, the ability to test for the functional characteristics demanded for our breed.
Before I now go into possible alternatives, let it be unmistakeably noted, that the tests in the working dog breeding contribute to the health and performance of the dog in a sense to maintain and/or improve from generation to generation, their working ability. They serve to improve and maintain, soundness and fitness. If we were to relinquish this, we should strike the concept of the working dog from our vocabulary.
In view of the presented problems, the previous Management Board in conjunction with the Breed and Training Executive, have given consideration to how the new way, - accepted by the majority of the breeders, dog sport enthusiasts and also by society, can be implemented. At the Federal meeting of 2014 the project “Introduction of a Character Test” was unanimously accepted in the SV and started on its way. Not lastly nor least, based on the unfortunately clearly declining figures in the sphere of the IPO sport, ways were looked for, in the last few years, to offer alternatives here. This clearly on the proviso, that there will be no restrictions suffered in the necessary mental and/or performance aspects. At present, the so called “Character Test” is in the end phase of its testing, and then requires anew, the approval of the general meeting in order to be finally included into the Rules and Regulations.
In my function of WUSV President, please permit me to make a supplementary observation: In a great number of our WUSV Member Clubs, the Schutzhund Sport is not permitted and therefore a selection for the, for us so important working dog attributes, is not possible. Through the internationalization of the Character Test, the first step would be given, for our friends within the WUSV too, to specifically target and select for, the working dog characteristics. Quite to the contrary of the allegations made by the usual
critics, here we are not dealing with an additional burden for the handler and his dog, but the more or less naturally implemented permanent manner of dealing with the young dog at the training ground and in public. Among the self explanatory obligations of a dog owner, towards the living being, as well as under the aspects of animal protection, it is taken as read that one accepts the prerequisite that the young dog must have demands made upon it, and be promoted in public. To my understanding, it should cause not too many problems, to absolve the so called Character Test with a German Shepherd Dog of normal predisposition. In further course the so called ZAP with the working aspect that is at a similar level, as the former SchH 1 in application and degree of difficulty, will be adjoined to this. With the absolving of these two tests, at first, the path to limited breeding is available on the ZAP track.(Working Dog Breeding) Independently of this, the old way, via the IPO or RH2 (Rescue Dog 2) will remain as before. Only after the a successful Breed Survey, is the unrestricted breeding authorization possible.
So several roads lead to Rome. Here every sports friend should choose his way, according to his need and orientation. We will assuredly make no compromise in the selection for the working dog characteristics. After appropriate authorization for breeding that most likely leads to Survey too, the path is open for everyone to participate in the wide range of leisure time activities in the Verein.
Faced by the development of membership and registered numbers of our Verein, I have found the described steps to be urgently necessary, as ask of you, to follow the Executive Board, as well as the Breed and Training Executive, along this path.