2010 Sieger Show Report

Sept. 3-5, 2010, Nürnberg (aka Nuremberg):


As most of my readers know, I have been sharing my impressions of the Sieger Show (known in Germany as the Hauptzuchtschau) for a couple of decades. In these years, I have been leading tour groups to this main breed show, with several subsequent days spent visiting notable breeders and local training clubs. I try to offer a mix of: 1. Intensive dog study (including teaching novices about the breed, the show, and the particular dogs; 2. Introductions to breeders (usually some of my group will buy a dog from one or more of them); and 3. Sightseeing. This compromise gives something to everyone.

As a retired SV Zuchtrichter (breed judge), and a trainer of many dogs to their Schutzhund titles, I am qualified to analyze, educate, and discuss in both of these areas. As a writer for dog magazines and Internet sites, I can also share these expert observations with those who were not able to come to the show. I give descriptions of most of the adult dogs’ Friday protection work (that hopefully qualifies them to enter the breed competition on Saturday and Sunday) and then their anatomical characteristics. The top dogs usually move and look very similar.

This year, in spite of very hard economic times, I had my largest group ever. Fourteen of us for the whole tour and four more (Australians) for a couple days of kennel and scenic visits. As always, it was an international group: four Uruguayans (Sergio & Eliana Fernandez and Pablo & Analía Keizler), two Argentinians (Valeriano and Estella Garcia), four from Washington DC (Jerry Lin -originally from Taiwan- with his wife & 2 daughters), two who work in Iraq (Nabil Nouman and Lori Saunders), and one from Michigan (Nabil’s wife Susie on their second honeymoon). The recession in the U.S. was the reason more Americans were not in the group. My practice is to not charge a fee, but to divide my own expenses among the rest of the group. The smaller group of five in 2009 paid me about $680 each, and the larger group of 13 in 2010 gave me $370 each (less for the Aussies who were only on part of the tour). This was for vans and my own expenses, and they paid directly for their own room and food. So, the bigger the group, the more they save.

First, let me tell you about the tour, and then I will describe the show. Everybody flies to the same airport where I have arranged rental vans. Because of jet lag, it is best to have the group arrive by mid-day on Wednesday, a day-and-a-half before the first day of the show. The first half-day is normally spent getting to the first hotel, but this year we were fortunate to have our first host fairly close to the Frankfurt airport. It was at the working-lines kennel and club of Inge and Heinz Balonier, who are some of the best of such breeders and SchH judges in Europe. Their club has about 100 members, and on the last day of the tour (the next Wednesday) we returned there to see some of them work their dogs. They impressed my group greatly.

Thursday was spent sightseeing. Leaving the autobahn (super highway) at Würzburg, we took the scenic “Romantic Road” south through several picturesque villages, cameras clicking away. The name of this off-the-highways route comes from the era hen the Roman empire flourished. When we came to Rothenburg on the Tauber River, we turned onto what is called the “Castle Road” for obvious reasons. Then east past Ansbach to Nürnberg where the show was held this year. This city is the site of the post-WW2 trials of some of the most notable Nazi fiends that were apprehended and convicted of “crimes against humanity” (many others escaped this judgment by fleeing with false papers to other European and South American countries.

Following the three-day show, the group was enlarged by the addition of the Aussies from Queensland. They were Steve & Hetty Choy, and Paul & Daphne Murray. In the days they were with us, the caravan of three vehicles and 18 people continued the odyssey. Monday we visited the Kirschental kennels, famed for herding and all-around family-&-working dogs. In the afternoon, we were treated by Herr Dieterich of Grabfeldgau to an array of various-age puppies at the home of the late Zamp Thermodos, a dog that has stamped the breed with exceptional anatomy. By the way, anyone who is seriously looking for a beautiful show or working-lines prospect can e-mail me and I can pass the request on to the various breeders.

The next day, most of us visited the Reichertshof kennels of Friedrich and Michael Reichert and saw some extremely high-quality dogs. Unfortunately, it was rainy and we couldn’t get good photos. I and one of the Aussies spoke a little German, so we could translate for the group. This father-&-son team breeds and trains for search-and-rescue as well as the show ring. That evening, we went to the grounds of the club in Laudenbach north of Heidelberg and watched the members training. We also visited the kennel and dogs of Franz Schlenzig (Vierhundert Hertz). Rain continued.

After saying bon voyage to the Uruguay and Australian contingents, the remainder of the group had a relaxing morning and then a visit to the Grossostheim club again to eat and watch dogs work. The enthusiasm and performance perfection of these dogs compared to most of the show dogs at the show was obvious. It is partly a matter of selective breeding and partly due to emphasis and time spent in training. Then, the next morning I delivered my people to their airplanes at FRA and waited for my long ride to my next destination.

With the Sieger Show tour concluded for this year, I started on my next assignment, which was a fortnight lecture tour in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, sponsored by the combined Boerboel clubs of western Europe. This is a South African molossoid breed similar in some ways to the English Mastiff, American Bulldog, Tosa, and others. I had done a similar teaching engagement a couple of years earlier for the Belgian group. Starting in Geel, an ancient village in the northern part, I made sure I had plenty of the foods the Belgians are famous for: chocolate, seafood, and beer (much of the last is home-brewed).

On the next weekend, I was part of a panel of experts on cynology from Denmark, South Africa, and Holland. Subjects in this mini-seminar included veterinary, psychology, structure-and-gait, and breed type information. Attendees were from Scandinavia and the low countries, mostly. The following weekend in Great Britain we taught their residents.

The last time I judged and lectured in the British Isles, the “chunnel” (tunnel under the English Channel) had not been built, so getting from France to England by that route was a new experience for me. Autos and trucks are driven onto enclosed railcars for the trip. As a minor WW2 buff, I was interested in the fact that we drove through famous battlegrounds of Calais and Dunkirk to get to the tunnel.


The Big Show

OK. Now, as promised, the report of the salient features (for most serious breeders) of the big show. On the first day (Friday), there is a lot of activity in the fields where the lower-ranked dogs from 12 to 24 months are evaluated in four enormous rings. These age groups must be split into a number of separate groups, or ease of judging would not be feasible. This year, the pre-absentee numbers (entered and listed in the catalogue) were about 450 in the 18-to-24 month classes and 600 in the 12-to-18 month age group. This boiled down to, respectively, only 297 and 390, after absentees. There were also rings for the 32 HGH (herding-degree titled) dogs.

On this first day, I always analyze the bitework. This is tested in the big arena that is split by a curtain and fence so you can alternate between watching the males and the females. I saw enough of the bitches to be impressed with their work. I think that because of the distance and cost, plus the minimal return on any fame garnered here, only the best-performing females are likely to show up.

This courage test consists of two excerpts from the Schutzhund routines, now called the “TSB Uberprüfung” — one bad-guy surprise attack from a blind, and then one long-bite wherein the threatening attacker runs toward the handler from the far side of the field and the dog is sent to intercept him.

Most of the serious breeders in my group and others evaluate these performances and take notes. That’s because it is here that the official show results fail to adequately describe the true character of the dogs. If a dog barely passes its courage test thanks to marginal or questionable performance, or lenient judges, it has as much chance to get a high show placing as the dogs that are truly courageous and better for the breed. That’s why I emphasize to my groups that they should see for themselves how the dogs work, rather than rely on the pass-or-fail paper records. The judges doing the evaluations of body structure and gait is not told how well the dogs actually do in the protection phase.

On Saturday morning, the higher-ranked 12-24 month dogs are sorted in the rings outside the stadium, and by early afternoon, the crowd moves into the main stadium to get the best seats they can. First, some special presentations, such as the HGH and top-20 winners of the younger classes, and the stud dogs’ progeny classes. I have included some of my observations of these progeny presentations in the section describing the adult males.

On Sunday, the top adult females (SchH-titled and over 24 months) were brought into the main ring, in approximately the order that they will end up, and walked around the perimeter of the big ring while their judge rearranges some where he sees fit. In groups of about six, they do their fast running on-leash (leading the handler) and off-leash (heeling). As well as a final down-and-back check to see if any minor changes need to be made based on that view.

After this has been accomplished and the judged females leave the arena, we saw the special presentations such as honoring the best protection performances (both sexes), then the breeder groups competition, etcetera. These used to be done at the end, but so many people left after the judging of the males, that the SV stuck these events in between.

The same procedure as for females was then carried out for the males over 24 months and titled. These adult classes have been known by various names over the years, depending on language and country. In the SV’s homeland, they are now called the Gebrauchshundklasse Rüden (males)and Gebrauchshundklasser Hündinnen (bitches); in many English-speaking countries they may be known as “adult males/females” or (AKC-style) “open males/females” although in the WUSV such classes are “open” only to training-titled (SchH or HGH) dogs over 24 months.

The top percentage of such males as have proven worthy in both the individual evaluations this weekend and at shows since early spring next come into the big arena. The same evaluation procedure is carried out for them as for the bitches. The results of this class are what most attendees rate as of highest importance on their list of things to se and evaluate. Because a male can be bred up to 90 times a year (60 to German bitches and 30 to foreign dogs), his effects on the breed are much greater than those of even the most frequently-bred bitches.


Who Did What

And now, to the placings and my comments, as I have done for so many years. My forecasts have been very accurate, once the unexpected absentees and sales to other countries have been factored in. The Zuchtwert numbers will be in parentheses; the lower the number, the better the odds of producing superior hips. It is not foolproof, but every bit of data is helpful.

  • VA-1: This year’s Sieger Ober von Bad-Boll (ZW-82) is fully worthy of the title, having shown very good work in the courage test on Friday, and offering genes from notable ancestors. He is a paternal grandson of VA2 Quantum von Arminius, and his dam’s grandsires are Sieger Ursus and Sieger Rikkor. VA5 last year, he is another top offering from Hans-Peter Rieker, who historically has put much emphasis on working-dog character. Ober’s progeny were very uniform, with strong males very much in evidence.
  • VA2: Remo Fichtenslag (71), bred by Marco Ossman and owned by Josephine Kao of Taiwan, did good work in the protection phase also. His good-gaiting progeny were uniform and very promising, though young. His hip score, courage, and progeny make him a great candidate for Sieger in the next year or two.
  • VA3: Yerom Haus Salihin (86) had been an early favorite for one of the two top spots, but tired too soon and lost his last chance to be Sieger. He is over 5, and that’s usually the age limit for success in the conformation (show) ring, although I have seen many top dogs at the BSP at that age and older. His slightly steep croup was accentuated by low head carriage (fatigue, out of condition). Progeny were not very uniform, and many had the same steep pelvis fault. He has reportedly been sold to… (somewhere?), and I wonder if the buyers had a queasy feeling watching him in the big ring this year.
  • VA4: Kwantum Klostermoor (95), a Sieger Zamp Thermodos son who had the same ranking last year, performed OK in the courage test and looked great gaiting. This 5-year-old’s progeny class, while not numerous, was notable for its mature, strong males. I’m not wild about his relatively high ZW number, but his attitude and anatomy are impressive. The new owners in Japan will be happy enough with him.
  • VA5: Shicco Freiheit Westerholt (83) is a handsome son of Maestro Osterberger Land, but his protection work this year was only fair. He was VA6 in 2009. His progeny class showed good uniformity, although several could have had better front reach. I hope he lives longer than his sire who died recently, after being sold to China.
  • VA6: Arex Wilhelmswarte (83) is a Sgr Vegas son who was not very serious in the bitework. His small progeny class was pretty uniform with some who stepped too wide in front (a trademark of Vegas) and had toplines not as good as those by another Vegas son, Vanos van Noort (79). Arex is now half Taiwanese, but I don’t know where he’ll be residing. Vanos also reportedly died not long after moving to China recently.
  • VA7: Ustinov v Römerland (82), last year’s V-1, again had OK protection work, and his progeny over all had nice structure. This 4-year-old Quantum Arminius son should be back next year for a chance at a higher ranking.
  • VA8: Gigolo Bärenschlucht (94), is disappointing to me because of his weak bites, but also because he presented no progeny class, and has a high ZW number. I would like to see the return to the practice of giving VA (excellent-outstanding) only to dogs with a progeny class presented at the show, and preferably with successful adult offspring.
  • VA9: Quattro Partnachklamm (a Zamp son with an admirable 75 ZW) is a good-looking dog but, again, I feel that VA recognition should be reserved for proven producers who present fairly mature progeny in the group.
  • VA-10: Sultan Jahnhöhe (Vegas son with ZW of 75) did very good work, especially on the first bite (to the attack out of the blind). No progeny class, but a very nice dog with much promise.
  • VA-11: Nino v Tronje (an uncomfortable 98) is an almost-3-year-old, handsome son of 2007 V-17 Irok Karanberg (91). No progeny class, of course. In 2009, Nino was SG-2 in the 18-24-month Junghundklasse behind Sultan.
  • VA-12: Guccy Heinrichplatz (86) from Berlin, a really good-working and good-looking son of the super producer Odin Holtkämper Hof, is only a few months short of 3 years old, but I predict a bright future for him. He is owned by Jurgen Manser, whom we were going to visit, but his vacation plans did not allow it this year.
  • VA-13: Paer Hasenborn (78), a very handsome Quenn son out of an American-bred Mittelwest bitch, is 4 years old and owned by Mrs. Jani of London. His man-work this year could have been stronger, but he had a large, very impressive, and uniform class of medium-size progeny. I would have given this Quenn son a much higher placing—probably VA6—because he produces so well.
  • V-1: Peik Holtkämper Hof (76) This Ilbo/Roma son has very nice structure and did pretty good work, though I would liked to have seen a little more confidence and enthusiasm in the courage tests. His dam is a terrific producer, and Peik should [prove his promise in coming years.

At this point, I feel I must insert or express my ambivalent feelings about the increasing number of VA’s awarded in years when overall numbers of adult dogs competing in this main breed show have been falling. On one hand, it might encourage more entries, but on the other hand, it seems counter-intuitive to give the same number of VA’s when total competition is low, as the number awarded when it was at its highest. There were 9 VA males in 1999 at Karlsruhe for the 100th anniversary of the SV, out of a total catalog entry of 406 adult males (233 present). Compare that 3.86% of VA’s to today’s 6.5%, and you’ll see what I mean. I would have stopped at seven VA’s this year, I think.

In the 2010 Gebrauchshund classes (over-2 years & titled), actually competing in the show ring (out of 318 total entered and in the catalog) were 167 adult males plus another 33 that showed up only to do their bitework and then were pulled. This is an abysmally small participation for what used to be the largest single-breed adult-dog show in the world. The females over 2 years old started with an entry of 283 but only 151 showed in the big ring (plus 10 “excused”—presumably because the owners felt they were working-lines without a chance, or some other reason to leave after the bitework).

I did not see as many females working the courage routine as I would have liked, as I was kept busy taking notes on the males. But I chanced to see a few, and I got the impression that they did an over-all better average job than did the males. Perhaps this is because there is not much to be gained by an outstanding performance, the way that can enhance a stud-dog’s use and value. As predicted, the Siegerin was the Vegas daughter Chakira v Pendler (89), but we were deprived of double pleasure because her half-sister Boogie (95) didn’t show up… I remember her great work last year. The Vegas daughter VA2 Egga Osterberger-Land (75) had superior fast gait. So did V43 Flora dei Verdi Colli (91) of Italy, whose sire Arex Haus Neoplantum (86) is now Korea Sieger (his parents were Croatia Sieger and Siegerin), and I mention him because I was very impressed when I saw him a few years ago. I was impressed by the Quenn daughter Fendi Agilolfinger (77) and by Jurgen Oster & Christine Klefisch’s Cheyenne Karthäuser Lowentor, now owned by Reiner Gunst and managed by Uday Jani. The Bruno Vierhundert Hertz Dutch daughter Vannesca Lentfert Hoeve (76) did very good work, but a litter sister was rated insufficient. V-30 was Nickolaus Messler’s beautiful and energetic Martha v Tronje (103). Excellent work was shown by Mona Mohnwiese (78), the only SG-rated bitch, Gert Lammertink’s Lonca Lammersbeek from Holland (81), and V-12 Quickie Hohen-Haus from Austria (also 81). A Sgr Ober daughter, VA9 Nathalie Alcudia (83), was the only VA with a black mask, something I’d like to see more of. The beautiful Viana Fichtenslag (94) got VA3.

I missed only a very few male dogs on Friday because of hurried trips to the toiletten, so my notes in the catalog are fairly complete. Notable courage test performances were given by a good number of dogs, although I would have preferred a higher percentage to have been bred and/or trained for proof of better character. For me, the most impressive (after some of the working-lines dogs) were the sons of Odin Holtkämper Hof. Those that caught my eye in the defense performance were VA-12 Guccy, V8 Hatto Hühnegrab (72), the future-great V-10 Ballack Worringer Rheinaue (73), V28 Chivas Bad-Boll (74), the superbly-trained V61 dog from Holland Azuro Haus Katsboghte (73), and V62 Uso Freiheit-Westerholt (whose brothers have 86 to 89 ZW).

Several Bazi Urbecke sons and daughters represented him very well in both the bite-work and the show ring. The V51 Gaucho Estherlager (ZW-76 Belgian son of the very good worker Tiras Roten Feld) performed very well. Margit van Dorssen’s V-16 Bix (70), Canadian-owned V29 Bobo (88), and Yang (86) Arlett (pulled from breed competition) ranged from fair to excellent in the Schutzdienst exercise. The V-103 Harvey Oostweg (87-ZW son of the notable Javir Talka Marta), a Sirio Real Favorita son named William Suentelstein (87), the V95 Xwattro Stieglerhof (76-ZW son of Idol Holtkämper Hof), and V20 Pardo Baruther Land (91) all did nice jobs in protection.

An amazing performance, considering his eight years of age, was given by Puk Bad Wäldle (79). Carrying on the great work of his sire Olly v Grauen was the very nicely-structured and well-trained super sable, V47 Odin toten Niersarm (87). Really terrific work was shown by the V-104 Bricards Jazco from Sweden, trained and handled by a lady in a wheelchair. He was one of those with special recognition for outstanding work. The V99 Bastian Real Favorita (Vegas/Roma) gave very nice hits.

A beautiful dog that my group saw a few days later at a training club was the Maestro son Darko Vierhundert Hertz (85), owned and trained by Franz Schlenzing. Unfortunately, he did not “let out” on command, which disqualifies for breed-ring showing that weekend. Another of Franz’ dogs with good bites is V-19 Baru Fürstenbrunn (80), a very handsome son of Bruno Vierhundert Hertz (79), whom we also saw working at the training club. Bruno in turn is a son of the wonderful Arko Butjenter Land (94).

A super gray (sable) dog with very good protection work, named Watz Neudenauer-Holzsteige (93), was V31 and handled by John Henkel of the USA. Another impressive-working USA-connection dog was V84 Azlan Petit Geant (94), bred by Irina Deresh of Massachusetts. Another New Englander, Erin O’Shea’s Zambo Riedschlurgi (a great 73 ZW), did excellent work, which made me very proud since I have a daughter of his who is a fireball of a pup—fearless, and promising to be a good Schutzhund dog if I ever stay home long enough to train her. I have so many foreign assignments this year that I have to show her my passport before she will let me on the property!

The Norwegian dog, V63 Ausenberg’s Amir, did very good work, as did V-112 Max Zöller (78), V-83 Falkos Liebeswarte (75), V81 Inox Valtenberg (74-ZW Naxos Holtkämper See son from Romania), V-102 Warso Simonhoff from Czech Republic (90-ZW son of Yenno Hühnegrab), V70 Karlos d‘Ulmental (80-ZW son of the beautiful and great-working bitch Lea), and the only bicolor I saw, the 73-ZW Xoro Anrachtal who was a joy to watch.

Many great-performing dogs are entered in the Sieger Show purely to let the public see their courage tests, and are pulled right after that Friday event because owners know that they have no chance of high placings. This is most often because the dog has not been entered in several shows under several top judges during the year (sort of like qualifying for a starting position in racing) or were from working lines, or maybe had not been given high enough placings already by the judge who is doing the class at this show. Some dogs were absent for various reasons: age, sale overseas, a feeling that the judge would not appreciate them, etc. Notable absentees (for various reasons) were Godalis Tino and his son Iceman Amur (now in China), the Arko son Nick Holtkämper Hof, Yukon, Tyson, Paul Bierstadter Hof, Mexx Hauswalder Bach, Dux Intercanina, Furbo, and a bunch of working-lines dogs who made such an impression last year.

Some miscellaneous comments fit here as well as in any other place. Notable courage performances were given by the Quenn sons V5 Bill Fürstenau (73) and Floro degli Achei (72). A Quenn son who was absent this year, Tyson Köttersbusch (83), had his own very respectable progeny class. A couple years ago, Quenn Löher Weg’s progeny were too young for some people to appreciate his value to the breed, but my prediction then of his future value has been justified in both rings. Odin Holtkämper Hof is one of the best producers of anatomically beautiful dogs since Zamp. Also outstanding in conformation were offspring of the Hill Farbenspiel son Yukon Bastillie, and sons of Floro and Furbo, both of which latter studs were unfortunately absent from the breed-judging lineup. Rumors about these great degli Achei brothers were flying, and concerned spinal injury, cauda equine, aggression, etc., but nothing reliably confirmed. Pretty reliable, however, is the report that both have been sold to China, which country found a great prize in their fortune cookies when they got these boys! It’s getting harder to make my predictions when dogs are zipping off to money-laden China right and left!


And now, the “promotion”: Next year (2011) the show will return to Braunschweig in the northern half of the country, due west of Berlin and east of Hannover (which airport we will use as our meeting point). The 2012 show is scheduled for Ulm again, so my tour will either be into Bavaria with Neuschwanstein attractions, or westward into the Black Forest, depending on who signs up (I want to vary the groups’ German experience). We would fly into Stuttgart in the southern region of the country. If you want great scenery, food, and fun as well as a look at great dogs, think about joining my show-tour group. If you would like to be guided by an SV breed judge who has trained many dogs to Schutzhund titles and is familiar with most of Germany, and want to experience those cultural and natural attractions, let me know as soon as you can. You would see more and save money by going with me rather than doing a trip alone; and I do not charge a fee, only a prorated share of expenses. Fred Lanting, Union Grove, Alabama USA

editor’s note: Fred is a superannuated SV Zuchtrichter (breed judge) who has judged numerous countries’ Sieger Shows and Landesgruppen events,. He is author of several books, among them are The Total GSD, and the monumental work on Orthopedic Disorders. You can get autographed books directly from the author, and schedule judging or lectures/seminars by e-mailing him: fred@fredlanting.org

Articles can be found on: http://siriusdog.com/sphider/search.php?query=lanting&search=1 Also on: http://vonjagenstadt.com/ and www.fredlanting.org/ or do a Google-type search for his name.

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