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 A.D.R.K. 2010
21st-22nd Aug. (Coesfeld)

 “An onlooker’s perspective”

Preamble:

There are many questions I asked myself as I set out once again to attend the most prestigious Rottweiler Show in the world. I am now in my third decade of travelling to the many varied towns in Germany which host this show, and I have never been disappointed with the venue or the location chosen by the club.Rural Germany is, for me, one of the most beautiful countries in the world and many of the towns are so picturesque. It has long been my belief that every Rottweiler exhibitor or breeder, circumstances prevailing, should try to attend at least once in their lifetime, preferably to Rottweil.  It is an unforgettable environment and attracts Rottweiler enthusiast’s from all over the world. The vast distances travelled by many of the exhibitors and followers of the breed are truly astounding. Is it genuinely worth the effort??  This is the enigma and my perception of events.
I arose at 4.am to catch a flight to London where I was met by friends, in the South of England, and we travelled by car to the Euro Tunnel, at Folkestone. After a short break we boarded  the shuttle train to take us under the English Channel  to Calais in France. We travelled through France into Belgium and then through Holland to our final destination in Coesfeld Germany. I had been in six countries since I left home so early in the morning. Scotland, England, France, Belgium, Holland and finally Germany.
Coesfeld is a beautiful quiet town with great architecture and our hotel was within walking distance of the venue. This was of great benefit to the many guests from all over the world staying at this hotel. Dogs were at the forefront of all conversations within the hotel and it was nice to meet so many friends from the various countries and listen to their desires and hopes for their chosen dogs. The show has changed over the decades and “foreigners” are now more vociferous with their comments and opinions. This would have been deemed totally unacceptable when I first came to this show, as “foreigner’s” opinions were regarded then as frivolous and inappropriate. Truthfully I think it is still the same today.
It is important to remember that The German perception of the Rottweiler is sacrosanct to them and they will defend it against all odds. They of course regard themselves as the guardians of the breed and as this is their heritage it is understandable. The A.D.R.K. does not regard the Rottweiler as primarily a show dog. It is first and foremost a working dog with exceptional qualities they do not wish to see eroded by fashion. Is it still prevalent in today’s modern society???? The world has watched, listened  and learned over many years and there is no doubt, in my mind, that there are many quality breeders emerging outside Germany but in my opinion they will always be regarded as “foreigner’s” and not pure enough  by the elitists within the A.D.R.K
Over the decades it has been proven that “foreigners” or “Auslanders” would seldom receive the true accolades they deserve at this particular show. In the past forty years, if my memory is correct, the Sieger or Siegerin has only gone outside Germany 5 times and not since 2004. The creation of the Auslander Sieger and Siegerin was a warning shot across our bows. Many failed to see the significance of the formation of this title and still do. In essence this implied, to me, that outside dogs would never be deemed good enough to win the coveted German Title.
For their effort,” foreigner’s”, would be given a partial recognition of their breeding or purchasing programme by being allowed to win a trophy of a lower standing, “Auslander Sieger” to appease the majority of exhibitors. I cannot see the logic in having a best foreign dog and bitch. It is a two tier system. To those who win this title it is of course greatly cherished, and rightly so, but I am sure that on many an occasion they, and the majority of onlookers, sometime feel that they were denied the ultimate trophy
I have said many times I would never go back but like many others it is so compelling and it is a genuine opportunity to see dogs from many other countries that would otherwise just be photo’s on a web site. This is the real reason many attend and the fact is many of the German dogs are no longer commanding the respect they once had in the wider world. Many of the Eastern European dogs have attained celebrity status and are in wide demand throughout the world. This I think perplexes the elite of The A.D.R.K. and it does not bode well for these dogs when they compete. In some respect I understand their dilemma and I personally am not in favour of crowds standing on benches and chanting out particular fashionable dogs names. I have witnessed this in other parts of the world and its intention is to pressurise the judge into making decisions that the crowd agree with.Judging should be based totally on the judge’s opinion, experience and knowledge and not be influenced by outside pressure. The Germans rightly will not succumb to this type of behaviour and indeed it possibly has the opposite effect. There of course is a paradox in this last statement as although I firmly believe that the A.D.R.K. must preserve the Rottweiler as they see perceive it the possibility remains that they are still clinging on to an agenda from the past and will not recognise qualities out with their own influence. It was rumoured at the show that some elitists within the A.D.R.K. would like to go back in time and only allow pure German bred dogs to compete at this show. It is indeed a dilemma for them. It was also inferred that at a meeting by the judges prior to the show they intended to penalise dogs they regarded as exaggerated in their features and wrongfully in my opinion they named certain dogs.If this was true it was totally unacceptable and it did cause some consternation among the crowd. They were pre judging dogs before they even entered the ring and this is wrong.  Many had come to see named dogs and did not get the opportunity to do so and it was implied that some withdrew from the ring in protest.
The complete Rottweiler as they see it should of course not be compromised for current fashion but they must remember that they themselves have changed the total appearance of the dog of 100 years ago,

The Show:
How I envy them for their venues. They never fail to amaze me with there expanse of ground and great sized rings. The show is run over two days with the younger dogs competing on the Saturday and the older dogs on Sunday. In general terms there were four rings in action with 456 dogs entered over the two days.Each dog is meticulously judged and when you have 79 young bitches in one class you can imagine the time involved just for one class. Each dog is critiqued and a stenographer types out all of the judges comments and each dog is rated on its qualities. A system the A.D.R.K. has implemented and is now used by many countries in the world. It is an excellent system if utilised by knowledgeable judges.
Saturday is a leisure able day with the young dogs competing and it is possible to visit more than one ring and view the different sexes and their stage of development. It is an opportunity to see the progeny of the widely acclaimed stud dogs and their influence on the breed. It is difficult for U.K. breeders to determine the final outcome of the younger pups as generally what we see at eight weeks is what the end result will be. This is not necessarily the case in Germany. Many young immature dogs can change dramatically and we must be aware of this divergent development and not be too critical of what we see at this age. Out crossing from these lines can leave us with a dilemma when the pups are born. They are not always as we expect and only experience will guide us.  In general a percentage of line breeding can be the most successful. My own opinion is that perhaps the best benefits will perhaps be in the second and third generation of out crossing.
Sunday
is a totally frustrating day for me every time I visit. The classes are so large, the crowd is so great and it is impossible to see all the rings as they are all in action at the same time. You have to make a choice as to what you wish to see and book your place round the ring very early. I chose the Champions class as I wished to see the fashionable studs competing against each other. During the preliminary examination it is possible to leave your chair occasionally to see other rings but as the day progresses it is totally futile. It is a dog eat dog situation (excuse the pun) When all dogs have been examined, a long process, they are broken into smaller groups and each group are ran  for a considerable length of time with each dog then being brought into the centre of the ring in reverse order. The final few dogs in each group are then short listed to compete against the best of the other groups. Crowds at this time become so thick around the ring that you dare not move your position or you will lose it. I detest this part of the show. There is no courtesy or consideration for any one. Pushing and shoving to take pictures is the norm and even if you are sitting at the ropes they just jump in front of you and obliterate your view. Certainly without doubt an unpleasant situation. This is why I always promise never to go back. I cannot tolerate rudeness. I understand their enthusiasm and do realise that the adrenalin is racing but common courtesy should never be compromised. It is also a tragedy that you ultimately miss seeing other classes which would be of interest to you at their final stages but this is impossible as each ring has its followers and they are also so deep around the ring.
As the final contest of the Champions began in earnest the crowd round our ring was in a height of tension as the dogs ran round the ring at a very fast pace each of us with our own particular dog in contention. Sadly this is when certain partisans started chanting particular dog’s names. I believe this was detrimental and unnecessary and in fact could have hindered the dogs ultimate placing. I had sat at this ring for so long to form an opinion of the “superstars” and strange as it may seem as each of the final dogs were brought into the centre in reverse order my attention was drawn to two particular dogs that I had not been aware of before I came.  “Gringo Vom Oberpfalzer Wald” (Germany) and “Gandalf Marstal” from Poland. The longer the contest went on the more I personally thought that they were the best contenders for the title of Sieger. They were not flashy in anyway but so true to type and totally effortless in movement.
My own personal choice was eventually second in the line up. “Gandalf Marstal” from Poland.
A dog with immense qualities. Medium to large dog with excellent bone and substance, Broad head, well defined stop, dark eyes, broad and deep muzzle, correct dentition, dark mouth and flews, Strong neck, very clean over the shoulders with very good top and underline. Strong rich well defined mahogany markings. Excellent angulations fore and aft, which powered him round the ring in an effortless movement with correct tail carriage. Not the star I came to see but his light shone the brightest for me. A completely unassuming dog that lit up my day.Life is strange. Publicity and the Internet can be very instrumental in our pre conceived opinions but close analysis is always the way forward if possible. The Sieger Gringo Vom Oberpfalzer Wald was very similar in type, slightly stronger overall. He was a worthy and very balanced winner but I pondered the question. Did the fact that he was German Bred and owned tip the balance?? I will never know.
In the limited time I had to see the bitches I liked Boa vom Hause EdelsteinV2 in open class. A strong substantial feminine bitch with great breeding qualities

Despite all the aggravations it was an amazing week end. Will I go again? Time will tell.

Eddie Nicol

Jacraila Rottweilers

www.jacraila.com


The Author Resting at The Show