The Stud Business in the SV Kennel Club, 2003-2007
The Stud Dog Elite
This brief study is based primarily on the attached tables, on the other hand on the comments and assessments at the very centre of the German Shepherd Dog events, the training field.
It is indeed very regrettable that the SV Kennel Club only very sparingly informs its members. Although important and detailed data are available, it’s not being used to deliver insightful statistics to the breeders and to the members.
Incidentally, one will publish something, but only “pleasing” or “beneficial” material. The Kennel Club has a treasure of collected information available indeed, but it should of course be provided to all of the members. A database like the SV-Genetics could easily be expanded today with more data, for example, with data collected at the breed surveys. It is not enough to provide the SV-Decknachrichten (publication of all stud acts within the Kennel Club) to the public, one must also properly evaluate and summarize the included information and offer the findings to the members. That is extremely important for a targeted steering of all of the breeding activity, all the way down towards the very base of the Club. It’s not enough when the court reporter informs the public through means of the SV-Zeitung (monthly SV-magazine) and tells us that Professor Distl has made "an improved selection tool for the future" available to the Kennel Club, he should also tell the readers how it works!
In the past, I have collected detailed information in relation to the real magnitude of CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia). Less than 50% of the GSD-population have perfectly sound hips. Then I have offered detailed material concerning the size of the breeding kennels. Today I would wish to ad some more relevant stuff and look at the frequency of use of certain stud dogs and the consequences.
There may be some GSD-fans interested to know how many jumps the most important stud dogs, let’s call them: “The Elite” perform. I would like to commence with that. Comparing the number of jumps with the fallen and later registered pups might also be of interest, especially to the scientists and it may grant conclusions about fertility and mating success rate. I like to leave it up to the Club and its IT-team to work that out. They’ve got the tools ànd the databases!
The frequency of certain stud dog breeding operations surely belongs to the series of problems that must be addressed resolutely and with corresponding measures to. Keeping in line with my uncompromising openness, I think it is not necessary for any data to be deleted or removed from the tables, these data are also available to every SV'ler (member of the SV) in SV-publications such as the SV-Zeitung (monthly SV-magazine) and the SV-Decknachrichten (publication of all stud acts within the Kennel Club), the beautiful annual books of the Urma company and exhibition catalogues, online listings of the various Landesgruppen (regional kennel clubs), as well as in the SID-info service. I think it is extremely important that we can not only discuss all activities that concern the association, but on all levels of the association to, from the very top to the very bottom. In the year 2008, any form of censorship must be rejected. There is certainly nothing to hide, is there? Mr. President Wolfgang Henke himself said and I quote: "Especially in today's time unity, clarity and truth must have the highest priority in our club." I am always available to everyone who wishes to discuss this philosophy or to those who have difficulties with my estimates.
Overview of the SV-Decknachrichten 2003-2007:
Frequency of use of certain stud dogs
The attached table shows a summary of the SV-Decknachrichten from 2003 until 2007, thus covering a period of 5 years and accordingly, it is exemplary for today's entire breeding activity in the Kennel Club. Obviously these charts were made without guarantee and go without any claim to completeness. They should only give a rough idea about the size of the stud business of the Elite of German Shepherd Dogs in the SV and only try to document the overall framework, as a small study so to speak, or as an indicator. Individual minimal variations do not affect the overall result of these counts. We will welcome any error you might find.
The data for these counts were searched for and laboriously put together, thanks to the public distribution of the Decknachrichten on the Internet, and those were collected and manually assembled. They were neither collected nor processed by database programmes, so any child could have made the summations.
In the attached charts the Elite, the most important stud dogs of the last 5 years, were listed. Even lesser-known individuals appear in the list, but only those that are connected to the same kennels or owners. As we all know, many a little makes a mickle. The set lump sum of 1,000 euros should be regarded as an average stud fee. We all know one will have to pay more for the performance of a VA-male, occasionally one will be granted lower prices, but don’t forget, we’re talking the Elite here. I like to keep the golden mean and therefore will calculate with this average.
The table teaches us and the publications of the SV confirm the fact that the club registers about 7,270 stud acts annually. So we are talking about an estimated annual business volume of 7.27 million euros. This 5-year period accordingly offers a turnover of over 36 million euros.
Just a few stud dogs (their numbers obviously vary from one year to another) are responsible for no less than 30% of all stud jobs! On an annual average this group of males takes pride in performing about 2,204 jumps, that reads as a 2.2 million euro turnover per year. May I exaggerate just a little and say: only a few studs account for almost one third of all of the stud jobs of the Kennel Club.
That also means that many hundreds of other stud dogs must be content with the remainder. According to SV-information in the monthly magazine 02/08, in 2007 no less than 1,259 different stud dogs were available. Now I daresay, a balanced management of breeding is spelled differently! At the annual Siegerschau no fewer than 150 males receive the V-award (Excellent). Every year! How can we then restrict ourselves to the increased use of only a few animals? We have the opportunity to make significant corrections here, for the sake of the breed, for the sake of health and diversity.
It is an imperative task for the association to monitor and direct/guide. That is firmly anchored in the club rules. In the statutes of the Kennel Club under Section 4: Responsibilities and Legal Basis (3): "The SV meet its statutory responsibilities in particular by: ... d) Monitoring of breeding, rearing, housing and training..."
In regard to this surveillance of the breeding, the issue of the frequency of use of stud dogs must be of paramount importance and it deserves major attention. But that attention is non-existent. The famous stud dog jumps every female that comes along. One must question whether this frequency of use is beneficial for the breed (and for the dog?) and if it has anything to do with Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD), the cauda equina syndrome or other diseases.
With this high frequency of use (60 + 30 stud acts) the flaws of these stud dogs, such as the CHD for instance, are actually just as well transmitted above average. Now as before, it is still entirely sufficient for the Kennel Club, if the parents can prove an A-certificate (it really doesn’t matter if all other siblings of the litter have bad hip or if their results were not even submitted), although meanwhile every layman knows that it is imperative for healthy breeding and ultimately better overall CHD-results, to breed only with animals from completely healthy families (at best solely with HD1-parents!) There is compelling need for action as my studies have shown. The breeding should be monitored, and here’s a possibility to take action.
The examples which I am about to offer in full detail will document, how another passage now taken from the Breeding Order is impressively neglected, and I quote: under 22.214.171.124: Males: "... perform a maximum of 90 jumps per calendar year. The distribution of stud acts on domestic grounds or abroad is for the dog owner to decide. The dog however, must not exceed 60 stud acts in Germany for domestic bitches. The jumps are to be evenly split on each 50 per cent for the 1st and 2nd half year and distributed as evenly as possible within the 6 months period... Frequent stud acts one after the other in quick succession, are to be avoided for the sake of the constitution and to secure fertilization... "
When we study the SV-Decknachrichten closely, we can do nothing but come to the conclusion, that some of the stud dogs are being approached by a new female… every day! Who monitors this? Who intervenes, for the sake of the dog and for the sake of the breeding regulations?
Note: I deliberately refrained from putting the new studs into the main list, the rookies that have emerged only in the last two years, but already have made their way into the centre of transactions. They are not relevant to prove my theories (in the 5-year period), there will always be a natural shift, males come and males go... They have however been added to the bottom of the list in a separate overview. The 17 most successful ones are listed. In 2007, together, they already achieved 927 jumps = 12.7% of the annual stud acts (7,305). The list is of course not exhaustive, one only wants to show a basic framework.
Some random, yet striking examples should now explain the facts:
In December 2005 Orbit vom Hühnegrab performed the following stud jobs:
(Please check German version which shows all stud jobs from Orbit in detail.)
This means that he made 20 jumps in 28 days!
Another example: In July 2006 Vegas du Haut Mansard was used as follows:
(Please check German version which shows all stud jobs of Vegas in detail.)
Between the 1st and the 28th of July 2006, Vegas has thus been used, in the same 28
day period just like Orbit, no less than 23 times!
One last example:
In January 2007 Idol vom Holtkämper Hof, Odin vom Holtkämper Hof, Naxos vom
Holtkämper See and Negus vom Holtkämper See, respectively jumped: 17, 20, 19 and 10 times, together totalling 66 jumps in this one month. Is the question allowed if there could be just a slight possibility of some influence on the blood basis of the breed?
Four dogs! are responsible here, for no less than 10.9% of all jumps performed during this single month (please check the charts: there is a monthly average of 606 jumps.) Four dogs, although in 2007, a total of approximately 1,259 different stud dogs were available for selection! Any layman can see that this very much looks like a bottleneck for the blood supply.
(Please check German version which shows all stud jobs of these 4 dogs in detail.)
Frequent stud jobs are to be avoided!?
Those above listed quantities of jumps are way in contrast to the orders in the breeding regulations: ”Frequent stud acts one after the other in quick succession, are to be avoided for the sake of the constitution and to secure fertilization..."
What does this mean: "frequent" and “quick succession”? Daily stud jobs as we document them here in a few cases, can and will very likely be defined under the definitions: "frequent" and “successive”. Who takes action then? Who closes the eyes? WHY does one close the eyes? Who is allowed to perform daily, and who is not? How many females remain empty at this practice?
The question arises whether action has to be taken or not. Must these lines be supported as much as they apparently are? Is it not the duty of the Zuchtbuchamt to guide and to correct?
In my honest opinion, there must be a tougher restriction of the amount of stud jobs in the immediate future. The Kennel Club always likes to brag with the statement that: “there is a broad blood base available in the SV”. Then one should make good use of it! One can only ensure health spreading through the entire breed, by using this vast blood basis and in so-doing avoid specific diseases being carried in a narrowing blood flow over many generations. A limitation of the individual amount of stud jobs would automatically create a much better dispersion.
Non-profit organization or business?
Do allow me one more remark. In accordance with the above mentioned examples, one must consider the organizational and logistical challenges of this business. A top achievement indeed. Not only does one have to arrange all of these appointments perfectly in time with one another and with the owners of the females, it also costs a lot of time for preparations and arrangements for the reception of the international clients travelling very long ways. Even the stud acts are considerably time-consuming. All of that has, if I may say so, nothing to do anymore with the denominator "hobby breeding".
There is definitely cause enough for the Kennel Club to reflect on the ethics of all of this and on the basics of the Club. At the same time the question arises whether all of this is still appropriate in the light of the "public interest" of the club. The statutes of the association virtually prohibit a commercial (and personal) use, and say something to the effect of…, let me put it this way: public need before private greed.
We must ask ourselves if the magnitude of the revenues as they have been offered in the statistics can be accepted under the definition of “hobby breeding”. Earnings on that scale can only fall under the common denominator "business" and are therefore prohibited within the Club philosophy. I must refer accordingly to the regulations that say and I quote: under II Membership and Section 8 Acquisition of the membership (5): "From the acquisition of the membership are excluded: commercial dog dealers and brokers... "
And under Section 9: Cessation of membership we can read (5): "Members can be struck off the Members List: c) when involved in commercial activities as brokers/traders or intermediaries of dogs".
There is no question in my mind that the requirements of these lines are met, if we study the enclosed overview and the magnitude of the income of the Elite.
In the field of jurisdiction, according to the German Wikipedia, the following definition has been widely accepted and reads, roughly translated: "A business is any allowed and independent externally visible activity, exercised for the purpose of making a profit, planned for a certain duration and which is not a free profession."
I believe that with the acquisition and use of award winning stud dogs the purpose of making profit is crystal clear and we all know that the activities are indeed clearly visible on the outside (as they are being discussed on training fields and discussion boards, scrutinized and criticized; even published in SV-Decknachrichten), and therefore, the definition of a “business” is appropriate. Now this “business” is clearly in dispute with the Club policy and regulations. End of story!
The absolute frontrunner or let’s call him the revenue-champion of the 5-year period 2003-2007 would be Quantum von Arminius. If we would estimate a stud fee of 1,200 euros per jump, he would have made 477,600 euros in this period of time, little less than half a million euros. Without any expenses of course! Elementary, the female comes to the male. In this case and at this scale, the definition "hobby" is by no means appropriate.
It goes without saying that an income in the order of magnitude as documented here
can only be covered under the definition "commercial trading and brokering". So only a thorough check of the association can clarify this, and immediate measures must be taken. How in the world can one then still seriously set up purchasing contracts within the SV on the basis of a formula: "consumer to consumer"?! (Please see Dr. Merkel, SV-magazine 03/08.) How ignorant do they think the consumer is?
Rumour has it..
Rumour has it, that it’s all about the money in the SV!
There are lots of rumours going on. Serious allegations and blunt remarks we hear on the training fields and read on many discussion boards and which we should clarify. "In the SV, it’s all about the money!" Is that so? It depends on how you define: "SV". Surely it does not stand for the thousands of small breeders, who annually throw a litter or two, and build the actual framework of the Kennel Club.
The small, genuine breeders certainly do not earn the big money. They will be more than happy when they can cover all of the costs and the many expenses. Most of them will have to pay extra.
With the abbreviation: "SV", the insiders that will make the above remark are referring to the so-called Hochzucht (show dog business). The remark should therefore correctly read: "The SV-Hochzucht is all about the money!" and after reading this study we can easily determine who belongs to that scene. It is crystal clear that it is very lonely at the top. The farther one moves up, the smaller the group of people gets. Just like in real life, yes! Only the very few make the big dough! But please, do pay attention. In the Kennel Club (according to the statutes) one is not allowed to make money, regulations do not allow trading operations or business!
Obviously the Club also benefits from this big business constellation. The more pups are born, the more fans and members there are, and consequently the better the revenues. But it should remain a win/win situation at all times. One should not skim, but invest in the Club.
We all know that the stud dog owners hardly have any costs, as the females come and visit the males. With the phenomenal income of the stud dog owners documented here,
one has to question whether or not it is possible to request a reasonable amount and divert it from the stud fee, for example to cover the costs of X-ray examinations of the pups. Compared to the great amount of "free income", it is certainly a reasonable burden one can put on their shoulders, not in the least as “money making” is against the ethics of the club.
Yes indeed, a lot of rumours have been spread! There would be links between the top-stud dogs and the judges. One is asked: how else would they reach the top rankings? Could it be true? When there are friendships, then one has to maintain them. The world of the German Shepherd is so small, we all know each another. Another step we could take now, is to commence an investigative approach, to check out the tracks and search for possible links between these few big earners and the judges. The animals at first had to be brought to the top, didn’t they? Who has judged which dog? Who has influence and how much? Do the stud dog owners have influence on the top of the Kennel Club? Who may have promoted and enhanced the breeding of this or that kennel/stud dog? And especially the following issue should be clarified: how is this construction then set up? Is there a triangle business (a threesome): the dog belongs to: the breeder + the intermediary + the judge? And the revenues then are distributed fairly? Or what is the procedure? That could be a topic for another study.
This small study documents a huge problem. The all too frequent use of certain stud dogs should soon be limited to a healthy rate, traders should be expelled from the Kennel Club, and a certain amount of the stud fee should be diverted to keep the costs for the smaller breeders (the basis) in a healthy framework.
Let me say goodbye to you all with one last note. The ventilated opinion of this study is obviously a very personal one. May I invite all of my readers to study the accompanying tables and build their own opinion on the topic. Do step into the discussion!
Now I wish each and everyone of you a healthy German Shepherd Dog.
SV-member 12023106 LG16
Note: Although I have been extremely careful while putting the figures together, I raise no claim to completeness. The table can only be an estimate. It should also been taken into account that the dog owners regularly change, this paper can only be regarded as a snapshot. The order in the first table is completely irrelevant, it is merely coincidental. In the second table, dogs are listed by order of their revenues.
Atachments in XLS-Format:
Link to the Elite Stud Dogs 2003-2007.xls:
Link to the Rookies 2006-2007.xls:
Attachments in PDF-Format:
Link to the Summary: Wichtigste Topdeckrüden - Übersicht
Link to the Elite Stud Dogs: Wichtigste Top-Deckrüden - Detail
Link to the Rookies: Junge Top-Deckrüden 2006 & 2007
20-09-2008 om 09:48
geschreven door Jantie