Many years ago when I first started in St.Bernards, things were so different than they are today, in fact this is why I wrote my article on "Changes". Please read that article, I wrote back in 1995, that was published all over the World, in many different St. Bernard Publisations. You will find it on my Web Page under Articles. I took each paragraph of The St. Bernard Breed Standard and dissected each paragraph for everyone and even gave examples of the new problems I was seeing with the dog's then.
The Dog Game today with St. Bernards and showing them is a lot diffeerent. First of all, years ago we all took great pride in what we had produced and were so excited and proud to be taking a new dog to the shows, so everyone could see how good our new dog was. But, today, there is no way people could be that proud of what they have prodcued. And some of the ones I've seen at shows in recent years should not be considered Breeding stock or Show Quality dogs. In fact some of them wouldn't even make a good Pet for someone due to the serious changes in the structure, not being sound. The entire conformation has changed. And so have the Head Type, they are still too Over Done.
Now, it has for sure become more of a Kennel Promotion thing, and a Big Popularity Contest, which I blame for so many of the problems in the dogs themselves today. Years ago if someone saw a really good dog it didn't matter what Bloodlines it was from, most people could admit they had seen a really good specimen. But, it doesn't work that way these days, instead you have to get a dog from one of a few bloodlines, or kennel names, because many times they are from no such thing as a real Bloodline, but rather, several lines some breeder has put their kennel name on, or an indepth study of a pedigree today may show just how In-Bred those dogs really are.
And with so many new people that have come into this breed and them strictly being followers of what ever Kennel Name or Breeder they have gotten a dog from, and who they Promote only that particular kennel name, these new people don't know anything about this breed, they only know about the kennel of dogs they have gotten theirs from, nor do they choose to learn this breed. They just take the word of whoever they got their dogs from. These type people wouldn't know a good St. Bernard if they saw one, because they have been so Brain Washed.
Now, besides new people being taught that certainly kennel names (mean good dogs) and all are show quality, and should be shown to promote that kennel and that breeder, new people are not allowed to research and study this breed on their own to make their own discisions. They are strictly taught to reproduce another litter that is from the exact same bunch of dogs. Therefore they are constantly Promoting the kennel name they got their dogs from.
Now in all the years I showed my dogs, none of them ever won any Specialty Shows, even though they did beat Many dogs who had won Specialty Shows, at All Breed shows Then to think of how many of my dogs could beat any of those Specialty winners at the ALL-Breed shows, is ridiculous. So either you have to Jump on Someone's Big Band Wagon, and it's a must that you become Popular and Promote their Dogs, Or you are going to have to just go to All Breed Shows, but if you just go to the All-Breed Shows then you need to show up with a superior specimen, that is so much better quality than any of the Cliques, dogs it's pitiful, or you simply aren't going to do any winning.
Now, I've already been in the SBCA and I always followed all of their rules and Codes Of Ethics, but when in fact other Club Members weren't made to do the same, and when that Club, and it's members don't seem to care about breeding better quality dogs when they are all real happy with what they are showing, 16 yrs. was long enough for me to be a member of that Club. One of their rules used to be that you weren't allowed to say anything against another member of that Club, but everyone else did that to me and regularly. That Club has some of the most Notorious Gossips, I have ever met in my life. Nothing but Cliques, that are strictly Gossip Mongers, know nothing about what they repeat to many others, and they act like little children and really don't care if any of the information they collect is true, after all they heard it, so they think it's okay in fact (wonderful to repeat it) and they will even do this all the time about their own best friends. Another rule that Club use to have was that you can not mention anything ever about Politics, Oh No, you weren't supposed to ever say something like that. Politics simply didn't happen, and that is exactly what you were taught to believe.
The sad part about this whole thing is the fact so many new people come into this breed and they don't know any better so they too repeat things they know nothing about including even the health of this breed, not to mention other people in this breed. So it takes some really Two Faced people to constantly agree with the different ones that head up these Cliques. And of course everyone that is new in this Breed wants of course to get Acceptance, so naturally the best way to get that, and the fastest way to get that is to Jump on someone's Band Wagon, and that usually means you must be able to run some other people down all you can, then you can be Accepted. Then you have to run their dogs down too, and do what ever it takes to discredit them, their kennel name, and their dogs.
This is the way to get Acceptance from the majority of people. It doesn't really matter if what you are repeating is even half of the truth, just be a good member of that Club and run you mouth all you can. Now the reason why this is the way things work is the simple fact that many of those Clique members really don't know enough about this breed, so what else are they supposed to do, but run their mouths about other people. It's a Great Cover Up for what they really don't know. If you are looking for something in your life that will satisfy your EGO and your in need of some Acceptance of other people, my best advise to you would be to get in thick with someone who can let you promote their dogs for them, of course you will also have to Jump on some Band Wagons in the process, and accept whoever they say you can, repeat whatever they tell you to, etc. etc.. etc.
But, IF all of that doesn't interest you, and you simply want to learn this breed, and you want to be able to do your own thing as far as breedings and the people you get a dog from, then I would say my best advise to you would be to research them all first, and know this breed well first, study Dog Terms, Study the St. Bernard Breed Standard, every word of it, look at many different photo's of St. Bernards from many different Bloodlines, and study pedigrees to figure out where each Bloodline came from. Then once you have learned what a good St. Bernard looks like, go for the Bloodlines that best represent what that Standard describes, and what you see from those Bloodlines to have the most qualities Over All, the Whole St. Bernard as per it's Breed Standard, and not just what someone may have told you. And once you have learned all of this, then select you the very best dog an experienced Breeder will sell you. But, you must learn about this breed first, read all you can about it, and study that Standard until you know every word of it. And that will keep some breeder from pushing off some inferior dog on you. Then go to (only) All-Breed Shows, because you can never expect to win at any Specialty Shows, if you don't have one of their dogs. This is the truth of the matter after 35 yrs. and not just my opinion either, because the statistics on my dogs alone would prove what I have said here.
I never chose to be a (two faced person), in fact that is just not me, I'm way too Free Spoken to ever have to be told what to say or who to say it to. Also my only goal ever was to Better the Breed I chose to Enhance. I don't have time for Childish Games, Gossip, or Gossip Mongers. And my Ego is just fine, I don't have to win another Dog Show. My Dogs have already won enough of them, as fair and square as this game has ever been played, is the way I chose to do it. My Breeding Program dogs have been very competitive all through out those 35 yrs. and I do not know any judges personally, and I have always liked it that way. Because I wanted my dogs to be evaluated up against many other dogs of their breed, and if they won, I wanted it to be because they were the Best dogs there that day, and not because I knew someone else either. I have personally been put through a terrible Nightmare of Club Members, who tried most everything to discredit me personally, my dogs, and my kennel name, even after me being a dedicated Member of that Club for 16 yrs. I know of all the tricks they all pulled now, but at the time I didn't know they were deliberately, intentionally plotting, and had a conspirocy to stop me from raising St. Bernards. I have been personally Slandered all over the Internet, and not one person would come forth and tell the truth. There are many problems that St. Bernards can have today but, not one person would say Yes, any problem listed is possible in any Bloodline today with this particular breed. So I was a Long Time St. Bernard Breeder that others delighted in allowing a Novice person to Slander all for the sake of Acceptance of one of the Cliques, in this Breed. This is how Great those Promoters really are, and this is how they Brain Wash you to believe what they want to teach you about this breed.
You have the right to do the Dog Game how ever you want to and don't allow anyone else to tell you anything different. But, you will probably still have to agree with people at times when you really don't want to, and you will have to Jump On someone else's Band Wagon before it's over with. But, no one should have to become a Gossip Monger, Liar or Slanderer, just to be Accepted into a group of people. Oh, but their have been some Club Members who have even gone beyond that, they have even gone to telling other people that their puppy or dog is not show quality and it needs to be altered, that is about the dirtiest trick, I have witnessed in my 35 yrs. in this Breed. There are good people in everything and of course there are Bad Apples in this bunch too. So don't let those Bad Apples trick you into doing things or saying things to just hurt other people and their dogs. Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see, and you'll end up a whole lot better off.
Now, after 35 yrs. I should be allowed my own opinion, so now you have it. I have told you what you have to do to be able to have a dog that can win a Specialty Show and I have told you what you can do if you want to do your own thing and raise St. Bernards that will match up to the Breed Standard and that can win at All -Breed Shows. If you are good at Dramatics, Promotions, Popularity Contest then by all means you should join a Clique, of some kind in this Breed, but if you are not good at Pretending all the time to agree with whoever you are talking with at that moment ,then I suggest that you do your own thing and learn this breed well and just go to those All-Breed Shows.
My Breed has suffered enough in recent years, the Health Problems are numerous and unending. It's high time, to get back to breeding Better Quality St. Bernards instead of being so concerned with People in this Breed, and their Personal life's. I'm still here and will probably have a St. Bernard to the day I die, at least one or two of them. HA!!!
Thanks for taking the time to read this and learn how the Dog Game really works, from someone who really has been in this breed many years and someone who has shown, raised, and Loved many St. Bernards.