German Shepherd Dog History by Gordon
although going back to many quality animals, were different from the popular
lines of that day. Why the big change? Obviously Von Stephanitz felt the breed
was losing something. I think the breeders let him know that in order to
maintain breed type he was losing temperament. He was becoming like the "Lux"
breeders, that he put down many years before for losing sight of the working
dog. He was also looking to go back to both of his own herding lines,
Audifax and Adello.
In one account of the show it is reported that near the end
of judging for the final day, Von Stephanitz entered the ring, raised a pistol
and started firing in the air. The account said that he shouted as he was
doing this, yelling at them to get the shy dogs out of the ring. From what I
can gather it appears that was probably the first gunfire test in German dog
shows. It has now become commonplace in every show in Europe. There was
criticism for the lack of warning for the tests.
From the reports it seems that almost all the dogs ran from
the ring, with tails between their legs, even before Von Stephanitz started
yelling. Another account of the incident has a car backfiring in the first
instance, not a planned test at all. By this account it was then that Von
Stephanitz came in the ring firing his gun when he saw the reaction the noise
There is no disagreement on accounts about this part, Harras
von der Jeuch PH stood tall, sound and proud through the whole incident. He
was the best of those passing. Von Stephanitz made him Sieger. By the
following year the traditional lines were back in the front of the line at the
big show. As we look at the only picture available of Harras it is not hard to
understand. He looks very high and shows what has to be a terrible front, very
straight in upper arm, - short. As shown by his pedigree, he is a Nores son.
He produced well. It is not known whether temperament was as
much a problem by 1922 with the top dogs but for sure the doubtful were left
at home. It is also not known whether they kept the test going at that time
but if not it soon returned to stay.
Harras was used probably more than would have been the case
if he had not been Sieger and had not shown so well in the '21 incident. From
pedigrees where his name is seen I would say the experience and resultant
inclusion of this dog was good for the breed."