Talk:White German Shepherd Dog
Hi Michael--and thanks very much for starting an article on this lovely breed.
Couple of comments. I'd like the tone to feel a little lighter. The most important thing is that everyone browsing or "surfing into" a dog breed article should want to read right to the end.
We haven't (yet?) set absolute rules for these articles, or indeed for many...if any...of CZ's species and variety articles, and I think that's good; the author has leeway and can write in his own style.
However, I think some guidelines are in order for the sake of consistency.
1. Articles should describe the general appearance of the dog in easily-understood and engaging language. State anything unique about the breed. Go on to talk about the breed's origin and history, as much as is known, and keep fact separated from folklore (fortunately, much easier to do when speaking of GSDs :) than some other breeds.)
2. I am adamant that breed standards will not be a part of the articles. They're dull. Rather, describing the salient points of the breed standard and giving links to the breed standard(s) of your choice is the way to go in my opinion.
3. Items not specific to the breed under discussion should be kept to a minimum. No detailed discussion of general dog topics such as genetics, whelping, choosing a reputable breeder, how to care for puppies--unless there are items specifically relating to this breed, consider discussing these at more general articles: dog, terrier, herding dog, dog breeding, etc.
4. Items of interest only to the most obsessed breed fancier should be relegated to subpages, if they belong in the article at all. For example, no in-depth listing of who-begat-who--Champion Lillypilly of Orison out of Pathos Intrepid by Dangerous Liaison and so on ad infinitum. By all means do mention dogs of significance, but that's it. No listing of champions and show results.
5. Let's keep external linking out of the main narrative, placing external links on the subpages and in notes if necessary.
6. Keep an international audience in mind; avoid speaking only in terms of one's own country.
Having said all this, I am quite willing to edit this myself, but I thought I'd give you some notes; you're much closer to the subject and might prefer to work on it yourself before I or someone else performs invasive surgery.
Please drop me a line about any of this at anytime. talk to Aleta here!
Aleta Curry 17:38, 13 March 2008 (CDT)
Author's Reply to Reader Comments
Thanks for your comments. As I am deeply involved in US Presidential politics I've not been active here for a while and I likely will not be active the rest of the year. I'll respond as I can.
So that we can communicate in the short hand of subject matter experts, please reply the number of years that you have been breeding, training, work or showing the WGSD or GSD breed. I've been active with white and colored breed lines since the 1950's in training, working, rescue, rehab, and show categories.
To save confusion on the differences between White German Shepherd Dogs and White (Swiss) Shepherd (or BBS) Dogs, I edited the content down to exclude the W(S)S and BBS and conformation verbage.
As a general observation to your comments, I must say that every dog breed the exists today is the product of breed club (human) politics and the breed conformation standards that evolves out of that human political tension. I say this even as I firmly believe that breed club (human) politics often run contrary to the best interests and genetic health considerations of the dog. I am, even so, adamant that breed standards should be given as the basis of any fact based breed discussion. I quickly edited the WGSD content down to the basic historical and genetic background that serves not only those interested in the WGSD breed, but also its W(S)S and BBS specializations.
Michael --Michael Handley 20:41, 13 March 2008 (CDT)
Mr. Handley, welcome! It's wonderful to have so many dog fanciers involved, and I'm glad you've joined.
I have a few comments that I hope will be received in the strictly constructive spirit in which they are intended. First, as you can see on Article Mechanics, CZ articles should begin with a definition/description. Also, this article really needs wiki links for a lot of words and phrases, not least of which is German Shepherd. I'm also inclined to think that this article should live at White German Shepherd (dog) or perhaps better simply White German Shepherd. Also, speaking as Editor-in-Chief, I would support most of Aleta's comments on article qualities/requirements--her comments largely reflect how we do things here.
The one exception I might make is that breed standards should not be part of the article. Sorry, Aleta! Is that merely because you find this info "dull," Aleta? Others surely do not find it so, or else why do breed standards exist at all? That seems like exactly the sort of info that is relevant in an encyclopedia article; when in doubt, include, don't exclude, that's my rule of thumb. The only limit on the amount of info we can include here is our ability to include it all: see Maintainability.
Aleta was being unnecessarily self-deprecating in calling herself merely a "reader." In fact, she is specialist editor for dog breeds in the Citizendium (the only one, I believe) and a professional writer, and frankly we should count ourselves thankful that such a competent, useful, and nice person is involved. That said, she need not cite her credentials for working on, much less talking about, articles on any subject: this is a collaborative endeavor and we do not "own" or "control" articles, even articles that we originate. If you submit an article, you're agreeing to let it be "edited mercilessly and redistributed at will," as the phrase below the edit box goes! The aim is to arrive at a version that everyone can agree to. For this, some amount of give-and-take, or creative compromise, is almost always necessary. --Larry Sanger 13:30, 18 March 2008 (CDT)
Comment re Breed Standards
Hi Larry, your comments and query regarding Breed Standards deserves a formal reply.
Why do I believe that breed standards should not be part of the article? Is it because I find them "dull"? Surely others don't find them "dull", otherwise why do they exist at all? Aren't they relevant in an encyclopaedia article?
Most breed standards are written for experts, not laypeople. Many are quite repetitive and in non-engaging language. Some are neat and to the point, others go on ad infinitum about points that could only be of interest to a breeder, exhibitor or show judge. Breed standards can also be extremely contentious.
I've read hundreds of them, and as it happens, I've just gone through the long process of revising one as a member of a dog club's Breed Standards Committee. It'll be a long time before I let myself in for that again, lemme tell ya!
My big worry, and I have seen it happen on many, many internet sites, is that someone simply cuts-and-pastes the breed standard, and that becomes the breed article, with little else. That is not the way breed standards are intended to function. In addition, the breed standards of some dog vary from kennel club to kennel club, and I would not like to see cyber-fights over which was the valid one.
Further, all breed standards are readily available in several many sources on the internet.
Another point is that a few independent clubs have copyrighted their breed standards. It's hard to know which ones, and monitoring for it would be another chore.
I would not be opposed to a breed standard subpage for dog breed articles, if people want to set them up and take responsibility for not posting copyrighted ones. But, and it's a bit BUT, I do not want to see the article itself hijacked and unbalanced.
Of course, the general appearance of the dog in question and it's distinguishing characteristics are all vital to breed articles.
Does this make sense?
Aleta Curry 17:35, 8 June 2008 (CDT)