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The GSD (Alsatian) Club of the UK
Message from The Chairman

It is hardly believable that 25 years have passed since this Club was formed and those reading these pages may like some history of how and why The GSD (Alsatian) Club of the United Kingdom was formed.

Throughout the 70’s, Dr Kenneth Sames attended South Yorkshire Alsatian Association’s shows and we always ended up discussing what to do about the hyena type of dog that was becoming prevalent at that time. Along with Norman Kinloch and myself we used to discuss the way forward and Kenneth came up with the idea of forming a new Club.

He told us that he had been discussing the idea with Leonard Pagliero who was very interested. Kenneth continued to pursue this issue over a period of time and would trundle down to the Kennel Club as often as possible making a general nuisance of himself.

The Kennel Club told Kenneth that if there was sufficient interest in the new Club, they would consider an application and so the next thing we knew was that a meeting was advertised in both dog papers, giving the date, time and venue. Over 200 people attended that meeting!

However, on his return to the Kennel Club to tell them that interest was high in the new venture, Kenneth was informed that 2 sponsor Clubs would be needed before any application could be considered.

That’s when things could have got sticky, there were 47 breed Clubs at the time, most of which were ‘pro-Germanic’ as they had started to call themselves. Dr Sames contacted South Yorkshire who were in favour of sponsoring the new Club as were North Wales Alsatian, so things started to happen at a rate of knots.

Before we knew where we were, an inaugural meeting was called asking for founder members at £2.00 per head. Again, well over 200 people turned up to the meeting and discussions were held about the policies for the new Club.

A further meeting was held for the election of Officers and Committee and it was here that it was decided to divide the country into areas, with 3 representatives from each area with an additional 10 National reps. The Rules and Constitution was drawn up and the name proposed: ‘The GSD (Alsatian) Club of the United Kingdom’.

The Club was formed to promote and encourage the breeding of the GSD (Alsatian) in it’s true form in accordance with the Kennel Club standard and as established in the UK since their introduction as a breed.

The first Committee meeting was held in Birmingham with all 33 Committee members in attendance. The first item on the agenda was a discussion around which dog should be the Club’s emblem. Several suggestions were in the frame - Ch. Ramacon Swashbuckler, Ch. Spartacist of Hendrawen, Ch. Peerless of Norloch, Ch. Caligula and Ch. Tarquin of Dawnway.

It was a unanimous decision that Champion Tarquin of Dawnway should be the dog we use as the flagship for the Club (see front cover).

The Club’s first Open Breed and Obedience show was held in 1980 with a total entry of 267 and the Club was going from strength to strength until 1983, which saw the untimely death of our Chairman Dr Kenneth Sames, who sadly did not see the Club achieve Breed Championship status in 1988.

At that time his wife, Mildred, wrote an appreciation of his life for the ’88 handbook stating, "… it’s constant and lively interest in all aspects of Shepherd welfare, the Club must surely continue to enjoy the admiration and affection of all who love the GSD and I cannot think of a better memorial to Kenneth than it’s present and future success."

In our 1988 Club handbook, our then President, Leonard Pagliero took the opportunity to remind members about the reasons for forming the Club;

" The objective is to foster the type of GSD originally introduced in to the country after the first world war when the Alsatian was registered with the Kennel Club. We seek to maintain the standard of the breed as it was then laid down to preserve the strong, upstanding, noble, fearless, loyal and intelligent animals set in the mould of the great champions of the past."

We continue to strive towards this goal, not following fad or fashion

Our series of seminars and assessment days should help enable members who judge and have reached the required level of qualification and other interested judges to satisfy the Kennel Club’s criteria for first time CC judges. This will mean that we may be able to put our own people forward to judge at our shows - we cannot assist if you do not attend the events we schedule!

The Committee are hoping to put on 2 more seminars during 2006; the first for judges to move from the C List to the B List and the second, another "hands-on" assessment day for judges who qualify in all other respects to move from the B List to the A3/A2 Lists.

The future can be bright if we stick together and work for the betterment of our position within the canine world. The Club has an excellent Committee, all of who work hard to uphold the aims of the Club. We also have an excellent team of Obedience helpers lead by Sheila Farris and Joan Kent who run their section like clockwork. My thanks to everyone involved in running both Breed and Obedience events.

All that remains is to wish members well for the next 25 years. Let’s hope we are here again celebrating the Alsatian (GSD) in all it’s glory and free from controversy.

Roy Brandon


Anyone wishing to join the Club, to support our aims of promoting the traditional Alsatian,
should contact the Secretary, Miss J Hassall on 01302 751743
who will arrange for a membership form to be issued with breed information.