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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-30-2012, 09:02 AM
The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Castlemaid's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
Posts: 16,234
I love that Avatar pic! Welcome to the forum, and I'm so sorry about the heartbreak you have to go through in your job. I'm glad you are trying to get as much exposure to dogs and activities as you can - you are on the right track. I really respect the good GSD breeders, who work and shed sweat, tears and blood to produce the best examples of the breed - very challenging to consistently produce good dogs when the bloodlines are so infused with health and temperament issues, as you witness regularly in you work.

I think what a breeder of GSDs needs to remember is that the GSD is a versatile working dog, that can be an active police or military working dog, a SAR dog, a champion Agility dog, a top Schutzhund dog, and also a wonderful, reliable, family dog that is a take-anywhere, meet-anyone dog. Most people like yourself see the family pets that don't even cut it as pets, and the heartbreak that brings, and vow to do better - issue is, that only seeing the 'pet' part and only breeding for the 'pet' part is only breeding but 1/10 of what the GSD is. So really important for a future breeder to get involved in the working dog world and get intimately familiar with the other 9/10. Helps the breeder see deep within the psychological makeup of the dog, and understand how different dogs act and react in times of stress, physical and mental, how they adapt to new situations, etc . . . that helps the breeder find those gems among hundreds that should be bred to carry on the legacy of the GSD.

There are some great stickies in the breeding section - best thing to do is to start reading through them. Much of it might be over your head to start, but with more reading it will start to give some really good insights into why so many GSDs are being put down for aggression and health issues, and why a dog that the standard describes as "full of self-confidence" and "fearless" has in general become known among the general public as being skittish.

So good luck with your plans! If you are not already familiar with the different types and lines of GSDs, then that is another area to start to learn and become an expert before you start breeding.

Even our puppy/first-time-owner section has some good info on that, if you want to take a look:
Different 'flavors' of German Shepherds


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