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Thread: Therapy Dogs
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Old 04-25-2014, 02:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
dzg
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 19
Default Therapy Dogs

Hi All,
I was speaking to someone who is involved in the guide dog & therapy dog field. I'm hoping to add a GSD to my family later in the year or early 2015, anyhow he mentioned that GSD's were not suited to the therapy dog role.

I disagreed, but he said my info was based on my experience with the "old-style do everything" GSD (admittedly my last experience with GSD'd was back in my teenage years, over 25 years ago).

He cited that GSD's nowadays were more specialized, being bred for schutzhund, sport activities and protection so they are not very empathetic dogs (outside of their owners). He also said there were very few guide/assistance dog organizations still using GSD's. Most had moved onto other more suitable breeds like labs, goldens etc

He said GSD's were more suited to activities like Police work, personal protection work, SAR etc

So what kind of characteristics/temperament should one ask a breeder for in a pup if I'd eventually like to have my pup become a therapy dog?

Or is the modern GSD not suited for this role?

I am posting this in the Bloodlines forum as I wonder if certain bloodlines would be more suited to this role than others.

p.s. I already value traits such as - genetic obedience, pack drive, biddability, high thresholds, calm, non-reactive etc I know this will make for a great companion dog and I have one local breeder already earmarked who breeds for this; but I am not sure if these traits also translate well into the field of therapy?
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