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Old 12-05-2013, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Old Working Dog Breeder

I was talking to a farmer that is giving my uncle a german shepherd. My uncle has a 1500 acre cow farm. He said he has owned German Shepherds for 50 years and uses them on his angus cow farm. He only breeds when he needs new dogs. He had some interesting points:

- The AKC has ruined the breed. He said the GSD is a working dog and not a show dog.

- Breeders have made the dog too needy. These dogs are made to work and are not lap dogs that should sleep in the bed with you. You want a dog to cuddle get a lapdog. His dogs sleep outside and keep the predators away from his cows and chickens, etc and help corral bulls.

- Breeders have taken schutzhund too far and have created hyped up dogs that are bred to perform a routine and not think.

He also said pedigrees/papers are worthless, you breed dogs that have the temperment/traits to do the task you need them to do. When I asked about hip certifications he laughed. He said by the time he breeds the dog he will know if it has problems through work and normal vet checks.

He said all pups are spoken for and only go to farms where they will work. Kind of a grumpy old guy, but seems to have a purpose to his program at least.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you asking for a critique of the breeder or just "talking" out loud?

Not the type of breeder I would ever deal with, but I've never been good with the "my way or the highway" type of people The proof is in the pudding so to speak, if his customers are happy then good for them, but not someone I would ever consider getting a dog from for multiple reasons. Personally, I value pedigree, titles, and health certifications too much to throw it away just because the breeder says it's worthless. Your values should match the breeders as much as possible to ensure a good bond. After all, you're buying what should be a 10+ year commitment
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well he's right that the breed has gone thru alot of changes, and depending on the breeder many of the changes aren't those I agree with.

It's why we have to do all our work to find a GSD breeder who IS breeding for what we want and are looking for in the breed.

I'd ask to talk to a bunch of past puppy owners and also see them. IF they are all that you want then that's what you are looking for.

Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This person is right in many ways - if he has been breeding his own lines for X number of generations, then he knows about health issues that may or may not be there. Most breeders will use an outside stud, so pedigree is important for knowledge about the health of the dogs in the line they are breeding to.

Many, many, many breeders that work, title their own dogs, and try to keep a balance of temperament, so that the dogs of their breedings are versatile and adaptable that can work on farms, do Schutzhund, agility, be service dogs, family pets, calm in the house, active on the job all day, etc - would echo this man's sentiments. True you breed the dog in front of you, not the pedigree, but the pedigree brings the unknown health and temperament of the dogs in the family tree out into the light.

I would consider a dog from a person like this, since the dogs prove themselves every day in their work. Refreshing to see a breeder that walks the walk, and not just talks the talk, bragging about 'Champion Lines' three generations back, but wouldn't recognize working temperament if they received it gift-wrapped.

I bet this guy has some very interesting insights into GSDs and breeding for a balance.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My working dog is a lapdog, too. Versatility.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianB View Post
I was talking to a farmer that is giving my uncle a german shepherd. My uncle has a 1500 acre cow farm. He said he has owned German Shepherds for 50 years and uses them on his angus cow farm. He only breeds when he needs new dogs. He had some interesting points:

- The AKC has ruined the breed. He said the GSD is a working dog and not a show dog.

- Breeders have made the dog too needy. These dogs are made to work and are not lap dogs that should sleep in the bed with you. You want a dog to cuddle get a lapdog. His dogs sleep outside and keep the predators away from his cows and chickens, etc and help corral bulls.

- Breeders have taken schutzhund too far and have created hyped up dogs that are bred to perform a routine and not think.

He also said pedigrees/papers are worthless, you breed dogs that have the temperment/traits to do the task you need them to do. When I asked about hip certifications he laughed. He said by the time he breeds the dog he will know if it has problems through work and normal vet checks.

He said all pups are spoken for and only go to farms where they will work. Kind of a grumpy old guy, but seems to have a purpose to his program at least.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Wolf View Post
My working dog is a lapdog, too. Versatility.

LOL - my "didn't back down at the police-dog eval (from the K9 trainer to his apprentice learning decoy work: I want you to work Gryffon - this is what you will be working with on a daily basis when you start working police dogs)" dog is also the most social dog, best bed-warmer and Cat-nurse around!
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This man deserves some respect for his vision. He IS producing dogs from dogs that fit the working role he requires wih sounds like a very demanding role that only stable GSD's can fulfil. I am guessing very much like it was done many moons ago when the only role was a working role. If I was a farmer looking for exactly that of which this man has, I would at least look at what he has.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would generally agree except that I don't think breeders have made GSDs needy, I think people do that. My dogs live indoors because *I* like them there, not because they *need* to. They are dogs, they could very well live outside and be just fine (and many people I know do have working or hunting dogs that have only ever lived outside). Every breeder I've got a dog from has had dogs that live outside, so they did not create needy dogs, I just prefer mine indoors is all.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, everyone has their own opinions.

If you’re going to blame the AKC for ruining the breed, I can’t agree with you. Society and progress turned the breed into something different. We don’t all raise our own cattle and don’t need our dogs to herd them, so the breed had to evolve into something different.

It’s not the breeders who have made the dogs needy. It’s the owners. The dogs are needy because WE are needy. We own dogs for their affection and their love. If my dog is in my house, I want him to be near me. Truth is…my dog hates to cuddle and is generally somewhere where he can see the majority of our house, “guarding” it. He lays in the middle of the house so that he can quickly get to anywhere in the house, or he’s lying on our bay window sill so that he can clearly see everything that goes on inside and outside. The neediness is just part of what we do with our dogs. For sport people…the main thing they teach their pups is the relationship with the handler, because the dog will then do whatever the handler asks of it. It’s not that the dog NEEDS that relationship, it’s the handler that WANTS it. Most of our dogs, if raised in the environment the farmer raises his dogs in would be just like his dogs. Guaranteed if you brought his dogs into a more urban/sport environment, they’d be just as “needy.”

The part about breeders making the dogs not able to think…I’d like to see a breeder produce a puppy that knows the Schutzhund 1 through 3 routine just by coming out of the womb. Can’t see how that has anything to do with breeders, it’s all about the training.

The majority of breeders I know look at pedigrees as a guide, not a “have to breed this to that” rule. They see what’s in there, but they evaluate the actual dog and then decide if it should be bred or not. Those dogs are bred for a different purpose than what this gentleman is breeding for. Plus…if he doesn’t look at pedigrees, how can he guarantee he’s not crossing dogs that are very closely related? The health thing? There are plenty of dogs that don’t show any signs of diseases and have them. If a dog grows up with HD, it will eventually get used to the pain and learn to ignore it. Doesn’t mean the dog doesn’t have HD, just means no one could ever tell. And its only with extreme cases that a vet can tell a dog has an issue without doing an x-ray or running a test.
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