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Old 09-17-2015, 01:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Seeking Breed and Breeder Advice

Hello, my first post, although I've spent countless hours reading on the site in recent weeks. Hoping to get some good advice from experts before making a decision on a pup. Apologies if this is repetitive (I have searched a lot!) and very long, but looking for some honest answers to our specific situation.

About three weeks ago we lost our beloved family dog to cancer. He was an intentionally-bred "texas heeler" from a local area ranch - father a registered ACD, mother a registered Aussie. He was an exceptional little guy. What I loved about him were his toughness and resilience, incredible potential to learn, and above all else his protectiveness of the family and home. In the 8 years we had him, I knew every single time someone set foot on our lawn, (and they knew he knew ). We spent large amounts of time outdoors with him (hiking, camping, fishing, and just hours in the park) and he was always right by our sides - he was a dream on a trail and basically made certain no one ever got too far ahead or behind, himself included. The flip side is that he wasn't a dog that you'd implicitly trust with others, especially children. Personally I don't give that level of unchecked trust to any dog, but Dino would definitely square off aggressively to strangers who were too "fresh," and we had issues with him nipping, particularly when he was younger. We handled him appropriately and with ongoing socialization he was not a liability in any way, but he was never a dog you'd want running around loose in a kid's birthday party. I will say his basic need to protect is the main thing I want to replicate in our next pet, but with more intention and training. We did basic initial obedience courses with him and I kept him busy over the years constantly reinforcing on basic commands, etc, but I was never involved in ongoing formal training, (something I definitely want to do moving forward). Key to keeping him calm and happy was to always be working with him on something though, and I enjoyed that immensely. Final piece of the puzzle, I do have children - two daughters 3 and 6, and two sons 14 and 18. All of them are around the dog all the time.

Okay, that's our Dino. Shared all that for perspective - we're looking for many of these same traits in our next dog, and have always wanted a GSD just from my personal experiences with them, and to be honest because I just think they're so beautiful. I've become particularly interested in the DDR/Czech working lines, but I'm completely open to any examples of the breed that are sound in temperament, physically healthy, and above all else eager to learn. My question is, does it sounds like we're barking up the right tree? And would a working line dog be appropriate? My main concerns in choosing a line are a clear head, even temperament and health, because everyone claims their lines smash these things out of the park, but obviously that isn't always the case. It's hard to know what to believe.

Other question - I'm in Utah. If we do go this route, any recommendations for breeders in the greater area? (would include Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and even Nevada). Again, personal bias toward a working line, but I'm totally open to a show line if you think it would better check the boxes for us.

Thanks in advance for reading all that, and any advice you can offer!

Last edited by Gautama; 09-17-2015 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome!

If a heeler (mix) was a successful part of your family, in my opinion a German Shepherd may be a great fit for you. We have a red heeler (ranch/working bred) that is part of our extended family. She lived with me for a period of time and training, and your description of Dino sounds much like her.

I did some AKC obedience classes with her, and basic herding work on sheep and goats. Smart, but also stubborn, stubborn, STUBBORN. She doesn't care for kids, either. I prefer shepherds for myself, but that little red dingo-dog has a place in my heart. There are quite a few similarities.

I think if you reach out and start meeting GSD's in your area - and try to attend some events/competition, you will definitely be able to find a shepherd that fits your family. I'm not in your geographic area so I can't offer specific recommendations, but I wish you the best of luck in your search!
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Old 09-17-2015, 03:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WIBackpacker View Post
Welcome!

If a heeler (mix) was a successful part of your family, in my opinion a German Shepherd may be a great fit for you. We have a red heeler (ranch/working bred) that is part of our extended family. She lived with me for a period of time and training, and your description of Dino sounds much like her.

I did some AKC obedience classes with her, and basic herding work on sheep and goats. Smart, but also stubborn, stubborn, STUBBORN. She doesn't care for kids, either. I prefer shepherds for myself, but that little red dingo-dog has a place in my heart. There are quite a few similarities.

I think if you reach out and start meeting GSD's in your area - and try to attend some events/competition, you will definitely be able to find a shepherd that fits your family. I'm not in your geographic area so I can't offer specific recommendations, but I wish you the best of luck in your search!
Thank you, and great advice! I'm looking into some clubs in the area to get more local intel on good programs. Do you think I need to have any concern in the whole DDR working line vs ASL vs WGSL thing? This will primarily be a family pet - just want to make sure we don't jump from frying pan to fire with temperament. I know that may sound at odds - we want protective dog (I travel and it's very important to me) but he's also got to hang out in the living room with the family and take a load off!

I'm not at all opposed to shipping, either, especially from somewhere fairly close. I've come across Schraderhaus and Vom Banach as relatively close and well respected programs, would welcome any thoughts anyone has on them or others.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Gautama View Post
Thank you, and great advice! I'm looking into some clubs in the area to get more local intel on good programs. Do you think I need to have any concern in the whole DDR working line vs ASL vs WGSL thing? This will primarily be a family pet - just want to make sure we don't jump from frying pan to fire with temperament. I know that may sound at odds - we want protective dog (I travel and it's very important to me) but he's also got to hang out in the living room with the family and take a load off!
I think it's hard to paint in absolutes, since individual dogs vary quite a bit. I currently have one ASL and one WGWL. I spent quite a bit of time seeking out each one at different points in my life. I love them both, though they are distinctly different. Most shepherds, regardless of lineage, have protective instincts.... at least enough to be a visual deterrent and bark to alert that someone is at the door or on your property.

When you're talking with breeders, he/she should be able to listen to what you want, and openly discuss whether or not he/she has a puppy that will fit your family and your lifestyle. There are some really good threads on this board, with stories and testimonials from people whose breeders have matched them with the "perfect" puppy from their litter. Great matches can be made by sincere and careful breeders of either line of GSD's, in my humble opinion.

I'll step back, so hopefully someone in your geographic area can chime in.
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi and Welcome Gautama!

Good for you doing your homework before purchasing a pup!

Here is a GSD information site made by one of the members here: German Shepherd Guide - Home

There are many threads (use the "search" box) and knowledgeable people on this site that can help you!

Good Luck!
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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There is a very good breeder in Boise Idaho. She crosses show lines and working lines. I have never had one of her dogs but I hear good things about her from people that do have her dogs.

Theishof German Shepherd Puppies for sale in Boise, Idaho.* We can ship to any state!
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Momto2GSDs View Post
Hi and Welcome Gautama!

Good for you doing your homework before purchasing a pup!

Here is a GSD information site made by one of the members here:

There are many threads (use the "search" box) and knowledgeable people on this site that can help you!

Good Luck!
Moms
Thank you so much!
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kayos and Havoc View Post
There is a very good breeder in Boise Idaho. She crosses show lines and working lines. I have never had one of her dogs but I hear good things about her from people that do have her dogs.

Theishof German Shepherd Puppies for sale in Boise, Idaho.* We can ship to any state!
This is fantastic - Boise is a short trip from me and my hometown, so I'm there all the time. Thank you!
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