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Old 12-13-2012, 12:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First Time GSD Owner and Working Lines/Schutzhund

Been lurking around the forums for a few months - learning as much as I can about everything. I'm still a few years off from getting my first GSD between school and personal stuff going on. I've been looking at breeders and narrowing down who appeal to me and whatnot.

I've also fallen a bit in love with Schutzhund and have spent a bit too much time procrastinating on papers by watching videos (Ozzy Barnero...)

I've never owned a GSD myself. Been around them. Love them. But basically grew up with various hunting breeds (springers, english pointers, random mutts and our current dropped-off-at-the-farm-dog is a black and tan coonhound).

Boyfriends dog is a german shepherd who I kind of facepalmed when he told me he got her (backyard breeder produce) and after some intense socialization is turning into a really great dog (I had some reservations on her temperament and she has a couple of personality quirks I would attest to bad breeding some of which are improving with age others will probably always remain an aspect of her personality).

Future GSD would be my first dog as in my dog not my parents dog. Mine.

And I know I want to do schutzhund (along with obedience, dabbling in agility, flyball and rally etc). Basically I want do a bit of everything.

And I know I want a working line dog.

But as a first-time GSD person do you think I am aiming too high or would be in over my head?

I intend to be completely upfront and honest with whatever breeder I end up going in the future and hope for the best match. And future puppy will be getting obedience training along with everything else needed.

I know as a first-time GSD person I will be making mistakes with my future dog. I expect to make mistakes. But I will do my best to do right by my future dog.

So in essence: As a first time GSD person I shouldn't be deterred by the fact I want a working line dog and want to do schutzhund and other dog sports. I will be ok. Dog will be ok. I will be able to handle said dog (and by being honest with my future breeder will ensure my best match).

Yes I know I'm probably over thinking this (blame grad school).

But I'm trying to cover all my bases to the best of my ability. (My family breeders and trains and shows and sells horses thus me making sure every box is checked).

Here's an apple if you made it through this entire post. Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Not at all don't be deterred!!! From what I read of your post, you are doing/thinking out everything, which is great!
Personally I think the WL's are easy to live with. Finding the right breeder that has biddable healthy pups with off switches won't be that difficult either...there are many of them around. Thresholds of the lines would be a bit of a concern for me, I would not want a lower threshold dog to begin with. Nor a real high one....& balanced drives are very important in what pedigree matching the breeder does.
I would get with a club now if possible so you can see for yourself the different lines. Sport dogs or the more serious would be the next consideration. The more serious dog, would take more skill as a handler but should not be that big of a deal if you know what you are getting into and have support in the training.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like you'll do we'll.

Just remember, beyond breeding, you need time.

No dog is 'magic.' Pup will need time and patience.

Best of luck.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think you are on the right track. You are researching your choice BEFORE you make a commitment, which is what I wish 1/10th of my clients would have done .
Our family has 9 GSDs, 7 are working line and 2 are show lines. To be honest, for us the WL dogs are the easiest to live with. That could be because our entire family is involved in the dogs and enjoys working with them and spending time on training. We participate in Schutzhund, but even if we didn't do Schutzhund I can tell you any of our dogs would be great in some other venue, obedience competition or agility, whatever.
Since you aren't in a hurry you can find a breeder who understands what you are looking for. The breeder we have used is very open minded about buyers. They make sure the dog will have a good life first and foremost, and then match the dog to the needs and abilities of the buyer. First time buyer or experienced buyer doesnt really matter as long as there is a pup to suit the match. Go to a club in your area if you can and watch some of the dogs work. If you see one you like the overall looks and temperament, ask the owner. Most people are happy to talk with you about their dog, especially if they can see you admire the dog (just don't interrupt training ).
Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for your replies and reassurances, I appreciate them immensely.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Since you are interested in Schutzhund, I would go out and watch and learn at a club (or clubs if you have more than 1 by you) as much as you can! Good luck!
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You will do fine. This is my first "purchased" german shepherd and he is working line. He is a wonderful dog! Actually been easier to raise than my collie mix as he is so much more stable in the mind.

Just research and know what type dog you like. Try to meet lots of them. Try to meet some offspring of the lines you "think" you like to verify what you are after.

I choose my puppy based on some dogs I had met that I really liked, and then I liked the sire/dam in person very much as well.

ONe thing in training that surprised me was all the alerting/barking at everything. This is a part of the breed and you need to be able to heavily socialize (think time consuming) and be proactive as in aware, so you can extinquish that behavior. Lots of well -timed.." lets look over here instead". Well, you wont extinquish it, but have that behavior under your disernment, not theirs..lol

Have fun researching!

Oh, and I get to hang out with Ozzy Barnero every weekend!
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You'll find that having grown up with dogs and horses, so much of your past experience will transfer over and help you understand what you're seeing in your own dog. As said above, find a good club, and ask if you can visit. There's alot of learning that comes from watching. I also tell our newer handlers to practice routine, ball handling, etc. without their dog first. You'll also be more adept at line handling due to past horse experience.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome to the board! What kind of horses do you have/show???? Where are you in PA? Being a horse person really gives you a good foundation to raise and train a WL GSD I think (have been one myself for most of my life)....

There are working line dogs who are mass bred and more suitable for pets than for training, and there are working line dogs who are bred for such extreme drive that they are hard to live with as a normal dog...the trick is finding that litter that is bred to work, but makes great companion dogs as well because they are solid, stable and not so over the top that they cannot settle.....dogs that are balanced and bred for great temperament first, and working drives a given......I know it seems that I place my pups according to owners goals and temperaments - and it seems that the people all gung ho for work end up not being committed, and the pet people end up wanting to do schutzhund!!! So the litters have to be balanced!

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Old 12-14-2012, 10:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfstraum View Post
.I know it seems that I place my pups according to owners goals and temperaments - and it seems that the people all gung ho for work end up not being committed, and the pet people end up wanting to do schutzhund!!! So the litters have to be balanced!

Lee
LOL, we find that at the Schutzhund club as well. People that buy a pup to work come out to the club for a bit and then flake out. Whereas the people who got a pup from random lines get all excited and train, train, train! Hard to hit that balance I guess.
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