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Old 12-26-2012, 11:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've had working lines for 10+ years, I recently rescued a show line dog. I really don't see any difference in the intensity or the drive. They both need a lot of exercise and attention. The show line is a little more needy but it may be because she is a rescue and we didn't have her from a puppy.

I'd start meeting dogs and breeders and don't forget rescues. When you find the right puppy for your family, you will know.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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We plan to get a puppy within the next year. We have been researching the breed for quite some time now. The one thing we cannot decide on is whether to choose a Working or Show line. I have heard so many different opinions on this. We found a breeder we REALLY like,that seems really professional. Her dogs are working line though. Were a reasonably active family,three young kids. Naturally we want a trainable dog with an excellent temperament. Any advice or experiences anyone can offer would be great,thanks.

A bigger question is what do you want to DO with your dog? If you want to do ScH, then obviously your chances are much higher of getting a good dog for that from a good working line kennel. BUT if you want to show your dog in the breed ring then a WL puppy would greatly lower the odds of success in that arena.

If you just want a pet GSD, either place could produce a winner.

And please don't forget - by choosing one line or another you are NOT guaranteed to get a puppy with the ttaits/temperamnet that you want - just can increase the odds of success.

Best bet of all is to find a good reputable breeder (either line depending on your goals with your dog) and tell them what you want to do with the puppy and let them mainly choose your individual dog!

But do make sure that you can trust the breeder!!!!!! (Like the ones prominent on this forum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I don't think anyone can say thet SL are lower drive than WL - higher per cent perhaps but I have an American male GSD from a TOP US SL kennel and I would challenge anyone to say that he is not a VERY high drive dog that does well on the Tracking field, on the herding ring and even in the ScH protection field as well as AKC OB. His activity level is crazy! (OTOH - he is very unusual even within his own litter as i have seen 2 brothers and 2 sisters and they are most different in tmperament and energy).
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I agree with Chris. Go to the breeder's club (it is about 1/2 hour south of Cleveland just off of 71) and see the different dogs. Your primary goal is a dog with very sound nerves, temperament and character. The lines shouldn't matter, IMO.

I actually know this breeder personally. I have seen the female she is breeding several times from when she was a puppy. I saw her sire compete (excellent tracking dog) and her grandsire (quite a few times). I also saw her mother's mother's sire trial once (another super tracking dog). There are not a lot of dogs in this country where I could say that.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It would also depend on the breedings, too. There are show line and working line litters you couldn't pay me to own a dog from and there are show line and working line litters I would try to move mountains to get a dog from. For me it really boils down to the actual dogs we are talking about and not generalizations of type that both offer a full spectrum of quality.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mominohio View Post
Were a reasonably active family,three young kids. Naturally we want a trainable dog with an excellent temperament.
Either line could give you that. I have heard people say that show lines are harder to train than working lines, but I haven't owned or trained a show line myself. I've owned working line and mixed line dogs, and most have been easy to train.

Key is going to be choosing a breeder you trust, whose ethics and philosophy you agree with, regardless of bloodline. You can get a range of temperaments in every litter, so there's a good chance (depending on the breeding) that you'll find a match in either line.

Basically you would want to avoid extremes. Some pedigrees are more "extreme" than others, and some puppies are more "extreme" than others.

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We aren't planning on doing any competition with the dog,therapy is something we have considered. Which it sounds like a show line might be better if thats what we decided.
Could be, but there are plenty of working line dogs in therapy, guide and service. So it's more about the particular pedigree and the particular pup in the litter than it is about bloodlines generally, IMO.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Lots of great advice here.

I just wanted to throw my $0.02 in, as I'm a "pet" owner and I got a WL. The breeder helped me select the right dog, which was a lower drive female from the litter.

I'd definitely go to the best breeder you can find, make sure they do all the appropriate health tests, or go to a rescue. Just make sure you are not supporting a BYB who is breeding whatever dogs to one another without a care about health or temperament.

One thing - with a GSD be prepared to work your butt off. The socializing alone for the first few months is pretty ridiculous. It's exhausting, but well worth the effort. I'd HIGHLY recommend training classes and puppy class too.

Also, look into some activities you can do to challenge their brains, especially as a growing pup where you have to be careful about how much exercise you do with them. Something like tracking or scent detection classes, they can do right from the get-go and won't hurt their growing bodies!

Good luck!
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have a working line pup, and I had pick of the litter. My girl had a higher drive than most of the other pups and since I'm very active and have plenty of time to train, I chose her, but there were a few dogs in her litter that were content to lay at my feet and do absolutely nothing. The breeder helped me a lot with my decision, also, because he knew what I was looking for. If you have a good breeder, you shouldn't worry...they'll help you choose the puppy they think will suit you. I also agree that if you're looking for just a companion/family pet, then a rescue dog would be something to look into.


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Old 12-27-2012, 04:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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A dog with excellent temperament should not require a ton of socialization, training, or exercise.

A dog of excellent temperament and correct structure should be able to manage a ton of socialization, training, and or exercise.

A GSD of good character should be able to relax in any situation, taken out of the kennel at 9 months, over to a house with strangers including kids, shouldn't matter, the dog should be just fine. He should not go stir-crazy if he is not walked into the ground before being left for the day. That's insanity. A dog should not require being physically and mentally exhausted every day, to have a reasonable expectation for behavior. A dog should not have to be trained every day, or several times a day to learn basic and advanced commands. And a dog should not be losing steam before you are if you give them age-appropriate amounts of exercise.

If any of the above is true, look at the temperament of the dogs, because a GSD should be able to live in most conditions, with most types of owners, and adjust to the activity levels, and training levels of the owners.

It should not be rocket science.

I am a fan of the West German Showlines. I think they are great all-around dogs. The can go go go, if you want them to, they can lay at your feet and relax. They can be trained to do anything including police and military work. They learn quickly and enjoy good training. You can have them with other critters, people, babies, old people. Just all-around great dogs.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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A dog with excellent temperament should not require a ton of socialization, training, or exercise.
I think all dogs should be very well socialized, and trained regardless of temperament. So while I agree with the rest of your post, I don't necessarily agree entirely with this point.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by blackshep View Post
I think all dogs should be very well socialized, and trained regardless of temperament. So while I agree with the rest of your post, I don't necessarily agree entirely with this point.
I think she's saying that a dog with a solid temperament and nerve doesn't NEED to be extensively socialized to grow to be a well rounded dog. It should come naturally to them through their genetics.
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