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Old 12-26-2012, 12:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Working vs Show line

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.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You're going to get a lot of different opinions on this...most of which (due to the forum) will be towards the working line.

You really have to ask yourself how much time you'll have for your dog. Are you an active family that has your kids in sports/clubs/ect? Or are you an active family that will be able to include your dog in the activities you do (hiking/fishing/outdoor vacations)? Oh and have time to do just dog activities (training, training, and more training).

A working line generally has more energy, more drive to do things, and doesn't like to just sit around. In my experience, my dog gets a little stir crazy when we don't do training/exercise for a few days in a row due to bad weather or just a busy schedule. My dog wants to play and work way more than the show lines at my GSD club. And for a dog his age he is no where near as calm as some of the dogs around his age. He is always vigilant, always paying attention, always on the go. He has two speeds...full and sleep.

This is not to say that the show lines at my club aren't obedient and have excellent temperaments. They might not have what people on this forum might consider correct working temperaments, but they are wonderful around kids/dogs/families and in general have no problems getting through day to day life.

I'll add that I train my dog at my club 3 times a week, and then do brush up work at home daily for at least 30 minutes. I wouldn't trade my boy for the world, but I also have a lot more time on my hands than someone with 3 children. As long as you go to a good breeder, that has a good reputation for breeding successful dogs, you'll be fine. It just depends on how much you're willing to do with your dog that you need to ask yourself.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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so what are the lines --
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for your help! We are definetly active outdoors,camping,fishing and hiking is something we do a lot of in the warmer months. We have a large fenced in backyard. 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.

Ohio Breeder of AKC German Sheph
This is the breeder we are seriously looking at,hers are working line.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It really comes down to personal preference. You'll hear vastly different opinions from different people, some of those based on first hand experience and some based on heresay. But bottom line is that the opinions of others really doesn't matter if their preference and lifestyle isn't in line with yours.

My advice would be to get out and meet some dogs of both types. The breeder you found is active in a local SchH club, which has members with both types of dogs. So visiting that club may be a good place to start. Meet some working lines. Meet some show lines. Interact with the dogs themselves and talk with their owners about what they are like to live with every day. Sit down as a family and decide what you want and do not want in a dog and what sort of activities if any you might participate in, then use that information to formulate some specific questions to help you decide which might be best for you and then pose those questions to people with some solid first hand experience with dogs of both types. If you can meet the dogs and meet the people, you'll probably be able to decide for yourselves pretty easily which would be the best fit.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wild View Post

My advice would be to get out and meet some dogs of both types. The breeder you found is active in a local SchH club, which has members with both types of dogs. So visiting that club may be a good place to start. Meet some working lines. Meet some show lines. Interact with the dogs themselves and talk with their owners about what they are like to live with every day. Sit down as a family and decide what you want and do not want in a dog and what sort of activities if any you might participate in, then use that information to formulate some specific questions to help you decide which might be best for you and then pose those questions to people with some solid first hand experience with dogs of both types.
I agree with the above. Once you have spent enough time around both WL and SL, you should get a good idea which type is the right one for you and your circumstances. Good luck in your search.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have owned both types. IMO----GSD of both types
need a lot of time and training.

Both want to run, play and be trained..I love the fact that GSD are up for most
anything...And what a waste if you think a show dog just wants to lay around
and sleep all day...

Look at your life style. How much time you have to work a GSD...

If you can't devote a lot of time every day then please don't get either!
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Where are you located? That will also help us recommend breeders close to you.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with JohnD, I've owned one of each type. They
did both require time and training, but I'm a homemaker
w/o kids, so I had it to give.

I will say I personally like the working lines a bit better,
mine got to the upper reaches in age (14 years 3 months)
and I think the extra 'fire' and drive really helped her in
the later years. But like others here have said, it
depends. Some of them I think of either type, with good
environments, while not exactly a greyhound couch
potato, are very adaptable to whatever is going on.

I had a horse fall over on me and smash my left leg and was
out of commission for about 6 weeks or so, and my show lines
dog didn't bounce off the walls any.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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sounds to me like you just want a good healthy active pet quality dog and you happen to like the gsd breed. the biggest thing for good pet quality dogs is verifiable genetic health. once yr family and dog bond it is traumatic to lose the dog cos it has a genetic issue widespread in the breed (depending who you ask)

most show or working breeders of good reputaion should be able to supply this kind of dog. could be a working line dog in a litter that did not appear to have the higher drives the breeder was looking for or just a neat show line dog.

if you don't plan to compete in anything, which you did not say you were, really focus on health and temp by looking at parents, progeny, conditions of kennel, breeder achievements, lists of satisfied customers and how much the breeder is prepared to back his/her own dogs with written contracts, return policy etc.

personally i would not finacially support show breeders or increase the demand for pet quality dogs but that is just my personal thing.

have you considered saving a dog's life (gsd or other) and checking out rescue. a lot of excellent pet quality dogs waiting to love you and your family for years of fun. if you save one and love and care for it you and your family will be my personal heroes, not kidding.
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