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Old 01-13-2013, 02:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is a WWL mixed with ASL puppy just asking for trouble?

I'm looking to purchase my first purebred GSD puppy and I came across a breeder who is breeding a West German working line with an American Show line dog. Is this type of cross line breeding asking for trouble with drive vs. nerves, or will the dog be suitable for a companion pet who will focus highly on advanced obedience training?

The dog will be a companion animal and although I will make sure he is well exercised, has an active life and is mentally stimulated through extensive advanced obedience training, I don't have any plans to do any actual "work" with the dog. I would like the prospect of doing agility training, but not I'm not planning on doing any schutzhund training.

I am hoping to find a breeder who will help me pick the right puppy for my lifestyle, but I'm becoming a little overwhelmed with trying to wade through all the breeders in Texas to find a breeder that fits my needs.

I really don't want to get stuck with a great dog, but a dog I can't handle, so he isn't great for me. Does anyone have any breeder suggestions in Texas? Should I maybe limit my search to West working line, or East working line? I'm not sure if I want a Show line dog at all, but I'm open to any suggestions.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It would really depend on the breeder and the individual dogs in question. What is the breeder trying to accomplish? Have they done this type of breeding before, and how did those pups turn out? The only reason I can legitimately see for such a mix is to improve working ability in the ASL line, but I would have concerns about nerve and threshold issues. Putting a sharp, high-drive, aggressive dog over a bitch with weak nerves and low thresholds could be a disaster. OTOH if both dogs have strong nerves, it might not be a disaster. But it's not a mix I would be looking for.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would think that mix of lines may work, depending on the actual lines and if the breeder knows what they are doing...or is it a breeding out of convenience because there is a male and female available?
I would think a dog from any line, as long as it is well bred would work for your situation. If you have an agility, SchH club in your area or GSD group, maybe visit and see the dogs, get contacts. Even if you aren't planning on doing SchH, there are people in the clubs that know how to find good dogs.
Brimwylf Working Line German Shepherds - Dallas, TX would be a good breeder to contact for help and direction, IMO
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I recently lost my (mostly) west german/american male dog & he was the best shepherd I ever had. Would get a bit nervous when I was out of his sight because he always wanted to be near me but he was totally stable & I could trust him in any situation. I will be picking up my new male later this week. He is all west german line & I hope he works out. Both parents & breeders are highly regarded & have been breeding GSD's for 25+ years.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by asherkain View Post
I'm looking to purchase my first purebred GSD puppy and I came across a breeder who is breeding a West German working line with an American Show line dog. Is this type of cross line breeding asking for trouble with drive vs. nerves, or will the dog be suitable for a companion pet who will focus highly on advanced obedience training?

The dog will be a companion animal and although I will make sure he is well exercised, has an active life and is mentally stimulated through extensive advanced obedience training, I don't have any plans to do any actual "work" with the dog. I would like the prospect of doing agility training, but not I'm not planning on doing any schutzhund training.

I am hoping to find a breeder who will help me pick the right puppy for my lifestyle, but I'm becoming a little overwhelmed with trying to wade through all the breeders in Texas to find a breeder that fits my needs.

I really don't want to get stuck with a great dog, but a dog I can't handle, so he isn't great for me. Does anyone have any breeder suggestions in Texas? Should I maybe limit my search to West working line, or East working line? I'm not sure if I want a Show line dog at all, but I'm open to any suggestions.
From past experience, I would say to stay away from anything American if you are looking for stability. Unfortunately, a stable, healthy AKC shepherd is the exception, not the rule. West German lines tend to make better companions then East and Czech lines. If you go to the United Schutzhund Club of America online, they will point you to reputable breeders as well as clubs. I know you are not interested in schutzhund, but it is a sport that was developed to create the best all around, working and companion dog. A reputable breeder will be able to easily pick a puppy who will be less drivey, but just as stable. Show lines tend to be harder to deal with because of the emphasis on looks not working ability, but West German Show lines are 100x more stable then american lines. Above all, find a breeder who is not TRYING to sell you a dog. If someone pushes a dog on you, thats because they have to do that to market their dogs. If they are careful to make sure YOU are a good fit, you can bet your boots they will make sure the puppy fits your lifestyle. Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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From past experience, I would say to stay away from anything American if you are looking for stability. Unfortunately, a stable, healthy AKC shepherd is the exception, not the rule. West German lines tend to make better companions then East and Czech lines. If you go to the United Schutzhund Club of America online, they will point you to reputable breeders as well as clubs. I know you are not interested in schutzhund, but it is a sport that was developed to create the best all around, working and companion dog. A reputable breeder will be able to easily pick a puppy who will be less drivey, but just as stable. Show lines tend to be harder to deal with because of the emphasis on looks not working ability, but West German Show lines are 100x more stable then american lines. Above all, find a breeder who is not TRYING to sell you a dog. If someone pushes a dog on you, thats because they have to do that to market their dogs. If they are careful to make sure YOU are a good fit, you can bet your boots they will make sure the puppy fits your lifestyle. Good luck!
Awesome...someone else stating a sweeping generalization and bashing a line.

American lines are fine. There are plenty of stable dogs out there and you just have to know where to look. WL can be just as unstable (and even more so lately due to the sable/WL fad that has hit the pet market). I've seen way more unstable WL in my club's puppy classes than I have American lines...mostly due to people breeding sables with no regard for pedigree.

Anyways...about the cross. I've dealt with a few, the most recent does have bad nerves and gets stressed really quickly. His owner works him in obedience, but once he's reached his threshold she just pulls him out of training and he goes in the car to relax. He isn't reactive, aggressive, or anything bad, just kind of shuts down and doesn't want anything to do with whatever is going on around him. This cross was the first and last that the breeder did though (owner is the breeder) because she was pressured by our club to use a Champion sire. The dam doesn't really have over the top drive either, I would call it lower than average for a working line, and so the dog doesn't have that high of drive either. Remember...genetics doesn't work that you get exactly what the parents had. So it really does depend on both the dam and sire that the breeder is using. If she's had success in the past...she probably knows what she's doing and has had some pretty good puppies.

I'd like more information though...is she using the same dam and sire over and over again (questionable practice as there is no long term goal that way), how far back are the mixes happening (mother/father, grandparents, ect)? There is a lot to look at when evaluating a breeding, and the problem with this one is that there will be "WL experts" and "ASL experts" and neither will agree because they can't really say for sure what will come of the cross.

I should add...I also have dealt with a few good crosses. They were calm, had good nerves, and no where near as drivey as a WL. But this is what the owners and breeder was looking for and they succeeded.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We all have our preferences . American lines can be as good or bad as any other line. Key is finding a good breeder.

I personally like a cross if it's the right cross Check out Daphne (andaka here) dogs, they are very versatile and the latest ones I believe are a cross.

I had an east german/american show lined male, that was the 'perfect' dog, I would take another in a heartbeat if the right one came along.

Don't limit yourself to 'one line' , finding a good breeder is key.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
Awesome...someone else stating a sweeping generalization and bashing a line.

American lines are fine. There are plenty of stable dogs out there and you just have to know where to look. WL can be just as unstable (and even more so lately due to the sable/WL fad that has hit the pet market). I've seen way more unstable WL in my club's puppy classes than I have American lines...mostly due to people breeding sables with no regard for pedigree.

Anyways...about the cross. I've dealt with a few, the most recent does have bad nerves and gets stressed really quickly. His owner works him in obedience, but once he's reached his threshold she just pulls him out of training and he goes in the car to relax. He isn't reactive, aggressive, or anything bad, just kind of shuts down and doesn't want anything to do with whatever is going on around him. This cross was the first and last that the breeder did though (owner is the breeder) because she was pressured by our club to use a Champion sire. The dam doesn't really have over the top drive either, I would call it lower than average for a working line, and so the dog doesn't have that high of drive either. Remember...genetics doesn't work that you get exactly what the parents had. So it really does depend on both the dam and sire that the breeder is using. If she's had success in the past...she probably knows what she's doing and has had some pretty good puppies.

I'd like more information though...is she using the same dam and sire over and over again (questionable practice as there is no long term goal that way), how far back are the mixes happening (mother/father, grandparents, ect)? There is a lot to look at when evaluating a breeding, and the problem with this one is that there will be "WL experts" and "ASL experts" and neither will agree because they can't really say for sure what will come of the cross.

I should add...I also have dealt with a few good crosses. They were calm, had good nerves, and no where near as drivey as a WL. But this is what the owners and breeder was looking for and they succeeded.

Actually, the original poster stated that they were worried about the lack of stability, and unfortunately in any working field, it is quite obvious that the American line dogs are bred very differently.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think I would be asking the breeder about how unformity is ensured, is this a repeat breeding etc. and talk with some customers of their past crosses.

My own experience with a show - working cross was a breeder talking about how the pups would get all the good this from the WLs and all the good that from the showlines. Instead, my pup got all the bad this and that from both lines and whenever you cross drastically different dogs (even within the same lines) that is always a risk.

I would also not accept any broad generalizations. My most loving house dog EVER has been a Czech/East German dog out of some serious lines. Learn all you can about the parents and the goals/results of the breeder
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
Awesome...someone else stating a sweeping generalization and bashing a line.

American lines are fine. There are plenty of stable dogs out there and you just have to know where to look. WL can be just as unstable (and even more so lately due to the sable/WL fad that has hit the pet market). I've seen way more unstable WL in my club's puppy classes than I have American lines...mostly due to people breeding sables with no regard for pedigree.

Anyways...about the cross. I've dealt with a few, the most recent does have bad nerves and gets stressed really quickly. His owner works him in obedience, but once he's reached his threshold she just pulls him out of training and he goes in the car to relax. He isn't reactive, aggressive, or anything bad, just kind of shuts down and doesn't want anything to do with whatever is going on around him. This cross was the first and last that the breeder did though (owner is the breeder) because she was pressured by our club to use a Champion sire. The dam doesn't really have over the top drive either, I would call it lower than average for a working line, and so the dog doesn't have that high of drive either. Remember...genetics doesn't work that you get exactly what the parents had. So it really does depend on both the dam and sire that the breeder is using. If she's had success in the past...she probably knows what she's doing and has had some pretty good puppies.

I'd like more information though...is she using the same dam and sire over and over again (questionable practice as there is no long term goal that way), how far back are the mixes happening (mother/father, grandparents, ect)? There is a lot to look at when evaluating a breeding, and the problem with this one is that there will be "WL experts" and "ASL experts" and neither will agree because they can't really say for sure what will come of the cross.

I should add...I also have dealt with a few good crosses. They were calm, had good nerves, and no where near as drivey as a WL. But this is what the owners and breeder was looking for and they succeeded.
I should have been much more clear. Every single type of dog, no matter what breed, registry, etc can have an unstable temperment. I am very used to dealing with working line dogs who have strongly backed up pedigrees. I agree, actually EMPHASIZE, that a poorly bred "sable dog" (by this I assume you are grouping working lines) can be much more unstable then a show dog because of the higher drives. You have to be extremely careful no matter what lines you are pursuing. If a dog is titled in some sort of working classes, you have more of a guarentee of a more stable temperment then a dog which is simply shown in conformation. The best thing you can do is educate yourself on which type of shepherd you would like. American Show lines, German Show lines, and German Working lines are all very different because they were developed the way they were for different purposes. Once you decide which type you are interested in, you can then begin to decide on a breeder who holds their dogs to the standard you prefer. I am not here to "bash" certain lines. I apologize for any offense taken. I was simply trying to answer the original poster's questions.
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