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New member, opinions please
Hello, my wife and I are new to the forums. We found it after a member of our family of 9 1/2 yrs past of bladder cancer. "Thunder" was the best dog we have ever owned. He was a European shepherd and he amazed us on how smart he was. We are in the process of trying to purchase our next family member. Thunder was our first shepherd and really didn't know there were 2 or 3 types of shepherds. As we started to look and research we found that most breeders explain which shepherds they sell. Most are adamant on which type they breed. From what we have read(and talked to different breeders) the euro breed are "workers", "service" and active dogs. We were told the "American" breed are less "hyper", a little bigger and more "relaxed". I work shift work so we want a shepherd that of course will join our family, but will protect my wife. We don't plan on showing, breeding or getting in schutzhund. Without getting into a "war", can people please post or reply with their opinions. I understand you can get a great dog from an adoption or from paying thousands and that just because you pay a lot, doesn't mean your going to get a better dog. I do believe in good genetics. So please post your thoughts on American and European.
Welcome! You came to the right place.
I love all lines of German Shepherds, as long as they are a good example of the breed.
Watch out for backyard breeders, also known for creating the American "pet-lines." Not saying pet quality GSDs are bad, just be careful.
I got my first GSD from a BYB, and though I love him, he developed extreme Fear Aggression. I got him at four months old, the breeder failed to socialize him before this point.
My more recent GSD is from DDR and West German show lines. He is a fantastic example of the breed. It also has a lot to do with the breeder, she's great and truly cares for her dogs.
Working lines do tend to have higher energy and drive.
They sometimes have a smaller frame as well.
American show lines may have less energy and drive, most likely because they have not been bred for their work ability (other than maybe herding) in so long. Of course this doesn't go for all.
It's usually the American pet lines that often get 100+ lbs.
Hi and welcome! I've own/owned both american and czech lines and do agree they are both very different. My czech line is very active but she is always eager to learn, confident, loves to play, has a really high prey drive, and great with the kids. At 6months she's already surpasses my expectations in training. My american line was more reactive, harder to train,she's a barker but if you come close she will most likely back off and pretty much always pushes her limits with me. She is a great dog but her temperament did not allow me to do protection training with her. She does make an awesome family pet that is very sweet to my kids. I know most of her personality came from her mom and I didn't think twice when I got her because she was too cute (bad idea buying just on looks). As for protection, I wouldn't trust my life with her. Nerves and temperament do play a very big role in this breed. Of course depending how you raise and train your dog will effect the outcome as well. You can find a great family pet from both sides. I personally would go for czech/ddr line and never touch the american line. I would recommend after researching and finding the right breeder for you is to meet both parents and have the breeder help you choose the right puppy that will fit you and your family. They know their puppies best and a good breeder wouldn't place a high drive pup in a family that will not be able to handle it . Good luck with your search!
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Ty for the replies. We are really considering a breeder of American shepherds and have visited his kennel. AWESOME dogs! The one thing that concerns me is that he shows his dogs and I get the feeling that's what he breeds for...great show dogs. I'm not saying that is bad but I'm thinking I'm paying $2k for a show dog and hoping he is a great family dog and protector. This gentleman is in no way a byb from what I can tell. Is it wrong to want a protector that is a member of the family? I hate to "give up" something in order to get something else(hope that makes sense)
just a note
bybs come in all shapes and sizes and all lines
not just american lines :rolleyes:
as sables become more popular we are seeing more and more byb and poor quality breeders of that particular color
op, go with what you like
the rest will follow
gds are naturally protective and unless u r going to professionally train your dog in personal protection
merely having a large dog such as a gsd wandering about your yard is enough to deter most criminals
let alone that big gsd bark :)
key is finding a good breeder who can match you with a puppy that will fit your lifestyle/wants/don't want.
With that, make a list of what you want in a dog and what you don't want, high energy/low energy/ middle of the road/
It's not so much about the lines, more about the individual dogs.
I have always had working lines, tho one was more american lines. My working line dogs, do require more exercise, but had/have good off switches when they mature.
My american line was more of a couch potatoe. Again, all dogs are different.
As for protection,, well some can be naturally protective, some are not.
I'm going to move this thread to appropriate forum
Have you had the chance to meet any others who have dogs from this breeder? I have both show/American and Czech WL, both make great pets in an active home. All 3 have good off switches.
I really doubt there is ANY reason to worry a 'show dog' won't be good enough in the 'protection' area. Take just about any Shepherd, they will keep watch & let you know something is amiss. You don't need a dog that's itching to take a bite out of the UPS delivery guy. How many people want to advance on a barking German Shepherd?
This is a non issue with us. Our last Lab did enough to alert us. Here is a recent picture of 'Mya'. She is more from an 'American line', but she is doing just great.
We had an American that was off the walls hyper. We currently have a working line that is the most chilled and confident pup I have ever owned.
In my opinion the breeder is the key. They know what they are breeding and have the experience to place the right pup with the right people.
We met with our breeder, told her what we were looking for. Explained that we are getting older and while we are active we aren't hiking, jogging, and sky diving every weekend. Nor did we have any desire to go into protection sports. We wanted a solid temperament first and foremost. We told her that we have always owned females and prefered solid black but temperament was important above all other traits. We ended up with a black and tan male and couldn't be happier.
They are all different, there are so many dogs that break the molds out there. Ours included. The breeder is the key in my opinion. We have a working line dog that is a monster in size and has a very calm temperament and our breeder nailed it by placing him with us. Look for breeders, not dogs. Obviously you will like a certain color, sex etc. but temperament is worth it's weight in gold.
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