|04-05-2014 10:37 PM|
|NJGirl||Thank you so much again, everyone! You've given me a lot to read up on. I've contacted a few WGSL and ASL breeders to learn more about their dogs and hope to visit a few in the next few months to narrow down our choices.|
|04-05-2014 06:02 PM|
"Andaka" is the screen name for a member here that breeds, shows and has in depth knowledge of American Show lines, breeders and pedigrees.
Send her a PM for suggestions or guidance on breeders.
|04-05-2014 05:51 PM|
You're welcome. As I like to say, German Shepherds, the most complicated dog breed in the world!
You haven't even gotten into the various sub-lines within the working lines yet. DDR, WGWL, Czech, Belgium and the breeding for different drives and such.
It's all on a spectrum. We can generalize but within each line you'll find individuals that defy the stereo types.
So....it's about stacking odds in your favor. I've owned a rescue, an American Show Line (ASL) and a West German Showline.....and on a general spectrum I'd say the WGSL is in the middle between the WL and ASL as far as temperament (prey, defense and such) for protection, bite sports and law enforcement, where the WLs are used far more often for Law enforcement and tops in IPO & protection, the WGSL in bite sports and for protection, the American Show line more in non bite sports in addition to conformation.
So if you're not wanting to compete in bite sports then I see no reason why you shouldn't consider an American Showline. We have a couple of members on this board that breed and compete in conformation and dog sports with their dogs. They would be great folks for you to PM about good American Showline breeders.
As to the price sometimes it reflects a super breeding with a top sire and top bitch in show and sport. Sometimes it reflects someone using it as a marketing ploy, where folks will think the higher $$$ = a better dog. It really depends on the breeder. If you find a good conscientious breeder you should be o.k. Also, a breeder who stands behind his/her dogs is very important. Even the best breeder will have pups occasionally with health issues since genetics are somewhat unpredictable. So what matters is also their reputation and what they do when problems do arise.
I would suggest meeting American Show line dogs along with West German Show line dogs. Get a feel for them and narrow down your breeders. When you've got your breeders narrowed down come on back here and post about the specific breeders. That way you'll get some specific feedback if the dogs are worth the price.....
It sounds like you've already got a good base of information built up so just checking the dogs out in person probably is the next best step for you. Just don't fall for puppy fever when you see cute little fluff balls at the breeders.
|04-05-2014 05:29 PM|
I'm going to disagree with that RE: ASL v WGSL.
There is a difference beyond conformation and looks.
As we know this is a very, very touchy subject.... but this point is one that I've yet to seen disproven. When was the last ASL going back at least 4 generations of ASL breeding that got an IPO3, in the last 30 years or so? I've looked, found some SL dogs in Canada but they had WGSL fairly close up in the pedigree. If I'm wrong I'd like to see the pedigree and will stand corrected.
BUT it is certainly fair to say ASLs just do not really compete in bite sports. WGSLs do and that's because they still have the ability. Now the WGSLs aren't the super star podium dogs in IPO like WLs are BUT they do the work and have the drives. There are ASLs competing in agility, OB, rally, herding and lots of other non bite sports but they don't compete, breed, or test for temperament/drives to compete in bite sports.
|04-05-2014 04:43 PM|
My feeling is that you can set a floor and knock out everyone whose price is below that floor, because very probably those dogs have not been shown or campaigned in any working or performance venue. They may also lack appropriate health tests. All that stuff costs money, so breeders selling below a certain minimum value probably aren't doing it. The breeders who come in above that price point may be worth considering.
There is no way to say whether one line of dogs is "better" than the other. These are conformation dogs, so they are bred primarily to meet a certain physical appearance. The look of a German showline dog is distinctively different from that of an American showline dog, but really it just comes down to which one you personally prefer. It is a purely aesthetic choice, there's no "better" or "worse." Temperament, physical soundness, intelligence, working drive, etc. -- all of that can vary widely, so when evaluating those things, you have to look at each breeder's program individually.
Personally I would not buy a puppy from a breeder producing a lot of different litters every year. There are lots of threads in which people discuss the merits of such commercial operations; it's worth doing a search on the forum to see what the reasoning is behind those opinions and how you want to consider them yourself.
|04-05-2014 02:54 PM|
Thanks very much, Gwen!
Your advise is very helpful! We've been leaning toward a show line dog but are sorting out whether American lines or German lines are better.. I'm finding that to find a good GSD breeder is so much harder than some other breeds since there are so many of them and so many lines. I certainly understand concerns about dogs ending up in shelters. We've been contacting and visiting breeders for over a year as we don't take this decision lightly. We truly want to find the right dog for us. Our decision to buy a dog rather than adopt one didn't come easily either. We do want a puppy or young dog and the fact that we have cats often makes adopting a dog hard since the majority of rescues I inquire about I'm told are aggressive toward cats.
I've seen some huge price differences among show line breeders. Is it bad that some offer pups that are health tested and DM clear for $2000 while others ask $2600 or more? Would the less costly pups be inferior pets? Also, many of the showline breeders whelp many litters a year from many females. Is this a bad thing? What are the major differences between American and German show lines? Thanks!
|04-05-2014 12:09 PM|
Welcome to the site!!!
I think some folks are being sensitive to this because there are so many dogs being put into shelters because 'we had kids and don't have time for the dog'. Doesn't mean YOU and your husband will be that way but it's a problem and we are starting to see more working lines in kill shelters, so with that in mind I hope that you will stick around, lots of great info on this site.
On the working line vs showline debate. I think Lee said it best.
I was going to get a working line but ended up with a show line and turns out that probably was for the best. for me at this time. I've now spent time around working lines and they are different.
I think that working line breeders who express caution about the requirements of their dogs are being honest, they could give you 'a line' to try and sell you a dog, or they can be honest and care more about your needs and their dog's needs too.
I really suggest getting out there and meeting with good breeders so you can get a feel for the dogs. I know you're not getting into Schutzhund but try to get out to some trails in your area if you can. Then just observe and listen....you'll get better feel for the working lines that way.
Same with show lines, go to some breeders, interact with the dogs and then you and your hubby will be able to figure out what will be the best fit for your family.
I'd say, in general, based on your description, desires and future plans for having a family a show line would stack the odds in favor of getting a dog that fits what you describe. You can find it in a working line but I think you'd need to make sure the breeder can help you select the right temperament (like avoiding high prey drive you asked about).
The next issue is the price. Good show line breeders are competing with their dogs, often all around the country in conformation and IPO, doing all the health tests for hips, elbows, DM. Those costs get passed onto all the puppies, even ones that aren't show quality. The costs are more about using proven breed worthy parents AND ensuring the health of the puppies, whether they are show quality pups or not. This applies to good working line breeders as well, it's just that the overall price is a little lower for working lines.
My suggestion is, if you do decide a show line is the way to go for you, save a little more money because what that extra cost really represents is breed worthy parents who produce healthy puppies overall. That's *mostly* what you're paying for from a good serious breeder. IMO it's worth the extra cost to get a dog that will be a good fit for you and your family.
You are on the right path doing your research, take your time and you'll find the right breeder/pup for you.
I wish you best of luck in your puppy search!
|04-05-2014 09:49 AM|
There are a few recommendations in this thread
Here is a breeder group on Facebook that someone may be able to give you a better list of breeders
|04-04-2014 11:29 PM|
|NJGirl||As I shared in my original post, my husband and I grew up with working breeds: GSDs and Rottweilers. I'm well aware that GSDs are not Labradors and that whatever dog we choose will require regular excercise, stimulating play, lots of training, and socialization. I don't see a GSD being incompatible with a family either. We will likely try to start a family a year or more after we get our puppy. Being that GSDs are such a popular breed, there are MANY families out there with GSDs and infants and children. You are welcome to disagree with this plan, but I know my situation and what I can handle. I do know I do not want a dog that has a very strong prey drive or one with an overly dominant temperament. We've looked at both show line and working line dogs because I've received mixed messages from breeders. Some working line breeders have told me their dogs are ideal family companions while others have not. We also don't necessarily need to have a tan/black coat as some want. The show line dogs are also often over our price range. If I planned to show or compete with my dog, I would likely invest more but to me it just seems excessive to pay $2500 or more for a family companion. Ultimately, we want a healthy pup with a temperament suitable to our lifestyle. Thank you to those of you who gave input on these breeders and offered suggestions on others.|
|02-01-2014 11:56 AM|
NJ Girl....get an older dog - either from a breeder or a rescue....I breed working lines and I am loathe to sell any young couple a puppy who plans on children "soon"....dogs are just as big a commitment as a baby....
People are recommending breeders whose priorities are high drive, working dogs, hard dogs and who need owners with commitment and experience.
Read the links Maggie Lee posted....rethink your goals, lifestyles etc....working line pups are NOT for everyone!
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