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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-13-2014 02:03 PM
Merciel
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday View Post
Merciel, I'd be interested in hearing your speculations as to why GSDs (& Poodles, for that matter) are 2nd tier in an endeavor that comes so naturally to them.
Poodles are doing fine in obedience, IMO. They are about as common in that ring as I would expect them to be given the working traits and popularity of the breed in the U.S. as a whole.

I would speculate that a lot of the drastic drop-off in GSD representation can be linked to the extreme fashion that prevailed in the AKC show ring for a while. It's not easy to find AKC conformation dogs who have the physical and mental capacity to excel in the performance rings -- that's why mostly you'll see German showlines and working line GSDs in the agility and obedience rings around here. I really don't want to start up that tired old "hate on ASLs" thing again, but it is true that many of the people who used to run American showlines have switched to different lines or out of the breed altogether.

And yeah, I agree with Liesje that size is also probably a factor to some extent. It's just easier to work with a smaller dog in the obedience/Rally ring. Even Pongu, who is not a big dog, sometimes has difficulty in smaller rings. It's one of the reasons I keep an eye out for smaller GSDs like Carma, because if I end up getting a GSD down the road, I'm definitely going to be aiming for the small end of standard.

I think that a large part of why BCs and Goldens dominate the obedience ring is that it's pretty easy to find breeders who specialize in producing that type of performance dog and have a proven track record in those venues. In GSDs I can't think of that many names, and certainly none as prominent as High Times or Wildfire or any of those kennels.
03-13-2014 01:23 PM
my boy diesel What exactly is a 'pet quality breeder'?

they abound even here
those who breed for only pets because people dont care about showing their dogs or working them and want to pay less than going to a good breeder

low drive dogs they call them
people who just want a gsd to lay around the house purchase from them
probably the majority of breeders out there??
look at any of the links provided by potential customers who come on here to ask if this puppy is a good deal?
03-13-2014 01:18 PM
Liesje I think GSDs have a style that is more suited for demonstrating strength and power, even during obedience. Showing that "locked and loaded" look (and I do NOT mean icky stuff like rearing up during heeling, forging, or "leaking" drive vocally). When I think of some of my favorite GSDs as far as obedience training and performance, some of the traits I am seeing in their performance would not really matter in AKC style competition. Around here you see Goldens and Border Collies. They do very, very well in their style of obedience, so I can see why someone who is mainly interested in that ring would get one of those dogs. Also the trainers are used to helping with those breeds and those temperaments. We had some good obedience people come to Schutzhund training one day and the style was night and day! They trained *completely* different than we did even though I think every dog in the room was capable of nice obedience, either AKC or Schutzhund style. As an example, I also do flyball and talk about being out of my element, I have the ONLY flyball GSDs that compete in our region. It is hard to get really detailed training advice for a breed most people have no experience with. Not only is the temperament different, but the sheer size difference can really throw people. I have a small pit bull mix that has a very typical "flyball dog" look (some people even breed mixes to look like this dog, mine is a shelter dog) and it can be much easier to train her because she has the size, conformation, and temperament that the rest of the team and the community expect when it comes to helping each other with training.
03-13-2014 12:48 PM
RubyTuesday According to a friend who was active in obedience for many years top level obedience competition 'belongs' to Goldens. She thinks their slavish devotion resonates with current judges & the current 'style' of obedience. She feels strongly that Poodles & GSDs should do equally well but that they somehow don't 'fit' the current style. She never was a top level contender (Irish Wolfhounds, lol) but just loved it & has considered getting a rescue Poodle to do it again at some point.

Merciel, I'd be interested in hearing your speculations as to why GSDs (& Poodles, for that matter) are 2nd tier in an endeavor that comes so naturally to them.
03-12-2014 09:43 PM
Merciel
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday View Post
Any decent GSD should do well at obedience. They might not be the competition *stars* that Goldens are, but their basic nature inclines them to be biddable, easily trained & eager to please.
There's really no reason they shouldn't be as good as Goldens in the competition obedience ring. Any intelligent, biddable working breed should be able to excel.

But for whatever reason (and I have my speculations, although they're just speculations), GSDs have become a second-tier breed in that sport. Not exactly an "off breed," but less common even than Poodles.
03-12-2014 09:33 PM
RubyTuesday
Quote:
they might be "beauty contests gone awry" but when it comes to a family pet and you get one from a "pet quality breeder" and it has a horrendous overbite and you need a special dish for it to eat from you will wish someone had paid attention to dentition a bit more along the way
or hip dysplasia because nobody cares if it has good hips since it's gonna be "just a pet"
or epi or megaesophagus or any of the other things that the so called pet breeders dont care about

show and working breeders always have pet quality dogs and that is a breeder whom i would visit instead of people who breed for just pets

such huge misconceptions here wow
What exactly is a 'pet quality breeder'? Whether show, working or companion lines, breeders should be striving to breed quality GSDs. The breeders I admire produce quality pets. This is true of those also breeding for show, sport or work.

I most definitely value good dentition & consider it to be functional rather than cosmetic. Ditto health, structural soundness & longevity. Note, health to me encompasses mental strength & stability as well as physical. Nor should breeders neglect intelligence, judgment & biddability.

It is a huge misconception to assume that those breeding companion GSDs are neglecting these vital criteria or that people seeking pets aren't concerned with these issues. As with any of the lines, the breeders range from excellent to gawdawful. That you wouldn't get a GSD from one of these breeders is fine. Intelligent people making careful, well considered decisions can still reasonably have different preferences.

And yes, conformation shows are most definitely beauty contests gone awry. The VERY best that can be claimed for them is that they haven't seriously damaged all breeds yet. This doesn't mean that those breeding sl are necessarily 'bad' breeders. Nor does it mean that they're unconcerned with health, soundness & longevity. However, good sl GSD breeders are good breeders despite conformation shows not b/c of them. The shows have done nothing good for dogs in decades. NOTHING.
03-12-2014 02:31 PM
Eiros
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post

YES on the reliable recall. Just like I have never understood GSD that roam. If I put my guys outside they might play for a few minutes and then they sit on the porch and wait for me or they stare at the house.

Haha reminds me of my dog, he can hardly go to the bathroom by himself, he just runs right back to the door when he's done


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03-12-2014 02:21 PM
lhczth
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday View Post
Any decent GSD should do well at obedience. They might not be the competition *stars* that Goldens are, but their basic nature inclines them to be biddable, easily trained & eager to please. I cringe when I read of people who can't get a reliable recall on their GSD. That simply shouldn't happen.
Totally agree Ruby. GSD make phenomenal obedience dogs. The biggest mistake most people make is they try to train them like Goldens or BC. Even my very drivey dogs don't handle mindless drilling like some breeds. They are just too smart for it and don't understand the point.

YES on the reliable recall. Just like I have never understood GSD that roam. If I put my guys outside they might play for a few minutes and then they sit on the porch and wait for me or they stare at the house.
03-12-2014 01:57 PM
my boy diesel they might be "beauty contests gone awry" but when it comes to a family pet and you get one from a "pet quality breeder" and it has a horrendous overbite and you need a special dish for it to eat from you will wish someone had paid attention to dentition a bit more along the way
or hip dysplasia because nobody cares if it has good hips since it's gonna be "just a pet"
or epi or megaesophagus or any of the other things that the so called pet breeders dont care about

show and working breeders always have pet quality dogs and that is a breeder whom i would visit instead of people who breed for just pets

such huge misconceptions here wow
03-12-2014 01:25 PM
Anastasia Can I ask if you have thought about working with a GSD rescue. If you want a puppy and not an older dog (trust me, there are loads of young dogs in rescue) then the rescue will contact you when they have what age range your looking for.
You will need to wait for a puppy from a breeder also, most breeders have a waiting list, they need to breed the dog etc before a pup is ready. It took us a year from the time I put down my deposit until my puppy was ready to come home.

Just a thought about getting a wonderful family dog without spending $2000.00.
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