Originally Posted by Whiteshepherds
I don't understand this and probably never will. To see the breed reach a point where people actually expect and accept that the show lines are going to be totally different from the working lines (and vice versa) seems very wrong.
Yes, it does seem wrong. Unfortunately, it's way things have become with the GSD. In fact most working breeds have established both a working line and a show line. They may look and behave vastly different from one another, but each thinks it's the best, the "truest" representation of the breed. Working lines won't breed to show lines because it might reduce working ability. Show lines won't breed to working lines because it might reduce their chances of winning in the conformation ring.
I don't like it any more than you do, but it's the reality of the situation.
Personally, I think both camps need to focus on a common goal and become more proactive in breeding for the best of both worlds--the "Golden Middle". Unfortunately, for the reasons given above, it is complicated. When crossing lines, it seems like the first generation often gets the worst of both instead of the best of both--especially if the breeder doesn't know what they're doing. Say you have a gorgeous, beautifully moving show dog with weak nerves and low drives. You breed him to a rather plain-looking working line female who has intense prey and defense drive. What you hope for are beautiful puppies with strong drives. What you will likely end up with are plain-looking pups with good drives but weak nerves. They aren't pretty enough to win in the conformation ring. They have enough energy and drive to require an outlet for it, but are too weak-nerved to do well in SchH work. Some of these kind of dogs don't even make good pets, because weak nerves + high drives + inexperienced GSD owner = trouble.
This is what most breeders are afraid of, and why they don't often mix the lines together.
But I still think breeders should be actively looking for a solution to the working/show split. However, many will argue that there isn't a problem.
I hope I live to see a day where ALL GSD's are sound in mind and body and capable of excelling in the work, regardless of bloodline. Of course I already think all of them are beautiful... except, ironically, for some of the VA dogs.