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Old 04-14-2012, 06:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I suggest not trying to mix lines. Its very admirable and you're not the first person to want to blend the working and show lines, but its pretty much impossible to do this successfully. In order to win an AKC championship, your dog has to look like an ASL. In order to succeed in Schutzhund, your dog needs to have the drive of a working line. I think you really need to go through training a dog, in any venue to really understand the time it takes. Time wise, it would be very hard to get an AKC champion and a Schutzhund 3 title on a dog before they are too old to breed. Part of it is the training, but a large part is the timing of the events. Really look into the conformation rules of the AKC, its not easy to figure out what you need and when you can get it done.

Again, my suggestion is to stick with one line. You won't be able to please the working line people if you start mixing in show lines, and you'll never please the show people if you have a working line. To do anything on a highly competitive level and to win, requires one or the other.
Exactly! This is very well said!
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It seems unanimous! I will definitely not be trying to mix lines. But that is a great thing to know. Thank you so much. Here is another question for you. When I start looking for my puppy, if I decide I want to breed along the German lines, would you recommend that I actually buy a puppy from Germany? This is something I was unsure about, but have been thinking seriously about doing. What do you think?
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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If it's your first "reputable breeder" GSD, just get one from the states. Your first few GSDs are more for learning than for anything else. Learn, train, compete....then decide which German kennel you want to get a foundation dam from...etc
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:34 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That is good to know. Thank you!
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It seems unanimous! I will definitely not be trying to mix lines. But that is a great thing to know. Thank you so much. Here is another question for you. When I start looking for my puppy, if I decide I want to breed along the German lines, would you recommend that I actually buy a puppy from Germany? This is something I was unsure about, but have been thinking seriously about doing. What do you think?
You said you're 23 and you want to breed in your 30's, right?

What I suggest you do at this point is just get your hands dirty. Don't just do research, but get out there and DO!

There are a lot of things that could change in this period of time. Really I would forget about breeding until I'm in or near my 30's and then reassess breeding passions and the financial situation.

I also agree it would be best if you stayed with one type of german sheperd, one line.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:40 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I also agree it would be best if you stayed with one type of german sheperd, one line.
But you should research and get experience with ALL the lines, so when you start breeding, you know what you like and what you want to work with.

Many say it's best to breed only within the one line, and I tend to agree, but I think it's possible to make intelligent choices when mixing lines--the breeder just has to know what they are doing, understand both bloodlines inside and out, and have a long-term goal in mind. If mixing of the lines is done, it should be done only by an expert.
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Old 04-15-2012, 04:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have a West German working line and he's herding sheep. Like everyone says, get out and see what gsds are doing at trials and find out if there's a gsd or obedience,tracking or ScH club near you. When you see a dog you especially like, find out who the breeder was and talk to them.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I just wanted to jump in and say that it is most definitely not impossible to successfully blend the two lines of West German Showlines and Working lines.
Hard? sure
Requires quite a bit of knowledge and know how? of course!

I have seen it done very successfully and I admire the dogs and the breeders for doing so.

Sure you are right the pedigree snobs may turn their nose up at the breeding, but when push comes to shove if the dog has the conformation and the working ability then why put a damper on a great dog?
Crossing the lines (genetic diversity) may be the only saving grace this breed has one day.

I do agree that without a great understanding of lines, the dogs, drives, training, breeding in general, that crossing the lines isn't the greatest of ideas.

Just my $0.02
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
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We use to use our Borders to help herd our goats when we had them. For the show lines I was thinking conformation, yes. And for the field I was thinking herding and Schutzhund. I am assuming that herding with a GSD isn't much different from herding with a Border, at least that is what I am hoping.
I've never done herding, though I've owned both breeds and I may assume how the differences in their personalities can led to different styles of sheep herding.

I recommend you to read this website and take your own conclusions.
German Shepherd Herding The Large Flock Herding Dog – Puppy Selection & Foundation Building

Quote:
The German shepherd dog was originally bred by shepherds to control large flocks of over 600 sheep far more than it is today. Controlling large flocks not only required dogs with appropriate instincts, but it also required dogs with courage and sound nerves. Such dogs were used where large flocks had to be contained in relatively small grazing areas and kept out of unfenced, neighboring crop fields. The job of this herding dog consisted primarily of boundary patrol, or flock containment. Because the shepherd had to pay for any damage done by his sheep, he could not afford the expense of keeping a dog that could not hold a boundary.
This large flock German shepherd herding dog had to be selected for its strong prey instinct and drive. High drive is fundamental to maintaining sustained high energy in the dog while working sheep. How the dog naturally expresses, or is allowed to express, its natural drives while working sheep illustrates the fundamental difference between large flock boundary herding and other kinds of small flock sheep herding practices. Therefore, it only follows that to select a good, prospective puppy for large flock herding one must fist know how to identify the drives and resultant drive behavior necessary for this kind of herding as well as how to best ascertain the proper character, nerve and temperament of the herding puppy prospect.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I do plan to get "my hands dirty" as soon as Scout has the clear from the vet! I love the idea of the challenge. In fact I am greatly looking forwards to it! As this is something I am considering doing sometime 10-15 years down the line, I am currently looking more for the starting place than for the actual information. And I gotta tell you, everybody here has been super helpful! And I really appreciate it. In such a short time period I have been given so much to think about. And it has really helped me to figure out what I think a good starting point is. I didn't honestly think I could get so much so fast. Thank so much!

I do want to work with all the lines, especially I want to closely watch all the different lines. Right now, I am leaning towards the West German lines just because they have more of the look that I like. But I want to see how they perform next to all the other types. I know my mother use to have a European/English bred GSD, and he was a real character. So I can defiantly see why it would be important to work with all the different types of GSDs.

I have looked into the Schutzhund around here, and it does look as though there is one club. I plan to e-mail the gentleman who runs it first thing Monday morning. I didnít want to e-mail over the weekend, as then I would be constantly checking my e-mail while he probably hadnít even received his yet! But I intend to see if I can come by and watch and see how I feel about his ďclubĒ.

Do you think when I am just starting out it would be a real detriment to me, to have those pedigree snobs turning their noses up? I know in the horse world, you have some people who simply will not consider a AQH because, well, itís a Quarter Horse. And if so, do you think that would be a great majority?

Thank you so much for the link. I will have to read that in the morning. I donít have time right now. But I will make sure to check it out in the morning.
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