Fast, some breed tests are tough and potentially detrimental because they are subject to the human eye and ideals of the moment. Real world herding and stockdog trials works because cattle won't follow trends; they may try to whip around and trample a dog and the dog can either run or put the cattle back in place. If the cattle chores are completed by that dog, it is probably good. Even better if it is working daily. Same with real hunt tests. If the bag is filled at the end of a hunt trial and the dog retrived all shot birds, it is probably good. Again, better if it is hunted regularly in all sorts of conditions. Either the dog can find and retrieve birds or it can't. Seems that they use easier breeding qualifications, too. Does it herd well and has good health and endurance and can live with the family? Then breed it with that dog that shows the same traits. Does it do great on pheasant and grouse? In fields and in brush? Cool, breed it with that dog that hunts pheasant and quail and sometimes ducks. If the dog doesn't hunt, don't breed it.
What would you propose for the GSD?
Also, there is a difference between really popular breeds and breeds that have a decent population but aren't on everyone's wish lists. I believe it also depends on how breeds came about. If they were built on generations of dogs chosen because they were working similar tasks, many issues would have been weeded out over time simply because "that dog is useless/breaks down/dumber than mud." Appearance varied widely but a general phenotype formed just based on the tasks. Look at the histories of terriers and spaniels and foxhounds and collies. Breeds then differentiated further based on specific tasks. Cockers were differentiated from springers just because size made them better suited to smaller birds. Then the show people said "ooooh pretty" and destroyed the American cocker spaniel and split the English springer into show/working lines.
Can't comment on otterhounds only to say I met one. Sucker took a few hours to dry with a K9-II blower and had one heck of an oily coat. Very patient dog, though.
Renji - 6 y/o M GSD x chow rescue
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"German shepherd dog breeding is working dog breeding or it is not German shepherd dog breeding." -v. Stephanitz