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Old 10-30-2012, 02:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Getting Started...

So I'm here because I want to become a GSD breeder.

I seem to be different from other people in this thread in that I do not yet have a dog worthy of breeding. My 5 y.o.GSD is the first of the reasons I want to start breeding, but it's because he is a very good example of how BYBs, puppy mills, and breeding for appearance only are destroying the GSD. He has a new GSD spinal disease causing congenital hindlimb abnormalities and paralysis as well as cataracts (successfully surgically removed), IBD, and pancreatic insufficiency. He is a phenomenal wheelie dog, but also the poster-dog for kijiji.

The second reason is my career. As a veterinary technician, I see far too many poorly-bred GSDs. Last winter we experienced a heartbreaking month where we euthanized 5 separate GSDs before the age of 6 due to severe aggression or genetic health problems. The final one, I asked my co-workers if they could think of any other breed that is euthanized young more than GSDs, and no one could come up with an answer. Something is seriously wrong here, and something needs to change. I want to do what I can to make a positive impact on the breed that I grew up with.

The number one reason of course is the GSD. I am fascinated that they can be true Jack-of -all-trades (and master of all) dogs. Schutzhund, family companion, SAR, herding, obedience, agility, tracking, flyball, therapy dog, guide dog, or any other job you ask them to do.

This decision was difficult for me because I am a huge rescue advocate, all of my previous and current pets are rescues. However, if I can make a positive impact on the breed perhaps there will be fewer GSDs in rescues.

So lets get down to the point that I need some input on. How do I approach a reputable, responsible breeder and say, "Hey, you don't know me and I don't know you, but GSDs are awesome and I want to purchase a pup from you and oh by the way, I don't want a non-breeding contract," without said breeder deleting the email, hanging up the phone, or slamming the door in my face. Because personally, if I heard me in 20 years that is what I would be tempted to do.

What I am currently doing is trying to is build a erm, furture-breeder-resume. I'm working on getting my current GSD his Canine Good Neighbor certification (he passed the Therepy Dog test, but can not get certified because he does not have total bladder control), as well as starting on tracking. I would like to get him more titles and participation in other events, but his paralysis and wheelchair will keep him from schutzhund, agility, flyball or obedience (shhh, don't tell him there something he can't do), and I think any herding animals would be terrified of his wheels. I recently found a local GSD club that holds regular meetings, various trials and events, as well as participating in public events. I am starting to attend said events, trials and meetings to better gain understanding of what is involved with all the various activities that our dogs love to do, as well as the huge amount of time, love, knowledge, energy and money that goes into a good breeding program. Of course there is also the wealth of information that I can gain from being with a group of GSD breeders. I am also an active member of our city's dog owner's association, and an active participant in anti-BSL groups in Ontario.

I should say that as a breeder I would be most interested in tracking, obediance, agility, and CGN/therapy work. (I love schutzhund, but I'm still not sure how I feel about bite work. I still need to find a good trainer to chat with who has experience in this area) I would want to prove that my dogs are sound in mind and body.

Although I am about 5 years away from purchasing my first quality dog, I want to do everything I can now to make sure I make a few mistakes as possible. This will be something that becomes an enormous part of my life, so I do not feel that I could possibly start planning too soon. I have a few choice breeders picked out (though I have not ruled out import), but before I contact them and scare them off completely I want to know if there is anything else I should be doing to show I'm not some crazy dog lady (or maybe just the right amount of crazy). Also, any other suggestions/nuggets of wisdom anyone can pass on would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I love that Avatar pic! Welcome to the forum, and I'm so sorry about the heartbreak you have to go through in your job. I'm glad you are trying to get as much exposure to dogs and activities as you can - you are on the right track. I really respect the good GSD breeders, who work and shed sweat, tears and blood to produce the best examples of the breed - very challenging to consistently produce good dogs when the bloodlines are so infused with health and temperament issues, as you witness regularly in you work.

I think what a breeder of GSDs needs to remember is that the GSD is a versatile working dog, that can be an active police or military working dog, a SAR dog, a champion Agility dog, a top Schutzhund dog, and also a wonderful, reliable, family dog that is a take-anywhere, meet-anyone dog. Most people like yourself see the family pets that don't even cut it as pets, and the heartbreak that brings, and vow to do better - issue is, that only seeing the 'pet' part and only breeding for the 'pet' part is only breeding but 1/10 of what the GSD is. So really important for a future breeder to get involved in the working dog world and get intimately familiar with the other 9/10. Helps the breeder see deep within the psychological makeup of the dog, and understand how different dogs act and react in times of stress, physical and mental, how they adapt to new situations, etc . . . that helps the breeder find those gems among hundreds that should be bred to carry on the legacy of the GSD.

There are some great stickies in the breeding section - best thing to do is to start reading through them. Much of it might be over your head to start, but with more reading it will start to give some really good insights into why so many GSDs are being put down for aggression and health issues, and why a dog that the standard describes as "full of self-confidence" and "fearless" has in general become known among the general public as being skittish.

So good luck with your plans! If you are not already familiar with the different types and lines of GSDs, then that is another area to start to learn and become an expert before you start breeding.

Even our puppy/first-time-owner section has some good info on that, if you want to take a look:
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What a sweet picture!

I think you are off to a good start by joining a GSD club. Is this a regional offshoot of the GSDCA? Being active in the breed club and volunteering to work on committees and at shows is a great way to get yourself out there and learn everything there is about GSDs. I have found networking with breeders on Facebook to be very helpful when looking for a quality puppy, as well.

Good luck! I'll be looking for more photos of your pup.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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IMO the best breeders are those that work their GSD and breeding is just something they do along the way. You need knowledge and you get knowledge by doing. I don't mean breeding. I mean by training, working, spending time around good dogs, and doing real stuff with your dogs. Until you know good dogs, it is next to impossible to make sound breeding decisions. You will also find that over the years, the more dogs you own, the more you work, the more experience you gain, that you will look at your first dogs much differently.

When I was looking for my first GSD I told the breeder that I was interested in breeding some day. She didn't freak, but then the climate was different back then. She was also German so had a different mind set about breeding. I never bred that dog. Didn't breed the second, third or forth. Took me a long time to find that special dog that I felt would contribute to the breed.

So, take your time, never lower your standards just to sell puppies and don't expect your first dog to be that special dog.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhczth View Post
IMO the best breeders are those that work their GSD and breeding is just something they do along the way. You need knowledge and you get knowledge by doing. I don't mean breeding. I mean by training, working, spending time around good dogs, and doing real stuff with your dogs. Until you know good dogs, it is next to impossible to make sound breeding decisions. You will also find that over the years, the more dogs you own, the more you work, the more experience you gain, that you will look at your first dogs much differently.

When I was looking for my first GSD I told the breeder that I was interested in breeding some day. She didn't freak, but then the climate was different back then. She was also German so had a different mind set about breeding. I never bred that dog. Didn't breed the second, third or forth. Took me a long time to find that special dog that I felt would contribute to the breed.

So, take your time, never lower your standards just to sell puppies and don't expect your first dog to be that special dog.
I think that is a really unfortunate choice of words. While my first dog my not have been breedworthy he was special -in a lot of ways. Don't really think a dog has to be breedworthy or a schutzhund dog to be special
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I disagree, in the context of the thread it makes perfect sense. Why do you think Lisa is saying that first dogs aren't special? That is not what she's saying, she's saying that for most people their first dog is not their *foundation* dog for *breeding*. For me and you that is also true.
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Just because you don't breed a dog -does not mean that it isn't special-She was equating breeding a dog with it being special its not-my opinion
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess we agree to disagree then. The thread is about finding a BREEDING dog, a foundation bitch. Obviously dogs are special regardless but that's not what the OP is asking about.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think the point is not special enough to breed. There is such a small percentage of dogs that should be bred, that, yes, they most certainly are special when you find them.

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Old 10-30-2012, 12:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think the point is not special enough to breed. There is such a small percentage of dogs that should be bred, that, yes, they most certainly are special when you find them.

Ang
This.
All our pets are special to us. But few make the grade to be a foundation bitch or stud for your future kennel.

I have 9 dogs here, rescued dogs, all extremely special to us. But being rescued, being altered, etc., they are not breed-worthy, they are pets.
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