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Old 11-26-2012, 10:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Welcome Louise, I started out at about17 years old and have never looked back....stay in your club, get underneath some knowledgable people in your club and listen and learn, go to as many live events as possible....trials, shows, (obedience and conformation), and train as much as you can. Find a mentor that is knowledgable and OPENMINDED, there are many negative, narrow minded people in the breed. And lastly, study the history of the breed so as to have point of reference of what the breed should be....good luck!
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not a breeder, no knowledge. Came in, and wanted to comment because we are in a similar place in life. Don't know how much value it adds...hopefully some.

I think as a puppy buyer, I would expect my breeder to have EXTENSIVE knowledge about the working ability of even a show-line puppy. My breeder had this knowledge, and matched me with the perfect dog in terms of drive, endurance, personality, etc. To that extent, as a puppy buyer, I would expect to see handling, showing, and working history of many kinds. I think it's harder than it seems.

When I got my dog, I had lofty goals of taking her to great places in our training. I still do dream, but have had to scale back alot of training because real-life as a 20 year old starting my career is taking precedent. I love her, I just won't be able to do competitive OB with her. You might find the same, given our similiar age.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:35 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Louise, where did your pup come from if you don't mind me asking? Would love to see his pedigree. I am in southestern Oklahoma and always looking to check out breeders in the region.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:48 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Louise,

I know absolutely nothing about breeding (other than it takes a male and female to have puppies!)

But, I wanted to add my two cents here ... You're young ... and you have passion -that's AWESOME!!! There is no better combination when you are embarking on something new and exciting. I'm going to go on a limb ... no kids? Maybe single ... or if in a relationship ... with someone that likes / loves dogs too??? (I hope so!)

I'm in my 40s, single, never married, no kids.

I've done things in my 20s and 30s and still do in my 40s that I would never have been able to do had I been married / with kids. (Not that there's anything wrong with the other side of the fence ... but there's certainly some limits!)

When I was in my early 20s, I co-founded and ran a ferret rescue. I worked full time, went to University at night to get my degrees. After 12 years of ferret rescue, I stepped down and handed the reins over to the next "younger" generation. They are doing awesome.

I landed my dream job, and got an african grey (dream bird), and then launched into working with federal parolees and dogs. I used my dog and my friend's dogs to work with the parolees (I tried for 3 years to get something going with the city / province to no avail, so I reached out to my friends).

I left that after 10 years, and have been kind of aimless in my next serious "quest".

I've slowed down some, but I teach young woman at risk how to quilt (we make some beautiful quilts) - one evening, and one afternoon on the weekend. They LOVE Kyleigh. I'm working at getting a similar group of young woman and dogs together to teach these girls confidence, poise, etc.

NONE of this has anything to do with breeding ... but what it has ... the passion and youth that you have now.

Go hang out with all the clubs, meet people, get down and dirty ... and FOLLOW YOUR DREAM. Don't let ANYONE hold you back.

I wish you all the best in your pursuits of your passion!
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:45 AM   #25 (permalink)
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(imho)unfortunately too many people are breeding german shepherd dogs already. maybe in 10 years something will have worked out, but in general the breed is full of health and temperment issues, and kill shelters and rescues are overflowing with shepherds needing help. there are definitely ethical breeders out there that you could learn from, but the sad reality is that there is an endless supply of shepherds needing homes out there, and more than enough people breeding already.

no breeder bashing here, just a hard look at the reality of the situation. and, as i began with, jmho...just remember please, that you are responsible for every single one of those little lives you arrange to create. thanks for giving it careful consideration.
There area lot of GSD being bred, but we are sorely lacking in breeders breeding for GSD (and people like Cliff and Anne know what I mean). There is a high demand for dogs in the working sector and for breeders with the knowledge and experience to supply these dogs especially in the USA. Most working dogs are coming out of Europe.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:56 AM   #26 (permalink)
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There area lot of GSD being bred, but we are sorely lacking in breeders breeding for GSD (and people like Cliff and Anne know what I mean). There is a high demand for dogs in the working sector and for breeders with the knowledge and experience to supply these dogs especially in the USA. Most working dogs are coming out of Europe.

^ Exactly. This. Yes. Could not have said it better. I don't want to breed for pets. I mean, I want to produce dogs that will be good companions, but that can work like they're supposed to as well.

Also, Kyleigh, I am single. I'm kinda planning on being single. I've had such horrible experiences with dating that I'm reluctant to put myself out there again. I'll be happier single. Thank you so much for your encouragement. It means a lot.

And I'm definitely going to start studying pedigrees and educating myself even further on the breed standard and history. Self-improvement. Gotta love it.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:57 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I was 21 when I first started working dogs. Got my first GSD when I was 22 with a desire to eventually breed. I had already started breeding horses, but I started riding when I was 11 and training when I was 13. I didn't actually have a litter until I was 41. Go into this with the desire to learn and to do no harm. I don't believe in learning to breed or to be a good breeder by breeding (though obviously you will always be learning). I think you should know the GSD extremely well before you start to breed.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:04 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I was 21 when I first started working dogs. Got my first GSD when I was 22 with a desire to eventually breed. I had already started breeding horses, but I started riding when I was 11 and training when I was 13. I didn't actually have a litter until I was 41. Go into this with the desire to learn and to do no harm. I don't believe in learning to breed or to be a good breeder by breeding (though obviously you will always be learning). I think you should know the GSD extremely well before you start to breed.
I agree. I'm here to learn. Of course, I'm out there learning as well, I just know there are so many people here with experience and a wealth of knowledge that I was willing to accept direction. I've gotten some good advice, and I don't plan to jump into anything too soon. I want to have/train/work a couple more dogs before I think about breeding. Especially working line dogs, since that's where my interest lies, and my boy is show line.

I just want to start heading in that direction and obtain as much knowledge as I can beforehand.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:05 AM   #29 (permalink)
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When I was your age, I thought I wanted to be a breeder, too. I started working with animals, learning, volunteered with shelters, learning, went to dog shows, learning... got my first purebred GSD, then another, and another, and somewhere in there I realized that breeding dogs is fraught with ethical issues that I just don't have the temperament for.

Even if you are the best GSD breeder in the world, you will have a large group of people out there who hate you, and despise the fact that you are bringing more pets into the world, when there are so many languishing and dying in shelters, on the streets, etc. I'm not saying this to discourage you, but this is something you should know, and be able to deal with. I have the utmost respect for breeders who are ethical, responsible and are doing it for the right reasons. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it the same way.

I do think your age is an asset, because you have plenty of time to learn and grow with GSDs. Get active in the SchH club, go to as many SV-style shows as you can, talk to as many dog-people as you can, get involved. Did you read Bethany's thread about wanting to be a breeder? Lots of good stuff there. Keep reading this forum and ask questions. Remember that the internet is full of disinformation, but as you go, you will learn how to sift the gold out of the dirt.

Keep in mind that your current dog may not be your future breeding dog, but go through the motions with him as though he were, so that you have the experience and know what it takes.

Start at the beginning. Find a copy of The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture, by Max von Stephanitz. He founded the breed back in the late 1800's and I believe the book was written around 1920. You can usually find a used copy on Amazon for a decent price.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:05 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Louise, the most learning is done through doing though I also did a tremendous amount of reading. The more you do, the more dogs you work, the greater your understanding will be of the breed. Keep an open mind. We all can become a bit blind at times. That is human nature. I think it is harder now because many of those that really knew and understood this breed have died or are not as available.

Good luck.
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