, you wrote:
Also, if only the best GSDs are bred for future generations, then the gene pool will shrink to such a level that all the recessives that are out there will come out in the puppies, and soon the breed will be no more. Canines should meet minimum requirements for breeding, which happens to be different depending on what the dogs are bred to do. But seriously limiting the number of animals bred will not make for a healthy breed.
The gene pool of GSD's is not in any danger of shrinking. There are plenty of good, breed worthy GSD's out there that bring positive traits to the breed.
I do agree that Canines should meet the minimum requirements for breeding, which unfortunately is different for many breeders. According to the AKC the dog only has to be over 8 months for a female and have an AKC pedigree. I suppose a cute female with a pulse and a heat cycle could be interpreted to be the minimum breeding requirement? Certainly, that is what many GSD breeders believe, based on the dogs that I see.
How about both dogs having hip and elbow x rays certified by OFA, SV or Penn Hip before breeding as a start for a minimum. How about a conformation rating by an independent third party judge. For a minimum, how about an obedience, tracking, agility, or a nose work title? Something to show the breeder actually holds back and works with dogs from their breeding. An IPO title would be even better, but we all know that most GSD's are not capable of IPO. Also most breeders are not capable of putting the time and effort in the commitment of something like IPO. I understand what is involved in IPO and that is why I say for a minimum, an agility or OB title. Surely, that is not difficult to show a dog has some breed worthiness.
Fact of the matter, in my opinion the vast majority of dogs being bred are really not that breed worthy. Few offer any special qualities besides a nice color or structure. That is not enough. Some have a stable temperament and decent structure, that is nothing special and not really breed worthy. Then there are the exceptional dogs that have an outstanding temperament, drive, work ethic and excellent structure and conformation. Those are the dogs that should be bred.
If we start being more selective in the breeders we go to and the dogs we breed; the breed will benefit. Limiting the number of animals bred will absolutely make for a stronger and better breed.