Different Working Lines for a new GSD owner - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Different Working Lines for a new GSD owner

Hello!



From what I've read and spoken to people seems that the DDR is a bit more slow to mature and stubborn. I was wondering which of the working line GSDs are the best or best aligned for a new GSD owner that wants to get into Schutzhund. I am used to working with breeds that demand a firm hand but would like to really instill positive reinforcement as the primary training method. In your opinion what are the differences in drives between the West German Working Line, DDR/East German Working line, and the Czech working line.


Thanks!

Aspiring GSD Owner



Current Owner of Female Doberman
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-04-2019, 11:26 PM
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The DDR has been gone and Germany reunited since 1990 and the Socialist government of Czechoslovakia ended that year as well, that’s a lot of generations of dogs. Too many for the old generalizations to apply anymore.

It’s essentially a moot point as there are no more pure bred dogs from the East German State or Pohranicni Straze kennels. You really just need to discuss with potential breeders what their preferences and intentions are in their dogs.

From a purely academic perspective however:

DDR - typically more civil, develop slower, heavier. The prototypical DDR dog was used as part of the Berlin Wall and one of the layers was essentially a kennel run where they bit and held anyone trying to cross. They were also very dark, presumably to blend in at night, but that’s pure speculation on my part.

Czech - all dogs used by the border patrol came from kennels run by one person, he developed the type and it’s my understanding planned all the breedings. The prototypical dog of this breeding was used by the Czech border patrol in the rolling mountains (sparsely populated) in the West of the country leading out from the Iron Curtain, they were more rangy, developed faster, very high energy/drive, less civil than DDR, and brindle colored I think it’s called.

West German- classic saddle back reddish/tan coat and wide variations due to free market and no centrally planned breedings.

ETA: just to clarify, if you visited picked out & imported a dog from one of those places you could probably get essentially one of the old types. But in America every kennel is blended to some degree and genetics aren’t a straightforward 50/50, it can be a total crapshoot at times. If somebody is selling you on, “I breed true DDR dogs!”. About all you can take to the bank is they’ll have a dark coat

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You see, a Malinois’ love is very different from that of a square - Prof. Adolph Reul

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Last edited by Tennessee; 01-04-2019 at 11:32 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 08:32 AM
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I have an East German (DDR) bitch that has just turned 12 months.

This is my first working line, so I can't compare to other lines.

Yes, she was slow to mature, she was a well behaved pup but showed no interest in play with ball or a tug. I took her to a professional IPO trainer for some pointers on training her. I was told she was no good as she had no drive.

At 10 months it was as though a switch had flipped, she started land sharking and enjoyed the bite tug. The more I pushed her away the harder she came back.

The trainer saw her recently and asked how she was doing. After seeing her he offered to buy her; he could not believe the difference in her.

My main reason for getting her was for protection work and tracking, I don't think she would be suitable for schutzhund/IPO/IPG.

This is just my observation on my bitch.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 09:31 AM
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennessee View Post

West German- classic saddle back reddish/tan coat and wide variations due to free market and no centrally planned breedings.

I assume you are thinking about the show lines here. The west German working lines come in a variety of colors including sable, blanket b/t, bi-color, etc.



OP, if your goal is to do SchH than find a breeder who is actively training and titling in SchH/IPO (or IGP as it is now known) and talk to them about your experience and goals. Don't focus on lines. Focus on the best dog for your needs.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 09:42 AM
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I would suggest that you not focus on lines and instead talk to breeders. Go out and meet their dogs and talk to the people who own them. If you want to do protection sport like SchH/IPO/IGP, find a local club or clubs and get to know some of the people and their dogs. As a first time handler I would look for biddablility, balanced drives, good nerves, and a good 'off switch'.

There are 'pure' East lines in America (both Czech/Slovak and DDR) but most are more marketing than an attempt to preserve those lines. Also bear in mind that mixing of lines was done even in the heyday of those programs. For example, it is not uncommon to find Bernd Lierberg in DDR pedigrees, and not uncommon to see Ingo von Rudingen in Czech pedigrees.

Generalizations can be made about each of the different working lines, but they are just generalizations. It's a fairly common subject that pops up here from time to time. A search of the forum will turn up quite a few threads on the subject.

Hope that helps, and good luck in your search.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-05-2019, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvShepherds View Post
Indeed I have

"German Shepherds are cool dogs... You're welcome" - Memoirs of Cpt Stephanitz 1933

You see, a Malinois’ love is very different from that of a square - Prof. Adolph Reul

Millicent Mae WLGSD 4/27/17 &
Grendel KNPV Malinois 2/15/18
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