I’m going to be honest and blunt. I don’t see where there is a basis for any disagreement about breed standards. When I got a WL puppy, I chose that dog and breeder because I wanted a certain temperament and structure. I got a bit more than I expected in terms of drive, but otherwise, I got what I selected. I have been looking for a more therapy/service temperament for my next dog and have seriously considered I might need a different breed, because the type of GSD I want is not typically suited for it. If I do get another German Shepherd, which is by far my favorite breed, then I would intentionally look for one that is not standard in terms of sociability but otherwise standard in every way.
I also understand someone who does their research, gets what they think is a dog bred to standard and finds out later it isn’t. They have a right to be upset. Whether someone rehomes or not is a personal issue. Rehoming for a wonky ear is just heartless and silly. I don’t have respect for that. Rehoming because a dog is too much for the owner or is not what they can handle is a completely different situation. If someone just wants a family pet and gets a high drive dog they are unable to train or handle, it’s cruel to the dog to keep it.
The responsibility lies with the buyer before they ever talk to a breeder. Learn the standard, research breeders, ask here, learn to read a pedigree. Know exactly what a breeder’s dogs throw and they will not ever or rarely, get the wrong dog for their situation.
I think pet lines have muddied up the breed. They are not really true German Shepherds. I would guess maybe half GSD owners don’t even know what the breed standard is. Then someone gets a dog that is standard and they are shocked. Or they are unprepared for the work it takes to move a puppy from landsharking and out of control energy to the adults they see out in their communities.
At the same time, just because some pet lines are non standard or rescues are giving out dogs that are not typical GSDs, why shouldn’t someone who ends up with a 100# dog out of 70# parents wonder if they were lied too? How often does a dog with a traceable genetic lineage from known stock end up that far out of standard? Probably less than 1%. A good breeder know what they are producing.
If it’s a rescue, you can’t trust any of them unless they have proven they know what they are doing and are honest. I just got a solicitation froma rescue for “high needs” dogs that are looking at long term fostering. Some had health problems but what jumped out at me is that every single dog they can’t find homes for is dog aggressive. Every one. I can tell breed pretty well from a picture and all but one are purebred. I actually trust this rescue to identify and evaluate dogs well, so when they admit the dogs are DA, I believe them. Why can’t they find homes? Because our breed is not supppsed to be DA. Oddly enough, out of about a dozen dogs, two are extremely HA but the rest are very sociable. Does that sound like a well bred GSD? Overly social and sweet toward people but DA?