American or German line for therapy dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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American or German line for therapy dog?

I really want my next dog to do therapy work. As I'm researching the GSD breed, I'm seeing a lot of 411 about American lines vs. German lines, working dogs vs. conformation dogs, etc, etc.

All I really want is a sound dog, with excellent temperament for a family pet and a certified therapy dog. Any thoughts on this from experienced GSD owners? Also, would dogs bred for Schutzhund make any difference, pro or con?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 06:43 PM
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I've had and loved both, but I'd personally go with German lines.

You need a trustworthy, knowledgeable breeder who'll help you with puppy choice.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 06:44 PM
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I would go with a well bred working line dog. In my opinion, the working lines are capable of producing fantastic lower drive family/therapy dogs with very, very solid temperament and nerve.

I always recommend Bill Kulla and Jennifer Acevedo:

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 06:47 PM
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decide on what you want, an American Line, German Line,
working dog or show dog. all of them can do therapy and

Last edited by doggiedad; 05-30-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 06:48 PM
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I think any good gsd can do therapy work, not the 'line' or 'flavor', but temperament and sound/balanced dogs.

Don't limit yourself to one 'line', (unless of course that is your choice), check out dogs , if you meet one you like, ask where it came from

It's about the dog

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-30-2012, 07:42 PM
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I suppose a dog from any line could do that type of work; it's more about the individual dog's personality and temperament than it is about the bloodline. I would pick whatever line you feel most comfortable with, then look for the pup with the right attributes to fit your needs. Schutzhund training usually showcases a dog's drive, nerve, trainability, and willingness, which are all good traits.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 04:10 PM
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Both of my TDI girls are German. If you have ever read any of my past posts, you know that we are very busy! I prefer German.

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BRYNNA vom Garringer AKC STAR PUPPY, CGC, TDI (crossed over February 15, 2018)
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 11:06 AM
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Mine have all been American Show Lines.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 11:20 AM
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If it were me, I would look for a dog with solid nerves and confidence who also possesses a socially open temperament. You can find individual dogs suited for therapy work in all lines. You can also find dogs for whom this work is not the most appropriate in all lines! I have had American Showline and two West German Showlines as Therapy Dogs. It is the characteristics of the individual dog that are moSt important.

I have seen people get a dog and then try to make it do therapy work when this was not what the dog was suited for. Not fair to the dog or participants. It is good that you are looking for what is appropriate to the task. It will not be so simple as looking at a particular line.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-06-2012, 11:39 AM
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Zeus was West GSL. He was an absolute dream and did his job with grace and confidence. I sure miss him.

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