Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

This might not be the best place for this question but considering a lot of breeders probably hang out on this board I might get the best answers here.

Anyway, I was just given a price range for pet quality pups. Evidently first pick is considerably more $ and the price drops from that point. So my question is, do breeders generally breed for “pet quality” and basically every dog in the litter is considered “pet quality” with drive varying from pup to pup? Or do they generally breed for working and pick out the ones that don’t seem to have the drive that might make a great working dog and call them “pet quality”? How does all that work?

Also say a breeder is breeding pet quality dogs or they tell you this particular pup is pet quality isn’t there still some chance the dog could end up being a good worker?

Or say both parents are working line but not titled and don’t have a strong line of workers couldn’t the pups still end up being great workers? I mean genetics are a funny thing and even the best breeders can produce a dog with health issues…it would seem that would work both ways?

I hope that question makes some sense…not sure I really explained it very well.
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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 12:00 PM
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

A responsible working line breeder will breed for working abilities, but not all pups in a litter will have the drive they need for working situations thus they sell them as pet quality.

Some times pups don't show all their drives until they are older so yes, there is a chance that you get a pet quality dog and down the line once the dog starts to mature, he can become a good working prospect.

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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 12:16 PM
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

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Originally Posted By: Brandon C So my question is, do breeders generally breed for “pet quality” and basically every dog in the litter is considered “pet quality” with drive varying from pup to pup?

Some breeders do breed for all "pet quality" type animals. IMO, that is not correct GSD breeding and not what the good GSD breeders do. This is a working breed after all. Litters bred for working ability will produce some pups that don't live up to expectations and make the cut in terms of working ability, and those pups make fine pets.

There is no reason to breed specifically for all pets. And the breeding of such begs the question of this:
If working to working (or show to show) produces some pups that fit the expectations and some that fall short of those expectations, and are lesser dogs in those regards than their parents, what happens in pet breeding? If the goal is pets and nothing but pets, and the parents are nothing but pets, and thus the best pups in the litter are pets.... what are the pups who fall short of that suitable for?

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Originally Posted By: Brandon C
Or do they generally breed for working and pick out the ones that don’t seem to have the drive that might make a great working dog and call them “pet quality”? How does all that work?
Depends on the goals of the breeder.

Unfortunately, there are FAR more breeders out there breeding pet variety GSDs than any other. Show line breeders would come in a distant second. Those breeding to maintain working ability are in the tiny minority of GSD breeders.

A pet quality pup from show breeders is going to be the one who's structure, size, color, etc... makes it ill suited for doing well in the show ring. Show breeders typically draw the line between show quality and pet quality based on physical appearance, since that is their priority for breeding.

A pet quality pup from working breeders is going to be one that doesn't have the drive, hardness, aggression, dominance, etc... to excel in work/sport. Working breeders typically draw the line between working quality and pet quality based on those temperament traits, since that is their priority for breeding.

As for pet breeders, well, supposedly they're all pet quality and nothing more.

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Originally Posted By: Brandon C
Also say a breeder is breeding pet quality dogs or they tell you this particular pup is pet quality isn’t there still some chance the dog could end up being a good worker?
Yes it can happen. But it depends on the bloodlines and goals of the breeding program. A pet quality pup from working lines and a breeding program bred for work is far more likely to turn out to be a good worker than is a pet quality pup from generations of pet lines and a breeding program designed to produce pets.

Reason being, the types of personality traits pet breeders breed for, and thus run strongly in the bloodlines, are pretty much the opposite of working breeders. They are breeding for a low drive, soft, laid back, submissive type temperament. Generations of that sort of breeding is far less likely to produce a high drive, hard, intense dog. It happens, but it's rare.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Brandon C
Or say both parents are working line but not titled and don’t have a strong line of workers couldn’t the pups still end up being great workers? I mean genetics are a funny thing and even the best breeders can produce a dog with health issues…it would seem that would work both ways?
Again, yes it can happen. Is it common? No.

Genetics are not completely predictable. That is true. Sometimes there are suprises. But you're still more likely to get good show dogs from the breeding of good show dogs and good working dogs from the breeding of good working dogs and healthy dogs from the breeding of healthy dogs.


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post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

Thank you for the replies.

Brandon
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post #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 12:27 PM
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

And another thing to add that I have a problem with, especially in this scenario, is charging for pick of the litter.

There is no such thing with my puppies. Each pup is a pick puppy depending on the qualities the owner is looking for. Each one is unique and matched to that persons needs so that each one is a pick. Charging more for a pick versus a pet is ridiculous is my book.

Now there can be "pick" for showlines for those that show all the characteristics of a top show prospect, but I don't agree with that for most puppies.

Angela

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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 12:28 PM
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

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Originally Posted By: Angela_WAnd another thing to add that I have a problem with, especially in this scenario, is charging for pick of the litter.

There is no such thing with my puppies. Each pup is a pick puppy depending on the qualities the owner is looking for. Each one is unique and matched to that persons needs so that each one is a pick. Charging more for a pick versus a pet is ridiculous is my book.

Now there can be "pick" for showlines for those that show all the characteristics of a top show prospect, but I don't agree with that for most puppies.
Agree 100%.


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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 12:52 PM
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

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Originally Posted By: Angela_W
There is no such thing with my puppies. Each pup is a pick puppy depending on the qualities the owner is looking for. Each one is unique and matched to that persons needs so that each one is a pick. Charging more for a pick versus a pet is ridiculous is my book.
Very well said, I too agree 100%.

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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 12:53 PM
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Angela_WAnd another thing to add that I have a problem with, especially in this scenario, is charging for pick of the litter.

There is no such thing with my puppies. Each pup is a pick puppy depending on the qualities the owner is looking for. Each one is unique and matched to that persons needs so that each one is a pick. Charging more for a pick versus a pet is ridiculous is my book.

Now there can be "pick" for showlines for those that show all the characteristics of a top show prospect, but I don't agree with that for most puppies.
I think this is very respectable, at least from me being a buyer. I think that "pick", show vs. pet, full vs. limited reg should not affect price. The only things I think should affect price are faults or physical problems with the dog (for example, a long coat, an undescended testicle, a health problem). One of Nikon's siblings had a heart problem and sadly died young. She was "adopted" by a caring family, obviously they should not have paid what I paid for Nikon because the dog had a health problem. This could have been the "pick" dog, fully registered and no other disqualifying faults. Personally I think those things should have more to do with the relationship between the breeder and the buyer and how the breeder matches puppies, not the price of the dog. Now say one parent is younger and not fully titled, that is fine but then the price of ALL the dogs is lowered.
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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 01:00 PM
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working quali

IMHO and experience, albeit somewhat lacking compared to breeders that actually raise a good number of their own dogs to maturity, the most important thing to remember is something along the lines that everyone's said thus far, including you. There's no way you're going to know what you really have until the pup matures.

While you also did not specify, presumably to get unbiased oinions, I like to think about what KIND of work. I mean, a guide dog or therapy dog is a working dog, but IMHO requires nowhere near the drive that a police K9 does. Similarly, like you suspect already, even a dog that displays outward calm does not necessarily mean that he won't make a good K9, in fact, he might actually be a better candidate because of it, does that make sense?

If it does not, then please excuse me for butting in.

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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 02-17-2009, 01:00 PM
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Re: Question regarding “pet quality” vs “working q

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Originally Posted By: LiesjeThe only things I think should affect price are faults or physical problems with the dog (for example, a long coat, an undescended testicle, a health problem).

And that's the only way that I might have one lower in cost. I had one pup in the G litter that had 1 testicle at 8 wks, reduced him to help cover the cost of the neuter as I know it cost more. It might come down, might not but it wasn't there at 8wks which is what I go of. One in the H litter had a kink in it's tail at the tip, not sure if mom stepped on him or what. Def. physical defect so you adjust for that.

Angela

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