Opinions for a newbie - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Opinions for a newbie

Hello all! I have a year old male and he is my first AKC registered dog, I’ve always had dogs my entire life but they were often mutts or ineligible for registration. I’ve grown up watching the big shows on tv and envisioned trying it out one day with my own.

But if dogs are anything like horses, I wonder how “cliquey” it could be and am a little overwhelmed not having any experience. My dog is a WGSL and working line cross, his color is sable and he has a small white patch on his chest. I do not have aspirations of becoming grand champion, but realistically would we have a chance of doing any good? I’m all about going out and doing your best and to be proud of that, but neither do I want to go through the effort knowing that no matter what we don’t stand any chance at all of placing. I don’t have plans of breeding him one day but I do want to have fun and put some titles on him, we are currently enrolled in agility classes.

Any advice from the pros? Please be honest if I am being delusional. I’ve enclosed a few candid photos of him, but could try for a real stack if more appropriate. He is a good boy and handles public/new situations with aplomb looking forward to replies! Thank you.

I forgot to add that he is within standard at 25” tall and 70-75 lbs. Rio became very sick when he was 9 months old and had to have emergency surgery, the hair still hasn’t completely grown back where the vet had to shave him down on his belly. But it is on the way!
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Last edited by atomic; 07-11-2019 at 08:54 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 01:27 PM
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Start by going to a few AKC shows so that you can see the style of dog they show. Same with UKC. The competition will be very different between the two venues.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 02:00 PM
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He's not a bad looking dog. I think he could finish in UKC. You just need to find out which judges he'd do best under. On Facebook there's a group called the UKC German Shepherd group...or something similar. You could get pointers there (and here, of course). UKC just recently came out with an online registration application (like, within the past year https://www.ukcdogs.com/single-registration). $35 to register a single dog vs the $70 I paid for Katsu to email it in. I just registered Steel and am awaiting approval. I wanted to show him this month, but I think his OFA prelims take precedence since he's a APA working prospect.


Best of luck! I can't critique, but I do think he could finish.
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+ Blackthorn's Out of the Frying Pan NW1 ORT SEN SCN BCAT SIN RATN TKN (Katsu) 9/12/2017
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the insight! I have zero qualms about competing UKC, I have heard they are typically more open and beginner friendly than AKC. There may be an obvious answer to this question, but would any titles earned via UKC show up on his AKC record?

I’ve read through the standards listed on UKC and the GSD club of America’s websites and I couldn’t find that he has any immediate faults. There’s even a handling class offered at the same facility we do agility at and the instructor has extensive experience with GSDs. I think I may contact her for an honest evaluation and possibly enroll in a beginner class.

Off topic but our boys are only a day apart in age. Rio was born 7/24!

Edited to add that I had a senior moment (I’m only 30! Lol!) Rios birth date is SIX 24 not seven.. goodness

Last edited by atomic; 07-12-2019 at 09:16 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 08:55 AM
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Opinions for a newbie

I always suggest finding a club, or a handling class, and start training and making some conformation friends! Even if you end up not showing, or just don’t like it, the training will still benefit your dog.

And no, UKC and AKC titles are completely separate. You can dual register your dog with both kennel clubs, and anything you enter in UKC will show the UKC titles, and same with AKC. If you just want to show all the titles your dog has, you can string them altogether, but they all won’t show up on a registration.
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CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
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and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you dogfaeries! I contacted a GSD club about an hour and a half away which is the closest one I could find in north GA, but I have yet to hear back and their site doesn’t look completely up to date. The last meeting they mentioned was back in March? But there is a general kennel club in Greenville which is much closer at 40 minutes. I agree that the training itself would be worth the endeavor.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:24 AM
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Here in the OKC metro we have a GSD club, and several all breed kennel clubs. They all put on conformation classes from time to time. Just try to track down a club or a training facility that does conformation classes, and go from there!
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~ Diane ~

CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
SCARLET ..... Lauremi's Almost Wasn't (AKC pointed)
and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 09:35 AM
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I would enter UKC shows and look into SV shows that have working line friendly judges. There are biases in every venue, UKC seems to be the best from what I hear. An AKC judge I know put his gorgeous WGSL in an AKC show. They pinned a dog you couldn't even touch and never even looked at his dog. My dog got a G rating at an SV show where he was the only working line in a group of show lines. People were livid over the rating he got that day.

So...yes...you need to be aware of judges and events. Make sure you train your dog for the ring (it's disrespectful to the judge to not do so) and go have fun.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate everyone’s insight, thank you all! Once our agility class has concluded I will inquire to enrolling in the confirmation class. Until then I will research as much as I can and work on ring manners. I would never enter a competition unless I was confident we were prepared, I have lots of respect for the judges and the people that have dedicated their lives to dogs.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 11:51 AM
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I love the look of your dog. Since he has AKC papers, you can enter him in their shows. Maybe not place him, but it's great training for him and you. Be prepared for comments. I once took my Whippet (Ch. racing lines) to a confirmation show, just for the heck of it and I could hear the following comments from the side lines; "over built", "no chance". I was prepared for this and smiled internally as this dog was exactly the dog I had envisioned. He was my personal champion.
I think it is good that people see a variety of type.
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