Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

I'm not a breeder, and not even entertaining the idea at this point, I'm just curious about this. If you are a breeder, or plan to become one, what do you consider to be of more value, a conformation or a Schutzhund title, and why? I know there are different lines and purposes, so people are breeding for different things, I'm just interested to see what people have to say. Sorry if this is a silly question!

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post #2 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 09:02 PM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

Personally I like the idea of both because you need both to produce the total package which is what the German Shepherd Dog is supposed to be.

That said I think the working temperament is more important to be judged by an independent third party. Structure can be seen pretty much by any one who can interpret the standard. NOT saying that conformation is not AS important but if I had to pick one over the other it would be SCH. Nerve, temperament and working ability is best tested by an independent and objective party.


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post #3 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 09:36 PM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

I want it all! Although I do not participate in Schutzhund, I still want a dog with a sound mind that can take life in stride. A top show dog is on the road a lot, meeting new people and performing in front of large crowds. But proper structure (and not necessarily what wins at a dog show) is important for being able to perform whatever tasks the dog is asked to do. Both are equally important -- just behind health.
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post #4 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 09:48 PM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

IMO, anything that tests temperament is more important than that which tests structure. While certainly both are important, temperament is of the utmost importance to me. A dog who is a less than ideal representative of the breed from a structural perspective can still have many, many uses from companion to working dog. A dog with faulty temperament can be a heartbreak, or dangerous liability, to anyone and everyone.


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post #5 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 09:56 PM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

Quote:
Quote:A dog with faulty temperament can be a heartbreak, or dangerous liability, to anyone and everyone.
Totally agree.

From a working dog standpoint structure is also important. Not show dog structure, but sound working structure. A dog that is built incorrectly will not hold up for a long working career. We need to look at both.

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post #6 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 10:23 PM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

I am not a breeder but I would much rather prefer a sound dog over a conformational one.

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post #7 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 10:59 PM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

Not a breeder either, but "form follows function." That sums it up nicely for me.
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post #8 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 11:21 PM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

Quote:
Quote:"form follows function."
True but you should at least look back and see if it is still following.

I have to have a dog that looks like a German Shepherd. To me, structure matters and you can have both without losing working ability. What I do find disturbing is the working lines who are starting to look like the modern show dogs. Sorry, that structure is not correct, even if it is a working line dog.


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post #9 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 12:08 AM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

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Originally Posted By: Vandal
Quote:
Quote:"form follows function."
True but you should at least look back and see if it is still following.

I have to have a dog that looks like a German Shepherd. To me, structure matters and you can have both without losing working ability. What I do find disturbing is the working lines who are starting to look like the modern show dogs. Sorry, that structure is not correct, even if it is a working line dog.
Exactly my thoughts. I want a dog with a good functional structure, which is NOT what is getting ribbons in the show ring.

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post #10 of 134 (permalink) Old 06-28-2009, 11:51 AM
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Re: Conformation or Schutzhund for breeding?

FUNCTIONAL is the key word in defining Structure to me, not FASHION.

I come from horses. Conformation is oft over-exaggerated in horses, lending itself to new problems, both in health and performance - QH are the most widely bred in the US for example - conformation breeding and line breeding/inbreeding has led to navicular and HYPP in QH - conformation horses are not functional, they cannot rein or cut cows as they cannot MOVE correctly for those endeavours. This all translates to dogs as well.

I look at breeding as a triangle of priorities - you must have all three or have not bred correctly:

Temperament (includes nerves, social and environmental soundness)
Drive
Functional structure (including health ie hips)

These three must be in balance - a dog with 2 of the three cannot perform satisfactorily in all areas.

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