What do professional GSD breeders look for? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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What do professional GSD breeders look for?

I'm trying to find a good basic explanation of what professional breeders look for when deciding which GSD to breed to. Aside from the obvious such as breeding to the standard and good health, what do they look for?

For example, If a GSD has a weakness, maybe the body is a little long or the front legs a little too short - do they simply look for a mate with shorter front legs or shorter body? I know that they look back in the "lines" to see if the strong trait they are looking for is there and carries through. I also know there's got to be a lot more to it.

Can anyone refer me to an online site that has a basic explanation? I have a hard time getting into the deep genetic explanations with back crossings etc. Just something simple to start with would be great. Thanks!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 04:53 PM
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go to the top of page and find how to choose a breeder. might answer question. if not maybe some breeders on the forum will answer.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll try that. I found some info on canismajor.com. Brief explanations from some vet/breeders.

Ultimately, I would love to find a site that shows images of a real pair selection, photos, reasons why, what pups looked like and what the adult pups looked like. A real one, so I could look at the pedigrees on the database and see what they saw in making their selections.

If this doesn't exist - it would be a great resource if a breeder had the ability and time to put something together that could walk the curious thru their thought process and have photos to show results.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 07:21 PM
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I am not a breeder, so don't fault me if I am off base, but if I had a female and wanted to breed her, I would look for a stable, healthy, good hips, good elbows male.. Size, color would be secondary.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 08:22 PM
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I think good breeders that work their dogs look first for pedigree matches that are complimentary(line breeding is a concern) then watch dogs that would compliment their females(yes, strength and weaknesses not only in conformation but work ability is just as important) to balance out what they see in training...thresholds, hunt drive, fight drive, biddability are all things that are important.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 08:59 PM
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It's an interesting question. I don't know that the phenotype will always express as a straight mix. I.e, if you breed a long backed male to a short backed female, I don't know if that phenotypically would show in the puppies as a correct length body. Phenotypically you may get a mix if long and short backed puppies.

Some genes don't express the same way. But I am not totally sure the genetics between all that stuff.

Would love some breeders to chime in about stuff like that.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments. I saw some stuff on Phenotype and Genotype. It sounds like an outcross could get you some pups with long backs and some with short backs but a breeding back in a "line" could get you a blend with a greater chance of attaining the goal.

To me, that could mean that if a pedigree was not known several generations back for both the sire and dam that it would always be a crap shoot with just going on what the sire and dam are like.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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One of the reasons I am wondering this is that I have a female (only 7 mos old). I have full registration. The breeder wanted to keep her for future breeding but has too many now. I told her that I would consider not spaying until after 2 years old to see if she has the health, temperament etc that would be an asset to the breed.

The pedigree on her sire's side is well document back 5 generations. The Dam's side - not so much I can't get much but AKC registrations on that side.

If outcrossing is a gamble and line breeding would be difficult because of the pedigree gaps on the dam's side, then I will probably not wait and have her spayed sometime after her first heat. If this is not necessarily true, then I will wait to have her spayed and we will see what's up when she is 2 1/2 or so.

In the mean time, I do want to soak up more knowledge on this topic so when the time comes, I can make a more informed decision.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 10:14 PM
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you should also be working her to see her strengths and weaknesses...how she handles pressure and stress. Pedigree is just a part of the equation.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 10:27 PM
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Not a breeder of shepherds, but with an animal line I work with, I look at my female and see what strengths she has and what weaknesses she has. Then I look for a mate who has strengths that will compliment her weaknesses so hopefully I can get a good show/breed prospect out of that mating. Then of course look at the pedigree to see if those lines are compatible with mine.

I would estimate that whatever breed/animal you are working with that would be an underlying thing you would look for.

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