Becoming a breeder the right way....I hope - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Becoming a breeder the right way....I hope

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the long post just wanted to fill you in

I have not posted in about 4 months as I really wanted to dive into research and working with a well known breeder has been the best decision I have made in a while. My last thread consisted of a lot of novice questions and I feel as though I have gained an appreciation of the breed and the history. I am now returning to post a thread to show some of the progress on the buildout of our property which will have horse boarding and dog boarding/training with a seperate 1500 square foot breeding facility. Before everyone goes and says that its a start of a puppy mill slow down haha. The plan is to only have 1-2 litters per year and the breeding facility is more to give the dogs huge indoor and outdoor runs. There are actually only 7 kennels in the building just to give an idea. I have also set up a tracking field and am working on building a full agility course. The property sits on 15 acres and has really come together in the last 4 months. Also the plan is to actually lose money with the breeding as by no means is it a way for a quick dollar. it has become more of a passion to train the Shepherds and to learn from a breeder that has been around for 50 years.

I will next go into a little bit about the two females that I currently have. First is Ava, pictures will be provided shortly, a black and red female with amazing temperament a very strong german pedigree and is working on getting ready to be titled. Prelims on hips look good as well. She will turn 2 in January. The breeder i am learning from knows the german breeders by name and has met the grandparents in person haha what a small world. The next females is Ivy, from Chicago and a big Cubs fan, who is a red sable that is 8 months old. prelims came back good and has a great prey drive. I understand that coats will change but the red on this sable was just too rich to pass up. Has a strong working class pedigree. I was very content with just having one female but the opportunity arose when I met the breeder who is now semi-retired and we came up with the idea to co own the dog. The main reason for co-owning the dog was it was a perfect scenario where I am able to learn from a highly reputable breeder and the breeder who is more concerned with legacy than making a quick buck is able to have his bloodlines in a new program which he is able to help set up.

Ava has began Shutzhund training and wow she has really been able to pick up the tracking portion very quickly. Thats a little background about what has been going on in the last couple months. The comments made on my last thread were extremely helpful and because of it I now:
found a great breeding mentor
part of a local german shepherd club
have dove into the research more than ever
Co-own a female with the mentor to learn the ropes

I would keep rambling but I figure I will stop here and say thanks in advance to taking the time to read this.
I would greatly appreciate feedback and if you guys think I am on the right track. Feel free to ask any question and would be happy to post any pictures that are requested.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 02:31 PM
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Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the long post just wanted to fill you in

I have not posted in about 4 months as I really wanted to dive into research and working with a well known breeder has been the best decision I have made in a while. My last thread consisted of a lot of novice questions and I feel as though I have gained an appreciation of the breed and the history. I am now returning to post a thread to show some of the progress on the buildout of our property which will have horse boarding and dog boarding/training with a seperate 1500 square foot breeding facility. Before everyone goes and says that its a start of a puppy mill slow down haha. The plan is to only have 1-2 litters per year and the breeding facility is more to give the dogs huge indoor and outdoor runs. There are actually only 7 kennels in the building just to give an idea. I have also set up a tracking field and am working on building a full agility course. The property sits on 15 acres and has really come together in the last 4 months. Also the plan is to actually lose money with the breeding as by no means is it a way for a quick dollar. it has become more of a passion to train the Shepherds and to learn from a breeder that has been around for 50 years.

I will next go into a little bit about the two females that I currently have. First is Ava, pictures will be provided shortly, a black and red female with amazing temperament a very strong german pedigree and is working on getting ready to be titled. Prelims on hips look good as well. She will turn 2 in January. The breeder i am learning from knows the german breeders by name and has met the grandparents in person haha what a small world. The next females is Ivy, from Chicago and a big Cubs fan, who is a red sable that is 8 months old. prelims came back good and has a great prey drive. I understand that coats will change but the red on this sable was just too rich to pass up. Has a strong working class pedigree. I was very content with just having one female but the opportunity arose when I met the breeder who is now semi-retired and we came up with the idea to co own the dog. The main reason for co-owning the dog was it was a perfect scenario where I am able to learn from a highly reputable breeder and the breeder who is more concerned with legacy than making a quick buck is able to have his bloodlines in a new program which he is able to help set up.

Ava has began Shutzhund training and wow she has really been able to pick up the tracking portion very quickly. Thats a little background about what has been going on in the last couple months. The comments made on my last thread were extremely helpful and because of it I now:
found a great breeding mentor
part of a local german shepherd club
have dove into the research more than ever
Co-own a female with the mentor to learn the ropes

I would keep rambling but I figure I will stop here and say thanks in advance to taking the time to read this.
I would greatly appreciate feedback and if you guys think I am on the right track. Feel free to ask any question and would be happy to post any pictures that are requested.
What have you learned from your experience with said breeder? How much time spent? Doing what?
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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What have you learned from your experience with said breeder? How much time spent? Doing what?
I am glad you asked. To start I will say that I met the breeder in January when just looking for a dog and I figured he was just being nice because he wanted to sell us a pup. What I learned next was how he is actually retired and runs a very small breeding program now just for friends he has known for a while. The way I was able to get in contact with him was through a customer at one of our businesses and somehow it came up. Its funny how things just sort of happen. so thats how we met and how long I have known him. As far as what i have learned is hard to just list out but Ill give it a shot. It started with a history lesson about when reading a pedigree and getting to know the breeders from Germany. he was able to show me how to pair and breed as well as sit in while a female gave birth. On top of that helping him keep the grounds clean, brush out different coats, and clean lots and lots of kennels. There is just so much information that I didn't know before about the breed before and every time I am there I learn something new. In addition he has helped me not make the same mistakes in building our facility from drainage to lighting it has been so valuable. I have not even gotten into the training aspect yet as we spend three hours or more working on tracking, obedience, agility and protection. i could go into more detail about the training methods but I hope this answers your question
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 03:00 PM
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I am glad you asked. To start I will say that I met the breeder in January when just looking for a dog and I figured he was just being nice because he wanted to sell us a pup. What I learned next was how he is actually retired and runs a very small breeding program now just for friends he has known for a while. The way I was able to get in contact with him was through a customer at one of our businesses and somehow it came up. Its funny how things just sort of happen. so thats how we met and how long I have known him. As far as what i have learned is hard to just list out but Ill give it a shot. It started with a history lesson about when reading a pedigree and getting to know the breeders from Germany. he was able to show me how to pair and breed as well as sit in while a female gave birth. On top of that helping him keep the grounds clean, brush out different coats, and clean lots and lots of kennels. There is just so much information that I didn't know before about the breed before and every time I am there I learn something new. In addition he has helped me not make the same mistakes in building our facility from drainage to lighting it has been so valuable. I have not even gotten into the training aspect yet as we spend three hours or more working on tracking, obedience, agility and protection. i could go into more detail about the training methods but I hope this answers your question
Not really but it is what it is I guess.

Specifics is what will tell me if you have learned what IMO is necessary to be a quality breeder. GSD Specifics, to breeding. You could do it on an island in the middle of the jungle for all I care, as long as you know what you are doing. You could do it in an apartment in NYC does not matter to me as long as you know what you are doing and how to care for your dog(s) properly.

The specifics are the important part, knowing what they are and learning all about them.

Thanks for sharing though!
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 03:08 PM
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I would like to make a simple suggestion. TAKE WRITTEN OR RECORDED NOTES on all training - communication you receive. (Priceless)
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Not really but it is what it is I guess.

Specifics is what will tell me if you have learned what IMO is necessary to be a quality breeder. GSD Specifics, to breeding. You could do it on an island in the middle of the jungle for all I care, as long as you know what you are doing. You could do it in an apartment in NYC does not matter to me as long as you know what you are doing and how to care for your dog(s) properly.

The specifics are the important part, knowing what they are and learning all about them.

Thanks for sharing though!
As far as size specifics I am not looking to breed any oversized german shepherds and will stick with west german black and red and red sable. I know the size for males is 23-25 height and 80-85 pounds. I plan on getting a KKL for both of my females along with an IPO 1. I understand that there are the three types of coats: closed, open, and long and the different coloring. Again I am not looking to breed my two females until next spring when they are OFA tested and plan to absorb as much information as possible in that time. By no means am I saying I am an expert simply a young apprentice that wants to learn how to do it the right way. I am hoping that from what I have posted that its at least the right track. I really do appreciate the questions and comments and will pay closer attention to the specifics

And yes notes, printouts and conversations will be written down as well as pictures and videos
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 03:20 PM
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I think understanding genetics is hugely important.. Putting any two dogs together, even titled 'wonder dogs' does not mean a healthy or productive litter.. Knowing how certain lines compliment other lines, or hamper/damage is important - major important... This is something that takes years of study, observation and practice. But it has to be a forefront thought to be a good breeder that is making a contribution of benefit to the breed.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 03:24 PM
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As far as size specifics I am not looking to breed any oversized german shepherds and will stick with west german black and red and red sable. I know the size for males is 23-25 height and 80-85 pounds. I plan on getting a KKL for both of my females along with an IPO 1. I understand that there are the three types of coats: closed, open, and long and the different coloring. Again I am not looking to breed my two females until next spring when they are OFA tested and plan to absorb as much information as possible in that time. By no means am I saying I am an expert simply a young apprentice that wants to learn how to do it the right way. I am hoping that from what I have posted that its at least the right track. I really do appreciate the questions and comments and will pay closer attention to the specifics

And yes notes, printouts and conversations will be written down as well as pictures and videos

I give up! Good luck, I wish you all the best... LOL @ Size specifics... wow!
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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I think understanding genetics is hugely important.. Putting any two dogs together, even titled 'wonder dogs' does not mean a healthy or productive litter.. Knowing how certain lines compliment other lines, or hamper/damage is important - major important... This is something that takes years of study, observation and practice. But it has to be a forefront thought to be a good breeder that is making a contribution of benefit to the breed.
Thats a great point as the "wonder dogs" could be carriers for something that has not shown up in the three generation pedigree. The pairing of the two dogs is something I can learn as I work with the breeder and will be sure to ask questions in why he is choosing to pair certain dogs together. The pairing of two dogs as it seems is more of a science than an art I am begin to see. it seems to come down to really knowing the genetics of your dog and of the potential mate and making sure the weaknesses and strengths line up correctly. Thanks for the comment definitely something to continue to study.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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I give up! Good luck, I wish you all the best... LOL @ Size specifics... wow!
How is that constructive at all? If what I stated was wrong then there is a way to correctly inform me? I still appreciate the comment and thanks for the best wishes
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