Becoming a Breeder? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Becoming a Breeder?

Okay, I know there are a lot of posts on here about subjects like this, however each person is different so it helps to make my own thread to hopefully get a conversation based on who I am. The first thing I'd like to say is if I ever became a breeding it is far out in the future, at least 9 years before I would even think about getting a dog for any breeding purposes because I am only 18 and am currently in college to become a veterinarian. That's a lot of commitment and I don't know where I will be in the next few years and I don't know enough to be a breeder yet. However now is a great time to start getting information, and even if I don't become a breeder I will still love learning about this.

A few reason I'm thinking I would enjoy being a breeder and actually contribute to the breed:
-I am upset with all of the poorly bred dogs in my area, and how much of a lack of good breeders there are. There is no real competition in this area as far as responsible breeders go so puppy millers are running rampant. I would love to be able to help people get the healthy wonderful German Shepherd I have always wanted. My Brutus had horrible hip dysplasia.
-I'd be very careful of the homes my dogs would be going into, making sure responsible owners were getting my dogs and would be willing to take them back if something happened.
-I don't want to be a breeder to breed and make money or get lots of cute little puppies. Although the puppies are certainly a wonderful benefit I know it can be horrible and tough. I have seen firsthand what can happen. I'd be happy doing something such as providing service dogs for those in need, and love that I helped to make that happen.
-I would do all of the health testing and research deeply into pedigrees, which is why I'm trying to start learning right now. So maybe in nine years I'll be a little bit closer to being 'ready'.

Why I shouldn't be a breeder:
-There are already so many dogs out there, will I actually be able to contribute to the breed or just provide more problems?
-As a veterinarian will I have time to give the dogs what they need? As of right now I don't know how things are going to be once I become a veterinarian? I don't know where I will even be living. Will I even have a place to have dogs?
-Many people on here bring up to people who are thinking about breeding dogs it isn't worth it if you aren't titling dogs or doing show dogs. Why is this? I certainly think you should be doing things with your dogs but if I am breeding for say dogs that will be good service dogs do they really need to be a titled dog? Or just be successful in their training and what I'm looking for in them?

At the moment I know I don't have enough information to become a breeder, that's why I am on here and looking at other places finding more and more information. Even if I don't become a breeder I still want to find more information about this because it interests me.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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I'd also like to say, my father grew up helping his dad raise dogs, he had his own breeding pairs his favorite was his pair of Rottweilers he had. Unfortunately when his dad got sick he let his siblings take over the kennels, including the ones with my dad's dogs in them. So my dad left the breeding scene. So I have grown up with constant stories of our family's breeding business and techniques and such. Every time I bring this up( a lot lately) my dad tell me he wishes I could have met a good friend of theirs who came from Austria to the United States, she raised German Shepherds.

I probably seem a bit young from this but I'm quite alright with that because I am young which is why I'm trying to get some more advice and knowledge.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 06:38 AM
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now is a good time to get out and become involved in the "dog scene" get a good dog and start working and training. You don't need one that is necessarily breeding quality but a good dog that you can compete with. Get out, meet people, test your eye on evaluating dogs. Find a good mentor in the venue you like best. Start working and learning with them now.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-09-2016, 06:53 AM
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I certainly think you should be doing things with your dogs but if I am breeding for say dogs that will be good service dogs do they really need to be a titled dog? Or just be successful in their training and what I'm looking for in them?
Earning titles can help show the temperament of the dogs in your lines. In our DVG club we had a veterinarian with her own shop who had a couple of doberman bitches that she bred. Between running her business, taking care of her patients, training and titling her dogs, the long commute between home and the training field and just other life stuff, she barely had time to breath. After one of her gals had her litter she stopped coming to the club. I believe a family member took ill and she had to help with that. I think that having titles on her dogs along with being a vet helps folks assume that she is doing her best to breed healthy intelligent dogs. Having talked to her, I know that is one of her passions.

also, many good article here

Since you may want to get into the service dog supply line I would steer away from bite-work titles. Many service dog organizations refuse dogs that bite. You will want to find some sort of certification program to "prove" your dogs on paper.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-30-2016, 10:19 PM
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I'm not sure what all you know, so I'm going to tell you things that are blatant obvious. Not to insult your intelligence but posts like these circulate a long time, I find myself reading threads from 2011 rather often, so it's also for them.

I seriously commend you for such a large time gap to really allow yourself to know the breed, it's lines, and build yourself up. Now, with that said, get your first GSD of GOOD QUALITY. I emphasize good quality because my GSD was an ASL and he would have completely turned me off if I hadn't researched more and realized I was expecting a WL out of a SL.. Don't expect to breed your first dog, you will most likely mess up and need to learn your training style and such that your first "serious" dog will teach you. From there start to title it. I'm to understand you want breed service dogs? I don't understand much about that field but start with titling in obedience. It only makes sense that a great service dog has a phenomenal foundation in obedience. Also, get started in figuring out which type of GSD you want to start it. I don't think a puppy with a long lineage of police K9's would be the /best/ fit. However, a puppy with a long lineage of versatility would be a much better option, and you may decide that a hard, drivey WL isn't in your breeding imagine, but a ASL/WGSL is, which are regarded as softer and less "demanding."

Do as much research as you can, good luck! I hope you keep us updated in your adventure!

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-31-2016, 03:36 AM
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You're right. There is a plethora of badly bred GSDs out there. Just read through the posts on this forum, you'll see one after another shy or fear aggtrssive dogs. The founder of our breed, Max von Stefanitz said and I'm paraphrasing, that shyness is the worst thing that could happen to our breed. He wanted shy puppies culled.

Our breeders have largely abandoned this practice and the shy dogs end up in pet homes. Then there are the backyard breeders who know zip about GSDs, they just want to breed something. Genetic crap to genetic crap produces genetic crap.

Finding good homes for the puppies is very tough until you're well established. If your breeding stock is performing magnificently in IPO trials, especially higher than club level, and gets good conformation ratings, eventually, you'll get known.

Don't worry. You won't make money. You'll likely lose money in the first few years. At least as a vet, you have those bills covered. You'll also be in a good position to get all of the health screenings done and have built in credibility.

If you plan to breed service dogs, be sure to do your homework. Make sure there is a need. Most service dog organizations I know have their own breeding programs. There is a lot of fraud going on in the service dog industry, so do be cautious about where your pups go. A lot of organizations have switched to Labs or Goldens. It's just to hard for them to find the right GSDs

Once you are a vet, you could be in a good position to breed quality GSDs. There is a breeder here in E Tennessee who breeds GSDs who is also a vet. From what I understand, she has some nice dogs.

IMO, the best things to do are to get busy training your own dog(s) and find a good mentor.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 07:03 AM
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As someone who actually utilizes service dogs, my feelings on titling animals to prove their breed worthiness for working in this venue has changed.

It's ridiculous.

Sorry, not sorry.

Titled animals do not guarantee an animal with the suitable brains, temperament, and fortitude necessary for service work. The washout rate is *extremely* high, even within program dogs, and titles in other venues don't prove that animals can and will produce dogs suitable for service work.

Training matters more than titling (that is where you see what you really have in a dog). A title can prove you did the training, but it means nothing beyond that. Do people think that program bred dogs have titles (the answer is no)?

I will say that breeding for service dogs would be and is extraordinarily hard. You need to have years and years of knowledge under your belt, and you need to spend a crap ton of time LEARNING! Understanding what it is that makes this breed tick, how to utilize lines for what you need, understand the requirements of the job these dogs need to do. It's paramount.

The number of people that think they understand the temperamental requirements of a service dog and the number of people that ACTUALLY understand varies quite vastly.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-01-2017, 08:35 AM
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If you want to become a GS breeder that is a credit to breed longterm....never breed for a specific "type" dog. The breed should be versatile, adaptable, very easy to train, and extremely resilient. The only service I would breed for is a dog that is capable of HGH title. ( Sorry, but many poor tempered dogs are conditioned to move three sheep, nice pets but not true breeding stock; to try to eliminate the issues you see as Vet in many of the breed today.)
Find a mentor and acquire experience in the three areas that differentiate this breed....tracking, obedience, and bitework....then you will start to understand what is and what isn't good breeding stock....which every breeder needs, to be reliable long term.
I know hundreds of breeders that I like, but only a fraction of them will I personally refer someone to. Little hint: the majority of the breeders that I will send someone to have two things in common: 1) they are close to encyclopedias on the breed and it's functions, 2) they breed dogs that can range from service to sport to work.....not just a specific type.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-03-2017, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well I wanted to respond to each post being fancy and using quotes but my computer just won't cooperate. I do want to say thank you for everybody who has responded so far though!

Right now I'm not quite certain on what I would be breeding but I have been watching and reading articles and I have to say IPO looks amazing. I am very impressed with the training in a lot of those dogs, and I can definitely see the need for a mentor. Sometime in the next 2 years I'll be moving to an area that has some dog clubs and a few people who do IPO so I'll be looking to get into contact with them.

Service dogs are something I was looking at but not necessarily what I want to focus on so it would most likely not be the path for me. The breeding programs some Guide Dog Organizations have going are quite impressive.

I just got a 'green' German Shepherd who is nearly three years old and has had nothing done with her. She's not going to be 'my' dog but I'll probably be doing a lot of work with her along with my mutt. I'm definitely not planning on breeding any of my first dogs and as soon as I'm in a slightly more permanent place I'll be getting a GSD puppy that will be from a quality breeder so I can get an excellent puppy. The hardest part is getting to know a quality breeder because I'd really prefer to meet them in person and see the kennels myself, pick up the puppy in person ect.
It's frustrating how hard to find and how far apart good breeders are though which is why so many people turn to BYB. Honestly if the 'average person' was more educated and were able to recognize somebody who is breeding for something not just to make a quick buck or because foo foo is so cute that would help the shelter dog population that people complain about a lot.
Somebody the other day was selling puppies and I had red flags going off. They were selling GSD puppies for $400 no testing and when asked about papers they said they bought the dogs without papers because "papers don't matter" meaning they probably bought pet dogs that were supposed to be spayed/neutered "but the grandparents have papers and testing"
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