Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 09:41 PM
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Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

Is it possible to breed a long-haired Shepherd and get a short-haired litter? When I first bought my sweet little puppy Ava, I had no intention of breeding, I was simply looking for a great family pet. The breeder told me on the phone that there were three puppies to chose from, but one of the three was a little "fuzzy". When we got the kennel, my sweet Ava ran to me. I couldn't even bring myself to look at the other puppies, because I just knew, she was the one for us. However, now that I am doing research and she's enrolled in classes, I think that I would really like for her to have a litter. But the more I read, it is an "undesirable" trait for Shepherds to have long hair. So my question is, if she has long hair, will all of her puppies have long hair?
Thanks so much
Sincerely,
Missy and Ava [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/pinksmile.gif[/img]
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post #2 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 10:05 PM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

The only way you will not get longcoats in a litter is if the sire does NOT carry the long coat factor (most do). If you breed to a short coat that carries the long coat you will get both short and long coats in the litter.

There are many OTHER reasons/qualities besides coat that one needs to look at when considering breeding a dog. I am sure you will get some responses on this thread and from people with strong opinions. Please take the time to read them and think carefully about what the person is trying to say without becoming defensive. That can be hard at times but most of the times they mean well.

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post #3 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 10:26 PM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

Oh absolutely, I am prepared for honest answers. My little Ava is still young, I have lots of time to think about and research the whole breeding process. I would certainly not breed her, if she or her pups run the risk of having any complications. I have talked it over with my vet and she has told me that she is definitly on board with any decision I make. That being said, I should also mention, she is definitly starting to grow out of her "fuzzy" stage, and has now settled into more of a medium length coat. Again though she is still a puppy so who knows what she'll turn out to look like. I am just curious is all. She is only 4 months old(probably should have said that in my first post, lol) She has just finished her first round in puppy class and begins her next round on Thursday. We know the potential of GSD and we want her to go as far as she can in "Dog" school. Anyway, thanks for your response and all the future responses
Take care
Missy & Ava
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post #4 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-14-2004, 12:20 AM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

I too have a LC GSD and I love her to death, best dog ever. But I spayed her, for the sole reaosn that she was a long coat. It is not only undesirable for a GSD but a huge fault and should not be bred.

When deciding wether or not to breed you have to look at everything the dog has to offer. Temperment, drive, conformation, everything, if the pup lacks in any in a major way then they should not be bred. Breeding should be done for the betterment (is that even a word) of the breed, and to breed a dog clearly out of standard is not really ethical.

I.E. My male pup Ike was never intended for a breeding dog, but he grew up beautifully is very masculine, has a great temperment and outstanding drive and soundness. So I put off neutering him unitl he was 2 to see how he turned out. Well he is too tall, by about 1 1/2 in and has a minor oddity in his bite. Not something most people would notice but I did. So he got fixed.

There are so many dogs out there with the same qualities without the faults that it made no sense to add his genes to the gene pool. IMHO a dog should only be bred if they are OUTSTANDING and show all the traits a GSD should.

A dog with an obvious and huge fault should not be bred. I know you love your pup and she is probably a wonderful dog. But being a wonderful dog does not make her breed worthy. As a breeder it will be your responsibilty to ensure that only the best dogs be bred and by that retain the integrity of the breed.

Some day i hope to breed, some day I will find just the right dog, I dont have it right now.

As for your original question, both parents have to carry the LC gene for the any of the pups to be LC. So technically if you breed to male that does not carry the gene then none of the pups will be LC but they will still carry the possibilty of producing it if they are bred.

And as I am sure many will tell you, breeding is a HUGE responsibilty, you bring those pups into the world, you are responsible for their lives, are you prepared to make sure they have a good life, no matter what? Can you ensure that they will never be mistreated or sent to a pound? Even if that means that taking them back if their owners cant keep them? can you ensure the saftey of your female? Afford the time and money it takes to raise a litter? Will you female be titled in anything? Will you be able to make sure she has no other defects such as Hip Dysplasia or eye issues? can you handle the financial aspect if anything goes worng and she needs emergency care while giving birth? there are lots of things to consider.

If you do decide to breed her then I wish you good luck and i hope that you do eberything possible to ensure that she and the pups have a healthy and happy life.

Good luck-

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post #5 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-15-2004, 01:20 PM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

At the risk of provoking a war here, let me say that conformation is important, but not the only criteria for breeding. Although it is[almost certainly] unlikely you will be able to title Ava in shows due to her coat, if you proceed to make the health checks and find her to be healthy and free of genetic disorders, I'd proceed to training and titling in performance events----GSD is a working breed and I think working ability is VERY important to have. Have some knowledgeable persons evaluate her conformation regardless of her coat. If all proves out well, and you do breed her--you should be able to produce good quality puppies that can be showable since the LC is a recessive gene, and they will be no more prone to throw LC puppies than any other recessive carriers who have a short coat. As it was pointed out earlier, most SC's carry a recessive LC gene. If you breed responsibly, you should be able to breed back to the SC without a problem, and assuming her genetics and conformation are sound, and have a puppy that you can show.

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post #6 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-17-2004, 03:01 PM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

While I do agree that working abilty is important, I believe that there is no reaosn to breed a dog with such a disqualifying fault. There are alot of dogs out there without this fault and that have been titled and shown that should be bred instead. if we are truly breeding to better the breed than to breed a faulty dog is against the betterment of the breed as a whole.

To me its the same as breeding a dog with floppy ears, or one that is too big or small, or even one with an obvious temperment issue. Yes with careful breeding you can get rid of these in the puppies, but you have added the genes to a pool with enough problems as it is. We should only breed the best of the best.

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Eisenhower v.d Polizei "Ike" Wilderness SAR, CGC
B'Lena z. Treuenhanden
Nixon vom Banach, RATN
Phoster, FEMA USAR(Labrador)
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post #7 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-18-2004, 12:38 AM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

[ QUOTE ]
I believe that there is no reaosn to breed a dog with such a disqualifying fault. There are alot of dogs out there without this fault and that have been titled and shown that should be bred instead. if we are truly breeding to better the breed than to breed a faulty dog is against the betterment of the breed as a whole.


[/ QUOTE ]

Because the "fault" is only a fault in the mind of the person looking at the dog. It is not a damaged or mutated gene, it is a widely spread inherent genetic trait. LC does not produce any sort of weakness or illness-it simply produces a different phenotype(what you see), it is not technically correct to call it a "fault" in my opinion. The genetic material in all the puppies from the same breeding is exactly the same, only expressed differently. "Back Breeding" to replicate lost ancestral traits is often a valuable tool in breeding management. Back breeding to replicate lost ancestral traits of hardiness and vigor is very popular in plants right now, with much interest in replicated "antique" varieties that offer greater disease resistance, ease of care, and increased ranges. If this lady back breeds her bitch to produce short coat pups, it does nothing to the overall gene pool. Admittedly, starting from the point that you suggest would be easier, but she already has her pup.
I'm not trying to argue with you here gsdsar--just point out that some of the ideas and language of breeding became established LONG before there was a clearer picture of genetics that we now have. Some of the assumptions and practices have stood the test of time and greater understanding(titling for instance)is still a good tool for comparison of complex behaviors.

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post #8 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 03:55 PM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

[ QUOTE ]


Because the "fault" is only a fault in the mind of the person looking at the dog.

[/ QUOTE ]

True, but this doesn't take into account that some of the traits considered "faults" are faults for a good reason. With longcoats, the coat is a fault because it is not as waterproof and weather resistant as the standard stock coat, and because it is much higher maintenance to prevent matts, burrs, etc...

This has nothing to do with people way back when not understanding genetics and thinking it was a mutated gene, indicator of health problems, etc... It is a fault out of practicality. While this might not matter to the average pet owner, the longcoat is considered a definite disadvantage for anyone wanting to use the dog for it's intended purpose doing herding, or other working endeavors.

There are plenty of longcoats in the breed, and longcoated puppies popping up in litters that are bred to conform to the standard. More than enough to supply those few qualified buyers who would have a hankering for a coat. We don't need more breeders further deviating from the standard to intentionally breed dogs with faults in order to supply the pet market.

-Chris


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post #9 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 04:23 PM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

[ QUOTE ]
With longcoats, the coat is a fault because it is not as waterproof and weather resistant as the standard stock coat, and because it is much higher maintenance to prevent matts, burrs, etc...

[/ QUOTE ]

In my experience most of the dogs we call 'longcoats' DO have the double coat. I think at some point the germans actually referred to them as stock coats. SO, in my opinion these are actually not 'long coats'. In fact many of them are just like many 'full' coated dogs with perhaps a bit more fur. When you consider the other breeds that have long coats (with both coats) and do herding, is this really a valid point? In fact many of the old herding shepherds were of the longer coat variety. There can actually be some advantages as well especially in colder weather especially if you compare them to the slick coated gsd.

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post #10 of 183 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 04:50 PM
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Re: Breeding A Long-Haired Shepherd?

[ QUOTE ]


In my experience most of the dogs we call 'longcoats' DO have the double coat. I think at some point the germans actually referred to them as stock coats. SO, in my opinion these are actually not 'long coats'. In fact many of them are just like many 'full' coated dogs with perhaps a bit more fur.

[/ QUOTE ]

There are 3 coat types.
Stock Coat (what we consider to be "normal")
Long Stock Coat... a long coat with a double coat.
Long Coat... a long coat without a double coat.

Long Stock Coats, dogs with a double coat, while still more prone to matting than normal Stock Coated dogs, do have all of the natural weatherproofing, yes. Long coats do not.

True, I'm sure many of the dogs people refer to as "long coats" are long stock coats.

[ QUOTE ]

When you consider the other breeds that have long coats (with both coats) and do herding, is this really a valid point? In fact many of the old herding shepherds were of the longer coat variety. There can actually be some advantages as well especially in colder weather especially if you compare them to the slick coated gsd.

[/ QUOTE ]

I think it is a valid point because we are not talking about those other breeds, we are talking about GSDs.

I grew up and still live in Michigan. Believe me, we know what winter is. All my dogs have been stock coats. All have spent lots of time outside in the winter (some even living as strictly outside dogs when I was growing up) and the weather hasn't bothered them a bit. No extra fur needed.

I'm sure people get tired of us yapping on about the standard, but the fact is that the standard and breeding to it is what makes a GSD a GSD. If everyone just threw the standard out the window and was allowed to have their own interpretation of what they liked in GSDs and what they thought was a "good dog" how long until we found ourselves with a bunch of liver, long coated, soft eared dogs with absolutely no drive or working ability.

If you want to breed long coated herding dogs, get into Rough Collies. Blue dogs? Get Weims. If you just want a longcoat, or a blue, or whatever else as a pet because you think they're neat, that is fine too. But find one from a good breeder who just happens to have a fluke. Not from people breeding for personal gain and ignoring the standard. Then enjoy your dog for what it is, a GSD in a slightly unusual package, but please spay/neuter it.

-Chris


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