Where does your love for dogs/GSDs come from?
My grandfather had GSD's on his farm growing up who helped with the stock and acted as companions for the family (he was a foster kid) he lived with all through his young adult life. He passed that down to my father and all of us kids... I however, got the "obsessive gene" when it came to the breed. My grandfather was a big time supporter of the breed.
Does it stem from growing up with dogs?
We always had 1 or 2 GSD's growing up and we did foster whenever it was needed in our little town.
Your family/parents always owning a beloved pet?
Our GSD's were mostly companion dogs however, my Dad did train in obedience and agility with our last family GSD; Beau (RIP). He never competed, probably due to the time needed to do it as he worked full time, had his own business and was raising 3 very active girls.
Or do you just love them because you feel it was somehow programmed into you?
I love this breed for what they are suppose to be. A truly versatile breed who is capable of pretty much anything and everything that is asked of them.
What about your love for the sport you compete in?
Schutzhund - My GSD's growing up trained with a very well known importer/trainer of police K9's and after the obedience classes were completed there was always (every Sunday) a group of people (looking back now, probably a club or local K9 officers) who went onto the field to work on obedience (jumps, climbs, retrieves, etc.) and bite work. My Dad always let us watch (with permission from our trainer) if we behaved while he attended class with my dog prior. This stuck with me and still does... that first escape bite I saw... chills.... I knew I wanted to be more involved when I could.
Herding - My Gramps always talked about how the dogs would help with the stock when he was a kid. I sorta found the sport boring but that was because I never really gave it a chance or got more involved. Now I am working my youngest in the venue (with hopes of having my own livestock this summer!) and am loving it!!! Helps that she is a total natural and so talented.. lol.
Is it a family tradition?
Having a well trained animal is something my family values, no matter what you do with it, so I guess in that regard yes.
Or something you've independently learned to enjoy?