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If you want to explore schutzhund, I think you'd do well with a dog that would make it fun for you but also to have a club that makes it fun! Have you checked out your local schutzhund clubs? I'd recommend checking all of them out and sitting in on at least two sessions of each to make sure the club sits well with you and you sit well with the club. Some clubs are very favorable toward new members, others not as much. Some will welcome any breed of any ability *as long as the dog can handle the protection work* so long as you show the dedication required, others may not look at you if you have anything less than a tough working line. You get the idea. If you have no schutzhund clubs that are willing to work with you and your dog (provided you have the dedication necessary), that would put a damper on your goals. Keep in mind that "near you" could mean between 1-4 hours away one-way and also keep in mind that the club would take you in knowing that you want to do schutzhund mostly for fun and probably won't do more than title at club level, if that. Nothing wrong with that, but as time and resources are short, some clubs may want to concentrate on those there for real rather than those there to toodle around on their free time. If you haven't been to a club yet, GO! Go before you decide on a breeder. You'll be able to see lots of different dogs, obviously mostly working line GSDs but you may also see German showline or other lines and you can then decide what lines you want to go with.

If you really want a good chance at schutzhund, I'd recommend a working line dog or German showline. There are working line dogs out there that make good pets provided their mental and physical needs are properly channeled. Not all working line pups are fit for high level competition or real life work, and these are often fit for active pet homes or even club-level sport (able to title and have fun at it but not a good dog for serious competition). German showlines would probably be more forgiving if a schutzhund career doesn't pan out. American line dogs can do the work but the chances of you getting such a puppy are low, and admittedly the chances of a club agreeing to work with an American showline dog are low, which is a shame as I'd love to see more GSDs of ANY line getting the chance to prove their salt. If you like the moderate American line look, I would strongly suggest looking into a breeder who titles their dogs on BOTH ends as much as possible. Not just a "CGC," "TT," "BH," or "HIC" but obedience titles, agility titles, tracking titles, herding titles (beyond that of the instinct test), things that prove that the dog is intelligent, biddable, and has drive for work. If an American line breeder has dogs with UDs and TDXs, those are pretty high titles and trackers have said the TDX is very, very difficult to obtain so that's a good indicator that the dogs have work ethic and the ability to think through distractions and problems on tracking, not to mention see a track through to the end.

Anyway, there are experienced people on here who can advise you better. To sum up my novel, regardless of lines I would at least want a dog with good drive, intelligence, and biddability to make the training fun and a bit easier and I'd want a club willing to support me so long as I do my part, even if I'm not going to own the next podium superstar. I'd strongly suggest you visit some schutzhund clubs though- it's best to visit BEFORE you have a dog to worry about. I'm very glad I've already visited before I have a working line and I will visit many times more before I can have a working line. It is addicting, beware!
 
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