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Hi Guys. I was wondering what are the basic differences in between AKC lines and German showlines?. I know their anatomic structure and looks are totally different. They have more softer temperaments than working lines. I love german showlines, and want to get one in the near future, in terms of protection work, that is what I intend to do, which one is best to pick? I know each of you will tell me to go with a working line, but I prefer showlines. AKC or West german showlines? Which one is better for protection work?..Is there any difference in their intelligence? I don;t know, just curious. If there is anyone who has experience with both lines, any information would be appreciated. Thankss
 

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If you can find some who is breeding AKC Showline dogs that are also doing well in Schutzund, then you may want to speak with them and go look at their dogs.

But I'm thinking you may have a search on your hands. Responsible breeders have specific goals for their dogs, and the goals of someone who chooses to breed and show for the AKC ring usually have a completely different set of these goals than someone in the German Showring. The very looks/temperment that have a dog do well in one venue are NOT the same as in the other.

If you truly have intentions of getting into Schutzund, I would find the club in your area and start attending/helping in their weekly sessions. Then looking at those dogs and talking to those owners.
 

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As far as 'intelligence'.... I'm not thinking that's the issue. It's more their innate instincts and drives that the breeding brings out (or not). Or a certain look and temperment.
 

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If you want to do protection work, either line would do, but you will have to research your little butt off to find the "right" American lines. Not many of the American line breeders are into protection/Schutzhund and therefore most of the "drive" needed for that type of work is gone. Not saying it is gone from ALL American lines, but most. I can recommend someone in FL if you'd like.

If you lean more towards liking the German lines I would stick with looking into those breeders, you will find what you want alot easier.
 

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How about approaching this backwards? First, find a few Schutzhund clubs. Find out if there actually is one in your area that you want to belong to.

Example: I know of a Schutzhund club that warmly welcomes anyone who honestly wants to improve the bond with their dog. They completely and totally support eachother, and never a bad word is spoken against anyone in the group.. how's that for wonderful? They use motivational training methods, positive methods, and firmer methods when needed. Even those members that are fiercely competetive, driven, and knowledgable are also relaxed and causal, and supportive to new people, and people less driven to compete... title if you want, or just train. Someone in the group put a BH on their pug! Serious competetors and just-for-fun training all supported & welcomed.
Another group I know is critical of new members who aren't competetive & dogs who do not have "the" lines that are sought-after, they have lots of politics, bragging is the norm, and many in that club use their dogs solely as ego-enhancement tools. Much showing off, back-slapping, hot air. There is a lot of pressure in that club, talking behind people's backs, and ego wars. You can feel the tension.

After you have found a wonderfully supportive club to grow and learn in, see where the members got their dogs. I bet you'll find a few members with nice, stable-nerved German showlines with enough drive to make it fun for both you and your dog.
 

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To be honest, if your goal is protection work, you will have a difficult time finding a likely candidate in either American or German show lines. Both lines are wonderful for pets, obedience, tracking, etc... but for the most part are lacking the drive, hardness, courage and aggression to do well in protection. They simply have not been breed for these traits for many, many generations and when you don't use it (and select for it) you lose it.

Of the 2 show line types, you will have better luck looking to the German show lines than the American show lines. While you might find a suitable dog for protection in the American show lines (I'm sure there are a few out there somewhere who could do it) the chances are very slim and it would be the proverbial needle in a haystack. American line breeders strayed from these aspects of GSD working ability decades ago, and in fact for many years the AKCs official stance was strongly against any sort of protection work, and the majority of AKC breeders either have no interest in it, or are also completely against it. So the traits needed to do it are practically non-existant in the American lines. To find an American line dog capable of doing protection work would be to find the exception that proves the rule.

Due to the SVs requirement for SchH or Herding title for breeding, the German show lines have preserved more of the traits needed for protection in those lines compared to the American lines. But while it seems every German show line breeder claims their "dogs can work" the reality of the situation is that most of those claims are bogus. Just look at the videos of the 2008 Sieger Show to see what is considered acceptable in terms of protection work for show lines. Yes, there are German show line dogs who really can work, but they seem to be in the minority as well. And are not likely to be found at the big name kennels who's main goal is Sieger Show wins. If you limit your search to the smaller, hobby German show line breeders who actually work and title their dogs (rather than sending them off to Germany for a few months to obtain what is often a very questionable title), and are patient and educate yourself on what to look for, you can probably find a dog who meets your criteria.
 

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Re: Basic differences, AKC lines and German showli

Quote: If you truly have intentions of getting into Schutzund, I would find the club in your area and start attending/helping in their weekly sessions. Then looking at those dogs and talking to those owners.
Quote:After you have found a wonderfully supportive club to grow and learn in, see where the members got their dogs. I bet you'll find a few members with nice, stable-nerved German showlines with enough drive to make it fun for both you and your dog.
Lots of great advice. I think MaggieRoseLee and Brightelf have suggested the best way for you to begin.
 

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Re: Basic differences, AKC lines and German showli

Thank you guys. Lots of great advices..
 

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Re: Basic differences, AKC lines and German showli

The one thing I have noticed with alot of American showdogs is the triangle shape.

The topline slopes pretty severely, and I think alot of the power in the rear end needed for schutz. and the like is lost.
 

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Re: Basic differences, AKC lines and German showli

I have a West German showline dog and he's doing well in personal protection training. All that matters to me is if he will he protect my family and I in our house or wherever we are. The people I train with work on real life situations. The decoys attack me and my dog will be on them in a flash. They come to my house and hide in my bushes and have me send him out the back door to find them, and he'll drag them out of the bushes. We do area searches in woods and fields with thick hedgerows for the decoys to hide in. I'm not saying he's a perfect dog, he has issues with certain situations that a good working line dog wouldn't think twice about, but considering we have been doing this for less than a year, and considering many people think this kind of dog wouldn't have a chance at protection work, I'm pretty satisfied with his progress.

I guess the bottom line is, if you can find a good breeder of West German lines, you can have a dog that has the drives and desire to work.
 
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