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Discussion Starter #1
Since there seems to be some interest, I thought I'd create a new thread as a spin-off from Emoore's original posting:

I am still a newbie, and before I purchased my GSD I was very confused at all the conflicting information regarding the different 'types' of German Shepherds. I was hoping that this thread could break down the different characteristics based on each type so that people who do decide they want a GSD can make a more educated decision about which type would be best for them.

Such things I was thinking would be helpful to include are energy level, drive, level of affection, ability to do well with children/small animals, etc. I know this would be a generalization since each dog is different, but it would at least be a starting point.

For me, personally, I have no intentions of ever doing Schutzhund, SAR, herding etc. so for me, the question of "which type is best" would have nothing do with with their ability to become a SCH3 titled dog. I would want a dog who I could do obedience and agility with, but I think most any GSD has the intelligence and willingness to do these types of sports.

Now, I know many people on this board are dedicated showers/breeders/handlers/trainers, etc. who have a lot of knowledge and feel that the GSD should have a working purpose, and not just be a pet.

My question to you is: Is it wrong for someone who does not want to pursue Schutzhund, SAR, herding etc. but still wants a well bred GSD who is an outstanding example of the breed and has the desired personality? Very few dog breeds were originally bred to be companions - most that own Golden Retrievers don't use them to retrieve ducks and most Border Collies don't herd sheep daily.

Even the breeders who do want their dogs to go to working homes still have to place a large number of pups over time to non-working homes. I would think the breeders would still want the "pet" owners to know what they are looking for, not just in the breed but in the type of breed. I think excellent breeders should want all of their puppies, working or not, to go to an owner who knows what they want, knows what they're getting into, and is ready for the responsibilities that come along with owning a GSD.

Could those with expert knowledge of the different types break down some of the general characteristics of each type, not based solely on workability? (pros/cons type thing?) I think this would be really helpful for people who are trying to learn more information about what they want - before they go out and buy a highly driven working line dog who is way too much dog for them which could then ruin their ideas of the German Shepherd breed just because they didnt' get a good match for their lifestyle.
 

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Is it wrong for someone who does not want to pursue Schutzhund, SAR, herding etc. but still wants a well bred GSD who is an outstanding example of the breed and has the desired personality?
No, but I do wish those people would carefully consider rescue as a first option because honestly, many people who want "just a pet" don't have the time, energy, and patience to devote to a well-bred GSD who wants to work and needs a job. There are plenty of dogs in rescue that fit the description of a laid-back family pet but I don't believe that's a trait that should be specifically for.
 

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I agree with Emoore on going with a rescue. The temperament will be evaulated for a good match and you won't be sorry if you get a higher drive dog that will not be satisfied mentally or physically. Maybe a borderline senior would be a perfect match!
You can get a high drive dog from any lines. With the exception of one from a breeder that breeds "large, old fashioned" dogs...but those breeders should not be supported.
 

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No, but I do wish those people would carefully consider rescue as a first option because honestly, many people who want "just a pet" don't have the time, energy, and patience to devote to a well-bred GSD who wants to work and needs a job. There are plenty of dogs in rescue that fit the description of a laid-back family pet but I don't believe that's a trait that should be specifically for.
I think rescue is a great thing, don't get me wrong - I have fostered several dogs and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And in the future when I have more land and time I would love to have a rescue. However I don't think that it's fair to say that people who "just want a pet" should consider a rescue first. To me saying "If you want a "pet" then just rescue one" is similiar to "If you just want a child than adopt". There are many reasons people don't want a rescue such as 1) unknown background 2) unknown habits and traits already inherited 3) if adult, you miss out on the puppy stages 4) if puppy, you really have no idea where they come from or what they will be in a lot of cases.

Also, if everyone who wanted a "pet" rescued from the shelter, then there would be lots of breeders with extra puppies on their hand.

My questions are directed more towards people like myself who have specific wants and desires in a dog, and have the time, money, and dedication to devote to the "dog of their dreams".
 

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I was trying in many ways to put forth the opinion that on this forum WL owners outnumber others and in their zeal recommend them to people who have no business with such a high drive dog. I have bitten my tongue on many threads before this one! But to suggest someone who is enjoying their WGSL dog should have looked to a senior dog is ridiculous. I would LOOOVE to see how many dogs that ended up in rescue are "too much dog" for their owners i.e. too high energy, drive, etc. because it was recommended to them to get a "proper" WL dog.
 

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! But to suggest someone who is enjoying their WGSL dog should have looked to a senior dog is ridiculous
Not sure what you mean by this statement, Kris?
Hopefully most breeders do try to match up the dog to the owner because they care about their pups and kennel name, and if the owner doesn't do the research ahead of time, then they are setting themselves and the pup up to fail. Thats why good breeders screen potential buyers so thoroughly.

If you know ahead of time you don't want a high drive dog, then an older dog that has proven temperament evaluated is a good choice.
Any pup from any line can be "too much dog" for certain people.
And many working lines do have off switches and balanced drives.
 

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Most good breeders should match up their pups to who will be best fit to the actual pups regardless of their particular breeding goals. And...if their goals don't match with the buyer turn them down. Why was it suggested to the OP that a senior or rescue would suit the needs of someone wanting a companion and pet?
I wanted a companion and pet--but also am active and wanted a dog that could keep up but not tear up my mattress if I missed a walk one day. Also I would like to further his training with obedience and maybe go further after that. Are my options : WL or rescue?
 

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I honestly feel that if someone does not want a dog with the proper drives, energy, temperament, nerves, etc of a GSD and they want something easier and more laid back then they need to look for a different breed dog or rescue a GSD that fits what they want.

Not every pup in a litter is going to be capable of earning a SchH3 or doing police work or excelling in any # of dog sports. Some will be perfectly happy in ACTIVE pet homes. I think that is another problem, the different ways people define active and pet home.

There are WL dogs from every type (West, Czech, DDR/East) living perfectly happy lives in "pet homes" Same goes for SL dogs with the proper work ethic.
 

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i think with the proper training and socializing
all of them can be a family pet. if the dog has more
drive then owner has to provide for that.
 

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Most good breeders should match up their pups to who will be best fit to the actual pups regardless of their particular breeding goals. And...if their goals don't match with the buyer turn them down. Why was it suggested to the OP that a senior or rescue would suit the needs of someone wanting a companion and pet?
I wanted a companion and pet--but also am active and wanted a dog that could keep up but not tear up my mattress if I missed a walk one day. Also I would like to further his training with obedience and maybe go further after that. Are my options : WL or rescue?
My dogs have never destroyed anything, and they are not crated during the day...they are: a mix of SL/WL(rescue) BYB(mix of working/Am lines) and a well bred working line. All have pretty high drive.
Not sure why your hackles are up w/ the suggestion of a rescue(that has been evaluated temperament wise) showline or working line can be different drive wise or much the same, and sometimes a pup can be a "sleeper" showing laid back personality with the breeder then waking up and demanding more than the owner wants to give.
 

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I agree that there are waaaay too many people who take on a GSD that have no idea what they are getting into. I have ripped jammies, bruises and chewed woodwork and wouldn't change a thing! I plan my day around him, as well as my vacations b/c he is absolutely a part of my family. Max is not my first GSD. BUT I think the OP started this thread off of another one to help people decide on which type of GSD to look for to meet their needs.
So instead of forwarding an agenda lets just think about the original question.
 

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I have a WL dog who has a total off switch inside provided two off leash walks a day, but is a total fun nut outside. A rescue may or may not screen appropriately, and the potential owner who's never had a GSD doesn't quite get what high drive, needs socialization, and needs training really really means in fairness. Even a great breeder may have trouble placing a pup in a novice home because even a potential owner who has done all the HW in the world can't quite grasp what it will take time and patience wise. IMO rescue or breeders are up against the same issues when selling to a new owner.....will this owner really be able to provide what they think they can- kinda like having a kid and no one screens parents,lol

Get a pup you bond with or an older dog whichever YOU want. Take the dog to training, but make sure your buying a dog YOU want and not a dog someone else thinks is best for you. Be honest about how much time, patience, and money YOU are willing and can dedicate and then stick with it. I picked my pup because she was mine in my heart from the moment I met her- all the training, craziness, and money was secondary:)
 

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I don't have my hackles up about rescue. I have adopted the majority of pets I have ever owned. I also mean no disrespect. BUT the reality is most people are going to want a puppy. They will visit this site to get some info and it would be nice to set them up to succeed. I believe this is what the OP of this particular thread was trying to do.

I read this site all the time---I admire those that have the time and energy to work and title their dogs. There are a lot of threads right now that discuss where to get a WL puppy, and who is on a waiting list, etc. Why hasn't it been suggested to these folks to check their rescues for tested and proven working dogs?
 

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No, but I do wish those people would carefully consider rescue as a first option because honestly, many people who want "just a pet" don't have the time, energy, and patience to devote to a well-bred GSD who wants to work and needs a job. There are plenty of dogs in rescue that fit the description of a laid-back family pet but I don't believe that's a trait that should be specifically for.
ALL dogs of this breed should be able to be a stable family pet. Their breeding is a reflection of that.

A dog who is too wound up to be a pleasant family companion, to sit his a** down when its NOT time to work, is every bit as "incorrect" in this breed as a dog who is too lazy to get up off the couch.

People seem to forget that.
 

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ALL dogs of this breed should be able to be a stable family pet. Their breeding is a reflection of that.

A dog who is too wound up to be a pleasant family companion, to sit his a** down when its NOT time to work, is every bit as "incorrect" in this breed as a dog who is too lazy to get up off the couch.

People seem to forget that.
Agreed, good to see ya back atravis!
 

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ALL dogs of this breed should be able to be a stable family pet. Their breeding is a reflection of that.

A dog who is too wound up to be a pleasant family companion, to sit his a** down when its NOT time to work, is every bit as "incorrect" in this breed as a dog who is too lazy to get up off the couch.

People seem to forget that.
Could not agree more. I was completely floored when in a recent thread a new member described their dog as being very dominating, backing her against a wall and biting her (not nipping or mouthing, BITING) and people poo poo'd it and said it was normal GSD behavior!

That's crazy.

We have several high drive dogs here and they'd be in for a rude awakening if they behaved that way. I think, a lot of times, people excuse misbehavior (destruction, jumping, DA, nipping, lunging, barking, etc) as "high drive." When in reality it's really just misbehavior. Certainly a high drive dog might be more prone to display such behavior if it's not direct appropriately, but to excuse it baffles me.
 

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ALL dogs of this breed should be able to be a stable family pet. Their breeding is a reflection of that.

A dog who is too wound up to be a pleasant family companion, to sit his a** down when its NOT time to work, is every bit as "incorrect" in this breed as a dog who is too lazy to get up off the couch.

People seem to forget that.
People also seem to forget that not all owners are created equal, and some owners will effortlessly manage to ruin even a genetically stable dog.

Certainly a high drive dog might be more prone to display such behavior if it's not direct appropriately, but to excuse it baffles me.
If the behavior is not directed appropriately then it has to be excused, sorry. The folks did try to explain the poster in the thread you mentioned what a high drive dog's needs are so the person could properly address it. It's not the board where people would suggest alpha rolling and correcting the heck out of a dog for his desire to play.

I do excuse such behaviour if the owner is the one who caused it. When I was nagging my dog with weak corrections and she went up the leash in frustration, I did excuse her and completely blamed myself and my own stupidity as well as adjusted my training. Should've I blamed the dog?
 

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The last story I heard from someone about their dog dominating them and threatening them when they tried to move him was an american showlines dominant male.

Some people can not handle much dog. I have a working lines girl who would have suited them perfectly as she is naturally obedient and biddable. It is not the lines so much as the temperament of the dog and the suitability of the owners to that dog's particular make up.
 
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