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Discussion Starter #1
So, as some know by now, every once in a while, I like to start a thread that sparks some respectful debate within the community and i thought of a topic that sometimes gets under my skin and sometimes I find appropriate. In searching for pups, you’ll often find what I refer to as “breed guarders”. The people that try to convince you not to get a breed. I find them especially prevalent in the mal and Dutch shepherd communities, but let’s be honest, we do it too! SO my question is when is breeding guarding appropriate? When do you let people just “find out,” with fair warning? If you’re a breeder which customers do you just wash out without giving a second thought? Are there certain cues you look for when selling to a buyer/family. I know that this can vary widely depending on breeding and lines, but let’s reunite the breed as a whole without separate lines. Most of us agree that GSD pups can be a lot to handle. Overall,

WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE AND WHEN IS IT NOT?

We love our breed and want the best for it. Looking forward to all opinions. Hopefully this sparks some discussion. If it does, mods, I ask that you let this thread go where it may within the rules of the forum. No issues with derailing the thread. No reason for pms. Let’s let it all air out. Experiences/expectations/the raw reality.

Happy discussion!


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.... and hundreds more examples of mismatches: ill prepared owners, lack of training, dogs that are genetically screwy AND mismatched to an ill prepared owner, children bit, dogs euthanized.....

I deliberately didn't link any of our recent sad disaster threads, because so many people involved still post and we don't need to dig all of that up.

After involvement in enough sad, terrible situations, I understand why many people in this breed become gatekeepers: attempting to avoid humans suffering & GSDs suffering.

I don't subscribe to the notion that this breed (or malinois or border collies, etc) is only for the dog-owning elite, but I don't think this is the right breed for everyone.
 

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Oh gosh I have so many ways I want to take this I'm having a hard time picking one. One of the most important things to keep in mind is more often than not dogs that are matched poorly with owners often end up neglected, euthanized, rehomed, and/or end up in shelters. So people doing their best to make sure people are appropriately matched with the correct breed and individual dog in that breed is such an important thing.

There is good and bad to "breed guarding". There are many breeds I discourage people getting over german shepherds. But german shepherds do have the downside of being banned in a lot of rentals and/or not covered by insurance companies. So that's something important to keep in mind when choosing them. I will discourage getting a GSD to some people who are renting and likely to be moving around/have life changes. I didn't get one when I got a new dog for that reason.

They're also a breed bad for byb breeders and horrible health and/or temperament issues. So if the person won't go to a shelter or responsible breeder I'm going to suggest a different breed.

Also lots of people who understand nothing about dogs or training and just want a "tough" guard dog that they'll tie up outside.

But I have noticed some superiority more or less over certain breeds. where the people act like only super duper experienced master trainers can own the dogs. There are some breeds that arenot for the faint of heart but I'm going to avoid going into more detail on this. But it is certainly an issue in german shepherds and brings up the pet breeding argument which well, that's a whole different mess.
 

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There are some breeds that arenot for the faint of heart but I'm going to avoid going into more detail on this. But it is certainly an issue in german shepherds and brings up the pet breeding argument which well, that's a whole different mess.
Feel free to go. It’s what this thread is for. Put it all out there.


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We are a large state (CA) with at least 10 GSD rescues. One of them posted yesterday that just this year (3 months), they’ve adopted out 214 purebred (with a few exceptions) dogs. 214!
the above is why i breed guard.
the tip off for me is usually...
“Is a German Shepard right for me?”
 

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I believe that this breed is fairly easy to handle if you are firm and fair with realistic expectations. That is why I think they can be easily owned by a newbie IF it is the right newbie. A German Shepherd should have no problem being "just a pet" with the RIGHT family who understands that the GSD is not just another dog.
 

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A big part of the problem is that there are so many poorly bred GSDs which goes with breed popularity. A properly bred GSD can be, but ideally is not suitable for a novice pet family dog. Irresponsible breeders have contributed to the problem because they think if a dog has papers it is breed worthy which is far from the truth. The issue is more notable in working line Mals and DS’s. They have their mellower FCI lines, but the true working lines have no place in pet homes. The popularity of a breed contributes to its decline. Many GSDs are GSDs in name only.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I believe that this breed is fairly easy to handle if you are firm and fair with realistic expectations. That is why I think they can be easily owned by a newbie IF it is the right newbie. A German Shepherd should have no problem being "just a pet" with the RIGHT family who understands that the GSD is not just another dog.
I consider myself no expert so I tend to agree. Depending on line (which I know I excluded) BUT I also believe the the right newbie. If you’re 80 and might get cellulitis from a puppy bite, prob not for you. If you’re against the use of training tools, a newbie and canning handle the size, may not be right. Etc etc.


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A big part of the problem is that there are so many poorly bred GSDs which goes with breed popularity. A properly bred GSD can be, but ideally is not suitable for a novice pet family dog. Irresponsible breeders have contributed to the problem because they think if a dog has papers it is breed worthy which is far from the truth. The issue is more notable in working line Mals and DS’s. They have their mellower FCI lines, but the true working lines have no place in pet homes. The popularity of a breed contributes to its decline. Many GSDs are GSDs in name only.
Feel free to elaborate more. Are you saying that only working line gsd should be used in military/police work, or people that own farms that plan on using them for herding purposes? Are you saying that those that own gsds that are pets AND sports dogs (pets first) are the problem? Elaborate for us


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I consider myself no expert so I tend to agree. Depending on line (which I know I excluded) BUT I also believe the the right newbie. If you’re 80 and might get cellulitis from a puppy bite, prob not for you. If you’re against the use of training tools, a newbie and canning handle the size, may not be right. Etc etc.


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Cannot* apologize for the typo.


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Feel free to elaborate more. Are you saying that only working line gsd should be used in military/police work, or people that own farms that plan on using them for herding purposes? Are you saying that those that own gsds that are pets AND sports dogs (pets first) are the problem? Elaborate for us


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This may also delve into the different lines which I excluded but feel free to extend upon it. I’m interested you’re opinion. You train psa. To my knowledge you’re not a LEO working a dog or active military does this mean you should not own a working line dog for solely sport purposes. I’ve noticed you are big on civil aggression, etc, but what makes you feel it is ok for you to say you are appropriate to own a dog that bites a suit but no one else is. Seems hypocritical especially since from prior threads it seems you are unhappy by people breeding dogs for sport. PSA requires a certain type of dog (per founder Gerry Bradshaw). Are you not against that in regards to the breed standard or are you simply in a conflict with ipo. Bc that seems to be your problem. Or is psa more of the breed standard? Bc in that case it would seem psa is for mals if you look at psa 3 titles. Interested in your opinions.


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This may also delve into the different lines which I excluded but feel free to extend upon it. I’m interested you’re opinion. You train psa. To my knowledge you’re not a LEO working a dog or active military does this mean you should not own a working line dog for solely sport purposes. I’ve noticed you are big on civil aggression, etc, but what makes you feel it is ok for you to say you are appropriate to own a dog that bites a suit but no one else is. Seems hypocritical especially since from prior threads it seems you are unhappy by people breeding dogs for sport. PSA requires a certain type of dog (per founder Gerry Bradshaw). Are you not against that in regards to the breed standard or are you simply in a conflict with ipo. Bc that seems to be your problem. Or is psa more of the breed standard? Bc in that case it would seem psa is for mals if you look at psa 3 titles. Interested in your opinions.


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I would like to say in response to my comment that I do not own an ipo titled dog and quite possibly never will. Ipo is not popular in my area. And neither is psa. We still train for ipo to the best of our ability.


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to be honest, i do my share of all around dog guarding (tho generally only when solicited)... i just take my job more seriously when it comes to my coveted breeds.

some of my reasoning is selfish - people don’t heed your warnings or recommendations then still expect you to jump to help when things go wrong, to which you provide additional advice that they continue to disregard.

i have very little stress in my life and am very good about setting / keeping boundaries, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch a dog mishandled or disappointed owners. more so for the former.

on one hand, dogs are so much more resilient than we give them credit for.... i also think that we naturally try and advise people towards what we consider ideal but there’s a ton of grey area to consider... experience, exposure, culture, finances, resources, personality, individual values, etc.... and then the individual dog in question (it’s breeding, background, etc)

my neighbors to the left walk their dogs in strollers... my neighbors to the right have a GSD that hasn’t left the (600 sq ft) yard in 6yrs and is fed Orijen... Another owner i often see muzzles their dog to prevent being bitten in the leg when they pass other dogs.

“pet homes”

i choose my battles.

what it boils down to for me is confidence, commitment and willingness to learn.... sadly areas that i’ve noticed consistently waning in our current society.
 

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I consider myself no expert so I tend to agree. Depending on line (which I know I excluded) BUT I also believe the the right newbie. If you’re 80 and might get cellulitis from a puppy bite, prob not for you. If you’re against the use of training tools, a newbie and canning handle the size, may not be right. Etc etc.


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No, not quite what I am saying.

IMO, age would only be a consideration if you don't have a qualified and capable person willing to step in to accommodate the dogs in case of an emergency or for long term considerations. If you are in good mental and physical condition, have at it. My mother had COPD yet she hiked into her mid 80s and safely lived with my dogs.

Regarding tools, there is a time and a place for everything but if you find yourself using tools all of the time, maybe this isn't the right breed for you. Almost all of my training is done off leash and often without a collar on. When I do use a collar it is generally a flat collar. Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating all positive, nor am I advocating against tools or corrections. I am advocating to not teach bad behaviors in the first place.

I usually hike in more isolated locations. I rarely put a leash on a dog until one year of age. I took my 7 month female Mal to a different park one time where there is a lot of activity. The Mal is very high prey drive, low threshold and very excitable so due to the number of joggers and bikers, I put her on a leash for the first time. The video is very short so don't fall asleep with boredom. Here is her first time loose leash walking.


Then again if you are faint of heart and don't think you can handle being woken up to an armed coup, maybe you shouldn't own this breed. :)

558438


But on a more serious note, I think it is about a person's core being, who they are. An overly soft person isn't going to cut it, neither will a heavy handed person. You can't be wishy washy or overly harsh, just firm, consistent, fair. You have to have realistic expectations from the DNA that the dog brings to the table.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
No, not quite what I am saying.

IMO, age would only be a consideration if you don't have a qualified and capable person willing to step in to accommodate the dogs in case of an emergency or for long term considerations. If you are in good mental and physical condition, have at it. My mother had COPD yet she hiked into her mid 80s and safely lived with my dogs.

Regarding tools, there is a time and a place for everything but if you find yourself using tools all of the time, maybe this isn't the right breed for you. Almost all of my training is done off leash and often without a collar on. When I do use a collar it is generally a flat collar. Don't get me wrong. I am not advocating all positive, nor am I advocating against tools or corrections. I am advocating to not teach bad behaviors in the first place.

I usually hike in more isolated locations. I rarely put a leash on a dog until one year of age. I took my 7 month female Mal to a different park one time where there is a lot of activity. The Mal is very high prey drive, low threshold and very excitable so due to the number of joggers and bikers, I put her on a leash for the first time. The video is very short so don't fall asleep with boredom. Here is her first time loose leash walking.


Then again if you are faint of heart and don't think you can handle being woken up to an armed coup, maybe you shouldn't own this breed. :)

View attachment 558438

But on a more serious note, I think it is about a person's core being, who they are. An overly soft person isn't going to cut it, neither will a heavy handed person. You can't be wishy washy or overly harsh, just firm, consistent, fair. You have to have realistic expectations from the DNA that the dog brings to the table.
You’re right, health is relative, more so age is relative. but I can tell you that most 80 year olds with copd don’t hike.

There are 20 yo that for health purposes, imo, can not ha doe a gsd


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And if you’d recommend the average 80yo get a gsd pup, I’d have to disagree with you.


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And if you’d recommend the average 80yo get a gsd pup, I’d have to disagree with you.


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I do not recommended the average 30 year old or 80 year old get a GSD pup. I am saying that people need core essentials to own this breed as well as a knowledge of the core essentials of their chosen breed.
 

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I do not recommended the average 30 year old or 80 year old get a GSD pup. I am saying that people need core essentials to own this breed as well as a knowledge of the core essentials of their chosen breed.
The average 30yo is much better equipped


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