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Hi all,

First time posting. Our much-loved 10yo GSD rescue passed away last winter, and we are just starting to look for another dog sometime this fall or next spring. He was a straight-backed, sable GSD, and we like the look of working lines, especially all black or sable Czech lines. However, we also work FT and have an older elementary child, so we don't want a dog that is too energetic/high drive for our family. We usually did a morning, noon, and 5pm walk totalling 2 hours. We occasionally jogged with him. We don't plan to do a lot of other activities/training beyond basic training, although we did do a bit of agility and nosework early on w/our last dog. We do NOT want a dog that is too protective (we did not do enough socialization with our last dog early on and he was very protective).

I've looked at Echo Shiloh Shepherds, but I'd like a bit more drive, I think? Also looked at Wendelin Farm up in Quebec--I like their sable GSDs, and they seem a bit more family-oriented than most working lines. Anything like them closer to the DC area? Also, I see that they are doing linebreeding, and I'm not sure whether that is good or not for our purposes of wanting a healthy, active family dog.

Thanks, and info or leads will be helpful.

HR
 

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Perhaps consider a German showline dog. I have seen some very pretty blacks as well as dark masks on the face. Friends who have had showlines for years rec Haus Juris in VA. Personally I have workinglines but they can be a handful especially the males. You will need to do your homework to find a good fit. Having trained at several schutzhund clubs over the last 12 yrs I can say many of the males are more dog than most people need or want. Problems range from tons of drive, possessive or food aggression, very hard to correction, handler aggression etc. I love mine but consider them my second job. Would not buy just because you like the look. Kinda like picking a wife just because she looks like a super model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Perhaps consider a German showline dog. I have seen some very pretty blacks as well as dark masks on the face. Friends who have had showlines for years rec Haus Juris in VA. Personally I have workinglines but they can be a handful especially the males. You will need to do your homework to find a good fit. Having trained at several schutzhund clubs over the last 12 yrs I can say many of the males are more dog than most people need or want. Problems range from tons of drive, possessive or food aggression, very hard to correction, handler aggression etc. I love mine but consider them my second job. Would not buy just because you like the look. Kinda like picking a wife just because she looks like a super model.
Hi there, thanks for your thoughts. The thing is that I really don't like the slope-backed look, or the idea that the show lines are bred for looks instead of health/working ability. And again last dog was very straight-backed, and I guess medium energy, even at 10 yrs old (he had an aggressive cancer diagnosis but was very energetic and ready to go almost until the end). He was also more mellow in his later years, and able to chill around the house after being exercised.

He was a male, and was our first dog. Are you saying that females are lower energy? Thank you for outlining some of the problems with males in working lines. I definitely want a dog that is biddable (if that's the right word)--a dog that is able to relax if we have occasional visitors, no leash aggression, okay w/strangers on the street, etc.

I've seen a couple of working line breeders who insist their dogs are also fine for active families--not sure what to believe.
 

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Hi there, thanks for your thoughts. The thing is that I really don't like the slope-backed look, or the idea that the show lines are bred for looks instead of health/working ability. And again last dog was very straight-backed, and I guess medium energy, even at 10 yrs old (he had an aggressive cancer diagnosis but was very energetic and ready to go almost until the end). He was also more mellow in his later years, and able to chill around the house after being exercised.

He was a male, and was our first dog. Are you saying that females are lower energy? Thank you for outlining some of the problems with males in working lines. I definitely want a dog that is biddable (if that's the right word)--a dog that is able to relax if we have occasional visitors, no leash aggression, okay w/strangers on the street, etc.

I've seen a couple of working line breeders who insist their dogs are also fine for active families--not sure what to believe.
Sent PM!
 

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Working line shepherds have their share of health issues too. ( I hear more about it since I am a veterinarian). I don't think it comes down to something as simple as activity level. For example your child wants to throw a ball for your adolescent dog. Child goes to pick up ball. Young dog wants ball also-wants it a lot and now. Bites kid by accident. No malice even on the part of the dog or in some cases it may be on purpose. Those are the things to consider. That means very early training and being on top of the dog. Some can seem pretty easy as pups and then ramp up between 1-2 yrs. If you and the family can be very serious in your training commitment you may be fine. There are some lines and breedings that are easier but no guarantees.
 

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You could reach out to Amy at Haus Morrison kennels. She is in the area and does have a range of drive in her dogs.
 

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He was a male, and was our first dog. Are you saying that females are lower energy? Thank you for outlining some of the problems with males in working lines. I definitely want a dog that is biddable (if that's the right word)--a dog that is able to relax if we have occasional visitors, no leash aggression, okay w/strangers on the street, etc.
Both male and female working lines can be handfuls, however not all male working lines have those traits it greatly varies between dogs and their breeding. All dogs SHOULD be capable of settling down in the house, sometimes they have a natural "off switch" and sometimes it needs to be taught. The two shepherds my family currently have are both working lines. They both settle beautifully into the house but require lots of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Both male and female working lines can be handfuls, however not all male working lines have those traits it greatly varies between dogs and their breeding. All dogs SHOULD be capable of settling down in the house, sometimes they have a natural "off switch" and sometimes it needs to be taught. The two shepherds my family currently have are both working lines. They both settle beautifully into the house but require lots of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them satisfied.
I would plan to walk my next dog like my last, 3x/day include a noon walk, but since I work 9-5 and have a younger kid it will be hard for me to do much more. I'd be happy to do a training class 1x/week, either an evening or weekend. I could do brief training daily. Do you think this would not be sufficient mental stimulation for a working line dog?
 

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Why don't you go to some local schutzhund clubs and see the dogs. Marty Segretto has a club and I believe there are several others near you.
 
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