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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking of becoming a breeder for quite some time. I see that people are scared of GSDs because of the rates of bites and attacks. So, if I were to become a breeder, my main goal would be to decrease bites and attacks.

I've been interested in GSDs for a long time. I remember growing up my brother's favorite breed was the Rotty but my parents were surprised when I said I liked German Shepherds. I have placed a reserve on my first GSD puppy (if the breeding doesn't fail).

I don't plan on that puppy becoming my foundation because:
1) I plan on having her spayed
2) She's my first GSD
3) I don't know enough to know that she would make a good foundation

I do know a bit about breeding. Like for example, a responsible breeder would never ever breed a female that has not reached age of 2 years and will even help nurse the pups. I also know that a breeder breeds to a certain standard and will not breed a dog with faults. There's some more things I know, but it's very easy to argue those are simple things that even just dog owners know.

I don't know anything about pedigrees, bloodlines, and stuff like that. However, if I decide to become a breeder, I know I'd need to know about that and then some.

So I guess what I'm looking for is some feedback. I dunno, I mean, I'd love to become a breeder when the time is right. So I guess my question is, if the time were right right now, what other steps would need to be taken?
 

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So I guess what I'm looking for is some feedback. I dunno, I mean, I'd love to become a breeder when the time is right. So I guess my question is, if the time were right right now, what other steps would need to be taken?
Learn more about pedigrees, bloodlines, and stuff like that......

How do you feel about Schutzhund to determine if your GSD is breed worthy?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I really don't know what Scutzhund is. Isn't it some type of protection sport?
 

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What type of GSD were you interested in? Am-breds, German showline, workingline? You would only need SchH for the second two.
 

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You would need the reputation and experience to back up claims that the dogs have sound temperaments. Be involved with training and titling dogs in various venues that prove these claims. The best way to learn about your dogs or dogs in general is to get that hands on experience. It can't be substituted with Internet research or talking with other breeders and taking their word for it.

I want to buy a dog that is not a fear biting nervy spook and is very sound in temperament so I buy from breeders whose dogs have proven this. I watch them train, I watch them interact with people and kids, watch how they do in trial and in shows on a "strange" field with other dogs and people. A breeder having a dog as a pet and saying it is a "good dog" is not enough for me.
 

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I agree with the above and would like to add, if you can find a good breeder an excellent way to learn, is ask them to mentor you..From scooping poop, kennel cleaning, getting hands on, will go a long way.
 

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Start with genetics, understand the science of breeding. Then study the history of the German shepherd. Make note of the early winners - their bloodlines, what areas they were tested in. Then study pedigrees, what bloodlines combined with others to produce the versatile dog. And particularly what bloodlines were likely to contribute health issues and flaws.

Great kennels are built upon great bitches. The German shepherd is suppose to be a dog that can do many things well - not just show or work but both. Unfortunately, those type dogs are hard to find. Schutzhund (which once was a measurement used to determine breed worthiness but has turned more into a sport today) is no more important than herding which is no more important than showing which is no more important than protection which is no more important than service work, etc. etc.. A German shepherd should be able to do all equally as well.

Once you understand this, then go and get involved with some hands-on activities. Observe and interact with the various activities. This experience along with a solid grounding in the above mention areas will put you far ahead of most people who are dealing with German shepherds today. I think a intense desire to understand the breed - from its inception until today - is mandatory for any breeder.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thank you guys for the great feedback! I'm not sure which line I would focus on. I'd love to become a breeder someday, but only when the time is right.

I think another thing I could do is become a member of German Shepherd Club of America. So I'd not only have a mentor, but I'd be getting info from them as well.
 

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There is also the side of breeding which carries the health responsibilities of the breeder. Producing healthy puppies should never be a crap shoot.

Also, you can work hard in getting your foundation bitch titled and then loose her before the first pup is even born. That alone is more risk then I'm willing to take.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There is also the side of breeding which carries the health responsibilities of the breeder. Producing healthy puppies should never be a crap shoot.

Also, you can work hard in getting your foundation bitch titled and then loose her before the first pup is even born. That alone is more risk then I'm willing to take.
Indeed. Um, what do you mean by "loose her"?
 

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I think she meant "lose" her. It is possible for a bitch to die in whelp (when having puppies).
 

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If you haven't already, check out this thread:http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...tion-breeders-sister-laws-school-project.html

Also I think it would be a really good idea to start fostering with a rescue group. You get hands- on experience with lots and lots of GSDs. In my years of fostering I've worked with different lines (Working, American Show, German Show) and lots of different sizes, shapes, and temperaments. Also, since rescues get a good amount of pregnant females you could get the experience of whelping and raising puppies.
 

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Indeed. Um, what do you mean by "loose her"?
Oops, sorry. One too many 'o's in there. That is what happens when you attempt to multi task. :blush:
 

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What type of GSD were you interested in? Am-breds, German showline, workingline?
For the breed that's supposed to be able to do it all, I hate that this has happened. (Obviously it's not the fault of the person I quoted.)

This is one of the first questions that pops up when someone says they want a puppy or want to be a breeder. People new to the breed say "I want a German Shepherd." and are immediately asked "What kind of German Shepherd?" :confused:
How wide does the divide have to be between types before responsible breeders and those who love the breed say enough?
 

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The first thing a breeder needs to do is understand the breed. There is a lot more to correct GSD temperament than merely not being another bite statistic. Part of that is understanding the history and purpose of the breed, and why it is the way it is and why it's supposed to be the way it's supposed to be.

The best print resources for starting to learn this are:

The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture by Max v Stephanitz (founder of the breed)

German Shepherd Dog: A Genetic History by Malcolm Willis

Both books can be difficult to find, especially the Willis one, and quite expensive when you do. But both are absolute requirements for any breeder's library.


The next thing you need to do is get out and meet dogs, interact with dogs, train dogs, and talk with other GSD people who can help teach you and mentor you. Developing a true understanding of dogs, and the breed in particular, absolutely cannot be done by a book or video or internet. You must spend time with the dogs. Lots and lots of time with lots and lots of dogs. This is not a quick process. It will take years.

Once you have a better fundamental understanding of the breed, get a dog and work it in something. Whatever is appropriate for that type of GSD and what you have come to view as correct. (In other words, don't go try to do SchH with an American line, or show in the AKC ring with a working line). And be aware that many GSD experts will not agree with your choice of type or vocation for your dog, and that is something you will need to deal with. Anyone seriously involved in dogs, and especially breeders, must have a very thick skin.

That dog you work yourself will be your best learning experience of all. But you will learn far more from that dog if you have a solid fundamental understanding of the breed through the other areas I mentioned first. Then get a second dog and do the same. And a third. And so on. Each dog will teach you more, and the most important characteristic in any breeder is knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I found both books on another site. They're a little higher, but it's a site I'm more familiar with.
 

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Join a local GSD club, and if there are none close enough for you -- couple of hours, meet once a month, then a training club. Meet lots of nice people, and get to know the dogs.

When you get your puppy. Glad this is not your foundation bitch. But she will do for a start. You can start training her in a variety of different venues. Obedience is a must, maybe agility when she gets a little older but a puppy agility will be fun for you and her, and you will meet people. Also go to a herding fun day with the puppy, see how she is with sheep or ducks or whatever.

Take her everywhere, and do a bajilion things with her. Take her to a bunch of different classes and make sure it is fun fun fun.

Once you have successfully raised your GSD, and titled her in a couple of things, and worked her in more things, and tried many things with her. Then it may be time to thing about getting your foundation bitch.

By then you will have had time to procure the books, and get a mentor, and learn about the different lines, and pedigrees -- at least enough for a start. I think learning is ongoing.

By then you will have experienced at least some of most aspects to life with shepherds. You need to become an expert with all of them. If a puppy buyer calls you in the middle of the night and says the puppy has eaten a dryer sheet, you need to know whether you should encourage her to wait or to go to the ER. If you puppy buyer tells you their vet says the pup has "boxy looking hips" and probably has mild hip dysplasia in both hips, you need to know how to respond to that. Yes, for this breed you need to know more than some vets do.

Everything everyone else suggested, books, etc, all excellent suggestions. I like the idea of training your bitch. I hold the belief that if people would just train their dogs, there would be so many less dogs dropped off. I also believe that trained dogs will be less likely to add to the bite statistics. And training is an excellent way to bond with and evaluate your bitch. When you go to get your foundation bitch, you will be an old hand at training. And you will probably find that you will have to learn new skills with the new bitch, but nothing is wasted. All of the training skills will help you deal with your puppy buyers.

Good luck.
 
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