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Help! My husband is starting to question why it's better to get a working line bred GSD from a reputable breeder with only a few dogs and who makes an effort to work and title his/her dogs. I'm about pulling my hair out! Anyway, are there any good online videos that compare the movement of American show lines, German show lines, and the German working lines?

Warning: Vent follows. I've gotten funny looks from family members (and some friends) that think I'm being rather snotty by looking at $1000+ dogs. I've been a horse person for almost 20 years and have done it at a rather upper level. I understand the benefits of a well-conformed animal; longevity and health are hugely based on genetics from sire and dam. The more I read about the GSDs of all types the more I see how obviously important that is too! I've found a breeder that so far seems right... lovely dogs, good lines, well titled, and after this next litter Mama is taking time off to go back into training for her next level Sch. To me this screams responsible breeder looking to breed the best possible dog. Well, hubby has heard "we know someone with purebred GSD puppies for under $500" from a few people. And of course, why spend twice as much for a dog that's just as purebred, right? Now don't get me wrong, we don't want to show or do major Sch training and competition. What I want is a dog that a few years from now is still healthy and able to keep up with an active lifestyle. I don't want a dog that could have a questionable temperament or needs arthritis meds in five or six years. ACK!! Ok, vent over.

Thanks for your help. I really do want to convince him that the DDR litter we're looking at is a much sounder dog than the AKC puppies bred in a friend's backyard.
 

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I've been a horse person too, unfortunately, and much to my dismay, I have never gotten back into it after college. Someday...

Well, I think getting a pet quality puppy from a responsible, reputable breeder of the type of line that you're looking at would be best if you don't want to show. For that type of dog I think $1000 is perfectly reasonable. I wouldn't listen to what other people (family) say about the cost...however, hubby you might have to convince :) It's definitely been hard for me to convince my hubby that the money spent can pay off in an animal insofar as health over the years goes. I think eventually he just gave in :)

Obviously with a good dog you want a sound mind and a sound body. You could always try taking hubs to look at some of those "$500" pups and then to the breeder(s) that you are considering so he can see the difference firsthand.

That being said, I know that there are a lot of people that have adopted dogs from the shelters/pounds and some of these dogs were probably from BYB's, mixes, etc and those dogs lived wonderful and healthy lives.

Is that to say that going to a BYB is the right thing to do - no. Does that mean that going to a responsible breeder guarantees you a healthy dog - not 100% no, of course not - but it does mean that you almost certainly will get a "warranty"/contract of some type, the parents have been chosen carefully, etc. So - getting a dog from a responsible breeder (for in this case maybe just an extra $500) will give a better chance of a dog being healthy well in to the future.

I think the breeder you described sounds like a very responsible breeder that is looking to enhance the lines rather than just breed for a buck.

Unfortunately I don't know of any videos that show the difference between the different lines - perhaps some of the breeder's websites have videos of their dogs.
 

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1 >>>> with a reputable breeder you're going to get a dog
with strong nerves, sound temperment and the correct comfirmation.

2 >>>> the $500 Shep is a Shep and the $1000 or more is a Shep also.
i think the difference is in the linage. one has a strong linage and the
other is questionable.

3 >>>> byb's do nothing for the breed of the dog. whether you show
or trial you want a nice dog.

Help!

1 >>>> My husband is starting to question why it's better to get a working line bred GSD from a reputable breeder with only a few dogs and who makes an effort to work and title his/her dogs.

2 >>>> Well, hubby has heard "we know someone with purebred GSD puppies for under $500" from a few people. And of course, why spend twice as much for a dog that's just as purebred, right? Now don't get me wrong, we don't want to show or do major Sch training and competition.

3 >>>> Thanks for your help. I really do want to convince him that the DDR litter we're looking at is a much sounder dog than the AKC puppies bred in a friend's backyard.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Kimberly... that is EXACTLY what I need! I'm going to meet the breeder tomorrow but hubby is feeling under the weather. I think I'll leave him with some reading material!
 

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Well he can see tons of moving German Working line GSD videos on YouTube - Maggieroselee's Channel

More than just my dogs...


German showlines

Bunch of German Showline


AKC Showlines

 

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Just think of buying from a reputable breeder as increasing the odds of getting a pup with good health and a good mind - not an absolute but upping the odds considerably.
 

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Are you familiar with quarter horses at all? I was always a QH person so that's how I can explain best!

To me, showline GSD's have always been like the halter-bred QH - bred to LOOK a certain way, but maybe not the most functional structure (bred to an extreme). Working line GSD's might be like the working-bred QH, functional and athletic. And the BYB GSD is like a PMU horse - there may be some individuals where the structure is nice, but many are a conformational trainwreck.

Now - a dog isn't usually going to suffer like a horse would from poor structure. They don't have the same amount of weight to carry and their legs are not as small in proportion to their bodies as horses'. The big differences in BYB vs. well bred dogs are health and temperament. EPI, hip/elbow dysplasia (which aren't dependent on exterior structure), pannus, DM...these are all things that good breeders select against. They can still pop up in well-bred dogs, but the likelihood is much higher in BYB dogs...and temperament can be a big unknown.

I have some video of my workingline girl herding so you can see her movement. It isn't a huge flashy trot like many of the showlines, but it is very functional and she is amazingly athletic.

 

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If your hubby likes looking at numbers, you might want to research all the different hereditary health problems, and the costs of diagnosing and treating them , and have him consider this aspect. I know about this from personal experience. The dog (a rescue from an unknown background) had a really good temperament and was totally devoted, which made it that much harder to see him slowly starve to death from EPI (in spite of the vet's enzyme prescriptions). He also had spondylosis which became spondylitis (very painful and crippling), and a thyroid problem. I knew to x-ray his hips, elbows, and spine and to do the various blood tests when I got him, but no one told me about EPI. I know you understand about the costs involved with the greater incidence of health problems in badly bred GSDs, but maybe hubby hasn't considered this.

Besides health, you really deserve a GSD with a bang up great temperament! Think about the fun you both will have doing whatever training you decide is a good idea and just enjoying living with a good, responsive, reliable dog. Why miss out on one of the great joys of owning a dog, which is raising and living with one who has an excellent temperament.

A little OT (but not really), I'm always fascinated by the comments of horse people, because they show, IMO, such an informed grasp of genetics, health, and conformation. It makes your thread interesting!
 

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The German showlines look like freaks and cripples. Who in their right mind could do that to a whole line of dogs!? Those dogs can barely get out of their own way.
I paid well under $1000 for a granddaughter of a Grand Victor. She moves like a lioness and runs like a deer, both animals designed by nature and not by man. You don't have to pay a lot of money for a very good dog that you don't intend to show.
 

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The German showlines look like freaks and cripples. Who in their right mind could do that to a whole line of dogs!? Those dogs can barely get out of their own way.
I paid well under $1000 for a granddaughter of a Grand Victor. She moves like a lioness and runs like a deer, both animals designed by nature and not by man. You don't have to pay a lot of money for a very good dog that you don't intend to show.
LOL, that's what I was thinking when I was looking at the extreme "roach" in all the dogs. So it seems the Americans have made an extreme slope and the Germans went the opposite way or vice versa.....Neither truly functional.
I love my girl she is a German Show line/German working line pedigree her top line is level and strong. I guess I can say she moves like a lioness and runs like a deer also! :D I did pay $1000 for her and her parents had their health clearances with exceptional temperments and structure breeder was knowledgeable.
 

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Thank you all for your info. Hubby decided to come with me after all (for some reason I couldn't sleep and he didn't want me driving for eight hours). We had an excellent visit with Christine at Blackthorn Kennel and I love her dogs! I was extremely impressed with how outgoing and thinking Xita and her two puppies are, they definitely seem like the type that I am drawn towards. I loved the athleticism that was apparent in all of them, the ease and freedom of movement was beautiful.

Hubby and I made a deal though, if he keeps an open mind about the working lines I'll keep an open mind about the show lines. So we'll look at another breeder or two. But I think I have my heart set. :wub:
 

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remember there are good and bad in all, as an owner of Am show lines I get frustrated when people lump them all together, my dogs don't have steep slopes, they can go all day, they have very stable temperments, are neither the type to walk staggeringly, nor are many others I know. There are good breeders in all so definitely keep your mind open. I have had German showline breeders argue mine must be their type because they like them, a well bred dog can be found in all varieties, just know what you want and find a breeder who has them. My breeder has been doing this for close to 40 years, hush she isn't that old. And yes still getting CH on some of her dogs and her lines are in many other kennels, not being shown, but as breeders of temperment and health. My female is almost finished and her litter mate is # 13 GS in Can at 16 months, last year
 

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What inspired your question about the dog's gaiting? Are you interested in a dog according to its ability to achieve a certain type of movement?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My apologies Trudy... I am definitely open minded but figured the best way to stack the deck in my favor (as I am new to the breed) was to look first at the working line breeders.

Samba, I am always interested in conformation as it relates to the function of an animal (particularly in the horse world). As my husband hasn't been knee deep in research for the last five months with me I was hoping that photo and video of conformation and the corresponding movement would give us both a visual of how the conformation affects the function. I guess the short answer would be that I'm a bit of a nerd. ;)
 

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That is great! I think I asked for the reason that I am a nerd also.

You will find different breeding for gait in the different lines of GSD. A working line will likely not be an extreme gaiting dog. They will carry less angulation for a moderate structure suited for a variety of actvities. They should structurally sound. My working line dog has the GSD trotting gait. He is balanced in front and rear and exhibits a lovely moment of suspension as he glides along. The moderate angulatlion preserves his ability to work at all speeds, to jump and to change direction quickly. But, I think a conformation person would say his gait needs to be more outreaching.

My show line dog was bred with much more emphasis on the gaiting. She has more angulation and takes a larger step when trotting.

You will find the lines different conformational and gaiting in the different types. That is how it is these days in the breed.
 

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Here are some photos of my "not functional" American show lines.

Ch. Keno UD HSAs OA







Ch Kizzy HSAs RE (Reserve High in Trial at the 2002 GSDCA National Herding Trial)





Ch. Tag CD RAE2





 

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Here are some photos of my "not functional" American show lines.

Ch. Keno UD HSAs OA







Ch Kizzy HSAs RE (Reserve High in Trial at the 2002 GSDCA National Herding Trial)





Ch. Tag CD RAE2





Is your Keno the same as my dog's daddy? I can't see your pics here at work, will have to check from home.
Check out my album.
 

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I didn't see anywhere where anyone mentioned non-functional.

Having dogs of all lines there are generalities only that can be drawn. I know the show dogs are bred for more of a gaiting structure than the working lines.

Sure they are all dogs and can do many doggy activites.
 
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