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Ok so I think I'm about to take the plunge on a male puppy from a DDR lineage. I'm excited! :D However, honestly, also nervous and not sure if I'm making the right decision! I've some reservations about a DDR or WL puppy being perhaps too aggressive or a bite liability, and on some level feel more comfortable that if I have small children around a WGSL is the way to go? I currently own an almost 2 year old female WGSL, who is awesome and sweet. She is friendly with other dogs. She has a high ball drive, loves to play. She is aloof and suspicious with strangers, and barks consistently when anyone approaches our drive (which I prefer). She is good spending time outside on her own and generally sticks by me or the house and doesn't roam too far (we live on a large acreage). However, despite all these good things I've never found her particularly confident or strong. Part of the reason to get another dog. I genuinely worry about how she would really react to an intruder, coyotes, stray dogs or whatever. She *looks* very vicious and 99% of the time she will prevent anyone from getting out of their car, which is what I basically need, but I know if it came down to it I couldn't rely on her to protect my property, herself or my family.

In getting a DDR line what should I expect in terms of differences? Do you guys think this will better fill my needs and will a DDR dog fit into my lifestyle? I have acreage, but do not particularly want or need a dog that is hyper 24/7. I do not like overly stranger friendly dogs, I need the dog to have a defensive presence, but I would like a dog that can settle and accept children and strangers as I do have people come here from time to time. The majority of the time I have a quiet, routine life and I am here 99% of the time. I don't participate in any dog clubs or sports, this is just personal preference, we spend most of our time just dealing with things on our own property and just need a dog to fit into our lifestyle really. I genuinely like what I have heard about DDR dogs, but do worry that it might not be the right fit for my family.

Please give me your honest opinions, I put 100% effort into my dogs and they are part of my family. I don't want to let the dog down before I have even got it by getting the wrong fit! Thank you guys :)
 

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Hate to disappoint but bloodline alone doesn’t guarantee temperament, and even with the correct temperament, without protection training - you won’t be able to rely on this new dog to protect your family or property either. To put him in that position without proper preparation, yes, you may end up with a bite liability.

In short, a WL will likely do just fine. But be realistic in your expectations.

Edit: looking back at your previous posts... you also have to keep in mind that your female is still very young. My girls didn’t develop full confidence or seriousness til about 3.
 

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I've *heard* that they are a bit more serious, less about play / ball drive, and perhaps more about people / property protection? Perhaps less hyper than other lines also?
 

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I've *heard* that they are a bit more serious, less about play / ball drive, and perhaps more about people / property protection? Perhaps less hyper than other lines also?
I can not speak for every DDR GSD but I will give you a description of mine.

High defence drive with very little prey drive. She will chase a ball but gets bored easily, she much prefers a game of tug.

Learns quickly in obedience but can be very stubborn if I am not firm with her. If the other dogs in her training class are doing a down-stay, she will remain down but she will look for that one dog to get up and then think it is an invitation to go and play (I am working on that)

She is being trained in personal protection and has to be started off in defence before slowly switching to prey drive but remember her prey drive is very low, it may progress as she matures.

Very good with family members including children but aloof with strangers.

She is not hyper but can be restless if you don't engage with her. A few games of tug keeps her happy , then she will happily lie down.

As with all dogs, training and early socialisation is important.

They are not the super GSD that people try and make out that they are, as with any line they still share the same problems including health.



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I agree with Gwyllgi. I have a year old WGSL and DDR cross, but he is very similar to the above description. He loves to play with toys and he will chase them, but not with intensity or gusto. I take him out into public frequently and he regards other people/animals cooly, he has a pretty good handle on deciding what is a threat and what isn’t. He is super sharp and loves to please me, he is a breeze to teach new things. I’ve found while he is friendly to other friendly people, he is definitely a one person dog. He doesn’t pay my bf any mind although we live together. He is incredibly affectionate and sweet, my first GSD and I’ve been very impressed.
 

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And mine is crazy for the ball and frisbee. Second only to tug. He will fetch until he drops and throws himself at it with crazy mid air twists and dramatic skidding stops. Other dogs can troop past him during and as long as the toy is in play he is oblivious to them. Rock solid nerves since 9 weeks old. He was not raised with kids but loves them. He is interested in people but does not want to be loved on by strangers. He pretty much gives them a cursory sniff and dismisses them. He obeys me just fine but yes he very much favors one person and hubby is his world. Scary smart. He counts the turn signals while we are driving and if the number is too many he gets grumbly that we are not headed to the park or the trainer's. He is surprisingly gentle with the new puppy we brought home two weeks ago.
 

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To the very best of my knowledge Bud was predominantly DDR.

He was my 2x4 dog. Bring a big stick. Had a head like a rock, real aggression, no fear.

Not ball obsessed but he certainly loved to play. Went wild for a good game of tug. Slow maturing, totally cool about dogs, totally aloof with people. His family he adored, neutral strangers he ignored, threats he removed.
Not prone to posturing or noisy displays, last one to pick a fight and last one standing. Incredible tracking ability!
He was completely intolerant of incompetent handling and wanted clear, concise direction. He responded aggressively to wishy washy handlers and would come up the leash at an unfair correction.
He was flashy in obedience and scary in protection, it wasn't a game at all to him. (he was a wash out from our protection training) Low prey drive but seriously territorial. The fence was his boundary and nothing better cross that line.
 

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What you get depends a lot on the knowledge of the breeder and their purpose for breeding. There are many breeders of "DDR" dogs that are breeding for a look and for nostalgia and their dogs will be rather different in temperament and drives than someone with different goals and reasons for using DDR lines in their program. There were DDR lines that were bred almost entirely for their looks and then there were lines bred more for the work.



I have incorporated some of the old DDR lines into my WGWL for diversity, for hunt drive and, sometimes, for aggression. I have, for the most part, liked the addition, but I have never done an actual "DDR" cross. You can lose pack drive and balanced drives for work if not done carefully.
 

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Personally, I like the WGWL/Czech working line crosses. It seems to bring the best of both worlds together for all around, stable, dogs that you can work and live with.

And by Czech, I don't mean the faddish terminology that is now all inclusive DDR. The Czech lines bring in different traits than the DDR East German lines.
 

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Personally, I like the WGWL/Czech working line crosses. It seems to bring the best of both worlds together for all around, stable, dogs that you can work and live with.

And by Czech, I don't mean the faddish terminology that is now all inclusive DDR. The Czech lines bring in different traits than the DDR East German lines.
I also like a Czech/WG cross. It does seem to bring balance if done with knowledge. Though, my dog with that mix of lines was pretty much on the Czech side of the equation. He brought a bit more fight drive, thinking, discerning suspicion and higher threshold....I loved it, but sport dog trainers would have wanted lower threshold and not such a 'thinker'.
 

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Czech brings in higher aggression. WGWL tend to be higher prey. DDR are trackers. I think the WG/Czech dogs have a nice balance when done right. My boy has old DDR lines with Lord. He's a tracking machine. Super hunt drive. Stellar temperament.

My girl his more Czech. She thinks about everything. Higher suspicion. Showing super fight. She's more active where my boy is more reactive.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all your replies guys! It was really helpful, and I've made my decision. Watch this space! :D
 

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I actually typed this yesterday and never hit "post" lol I know you said you have made a choice (looking forward to seeing him!) ..but figured I would share what I was going to say anyway :)

I don't know if you were alive back then but there used to be a East Germany and a West Germany. DDR is East Germany.
I was in Lowes with Valor and this nice young man pulled out his phone and was showing me his dog. Said he was a pure DDR dog. I asked how he knew and he said he was directly imported. So I just said ..oh, he looks great for 29. Poor kid was genuinely puzzled lol Then I said my dog has a lot of Czech, and his lines are out of Slovakia. He said oh that use to be the same country though, right? I said they were next to each other and people use to say Czech"or"Slovakia so people use to think it was one country. What fun is getting old if you can't mess with the younguns?

My dog is WGWL x Czech. Very much a thinker. Suspicion. He is aloof to a passersby, but when he does interact with a stranger he stares at their face, examining it, with such an intensity it is offputting. He is just 2 now and still changing and maturing. He use to lunge at people who stared at him. We trained that out of him (i.e I make those decisions not you). He will still back someone off if they come at him like a drive by to pet him without permission. He is not comfortable with people in his personal space unless introduced properly and I am fine with that. I still have to make sure to tell new acquaintances not to bend over his head or hug him. He has great bite inhibition and is relatively clear headed so I feel someone would need to escalate to get bitten by him for real. My goal is to never find that out. He has a really good "back off!" display. Once he knows you though, you are on the island and a-ok in his book. Adores my children, and loves their friends too. Love my relatives and friends.

Confidence was slower to come on line. He doesn't spook or anything, he just use to (and still does sometimes) overthink everything which slowed him down. Valor sit!! Like.....thiiiiiiissssssss? (slow motion sit as if his haunches were hydrolic) He tries very hard to understand the game in IPO, because...thinker. We had to work hard to make him realize it is a game and not defensive drive work. He is having fun now. He used to spit out the sleeve and go right back for the helper. Now he spits the sleeve and asks him to go for a beer lol He is so not a sleeve driven dog. Once he gets it, he gets it though. He is like "ohhhh! We are playing for the sleeve thing! I get it! "

I will never do higher pressure/defense drive stuff with this guy. It is there, I know it is there, I feel no need to tickle it. Unless a dog is trained, brought up properly in the training, and tested, you will not know what he will do "for real". I don't need to know with him. But I do know that only someone who is either on drugs or genuinely mentally ill would push past his display at the door. I know I will never be surprised by someone who broke in, and I know at the very least he would give me time to get set up to do what I would have to do.

If someone wanted to get High in trial IGP and go to regionals and beyond, he would not be the right dog for that. I, and the people I have worked him on, feel he would have made a very good Narcotics dog. He is a wonderful family dog with an impressive off switch. But he is a wonderful family dog as well due to having an owner familiar with the breed and willing to pay for and follow through with good training. If Valor landed in a regular run of the mill pet only home as a first time GSD for someone , he would have been one of those GSDs that had to be put up when company came over. I will always have to stay on top of taking him out and about to practice neutrality. I will always have to watch for idiot people who will rush an unfamiliar dog while squealing with delight, arms outstretched, ready to affectionately put their stranger hands all over my dog even though he would rather not.

And I would take 10 of him and his suspicious butt :) He is not for everyone, for sure. But he is for me and my family one of the greats, one of the heart dogs.

Just describing him because you (OP)asked about WGWL x Czech dogs. Don't assume each one is the same though. There is so much variety in both WGWL and Czech lines..one combo may be great and another may be a train wreck. Breeding is an art,with a lot of thought going into breedings. Knowing how much of themselves each dog tends to produce (or not produce) is imperative to a successful program. Some breeders have it down to a science. Go with those breeders.

If I were you I would describe what you want in the Choosing A breeder section, and you will get some great recommendations. Remember to include your location, if you are willing to travel for the right dog or fly one in. Good luck!
 
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