Thanks for the informative reply. I really don’t understand all the drives. But I am realizing that my best shepherd had a lot of hunt drive. In the back of my house there was a slope and I had brought in a bunch of loads of dirt. One night while in the front of my house, my father-in-law gave me a rock that he had marked and told me to rub it good. He then threw it over the house into the backyard. Well this shepherd did not want to quit until it found the rock. It was there for a over 30 minutes. This shepherd would also focus on me a lot. If I left him in my vehicle and went into a building he would continually watch that door. Is that because of the focus he had in hunt drive? Let me ask you something. I am looking for a active family companion. I “might" do some protection work when he is 2 years old. Which drives should I be looking for? I need him to have the protective nature, but not over the top. I will socialize him and obedience train extensively. Am I really looking for a balance, if that’s even possible? Or then which drives should be more essential?This will be a large generalization.
WGWL tend to be higher in prey, some aggression (depending on the lines), quick, flashy, good desire to work with their people. Some can be very malinoish.
DDR: Most DDR line dogs bred now are bred almost entirely for looks. Tend to be lower in prey drive, not the best for working sports, good hunt drive, not always a desire to work with their people, sometimes higher in defensive drives
Czech/Slovak: High aggression, lower prey (but not always), very good hunt drive, old lines may lack pack drive. There are a LOT of WL dogs out there competing at the top of the IPO sport who are Czech/Slovak/WGWL crosses.
I have brought in old DDR lines (not the modern lines) to my WGWL to add diversity and hunt drive (which I already had a ton of). Also brought some rather independent hard headedness. I added in some Slovak lines to my current litter to bring aggression to a female that has practically none and to add more diversity so I can breed back into the WGWL. They are almost 8 months. I got good to excellent drives for toys, aloofness (ok, I see you, don't care about you, you aren't mom), showing a protective nature at a young age, good to excellent hunt drive, good to excellent drive to work, very sound environmental nerves, very pushy pack drive, good to excellent prey drive. All could do sport IGP/IPO/SchH. One male could be high level sport.
Balance is what's mainly important! Not for the podium (i.e. competition, cause then you want flash!) but for ANYTHING else, balance!
Thank you for the article. I am definitely more knowledgeable after that read. Now I only need to apply it in the real world. Great read.Here's a fairly informative description of drives:
"My dog has a wonderful temperament! ... Except she really hates strangers." "I just got the perfect stud male! His temperament is the best, it's absolutely perfect: he has no defense drive in him at...www.germanshepherdguide.com
Thank you. I agree 100%. As I said in my previous post, my knowledge needs to be applied. If I apply it, I can gain an understanding.This will be a controversial statement, but I truly believe that the dog you end up with is as much on you as it is on the breeding!
Let me clarify a bit by saying, you'll never make a good guard dog out of a fearful, weak nerved dog. But, likewise, you can have the greatest genetics out there and end up with a confused, nerve bag!
How can that be? HANDLING!
Learning HOW TO HANDLE A DOG is critical, before you get one! How can you do that? Learn everything you can about dogs, but from dogs themselves, not from books. Authors of books are regulated even less than trainers! Which means not at all!
The best way to learn about dogs is to be around them. Volunteer at a humane society to walk dogs, visit folks you know that have dogs, and by all means, spend some time hanging out in dog parks!
People often talk about dog parks as a volatile, dangerous situation, but my experience, as a very experienced trainer/handler is it's nothing like that! Yes, you have dogs that are of vastly varying training levels, owners who's understanding of dog behavior varies widely, but hey, that's life! Most, and let me repeat, most people are pretty **** nice if you're not judgmental and give them a chance!
But either way, climbing off the soapbox now, just spend time with dogs...let them teach you.
I have seen super food drive in all mixes of lines. All my dogs have super food drive while I have seen littermates to my dogs not be as food crazy. Is it me or the dogs?
Thank you for this... I figured the food drive would be more of an individual thing, handler and/or dog. I’ve been so spoiled by my current dog.I have seen super food drive in all mixes of lines. All my dogs have super food drive while I have seen littermates to my dogs not be as food crazy. Is it me or the dogs?
Size and structure vary a lot. Most modern DDR dogs are bred for blocky heads, big bone and dark sable color. I have seen smaller Czech/Slovak dogs and bigger dogs of the same lines. I am seeing more and more smaller WGWL maybe due to the heavy linebreeding/backmassing on certain bloodlines. I am also seeing some nice sized dogs. Smaller dogs hold up much longer in sport, are easier to handle in SAR, but not as popular in police (except maybe single purpose detection dogs).
Especially the breeders in the US who are so commercial and pushing the black sable dogs....I am just saying that the parameters of the DDR breeding parameters are all but gone, so selection has changed. The “strain” is an approximation of the heyday of the DDR dogs.