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I would like to know the differences in these dogs. Not the physical but things like temperament, nerves, prey drive, defense drive. Also what are some of the outcomes of crosses of these lines?
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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.
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?
 

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Here's a fairly informative description of drives:

 

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Balance is what's mainly important! Not for the podium (i.e. competition, cause then you want flash!) but for ANYTHING else, balance!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited by Moderator)
Balance is what's mainly important! Not for the podium (i.e. competition, cause then you want flash!) but for ANYTHING else, balance!
Here's a fairly informative description of drives:

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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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@lhczth can you talk a little bit about size and physical appearance (structure). Also where (if) food drive fits into any of the lines?
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).
 

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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).
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.

As far as size... I’ve got a strong preference for the smaller, light-med bone dogs but like you, have seen them pop up across various lines (and even vary within a single litter) and have not been able to pinpoint where my “dream combination” lies or where/if to make any adjustments on my “check list”.

anyway, thanks again!
 

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IMO, it is not very black and white. I also think the better pedigrees are a blend of WG, Czech, and Slovak dogs depending on the individual dogs in the pedigree. I am not a fan of the modern so-called DDR dogs, but think there is value in pedigrees with some backmassing on some of the old, true, DDR dogs. You really have to have good information on the dogs in a pedigree and what they have produced. It is always a gamble with a pup. It also depends on what you hope to obtain genetically in a pup. Many working line GSDs these days are more genetically suited for sport vs. sport and work. There has been an overemphasis on prey/predatory aggression and an under emphasis on balance and other forms or aggression and working traits. I attribute this to IGP which requires a specific type of dog to compete at the highest levels. I also think that, in general, the breed has put too much emphasis on looks at the expense of working ability, even within the working lines.
 

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first off - DDR is a label of origination of a type or area of isolated breeding stock....just because it is gone, does not mean the bloodlines are gone....in Arabian horses, we have Polish, Spanish, Russian, Egyptian, Crabbet, Blue List...it is an identifier of the area/breeder names that make up the background of the horse. Just because the wall came down, the dogs that were bred on the East side, and their descendents did not stop existing as a subtype.....I will still call dogs whose background was fully DDR during that time, coming down from those kennels, DDR lines.

The problem is that the focus of the breeding wasn’t for good looking dogs, but dogs with working - especially tracking and protection talent - and not so much prey. Black sable was there, but so was pure black and black and tan blanket type - the whole focus was NOT COLOR AS IT IS NOW!!! IF - and that is a big IF!!!!! If the dogs bred today as DDR dogs are true to that type, then they are not as suitable for a family or a pet as a more balanced dog with less aggression and more prey. The people breeding and capitolizing on the fascination of "black sables" are not students of the breed, history, genetics or temperament, striving to produce a dog meeting the ideal of the standard! They are commercial people with a product marketed to meet the demands for a "black sable" pet with "protective instincts".

From the start, 20 years ago, I had a mostly (90%???) DDR female - nearly black sable, ok food drive, little ball drive, tracking maniac, had her own agenda - I did NOT buy her for a sport dog - but fell into owning her because the buyer was overwhelmed, could not reach the breeder and in frustration, just gave her to me!!!!! Not what I was looking for - did not want her to end up in pound so I took her....ended up training and doing 6-8
Sch/IPO3s with her....everyone who worked her said she was the BEST of her sire's progeny - including helpers who worked others of her half siblings...her dam was a LE dog, bred by LE officers who had her sire's progeny for years as patrol dogs..maybe that was the difference! Her sire was not popular LOL LOL because the type he produced was not highly successful in sport. After title and koer (Class 1 when working lines rarely went class 1) I bred her to a high prey WGR male and got the foundation of my lines and kennel - have gone outside it with a few females and bringing it back together....blending DDR with WGR, Belgian and Czech kennel lines....the DDR genetics still come through in certain ways in some pups....for good and for frustrating traits!

I personally am not a fan of WGWL dogs because of the heavy backmassing and extreme prey of many of the top kennel lines....the czech dogs, which I have met and from my sources of info, are thinner nerved, not very prey driven and have more aggression due to the mixing of DDR way back when....most of the truly "pure" Czech border patrol dogs were destroyed when the border was opened...they were NOT suitable for civilizan life or homes....a few enterprising kennel workers kept some dogs and are still breeding today - but even they have gone to mixing in WGL to temper the negatives, and open their gene pool. If you look at most Czech or Belgian kennel pedigrees, you are going to see a few dogs from the other country or from WGR mixed in....look at Equidis or Aritar Bastet or Stribene Kahmene (I cannot spell that one!!!!!) Jana, who owns SK, has told me that the Czechs were too bottle necked - she has gone to breed to top WGR and Belgian males to open up her lines.

Lee
 

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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.
 

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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.
Especially the breeders in the US who are so commercial and pushing the black sable dogs....

That can really be said about the WGWL as well.....too much emplasis on sport and winning competitions and not enough on character and balance

Lee
 

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"too much emplasis on sport and winning competitions and not enough on character and balance"

I think that summarizes it perfectly. I am not looking really looking to get into a sport, but am looking for confidence, character and balance. Thanks Lee.
 

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Chip, he's not looking for a dog "capable" of sport! He wants something much more "toned down". It's all good, everyone doesn't want a dog they have to "manage" constantly.

You can, if you're experienced, train for this. But most pet owners (and I apologize for making such broad generalizations!), many have no clue how to handle that stuff!

A "good dog" in your mind would and could be someone else's nightmare!

For each and every person getting a Gsd, just know what you're committing to! It is "long haul" kind of thing! They're great dogs, but the scars from one puppy will follow me to my grave! Not that I regret even one of them!
 

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You'll find a wide variety of temperaments in every litter, and even moreso where strains are crossed (ie; z ps x wgwl, et al.) When it comes to selection, experience has taught me to trust the VPAT. Read through it a few times, get a good handle on it, then be honest with yourself and the breeder about what you really want. A "mostly 4's" is a mostly 4's, and it's not like finding a needle in a haystack. They come in every color.
 
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