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Discussion Starter #1
I have decided that when it comes time for me to get a GSD, I want a West German working line. I've noticed that some of the showline breeders call them working lines, so I want to know what dogs to look for in a pedigree so that I know that I'm getting a WGWL and not a WGSL.

I've got a year or two (give or take) before I'll be able to get a GSD, but I want to start early, because picking apart pedigrees is something I'm not too good at.

What are a few key dogs to look for when looking for a WGWL dog?
 

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Did you see the threads about Mink, Fero, and Troll? All very popular WGWL dogs that are commonly found in pedigrees. There are almost too many to list when you start to consider lines and offspring.

Daryl Ehret put out this chart that shows some of the interelatedness of the different dogs in bloodlines. That way you can sort of see that some of the indivudal dogs are inter-related.

http://www.ehretgsd.com/BloodColor.pdf

Out of curiosity, Why West German working lines specifically? Not that I judge...cause that's what I have and I LOVE them. Personally I think they're probably the easiest line to start with for a beginning SchH enthusiast, but I've seen some nice WG/Czech/DDR crosses too.
 

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Instead of looking for dogs, look for results--look for dogs in the pedigree who went to their regional championships (Landesgruppen) or the national championships (Bundesiegerprufing) or world championships (WUSV).

For showlines, look for almost all the dogs to have V or VA ratings and KK1.
 

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I've got a year or two (give or take) before I'll be able to get a GSD
Not that you asked... and this is more of a thinking question, not a judging question so you don't even need to answer... but in another one of your threads you said you weren't sure about where you wanted to live so how do you know where you'll be in a year or two?
You remind me a lot of myself back in the day... so many great ideas of what to do with myself that I couldn't just pick one... it bored me. I hope you're able to do all of them and excel at the business/living situation/new dog :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I want to do SchH, and I've heard that the showlines don't have the desire to please as much as the working lines do, and I want that for training. I think that the Czech lines might be too drivey for a first time GSD owner, and I heard they also have a massive prey drive which would be problematic, considering I have Ozzy. I think a working line would be better suited for my first GSD and for Ozzy. Plus I prefer the traditional black/tan over sables, but that's the least of my worries.
 

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Instead of looking for dogs, look for results--look for dogs in the pedigree who went to their regional championships (Landesgruppen) or the national championships (Bundesiegerprufing) or world championships (WUSV).

For showlines, look for almost all the dogs to have V or VA ratings and KK1.

More bad advice. One of the reasons Americans are so far behind Europeans in working dog breeding is this line of thought. Often times the winners of Nationals or even Regionals make terrible breeders. Typically it takes a softer dog to get the ob to the ability to win at that level. Breeding softer dogs to softer dogs waters down the genes.
 

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Well, West German Working lines generally have a massive amount of prey drive too, arguably more than Czech dogs. Most of the Czech dogs I have known tend to be a little sharper than the West German WLs. The WGWL's are more often characterized as the "prey monsters". Not universally...but that's part of what makes them easier to train. You don't usually have to wait very long for their drives to mature- which is the criticism of the DDR lines.

Although, I've never heard of a dog that didn't learn that a small dog was a dog. I know many workingline dogs that lived with small dogs without any difficulty. Especially when they are raised with them as puppies. It's not like cats, ferrets, etc which tend to really bring out the prey drive. To tell you the truth it's probably more important that Ozzy be well socialized and comfortable with big dogs than to worry about the prey drive in a puppy that you don't have yet.
 

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More bad advice. One of the reasons Americans are so far behind Europeans in working dog breeding is this line of thought. Often times the winners of Nationals or even Regionals make terrible breeders. Typically it takes a softer dog to get the ob to the ability to win at that level. Breeding softer dogs to softer dogs waters down the genes.
That's interesting...I feel like I just read something in the USA magazine about that.
 

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I want to do SchH, and I've heard that the showlines don't have the desire to please as much as the working lines do, and I want that for training. I think that the Czech lines might be too drivey for a first time GSD owner, and I heard they also have a massive prey drive which would be problematic, considering I have Ozzy. I think a working line would be better suited for my first GSD and for Ozzy. Plus I prefer the traditional black/tan over sables, but that's the least of my worries.

^^^ Much of this isn't true, actually. It's not in "desire to please" where showlines can fall short in activities like SchH. With many there is little difference there, with some there is great difference there, but there are also lines of WL that certainly wouldn't be considered "willing to please". The big difference between show and working when it comes to things like SchH is in the ability to cope with stress, manage stress, and work through stress. But that's not the only difference, nor is it always a difference, as not all dogs fit these generalizations.

As far as Czech dogs being higher drive, again not really true. Some Czech lines have higher drive, but many are more moderate in drive. The highest drive of all, in general, would be the West German lines. To write off Czech lines as being too high drive would be a mistake, and to choose WGR lines over Czech under the assumption that they would be lower drive is in most cases the opposite of reality.

Misconceptions like these, which aren't uncommon so you shouldn't feel silly, are one reason why the best course of action is to get out and meet different dogs of different types in order to really get a feel for them. When you see ones you like, or don't like, ask the pedigree and over time you will see trends of the same dogs or general lines appearing over and over again in dogs you like, or dogs you don't like, and that will provide some guidance on where to look. Names in a pedigree don't mean much, it's the traits those dogs bring to the table that matter. This is something that only interacting with the dogs can give you a good feel over. People can talk all day online about how Dog A brings traits X, Y and Z, but unless you know what X, Y and Z mean, what they really look like in a dog, what they translate to in terms of behavior and how to train and what that dog is like to live with, they are just words without much meaning. Or worse, slightly different meanings to different people.

As far as being able to tell a German showline pedigree from working line at quick glance, sure kennel names can answer that but it takes a while to learn them and there are so many that a comprehensive list would be impossible. But looking at photos and titles is an easy answer. If the pedigree is full of black and red dogs with V and VA all in front of their name, it's show lines. If it's full of dogs of all colors, with few if any V or VAs, then it's working lines. :)
 

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Konotashi, since you've got a few years to go, I think the best thing would be for you to go to local Sch clubs and attend some trials. That way you can judge for yourself which dogs you like and which dogs you don't. Over time you'll probably discover a pattern in the types of dogs you like. Then, you already know some people in that world so you're perfectly placed to hear about it when one of the lines you really like is going to be having some pups. People on the internet can't really tell you what you want.
 

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More bad advice. One of the reasons Americans are so far behind Europeans in working dog breeding is this line of thought. Often times the winners of Nationals or even Regionals make terrible breeders. Typically it takes a softer dog to get the ob to the ability to win at that level. Breeding softer dogs to softer dogs waters down the genes.
That was advice to tell the difference between working lines and show lines in a pedigree. Not my advice for breeding.

And I don't agree with your term "softer" dog, I'd say more "handler sensitive" -- a handler sensitive dog isn't necessarily soft on the decoy. IMO, you need a bit of both the meatheads and the precision dogs to make the best dogs for sport training.
 

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Instead of looking for dogs, look for results--look for dogs in the pedigree who went to their regional championships (Landesgruppen) or the national championships (Bundesiegerprufing) or world championships (WUSV).

For showlines, look for almost all the dogs to have V or VA ratings and KK1.
Also learn kennel names as just because you don't know the paritcular dog, you'll often be able to get a general idea of what the line probably is based on the kennel name. Obviously, breeders can have more than one line, but that is a good rule of thumb.

(i.e. Karthago vs. Danaru vs. Velmi Dobry vs. Stoffelblick etc etc etc)

The big names will start to stick out and will give you a good starting point for researching the pedigrees. At least I feel like that has helped considerably.
 

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I would have said Belgian/Dutch dogs. But I guess most of them are at least 50% WGr. :)
True on the Belgian and Dutch lines tending to be highest drive of all. But for sake of argument I think it generally best to lump them under West German, rather than to further confuse people by breaking down West German into country of origin, since really the Belgian and Dutch dogs are WGR lines, even if a few generations removed from breeding in Germany. No where near the difference then say between WGR and DDR or Czech.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys. :)

I'd rather go meet dogs (I planned on doing this), and luckily there's breeders of all types around here for me to go look at to see which I like best. :)
 

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I agree it's just good knowledge to have a rough idea of what different kennels produce.

However. Velmi Dobry is not a kennel, it's a Czech conformation title. It translates to Very Good. Sort of like the SG in German Pedigrees. :)
 

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True on the Belgian and Dutch lines tending to be highest drive of all. But for sake of argument I think it generally best to lump them under West German, rather than to further confuse people by breaking down West German into country of origin, since really the Belgian and Dutch dogs are WGR lines, even if a few generations removed from breeding in Germany. No where near the difference then say between WGR and DDR or Czech.
This is true of my dog. He came from a kennel in Belgium but he is mostly West German. And the drive is high, bordering on problematically high. I guess that's how the Belgians like them.
 
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