German Shepherds Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!

Very happy to be a part of this awesome community... we are Brian & Haley - and currently, we're looking for a GSD pup :)

That said, we're more on the 'relaxed' side, and don't want a GSD that will be very destructive, or super high energy.

Now, I understand FULLY that GSD pups are all a good amount of work, and high energy (having grown up with many) - however - I've never really know the distinction between WL & SL GSD's.

...and that's where YOU come in!

Hopefully, you'll be able to help me understand the differences in the lines, and which way to lean after all.

*Side note here...

We are active and live by a very large, super dog-friendly park in Austin, so we anticipate taking him out quite a bit, but we also want a GSD for home protection, and companionship as Haley is just 10 weeks pregnant!

THANK YOU ALL IN ADVANCE!

~ Brian & Haley
P.S. We did find one litter (from
Qvido Vepeden) we like, but they are working line from Vom Berk Haus.

557167
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,744 Posts
I find this article helpful for the differences in lines: (Types of German Shepherds, by Wildhaus Kennels )

That said, I had a West German show line puppy, and he was a million times harder than my West German working line puppy has ever been, despite how the common belief is that working lines are harder to live with. The main difference? The working line pup was extremely well bred and his breeder picked him for me. Neither of these things could be said about my show line puppy. I spoke with my working line breeder on the phone quite a few times so we could get to know each other. She asked tons of questions to understand what my experience level was with shepherds, what kind of energy level/drives I was looking for, and what kind of a life I planned to live with my puppy. She then picked a lower drive male for me. He's an amazing fit.

All this to say that finding the right breeder is more important than picking lines, in my opinion. A dog from any line could be a great dog for you if your breeder is responsible and picks the right puppy for your home. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
I have a WGSL and working line cross, he is my first GSD and just perfect for me. I like to be fairly active outdoors and go on semi-regular hikes, camping, fishing, and he is right there with me but at the same time he doesn't need hours of daily exercise just to settle down. If he gets out for an hour or so a day to play with his big brother and romp around, he's happy. A lot of GSDs aren't cuddly but he is, which I like, but he's only that way with me. He's friendly to visiting family and friends but doesn't try to cuddle with them. He is confident and solid in public and new situations. He's very smart and biddable, he learned how to sit down and paw in about five minutes when he was ten weeks old! As I said he is my first GSD but not my last, I am totally sold. I can take him anywhere, do anything with him, and at the end of the day I look forward to coming home to my "big fluff".

I mostly got lucky, but if you find a well spoken for breeder they can often pair the right pup for your family. Not all show lines are couch potatoes (well really no GSD is) and not all working line dogs are suited to become high energy K9s. The main differences is what you prefer in terms of looks, and either line should have solid health clearances.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,372 Posts
Let me echo the above. Finding a great breeder is more important than choosing lines. Find one that health tests and might even have titles on their dogs. If you can be a spectator at dog events and sports, if you see a dog that you love, you can ask who the breeder is. It is amazing what you can learn from the dog sport communities!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
I agree with car2ner! Not everyone wants to do protection sports, and its one thing to look at pictures and quite another to see stock in the flesh. My boy is a year and a half and in November we competed in both of our first conformation show (or actually ANY show) in UKC and did fantastic! I was able to meet other GSD owners/breeders and see what kinds of dogs are out there. That was as cool as actually competing. We also have been active in agility classes and I'm hoping this spring to enter our first trial. I also have solid plans to have him take a herding instinct test and go from there if he shows aptitude for it. There are other venues to prove a dogs ability, intelligence, biddability, and integrity than solely IPO or the AKC/Sieger ring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
Hey, welcome to the forum. As others have highlighted, there are differences between SL and WL, but individual lines / breeders / and the personality of the puppy picked (which can vary so much), are a lot more important in terms of choosing just a pet. I am not familiar with the breeder you mentioned, but upon having a look I personally would definitely recommend that you look elsewhere. You really want to find a breeder that has their own dogs that they show / compete / live with personally, not a dog that is being imported just to immediately start breeding puppies. There are some really good working line breeders who I'm sure know their dogs and lines inside out, and know which dogs consistently produce good solid family pets. You might want to start another thread asking for recommendations in your area so you can at least have a few options to compare against (and hopefully visit first in person)!.

I personally own two West German Show lines, my female is intense / protective and very high energy, my male is more moderate (it's all about picking the right puppy from the litter). WGSL's are in general more pricey and fewer good breeders, but if you are able to find some close by maybe you could visit some WGSL breeders in your area to also compare the dogs to the WL ones that you see! Good luck! :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,016 Posts
When you say you want a dog for home protection, do you want a dog that gives the illusion of protection by barking, or a dog that will actually protect by biting if necessary? It is a rare show line GSD that will actually protect. People can say their dogs display protective behavior, but when that is a dog barking behind a fence or on leash, that has nothing to do with whether a dog will bite for real and fight an aggressive bad guy. Show line dogs are breed for looks not temperament. If you can pull up any videos of the protection test at one of the recent German sieger shows (BSZS) the dogs' performances are an embarrassment to the breed. Qvido is a great sport dog but I don't know if he is the type of dog that would bite for real, or how he produces. I have heard of some health issues in his offspring, but don't know if they are coming from him or the bitches he was bred to.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,401 Posts
First off....do NOT PICK A PUPPY BECAUSE DAD IS FAMEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have seen quite a few QV pups. Bred by knowledgeable people.....those pups are being bred (and sold on the basis by people with no clue at times!!!!!!) for high sport - can be batcaca crazy prey monsters and NOT suitable to be companions.....

About 6 months ago, I imported a QV pup for someone who had been in the sport 20 years via a well known Czech breeder.....that pup was the most moderate in the litter, and I shudder to think of the havoc it would wreck in a 1st time GSD home as a companion....the mother lines were super and this pup should do well if the new owner settles on a good club. I saw it a few times as he started it out. NOT a pup for anyone without experience. And even imported and shipped - less money than the Montana breeder.

Realize that there are several types of breeders in both the working and show camps:

Commercial breeders - some of whom have many litters every year.....importing "top lines", bring over bred females covered by big time names just to sell pups at premium prices, some specializing in "rare" colors or dogs with a specific male in the pedigrees (one kennel that comes to mind specializes in black dogs linebred on Paska for double normal puppy prices)., some specialize in Czech or DDR as that market is a draw for pet owners who think these are superstar dogs or are enthralled with black sables......a few of these people actually are knowledgeable, most are not ...some major players on the west coast...few are reputable among the hard core GSD community who train, trial, breed. There are some who train and title but far outproduce puppies in numbers that appeal to sport people and they are selling dozens of unsuitable pups for pet homes every month.

Club breeders - these people train and title a dog in a club....they breed within the club or a small group...they produce pups of low to medium quality and ability but often have a holier than thou attitiude as they "do it right"....title and some even koer. They do work show crosses, give away quite a few pups to small town police officers for the marketing value, but few dogs that do title go beyond the club field as they do not have the quality/ability to do so. A few of these even keep females and breed them, but they do not seem to start off with a strong and prepotent dog and thus do not

Hobby breeders - the rarest of the bunch......breed occassionally, develop a female family, may use big name dogs, may not....may use club dogs, may not....keep and title their own dogs and are knowledgeable about the bloodlines and how they combine. Can produce strong working dogs who go on and produce for others and do well competititvely beyond the home club level.

AKC show people - a different breed from the European dogs/breeders........again, a small percentage given the numbers of GSDs produced in the US


Back yard breeders - the vast vast majority of people producing GSDs, some get smart and buy a well bred puppy and throw it in with their random pet breds and charge more money


Think about these categories and where your chosen animal should come from.

Lee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
866 Posts
If I were you I would look into a GSD rescue....get an established mature dog. Your wife/gf is 10 weeks pregnant. Getting a puppy at this point may not be the best time for you both as her pregnancy progresses. And once you have that baby in the house? A baby's a lot of work and on top of that, you have to do a puppy at the same time? I just don't see a good fit right now. Just my POV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
Just to echo one point: A GSD is already a breed made for "home defense". GSDs will, at the very least, bark viciously at an intruder without being taught to do so. That should be more than enough for 99.9% of potential burglars. Most burglars don't mess with a house that has a large dog inside--especially a GSD. This is where their "scary police dog" reputation comes in handy.

So focus on the rest of the dog's temperament. Focus on what you need for normal family life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,588 Posts
My thoughts - Wait.

By the time you find a good breeder, they have a litter and you get a puppy, the baby will either be here or be almost here. Then you have a puppy/young dog to train while you are up all night with a baby.

As far as show or working - it's a personal preference. If you find the right breeder it won't matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,336 Posts
First time parents don’t understand how much work a baby is and how exhausted they will be. I didn’t! A puppy needs a good year of training and socialization. They won’t understand that you are tired or don’t have time for them and they will get into trouble. I have had a puppy with children (not babies) and GSDs all start out with a lot of energy and needs. As they mature, they will settle in and need less of each but even the calmest adults started out as high energy babies. My WL is 4 and is very mellow, but he has high drive and when he alerts, it’s instantaneous. So, when you ask for a calm dog, be sure you and a breeder are taking about the same things. Drive and energy are different. Mine is high drive with medium energy. Even so, as a puppy, he was a landshark and a bit crazy. Very active. At 8 weeks, he dragged a full Rubbermaid plastic toybox across the room with his teeth.

Since you are new to the breed, I suggest looking for a 3-4 year old trained and socialized dog, and get a puppy when you baby is older. I would look for one from a breeder who has a good dog they aren’t using for breeding or show that would benefit from being in a good family home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
As someone who has a 5 yr old AND a disabled little girl (2.5 years old but the size of a 12mo old), AND a GSD pup, i agree with the previous posts. This isn't our first dog, but our first GSD. Their energy and zest to please is amazing.

We have time to train thankfully due to my wife being a nurse and having 'off days' when i'm working. However with the baby crawling around, she sometimes is a causality of the "zoomies". Karma has ran her over more times than i can count. Thankfully there has been zero damage. This has been the rare times we didn't have her in the air when Karma comes back inside the house from playing with her furry siblings outside.

However i can also mention that the bond she and her our baby has is AMAZING. I can post several photos of them together. Karma also senses the needs of our baby before she does. I have two photos on my phone that shows this. First one is of of them watching tv together and Karma laying down (head up) behind the baby. The 2nd photo is of Karma laying her head down behind the baby as the baby leaned back to take a drink from her sippy and losing her balance. Falling on top of Karma's head instead of the floor.

however this isn't our first child either lol. I understand the need and want to make sure the baby and mother safe. It's always my #1 concern as well. However with your first coming, i would suggest looking into adopting an already trained GSD that is good with kids. That way you wont have to worry about changing a diaper, and looking up in horror to see your puppy taking a squash 2' away, and getting the double whammy smell of both of those smells at once.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,247 Posts
Since raising a newborn and puppy together has already been addressed.... I’ll go ahead and echo the person that said if you find the right breeder, it won’t really matter.

I’ve had presumably both lines, including mashed up rescues... to be honest, aesthetics * gasp * guided me. And I specifically say guided because temperament and suitability did not go ignored.

My introduction to the breed was through several working lines... as a kid, that’s what set the standard and looked “cool” or “right” to me. So when I ventured out to find a dog of my own, I was trying to replicate that and found Gia. 8yrs later, I came across a photo of (still to this day) one of the most attractive WGSL dogs I’ve ever seen (ahem @Cassidy's Mom ) and fell in love with long coats and their deep red coloring, had to have one, then welcomed Tilden. Gia and Tilden were night and day.

Over the years, through knowledge, experience and exposure - my preferences have changed; even back and forth at times. That said, although all of my dogs have differed... all of them have suited my lifestyle in some capacity.

By simply being a GSD, they won’t be couch potatoes and they’re quite effective deterants.... outside of that, as far as their drive to “have a job”, I like to compare my dogs needs to Coldstone’s Ice Cream sizes... “like it” “love it” “gotta have it”... I generally aim for love it :) I’m an active individual who enjoys a challenge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cassidy's Mom

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
My boyfriend came home with an East German working line puppy a few months ago and I'll never be able to get a different breed. Training him was sooo easy because he is the smartest boy I've ever met. He's also the sweetest ever. We literally fell so in love that we went back and bought his brother. They're already so protective over me too. My bf works 6-4 and I'm in pharm school so I'm home with them during the day and their barks are groundshaking. I agree that it all depends on the breeder but my babies are so so intelligent and loving I'd recommend EGWL to anyone thinking about getting a dog. It's been the easiest, least stressful, and most rewarding experience in the world.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top