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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm on the fence between getting a WGSL or a WL pup. I love both, and I plan on having both one day, but I just don't know which to start with. This would be my first GSD (though definitely not my first big dog) and I don't plan on doing any showing/breeding/competition sports. I might TRY Schutzhund, but it's not on my agenda at this moment and is not an important part of making my decision.

So for those of you who were also faced with this decision, how did you decide? And what advice would you give me?
 

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i dont think i have anything to offer you in the way of advice but if BOTH lines interest you, why not look for a breeder who combines the lines? I've come across a few WGSL/WL breeders who did all the health testing and titling but with what i know of WGSL, they work and title their dogs so i guess it would probably boil down to how much energy do you want the dog to have?
 

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The thing is, I'm fine with however much energy the pup may have since I'm active myself. And just to clarify, when I say WL I'm talking about East German/Czech working lines. I guess the only main difference I'm seeing personally is the coat color and topline (which, as long as it isn't severely roached, isn't much of an issue to me)... hopefully someone can give me some sort of advice. :confused:
 

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Think it's great you are looking into this early.

This ends up being such a personal decision I think you'd do well to find Sch clubs or breeders that you can visit and talk to people. Along with meeting their dogs so you can see, up close and personal, which type you prefer.
 

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It is a personal decision , as MRL said, go out and meet some dogs/breeders see what interests you and go with that.

I have always had working lines, just what I prefer:)

Good luck in your search
 

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i dont think i have anything to offer you in the way of advice but if BOTH lines interest you, why not look for a breeder who combines the lines? I've come across a few WGSL/WL breeders who did all the health testing and titling but with what i know of WGSL, they work and title their dogs so i guess it would probably boil down to how much energy do you want the dog to have?
I truely do not think this is the way to go or good advice. Combining SL/WL is not bettering the breed, IMO.
I would look at pedigrees and see which ones will fit your lifestyle. And as posted above, go to GSD venues and see the different lines doing what they do best, talk with their owners and breeders if possible.
Either SL or WL's can have lots of energy, the biddability and work ethic in the lines would sway me towards the WL. It all depends on what you want in a dog, lookwise and for a great companion. If you want a dog that is not high drive, the DDR's are another option and gorgeous.
 

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As stated by several already, this is totally a personal decision. Go with YOUR preference. I love the showlines so the only decision I had to make was finding quality breeders with quality dogs. Narrow it down to your personal preference and then start looking for quality breeders. You will find good/bad in all the lines.
 

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I fostered a working line dog, fell in love, and adopted him. Now that he's at the bridge I'm buying a working line puppy.

Really the best way to decide is to spend time with the dogs. You can't figure out which one you want by doing google searches and talking on message boards, you have to spend time with dogs.
 

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I truely do not think this is the way to go or good advice. Combining SL/WL is not bettering the breed, IMO.
I would look at pedigrees and see which ones will fit your lifestyle. And as posted above, go to GSD venues and see the different lines doing what they do best, talk with their owners and breeders if possible.
Either SL or WL's can have lots of energy, the biddability and work ethic in the lines would sway me towards the WL. It all depends on what you want in a dog, lookwise and for a great companion. If you want a dog that is not high drive, the DDR's are another option and gorgeous.

And widening the riff between the two sides, further isolating the gene pool, is?

Both sides could due to benefit from the other. Its thinking like this that has created these massive splits.
 

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And widening the riff between the two sides, further isolating the gene pool, is?

Both sides could due to benefit from the other. Its thinking like this that has created these massive splits.

agreed.
 

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I have to say when we were first looking at German Shepherd puppies we were a largely uninformed buyer. We knew we wanted "german" and not American lines and we wanted a male.

The first puppy we looked at was a German Showline pup. Pedigree looked solid, breeders seemed alright, but something about the parents just didn't thrill me. Don't get me wrong. They were good looking dogs but they just lacked something that made me go Wow.

Then we went to look at Argos's litter- West German Workinglines. The pups were only 5 weeks old so there wasn't much to see there but the mother was excellent with her pups keeping them all together and very tolerant of us strangers handling them but I adored the Sire of the litter. We met him, a big dark sable male, with a lot of intensity. He looked at us (won't lie- at first scared me just a little because he was so intense in his eye contact), smelled us and said Hi, then ran around the side of the house and came back dragging a log. Dropped it at DH's feet and started to wag his tail, whine and bark. Saying "PLAY WITH ME PLEASE!!!". He played fetch with DH the entire time we were there. Outing politely when asked and never quitting. We were sold. :)

It really is personal preference. It depends on what you like and it depends on the individual litters. You have to go visit dogs of different lines, different kennels, and get a feel for what you like. I know some people who love their showlines and that is just fine. But the sable workinglines really seem to have found a place in my heart.
 

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Someone said DDRs not high drive? I thought the DDR dogs were high drive and used for police/military work.

thanks
the czech lines are pretty intense. from what i know of the czech lines they are high drive very intense dogs. DDR are working lines but i've heard they're not AS intense. the czech lines are the ones i usually see and hear about most often doing police work and border patrol. those who can explain better or have more knowledge please chime in.
 

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I have to say when we were first looking at German Shepherd puppies we were a largely uninformed buyer. We knew we wanted "german" and not American lines and we wanted a male.

The first puppy we looked at was a German Showline pup. Pedigree looked solid, breeders seemed alright, but something about the parents just didn't thrill me. Don't get me wrong. They were good looking dogs but they just lacked something that made me go Wow.

Then we went to look at Argos's litter- West German Workinglines. The pups were only 5 weeks old so there wasn't much to see there but the mother was excellent with her pups keeping them all together and very tolerant of us strangers handling them but I adored the Sire of the litter. We met him, a big dark sable male, with a lot of intensity. He looked at us (won't lie- at first scared me just a little because he was so intense in his eye contact), smelled us and said Hi, then ran around the side of the house and came back dragging a log. Dropped it at DH's feet and started to wag his tail, whine and bark. Saying "PLAY WITH ME PLEASE!!!". He played fetch with DH the entire time we were there. Outing politely when asked and never quitting. We were sold. :)

It really is personal preference. It depends on what you like and it depends on the individual litters. You have to go visit dogs of different lines, different kennels, and get a feel for what you like. I know some people who love their showlines and that is just fine. But the sable workinglines really seem to have found a place in my heart.

thats exactly why i like the working lines. They just have what it takes for me. Not to knock on those who like the showlines american or german but working lines just do it for me.
 

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And widening the riff between the two sides, further isolating the gene pool, is?

Both sides could due to benefit from the other. Its thinking like this that has created these massive splits.
I guess the showline breeders are more apt to add in the WL genetics to their program, but not the other way around. I agree, there is a problem with genetic bottlenecking in all lines, but to mix is not what I'd support. There are other options.
As far as my opinion on the DDR's I should have said they aren't extreme in their drives. They can have strong drive but not over the top. This link(I'm sure Verivus has already seen) explains what I meant.
http://www.shawlein.com/The_Standard/13_Breed_Type/Breed_Types.html
German Shepherd Dog, East German Lines (DDR). This family was developed in East Germany from those dogs remaining in the East after WW 2. Those foundation dogs predated the show/working split of post-war West Germany, and were not extreme in either conformation or drive. The DDR dogs tend to show solid working structure with heavy bone and massive heads, and strong temperament. Some dogs can show a degree of sharpness. Overall, they tend to be very sound. Some breeders are attempting to preserve the pure DDR lines, but they are more commonly being integrated into the working lines with good success.
SG Alk v Osterburg Quell SchH3 DPO2 WPO Kkl1
 

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d. I agree, there is a problem with genetic bottlenecking in all lines, but to mix is not what I'd support. There are other options.
What options would those be? Not trying to be argumentative here, I'd honestly like to know. I thought the only way to increase genetic diversity was to bring in new blood?
 

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I have American Show Lines and have for 40+ years. The dogs I have now are sound of mind and body, and are everything I could want in a dog.

I agree that the only way to know what you want is to meet as many dogs as possible. That is how you will learn what you like both physically and mentally.
 

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Sorry to go off the topic, RE; Emoore question:

Going with the kennels that have what it takes, but not the big-name big-money kennels is an option. So many breeders are all about that and not looking at what else is breedworthy...
like I said I think the SL breeders would be more into diversifying, not so much the WL trying to get "new blood"(SL) into their programs.
 

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I believe in equilibrium. People love to waggle their fingers at the SL dogs, but the WL are far from perfect. There are diamonds on both sides, and dirt on both as well. I believe there are far more outstanding SL dogs than people like to give credit for, and to NOT use their genes simply because they are show dogs is a shame. This "us against them" mentality only moves to hurt the breed, not help it.

Pedigree is important, I absolutely think it is, and breeding with a goal in mind is too... but at some point you have to look past the paper and at the DOG itself. SL, WL, that people will really overlook a fantastic animal because his parents were tan/black saddles that were born in America... is a shame, shame, shame.

I am not without bias. I don't like what has become of many of the SL dogs. Nor do I like any better what has become of many of the WL. You could not PAY me to own some of the dogs I've seen. Dogs who will stare only at a sleeve, and follow it barking all the way to the ground. Dogs so obnoxiously barky that their owners keep electrics on them at all times, just to shut them up on the field. Dogs who are so stubborn, that their owners beat them in the face, and kick and scream at them (which I'm not at all convinced is the dog's fault, but here is a complaint strait for the very people who work these dogs... that they "have" to do these things in order for the dog to listen). Or dogs who are so unstable, that they will literally go for a bystander when they SHOULD be running the blind.

I would take a quite, lazy, oversized SL dog before I would take one of the previously mentioned. Any day. And twice on Sunday. NONE of them are Max's dog, but at least I know which one I could live with on a day to day basis.

Mulder is a DDR/Czech cross. I feel I am lucky to have him, as he exemplifies everything this breed should be to me. He is not perfect, but he may be the closest I ever come, and I hope never to waste a day of him.
 

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Karlo is a WG WL/Czech cross~ I think he is the total dog(for me). As far as the OP's question "how did you decide" I decided that I wanted a WL because I wanted to do SchH with my next pup. I was in a club with mostly showlines(good lines, mostly Kirschental) but wanted a bit more drive and I love the dark sable color over the black and red. Something about the working line just told me that was the total dog. My preference.

This thread should not end up as a debate about SL/WL and really there should be no "debate"...it is all based on opinions of what we individually want in our companion.
I don't think more than 10% of GSD owners even participate in SchH in the US, so what they do on the field is pretty moot and many won't even know what you are writing about, atravis.
I've never seen anyone in SchH training beat their dog in the face or kick and scream at them...wow, where do you train?
 
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