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What is the best way to start learning GSD bloodlines and pedigrees? Are there books out there that trace the "beginning" dogs that have passed on specific traits? (I'm thinking kind-of like the Legends series the American Quarter Horse Association has.)

Where do you start?
 

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i am sooooo impressed with people that know pedigrees and
some people know the pedigree on dogs outside the country.
i read my dog's pedigree and i'm completely clueless. i think
his pedigree is good because all of the dogs in his pedigree
have fancy names and lots of numbers, numbers and letters
combinations listed under their names.
 

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great you asked this, I would love to know too. I'm interested in European working lines, I started looking for dogs in my boy's pedigree and went from there, but would love to have some more structure to research. Hope somebody is going to help.
 

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You know, if there isn't already a book on this, it seems like it would be a pretty good subject for one. It would have to be self-published (can't imagine there's a market demand for more than a few hundred copies, maaaybe somewhere around a thousand), but it's exactly the kind of specialized niche that self-publishing is so good at serving.
 

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with all of the dogs that have a registered pedigree and the
people that own them a thousand sales will happen in the
first few seconds the book is on the market.

You know, if there isn't already a book on this, it seems like it would be a pretty good subject for one. It would have to be self-published

>>>>> (can't imagine there's a market demand for more than a few hundred copies, maaaybe somewhere around a thousand),<<<<<


but it's exactly the kind of specialized niche that self-publishing is so good at serving.
 

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Doggiedad, that's how I am!

I have always had rescues so it didn't matter. With my last pup I specifically wanted a SAR dog. I read a lot of books and then searched for breeders nearby, thinking I was doing everything right. LOL!!

I ended up getting a dog from showlines whose parents had done some tracking work, won a lot of show awards, and had good hips and elbows. Sounds good right? Breeder swore he'd be great at SAR work and pointed out a half-sibling (or maybe half-cousin) that had been trained as an example. Well, he was a great dog but had no drive. He was fast finding a scent but after about 20-50 yards of tracking he was bored. Oh, the hours and hours of training we spent. I finally got it through my head that we were both miserable and it just wasn't going to happen. He turned out to be an awesome family dog though and helped raised my kiddo.

We've been looking for a pup (not really hard) the past few years and an acquaintance pointed us to a working litter with pups available. We recently lost our Ol Man so I was hesitant but Hubby convinced me to go look. The pup the breeder thought would be a good fit was so sweet and mellow that we decided to get him. The breeder felt he was pet quality as he (if I remember her right, and have the right wording) had a very soft bite and was very laid back.

The pup comes with a pedigree full of acronyms and titles and fancy names. I'd love to learn more about what everything means, and what bloodlines he is, and....well, ALL OF IT!! I grew up on a horse ranch so knowing horse pedigrees was something I was around all the time. I assume that dogs are the same, but I have no clue where to start learning.
 

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with all of the dogs that have a registered pedigree and the
people that own them a thousand sales will happen in the
first few seconds the book is on the market.
Oh well in that case, if somebody who actually has the knowledge to do the project wants to get together to collaborate, hey, I'm available after October. ;)

Seriously, though, if a thing like that doesn't already exist, I do think it could be of interest, if only as a project to entertain some of the people on this forum and put some valuable knowledge down in concrete form before it gets lost to the ages.
 

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Cliff and Doc need to chime in about now!
 

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Cliff and Doc need to chime in about now!
Cliff, Doc, and Carm....would love to read a pedigree-book written by them I think we should just assign it to them. :)
 

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not Cliff and not Doc --- answering though -- great question rgrey . If you are a serious student I would recommend investing in the series of books written by Malcolm Willis particularly "The German Shepherd Dog"
also Sue Barwig's encyclopedic "The German Shepherd Book" and wait for it , yes, another "The German Shepherd Dog" but this time it is by Brian Wooton.

For general information regarding conformation there is Linda Shaw , illustrator of the GSD standard http://www.shawlein.com/

How many languages can you read?
 

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rgrey , do you have a dog with a pedigree . You can use that on the forum as a jumping off point .
There is actually a lot of information on the forum. Check out "ice berg breeders" which covers a lot of genetic information.
 

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Commitment and obsession are the traits that lead to effective pedigree reading, IMO. I probably own most hardcover books on the breed and have had them since their inception unless they were before my time.( Hart, Strickland, Willis, Wooten, Von Stephanitz, Most, Dahlmer, and many other I am sure I can find on my shelves.) then there are periodical or magazines from the German Shepherd review to SV magazine to old NASA/USA magazine, Old mags like Dog Sports, for many years Dog world was a treasure for this breed and many top breeders,( like Carmen) of both breed and working world advertised in.
This is only a fraction of reading material, countless, I mean countless pedigrees stored over the years, thousands of pages of Internet pedigrees, pedigree analysis, and data. Countless hours of going to websites and looking at studs/dams and there pedigrees. Stock in Ma Bell from the many phone calls and hours per call talking dogs, their progeny, their pluses and minuses, etc.
And this is a start......not saying everyone can or should go to this length, but short of this phantom book these are the commitments needed to begin to try to really get a handle on this lineage angle. And I am not unique, in the sense that the others on this forum that are skilled in pedigree reading have also traveled these same roads.
 

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What Cliff and Carmen said. :) On top of that, experience. The more dogs you work and handle the more similarities you will see within families (bloodlines)
 

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What Cliff and Carmen said. :) On top of that, experience. The more dogs you work and handle the more similarities you will see within families (bloodlines)
Ditto to what the others have said.

I would also add not to limit this to just dogs that you work and handle. When at training, shows, trials, etc... take note of dogs that stand out to you (either for good or for bad) and then inquire as to the pedigree or look it up online. This helps to start to see the patterns of traits that run in families that Lisa mentioned.
 

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:thumbup:

There are lines of dogs I avoid because of what I have consistently seen.
 

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lol , ditto Cliff, Lisa , and Chris.

A lot of information is not written . A lot is an oral history . We compare notes . Either from viewing dogs in training or at trial or from personal hands on experience with a particular lineage . Sometimes see things that the handler / owner is oblivious to because you can step back and see things without being lost in the training or performance . Sometimes too close lets you lose the full picture .
 

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lol , ditto Cliff, Lisa , and Chris.

A lot of information is not written . A lot is an oral history . We compare notes . Either from viewing dogs in training or at trial or from personal hands on experience with a particular lineage . Sometimes see things that the handler / owner is oblivious to because you can step back and see things without being lost in the training or performance . Sometimes too close lets you lose the full picture .
That is what I have been suspecting. Knowledge that is not written! I spend hours of internet research and seem like there is not much specific info on specific dogs. Can find basic trial and health info and maybe little character traits but that it. You guys have secret club, don't you?:D
 

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- its the OLDE way . long before a public registry (kennel clubs and registrations) , there were private records , careful scrutiny. When a dog made a difference to your livelihood, your success , you paid attention and asked the questions . Good dogs got notoriety and were used -- others ? , well their failings either in the work or in the ability to reproduce were also disseminated and they were avoided. Shepherds knew whose dog (s) were good and breedings were not done for commerce , they were done to replace an aging dog -- a replacement , and ideally something even better than you had .

Kaizen -- continual improvement .

I'd love to hear from the OP . Maybe a specific question?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Carm-I am getting a pedigreed pup soon, this one has a fancy-schmancy pedigree, (at least, compared to my last dog) which got me thinking more of pedigrees and bloodlines. I also want to avoid the mistake I made with my last pup-not that a show dog wouldn't have the drive and determination to work, but had I known there was such a difference in type I may have made a better choice for the work I wanted to do.

Obsession and dedication-that is SO correct! I spent years and years studying horse pedigrees and I assume dogs' would be the same, maybe worse since more puppies are born in a given year.

So, just curious. With horses you could say that you have a Poco Bueno bred horse and a knowledgeable person would know that somewhere in your horse's ancestry is the stallion Poco Bueno and there would be an assumption that your horse would be good working with cows (being very VERY general here). Is it the same with dogs?

Carm-I really don't have a specific question, I just look at my new pup's pedigree and see so much information but it all looks Greek. I would like to get more involved with the GSD community and it seems like the first step (other than getting out and meeting people) would be learning the pedigrees, bloodlines, and history of the breed.

Sadly, I only read English. Maybe I should start studying German? :D
 
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