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Discussion Starter #1
I have found what I believe to be a very reputable breeder. I studied a great deal to prepare for a new puppy. Finding a good breeder was to make sure the I got a German Shepherd that could be a champion. The studying was to make sure I was worthy and able to take it to it's full potential. The breeder suggested that if I'm going to breed, my first GSD should be the best bitch I can afford and should be at least 6 months old. Now to the point. This is what I have so far:

I am looking for a foundation bitch to start my breeding program.
The successful candidate will:
1. be at least 6 months of age
2. have received all immunizations
3. have preliminary hip and elbow x-rays completed and evaluated
4. conform to the breed standard defined by the GSDCA
Successful candidates need not have achieved title recognition but must demonstrate upon inspection the potential to do so.

What have I left out? Am I expecting too much?
 

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lots of money to travel, show and pay handlers to get points on teh dog since it looks like you are heading to the AKC show ring.

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not concerned now with the details of showing and titling. I've already examined that and I think I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. I'm just trying to figure out how to find the right bitch and why anyone would be willing to sell her.
 

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It depends on how much you want to spend...

A good bitch from a reputable breeder that the breeder thinks will be a champion...will be hard to pry out of their hands. You could get the second one in line but that is going to be the second best dog in that litter and if you go up against her sister (who is better) you'll end up losing all the time and never getting your championship. Showing...is very regional, you see the same dogs over and over, so competing with litter mates isn't always the best plan of action.

The best thing to do might be to co-own with a breeder. They want the breeding rights to the bitch and so do you. You'll pay less, raise the dog, show the dog, when it comes to breeding your agreement with the co-owner should lay out who gets what puppy...you could then get your true foundation bitch.

The problem with asking for a 6 month old...is that if the price is "average" it tells you the breeder messed up and the dog didn't develop into something they thought she would. If the price is high, it means the breeder wants to keep the dog but is able to put a price on her...but that price might be too high for you.

The biggest issue I have with your list is #4...most GSDs conform to the breed standard as defined by the GSDCA. The question is how do YOU interpret that standard. How long have you been in the GSD "game"? How well do you know the breed to evaluate if the dog is to the standard? Or are you just going to trust that who ever is selling you the puppy is telling you its to the standard? That is a lot of trust in someone, and also, if you post a picture of that dog...you'll get 100s of different opinions on what conforms and what doesn't.

If you hang around this forum enough...or do some searches...you'll see that the majority of people on this forum do not agree with the "American" or GSDCA or AKC standard interpretation of the breed. Which is what is necessary to win a championship...
 

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Can your breeder/mentor help you find a bitch or offer you something? Your list is OK but very, very vague/general. What types of GSDs will you be breeding? How will you test them (shows, trials, performance events, working venues, etc)?
 

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your foundation should be in other things beside the bitch.

a program does not begin with buying a female -- it starts with years of information and experience prior to thinking about breeding and developing a true program that goes beyond male meet female = puppies

I agree, it does look like you are heading for the American show lines , and there is nothing wrong with that --

having been involved in showing and handling , and having produced champions , best in breed champs and ROM's , I have to ask , what show? because there is all-breed and then there is "specialty" -- favouring different versions of breed type interpretation . have you looked at Shawlein Fine Art & Purebred German Shepherd Dogs

Then I need to point out that the best show dog is not necessarily the best producing dog , that a champion title makes no comment upon the dogs temperament or breed specific characteristics --

I would also question the need for all immunizations by 6 months of age -- tons of information on this forum to check out .

Also 6 months is young to have prelims done and evaluated by. It can be done as a pre-purchase arrangement for security . Better evaluation would be after 9 months to one year -- for preliminary --

some expectation that the dog can finish and get a title ?
sometimes it depends on the area in which you are competing because animals are put up judged against each other , even the best of a bad lot , unless there is something glaringly wrong which merits a disqualification such as major missing dentition or missing testicles if male or overt aggression where the dog wants to take down the judge or overt shyness fear where the dog drags the handler and the ring steward and their table out while attempting a hasty escape .
Some finished champions would consistently place last when they compete where there is more and better quality competiton.

How the dog is handled , when you have seconds to impress the judges eye , means lots . You have to know the judges special bias , and you have to know what your dogs best points are --- showcase them, and you have to know where your dog could stand improvement and diminish those.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I AM leaning toward American show lines. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" applies to German Shepherds too. I mean absolutely no offense to anyone but while I recognize there are lines bread to be absolutely more suited to various jobs, I personally love the look of the American show lines.

I looked into schutzhund and it seems like it would be a whole lot of fun but, and forgive me if I use the wrong terms, the drive in dogs necessary to be the best are beyond what I could confidently expect to control with my extremely limited experience. I think agility and herding is more likely my speed. As my experience in handling dogs grows, I may someday explore schutzhund but not in the immediate future.

My original goal was to get a pet that I could try to show if I found myself capable. I wanted a GSD that could win in conformation shows and working competitions. I wanted one that would be worthy of breeding if I could educate myself to the level of a responsible breeder. The more I read and the more I talked with the breeder I mentioned, the more I realized I'm already a more responsible breeder than any I've bought from in the past. I've never bred a dog that wasn't worthy. Of course I've never bred a dog. "First do no harm."

I do not have years of experience but even the most knowledgeable started out with no experience. In the beginning, I would rely heavily on the opinion of others in guiding my decisions whether to breed or not and what mates will produce the desired results. The dog would be shown by a professional handler. I would assume these tasks or not based on where my experience took me. My ideal GSD would look like an American show champion and would herd sheep better than Max von Stephanitz ever dreamed of. First and foremost I want a beautiful pet German Shepherd. I know I can buy one for 1/4th the price of a potential champion but then I can never know what could have been. If I make the effort and later find out that it's not what I expected, I'm stuck (blessed) with a beautiful companion that will be a faithful family member for years. If I have 20-30K and that's all I get, it's still a win. My kids cost me way more than that and I don't regret a penny.

The few replies I've gotten so far are exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for. Thank you all who've responded so far and anyone else, keep them coming.
 

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Talk to Daphne, (andaka) here, I"m sure she can steer you in the right direction !
 

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Your list looks good, and you seem to understand most of what is involved with conformation showing. If you need suggestions for breeders to talk to, PM me and I'll try to point you toward someone who can help you.
 

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See if Daphne will mentor you and have some long exhausting talks with her about , lines, dogs, traits of certain lines, what to stay away from, genetics, understanding importance of temperament and health, and do the the things Carmspack suggested yourself. Good GS breeders, IMO, have good dog knowledge( which can be helped by mentors), and they have indepth experience training dogs( which helps understand the terms and language the mentor uses).....Good Luck!
 

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I have always said to start a breeding program start with the best PEDIGREE female you can afford, hopefully acquiring her from a mentor or in league with a knowledgable breeder. The pedigree should be especially strong in health and temperment, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but living and loving and having health is most important. It takes years of learing to become truly prepared and that is why a mentor is vital for success. Someone tyo help locate the female, find the perfect stud match, assist in the breeding, whelping, rearing of the litter then the sales. Also will be the training, trialing, and shows are only 1 venue, try obedience, agility, herding, tracking...your interests, your choice..but do something, and keep doing something...we need new people and those with dedication
 

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Schutzhund always was a priority, but, not necessary. Agility titles would be super. That will be your garantee that your foundation bitch is mentally healthy. GSD's intellect is inherited thing, dogs like humans have mental disorders inherited as well. If you really try, you will find ways to get a puppy from a champion mother in both - in Schutzhund and titled at the dog show. If I were you - I would buy airticket to German Sirger Show 2013 in August and make my choice there by meeting breeders face to face. All breeding dogs at the show are "mentally tested" because nobody can be registered without training, you will have a great choice looking at European lines. Long haired are really in fasion nodays.
 
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