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I've been thinking a lot about breeding German Shepherd Dogs one day. I really do want to breed them the more I think about it. I want to breed West German Showline, and my breeder is going to help me. Thank goodness. I don't want to be a back yard breeder and breed for money. I want to be known as a trustworthy breeder, and a breeder people respect. I want to breed because I love the German Shepherd Dog breed, I want my dogs' to be an ambassdor for the breed, I want them to have sound temperament, workability, amazing pet qaulity, healthy, and of course I'd love for the police to beable to use my dogs'. That would be an honor, as well as search and rescue, therapy, and just about everything else! I'm posting here because to be a breeder you also have to be knowledgable, even more knowledgable with the breed then I am already. I won't be breeding for awhile as I'm 17 years old, and I want to breed when I'm around 20ish. So any tips or advice is welcome!
 

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I'm not a breeder but I do know producing solid dogs and being a responsible breeder takes a lot of money and a lot of time. While your goals sound like you're on the right track, your time frame sounds very tight... you want to start breeding in the next 3-5 years? Will you have the money for all the vet bills by then? Getting your dog(s) hips and elbows checked? Will you have had the time to title or even just show the dogs you want to breed, especially considering you want to breed show lines?

Not saying you can't do it just suggesting that maybe instead of wanting to breed that soon, take those years and try and learn everything you can about what is involved. Maybe try and figure out how to work with breeders in your area? Do it right, not on a time frame...
 

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I'm not a breeder but I do know producing solid dogs and being a responsible breeder takes a lot of money and a lot of time. While your goals sound like you're on the right track, your time frame sounds very tight... you want to start breeding in the next 3-5 years? Will you have the money for all the vet bills by then? Getting your dog(s) hips and elbows checked? Will you have had the time to title or even just show the dogs you want to breed, especially considering you want to breed show lines?

Not saying you can't do it just suggesting that maybe instead of wanting to breed that soon, take those years and try and learn everything you can about what is involved. Maybe try and figure out how to work with breeders in your area? Do it right, not on a time frame...

Maybe I should have mentioned that it also depends. I'm not saying I'm going to breed them around that time. I'm willing to work hard to get what I want out of my dogs', so if that means zero breeding when I'm 20ish, then I'm all for it. Getting qaulity dogs is work, and I'm willing to work. Tittles, health, money, good dogs', vet, etc is what is most important to me!
 

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Then I wish you good luck! Hopefully we'll be hearing about your wonderful dogs someday :)
 

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Breeding is a VERY involved process and while I admire that you are taking the time to recognize the importance of titles, health testing, and finding good dogs. Without having a nicer way of putting this, its really far much deeper than that. Its a fantastic place to start, but you shouldn't start just because you have a starting point.

You should learn about dog body language, why would you benefit from this? Because as you are raising your own dogs, purchasing dogs, viewing potential dogs for breeding etc. its important to recognize if a dog is visually uncomfortable. Then comes into play WHY that dog is visually uncomfortable. Is the trainer/handler extremely hard on the dog and the dog cannot handle it? Does the dog have handler sensitivity but overall hardness to its environment? Does the dog hate loud noises? etc.
You certainly don't want to breed a dog with an unstable temperament or too much aggression or too much fear. And you need to learn to recognize what kind of fear you are dealing with. What is genetics and what is nurture?

Then that aside, you need to learn what goes into training a dog, the different training styles etc. Because if you intend on titling a dog, you need to find the working ability in an individual dog that suits your needs the best. Not every dog works the same, in fact every last one of them is different. Similar but different.
What are your goals for breeding? To get a dog out of the litter to keep for yourself and have fun titling until the next litter? To produce a bunch of pets to sell? to produce a bunch of show dogs and potentially keep one to campaign yourself?

Understand the standard of this breed, and the standards of other breeds to compare. Why does this breed require the things it says in the standard? Where does the line get drawn at extremes in both drives, and structure. What does this look like in person when you get your hands on the dog? How do you recognize conformation in movement, and then in a stack? What sort of things can you hide in the stack with specific photographs and how do you find these things out to make sure you don't pick out the bad dogs.

Learn how to tell the difference between drives in dogs. What is prey drive? What does it look like? What is defense drive? what does it look like? etc. This will give you more insight into how a dog was trained.

How do you find the right dogs and evaluate them for your breeding program? Will you title all of your own dogs? You should probably gain an understanding of the sport you intend to title your dogs in before you consider using the first dog you trained as a breeding prospect.
If you don't understand everything that goes into training the dog and why you had to do it this or that way for this specific dog, then you won't have the know-how to match that dog correctly with another to improve upon their qualities.

You say you want dogs that can be used with police departments. Please keep in mind that is a vastly different dog than an amazing pet quality dog. Most people consider a pet quality dog to be one who lays on the floor quietly by the fire staring up at them with longing eyes all day long with little to no exercise.

There are many dogs who can work, but each one works for different reasons, different lines of German Shepherds require different types of work to bring them out in the best way. All of which on the surface looks like the same thing. When you dig deeper each dog has a different fundamental reason for doing the work they are doing.

This is just breaking the surface. I just wanted to give you a heads up and say good for you for going for what you believe in and want. But think less about the overall picture of trying to get a litter of puppies as soon as possible. Slow down, enjoy the ride, learn as much as you can, from as many people as you can (because no matter what you will ALWAYS deal with biases from every party), and when you get there, the blood, sweat and tears will be that much more worthwhile and the dogs you produce will be completely worth it. You won't regret a minute of it. You are 17, take your time, there really is no rush.
 

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My only advice is to start getting involved in the dog world ASAP if you aren't already.

If you want breed show lines, start showing and start working dogs. Get in the game and learn before you start even thinking about breeding.
 

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I don't think there is any thing wrong with wanting to be a breeder. As far as I can tell, you want to learn as much as possible before actually breeding and that is a great thing. We are always going to have an abundance of uninformed breeders so IMO we need people to breed who want to do their homework first. Good luck and have fun in your quest! My only advice is to take your time and develop a very deep understanding of the breed first.
 

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Heck, I grew up with breeding and know a lot about what the GSD should be, pedigrees, how to pair dogs, where to find those dogs and I don't jump right into it and have the guidance of my parents if I do want to have a litter.

The problem with these kind of things is:
- do you have the money to be a breeder?

What kind of venue do you want to be involved in to show that your dogs can work? There are not many people that can build a reputation, have their dogs in working venues while their dogs are not titled at all. There are very few people who can pull that off and they've build their reputation over years and years of breeding good dogs, yet not titling at all.

Breeding is very expensive. It's not just putting those two dogs together. It's what you have invested from day one. You already started investing. If you add everything together, from day one until the day you finally breed a litter. You might have been able to buy a house for all of that money that went into the dogs, training etc.

Do you have the space for breeding?

Do you have the neighbors for breeding?

Do you have the money?

Do you have the knowledge?

Do you know how heartbreaking it is to lose an entire litter to Parvo or something else?

Do you know how hard it is to raise and bottle-feed an entire litter because the dam doesn't accept the puppies?

Just look of how much trouble all those reputable breeders go through to create the dogs they are trying to create.

Yeah, I'll probably have a litter somewhere down the road but even with my background I am hesitant to do it. Mainly because there are so many breeders out there already.
 

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@ 4dawgs....I would venture that 90% of the people on this forum that breed don't have the extensive knowledge that you list should be prerequisite to breeding.....so how should I interpret that???
 

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Cliffson, the problem with all that knowledge, is: Where does it come from and how many years does it take to obtain it?

One can argue that you have to start somewhere. When my family started they didn't have all that knowledge already. They had a great deal and knew what they wanted but the extensive in-depth knowledge, they have now, comes from years and years of being involved with the breed and breeding. I think my dad is involved with the breed for over 50 years now. He wasn't born with the knowledge. It took him that long to obtain it.
If you have to wait that long to become a breeder you might as well never try being a breeder at all.

Everyone started somewhere and I'm almost certain that most breeders started out with some/good knowledge but built their extensive knowledge over the years instead of the other way around. That's just the way it is.
 

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The general public will never stop breeding their dogs. It just simple biology. For someone to make the decision to do strive to do it right is admirable.
 

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Start with conformation and Schutzhund first. See where you are in 5 years before deciding to enter the world of breeding. As any breeder on here will tell you, it's not an easy job! No reason to make declarations now. Just get into the dog world more and if breeding is a possibility for you, make that decision when you come to it.
 

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Good for you for knowing what you want to do. Since you have your breeder as a mentor, guide and confidant you are better off than some. Do you already have your foundation bitch? I am going to assume yes, since you mentioned your breeder already. You still have to get your ducks in a row (and you already said this) before it will happen anyway. Title your bitch, do health checks, and if at that time all things look good, go for it. Use the years of experience your breeder has to help select a stud that would be a compliment to your bitch.

Have you ever helped an animal deliver before? I already had more knowledge about delivering animals before I ever bred my bitch. That itself is its own book. If you are able to assist in any deliveries, between now and when ever you do breed, go for it. You have lots of time to gain some knowledge about breeding.

I didnt pick the studs for my bitch. Well, it was my final decision. The first litter was with my trainers dog. We sought out the knowledge of others to see how the pair might produce. Both of us knew the personality traits of both dogs, good and bad. People that know both dogs gave input on pros and cons. Turned out a fantastic litter. I actually think I was able to pick out the pups personalities and match them with their owners too. I actually have a pup from that litter working for a police department. But he didnt start out that way. Was returned to me at 22 months old, out of control. If it wasnt for my trainer and her connections, I dont know what I would have done with him. I had him in the house, and the second litter I bred in the house. Total chaos! He was aggressive with the puppies so crate rotation had to be enlisted.

I forgot to mention something with the first litter. You need to be prepared for the unexpected. She delivered eight puppies. The eighth puppy was born with an open abdomen. After some research, this is almost a year later, I found out about canine herpes virus. A friend lost an entire litter and didnt know why. In 20yrs of breeding, what did she do different. Exposing a pregnant bitch to other dogs was bad. Two weeks before Yoko delivered she placed HIT at a specialty show. I had continued to take her to training and shows during her pregnancy. Big mistake. I know better now.

You have lots of time to get involved in training and showing. Seeing what other dogs are like. Temperaments, conformation, etc. You will then be able to see what positive and negative traits your dog possess.

Breeding, believe it or not, is the easy part. What comes before and after is the hard part. (That is why there are so many back yard breeders with poor quality dogs, and successfully breeding them)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you all so much for the informative answers, and questions. I can tell you now, I have helped delivered kittens. It was very interesting, and I enjoyed helped bring in a little bundle of joy into the world.
 

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This is just breaking the surface. I just wanted to give you a heads up and say good for you for going for what you believe in and want. But think less about the overall picture of trying to get a litter of puppies as soon as possible. Slow down, enjoy the ride, learn as much as you can, from as many people as you can (because no matter what you will ALWAYS deal with biases from every party), and when you get there, the blood, sweat and tears will be that much more worthwhile and the dogs you produce will be completely worth it. You won't regret a minute of it. You are 17, take your time, there really is no rush.
I agree! I'm also 17 and would love to become a breeder however we're still young and naive and need more time to reflect upon the subject and think about how much money we have to put into this. My dog's breeder sold the pups with various things such as a free pack of Royal Canin food (they were weaned), a microchip, first vaccine, wormer, flea treatment, Gwen Bailey's 'The perfect puppy' book, papers, four weeks free insurance ect. Which I think was highly responsible of her (-: She will always take any of her bred dogs back too. Which is another thing we should consider. We wouldn't want our beautifully bred dogs to be ending up in the shelter/wrong hands. A house check is permitted to. We also need to prepare for controversy. Some believe it's right to breed traditional coat length and colours. While others while produce long coated Shepherds. Or blue's/whites/livers. Preparing for all this sometimes scares me, I mean threads could be made on specific forums to criticise, ridicule our dogs. However it's all in a days work, I wish you good luck! :D
 

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I commend people who strive to breed good dogs.

For me, I have never had the inclination to do so. One of my best friends bred gsd's for quite some time, if I wanted a "fix" I could always go there. But I don't have the desire to do it..Heartache, MONEY, and alot of time involved.

Easier for me to go buy what I want:)
 

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Buy yourself a quality female puppy, get her temperment tested and put the necessary titles on her. By this time you will have a better understanding of her and wheather you want to breed her if she has sound genetics.
If you are in South La. there are a few people that train Schutzhund and a couple clubs that you can visit. There is also a group around Shreveport if you are in North La.
 

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I'm not a breeder and I know next to nothing about German Shepherds, but I think while you're still young, getting into more schooling or a job that allows you to handle a wide variety of dogs and dog issues might help. Examples would be vet tech or trainer.

From a buyer's perspective, I want a breeder who can give me basic advice on health issues, training issues, nutrition issues, grooming suggestions, etc. I think experience in any one of these fields would help you along your path. As an added bonus, some of them can even help pay bills until you've achieved your goal.
 

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I want to breed West German Showline, and my breeder is going to help me.
Who is your breeder? Hopefully, they are ethical and responsible, and their dogs are doing more than just breeding. You absolutely must have a mentor, and a good mentor is gold. However, a mediocre mentor can perpetuate mediocre dogs and ideas, and will suck the life right out of the breed.

I thought I wanted to be a breeder when I was 17, too! Then I got into veterinary medicine when I was about 20, volunteered at the local shelter, and started learning how to groom. Within a couple of years, I could no longer imagine being a breeder!

I suggest you get some background in caring for animals before you go into breeding. Study to be a vet tech, or get a job at a local vet clinic, kennel, or shelter. Get some animal knowledge and experience under your belt FIRST. I imagine you are still living with your parents, and are still in high school. Are you planning to go to college, or get a job right out of high school? Where are you going to live? You must make sure your house and your neighbors are amenable to a dog breeding operation. You must make certain you have a good, reliable source of income because breeding is very expensive when done the right way--remember, you will NOT make money breeding. Any profit you might see from puppy sales will be eaten up by caring for your dogs, medical emergencies, x-rays, testing, trialing, showing.

DO NOT get an animal you intend to breed until you are really ready and able, and have a specific goal in mind. You want to raise German showlines, AND police dogs? With all due respect to the SL breeders, these are two different goals. Not saying it can't be done, but top show lines do not often go on to become police k9s. They generally are looking for working lines.

You also have to train and title your dogs in SchH before you can breed if you are doing it the German way. Join a SchH club now, and observe. When you get your first brood bitch, she will be your foundation, so you must have a very special one. What if she doesn't make the cut, not able to get that SchH title or conformation rating you want? What will you do with her?

So you see, breeding is quite fraught. If after reading all this, you are still excited to learn and watch, and then do all the things you need to do, then I'd say you are on the right track to becoming a future breeder!
 
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