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Why should they import? There are plenty of good breeders right here in the states with lower prices. No guarantees on an import. They may be cheaper but they certainly aren't going to send their best dogs over here for pets.

I agree with Steve. Just any dog doesn't make a good pet. I see a lot of really hard to train dogs with zero drive and bad nerves. It's sad to see someone put out 10000% in training and get 2% back with a dog they have to manage for the life time of the dog. As far as I'm concerned, a family pet has to have even better nerves and temperament than a sport dog. Sport people micromanage their dogs and demand higher obedience so can cover some of that up.
Like I said, just my personal opinion... but if someone is making the equivalent of a brand new Mercedes on a litter of puppies, each and every one of them better be guaranteed not to have so much as an ear infection their entire life and live for 15 years 馃槀
I know there are no guarantees on an import but I would rather get one for 10x less and take my chances than pay $5,000 for an 8 week old puppy with even less chances. Dog breeding in North America is pretty much an unregulated free-for-all so unless someone is willing to devote a few months of their life researching where their dog is coming from whereas with an import, anybody can just pick a name from a list and get the same thing.
 

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I haven鈥檛 been in the market for a German Shepherd puppy in a long time, but is $4,000 to $5,000 not outrageous for a WGSL puppy, assuming everything checks out regarding the breeder, dam and sire?

BTW, I don鈥檛 want to mention the breeder because i don鈥檛 want this topic to get totally derailed.
Robmypro, if you're still looking I found this that may be helpful: German Shepherd Dog Club of America (GSDCA) - Ethical German Shepherd Puppy Breeder Characteristics
Ethical breeders are just that. Regardless of price, ethical breeders want to breed healthy, sound pups. Has nothing to do with the number of dogs they own or if they breed in a barn or in their kitchen floor. Some lines have line-breeding (recent or historically) which can both help or hinder the resulting pups, in one way or another. Breeders refer to this as "consolidation". Out-crosses are when one line of dogs are bred to other lines called an open pedigree, which infuses fresh genes into the pool. They have pluses and minuses too. BUT, the point is there is at least one well known breeder with a super fancy website, who sells his dogs as premium dogs at extreme prices. He has been referenced all over the internet for scamming remote buyers. He charges $7000.00 or higher often times, and the owners go to the airport to receive a sick, scared, poorly bred dog.
If you can see the sire and dam, along with the pups in person, that's a huge plus. Also, if you know the Sire and Dam's registered names or registration numbers, you can go to Pedigree Database and see pictures of their ancestors, progeny, siblings etc. (sometimes). That also shows you back-massing or linebreeding to some extent if it exists. It's kinda nuts buyers have to go to so much work to find a healthy dog, but again, higher price does not always equal healthy, sound dogs. Hope this helps.
 

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Like I said, just my personal opinion... but if someone is making the equivalent of a brand new Mercedes on a litter of puppies, each and every one of them better be guaranteed not to have so much as an ear infection their entire life and live for 15 years 馃槀
I know there are no guarantees on an import but I would rather get one for 10x less and take my chances than pay $5,000 for an 8 week old puppy with even less chances. Dog breeding in North America is pretty much an unregulated free-for-all so unless someone is willing to devote a few months of their life researching where their dog is coming from whereas with an import, anybody can just pick a name from a list and get the same thing.

So let me get this right....

It's all an unregulated free for all over here in North America unless someone takes the time to do research on a breeder but you don't need to do research on a breeder if you import? Can I ask how many dogs you've imported? In my opinion, based on experiences from my friends, importing is a crap shoot. They do not send their best dogs to you. And there are crap breeders overseas as well. Midnight trials to title a dog, puppies that are nervebags, puppies that have dysplasia, sick puppies. I would never import unless I had someone that knew the breeder helping me. I'm just not sure what you are basing your opinion on or why a person would not do several months of research before investing in a creature they will have for 13 years.
 

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So let me get this right....

It's all an unregulated free for all over here in North America unless someone takes the time to do research on a breeder but you don't need to do research on a breeder if you import? Can I ask how many dogs you've imported? In my opinion, based on experiences from my friends, importing is a crap shoot. They do not send their best dogs to you. And there are crap breeders overseas as well. Midnight trials to title a dog, puppies that are nervebags, puppies that have dysplasia, sick puppies. I would never import unless I had someone that knew the breeder helping me. I'm just not sure what you are basing your opinion on or why a person would not do several months of research before investing in a creature they will have for 13 years.
Because it鈥檚 just easier for the average person to have that work done for them by a professional regulatory body instead of becoming an expert in something that everyone argues about anyway, that will become instantly obsolete to them the minute they buy their puppy. I spent many years living and working in Europe and buying dogs there is just different... more predictable. I don鈥檛 know why that same system can鈥檛 be brought over here. There are some sophisticated calculations that go into breeding over there and even then you can鈥檛 know exactly what you鈥檙e getting (we haven鈥檛 come that far in DNA mapping even in humans yet) and here we have ancestry.com breeding at 10x the cost. If I鈥檓 spending 5-10 times more on a dog, I鈥檇 expect them to be 5-10x better. It seems reasonable to spend much less on a dog that couldn鈥檛 have even been bred if they were THAT terrible. If they were $1-$2k, I鈥檇 say fine, but $4500-$5000USD seems outrageous. For that you can get a trained PPD here and Canadian vets cost twice as much so I have no idea how a dog could possibly cost that much.
 

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Because it鈥檚 just easier for the average person to have that work done for them by a professional regulatory body instead of becoming an expert in something that everyone argues about anyway, that will become instantly obsolete to them the minute they buy their puppy. I spent many years living and working in Europe and buying dogs there is just different... more predictable. I don鈥檛 know why that same system can鈥檛 be brought over here. There are some sophisticated calculations that go into breeding over there and even then you can鈥檛 know exactly what you鈥檙e getting (we haven鈥檛 come that far in DNA mapping even in humans yet) and here we have ancestry.com breeding at 10x the cost. If I鈥檓 spending 5-10 times more on a dog, I鈥檇 expect them to be 5-10x better. It seems reasonable to spend much less on a dog that couldn鈥檛 have even been bred if they were THAT terrible. If they were $1-$2k, I鈥檇 say fine, but $4500-$5000USD seems outrageous. For that you can get a trained PPD here and Canadian vets cost twice as much so I have no idea how a dog could possibly cost that much.
$4-5k is outrageous in the US, I've only seen one person say it was a reasonable price to pay. I'd never pay over $2,000 for a well bred GSD in the US although there are some good breeders at $2.5k but anything over that is seriously just a huge waste of money. Mostly people marketing a name rather than the puppies being worth that much. But I mean people are buying doodles for $5,000 so there's that.

As far as importing a ton of people in the US get royally screwed over by importing dogs. Unless you have trustworthy contacts overseas or 100% know the breed is amazing and worth buying from you might as well buy an $800 backyard bred pup. Then at least you actually get the puppy you were trying to buy. A ton of breeders in Europe also sell their crap/culls that can't make the cut in Europe to people in the US who think they're getting a good deal a good dog. That's why I'd be very very careful buying a WGSL in general. They tend to at least be good pets, but trainability and health is iffy. Shelby is my GSD from a wgsl cull stud, she's a lovely pet, but she just isn't very trainable as far as how you would expect a GSD to be. Very short attention span and little to no drive as far as toy and food. The short attention span makes training just for praise difficult but it's doable just not enjoyable to work with her.
 
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Sorry but I have to disagree with European breeders only exporting crap dogs. I have friends that have imported pups/dogs and were very happy with them and they are good dogs that are doing well in competitive sports and real work.

I have had a broker find and import a pup for me. The pup did not disappoint and is well liked by others. Her drive and intensity surpasses that of my KNPV line Mals.

I also have directly imported pups from a European breeder and am very happy with them. I did not get crap or leftovers. I had offers to buy the pups before the plane landed from people that compete and work their dogs.

Personally I prefer dogs with pedigrees up close to the real deal dogs that I liked vs a pup by American breeders a few generations down from the same lines but bred to that breeder's idea of a good dog. It gives me more of an active hand in choosing what I think is a good dog vs that of a breeder with similar interests.

I am not dismissing American breeders but just as one can say European breeders have a reputation for exporting crap dogs, European breeders say that American breeders have a reputation for breeding dumbed down dogs due to the US being such a litigious nation.

I am not saying that there isn't a history of European breeders dumping less than stellar dogs or that you can't buy a good dog here, but I am saying that if you do your research, you can get some really nice dogs from Europe.
 

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$4-5k is outrageous in the US, I've only seen one person say it was a reasonable price to pay. I'd never pay over $2,000 for a well bred GSD in the US although there are some good breeders at $2.5k but anything over that is seriously just a huge waste of money. Mostly people marketing a name rather than the puppies being worth that much. But I mean people are buying doodles for $5,000 so there's that.

As far as importing a ton of people in the US get royally screwed over by importing dogs. Unless you have trustworthy contacts overseas or 100% know the breed is amazing and worth buying from you might as well buy an $800 backyard bred pup. Then at least you actually get the puppy you were trying to buy. A ton of breeders in Europe also sell their crap/culls that can't make the cut in Europe to people in the US who think they're getting a good deal a good dog. That's why I'd be very very careful buying a WGSL in general. They tend to at least be good pets, but trainability and health is iffy. Shelby is my GSD from a wgsl cull stud, she's a lovely pet, but she just isn't very trainable as far as how you would expect a GSD to be. Very short attention span and little to no drive as far as toy and food. The short attention span makes training just for praise difficult but it's doable just not enjoyable to work with her.
You must know a ton of people that have imported dogs to make a statement like that. Could you elaborate what problems those tons of people have had with their imports that caused them to feel royally screwed?

I am assuming your Shelby is American bred? You seem to be very disappointed in her from this post and other posts you have made on German Shepherds as a breed in general. Have you owned other German Shepherds or is Shelby your main source of disillusion? Have you considered working with a trainer because you are having trouble maintaining Shelby's focus and seem to be struggling with a reward system for her? Maybe a professional can help you to learn how to train Shelby using a method that works for her although it may not be a method of training that you find satisfying or rewarding.
 
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Reputable breeders in the U,S. sometimes import dogs for their own breeding stock. I agree, if someone doesn鈥檛 know what they are doing, doesn鈥檛 understand pedigrees or how to research, they might make a mistake. That happens far more often when people buy dogs in N America. I would even go so far as to say most people who import with knowledge get better dogs because they do it with a specific purpose in mind and know what they are getting. If you use a broker, do your research before you buy, not after. Same with buying a domestically bred dog. Research first.

I noticed the people suggesting rescues are new here. Please read and ask questions. If someone wants to rescue a dog, we can offer a lot of advice. I have fostered and rescued. Then I decided I could no longer support BYB and switched to buying. Rescue groups have their own agendas, some good, some not. If you rescue, make sure the group is a quality one. If you get a shelter dog, make sure it鈥檚 really a GSD if that is what you want. We are talking about well bred dogs in this thread, not rescues.
 

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I think all in all, OP has to get the dog that they want. If the research is done on breed suitability, selecting a breeder, required health testing and a thorough knowledge of the temperament of the parents, family tree, and breeder's goal at the very least, if this pup meets the criteria, then only OP knows if this pup is affordable to them and whether they are willing to pay that price for a pup that they want.

If the pup is well bred and health testing has been done, then there should be a marked decrease in health risks. Someone else mentioned buy low and then spend the money on training. If you need (not want, such as advanced training) to spend that kind of money on training, just maybe another breed might be better suited that is less of a challenge.
 
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You must know a ton of people that have imported dogs to make a statement like that. Could you elaborate what problems those tons of people have had with their imports that caused them to feel royally screwed?

I am assuming your Shelby is American bred? You seem to be very disappointed in her from this post and other posts you have made on German Shepherds as a breed in general. Have you owned other German Shepherds or is Shelby your main source of disillusion? Have you considered working with a trainer because you are having trouble maintaining Shelby's focus and seem to be struggling with a reward system for her? Maybe a professional can help you to learn how to train Shelby using a method that works for her although it may not be a method of training that you find satisfying or rewarding.
I made a long post but I don't want to get too off topic on this thread. Suffice to say I can work with Shelby successfully and have trained her, she just isn't fun to work with and has challenges associated with working with her due to lower drives. Shelby is a good dog, she just isn't an ideal GSD. And it's a common issue with some of the WGSLs brought into the US because they get byb breeders, some of which may seem reputable particularly to somebody who doesn't know what to look for. Shelby's stud was an imported male WGSL from Germany. Shelby has made me aware of some issues in byb/scammy type breeders and to an extent it may be some showlines. Which is why I say be careful of which breeder you choose, not that all are bad. I have no issues with showlines in general, you just have to be aware of what to look out for. People breed for low drive which has some downsides to be aware of and I've seen it as a pretty common marketing gimmick for pet line GSDs, it's a bigger issue when paired with high energy.

As far as imports some may not have gotten the correct dogs. Overseas there are byb/bad breeders as well and people who don't know what to look for are easily taken by the idea of imported dog with good marketing. Some sickly dogs and/or dogs with poor temperament, Same issues you can get in the US. Some dogs that failed to title all the way sold to people in the US. Things like that.

Side note:
As far as GSDs go, like all breeds I am not a fan of hyped up sport lines, extreme show types, and am all too aware of the many types of issues with byb bred dogs. I just happen to be more passionate about GSDs since I do like them as a breed. I can dislike the issues in a breed while still enjoying them otherwise.
 
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Well, that really does not answer my questions. Regardless, many people on this forum highly recommend that people buying a dog or pup to go to clubs, etc., to actually meet some dogs so that they can get familiar with this breed.

I wouldn't be so quick to target imports if you feel that the same issues are found in US breeders and their dogs. I have bought and owned dogs from both and have not experienced much of a difference from how the dogs were presented and the end product. It was just that imports offered me opportunity to procure lines I prefer to own and how close they are bred down from select dogs but that's a personal preference.

My showline's sire was an import. I got him to be a go anywhere visual deterrent. His overall drive is lower and he is my highest energy dog but but he is a nicely balanced dog. I don't know if I would call him highly trainable using food or toy rewards but one thing that I can say is that he is absolutely the easiest dog because of his lower drive. He is the kind of dog that requires very little training and with proper exposure, he is the go anywhere dog I had wanted. If I may put a brag in for him, he essentially is a flawless dog for a family pet. He is easy going, NEVER any reactivity whatsoever, can take him to dog parks, does well with all other animals, does well in heavy crowds with no worries, always off leash, can be around livestock, has found himself unexpectedly in the middle of a herd of wild deer and all he did was bounce among them and recalled instantly. I have had more people compliment how well behaved and trained he is and I can easily walk him with multiple dogs. So yea, I would highly recommend a WGSL from close up import lineage not only as a fantastic pet but also a dog well suited to a first time GSD owner. He is what I call a lazy man's dog.

Ask those experienced on this board who have worked with rescues. The two most common reasons a German Shepherd is surrendered is a lack of training or aggression issues. Those are non issues with a dog like this. His low drive, and he is not my first or even second low drive dog, makes him an ideal family pet for busy families not willing to invest time or energy into a challenging dog. These people just want to get a puppy, house break it and want it to be good with the kids.
 
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Would I pay 5k for the right puppy that I had done all my research on and determine was the best fit for me? Absolutely. Heck, I'd pay 10k, honestly. Not that I think you'd have to pay that, you certainly wouldn't and shouldn't. My point is is that doing your homework and getting the right dog from the right breeder is absolutely everything, and the amount paid is secondary. Anyone saying it is a crap shoot doesn't know what they're talking about, and are just trying to justify spending peanuts on a dog from a BYB. You're getting a dog that will be your companion for 10-13 years, so do extremely thorough research and vetting and get the right dog for you. What is the cost of that? It varies, but it certainly isn't $500 or whatever BYBs are charging these days.
 

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People can get very lucky with a rescue or a poorly bred dog and find the exact temperament, drive, energy level and structure they want. In reality and in my personal experience and observation, rescue owners or BYB buyers often get one trait they really want and put up with the rest or deal with it through exposure and training. My purchased WL has more drive than I wanted at the time, but his temperament and personality are exactly what I wanted. When he鈥檚 not 鈥渙n鈥 he is mellow. He is crazy smart and biddable. He is the best trained dog I鈥檝e ever had. He鈥檚 playful. He has very strong scenting ability. He is a good watch dog. He is good with family. He had some health problems but it is very likely due to early parasites and treatment, not genetics. He has excellent structure.

I can鈥檛 say any of that about my rescues. I鈥檝e never bought from a BYB. All purchased dogs were from good breeders that I researched thoroughly. My rescues have or had some good traits and some problems. Most were behavioral. I was able to train a lot of the negatives out of them, which has a good side. I became a much better handler than I would have been with easy dogs.
 

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Well, that really does not answer my questions. Regardless, many people on this forum highly recommend that people buying a dog or pup to go to clubs, etc., to actually meet some dogs so that they can get familiar with this breed.

I wouldn't be so quick to target imports if you feel that the same issues are found in US breeders and their dogs. I have bought and owned dogs from both and have not experienced much of a difference from how the dogs were presented and the end product. It was just that imports offered me opportunity to procure lines I prefer to own and how close they are bred down from select dogs but that's a personal preference.

My showline's sire was an import. I got him to be a go anywhere visual deterrent. His overall drive is lower and he is my highest energy dog but but he is a nicely balanced dog. I don't know if I would call him highly trainable using food or toy rewards but one thing that I can say is that he is absolutely the easiest dog because of his lower drive. He is the kind of dog that requires very little training and with proper exposure, he is the go anywhere dog I had wanted. If I may put a brag in for him, he essentially is a flawless dog for a family pet. He is easy going, NEVER any reactivity whatsoever, can take him to dog parks, does well with all other animals, does well in heavy crowds with no worries, always off leash, can be around livestock, has found himself unexpectedly in the middle of a herd of wild deer and all he did was bounce among them and recalled instantly. I have had more people compliment how well behaved and trained he is and I can easily walk him with multiple dogs. So yea, I would highly recommend a WGSL from close up import lineage not only as a fantastic pet but also a dog well suited to a first time GSD owner. He is what I call a lazy man's dog.

Ask those experienced on this board who have worked with rescues. The two most common reasons a German Shepherd is surrendered is a lack of training or aggression issues. Those are non issues with a dog like this. His low drive, and he is not my first or even second low drive dog, makes him an ideal family pet for busy families not willing to invest time or energy into a challenging dog. These people just want to get a puppy, house break it and want it to be good with the kids.
The person I was responding basically said that all import is just fine and you have the same chances of a good dog from any breeder because they are better at breeding overseas. But that is incorrect and you need to do just as much if not more research if you are getting a dog overseas because of that. I didn't say don't import and it's great for uses like bringing in new blood, it just isn't magically better and can be just as bad as US breeders. Some people in some countries still hard cull off standard puppies (livers and blues...) so you can import those dogs and start increasing the number of off standard puppies you produce if you produce any at all. Of course with genetic testing you can see what they carry now. So again if you don't know the breeder is good or have contacts that can vouch for them/help you find a good breeder you may as well tak the risk on a byb dog in the US was my point, if price is that much of a hindrance.

And yes I even said Shelby is a good pet, she sounds very similar to him, but she is not in my mind what I would expect from a good GSD. She is high enough energy if she doesn't get enough exercise on a regular basis (not per day but overtime) she will destroy something out of boredom. That's on the fault of the owner not the dog though and is a common issue with higher energy dogs and since she is low drive it can be harder to find proper outlets along with the good trot making it harder to adequately exercise her. (was a non issue when I lived there as I do a lot with the dogs) So again, downsides to the lower drive. For a GSD you should expect enough drive to work with them, it doesn't need to be over the top but it shouldn't be near non-existant.

And my issue was specifically combining the lower drive with higher energy, you take your dog everywhere, not everybody does that. So that higher energy still needs an outlet and a lot of people use fetch for that, which can be difficult to train especially for buyer like what you just described.

I also feel like you miss my point of making sure to find a good breeder. I didn't say don't buy WGSL imports I said be careful of which ones you buy from. Which should go for any breeder. A lot of this is also regional, in my area I wouldn't touch the far majority of breeders here with a 10 foot pole. The dog's from Shelby's breeder are a trainwreck now, they're several generations past Shelby and having seen some of those pups in person they are just sad. I guess higher energy doesn't matter if the dog can barely walk proper. The dog breeding industry just has a lot of scammers now so yes I will harp on being selective of what dogs you buy. I know a lot of the curve has to do with stacks, but I've seen dogs who are shaped like that regardless of being stacked or not and that is an issue.
 
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Sorry, I thought when you made generic comments such as a ton of people get royally screwed by purchasing a dog overseas or that an imported puppy from health tested, titled parents that wasn't pick of the litter is no different than a puppy from parents that aren't tested, titled or maybe even papered born in the USA to a backyard breeder that you spoke from experience or that of another person. I wonder what breeders in the USA do with their crap/culls. Sell them as pets maybe?

I know of some of the best lines that carry blue and liver. A good dog can't be a bad color. I had a blue and know of others who have had them. It is a recessive that must be carried by both parents. My blue dog had an American showline mother from very well known lines. I don't think blue is exclusive to import lines. Anyhow, she was a fantastic dog. Her only problem was a fear of thuderstorms and fireworks. Her irrational fear was the ultimate root of her demise but it was not color related.

There are plenty of outlets for a low drive dog to burn energy. In fact, because they are such easy dogs, I have found them easier to exercise because they have fewer restrictions due to their mellow temperaments.









"
 

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Sorry, I thought when you made generic comments such as a ton of people get royally screwed by purchasing a dog overseas or that an imported puppy from health tested, titled parents that wasn't pick of the litter is no different than a puppy from parents that aren't tested, titled or maybe even papered born in the USA to a backyard breeder that you spoke from experience or that of another person. I wonder what breeders in the USA do with their crap/culls. Sell them as pets maybe?

I know of some of the best lines that carry blue and liver. A good dog can't be a bad color. I had a blue and know of others who have had them. It is a recessive that must be carried by both parents. My blue dog had an American showline mother from very well known lines. I don't think blue is exclusive to import lines. Anyhow, she was a fantastic dog. Her only problem was a fear of thuderstorms and fireworks. Her irrational fear was the ultimate root of her demise but it was not color related.

There are plenty of outlets for a low drive dog to burn energy. In fact, because they are such easy dogs, I have found them easier to exercise because they have fewer restrictions due to their mellow temperaments.









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It鈥檚 more the fact that people hide that the genes are there by hard culling the off colors. It鈥檚 one thing to know that the line carries it, it鈥檚 another to hide it like it鈥檚 a dirty secret. Off color pups I see no issues with just soft culling them to pet homes. Unless dogs are a total train wreck they should easily be able to be soft culled to pet homes if they aren鈥檛 breeding worthy.

There are countries other than Germany that dogs can be imported from, and still be from overseas, not everything imported from overseas even WGSL is going to be health tested and titled. And there鈥檚 a difference between an adult cull getting sold because they can鈥檛 breed it in Germany vs. getting a puppy from a good litter just not getting the arbitrary 鈥渂est鈥 puppy unless the puppy received has health/temperament issues. My dogs with drive are a lot easier to exercise than Shelby, and a lot more fun. They鈥檙e fine with a hike or I can do specific activities we both enjoy. You can have a mellow easy going dog and have drive, they aren鈥檛 seperate entities that can鈥榯 co-exist. A dog with no off switch that can鈥檛 settle can happen in low drive or higher drive dogs. Our previous ASL GSD was an amazing dog. Healthy until the end with what I think was DM and died of bloat. He was easy going, great with other dogs, people, kids. He had higher drive and less energy than Shelby. A much more settled, confident, and well rounded dog temperament wise. His biggest flaw was head butts to the nose when giving him attention.

Edit/add on: I do think there is a huge genetic component but I wonder how much the fear issues and other problems have been exacerbated by early altering in the US.
 
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