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It’s more the fact that people hide that the genes are there by hard culling the off colors. It’s one thing to know that the line carries it, it’s another to hide it like it’s 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’t 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’s a difference between an adult cull getting sold because they can’t breed it in Germany vs. getting a puppy from a good litter just not getting the arbitrary “best” 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’re 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’t seperate entities that can‘t co-exist. A dog with no off switch that can’t 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.
People hide genetics in American lines too. How do you think I got my blue dog from an American showline bitch? Can't target imports for that.

OP is looking to purchase a pup. Simpler to stay on topic by discussing puppies and their parentage. You are taking this topic all over the place. We can't discuss all possibilities.

I disagree that a dog with high or strong drives being naturally mellow. That doesn't mean that high drive don't have an off switch or can't be good pets. There are other traits that interplay with drives but low drive is usually associated with soft, often mellow, dogs.

You absolutely can take a low drive, high energy dog on long hikes. I even prefer them because they are easy and I don't have to monitor them constantly. My showline will go all day. If I can't exercise him, he is always up to a good romp with one of my other dogs or at the dog park. Like I said before, low drive dogs are easy keepers.
 

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You absolutely can take a low drive, high energy dog on long hikes. I even prefer them because they are easy and I don't have to monitor them constantly. My showline will go all day. If I can't exercise him, he is always up to a good romp with one of my other dogs or at the dog park. Like I said before, low drive dogs are easy keepers.
although it’s not my favorite combo present day, i agree with most of this. Tilden was my wgsl and although all of my gsd have been equally well adjusted, go anywhere, kid friendly dogs - he was by far the easiest keeper and what you think of when picturing a good ol family dog. mellow and laid back but would rise to any occasion in order to keep up with my younger dog. the difference in their training and learning curve were at near opposite ends of the spectrum, but the need for training was far less with T. every time i read a new poster (young active family) explain what they’re looking for, i always think of Tilden. not necessarily what i think breeders should strive for, but definitely would satisfy a very large market.
 

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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.
Crap/cull dogs are often given away for free locally. Why would a good breeder risk their reputation by putting their name on a dog they know is terrible and sell it internationally? They’re just happy to give the crap dogs a good home. Dogs they export tend to be the best of the best... it’s like a status thing to export a dog.

Edit: sorry I quoted the wrong part of your post and I’m too lazy to go back and fix it... anyway, you know what you said 😂
 

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Crap/cull dogs are often given away for free locally. Why would a good breeder risk their reputation by putting their name on a dog they know is terrible and sell it internationally? They’re just happy to give the crap dogs a good home. Dogs they export tend to be the best of the best... it’s like a status thing to export a dog.

Edit: sorry I quoted the wrong part of your post and I’m too lazy to go back and fix it... anyway, you know what you said 😂
Depends on the breeder, not all breeders are good breeders. I feel like people miss the whole point of me saying make sure to find a good one. It’s more people saying imports are somehow magically better because they are imports like there aren’t bad breeders and scammers everywhere. Basically you need to do research regardless of what country you’re buying the dog from.
 
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There are bad breeders in any country and even "reputable" is subjective depending on one's criteria.

What was said that people are objecting to is the broad generalization that was made insinuating that import dogs were crap dogs because European breeders only send their culls here. That is inaccurate. It can happen, doesn't mean it always or usually happens.

Personally, I would generalize to say that many breeders don't even have culls. Once again, cull is subjective. I got my coatie because the buyer backed out because he didn't want a coatie and he became available. The breeder said people don't want coats in her country so I said send him along. Does that make him a cull? I had him sold at a nice profit (and I wasn't trying to sell him) before he hit the states based on his breeder's reputation and the difficulty in obtaining one of her dogs in the states let alone this particular breeding, but I didn't purchase him with the intent of resale and kept him.
 

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Depends on the breeder, not all breeders are good breeders. I feel like people miss the whole point of me saying make sure to find a good one. It’s more people saying imports are somehow magically better because they are imports like there aren’t bad breeders and scammers everywhere. Basically you need to do research regardless of what country you’re buying the dog from.
I thought it was a given that anyone could potentially put a bag of potatoes in a crate, call it a dog and put it on a plane 😉 ...but outside of that, as long as you’re getting the dog you think you’re getting, that’s precisely what the rating system is intended for. Results of the previous progeny effect the ratings of the parents... so even if someone randomly bought a pair of dogs to breed, you’ll be able to see from the registered puppies whether or not the breeder is a “good” breeder. No one can buy a pair of “good” dogs, and backdoor a few dozen puppies from a different pair under their name because they would effect the ratings of the “good” dogs. Under that system, whole idea of “asking to see the parents” and “meeting the breeder” is pointless... like, what is the average buyer going to say that professional judges already didn’t?
 

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I thought it was a given that anyone could potentially put a bag of potatoes in a crate, call it a dog and put it on a plane 😉 ...but outside of that, as long as you’re getting the dog you think you’re getting, that’s precisely what the rating system is intended for. Results of the previous progeny effect the ratings of the parents... so even if someone randomly bought a pair of dogs to breed, you’ll be able to see from the registered puppies whether or not the breeder is a “good” breeder. No one can buy a pair of “good” dogs, and backdoor a few dozen puppies from a different pair under their name because they would effect the ratings of the “good” dogs. Under that system, whole idea of “asking to see the parents” and “meeting the breeder” is pointless... like, what is the average buyer going to say that professional judges already didn’t?
Are you saying that titles and ratings are foolproof? Because titles can be bought, and are all the time, and falsified papers happen with alarming frequency.
I would much rather bank on a breeder I have built a relationship with then trust papers.
 

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Are you saying that titles and ratings are foolproof? Because titles can be bought, and are all the time, and falsified papers happen with alarming frequency.
I would much rather bank on a breeder I have built a relationship with then trust papers.
Pretty much 😈 (with exceptions)... it’s the same system that breeders themselves rely on unless they’re using their own 6 dogs for breeding an entire line... but I digress... no one is saying imports are better or if you already have a breeder not to go with them, but a person who doesn’t know a random breeder from a hole in the wall would probably be better off learning the rating system than browsing websites or google reviews or meeting breeders. Funny story, I once bought a dog from a “reputable breeder”... who people aren’t even allowed to talk about or describe because they’ll get sued lol ...they look all kinds of legit but they’re essentially a puppy mill. Their dogs are so inbred that it’s astonishing they can still even reproduce at this point... if there was a rating system in North America it would at least prevent THAT from happening.
 

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I honestly don’t know why anyone would go through the trouble of importing a dog for a family pet. It’s not something I recommend if you don’t know what you’re looking for. You can also end up pretty disappointed if you do it and you’re trying to compete in sports or conformation if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It happens with domestic dogs, but at least then you’re dealing with someone in your country. Most imports also don’t come with health guarantees. I don’t agree that simply learning a zw is a better answer than meeting breeders and dogs. The best answer is learning the breed and finding a knowledgeable guide to help you.
 

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There are bad breeders in any country and even "reputable" is subjective depending on one's criteria.

What was said that people are objecting to is the broad generalization that was made insinuating that import dogs were crap dogs because European breeders only send their culls here. That is inaccurate. It can happen, doesn't mean it always or usually happens.

Personally, I would generalize to say that many breeders don't even have culls. Once again, cull is subjective. I got my coatie because the buyer backed out because he didn't want a coatie and he became available. The breeder said people don't want coats in her country so I said send him along. Does that make him a cull? I had him sold at a nice profit (and I wasn't trying to sell him) before he hit the states based on his breeder's reputation and the difficulty in obtaining one of her dogs in the states let alone this particular breeding, but I didn't purchase him with the intent of resale and kept him.


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.


This was my orginal post, could I have typed it better, and been less generalized? Yes. But read the bold, I never said import dogs were crap. I'm usually better at being less generalized but I wasn't in this case so I do agree that is an issue. But I do not like the fallacy that import dogs are better and I did not like somebody saying you do not have to do any research when buying imports. I was probably overdramatic in my reply but there is still a significant issue with import dogs just like there are issues in the US with dogs if you don't take your time to find a good breeder. For example I'd buy a ranch bred border collie in the US because then I have almost zero concerns about epilepsy, not so in some other countries.
 
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Most imports also don’t come with health guarantees.
Because you’re not paying for 2-5 dogs up front in the event they have to replace one... a “health guarantee” doesn’t guarantee health, it’s just an exchange policy... is anyone really going to exchange their dog though?
 

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Pretty much 😈 (with exceptions)... it’s the same system that breeders themselves rely on unless they’re using their own 6 dogs for breeding an entire line... but I digress... no one is saying imports are better or if you already have a breeder not to go with them, but a person who doesn’t know a random breeder from a hole in the wall would probably be better off learning the rating system than browsing websites or google reviews or meeting breeders. Funny story, I once bought a dog from a “reputable breeder”... who people aren’t even allowed to talk about or describe because they’ll get sued lol ...they look all kinds of legit but they’re essentially a puppy mill. Their dogs are so inbred that it’s astonishing they can still even reproduce at this point... if there was a rating system in North America it would at least prevent THAT from happening.
I guess we are going to agree to disagree. I know people who have imported dogs. Some good, some bad. Two brokers who were sued, successfully, after DNA proved the dogs they sold were not the dogs purchased. One started dog that was bought as a sport prospect and arrived a raging lunatic that could not be safely handled.
No earthly reason to import.
And I am sorry but no puppy mill could fool me into thinking they were a decent breeder. And even with my limited knowledge of pedigrees I know what inbreeding looks like.
 

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And I am sorry but no puppy mill could fool me into thinking they were a decent breeder. And even with my limited knowledge of pedigrees I know what inbreeding looks like.
You don’t when they just keep every other female puppy and use them for breeding... claiming each litter had a dozen puppies... by the time you realize they were registering their 75th $5,000 puppy in February, it’s already October and they have enough money to sue everyone who says anything about them.
 

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Because you’re not paying for 2-5 dogs up front in the event they have to replace one... a “health guarantee” doesn’t guarantee health, it’s just an exchange policy... is anyone really going to exchange their dog though?
First, you are vastly overstating the difference in price. The price of the dog and shipping usually comes out about the same if not more. If you really disagree on that, feel free to share how much you paid to get your last import home. 2 thousand or there about is the going price around me. Second, returning a dog for health problems is a personal decision, one nobody should be criticized for. Third, I will take a lifetime guarantee against genetic health issues over not having anything anyway. A health guarantee more than anything else, shows a breeder willing to stand behind the dogs they produce. It also says something that a reputable american breeder will take back any of their dogs no questions asked to prevent them from being abandoned or ending up in shelters. Third, that zw rating you praise so much, only accounts for hip dysplasia. There is a whole lot of other health factors to consider. That doesn't even touch on temperament, energy levels, drive or conformation. Its a very small tool. It literally says that it shouldn't be the only thing you rely on.
 

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We should remember this thread was originally about the cost of a dog, and we helped the OP made a decision. Then we got off into an import disagreement, Can’t we just agree that no matter where dogs are bred, a prospective buyer should carefully research breeders before buying a puppy from anyone? Most of the problems people come here for help with are dogs that are from BYBs or are rescues, and the owners are usually new to the breed or inexperienced with the challenges the dog they now own presents them. Rarely does someone have serious or significant problems with a well bred dog. If they do, it is usually handler error or inexperience rather than poor breeding. If people would ask about a breeder or breeding before buying, like the OP did, we can offer a lot of help and suggestions to keep someone from making a big mistake.
 

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I have spent enough time in the dog world to wish anyone a lot of luck returning a dog for a health problem even to a reputable breeder especially if the condition can not be proven to be 100% genetic. It happens, but not to the degree that some people think.

I am not going to drag other members of this forum into this, but I know that I have seen members that are heavily involved with rescue stating how many dogs from reputable breeders can be found dumped in shelters.

I wish you a lot of luck finding dogs trained to the equivalent of a ZVV3 in the US. The independent work done without a handler on the field is pretty impressive. Then you have the illusive service dog breeding programs available to select breeders overseas that simply don't exist in the US. Yea, some breeders are breeding for service dogs here but the majority that I have seen are importing the majority of the dogs in their programs. Most police departments that I am aware of that procure their own dogs also buy from overseas. Things that make you go hmmmmm.
 

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We should remember this thread was originally about the cost of a dog, and we helped the OP made a decision. Then we got off into an import disagreement, Can’t we just agree that no matter where dogs are bred, a prospective buyer should carefully research breeders before buying a puppy from anyone? Most of the problems people come here for help with are dogs that are from BYBs or are rescues, and the owners are usually new to the breed or inexperienced with the challenges the dog they now own presents them. Rarely does someone have serious or significant problems with a well bred dog. If they do, it is usually handler error or inexperience rather than poor breeding. If people would ask about a breeder or breeding before buying, like the OP did, we can offer a lot of help and suggestions to keep someone from making a big mistake.
This! Few things derail a topic quicker than disparaging other peoples' dogs without validity be that dog a mixed shelter GSD or a well bred import.
 

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First, you are vastly overstating the difference in price. The price of the dog and shipping usually comes out about the same if not more. If you really disagree on that, feel free to share how much you paid to get your last import home. 2 thousand or there about is the going price around me.
You’d never believe me if I told you... but for $2,000USD you can literally fly there and bring back a pretty good puppy yourself. An actual puppy in Europe costs less than what a dog carrier in North America goes for.
 

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Most police departments that I am aware of that procure their own dogs also buy from overseas.

The RCMP run their own breeding program and supply dogs to many Canadian police departments as well. I believe some of the pups go into service work, detection work or other areas as well.
And I have not seen these $5000 dogs except from one or two commercial kennels.
 
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