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Hello,

I bought a non-papered German Shepherd 10 weeks old, and he is now 4 months. I do not know whether it is a working line, or show line. Is there any way to know based on an obvious physical appearance?

And does it matter in the sense of treating them differently? Like if I have a working line, I need to train him more diligently in certain areas or something?

Thanks,
Chris
 

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Working lines usually need more play in the energy dpt

Otherwise, I'd really have no clue. My assumption is if it's a saddle back or blanket back, it's prob showline. If it's a sable, prob working line.
 

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Hi Chris, Both WL and SL dogs can have a range of drives and energy levels. What matters more than what lines your dog is from, is just paying attention to your dog. Puppies that aren't getting enough exercise and mental stimulation tend to be more difficult and can be more destructive due to boredom. There is no universal focus based on lines, but higher drive dogs tend to need more work. And of course work here means fun, training, sporting, or really any activity that allow them to work their instincts and intellect.

Share a picture?
 

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there is no way to know by energy level, looks or any other outward signs. The only way to know is to see the pedigree of the dog.
Since he isn't papered, he mostly likely isn't any "line" but a mish-mash of lines. If you are in the US, the majority of dogs fall into the category of "pet lines" which simply means generations of dogs bred with no actual purpose in mind.
 

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There are 3 common 'types' of GSD in N. America: German show, German working and American show. Here are some photos of representative dogs, in the order I listed above:

The dogs are Zamp v. Thermodos, Bandit von Wolfsheim (brother to Bomber) and Kenlyn's Rumor Has It, top dog at Westminister last year!

Most BYB dogs are a mix of lines, but this may give you a rough idea of which lines your dog is descended from. A really long upper thigh is characteristic of the American lines. German show lines often have a slightly convex (curved) top line, and are usually black and red in colour. Working lines are more variable, but generally they have shorter upper thighs, straight strong backs, and, like my example, are more often sable in colour, though lately black has become quite popular.
 

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the pup is non-papered

the "breeder" didn't promote the pup one way or another

chances are that you have neither show nor working line , bred for purpose

there is even a chance that the dog is not purebred -- or if the pup is then ---

chances are you have a pet-bred , hobby , byb type of generic GSD dog - which is NOT
a statement which evaluates your pup for suitability for your purposes of being a nice companion

hope that is the case

the only person who can answer your question is the "breeder"
you have to ask them

no matter what you have you always deal with and train the dog that you have right there in front of you

fair and square and consistent with set goals and expectations reight from the start
 

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I dunno - not quite enough angulation in the hind there to be all A.S.L. And the ASL's are more often standard saddle-back black and tan. This guy has a lot of black, and is also shorter in the back than most ASLs. My guess would be pet lines, but most probably ASL mixed with working lines. He looks like he's got pretty good conformation - nothing really exaggerated (he WILL grow into those ears! :grin2:) and nice strong bone structure.
 

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the pup is a "generic" gsd --- casual bred with no particular goal other than having friendly look-like a gsd dogs.

the breeding through out the years may have been motivated by someone having a "special dog" and they wanted to breed to have one just like him/her , or they wanted some spare cash, or they had friends who
convinced them to breed so that they could have an economical pup , or some one may have wanted to involve
their children in witnessing the miracle of life.

all sorts of reasons - but none that have anything to do with goals that are GSD breed relaed.

this is not a take away any thing away from the dog who gives you companionship and pleasure.

this breding to breed is a fact with popular breeds and that includes the top of the lists golden retrievers who are not hunt bred or show bred - labrador retrievers , many of the bully breeds.

the dog may be the best dog ever - spared some of the health issues of inbreeding .

on the other hand the dog may have none of the character or innate instincts that should be part and
parcel of a GSD

just enjoy this dog who seems to be enjoying life







t
 

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Sometimes it is nice when a dog doesn't have to live up to a pedigree or line. He looks nice and healthy. Wishing you many fun years together.
True. My dog doesn't have papers and I doubt I'll ever find out which line he belongs to. Not looking for the answers either. Work with the dog in front of you.
 

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In the photo he looks a bit like my working line pups at that age. Head is a bit narrower, but that's about it.
 
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