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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
what kind/type of GSD would I get? I have a Dutch Shepherd right now and I'm not going to be getting a puppy for the forseeable future unless some things in my life change drastically (like I get incredibly rich, no longer have to work, move to a place with acreage and not an apartment and can spend my days training/competing my dogs ;)). However, I am very curious the type of GSD - or breeder - that would be recommended to me.

I MAY want to show (but never done it so who knows) and believe that a working line dog would be much more suitable for what I enjoy and my lifestyle. While color has little importance for me, I am quite partial to the sables and black sables. With Madix, I am in training and plan to compete in Schutzhund, agility, rally, obedience, tracking, dock jumping, flyball and I'm hoping for herding as well. I am active - I like to hike, camp, swim, bike, walk, jog etc and almost always have Madix with me.

As to personality, I would be looking for a dog a little less "nervy" than my Dutchie - solid nerves would be fun I think. I don't mind suspicion and working around/with that. I like focused dogs that really think and the less "frantic" behavior, the better. My lab, Midas, is athletic and good at everything, however he's not competitive and he doesn't enjoy doing it all - he only does it b/c he loves me. I want a dog that LOVES the work. This dog would be in the house with me and very much a family dog so affection is also a must.

Let me know your thoughts :)
 

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For first time showing I recommend getting involved with the UKC, especially since they are based in K-zoo, there are many events locally including the Premier which I'm sure you're aware of. Nicely put together working lines generally do not have a problem showing in this venue (though it depends on the judge, some still default to the American lines). Pan and Nikon are both showing next Saturday, you should come! You can even show Pan if you want to (he is in the Novice Puppy which is basically a fun match, they can't earn points until they are 6 months). Last time I showed Nikon, he was beat in his class by a working line male, his first show. That male went on to win best of breed over some American line dogs including a dog that was not only Grand Champion, but a Best in Show winner. The decoy that worked Nikon for his PA title has a working line male that is a Grand Champion I believe, my Kenya is a Champion with two legs towards her Grand, and there is another girl around our age who is always there with several working line GSDs (they all have dozens of titles, I swear she is involved in more dog sports than you and I combined!) and the dog she shows is a Grand Champion.

As far as lines/breeders, I've found the hardest thing for myself was really narrowing down what it was *I* wanted. Finding the dog was easier and took less time. But I think you already have a head start b/c of Madix. I was the same with Nikon. Having an adult dog already being trained in all the things I want to continue with, it's easier to use that dog for comparison of what we like/don't like. I don't know all the terminology myself, so when I got Pan I told the breeders examples and anecdotes about all my current dogs, and that gave them a feel for what I wanted and didn't want.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Lies! I have taken some time to read up on some of the older threads and see what people said/liked/disliked about the various lines and I still don't know which way I would go...

I LOVE your Pan. I love that he is outgoing, confident, focused, social and calm (plus he is incredibly handsome ;) ). Madix was pretty much the opposite - he was a terror of energy - go, go, go and the more evil, the better. He was not social AT ALL as a pup and was pretty much a snot during puppy-hood.

Some of the things that I like about Madix specifically in Schutzhund training so far - he has a deep, calm bite. He doesn't chew the sleeve and he doesn't (so far) go in for a "dirty" bite. I like that he knows the rules and follows them. I live in an apartment community so it's important that he be adaptable to such a situation (although that obviously won't last forever). I love that he is toy and food driven with a slight bias towards toy - I for sure want that in my next pup as well. He hits hard, is willing to try anything I ask and always gives 100%. I like that he's a pleaser - and I was told this is a pure Dutchie trait and most GSD's aren't going to be that way - or to the extent I'm used to. He is also fairly accepting of other dogs, once he gets used to them - important b/c as of now, I have two males. I would be interested in getting another male. I like that he is a hard worker, does the job and can come home and cuddle up with me in bed - I don't want a dog that can't be a house dog. I also like a dog with a good retrieve drive b/c I expend a lot of energy that way and teach a lot of things that way (agility, dock jumping etc etc).

The looks are important to me - although not the MOST important. The black/tans, red/tans etc etc don't do much for me. I like the heavier bone, larger heads and the sables to the black sables. I would be interested in showing but I have no interest in the "official" show lines - I think that the slope on most of those dogs' back is ridiculous and that they're often too hock-y. If that makes sense...

Further thoughts?
 

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From what you are describing in what you want, look at the DDR or Czech lines. Many times they are a bit bigger/bonewise-headwise in structure and have that black sable coloring often(along with other colorations).
I started this thread when I was looking for a pup(about the same criteria as you want) and after doing research decided on a blending of West and Czech lines. I couldn't be happier!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
From what you are describing in what you want, look at the DDR or Czech lines. Many times they are a bit bigger/bonewise-headwise in structure and have that black sable coloring often(along with other colorations).
I started this thread when I was looking for a pup(about the same criteria as you want) and after doing research decided on a blending of West and Czech lines. I couldn't be happier!
I read that whole thread...twice ;) while at work last night - before I posted on here. I have read some differences in drive in DDR vs Czech and in general it sounded like the DDR dogs are a little slower/less drivey - I'm pretty used to high energy and serious drive so I'm hoping for a happy medium. I like having drive but I want a serious on/off switch - I also want to be able to compete in the other venues I enjoy (agility, dock jumping, herding, rally etc).

I guess the hardest thing for me to understand is what you get when you blend - like you said West/Czech, I see Czech/DDR etc etc - what are the pros and cons of these? I realize that there will be differences among individuals but what about generalities? So is it better to just get familiar with a breeder as long as the lines are in general what I want and wait for THAT puppy or better to figure out exactly what I want, pick the line based on that and THEN the breeder?

When I decided on Madix, there were two breeders I was seriously considering and the temperament of both were extremely similar...I am out of my league right now and trying to rectify lol
 

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From my experience/research the Czech dogs are more suspicious/ sharp and lower threshhold than the West lines, so blending them makes for a nice balance, if the breeding match is right. Though that is a broad generalization...this link may help explain the differences more:
(Types of German Shepherds, by Wildhaus Kennels )
So is it better to just get familiar with a breeder as long as the lines are in general what I want and wait for THAT puppy or better to figure out exactly what I want, pick the line based on that and THEN the breeder?
I would look at breeders who are breeding what you are interested in, then look at the planned breedings they have. Even if there is a stud dog you are interested in, stay in touch with his owner for planned breedings.
I was lucky because the timing was perfect for me when Karlo's breeder decided to breed one of her West German black beauties to a wonderful Czech male. The litter they produced is showing great progress in all venues.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
From my experience/research the Czech dogs are more suspicious/ sharp and lower threshhold than the West lines, so blending them makes for a nice balance, if the breeding match is right. Though that is a broad generalization...this link may help explain the differences more:
(Types of German Shepherds, by Wildhaus Kennels )

I would look at breeders who are breeding what you are interested in, then look at the planned breedings they have. Even if there is a stud dog you are interested in, stay in touch with his owner for planned breedings.
I was lucky because the timing was perfect for me when Karlo's breeder decided to breed one of her West German black beauties to a wonderful Czech male. The litter they produced is showing great progress in all venues.
I am hoping for a more mid to high-threshold dog this next time around. This isn't for right away. I am thinking somewhere between 1.5 yrs to 3 yrs to add another would be perfect. However, if it's the low end, I know how long it takes to choose a breeder and then be put on the list etc etc so I am researching now. I might end up going Dutch again but definitely want to research my options. LOVING Schutzhund and the wonders it has done for Monster-face so I definitely want to be able to stay training in that!
 
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