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Discussion Starter #1
I got my first GSD puppy a few months ago, and I have decided that I would really like, in the future, to become a breeder.

I've had a few ups and downs with my boy, but, on the whole, he's been wonderful to have and work with.

I've started getting into working with my dog, although my knowledge is still limited. I've joined a Schutzhund Club, and we have a long way to go yet, but it's strengthened my love of the sport and the breed.

I'm still pretty young (22), and in school, so I don't want to rush into anything, but I'd really like to become a breeder in about 5-10 years or so. Right now, I just want to soak up as much as I can and work with my dog.

Can I get some straightforward advice on how to get started? What to read, what to learn, etc?
 

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my suggestion is bookmark your desire to become a breeder and just go get some general life knowledge. 22 years old....
 

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I think for now you should just enjoy your dog and focus on learning everything you can learn about the breed before you even think about actually breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I don't plan on starting right now. Like I said in my first post, I'm thinking more like...10 years down the road. But it's something I want to work up to. If I don't think about it now, 10 years down the line, I won't know any more than I do right now.

FirstTimeGSD, I'm trying to learn. I'm just asking for pointers on where to start said education, and all I'm getting are disparaging responses about my age.
 

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Your SchH club is a good start. I would read as much as you can on the history of the breed. Train, spend time around dogs, watch, listen, spend time around breeders and other trainers, watch, ask questions, listen. :)
 

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Louise,
Welcome to the forum! This is a great place to learn. You will read a lot of great stuff here and be exposed to many aspects of the breed from people here who have decades of experience.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the advice and welcome! I've actually done quite a bit of lurking, but finally decided to get some personalized advice.
 

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Go to your club...a lot.

Go to shows and trials...a lot.

Talk to people that know things about dogs, get objective opinions on your dog and other people's dogs. Reading will get you some information, a little more in depth on pedigrees, but really the best way to learn is to go and see things happening. See dogs in real life, understand all the "terms" that are used. Start learning correct conformation and correct drives.

You don't have to plan on being a breeder, hopefully 10 years from now you have a dog that is breed worthy and someone will take you under their wing and show you the way. Like the other posters have said, you don't really have to have this plan now, just learn as much as you can about the breed and how to do things responsibly.
 

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If you plan to do anything, why not at 22?
It's a lot better to have plans and goals when you are 20 something than at 40.

You can change your plans if you choose but never let anyone discourage you.

Lisa gave some good general advice. I think the thread Lies posted is pretty much useless. Sorry Lies.

There are a number of very knowledgeable people on here that can help you if they choose to. Keep reading threads on breeding and training and you will figure out who knows what they are talking about, and then there is the rest of us.:)

Read Iceberg Breeders. That thread will give you an idea about the complexities of breeding. It's a good long read.

Best wishes to you.
 

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Good luck in your quest! You are in the right from of mind planning on learning from this dog and absorbing as much information as possible and then seeing where this crazy GSD life takes you. Sounds like a great 10 year plan if you can keep on track and find some great local people to help guide you!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Well, I think the breeder I got my puppy from might be willing to help guide me a little. She's in my club.

And thank you for your positive wishes. I'm a biology major, so I understand genetics and all, I just need to get more familiar with the specifics of dog/GSD breeding and such.
 

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(imho)unfortunately too many people are breeding german shepherd dogs already. maybe in 10 years something will have worked out, but in general the breed is full of health and temperment issues, and kill shelters and rescues are overflowing with shepherds needing help. there are definitely ethical breeders out there that you could learn from, but the sad reality is that there is an endless supply of shepherds needing homes out there, and more than enough people breeding already.

no breeder bashing here, just a hard look at the reality of the situation. and, as i began with, jmho...just remember please, that you are responsible for every single one of those little lives you arrange to create. thanks for giving it careful consideration.
 

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apologies for being disparaging. just seen the hurt and its hard to forget. does not mean you will be anything but an awesome ethical breeder as i hope you will be.

go slow and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I know there are a lot of puppies being bred, but it seems to me that there is always a high demand for well-bred puppies. I want to get involved in rescue, too. But I really don't want the only GSDs available, the only GSD that everyone sees and knows, to be the results of a backyard breeder or puppymill out to make a quick buck.

And apology accepted, x11. I understand. I'm just trying very hard to do this the best way possible.
 

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louise, do you know which lines (german show, german working, american show, czech/ddr) you're interested in, apologies if i didn't see it...i am the first in four generations of my family to not breed, takes a long, long time to know your stuff, it can be difficult and heartbreaking and it can cost you lots and lots and LOTS of money. if you do it right, it must be your life's work. imho.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
louise, do you know which lines (german show, german working, american show, czech/ddr) you're interested in, apologies if i didn't see it...i am the first in four generations of my family to not breed, takes a long, long time to know your stuff, it can be difficult and heartbreaking and it can cost you lots and lots and LOTS of money. if you do it right, it must be your life's work. imho.
Well, mine is German Show, but I'm really interested in Czech lines. And most things worth doing take a lot of time and effort. I understand there's a lot to learn, and I'm trying to get started so I don't get too over my head in the future.
 

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A good, and interesting, place to start right now would be learning all you can about the genetics of our breed, and how to read a pedigree. There's tons of threads on how the structure of a pedigree can make or break the dogs you produce, and how even the placing of an individual dog on one can shape the progeny. The people here are very knowledgeable and can teach you a lot, I suggest reading a lot of old threads and searching for certain terms as well and soaking up everything you can, that's what I've been doing!

Oh, and get familiar with the breed standard from the SV as well I'd say. It'll help when reading critiques of dogs, there's a great illustrated one by Linda Shaw.

THE ILLUSTRATED STANDARD OF THE GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG

I think your age is an asset really, I myself am 21 and I think it gives us both much more of a chance to really experience and learn as much as we can about these dogs, and to reach out to those older and more experienced to make sure we learn and do the right way. My favorite people to learn from on here include Cliffson, Chris Wild, Christine from Blackthorn, Carmen (Carmspack), and Lisa Clark (lhczth), just to name a very few! I also follow the Alta-Tolhaus group blog on Blogger, it's amazing to see the variety one breeder can produce, and really shows you how versatile a well thought out, and carefully bred GSD can be.

Get as much exposure to as many dogs as you can, look at their training if you can, examine their pedigrees if you like something about them, look at their father and mother, and their progeny if there are any. Ask lots of questions too! I think the most important part is to get out there and work with as many dogs as you can, but you'd already on that track since you've joined a club.

Good luck!
 
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