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I hear everyone talking about great temperament frequently and wanted some opinions...My family is looking for a Companion show line puppy. I am searching for a Great Breeder who's off spring display's all the true qualities that make this breed so incredible. I was under the impression that The dogs who reach high levels of show would posses the nerve and temperament needed for a great companion dog....Good strong nerve, balanced drives, intelligent, structurally correct, confidence that offers a calm true balance. Can I get some opinions? I understand an extremely high drive dog may not be the best suitable Companion dog but is there a different temperament an excellent show prospect has that would differ from an excellent companion dog?
 

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You can get a great companion from ANY of the lines. My best advice is to get out and see as many of the different lines in action as you can. Find the type you like. Then find the best breeder that produces the type of GSD you like and go from there.

I have meet a few successful show dogs that could easily handle the rigors of a busy show schedule and yet fell apart at the seams with the slower pace of home life. There are many dogs that are successful in the show ring because they really do exemplify what the breed should be. But there are also many other dogs that are successful in the show ring because they have a big name kennel and/or handler campaigning them and their faults (both physical and mental) are overlooked or skillfully masked.

Look at the whole dog, not just one aspect. And don't limit yourself! Like I said, great companions can be found in any line.

Good luck! And have fun as you research. It is an exciting time for you, with almost limitless choices and opportunities.
Sheilah
 

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pick a show line or a working line. find a reputable breeder. train
and socialize and you can have whatever type dog you want, couch
potato, PP, go-everywhere, pet/companion, etc. GSD's can multi-task.
 

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I agree with Doggiedad. And to add, you can have any type of dog you want with enough training and consistency. GSDs love and yearn to learn. They need it. As long as you purchase from a reputable, knowledgeable, experienced breeder that breeds for temperament as much as appearance--you'll get a well balanced pup that you can train to be whatever you please..
 

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I am going to say that "top levels of competition" does not necessarily mean the parents have the right temperament and it is also does not mean they have crazy drives.

This was a long thread worth reading though, I think.
http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...49-titles-vs-certifications-working-type.html

Also disagree with "you can have any type of dog you want with enough training and consistency". Some things are genetic. You cannot put drives into a dog or remove them; you can only build on what is there. You cannot take a dog that is a nervebag and turn it into a confident dog but you can give it the tools to live a fairly normal life. You can do a lot but you can't erase genetics.
 

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I've got the best of all lines with my companion. She's just the best dog ever ...laid back when we need to be ...high drive when we need to be...just well rounded
 

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train and socialize and you can have whatever type dog you want, couch potato, PP, go-everywhere, pet/companion, etc. GSD's can multi-task.
I'm sorry, but this isn't necessarily true. Dogs are not born a blank slate. Training and socialization is truly imperative for any GSD, but temperament is genetic, and you can't change it. You can modify behavior, but you can't modify temperament.... if the basic temperament is stable, you can train a GSD to do most anything, but if the basic temperament is faulty, you can train, socialize, and desensitize till you're blue in the face, and it may not make much difference. For companion dogs especially, genetic temperament should be your #1 priority.

If you get a crazy high drive dog, there is no way you can train him into a couch potato, and if you get a couch potato, there's no way you can train him into a high drive competition dog. You can only work with what God gave the dog, so it's very important to choose the right breeder, the right pedigree, and the right puppy for your needs. I believe the most important thing is to find a breeder that you trust, who makes temperament a high priority in their breeding program. Then talk to that breeder about your needs and desires, and they will be able to help you pick the right pup, or refer you to someone reputable if they don't have a dog that fits your needs.
 

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I have had and worked with both German Showlines and working lines( of all pedigrees). I would pick a well bred German Showlines dog. They have good energy, nice drive for training, generally confident. They were my personal first foray into the the working dog world. And it was a perfect match. Not over the top, beautiful, healthy.

I now have working lines. And yes, you can find a nice working line dog to fit your needs. But I would still recommend the previous.

I don't know about American Showlines at all, so I can't comment as to their suitability

Good luck!!!! The search is half the fun!!!!


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Also disagree with "you can have any type of dog you want with enough training and consistency". Some things are genetic.
srsly

If "you can have any type of dog you want with enough training and consistency" were true, I'd be campaigning Pongu for his OTCH right now. :p

OP: please read through some of the links people have provided.

"I understand an extremely high drive dog may not be the best suitable Companion dog but is there a different temperament an excellent show prospect has that would differ from an excellent companion dog?"

Yes and no. How people define "excellent companion dog" varies.

A good show prospect will, first and foremost, have the requisite physical characteristics to excel as an exemplar of the breed. On top of that, the dog must be confident and stable enough not to lose its marbles in what can be a very loud, chaotic, crowded environment with strangers getting real up close and personal with the dog.

On occasion (and here I am not talking about show GSDs, because I don't really know any, but other breeds that I have more experience with, so take it with a grain of salt), that confidence can spill over into a diva-like personality that is not always compatible with more easygoing homes. But it very much depends on the individual dog and owner and the compatibility of their personalities.
 

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On occasion (and here I am not talking about show GSDs, because I don't really know any, but other breeds that I have more experience with, so take it with a grain of salt), that confidence can spill over into a diva-like personality that is not always compatible with more easygoing homes.
That is true, I have seen this--a very confident dog with a pushover owner can lead to problems. However, if the dog is stable, has sound nerves, and reasonable pack drive, it's an easy problem to correct once you get the owner trained. :)
 

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genetics, genetics, when a person buys a pup from a "reputable
breeder" i think the genetics are taken care of. the breeder is
going to produce sound dog's (nerve, temperament, drive, confirmation
and anything else that goes along with breeding the all around
sound dog. the breeder has the hard part in producing the sound
dog. as an owner we have the easy part. all we have to do is
train and socialize. when a person buys a pup from a proven
breeder how much do they have to worry about genetics? the
reason a buyer selects a proven breeder is so they don't have
to worry about genetics. can some genetic flaw happen yes it can.
does it happen often i don't think so. i believe in the reputable breeders.

I am going to say that "top levels of competition" does not necessarily mean the parents have the right temperament and it is also does not mean they have crazy drives.

This was a long thread worth reading though, I think.
http://www.germanshepherds.com/foru...49-titles-vs-certifications-working-type.html

>>>>>> Also disagree with "you can have any type of dog you want with enough training and consistency". Some things are genetic. <<<<<<

You cannot put drives into a dog or remove them; you can only build on what is there. You cannot take a dog that is a nervebag and turn it into a confident dog but you can give it the tools to live a fairly normal life. You can do a lot but you can't erase genetics.
 

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genetics, genetics, when a person buys a pup from a "reputable
breeder" i think the genetics are taken care of. the breeder is
going to produce sound dog's (nerve, temperament, drive, confirmation
and anything else that goes along with breeding the all around
sound dog. the breeder has the hard part in producing the sound
dog. as an owner we have the easy part. all we have to do is
train and socialize. when a person buys a pup from a proven
breeder how much do they have to worry about genetics? the
reason a buyer selects a proven breeder is so they don't have
to worry about genetics. can some genetic flaw happen yes it can.
does it happen often i don't think so. i believe in the reputable breeders.
Good point, and that is why I say that picking a reputable breeder is the most important part. But in every litter, there will be a range of temperament. Some pups will have high drive, some will have very high drive, some will have moderate drive. Some will be confident, some retiring, some dominant, some submissive. Just like people--how many families do you know where all the siblings are exactly the same?
 

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1>>>>> some breeders advertise their litters as peas in a pod. where's
the range of temperament?

2>>>>> like people, how people compare dogs to people?

Good point, and that is why I say that picking a reputable breeder is the most important part.

1 >>>>> But in every litter, there will be a range of temperament. Some pups will have high drive, some will have very high drive, some will have moderate drive. Some will be confident, some retiring, some dominant, some submissive.<<<<<

2 >>>>> Just like people--how many families do you know where all the siblings are exactly the same?<<<<<

[/QUOTE]
 

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1>>>>> some breeders advertise their litters as peas in a pod. where's
the range of temperament?
I've never heard a reputable breeder say that.

It would be nice if you could get "peas in a pod"... consistent, predictable temperament across the board... but I would imagine it's pretty rare (if not impossible) to have a litter where every pup is identical.
 

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there's a lot of reputable breeders out there so i'm sure there's
a lot of things you haven't heard them say. my breeder said it.

1>>>>> some breeders advertise their litters as peas in a pod. where's the range of temperament?


[/QUOTE]
>>>>> I've never heard a reputable breeder say that. <<<<<

It would be nice if you could get "peas in a pod"... consistent, predictable temperament across the board... but I would imagine it's pretty rare (if not impossible) to have a litter where every pup is identical.
 

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The litter I got my pup from was close in temperament. The breeder thought my agonizing over the two pups I had to choose from was .. interesting .. as they (and the whole litter) were so close in temperament.
 

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Well said and I have to say Ilda has turned out to be the perfect match for me for the same reasons.

I hope to have a WL in the future too!




I have had and worked with both German Showlines and working lines( of all pedigrees). I would pick a well bred German Showlines dog. They have good energy, nice drive for training, generally confident. They were my personal first foray into the the working dog world. And it was a perfect match. Not over the top, beautiful, healthy.

I now have working lines. And yes, you can find a nice working line dog to fit your needs. But I would still recommend the previous.

I don't know about American Showlines at all, so I can't comment as to their suitability

Good luck!!!! The search is half the fun!!!!


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I guess my concerns is there are some "top notch" showlines folks out there known to produce dogs with health and temperament issues just as there are some "top notch" working lines folks producing structurally incorrect dogs with low thresholds etc.

I think the right show or working line dog would work. More important to find a breeder who is consistently producing what you are looking for than one who is focused on the most recent whims of show or competition. i.e., conformation ratings and titles may be important but they are not the whole picture.

And that is going to be on doing a lot of research and talking with satisfied and dissatisfied (for any breeder there will always be someone in the woodwork trying to run them down) customers and, if possible, meeting the breeder and their dogs personally.
 
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