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Newbie with questions on working lines.

2804 Views 11 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  cliffson1
Good day all,
I am contemplating which bloodline of gsd would be best match for me and my dog midnight. We're in no hurry to find a breeder (been researching two years) but I don't want to find a good breeder and then realize I've selected the wrong bloodline.

I am looking primarily for a 24/7 companion dog. Midnight goes with me pretty much everywhere, and the gsd would too. I am also planning to train the dog in competitive obedience, and ScH. We also want to have a word class tennis ball and kong fyler assassin, and other hiking buddy.

I was thinking of SAR training, but in the years since I was last on a SAR team I've started my own business and can't really get a called out any time.

However being a first time GSD owner I want to avoid the highest drives of the working bloodlines, but still want strong nerve and high biddability (sp?)

The kind folks at one of the two local SCH clubs I visited told me that West german working lines were the most intense and the DDR/Czech lines were better for a newbie GSD to train in dog sports.

I have read some info that seems to confirm these statements, however I was wondering where the east german lines fell in terms of drives and intensity? I realize these are only generalization and pups are all individuals but any advice on the matter would be much appreciated.

Also would it just be best to find a breeder with solid working lines and then just tell them I want the most mellow pup they could place with me?

I am planning well in advance as I don't intend to bring a pup into our pack for at least a year, but I'd like to learn as much as possible in the time I have. Any advice/wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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wow i feel kind of dense...just read DDR= east german. oops
I think you can find a good dog in any of the working lines of German Shepherds, you just need to work closely with a breeder to find the best puppy for you. Since you do want to do Schutzhund and it sounds like you are pretty active, you probably don't want a lump. (So no, I don't think the most mellow pup is necessarily your best choice, then you might end up with a dog that won't work) I think ultimately you want a dog with good temperament and solid nerves and I think you can find this in West German, DDR, and Czech dogs.

My dog is my first dog that belongs just to me and my first GSD. He's West German Working lines. We told our breeder that we wanted a dog to be first our pet, but that we wanted a dog that we could compete with in obedience or agility (at this point we didn't know what SchH was). We also loved the parents of the litter. They seemed just like what we wanted in our future dog. Friendly, outgoing, and eager to play. Our guy is a very calm dog, but really can turn on in training. When we took him to a trainer who also trains SchH, it was suggested to us that he would be good at it, and he loves it and we're hooked.

So I guess my suggestion to you is to not necessarily pigeon hole yourself. I have seen dogs in all 3 lines that I admire and would be willing to take home. Meet breeders, see their dogs, and see what you really like. A good relationship with a breeder who has dogs you like, who will ultimately choose your companion for the next 10-15 years, beats out all the paper info on pedigrees and lines. There are several really great knowledgeable breeders on this forum who I am sure can give you great advice.
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For a first GSD, especially a first workinglines GSD, I would hunt the rescue section for a young or even middle-aged adult! No huge surprises, no surprise reactivity, surprise extreme dominance, surprise extreme anything-- you can see what you are getting better than with a puppy, who would be a gamble even for someone not new to GSDs and workinglines especially.
If new to GSD's I would say away from the high drive dogs. Maybe a medium drive so you don't get real frustrated while you learn.
I agree with Patti, with a young adult of working lines what you see is what you're going to get. There are lots of them in rescue becuase the original owner had no clue what they were getting into. I've had 2 working line rescue dogs (one was 2 y/o, the other was 6 months). Nothing beats the loyalty of a rescue.
Originally Posted By: chuckIf new to GSD's I would say away from the high drive dogs. Maybe a medium drive so you don't get real frustrated while you learn.
Isn't it more frustrating to have a dog that is lacking in drives when you learn? We have West German Working lines and I wouldn't trade them for anything. Ours always have enough "gas" in the engine to get working when on the field
. It sounds like you are planning to do a lot of activities with your dog to keep it busy. Ours are also great house dogs.

Since you are interested in SchH, I would suggest working with a reputable breeder that works their dogs in SchH. If you would like an older puppy or young dog, lots of breeders have them available too. This lowers the risks that are inherent with puppies in our breed.

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I would disagree with the statement about west german vs DDR/ Czeck and I would say that it is quite the opposite. What I have found with my dogs, some west german and some czeck, is that the czeck dogs are more drivey than the west german dogs. For a first timer, I would highly recommend a west german working line, but like has been mentioned already you need to spend time with a good breeder that will puppy test the entire litter and be able to match you up with the best pup for your needs.
Thanks for the responses all. While i very much like that the GSD community (not just here on this board) is encouraging me to resuce I have my own (selfish as they may be) reasons for wanting a pup. I have rescued all of my pets, since the first stray cat I took in at age 9. I have very much loved my rescue dogs, especially my current one Midnight, I just want to start with a pup and raise it up from an early age.

I am indeed, as several had mentioned, planning on doing a lot to keep this dog occupied. I am looking into the working lines specifically because of their higher drives. I think that most of ya'll are steering me in the right direction by suggesting I find a good breeder and work with them to select the right pup. As i mention in my OP I have a lot of time to find a breeder I like and am confident in. thanks alot for the advice.
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I think for what you are looking for german working lines would suit. Since you would be a beginner, more of a middle of the road drive wise. Not a couch potato, not a psycho puppy. One just active enough to keep you on your toes, lol. ddr can be a little more on the civil side (so can czech). These are just generalities of course.
Originally Posted By: safetymedicI would disagree with the statement about west german vs DDR/ Czeck and I would say that it is quite the opposite. What I have found with my dogs, some west german and some czeck, is that the czeck dogs are more drivey than the west german dogs.
This is my understanding as well.
There are really two kind of Czech dogs and also two types of mentalities toward the Czech dogs. Most Czech dogs that come to the states today are NOT very civil and make very good sport dogs. Look at the results of the USA trials and see how many Czech dogs are being titled by reglar club people. Then there is the Czech dogs of twenty to twenty-five years ago as they first became available to the western public. These dogs had a much higher degree of civility and often had thin nerves. Many of the longtime Sch people have this opinion still of Czech dogs and will always propagate this to anyone that listens. Unfortunately, the facts don't support this sterotype today, as kennels such as Jinopo and Eurosport and Aritarbastet, are providing hundreds of dogs to regular family and schutzhund candidates and you are not hearing stories of these people being displeased. To the contrary anytime you see something posted about these kennels you get waves of people raving about what they received. So, you have to be careful about opinions on these boards that they reflect the facts and not some twenty year old opinion that hasn't changed with the changing of the dogs.
ps The z Pohranince-straze kennel twenty years ago produced extremely hard dogs, with the advent of dogs like Grim(the Czech Fero), and the linebreeding and backcanvassing on him, the z PS dogs of today are really sporty types and not great candidates for police/military as in the past.
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