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Discussion Starter #41
I spent a decade or more running a GSD rescue. I have very little experience with well bred shepherds, most of it being with one line selected by my former employer for their work ability.
My most amazing Sabi was in fact a BYB dog and was everything a good German Shepherd should be, except healthy.
She could do it all. She served as my patrol partner for many years, trained for personal protection, building searches, narcotics detection and crowd control. She swung effortlessly between jobs and was a full time pet as well. Easily the most discerning dog I have ever met with amazing protective instincts and not a mean bone in her body. She saved my life at least twice. She was intelligent beyond measure, adored children and baby animals and was always up for a good time. She was also clearly convinced I was an idiot and in need of much help.
She was over sized, and thick boned. She also had awful hips, was sterile before I got her spayed and I ultimately lost her to DM.
I currently have my little genetic nightmare, Shadow who is getting older. I will be purchasing a pup in the future and I know exactly what I am looking for.
Sorry to hear about the DM, she sounds awesome. On the up side, she was obviously a diverse dog! I have an aging female Collie that has an arthitic condition in both back knees. Once she's up she runs across the yard, still loves walks, but there may be a day soon where she goes south. Just 12 years old but has dealt with this the last two years. Cosamine/asprin have had little influence. You'll have to let us know how you come out with the next pup.
 

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I got a GSD who'd been bred by a BYB. I never met the guy, but he loved animals, and judging by how this dog turned out, he may have know what he was doing.

Smartest **** dog I've ever had. I trained him to be my hearing ear dog. All I had to do was show him something 3x, and he had it down cold. He even learned stuff I didn't know I'd taught him, like the time I did two repetitions with the kitchen timer, then decided I didn't use it often enough to make teaching him that worthwhile. The next time that timer went off, he was there at my elbow, nudging me.

Worst conformation fault was his flat feet. No exaggerations in his conformation, and he had the most gorgeous male head. Perfectly sound temperament. He'd bark aggressively at strangers who came to the door, but let someone into the house, and he'd be wanting them to play ball with him within a couple of minutes.

He lived to be 14, and the only health problem he had was he developed arthritis in his spine, first noticeable about age 11. He had to be PTS at 14, as he had days when he couldn't walk, or get up off the floor.

Here's the surprising part. Given his temperament, etc. I always assumed he was mostly German working lines. Then I showed Cliff some pictures of him, and he said he looked like pre-Lance American lines.

I know some breeders who'd give their eyeteeth to get a dog with genetics like that!
But of course, he didn't have any papers...

So I get what you're saying about BYB. Not all of them are the spawn of Satan. Some of them even health test, and their most important criteria is often a dog with a stable temperament so it will fit into a pet home.
 

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German Shepherds make great pets for the "right" families, not all families. There is no such thing as any one single dog breed that can be a good pet in all homes.
 

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the key to true gsd (aka "continential" aka "living fence") herding style is imprinting from 3-16 weeks. I assert that because my "random sample" gsd pup can herd correctly, nearly any young enough gsd pup may be imprinted and trained to herd correctly. It's not rocket science. Correct gsd herding style is about as exciting as watching paint dry. The dog just hangs out. Keep the stock out of the road, keep an eye out for predators, and don't act like a border collie.
There is so much misinformation in that quote above. Have you ever actually worked herding dogs?

Asking because I spent yesterday doing boundary work (tending) with one of my dogs and foundation with another. And today I went to a different farm and did driving arena work with one, and worked my younger male on basic gathers. Literally spent the whole weekend working my dogs alongside other GSD, terv, and groendenael herding judges and handlers. Your quote above is just.... wrong.
 

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it's a little different when you live on the farm, and the dog lives with the stock. Ain't no days off on the farm. Chores everyday and christmas too.

hence the fact that SV originally automatically awarded HGH to any dog employed as such

no briard or bouvier participation @ the workshop?

for the record I certainly don't diminish anybody doing any activity with their dog. On the contrary I applaud it. Bravo! Cheers to all who participated!!
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I guess in the interest of getting back to pedigree traits, I have read that a working dog Horand was not trained in military/police work. It is rather astounding that a herding breed founded on Horand is so heavily utilized in that kind of work, provided this is an accurate quote from Von Stephanitz, when referring to Horand:

...a gentleman with a boundless zest for living. Although untrained in his puppyhood, nevertheless obedient to the slightest nod when at his master's side; but when left to himself, the maddest rascal, the wildest ruffian and an incorrigible provoker of strife. Never idle, always on the go, well-disposed to harmless people, but no cringer, mad on children and always in love. What could not have become of such a dog, if we only had at that time military or police service training? His faults were the failings of his upbringing, and never of his stock. He suffered from a suppressed, or better, a superfluity of unemployed energy, for he was in heaven when someone was occupied with him, and then he was the most tractable of dogs.

Seems like if genetics are there, training is easier. There's nothing like trying to take a teacup Poodle and training it to do SAR or bite work, which is apparently all that is required.
 

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Discussion Starter #56 (Edited)
I got a GSD who'd been bred by a BYB. I never met the guy, but he loved animals, and judging by how this dog turned out, he may have know what he was doing.

Smartest **** dog I've ever had. I trained him to be my hearing ear dog. All I had to do was show him something 3x, and he had it down cold. He even learned stuff I didn't know I'd taught him, like the time I did two repetitions with the kitchen timer, then decided I didn't use it often enough to make teaching him that worthwhile. The next time that timer went off, he was there at my elbow, nudging me.

Worst conformation fault was his flat feet. No exaggerations in his conformation, and he had the most gorgeous male head. Perfectly sound temperament. He'd bark aggressively at strangers who came to the door, but let someone into the house, and he'd be wanting them to play ball with him within a couple of minutes.

He lived to be 14, and the only health problem he had was he developed arthritis in his spine, first noticeable about age 11. He had to be PTS at 14, as he had days when he couldn't walk, or get up off the floor.

Here's the surprising part. Given his temperament, etc. I always assumed he was mostly German working lines. Then I showed Cliff some pictures of him, and he said he looked like pre-Lance American lines.

I know some breeders who'd give their eyeteeth to get a dog with genetics like that!
But of course, he didn't have any papers...

So I get what you're saying about BYB. Not all of them are the spawn of Satan. Some of them even health test, and their most important criteria is often a dog with a stable temperament so it will fit into a pet home.
Stable temperament should actually be a baseline measurement of all breeders, IMHO. In other dog breed histories, dogs that failed that were culled, because the worst thing that can happen is to have a powerful animal utilized in defense work become a man biter (handler). Some will disagree, but the same traits that make dogs under pressure tractable also makes them safe for homes. Call it nerves, temperament, whatever. Anyone that believes producing dogs devoid of that have settled on what they are able to get out of their line, claiming a different degree of hardness.

Sounds like you had a really good dog!
 

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a gentleman with a boundless zest for living. Although untrained in his puppyhood, nevertheless obedient to the slightest nod when at his master's side; but when left to himself, the maddest rascal, the wildest ruffian and an incorrigible provoker of strife. Never idle, always on the go, well-disposed to harmless people, but no cringer, mad on children and always in love. What could not have become of such a dog, if we only had at that time military or police service training? His faults were the failings of his upbringing, and never of his stock. He suffered from a suppressed, or better, a superfluity of unemployed energy, for he was in heaven when someone was occupied with him, and then he was the most tractable of dogs.
This is what I mean. Well disposed to harmless people. Mad on children.
Of course no dog is a good fit for everyone, but you should not need to be a dog handler to have a GSD as a pet! This fable about they are supposed to be aggressive is ridiculous. All animals including humans carry some aggression, it a survival thing. But when breeders start telling people my dogs aren't pets we have a problem.

As far as herding, it is those genetics that we are so dismissive of that make the breed what they are. The living fence myth is but a tiny part of what these dogs did, it brings in those guarding instincts. They also needed to be able to work with a shepherd to seperate stock, it's where the need to be a partner and pick up subtle cues and pay attention comes from. They needed to be able to move herds, hence the pushy nature.
Seriously, a herder with over the top prey drive would be useless. A herder with poor impulse control is useless and since birth control is a new invention and children were free labor a herder that was untrustworthy with kids probably would have not done well.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
This is what I mean. Well disposed to harmless people. Mad on children.
Of course no dog is a good fit for everyone, but you should not need to be a dog handler to have a GSD as a pet! This fable about they are supposed to be aggressive is ridiculous. All animals including humans carry some aggression, it a survival thing. But when breeders start telling people my dogs aren't pets we have a problem.

As far as herding, it is those genetics that we are so dismissive of that make the breed what they are. The living fence myth is but a tiny part of what these dogs did, it brings in those guarding instincts. They also needed to be able to work with a shepherd to seperate stock, it's where the need to be a partner and pick up subtle cues and pay attention comes from. They needed to be able to move herds, hence the pushy nature.
Seriously, a herder with over the top prey drive would be useless. A herder with poor impulse control is useless and since birth control is a new invention and children were free labor a herder that was untrustworthy with kids probably would have not done well.
Great points! Honestly I think a little trolling has gone on in this thread- and right after that nice moderator posted that bit about giving advice. = [ I have a lot of respect for the breed and more broadly for working dogs in general. When trainers start making veiled slurs I just take note of the name and make sure I don’t purchase from their kennel or one they associate with. I actually just passed on a dog from a reputable guy in N.C. because the pedigree showed, while having a decent line breeding coefficient, the dogs from the last few gens were just less than desirable in structure. Great lines but too far off for me. Maybe that became popular because of breeders having to supply MWD and losing sales to the smaller Malinios? They are more manageable for paratroopers in tandem jumps.

lAnyways, I’m just trying to be a responsible buyer and appreciate your (and others) sharing your experiences. It’s nice to get straight forward information in a non-adversarial, non-denigrating way.
 

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Discussion Starter #60

AKC A333969


AKC A451841

It's worth noting how few pre-lance akc gsd lacked SZ #'s, as well as how few generations back to those that did. In other words most were only 1 or 2 generations removed from import. Meanwhile on that side of the pond...


SZ 764298


SZ 757701
I don't know perlich, but I recognize a good number of names from 30 something yrs ago. I wouldn't call perlich a line, but there are some very fine old lines behind perlich peds.

If you hang around long enough you'll see the phrase "back yard breeders may hold the key to the future of the breed" bandied about on a regular basis. From what I'm able to piece together, perlich peds illustrate that theory. In other words, no popular sire's and none of the "working line" usual suspects.

I've been hunting HARD for 7 months, and those old lines appear to be all but gone, primarily due to introgression.

Can I see some more photos of your dog? Looks like a very interesting study.
Point of interest. Perlich is a Germanic name, and could be Slavic or Croatian. Means ’bear like’. Could be made up or a family name. But interesting enough. I’ll have to track it down I guess = \. Thanks for looking into it.
 
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