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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I love German Shepherds and want to breed them someday (German Show lines or Working lines). I would want a fairly small kennel with no more than 3 dogs. Would this be ok? I know most breeders probably have more dogs than that, but I am planning on going to Veterinary college and won't start breeding until after graduation. I also know that breeding is not at all easy, but I would like to get an idea of what it would take and how to keep a well managed kennel with healthy dogs. I also want to do Schutzhund training with my breeding dogs, so I am considering German Show line or German/Czech Working lines. I already know a lot about each of the lines, but would like some more information from breeders.
 

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The show lines get titled (now IPO) if the breeders follow the SV system....but show line breeders concentrate on showing as a sport activity and parameters for choosing their breeding stock.

Working line breeders will show their dogs to get their show ratings for their koer classing - but do not concentrate on going to conformation shows as a fun activity - they generally are more focused on the training and trials to do the IPO titles and will take dogs to multiple trials as a fun activity...

My working line dogs are a blend of WGWL, DDR, Belgian and recently some Czech....I have young upcoming females of all WGR (Panther), Belgian WGR (Hexe), Belgian DDR WGR (Bengal) and then a Czech, DDR, WGR, Belgian (Kyra and Kira!)....

Is this PC enough???

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, this information was helpful, but what is your opinion on breeding a German Show line with a Czech Working line? So somewhat "standardizing" the breed. And I know there are probably breeders that have done this already, but I kind of like the idea. Could you still do Schutzhund training with these dogs?
 

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I would suggest going out and titling a dog first. Seeing all the work that goes into getting a title on a dog, and in a time that would still allow you to breed that dog. Crossing of lines is very questionable, you can't think in the way of "Can you still do x with this dog?" You should think in more, "What are the puppies going to be like?" Remember, most likely only a small percentage of your dogs will go on to be SchH dogs.

There are people on both sides of the fence about crossing lines. Sometimes it works out great (I have a 1/2 west german and 1/2 DDR), other times you have issues because the drives don't balance each other out. There are also many purists that want to keep lines separate.

Not to say you won't have the time to do this, but breeding properly is a huge time commitment. If you really want to be a vet, you'll have a hard time finding the time needed to train and show your dogs. I know that I currently don't have the time to even work mine in SchH (so I don't) and much less think about getting him to the standard of breeding him.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Now that I think about it, I think I like the idea of kepping the different lines seperate, this way you would have distinct traits for each line. After I graduate Vet school and if I realize I don't have the time to breed GSDs, I would like to own a stud dog. Can you only breed a stud dog if you have a breeding program, or can you just buy one as a puppy from a breeder? I know this is risky considering that I wouldn't know if the dog will be fertile or not, or if he will have the qulalities, temperament, and drive I'm looking for.
 

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Now that I think about it, I think I like the idea of kepping the different lines seperate, this way you would have distinct traits for each line. After I graduate Vet school and if I realize I don't have the time to breed GSDs, I would like to own a stud dog. Can you only breed a stud dog if you have a breeding program, or can you just buy one as a puppy from a breeder? I know this is risky considering that I wouldn't know if the dog will be fertile or not, or if he will have the qulalities, temperament, and drive I'm looking for.
There is a thread called Ice Berg Breeders I think Cliffson started it.
Maybe someone can link it for you. Read it all and you will have a much better understanding about how diffficult proper breeding is.
I am definitely not a breeder but that was a great thread. Lots of information in there.
 

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I have some questions for you :)
What is your goal as a breeder? What do you think you will do to better the breed? How will your breeding program influence the breed as a whole? What goal are you furthering by owning a stud dog?

I know a couple people that just own a stud dog, but I wouldn't call that a breeding program. They work with the breeder that actually bred the dog or local broker that imported him to help stud him out to appropriate females.
 

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Anyone can own a stud dog - but few will want to breed to him unless you put a lot of time into his training and titling, or if you spend a lot of money on a titled dog.

Most people keep show and working lines separate - crossing the two sounds like a good idea in theory but you lose consistency and often end up with the worst of both lines. Crossing the different types of working lines is okay IF you know what you're doing in terms of temperament and drives. The wrong cross could turn out badly but many are crossing the lines with great success.
 

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When you talk about owning just 3 dogs are you meaning 3 females? A good breeding program is founded on good females. IMO there is little need to keep males when you only have a couple of girls. Far better to take advantage of the vast genetics around the world to build your program.

If you plan on developing a program and not just buying new females when needed you had better plan on eventually keeping more than 3 dogs. You will need to keep back at least one female from each bitch to continue on with your line. Of course some breeders place their older bitches when they are done breeding which helps keep the population down.

Just some more things to consider.

There are people that cross the show with work. They attempt to maintain a very strong bitch line and cross out to good males and then keep the best for the future. You will need to plan on being very picky in your choices and at times maybe not getting what you want.

As someone said earlier, get some experience first. The more knowledge you have the better able you will be to make educated breeding decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have some questions for you :)
What is your goal as a breeder? What do you think you will do to better the breed? How will your breeding program influence the breed as a whole? What goal are you furthering by owning a stud dog?

I know a couple people that just own a stud dog, but I wouldn't call that a breeding program. They work with the breeder that actually bred the dog or local broker that imported him to help stud him out to appropriate females.
-My goal as a breeder is to produce dogs with exeptional, loyal temperament, sturdy, well balanced structure, and to provide people with an outstanding, protective family dog or a loyal companion.
-My breeding program would influence the breed by producing well structured, loyal, protective, hard working, loving dogs and provide resposible dog owners with an amazing companion.
-By owning a German show line/working line stud dog, I will allow other breeders to breed their bitch with an outstanding quality dog and therefore, produce dogs that are the same.

I know that I would have to look at the bitch's pedigree to see if there are any genetic disorders in her generation, and if there is, I would not allow that bitch to be bred to my stud dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When you talk about owning just 3 dogs are you meaning 3 females? A good breeding program is founded on good females. IMO there is little need to keep males when you only have a couple of girls. Far better to take advantage of the vast genetics around the world to build your program.

If you plan on developing a program and not just buying new females when needed you had better plan on eventually keeping more than 3 dogs. You will need to keep back at least one female from each bitch to continue on with your line. Of course some breeders place their older bitches when they are done breeding which helps keep the population down.

Just some more things to consider.

There are people that cross the show with work. They attempt to maintain a very strong bitch line and cross out to good males and then keep the best for the future. You will need to plan on being very picky in your choices and at times maybe not getting what you want.

As someone said earlier, get some experience first. The more knowledge you have the better able you will be to make educated breeding decisions.
I plan on owning males as well. My original plan was to own 2 bitches and 1 male, but what you are saying is that females are the best foundation for breeding? That's understandable. So I think I will wait and consider all of this. I have quite a long time to!
I am leaning more towards owning a single stud dog, because this wouldn't be as time consuming, so that I can still be committed to my future career (Veterinarian). But I would choose an oustanding quality dog with no history of genetic disorders and I would do Schutzhund training with him. And this, I know, is also time consumimg, but I would be more than happy to manage.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Anyone can own a stud dog - but few will want to breed to him unless you put a lot of time into his training and titling, or if you spend a lot of money on a titled dog.

Most people keep show and working lines separate - crossing the two sounds like a good idea in theory but you lose consistency and often end up with the worst of both lines. Crossing the different types of working lines is okay IF you know what you're doing in terms of temperament and drives. The wrong cross could turn out badly but many are crossing the lines with great success.
I would own an oustanding quality dog with exeptional temperament and structure with no genetic disorders in his history, and he would be Schutzhund trained. I would not mind spending the money for all of this, and I know that the dog itself will be very expensive as well as the training. And I would consider working with my dog in Schutzhund training to be a joy and a great bonding experience (even though I know there will be stressing, difficult moments).
 

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I would own an oustanding quality dog with exeptional temperament and structure with no genetic disorders in his history, and he would be Schutzhund trained.


Not to stomp on your dream, but what you say you'd like to have. . . . .is what everybody wants. What all the breeders are striving for. What all the buyers are trying to buy. I really really really hope you get your outstanding stud dog. I just hope I get one first. :D They're like hens' teeth.


I'd be interested to know-- is there anybody out there who owns one outstanding stud and nothing else? Seems like all the great studs are owned by kennels. I think part of the problem is that, in order for owners of really good females to look twice at your stud, he needs to have a progeny group worth noticing. Usually this is done by breeding him to your own females first. Then the owners of top females see what your dog has produced and decide to try breeding to him. Someone who owns a really nice female isn't going to waste a litter trying out an untried male.
 

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-My goal as a breeder is to produce dogs with exeptional, loyal temperament, sturdy, well balanced structure, and to provide people with an outstanding, protective family dog or a loyal companion.
-My breeding program would influence the breed by producing well structured, loyal, protective, hard working, loving dogs and provide resposible dog owners with an amazing companion.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are looking to primarily produce pet/companion quality dogs. That's fine and many people breed for pet dogs. However, there are millions of pet quality dogs that are produced as breeders try to either breed for profit or breed to produce a quality working/conformation dog. Heck...my rescue is a great companion as well. You can find many a good companion at shelters.

If you are working towards achieving high levels in conformation or Schh, then pet quality dogs will be a byproduct of breedings you do based on the reasoning of keeping a select pup for "greater" goals. I am fine with this line of reasoning. I do have a problem with breeders breeding exclusively for pet quality dogs since we have an out of control pet overpopulation problem.

At this point, I would say you need to decide if you want to get into showlines or working dogs. If showlines, title a dog (much much harder than it sounds. takes countless hours if you do it right, can get away with an IPO1 for a female), get the dog rated at regional/national level SV shows, breed survey and then if the dog is still able to do all that, decide if you are in the right place to breed. If working dogs, you will have to again title the dog to an even higher standard (IPO3, multiple titles if possible to prove working ability of the dog), get a rating for the breed survey and breed survey.

Titling, rating and breed surveying your own dog will provide you with the first hand experience on the work it takes to breed dogs. I would try doing that first before considering breeding. I am currently titling 2 dogs and the amount of work is incredible. I'll be lucky if I can get an IPO1 on them before they turn two and they have been training/doing foundation work since they were born. Not trying to be discouraging. Just a word of caution to manage expectations... You did say that you can manage, but if you do plan on becoming a vet, it will be very difficult to manage a successful breeding program in addition to maintaining a practice. Of course, you can purchase titled/rated dogs to start breeding, but it will be expensive and you will have to eventually start titling/rating your own dogs to provide credibility to your program. Food for thought
 

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Emoore makes an excellent point as well. Most of us will not own a top stud male. It's really a far out chance. You can purchase a good stud if you are willing to pay 50k or more, but most of us are not. Also, from hearing brokers talk about importing dogs, I realize that a German kennel is not going to be very keen to sell a top quality stud dog with zero issues. If they have that "perfect" stud, they won't let him go. Many times, they will sell either untitled dogs that have promise or sell you a stud that is great in many ways, but is lacking in some way. For example, I have a breeder friend that imported a very nice male from fantastic lines, but the only reason the original breeders sold the dog was because the dog had aggression issues. Now my friend still had to pay $50k+ for that dog and then deal with undoing what damage was done. Just an example of the headache you might experience.

There is a very small chance that you can breed a top stud dog. It almost never happens, and when it does, it happens to established kennels that have been doing this for decades. If you want to start breeding, you pretty much have to start with females because unless you purchase a top stud male, you probably will not be able to raise one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not to stomp on your dream, but what you say you'd like to have. . . . .is what everybody wants. What all the breeders are striving for. What all the buyers are trying to buy. I really really really hope you get your outstanding stud dog. I just hope I get one first. :D They're like hens' teeth.


I'd be interested to know-- is there anybody out there who owns one outstanding stud and nothing else? Seems like all the great studs are owned by kennels. I think part of the problem is that, in order for owners of really good females to look twice at your stud, he needs to have a progeny group worth noticing. Usually this is done by breeding him to your own females first. Then the owners of top females see what your dog has produced and decide to try breeding to him. Someone who owns a really nice female isn't going to waste a litter trying out an untried male.
I understand. I just want my dreams to come true so badly! I might not get the "perfect" stud dog, but I at least want a good quality dog. Either way, I will love him and I'm sure he will be an outstanding, loyal companion. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are looking to primarily produce pet/companion quality dogs. That's fine and many people breed for pet dogs. However, there are millions of pet quality dogs that are produced as breeders try to either breed for profit or breed to produce a quality working/conformation dog. Heck...my rescue is a great companion as well. You can find many a good companion at shelters.

If you are working towards achieving high levels in conformation or Schh, then pet quality dogs will be a byproduct of breedings you do based on the reasoning of keeping a select pup for "greater" goals. I am fine with this line of reasoning. I do have a problem with breeders breeding exclusively for pet quality dogs since we have an out of control pet overpopulation problem.

At this point, I would say you need to decide if you want to get into showlines or working dogs. If showlines, title a dog (much much harder than it sounds. takes countless hours if you do it right, can get away with an IPO1 for a female), get the dog rated at regional/national level SV shows, breed survey and then if the dog is still able to do all that, decide if you are in the right place to breed. If working dogs, you will have to again title the dog to an even higher standard (IPO3, multiple titles if possible to prove working ability of the dog), get a rating for the breed survey and breed survey.

Titling, rating and breed surveying your own dog will provide you with the first hand experience on the work it takes to breed dogs. I would try doing that first before considering breeding. I am currently titling 2 dogs and the amount of work is incredible. I'll be lucky if I can get an IPO1 on them before they turn two and they have been training/doing foundation work since they were born. Not trying to be discouraging. Just a word of caution to manage expectations... You did say that you can manage, but if you do plan on becoming a vet, it will be very difficult to manage a successful breeding program in addition to maintaining a practice. Of course, you can purchase titled/rated dogs to start breeding, but it will be expensive and you will have to eventually start titling/rating your own dogs to provide credibility to your program. Food for thought
Actually, I want to produce working dogs. Sorry, I realize I made it look like the opposite:eek:. I want to produce dogs that are great workers, are protective, are loyal, and have high energy for work.
I understand comletely when you said; "we have an out of control pet overpopulation problem." and I realize why you have a problem with this. I would never want to produce dogs that would eventually become a stray or end up in a shelter.

The process of titling does sound extremely complicated and time consuming, and that is definately something to consider. I want to start out with a single stud dog (and it might not be perfect, I now realize), and see if I can handle breeding. :)
 

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As others were saying, buying one stud dog really doesn't make sense.
I've been looking at getting into breeding Dachshunds and the consensus is the same; purchase a potential show quality bitch puppy and start from there.
"Handle breeding", well, he'll do that for you. There's really little to "handle", since you won't be doing all the work, the owner of the bitch will be.

As for the other - don't plan on breeding (especially a stud dog) if you have no titles.
He's worth nothing, really, without them.
It's like the horse racing world. Nobody wants to breed to a stud horse until he's accomplished things, important things.

Anyone can own a male and stud him out. Hang around petsmart or Petco and you'll find a bitch to breed to.

But to be an outstanding kennel takes years and a lot of work.
Start going to shows, plenty of shows, now!
 

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Not to stomp on your dream, but what you say you'd like to have. . . . .is what everybody wants. What all the breeders are striving for. What all the buyers are trying to buy. I really really really hope you get your outstanding stud dog. I just hope I get one first. :D They're like hens' teeth.
Too bad Emoore, I got mine first :D

Ok, lets say you, with the help of your gods and a lot of good luck, got an outstanding dog, you are even training him in Schutzhund. But the dog is only a part of the equation, you also need a very good club, a very good helper (rats!) and to be a very good handler, who needs to work daily at home with the dog. And I AM in vet school, so I know sometimes you can spend months without training at all. Being realistic, this very good male, genetically speaking, may not even reach its SchH3. How will you compete against all the other studs dogs out there, of the same quality as yours, who are winning championships around the country and the world. And I really mean compete, because if you want to achieve your goal in your breeding program you need also great quality bitches to stud to, and they wont be knocking at your door unless you campaign your male.

But the real, real problem is not that one. The real problem to fund your breeding program is not to get an oustanding dog, not even getting oustanding bitches. The real challenge is to recognize them once you have one in front of your eyes. There is where breeding becomes an art that divide those who excel from the average. If your goal is to get the best working dog, first than all you need to know what traits make such dog and the only way is working yourself, training, be exposed to different task, different types of dogs and recognize whom, and why, excel.

Forget about becoming a breeder, that one is not a goal on it itself that worth anything. Anyone can put a female and a male together, even register the products and call himself a breeder. I think we get a thread like yours (I want to be a breeder once I finish college) every other month.

My humble advice: be a student of the breed, be a student of genetics, be a student of health, ethology, helper work, handling, breed history and then, maybe, you will cross your path with THAT DOG, either male or female, and you will know this is what you had been looking for.
 
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