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Hi everyone! I really want to make the right breeder decision.

I have officially decided on a Show Line GSD. I'm open to both American and West German lines.

I've been taking my time deciding on a breeder, as you can probably tell. A few of my top picks fell through because their dog's didn't have the most important traits I'm looking for and this is a big commitment for me. (One kept telling me that "all our puppies are the same", the other (Theishof which is incredible!) doesn't have very affectionate males, usually).

I'm an aspiring dog trainer.
This dog will be my training partner, demo dog, and if his temperament is right for it he will double as my Service Dog. If he washes, he will still be my lifetime companion.

Most important traits, I have come to understand of myself;
1. Very affectionate/cuddly (I know it's a hit or miss with GSDs! A risk I'm willing to take
 

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(sorry! Accidentally submitted before I was done and don't know how to edit my original post!)

2. Must have good handler focus/be engaged
3. Eager to please
4. Stable temperament


I am in South-Central Oregon but am willing to travel.

So far I have been looking at Von Dax in Nevada the most. Their dogs are beautiful and the health tests seem to be in order. They said that their dogs are very affectionate, especially "Tucker" who is their "ambassador" when people visit.

I was looking at WindRidge as well but I really don't like that they force Spay/Neuter as I have no desire to neuter my dog unless it's medically necessary.

I am will to travel as far as a 6 hour drive from Silver Lake, Oregon.

Thank you!
 

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Hi everyone! I really want to make the right breeder decision.

I have officially decided on a Show Line GSD. I'm open to both American and West German lines.

I've been taking my time deciding on a breeder, as you can probably tell. A few of my top picks fell through because their dog's didn't have the most important traits I'm looking for and this is a big commitment for me. (One kept telling me that "all our puppies are the same", the other (Theishof which is incredible!) doesn't have very affectionate males, usually).

I'm an aspiring dog trainer.
This dog will be my training partner, demo dog, and if his temperament is right for it he will double as my Service Dog. If he washes, he will still be my lifetime companion.

Most important traits, I have come to understand of myself;
1. Very affectionate/cuddly (I know it's a hit or miss with GSDs! A risk I'm willing to take

I think you really need to understand the breed, the correct temperament , the lines .

You need to not got to a "line" you do need to go to a breeder who understands the requirements for training , a demo-dog a calibre above , and a therapy dog , another kettle of fish altogehther .

cuddly is nice , cuddly does not cut it.

I wouldn't expect to find what you need (easiily if at all ) in the "lines" that you have decided on .
 

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@carmspack

I understand what you are saying but maybe I don't understand what point you are making?
Did you see the other half of my post?

I have spoken to a lot of other GSD owners on different platforms at this point and understand that what I am looking for is sort of special. I don't have high hopes that I will find the "perfect" dog. I have done enough research for the better half of a decade to be 100% positive that a German Shepherd is the breed that I want next.

The most important thing to me is that he is a good companion to me.
I don't want an over the top neurotic dog that is incapable of settling. I don't want an IPO prospect either.

(I want to make it clear though that I AM athletic and capable of providing a GSD with the physical and mental exercise they need to be content. In fact I love to do it!)

He doesn't need to be super easy or a perfect training partner. I can work with almost any dog.

I know that lines can't guarantee anything. That isn't why I'm looking for specific lines. I merely have a preference for show lines. I have been much more fond of the show lines that I have met. Especially temperament-wise. Some working line dogs have been awesome but some are a pinch too intense for what I'm looking for.

I don't expect to find EXACTLY everything that I'm looking for. A SD prospect would be nice but I don't have my hopes up that my GSD will be that. I can't wait and get another Golden in a few years if I need to for my SDiT. I will try with him but if it doesn't work then it doesn't work and I'm okay with that.

I am a confident trainer and I'm not a dog rookie. I am positive that if I find a breeder that breeds dogs of sound temperament and health with a lot of what I'm looking for and they help me to find the best match in their litter; that I can work with my pup to fit my needs.

I know a lot of trainers that have used their rescue dogs as demo dogs so I know I'm not searching for a needle in a haystack.
 

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I did read the entire post .
the first one and the second one.

seems like you can't fail because your target goals are super flexible , lowered bar
quickly.

i am not a rookie . I know about training. I know about service dogs having provided
many that are now certified service dogs for Veterans , USA and Canada.

go to obedience trials .

Five years of advice already .?
 

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I’m not familiar with breeders in Oregon you can contact the gsd Oregon club maybe they have breeders they can recommend. There may be members here that are in your area that are familiar with the breeders you mentioned or you can take a look at the search forum. I heard good things about theishoff’s dogs - worth taking a look. Regarding service dog’s there is a Link with info regarding the challenges of looking for a german Shepherd for service dog work and what to look for.
https://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=717306
http://www.gsdcoregon.com/whelpbox.html
 

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Not all Working Lines are over the top, neurotic dogs that cannot settle in the home. It's all about the breeder knowing which dog pedigrees mix well together and what they will produce. My breeder (we're on the east coast) has a few dogs that have gone on to do service dog work. She also has dogs doing Therapy, IPO, SAR, and other sports as well. You just need a knowledgeable breeder.


I don't know many breeders on the west coast. I do know Taylor Made working dogs is in CA, however I'm unsure how reputable they are. If you are 100% set on a show line, I'm sure someone can offer some advice on a breeder that could possible produce what you are looking for.
 

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My working line was incredibly calm in the house. Worked full time long days. Not a ounce of over activity. Needed his exercise and mental stimulation but was very adaptable, biddeable, had strong drives. I do not see any difference with energy levels with my dogs I have now which are show lines- my experience.
 

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I'm active in the West German Showline world, and I would also recommend adding to your list of requirements, specifically if you want a service dog. Research the lines and find dogs and breeders that fit what you're looking for as far as what kind of drives you want, temperament, etc. Talk to the breeder about their health testing, whether they train the dogs themselves, whether they have ever bred any service dogs, and ask to speak to those clients.

For example, I'm in the market for a new working line and have emailed kennels diatribes (literally 6-7 paragraphs, 5-7 sentences long, about what I'm looking for in a dog.) I want something very specific, and if you want an SD, you probably want something very specific, too. Research and figure out what you need. Talk to SD programs, ask them what they look for in a prospect, ask them where they get their dogs from and put together specifications of your perfect dog then ask breeders to meet those specifications. Deal with breeders who are open to matching what you need, who are honest about their programs and who breed for temperament and health first and foremost.

In my working line search I have spoken to a few breeders who flat out told me they did not have a breeding coming up that matched what I wanted. They were honest about their dogs and their goals. Those are the breeders you want to talk to, not people who try to sell you a dog you don't need by claiming it's what you want. You need to be specific in what you are looking for so that people don't try to sell you on a dog that isn't what you need. Keep in mind that the washout rate for SDs is somewhere around 65-70%. You need a very specific dog.


For a WGSL, I know of one kennel that has produced a few SDs:
Alta-Tollhaus | Home of Awesome German Shepherd Dogs

The other WGSL kennels I would recommend are below:

https://www.eastpointgermanshepherds.com/ (Tracy just moved, so I don't think she has any litters on the ground or pregnant females, but once they get settled into their new home she will be back at it. She also imports.)

http://romuendergsd.com/ (The website isn't really kept up to date, so just reach out to Karen. I have trained and trialed with Champ and he is a heck of a dog. He's drivey, biddable and loves to work. An actual working WGSL dog.)

https://www.mittelwest.com/ (Take this with a grain of salt. I do not have any experience with this kennel and they are a big, business kennel. That said, I've seen some dogs from them that I really like. It will be your responsibility to sort through their breedings and find a pair that works for you.)


Not all of these are in the "West." If you honestly want a sound dog, great temperament, drivey and a dog that can make it as an SD, you may need to broaden your search.

Good luck! The puppy searching process is a long road, but so worth it when you find that perfect pup.
 
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How would you define cuddly? I've had a working line and currently have a WGSL and a white shepherd. While they have all been very affectionate and loyal (they love ear scratches and rump/belly rubs, and they always want to be at my feet ect), I'm not sure I'd describe any of them as cuddly. The word cuddly tends to make me think of labs or goldens or smaller companion breeds. Have you looked at all the posts on the forum about landshaking and people asking if their 14-week old puppy is aggressive? Of course, this isn't aggression, and with appropriate training, puppies grow out of this play-biting when they are done teething (or before).

The GSDs I have had tend to be more rough-and-tumble than cuddly. They like to play tug and bite things and run and chase and jump. I never doubt their affection for me. They never leave my side. If I lock them out of a room for some reason, the floor on the other side of the door will be warm because they have been lying there waiting for me. But I think they'd rather play tug or hike or chase a flirt pole than snuggle on the couch. Now that they are older, they will snuggle on the couch, but only after they've done the former.

Anyway, I'm not trying to discourage you. You sound like an ideal owner, and you've probably met enough shepherds to know what you want.

GSDs are certainly the right breed for me. My WGSL came from the south, and I'm very happy with him. I'll send you the link to his breeder's website if you want to expand your search. Please keep us updated and let us know what you decide. Puppy pictures are definitely welcome when the time comes!

Best of luck.
 

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In my GSD world, cuddly is being able to throw an arm or a leg over Scarlet while she’s on the couch, and she doesn’t get up and lie down somewhere else. My standards are pretty low, lol.
 

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I don't see why the OP can't find a showline that fits her needs, if that is what she wants.

I believe an acquaintance of mine has a dog from them (vom Dax) and they seem happy. I can't really provide any further info than that. I will say my friend got a service dog from Shannon O'Donnovan (she used to be on the west coast - vom zwillingshaus, and unfortunately she is no longer here) who has a great temperament.

All my showlines have varied in "cuddliness," but I don't think that should be a deal breaker for you in the sense of writing off breeders, like Heidi Theis. Just my opinion.
 

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Sigh. OP specifically asked for show line breeders. He/she said they have done the research and settled on a show line. Why do people keep insisting on working lines?? This is an example of what people mean when they say this forum has a working line bias.

OP, good luck in your search. There are some great show line breeders out there, and while I can't specifically help you, there are others who can. Don't listen to people who insist you need a working line.
 

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Not sure how the whole affectionate thing willwork out. Nurture plays a part, but you kind of get what you get at maturity. There may be things you can look for in a pup and it doesn't hurt to ask those questions in your search. My girls like attention and will hang out while I watch tv or read before going to bed, but they like their space too and will get down from the bed at some point. Earlier this year Zoe became noticeably more affectionate and it had me concerned so I took her to the vet. Aside from finding out she has pannus, she is very healthy. She's approaching 9 years old so maturity helps I suppose, lol

Heidi Theis is the only breeder mentioned that I am familiar with and can recommend. Good luck, I hope you find the pup your looking for!
 

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Why do people keep insisting on working lines?? This is an example of what people mean when they say this forum has a working line bias.

Don't listen to people who insist you need a working line.
My response was based on what she was looking for and she/he didn't want a neurotic dog. I read from that quote that she chose a show line to avoid a neurotic dog. I have seen more neurotic show dogs (in shows) and pet lines than in WLs. Disclaimer!: I do realize that you can have these problems in both lines :surrender:
I think the OP will limit her/himself by assuming that only a show line will give her what she is looking for and, by the way,
I didn't tell her/him to get or need a WL if you were referring my posts.
 

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My response was based on what she was looking for and she/he didn't want a neurotic dog. I read from that quote that she chose a show line to avoid a neurotic dog. I have seen more neurotic show dogs (in shows) and pet lines than in WLs. Disclaimer!: I do realize that you can have these problems in both lines :surrender:
I think the OP will limit her/himself by assuming that only a show line will give her what she is looking for and, by the way,
I didn't tell her/him to get or need a WL if you were referring my posts.
I was not referring to anyone specifically. Just that OP did the research, they decided on show lines, and they are now looking for SL breeders. These types of threads often turn into line debates when there really is no reason for it. Some people want show lines. I'm sure OP has read many threads where WL owners explain that their dog is not a neurotic mess that needs constant exercise and attention. Maybe they just need a slightly less intense dog overall.

Anyway, my point is, please don't let this devolve into a line debate. I'm not aiming that at anyone specifically.
 
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You can shape a dog into being more affectionate. My WL didn’t like restraint at all. So I started rewarding first with a hand on his back, then an arm, then a hug. Now, he likes to lie next to me on the couch and sometimes I get a head on my lap. I wouldn’t call him cuddly, but that is close enough. My Showline puppies have all been extremely active and independent. Not at all cuddly. It’s funny but my WL is probably more what you would like than my SLs have been. He knew I was writing about him. He just jumped up next to me and started licking my arm...and his butt.
 
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