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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
My wife and I are considering getting a shepherd puppy but I'm unsure how much weight I should give to picking the right bloodline. I've been reading a book written by some monks in NY that seems to indicate how the pup is raised/trained/socialized is paramount but then I read the characteristics of the various bloodlines and I'm concerned no matter how it's nurtured, I'll end up with an overly-protective dog for my needs.

My son has a 7 mo. old we adore and puppy-sit regularly. We love taking her on long walks, introducing her to other dogs at parks, and training her to behave so we're all about the companionship and less-so about protecting family and property. Most of the breeders I look at here in Colorado appear to be focused on the European working lines. I don't see many that talk about their American show dog bloodlines (which I understand to have less drive). I know we're buying into a lot of activity and training to keep it happy but should I be concerned about this or just trust the breeder to match temperament with our needs?
 

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You are in Colorado? What working line breeders have you looked at? I have actually not seen many working line breeders here. Most are West German show line.

As far as temperament vs. bloodline/pedigree, those go right along with each other. I think you are thinking more about nurture vs. nature. Nature plays a HUGE role. If you have a stable dog genetically, no matter how it's raised, it will still be stable. If you find a good breeder, you won't need to worry so much about the lines, as any line can be a good match for you if you are honest with the breeder. Be sure the breeder health tests his/her dogs and ideally works his/her dogs in some venue.

There are so many stereotypes for each line that some people think they couldn't possibly own a working line because it will be too high energy and "aggressive". Not true with a well-bred working line. Others think that all show lines are unhealthy and skittish. I say worry about finding the right breeder and worry less about whether it's working line, west German show line, American show line, etc.

Good luck! If you want advice on specific breeders in CO, please let me know and I can PM you some info. Give this a read.

http://www.wildhauskennels.com/gsdtypes.htm
 

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Monks...blah....

why don't you go meet some dogs? Are there any AKC clubs/events near you? IPO clubs?

There are ASL that are hard to live with. Some WGSL that are hard to live with. Some WL that are hard to live with. It really depends on the actual breeding. If you have a good breeder, they'll match them correctly. I didn't know which puppy was mine until after I signed the papers. My breeder put exactly the right dog in my house.

Do you have a breeder picked out already? Or are you looking for suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the response. I found your gsdtypes.htm reference educational. As with any new venture there's a learning curve to climb and the link helps clear up some mysteries.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses. My takeaway is to not overthink the type we look at but find a breeder we trust to get us the right dog irrespective of type or bloodline. In the meantime I'll keep getting mo' educated. We're set up to visit DenWolf and APEX and have reached out to High Country German Shepherd and a breeder named Becky McElroy. I'm also looking into local club events - man, there are a lot of resources out there.
 

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My advice is don’t limit yourself to Colorado only. I have been waiting for over a year for one breeder and next month will be driving from California to Chicago to pick the pup up.
 

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My advice to you...

Look OUTSIDE of Colorado. There really are not any good breeders in this state, no matter the line you are looking for. I have been looking for a breeder since 2016. I got a puppy from a breeder in CO. He died at 8 months old. Here is his thread:
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/health-issues/698305-getting-frustrated.html

He died exactly a year ago today. Please be VERY careful what breeder you get a dog from. Are you willing to travel or get a puppy shipped to you?
 

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For working line breeder recs:

Quellwasser (Christina Kennedy) is who my puppy is from. She's so knowledgeable about her dogs and breedings and matching puppy to the right owner, and really one of the best in the country, in my opinion. They train and trial in IPO at world level. She has I think 3-4 litters a year, so may be a good chance at getting on the list for a pet home puppy!

Feuergarten (with Carma vom oz haus) is wonderful, and Alexis' female Carma is gold. She's having a litter soon with puppies expected in July.

Blackthorn (Christine Kemper)

They aren't in Colorado, but I'd definitely open up your options to other states. You can always contact them just to discuss what you're looking for and ask about their breedings.
I'm in California and had my puppy shipped. She's the best and coolest GSD puppies I could ever have imagined and fit right into my lifestyle from day one.
 

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There are quite few breeders in Colorado, but hardly any that I would recommend. Don't limit yourself to Colorado. There is a Schutzhund club trial coming up the first weekend in June just NE of DIA with Rocky Mountain Working Dogs. Did 2 BH's there last fall. I am sure there are other trials as well. There are plenty of AKC events out there.

Temperament and bloodlines go hand in hand. Good working lines can do such a wide variety of activities, and yet still be a great house dog.
 

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I was actually going to suggest you contact Traumwolfen. At the very least Marsha could give you some suggestions. I will actually be going to the event that MNM mentioned. Maybe I will see you there!
 

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Hello, Pytheis

can you please recommend a working lines or good balanced, good nerves showlines breeder in Southern California? I am an experienced owner, my Shepherd of 10 years passed away 4 months ago. I have 5 small kids 9 and younger, and 2 small non aggressive chill dogs. Good nerves is a must!

Thank you!
 
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