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Discussion Starter #1
After a couple of years or so on this forum and listening to many arguments and theories, I've come to the conclusion titles don't mean much.

Less than stellar dogs can be trained to title or purchased titled.

Show me someone who knows the history of GSD's, a whole lot about bloodlines and pedigrees, and has a lot of experience working and training the GSD and that is where I would begin my search.

I have now seen too many dogs from titled parents that I don't like the temperament or look of.

I would sooner have a dog from someone who breeds for LEO work or Seeing Eye than a titled dog.

I'm not against titling or the training it takes, I just don't think it any longer tells you much
 

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I never understood why it was an either or type thought.

Why not, if you are buying a dog, get it all? A knowledgeable breeder, input from others on the pedigree, hands on and eyes on as many of the dogs contributing to your pup as possible, and then the dogs having titles, or experiences in the real world.

If a dog has a title and is no good, don't get a pup from it. Let the market vote. (well, the informed consumer) If it's a great dog, no title and no real world work, then don't support that practice, and those people will eventually be forced to follow their go-to behavior (basically either work harder, cheat, or quit).

I think a title shows more about the people in some ways - either people who will short cut and cheat, or people who will put time into a dog - and if you can find a quality person, breeding and titling quality dogs in a way that matches your values, I think you are going to have a good experience.
 

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yeah, I'd rather give my hard earned $ to a breeder who sat on the internet and 'talked' pedigrees with others on forums, read books and magazines rather than spent hour upon hour training and then titling their dogs under impartial judges...

I'd also like to dump the whole SV system of testing for working ability, health, endurance and conformation and just go by my own opinion of my dog and breed any way I want and then charge people the same amount (or more) than those that do all of the above.

but that's just me ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It wasn't meant to be an either or. If you can get a titled dog from the type of person I mentioned that's great.

I just don't think it is necessary, and in and of itself, doesn't tell you much.

It can in fact make people think they are getting something they are not.
It means the parents were trained sufficiently to pass what is a dubious trial.

Sunflowers: If I told you what I thought of the popcorn icon I'd probably get banned.
 

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hey if it works for you then - lets face it, i know breeders that have dedicated their entire life to the betterement of the breed and more times than not to the detriment of themselves at least finacially and people have overlooked them to buy pups from someone with a neat website and have no more than a plan of breeding title to title or just have big, black, big, white, panda, blue....whatever.

as long as people will pay for a concept over a dog than breeders will fuel the fanatsy and take the bucks while 9 times out of 10 the customer will be happy, i mean how many people really want, need or can handle a top notch working prospect and the people that can pay the least and are the smallest market.
 

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No system is perfect. Sure there are holes in it....lots of them - especially in the WGSL dogs....the titles are part of what shows a potential puppy owner that this breeder has a serious interest in the breed, and is trying to breed better dogs. Some breeders put a very very high priority on the show ring, and the titles are almost a nuisance, so they just get them one way or another, and don't set much priority on them....other breeders base everything on titles...Both these mindsets are still better than the person who owns a dog on open papers and breeds it to make Christmas money!

I agree that there are good dogs that are not titled...but to find them, and to really be able to judge their quality, the breeder still has to have a working knowledge of the ideal character and workability of the breed.... they still have to have experience that gives them insight into what they see in a dog who has not been titled...there are variables like SAR, LE, and other sport activities that give you another group of dogs who either have produced or participated in these venues.

This is not a black and white situation....there are too many variables...too many possibilities and too little opportunity for many people who want to be able to train and title a dog.

Lee
 

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I think that like NILIF can help the first-time shepherd owner, or the shepherd owner who has his first challenging dog, get some structured leadership that might help managing/controlling the dog, I think that a new buyer going with someone who titles, might do better than going with one who doesn't.

After you have been around the block a few times, I think you can probably go with a breeder who fits the bill that you put together and come away with a very nice dog, titles or no titles. Titles on the parents does not guaranty that the pup will have solid nerves, be easy to train, will have the correct drives for what you want, and be adaptable enough to settle in the house easily. It may stack the deck in your favor, but if it were the case, then why bother titling your breeding stock if their sire and dam were titled?

I think that titles say more about the owners than they do about the dogs. I think there are other things that can give you an even better indicator of what is within the litter, like successes that pups from the breeder's litters that are not the breeders dogs. How do siblings and half-siblings fare with their new owners?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I live in California and if you look up GSDs for sale or GSD breeders on the internet, there are hundreds here in this state.

Even if you eliminate the so called, dreaded BYB, there are hundreds that have titled dogs. Yep titled, health checked, Hips and elbows, contracts etc...

If titling was the end all for breed worthiness, then I should be able to go to the nearest one of these breeders and pick up my new puppy.:)

I'm not demeaning the time, money, training and work that goes into titling.

I just don't think the titles themselves will tell you what your going to get.

Bloodlines, pedigrees, history and experience are of more value to me.

Since I don't know all that myself, I rely now on those who have that knowledge and experience.
 

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Jack's Dad.....I made this basic statement probably 5years ago on the forum and people tried to run me off the forum......my how I have seen some attitudes change. It's not an either or thing like you said....more people buy dogs based on websites and title than any other means except newspapers(and that is reversing as newspapers become obsolete), more SL dogs with titles than any other dogs, ( European), yet the pet component is probably stronger than the utility component, many many breeders of titled dogs couldn't tell you the overall traits of the parents much less the grandparents, which is essential to consistent quality breeding, and Lastly, the titles today have become so watered down that scores of titled dogs are genetic messes covered up by innovative training and expensive handlers. To not factor in these elements as being prevalent today is deluding oneself, and reflects the difficulty in people like law Enforcement having a hard time finding good dogs anymore. Sure there are still pockets of good breeders, but like Lee said in another thread....it takes knowledge and integrity. The sad part is that integrity may be just as important as knowledge these days......why? Because to many people today value what they like and what will sell as opposed to what is correct! I mean knowledgable breeders.....they have sold out to color, big heads, blue ribbons, peer pressure, over the top drives, yet they are are often titled so it validates them. Anyway, just my take....I could be off or maybe some of you see these things also ....either way it is what it is.....see ya !
Btw, this is my once a year rant.....won't offend anyone on this subject til next year....lol
 

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I can't disagree or agree with you, I understand your point and it's valid but throwing away titles is more of a "throw the baby out with the bath water" fix. Yes the system isn't perfect, but then again show me one that is. There has to be some sort of test or requirement, whether herding or Schutzhund or something else I personally like to see that the dog has done something other then just be a breeding machine piggybacking on the glory of the pedigree alone.

Delgado's father isn't titled, he's a police dog. Does the lacks of letters beside his name bother me, no. Why, his show ring is the street and his judges are the officers he works with each day. He works every day and proves his worth rather then just a few days a year. Doesn't make him any better or worse then others out there.
 

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Titles mean a lot to the people who put their blood, sweat, and tears into earning them. Of course I can see that they don't mean much when....they don't mean much, make sense? If you're not into training and earning titles, then why would they mean much? It's easy to claim they don't hold any weight or mean anything when you've never tried to earn one. They mean a lot to me but not the title itself, the hard work it represents and the dog's strengths and weaknesses they exposed along the way.
 

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I am going in just the opposite direction. Titling a dog is a lot of work. As some one who is learning, hands on, the frustration and dedication that it takes to title a dog, I will not buy one from untitled parents.

I will even go a step further; I want to see the parents of the pup compete and succeed at a very high level in the sport. Having witnessed the difference between club level, regional level and national level dogs, I will only buy my next pup from a breeder that is dedicated to selecting, training and performing to the highest level. How easy is it to buy a dog with a title or from titled parents and claim that you are producing working ability with out actually getting up and working your own dogs every day? Sorry, I have to see the dog work and see your dedication to working and proving your dogs against other high performing dogs before I reward you with my hard earned money by buying a pup from you.

You may say that training can cover up a lot of deficiencies; well my take on that is that if you are truly dedicated to performing at the top, and I see you taking your dogs that you bred to the top on a consistent basis, then I trust that you have the good sense to start with the best raw material possible.

I trust the person who is actually in the trenches with their dogs more that I trust someone who tells me that their dogs are just as good because they have so and so in their pedigrees.
 

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I will and have bought from untitled parents-but that has been the case of known working police dogs (who typically don't get sport titles) and SAR dogs with known working certifications. I would honestly like to see a solid temperament test and structural evaluation for dogs NOT working in schutuzhund or IPO and intended for breeding....that is a lot of good SAR and Police stock.

I would still value a breeder who, themselves, is dedicated putting titles on dogs though because they learn to know what is good and what is bad...only with experience with dogs to you learn how to "read" them and see what is good what is bad.
 

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I am going in just the opposite direction. Titling a dog is a lot of work. As some one who is learning, hands on, the frustration and dedication that it takes to title a dog, I will not buy one from untitled parents.

I will even go a step further; I want to see the parents of the pup compete and succeed at a very high level in the sport. Having witnessed the difference between club level, regional level and national level dogs, I will only buy my next pup from a breeder that is dedicated to selecting, training and performing to the highest level. How easy is it to buy a dog with a title or from titled parents and claim that you are producing working ability with out actually getting up and working your own dogs every day? Sorry, I have to see the dog work and see your dedication to working and proving your dogs against other high performing dogs before I reward you with my hard earned money by buying a pup from you.

You may say that training can cover up a lot of deficiencies; well my take on that is that if you are truly dedicated to performing at the top, and I see you taking your dogs that you bred to the top on a consistent basis, then I trust that you have the good sense to start with the best raw material possible.

I trust the person who is actually in the trenches with their dogs more that I trust someone who tells me that their dogs are just as good because they have so and so in their pedigrees.
While I understand this concept because I too understand the difference in club dogs being bred and dogs who are ...... more....for lack of a better word....a pup from a National dog does not always make a National dog....and there is a great difference in teh dedication and ability to train to a top level. And there are probably 50 males to every female who goes to a National! Then you have females coming in heat to contend with....as happened at the last National...

Many people who trial and do well at a top level take dogs already started or titled...very few do it from baby puppies....it takes too long to do a puppy and puppies are not easy to raise properly. I know a few people, some pretty well, who do compete at that level, and understand the type and level of training it takes to get there. It is not the dog's genetics that are the cause of success there, it is the TRAINING that is the difference....sure, they start off with good dogs, better than club dogs in nerves, drives, trainability and hardness - and those things in a better balance than many dogs - but the same dog in other hands would NOT be a National dog! And a dog that a non competitive person has would be a National dog in the hands of the person who is competitive at a National level.....have been through this discussion with a couple of people who HAVE competed at the International level!!

Also, there are many dogs who have been in the top 10 at the BSP or Worlds who still did not produce well or at all....or were bred a bit, then sold off as they did not produce well....some of the best producers were in the middle of the pack at the big competitions.

Lee
 

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I am going in just the opposite direction. Titling a dog is a lot of work. As some one who is learning, hands on, the frustration and dedication that it takes to title a dog, I will not buy one from untitled parents.

I will even go a step further; I want to see the parents of the pup compete and succeed at a very high level in the sport. Having witnessed the difference between club level, regional level and national level dogs, I will only buy my next pup from a breeder that is dedicated to selecting, training and performing to the highest level. How easy is it to buy a dog with a title or from titled parents and claim that you are producing working ability with out actually getting up and working your own dogs every day? Sorry, I have to see the dog work and see your dedication to working and proving your dogs against other high performing dogs before I reward you with my hard earned money by buying a pup from you.

You may say that training can cover up a lot of deficiencies; well my take on that is that if you are truly dedicated to performing at the top, and I see you taking your dogs that you bred to the top on a consistent basis, then I trust that you have the good sense to start with the best raw material possible.

I trust the person who is actually in the trenches with their dogs more that I trust someone who tells me that their dogs are just as good because they have so and so in their pedigrees.
All this is exactly what I would've said. I'd love to see someone who titled their own dogs agree with you.
 

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I will only buy my next pup from a breeder that is dedicated to selecting, training and performing to the highest level.
And that takes time, money and travel. Not many breeders can leave their other dogs to go off to trial constantly.
I would rather see what they've produced be the ones to excel....As long as the breeder is working/trialing, producing good dogs and their kennel name representation is showing up in many different venues(not just one sport but diverse, working in SAR, LE, etc) I would support that breeder easily.
I wouldn't discount a breeder because they aren't competing in the nationals or world events.
 

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Training does cover up deficiencies all the time....at a club level....dogs with serious deficiencies are not going to progress to higher level very often....or if they do, will do poorly...

The biggest hole in what you will look for is that most of the people who are competing at the higher levels do not compete with females...they may breed, and have females, but mostly the females are imported titled dogs purchased for the sole purpose of breeding....they do not raise pups from their male to train - they buy an older pup in Europe or a titled dog in Europe so they do not lose alot of time from competition

I can only think of one competitor who has competed internationally with a male, and who has shown a female nationally that he breeds....LOL and she was in heat and out of control....he said he would never try to show a female at a high level again....he does not want to raise a pup and would rather buy a young dog to compete with...raising pups takes too long. At least two of his pups will be National level competition dogs because they are with National level people tho....

High caliber young dogs are rarely for sale here...anyone who has gotten a promising dog to 18 -24 months is going to continue themselves with the dog....thus so many of our top competitors go to Europe for a dog where they are more plentiful and dogs are considered more of a business than here.

Lee
 

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I'm not a breeder and not an expert in pedigrees. Just an average person who wanted a puppy to be a great family member and do Obedience work, who bought my first GSD puppy 3 years ago.
I did look at pedigrees more to stay away from lines titled in areas that I thought would produce a dog with the type drive I didn't want. (please no one jump me here just saying what I did)
What I looked at more was other dogs the parents had produced and the breeder had produced to see if they were the type dog I wanted, and that was what made my final decision.
 

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In the big picture - titles are all important!

Imagine a world without the need for titling in the German system. Would you say the GSD breed would be better off?

I have purchased a dog before from an untitled bitch. The sire "only" had a Sch 1. The breeder had been in the breed for 25 years and put titles on 30 different dogs.

From an individual level, the importance of titles depends on a case by case basis. From a big picture perspective the GSD will go the way of the Dobie or the Rottie (in their American versions at least) if schutzhund titling and breed surveys become extinct or irrelevant. Heck, all the lines would go the way of the American show line GSD.

It is also the reason why integrity in the whole system is so important. Unfortunately, the current level of integrity in the system is not as high as it should be. Midnight trials, bought titles, etc., are corrupt. That does not mean the whole system is corrupt it just means that again the true worth of titles depends on a case by case basis.
 
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