German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am thinking about starting to breed GSD in the next 10-15 years. I am currently 23 and would like to start breeding in my mid to late 30's. What I would like to do is find a great puppy with bloodlines mixed with great working dogs and great show dogs. I want to be able to have a very versatile dog and thus versatile puppies. Once I have this dog I want to start training and showing her as soon as possible. I want to get her titled in as much as possible but I am more concerned about the Schutzhund titles than the AKC, but I would like the AKC as well. Then when this dog is older I would like to breed her once. And from that littler I want to get my foundation bitch, who I also want to train and show, and obviously get titled. To me it is very important to have dogs that will be great family dogs and also hard working dogs with a very even temperament. That is why I want there to be strong bloodlines both in working showing. I want to learn as much as I can about breeding and showing as I can in the next 10 years, and the rest of my life. I am currently in the process getting Scout a mixed breed registration with the AKC and plan to get him into Schutzhund training as soon as he gets an okay from the vet (he was hw pos. when I bought him from the pound). Emoore, made the brilliant suggestion that I make my learning mistakes with Scout rather than my foundation bitch. I would never have thought of it that way until that was said, but I really think that is a wonderful suggestion.

Anyway, the questions I have are as follows:

What are good names I should look out for in pedigrees? I think I am leaning more towards the German dogs than the American dogs.

When I am buying my first puppy what suggestions can you give me on what to look for? I want a puppy who will be good both in the show ring and in the working field.

Am I better off breeding your traditional German Shepherds or do the WGSD do just as well?

What health checks do I need to have preformed on any bitch I get before breeding? I know I need to check for hip dysplasia and venereal diseases, but what else?

Does the breeder register the pups or should that be left for the new owner?

Should I microchip the puppies or should that be left for the new owner?

These are just a very beginning of my questions. At the moment I am more concerned with how to choose the perfect puppy as obviously I will be doing that first. I plan to get my puppy in 2-3 years. I think I want a German Working/Show type. Any other questions of suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
I don't have suggestions, as I am not a breeder, but I applaud you for doing the research and realizing that these things take time. I also agree with Emoore on making your training mistakes on this dog, before your foundation bitch.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, I think there is nothing worse than an irresponsible breeder. But I also strongly believe that there is only so much information you can get from reading, no matter how much research you do. That is why I like to ask questions. I feel I can learn a lot more from real people than I can just from a book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
Wow, you are all over the place here LOL. Seriously I applaud you for getting going on the research, but you are putting the cart before the horse with some of the questions. Based on those questions, I'm guessing you haven't been to many competition venues or training clubs. You are asking how to win a monster truck rally driving a NASCAR equipped car built by LeMans mechanics.
You first need to go out and watch and learn about all the different types of competitions and GSDs. There is AKC conformation and German conformation. A dog bred from either of those lines isn't likely to be competitive in both, and a mix probably won't be competitive in either (it could happen but it would be like catching lightning in a bottle). Then there is Schutzhund, which if you want to be truly competitive a working line is your best bet, but can be fun with a showline.
For AKC non conformation stuff, you can do well with any line as long as it has the drive and temperament for the activity you pursue.
When you say you are looking for a puppy to be good in both the show ring and the working field, which show ring (I'm guessing you mean conformation, so AKC or German) and the working field (which working field, agility, schutzhund, herding???). While the GSD is a very versatile breed and should be able to participate in almost any activity the handler chooses, the human in the equation is probably less versatile (meaning most humans, not specifically you) and will probably do better if you pick a sport and get good at it. Most people cannot decide to learn how to play the drums, the piano, the flute and the ukelele all at once (unless they are a savant of some sort). Most times you start with the one and learn the rudiments and then practice, practice, practice before adding another instrument, and many just stick to the one instrument for life!
Go out and watch and learn, try some stuff out with the dog you currently have. Then when you've narrowed down what you want to delve into fully, then you will have an easier time looking at breeders and what they offer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,132 Posts
There aren't that many people mixing working dogs and show dogs together, and many of them aren't doing it well. It's a tricky mix to get right and can be disastrous if done wrong. Not something I'd recommend for a brand-new breeder.

I'd suggest going to a Schutzhund club and getting to know the members and their dogs. Find some dogs you like and look up their pedigrees. You'll start to see patterns in the dogs you really really like. Also, you're likely to be directed towards breeders producing what you like, so you'll get some ideas of where to buy your first bitch from. A lot of this isn't really something you can learn from words on the internet. You have to go out and look at dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Wow, thank you all for the information, I didn't think I would get this many responses so fast!

I have not been to many shows for the GSDs. I have been to several herding shows with Border Collies, but that is a totally different ball game I think. I didn't realize there were different conformation classes, that is REALLY good to know. I think that will help me to know what I am looking for when I do start watching the shows. I do know that I am more interested in the Schutzhund than I am the conformation, I always think that working dogs should be used to work. We use to use our Borders to help herd our goats when we had them. For the show lines I was thinking conformation, yes. And for the field I was thinking herding and Schutzhund. I am assuming that herding with a GSD isn't much different from herding with a Border, at least that is what I am hoping.

It is good to know that with GSD there isn't many doing well who are mixing the working lines and the show lines. I know when we were looking at Border Collies one thing you look strongly into is a dog that has a strong history with both. But that is probably easier as most Border Collies conformation wise are pretty similar.

I do not have a mentor yet, I was hoping I could look into finding one once I start getting Scout involved in the Schutzhund, which I do hope to do this summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,132 Posts
It is good to know that with GSD there isn't many doing well who are mixing the working lines and the show lines. I know when we were looking at Border Collies one thing you look strongly into is a dog that has a strong history with both. But that is probably easier as most Border Collies conformation wise are pretty similar.
For those who breed under the German (SV) system, working lines have to be shown and show lines have to work. In order to be approved for breeding, all dogs have to get a show rating and a Schutzhund title under the German breeding system. So it's not like working lines have lousy conformation and show lines are unable to work. And yet we have two complete distinct lines. :shrug:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,124 Posts
I suggest not trying to mix lines. Its very admirable and you're not the first person to want to blend the working and show lines, but its pretty much impossible to do this successfully. In order to win an AKC championship, your dog has to look like an ASL. In order to succeed in Schutzhund, your dog needs to have the drive of a working line. I think you really need to go through training a dog, in any venue to really understand the time it takes. Time wise, it would be very hard to get an AKC champion and a Schutzhund 3 title on a dog before they are too old to breed. Part of it is the training, but a large part is the timing of the events. Really look into the conformation rules of the AKC, its not easy to figure out what you need and when you can get it done.

Again, my suggestion is to stick with one line. You won't be able to please the working line people if you start mixing in show lines, and you'll never please the show people if you have a working line. To do anything on a highly competitive level and to win, requires one or the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
I suggest not trying to mix lines. Its very admirable and you're not the first person to want to blend the working and show lines, but its pretty much impossible to do this successfully. In order to win an AKC championship, your dog has to look like an ASL. In order to succeed in Schutzhund, your dog needs to have the drive of a working line. I think you really need to go through training a dog, in any venue to really understand the time it takes. Time wise, it would be very hard to get an AKC champion and a Schutzhund 3 title on a dog before they are too old to breed. Part of it is the training, but a large part is the timing of the events. Really look into the conformation rules of the AKC, its not easy to figure out what you need and when you can get it done.

Again, my suggestion is to stick with one line. You won't be able to please the working line people if you start mixing in show lines, and you'll never please the show people if you have a working line. To do anything on a highly competitive level and to win, requires one or the other.
Yes yes and yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,429 Posts
I suggest not trying to mix lines. Its very admirable and you're not the first person to want to blend the working and show lines, but its pretty much impossible to do this successfully. In order to win an AKC championship, your dog has to look like an ASL. In order to succeed in Schutzhund, your dog needs to have the drive of a working line. I think you really need to go through training a dog, in any venue to really understand the time it takes. Time wise, it would be very hard to get an AKC champion and a Schutzhund 3 title on a dog before they are too old to breed. Part of it is the training, but a large part is the timing of the events. Really look into the conformation rules of the AKC, its not easy to figure out what you need and when you can get it done.

Again, my suggestion is to stick with one line. You won't be able to please the working line people if you start mixing in show lines, and you'll never please the show people if you have a working line. To do anything on a highly competitive level and to win, requires one or the other.
Exactly! This is very well said!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
It seems unanimous! I will definitely not be trying to mix lines. But that is a great thing to know. Thank you so much. Here is another question for you. When I start looking for my puppy, if I decide I want to breed along the German lines, would you recommend that I actually buy a puppy from Germany? This is something I was unsure about, but have been thinking seriously about doing. What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,266 Posts
If it's your first "reputable breeder" GSD, just get one from the states. Your first few GSDs are more for learning than for anything else. Learn, train, compete....then decide which German kennel you want to get a foundation dam from...etc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,300 Posts
It seems unanimous! I will definitely not be trying to mix lines. But that is a great thing to know. Thank you so much. Here is another question for you. When I start looking for my puppy, if I decide I want to breed along the German lines, would you recommend that I actually buy a puppy from Germany? This is something I was unsure about, but have been thinking seriously about doing. What do you think?
You said you're 23 and you want to breed in your 30's, right?

What I suggest you do at this point is just get your hands dirty. Don't just do research, but get out there and DO!

There are a lot of things that could change in this period of time. Really I would forget about breeding until I'm in or near my 30's and then reassess breeding passions and the financial situation.

I also agree it would be best if you stayed with one type of german sheperd, one line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,117 Posts
I also agree it would be best if you stayed with one type of german sheperd, one line.
But you should research and get experience with ALL the lines, so when you start breeding, you know what you like and what you want to work with.

Many say it's best to breed only within the one line, and I tend to agree, but I think it's possible to make intelligent choices when mixing lines--the breeder just has to know what they are doing, understand both bloodlines inside and out, and have a long-term goal in mind. If mixing of the lines is done, it should be done only by an expert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,602 Posts
I have a West German working line and he's herding sheep. Like everyone says, get out and see what gsds are doing at trials and find out if there's a gsd or obedience,tracking or ScH club near you. When you see a dog you especially like, find out who the breeder was and talk to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
996 Posts
I just wanted to jump in and say that it is most definitely not impossible to successfully blend the two lines of West German Showlines and Working lines.
Hard? sure
Requires quite a bit of knowledge and know how? of course!

I have seen it done very successfully and I admire the dogs and the breeders for doing so.

Sure you are right the pedigree snobs may turn their nose up at the breeding, but when push comes to shove if the dog has the conformation and the working ability then why put a damper on a great dog?
Crossing the lines (genetic diversity) may be the only saving grace this breed has one day.

I do agree that without a great understanding of lines, the dogs, drives, training, breeding in general, that crossing the lines isn't the greatest of ideas.

Just my $0.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,742 Posts
We use to use our Borders to help herd our goats when we had them. For the show lines I was thinking conformation, yes. And for the field I was thinking herding and Schutzhund. I am assuming that herding with a GSD isn't much different from herding with a Border, at least that is what I am hoping.
I've never done herding, though I've owned both breeds and I may assume how the differences in their personalities can led to different styles of sheep herding.

I recommend you to read this website and take your own conclusions.
German Shepherd Herding The Large Flock Herding Dog – Puppy Selection & Foundation Building

The German shepherd dog was originally bred by shepherds to control large flocks of over 600 sheep far more than it is today. Controlling large flocks not only required dogs with appropriate instincts, but it also required dogs with courage and sound nerves. Such dogs were used where large flocks had to be contained in relatively small grazing areas and kept out of unfenced, neighboring crop fields. The job of this herding dog consisted primarily of boundary patrol, or flock containment. Because the shepherd had to pay for any damage done by his sheep, he could not afford the expense of keeping a dog that could not hold a boundary.
This large flock German shepherd herding dog had to be selected for its strong prey instinct and drive. High drive is fundamental to maintaining sustained high energy in the dog while working sheep. How the dog naturally expresses, or is allowed to express, its natural drives while working sheep illustrates the fundamental difference between large flock boundary herding and other kinds of small flock sheep herding practices. Therefore, it only follows that to select a good, prospective puppy for large flock herding one must fist know how to identify the drives and resultant drive behavior necessary for this kind of herding as well as how to best ascertain the proper character, nerve and temperament of the herding puppy prospect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I do plan to get "my hands dirty" as soon as Scout has the clear from the vet! I love the idea of the challenge. In fact I am greatly looking forwards to it! As this is something I am considering doing sometime 10-15 years down the line, I am currently looking more for the starting place than for the actual information. And I gotta tell you, everybody here has been super helpful! And I really appreciate it. In such a short time period I have been given so much to think about. And it has really helped me to figure out what I think a good starting point is. I didn't honestly think I could get so much so fast. Thank so much!

I do want to work with all the lines, especially I want to closely watch all the different lines. Right now, I am leaning towards the West German lines just because they have more of the look that I like. But I want to see how they perform next to all the other types. I know my mother use to have a European/English bred GSD, and he was a real character. So I can defiantly see why it would be important to work with all the different types of GSDs.

I have looked into the Schutzhund around here, and it does look as though there is one club. I plan to e-mail the gentleman who runs it first thing Monday morning. I didn’t want to e-mail over the weekend, as then I would be constantly checking my e-mail while he probably hadn’t even received his yet! But I intend to see if I can come by and watch and see how I feel about his “club”.

Do you think when I am just starting out it would be a real detriment to me, to have those pedigree snobs turning their noses up? I know in the horse world, you have some people who simply will not consider a AQH because, well, it’s a Quarter Horse. And if so, do you think that would be a great majority?

Thank you so much for the link. I will have to read that in the morning. I don’t have time right now. But I will make sure to check it out in the morning.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top