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In another thread, a discussion came up about the CGC and HIC, and how they do or do not make a dog breedworthy. I would like to hear people's opinions on what titles do and do not make a dog worthy of the breed.
 

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I don't think any title alone makes a dog breedworthy. It is the total dog and the genetics behind it. The titles prove the dogs workability and temperament, but I'd never breed a dog based on the titles earned... If the handler or owner puts time and effort into titling the dog it doesn't make it 'better' than one that hasn't had those opportunities. That said~ titles are worthy of course, just shouldn't be the focus of a breeding program.
CGC isn't a title IMO....it is a certificate of passing a good citizen test/same goes for the HIT, just a cert, not a title.
Though of course AKC recognizes the CGC as a title. BH shouldn't be considered a title either, it is a stepping stone to moving on to earn titles.
 

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Imo it isn't about the titles as much as it is the work done to get the titles and honest evaluations of the dog for breed worthy attributes seen during the process of achieving a title. I know plenty of dogs with titles that shouldn't be bred. Lots of breeders buying titled dogs for the marketability of the title, when they know little themselves about the dogs or what "great" looks like, because they aren't working the dogs themselves. When I was talking to breeders my first question was, "are you working and titling your dog's?" If not, I moved on. I don't believe you can make many claims about your breeding stock if you aren't working it. Just mho. After I asked that question, I'd want to have someone I trust with me evaluating the sire and dam. My guy came from out of country, so had people my TD trusts (who I trust greatly) check everything out for me.
 

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Depends on if you are breeding a working dog or a show dog and who you want to buy your pups. As a pet owner, titles mean very little to me. I want health guarantees and a good temperament. I'm going to rate a good citizenship title far higher than I would a Schutzhund or show one. I know breeders and Schutzhund/show people will jump on me but that is the truth. In fact I'm going to avoid Schutzhund titles at all costs. I don't want a high energy dog willing to bite. Nope, I'm going to rate SAR or Therapy dog certifications far higher than I would a title.
 

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Depends on if you are breeding a working dog or a show dog and who you want to buy your pups. As a pet owner, titles mean very little to me. I want health guarantees and a good temperament. I'm going to rate a good citizenship title far higher than I would a Schutzhund or show one. I know breeders and Schutzhund/show people will jump on me but that is the truth. In fact I'm going to avoid Schutzhund titles at all costs. I don't want a high energy dog willing to bite. Nope, I'm going to rate SAR or Therapy dog certifications far higher than I would a title.
Because a dog that has IPO titles will be a natural biter? Dogs with IPO titles can also have SAR or Therapy titles...a well rounded GSD can do most anything. I'd personally never really look at a breeder that has CGC's as their brag..especially if that dog earned it before it was mature.
Look at the total program, what the breeder is producing, not at the individual title.

I'd never buy from a breeder that is sending dogs away for titles either.

Unless you really know what goes into titling a dog legitimately for IPO, you shouldn't shy away from a breeder that is actually training and titling their dogs in the sport.
 

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Depends on if you are breeding a working dog or a show dog and who you want to buy your pups. As a pet owner, titles mean very little to me. I want health guarantees and a good temperament. I'm going to rate a good citizenship title far higher than I would a Schutzhund or show one. I know breeders and Schutzhund/show people will jump on me but that is the truth. In fact I'm going to avoid Schutzhund titles at all costs. I don't want a high energy dog willing to bite. Nope, I'm going to rate SAR or Therapy dog certifications far higher than I would a title.
BYBs take note! Your customer base has spoken!
 

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Depends on if you are breeding a working dog or a show dog and who you want to buy your pups. As a pet owner, titles mean very little to me. I want health guarantees and a good temperament. I'm going to rate a good citizenship title far higher than I would a Schutzhund or show one. I know breeders and Schutzhund/show people will jump on me but that is the truth. In fact I'm going to avoid Schutzhund titles at all costs. I don't want a high energy dog willing to bite. Nope, I'm going to rate SAR or Therapy dog certifications far higher than I would a title.
This statement is based on an opinion formed from incomplete information. My male is bite trained but also has rock solid character that has been revealed to me through the testing that comes with IPO training. I would trust him off leash walking through a mall full of screaming children.
 

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I would want to see some type of stress-inducing sports title - like IPO, French Ring, Etc. - to prove the dog has courage, drive and the ability to turn it on AND off.

I would want to see some type of physical title - agility, lure coursing, weight pulling, etc. - to prove the dog has physical aptitude/endurance.

I also like titles that prove the dog can work WITH the handler - agility is great for that.

Herding titles are good because they prove the dog has the natural instincts the GSD was breed to have.

Nose work titles proves the dog has brains.
 

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I don't think any title alone makes a dog breedworthy.
yep

Pongu's got buckets of titles. He's a terrible dog. He should never be bred (and, happily, never will be, since he got snipped when he was four months old. The shelter got that much right about him).

My dog is living proof of the fact that if you dump enough time and money and effort into the project, you can stick some pretty impressive titles on a complete nutbag of a dog. And I earned those titles fair and square -- we are not talking about "midnight trials" or purchased titles here. Throw those into the equation, and titles on paper tell you even less.

On the other hand, if you can see and evaluate a dog in person, and if you know what you are looking for, you may not need titles at all. I met Nymeria vom Wildhaus and her owner at an obedience trial today. I had, and have, no idea what titles Nymeria has. Maybe she doesn't have any; I didn't ask. But she's a great dog. In terms of intelligence and temperament, she is my ideal dog. I could tell that within two minutes of just seeing her in the trial environment.

The real value of titles is just that if the owner/breeder put those on the dog, then you can infer that the owner/breeder has worked with that dog and knows the dog's strengths and weaknesses really, really well. And if the dog has been on the circuit for a while, then other people (people who train at the same club, judges, and other competitors in the same sport) have also seen that dog, and you might be able to get outside feedback about whether that dog really is good.

If the dog has nothing, then that tells you something too, and what it tells me is "I don't want one of those dogs."
 

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Depends on if you are breeding a working dog or a show dog and who you want to buy your pups. As a pet owner, titles mean very little to me. I want health guarantees and a good temperament. I'm going to rate a good citizenship title far higher than I would a Schutzhund or show one. I know breeders and Schutzhund/show people will jump on me but that is the truth. In fact I'm going to avoid Schutzhund titles at all costs. I don't want a high energy dog willing to bite. Nope, I'm going to rate SAR or Therapy dog certifications far higher than I would a title.
Echo has his CGC and he's insane, a horrible example of temperament. CGC doesn't mean squat beyond that the dog was able to perform basic obedience... it says nothing about the stability of the dog.

Just because a dog does well in IPO doesn't mean they're high energy and prone to bite. In fact, many dogs who succeed in the sport are the opposite and very balanced- exactly what the sport was supposed to demonstrate.

A particular title or another doesn't mean much to me- I'm looking for dogs who can be pets AND work. The whole package gets taken into consideration and is what is important.
 

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As far as German Shepherds go they are a working breed so the first test of breeding quality should be working ability. If they have no ability to work they have no business being bred. Herding or bite sports are fine but I would disregard CGC as a title. I didn't get a German Shepherd because I wanted a dog that was great with strangers, and it does not test temperament it tests behavior, learned behavior. Similarly I dislike GSD breeders who place emphasis on confirmation titles. Form follows function, if the dog can work continuously without coming up lame it is properly put together, whether or not it has correct markings or perfect ears. A breeder who tells me they don't breed for bitework is one I would run from, because the guardian instinct, the unstoppable courage in the face of a threat is what a German Shepherd is.

I will say that I work largely with poorly bred shepherds and ones with sad to horrific pasts. I believe every dog has the right to a person who thinks they are the best dog in the world, and I have proven beyond a doubt that a great dog is a great dog regardless of pedigree. Sabi saved my life not once but twice while working and I have no clue who her parents were. She was not for breeding but was none the less a terrific example of character.
 

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Agree with everything Lauri said about the different titles I would look for and why. Then after the titles, I would ask my questions about how/who earned them with the dogs.

Lol @ Blitz. Shepherdmom, I think it's sad you haven't seen what a true stable working line brings to the table. Jane's dog's sire was a police k9 that later became a therapy dog (correct me if I'm wrong there Jane or I'm thinking of someone else). Your opinion is just as wrong as mine would be if I said all Showline were nerve bags that could never protect their owners, because I've had a Showline and that's what he was. I don't care when you speak of all your experience with a few good Showline, I just hate that you spew "knowledge" about what schh titles dogs produce. You don't have experience to make such a generalized statement like that.
 

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yep

Pongu's got buckets of titles. He's a terrible dog. He should never be bred (and, happily, never will be, since he got snipped when he was four months old. The shelter got that much right about him).

My dog is living proof of the fact that if you dump enough time and money and effort into the project, you can stick some pretty impressive titles on a complete nutbag of a dog. And I earned those titles fair and square -- we are not talking about "midnight trials" or purchased titles here. Throw those into the equation, and titles on paper tell you even less.

On the other hand, if you can see and evaluate a dog in person, and if you know what you are looking for, you may not need titles at all. I met Nymeria vom Wildhaus and her owner at an obedience trial today. I had, and have, no idea what titles Nymeria has. Maybe she doesn't have any; I didn't ask. But she's a great dog. In terms of intelligence and temperament, she is my ideal dog. I could tell that within two minutes of just seeing her in the trial environment.

The real value of titles is just that if the owner/breeder put those on the dog, then you can infer that the owner/breeder has worked with that dog and knows the dog's strengths and weaknesses really, really well. And if the dog has been on the circuit for a while, then other people (people who train at the same club, judges, and other competitors in the same sport) have also seen that dog, and you might be able to get outside feedback about whether that dog really is good.

If the dog has nothing, then that tells you something too, and what it tells me is "I don't want one of those dogs."
Awwww...you were able to meet Shadow? The N's are still very young(not yet a yr old) so I doubt she has any titles....yet!
But just wait.....So far what I've seen of the N litter, they are coming along very well!
 

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Lol @ Blitz. Shepherdmom, I think it's sad you haven't seen what a true stable working line brings to the table. Jane's dog's sire was a police k9 that later became a therapy dog (correct me if I'm wrong there Jane or I'm thinking of someone else). Your opinion is just as wrong as mine would be if I said all Showline were nerve bags that could never protect their owners, because I've had a Showline and that's what he was. I don't care when you speak of all your experience with a few good Showline, I just hate that you spew "knowledge" about what schh titles dogs produce. You don't have experience to make such a generalized statement like that.
While I don't agree that good working dogs can't make great pets, I will say that every working dog I've met (most are SAR dogs, though I knew a couple IPO pups) had a touch of crazy that a pet owner may not want to work through. And honestly if you're not going to work your dog in some way, it's probably a good idea to look for lower drive and lower energy. There's a reason you can find good working dogs in shelters.
 

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And most well bred litters will have a pup with pet potential tossed in the mix. If the dog is well bred, it will have an off switch and be fairly balanced...being 'just a pet' in an active home will be fine for many GSD's.
We should remember, this breed isn't meant to be a couch potato, they are bred for working, not lounging around.
 

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A particular title or another doesn't mean much to me- I'm looking for dogs who can be pets AND work. The whole package gets taken into consideration and is what is important.
:thumbup: What the person who wants to buy a dog is looking for. Some people are looking for working ability, some people are looking for show, many are looking for family pets. But whatever they are looking for they are going to have different requirements... So back to what I said it depends upon what buyers you are looking for. ;)

Your opinion is just as wrong as mine would be if I said all Showline were nerve bags that could never protect their owners, because I've had a Showline and that's what he was. I don't care when you speak of all your experience with a few good Showline, I just hate that you spew "knowledge" about what schh titles dogs produce. You don't have experience to make such a generalized statement like that.
How can an opinion be wrong? I've only had one showline. I've had 3 czech working lines and a variety of IDK what the heck lines. That is my choice. I clearly stated it depended on who OP wants to buy his pups and I told what I would look for... Isn't my opinion as valid as yours? You like Schutzhund dogs.. Great good for you if he OP is looking to have those type of dogs I'm sure he will take your opinion under advisement.

BYBs take note! Your customer base has spoken!
:p

Do you consider White Shepherd breeders BYB? How about oversize? I'm sure your definition and my definition of BYB does not match. I think good health and good temperament are far more important than anything else.
 

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:thumbup:
Do you consider White Shepherd breeders BYB? How about oversize? I'm sure your definition and my definition of BYB does not match. I think good health and good temperament are far more important than anything else.
Why yes I do! Anything less then breeding for workability and health in that order is a fail. Especially for color or size. However, I understand that many just want to pretend they own a GSD because the real deal is just to much. Enter the shilohs, whites, kings etc etc.
 

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While I don't agree that good working dogs can't make great pets, I will say that every working dog I've met (most are SAR dogs, though I knew a couple IPO pups) had a touch of crazy that a pet owner may not want to work through. And honestly if you're not going to work your dog in some way, it's probably a good idea to look for lower drive and lower energy. There's a reason you can find good working dogs in shelters.
I have had the pleasure of meeting several working line GSD's, all of which would do just fine in an active pet home. "Active"should be every GSD home regardless of what line.

My dog is working line and is very well adjusted, would have no problems with living in a pet home.
 
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