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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to the forum. My husband and I have been talking with a wonderful breeder of working line GSDs. We went to visit them over the weekend and while they were beautiful I have to say their energy level was intimidating. They were all extremely friendly but we met them in the arena they normally work in, which the breeder said made them more energetic than normal. She assures us that they are calmer in the home and can make wonderful companions. We are not looking to compete in any kind of dog sport, obedience is the only activity we are definitely planning to do. She said she is 100% confident we can handle one of these puppies and would obviously be picking us a puppy with a lower drive. I guess my question is, does anyone have a working line dog that they don't compete with? Are they really different in the home? Honest feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Yes, I don't compete with my dogs and we used to live in an apartment for two years. I have three working line shepherds and they did just fine in an apartment, however I went on long hikes and worked with my dogs.

And yes, it's true that they will get more energetic and light up like a candle when they like doing something and know they get to do it.

Whenever I turned into the drive way of the dog club they couldn't wait to get out. They were going nuts because they loved that place and knew that they get to do something they enjoy. :)

It's like having little kids in the car that know they are going to get some ice-cream. :D
 

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At one point I had 4 working lines in a 2 bedroom townhouse on a golf course....so NO yard!!

Everyone was perfectly fine with just a couple good leash walks a day and a little off lead time in a field by our house. However, I will say that as your puppy grows that the CRATE will be your very best friend. All of my dogs now (with the exception of Tag who' still very much a puppy) settle nicely in the house...However as puppies- Not so Much. They had to be constantly supervised if they were loose in the house or they were into something. It takes time for them to learn to settle down, and for mine it had to be taught over time. Most were pretty OK by a year and a half.

But yes. They absolutely know where they are going and get more excited. I had a friend who lived down a long dirt road. She had feral cats in her yard and the first time we went there my dog saw one and took off after it (He loves cats...as in he'd like to eat them). He came back easily...but wouldn't you know that every time we turned down that dirt road from then on he would start whining and spinning in the car because he was SO excited.
 

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I just recently got a working line shepherd. He is 7 months old, and I have only had him 2 weeks. I also own a showline bitch. Although I do train in Schutzhund with my bitch, and just starting with my boy, I have to say he is wonderful around the home! He guards well and fits in so easily. He is only new to any kind of taining at this stage and although active and very keen and eager to do things, at the same time very easy to handle and frankly a joy to have around. Just my humble input:)
 

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while I love my working lines, I have to say, they aren't for everyone just as the other 'lines' may not be for everyone.

Depends on the dog as well. You'll find lower drive puppies in all lines, in the end it's about trusting the breeder who knows their dogs best, and who can peg a puppy that will fit into what you want and don't want.
 

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We currently have 5 WL dogs in our home. The 8yo male that belongs to our daughter is THE mellowest dogs we have ever owned. We have people come here (to our dog business) who are not GSD people and they all want to take him home. He does love bitework though, and people are always shocked that they are watching the same dog. On the opposite end of the spectrum is my husband's dog we imported from Germany last year. Pretty much NO ONE I know would want to live with him, he is constant activity, always egging on the other dogs just to have something to do, etc. But he is VERY affectionate, so he's not all bad, just a lot of work and supervision. The other 3 are pretty much in the middle and more like an average. A bit busier than the average dog, but not that big of a deal. They are all really fun to work with and a joy to teach something new to. We also have a couple of Highline dogs and they are a bit mellower but not that big of a difference.
A breeder's goal is to put the right dog in the right situation (to the best of their ability, judging 8wo pups). They don't want you unhappy and returning the dog to them anymore than you want to get the wrong dog for your needs.
 

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I live in a small two bedroom bungalow. We have two working line dogs, two WGSL dogs, a young Catahoula, an antique Border Collie and a 4 mo old ASL pupppy. I don't note any big differences with the dogs in the house as far as "house living" goes.

Where I notice the difference is when I go out to train. The working line dogs excel.

Now, of course, with this many dogs I do have a dog centered life. I have to plan exercise and training.

There are certainly very active dogs out there who can not settle down. I have seen that in more than one line of dogs and can not say it is purely a working line issue. A dog well bred and well chosen should be a good companion for you.
 

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My Schatzi is a Working line and is extremely ball driven, saying that i live in a 3 bedroom apartment in a city setting so no yard. But Schatzi knows when its time to work and when its not. The best thing i can say is tons of excersize. we go on at least 2 or 3 walks a day and on the weekends we go hiking or something of that sort.

Schatzi is not currently active in any other activitys other than obedience but she has been going since 2 or 3 months and is still curently involved in obedience classes @ 12mo. Honestly the obedience classes have been a life saver. However i do plan on starting her in some sort of activitys involving agility or flyball, just because i know she would love and be very good at it :) Hope this helps
 

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It's not so much the competing that we need to do with the dogs.

It's the mental stimulation they need that training gives. And the physical activity that training gives. Along with the bonding and leadership roles that the training and competing give that is key with the 'working' lines.

Most of us train and compete because that just makes it so much easier to keep a more regular schedule to physically and mentally keep our dogs happy. Because THEN our dogs do just fine in the house/family.

If I had a really lazy laid back life that I just stay in the house and expect my dog too also, with maybe a leashed walk once a day.........I wouldn't want a GSD at all let alone a working line. Or if I had a normal crazy life with husband, job, kids, ACTIVITES involving all that.......I don't know if I could add a GSD to that, specially a working line.

But if you are able to commit TIME, I am talking real TIME to packing the pup in the car to go socialize with family, friends, strangers. Or taking that same pup out on hikes, canoe trips, long walks, off leash activities. I personally couldn't see having any dog and not taking the time for as many dog classes as I could fit into my schedule whether I planned to compete or not. The guidance and leadership that I would gain from that is such a help to my dog. Absolutely a case of 'you don't know what you don't know' until the classes start up.
 

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Time, exercise, socialization, and OB training. You will not have any problems w/ the working line. The only problem I see people having w/ working lines is 'Time' w/ the dog. They love to work! Perform tasks, balls, train, walk, run, or whatever you decide to do w/ them. Couch potatoes they are not..... I own WL's and love them (they keep me young..)
 

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while I love my working lines, I have to say, they aren't for everyone just as the other 'lines' may not be for everyone.

Depends on the dog as well. You'll find lower drive puppies in all lines, in the end it's about trusting the breeder who knows their dogs best, and who can peg a puppy that will fit into what you want and don't want.
Totally agree with this. They are not for everyone, and it does depend on the dog, their lines, etc. The breeder could be right about them being more energized in the area where they work. You can find pups with lower drives than their littermates. Like what was stated from Diane, in the end it's about trusting the breeder that you will get your puppy from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for the info. We are working with Marcy from Landschaft in IL. She has been so helpful to us and we definitely trust her as a breeder. I just want to make sure we make an informed decision because this puppy will be our newest family member and I take that very seriously.
 
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