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Hi everyone,

We are looking for a GSD and wanted to get some general advice. We've done lots of research – talked to several breeders, but it's hard to know who to trust given many might just be telling us we want to hear, and hard to know what will be best for us in the future. We are trying to make the best decision overall and could use some input.

About us: We are a family of four. We have two young kids and are both active in our day-to-day lives. We both have strong personalities and feel confident about our ability to train/manage and raise our GSD. We would like a dog that can play with us, take a hike once or twice a week, protect, but also relax with us and watch a movie/cuddle on the couch. A dog that we won't have to worry about biting us or others. A dog with a mild drive that is well suitable for a family vs training for an IPO.

We have spoken to several breeders – all breeders seem nice, knowledgable, but I wonder if they are telling us what we want to hear.....The reason I mention this is when in conversation with K9 trainers, showline breeders, they all seem shocked when we mention we are considering a workingline breed. I realize these may be political jabs because they don't like the particular breeder we are considering. But should we be concerned by this? Specifically, this happens when we mention breeders who's dogs are titled and train for IPO's

In short, can a workingline be a good family pet? Who is telling the truth? Based on what you know about us, what/who do you recommend for us? We are just a little confused and are wondering how we can determine who will be the best breeder for us....and how we can determine temperament/suitability over the phone or in person.

Also happily accepting referrals in California (North preferred but can travel as far as SD.

Thank you for your help
A good pup is a good pup. Don't get lost in the maze of pedigrees, working line v show line. It's can be a black hole and in your case unnecessary. The GSD in your future has will have a purpose and place as the loyal companion and protector of your family. That pup needs to have a balanced temperament, be well socialized, have quality genetics which a repeatable breeder will document and guarantee. Then have a training plan in place.

A first time GSD owner needs training along with the pup. A good trainer will teach you what's entailed and required to nurture and structure a respectful and trusting relationship with your pup. The reward is a life time of love and loyalty. In my moderately humble opinion there is no fine family pet than a GSD.

Focus on the temperament. No better way than to spend time with the sire and dam. If there is a local GSD club go to an event and meet the pup and owners. Good luck!
 

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I would also say this one last thing on the subject - there are a lot of GSDs that end up in rescues. These dogs can make wonderful family pets whether they have the GSD "personality" or not. These dogs deserve good homes. What would you propose we do with them - euthanize them all just because they are BYB?
Whoa, your post is mischaracterizing what Sabis mom was saying. You should take the time to read her past post on dogs she’s rescued and taken in. 😏

Her points are valid. Try not to be so defensive. You’ll get more out of the site this way.
 

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Hi everyone,

We are looking for a GSD and wanted to get some general advice. We've done lots of research – talked to several breeders, but it's hard to know who to trust given many might just be telling us we want to hear, and hard to know what will be best for us in the future. We are trying to make the best decision overall and could use some input.

About us: We are a family of four. We have two young kids and are both active in our day-to-day lives. We both have strong personalities and feel confident about our ability to train/manage and raise our GSD. We would like a dog that can play with us, take a hike once or twice a week, protect, but also relax with us and watch a movie/cuddle on the couch. A dog that we won't have to worry about biting us or others. A dog with a mild drive that is well suitable for a family vs training for an IPO.

We have spoken to several breeders – all breeders seem nice, knowledgable, but I wonder if they are telling us what we want to hear.....The reason I mention this is when in conversation with K9 trainers, showline breeders, they all seem shocked when we mention we are considering a workingline breed. I realize these may be political jabs because they don't like the particular breeder we are considering. But should we be concerned by this? Specifically, this happens when we mention breeders who's dogs are titled and train for IPO's

In short, can a workingline be a good family pet? Who is telling the truth? Based on what you know about us, what/who do you recommend for us? We are just a little confused and are wondering how we can determine who will be the best breeder for us....and how we can determine temperament/suitability over the phone or in person.

Also happily accepting referrals in California (North preferred but can travel as far as SD.

Thank you for your help
I have two young children (5 & 8) and a teenage working line male. I’ve never had a dog so good with my children. He cuddles with them, plays with them and trains with them. Even my five year old can get him through his most basic tricks which I think is just an amazing confidence builder for her. He came from schutzhund titled parents and trains in schutzhund himself.

When searching for a breeder, I also had a few non-working line breeders try to scare me off the working line breed. For me, it came down to trusting the breeder and seeing evidence that they could produce the dog I wanted. In addition to health checks and titles, I wanted the breeding dogs to live in home with the family (not kennel dogs), and I wanted some of their puppies to be placed in situations very similar to my household and needs.

My working line can be intense and he does need to work, which is fine for me because he’s a joy to train with and he does have a job in our household. But if you want a dog that just fits into your life and hangs out, I would be cautious about picking a WL. If you’re a person that enjoys doing things with your dog, even just silly tricks or fetch games, then you will get a lot out of a WL dog.

One more thing. GSDs bite. You have to teach them when it’s appropriate.
 

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$5500? :oops: The average price for working lines is $2000 (which, IMO, is still a crazy price for an 8 week old pup) and show lines will average more around $3000. This will be out of health tested and titled parents.

You should be able to find what you want in either a working or show line litter. It has more to do with the knowledge of the breeder to understand the lines they are breeding and to pick the right pup than whether it is working line or show line. Look for a breeder that actually lives with their dogs and are out there doing stuff with their dogs and not just breeding and selling puppies with those dogs living in kennels the rest of the time.
 

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Wow, $5500? That’s absolutely crazy, and IMO you’re either looking in all the wrong places or need to edit your criteria. Or stop complaining about the price being “an arm and two legs.” I paid $1800 for my amazingly well bred working line pup. $2000 is closer to what someone should expect to pay for a working line dog, not $5500 like you seem to be wanting people to believe is necessary for a good dog.

OP, a working line can absolutely fit into a family household, and as long as you find a good breeder and are completely honest about your lifestyle and how the dog fits in, you’ll get a great dog. Of course there will be work, like with any pet, but it’s worth it. My working line puppy is a thousand times easier than my show line puppy EVER was.
 

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RE: Cost, I did a little Googling and here are the breeders who both show up in Arizona searches and publish their prices (only about half or less publish their prices online).

Tre'Good $3500
Abbot's $1800-2800
Vintnar $2500
Kreative $3750
Vom Banach $3000+
 

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RE: Cost, I did a little Googling and here are the breeders who both show up in Arizona searches and publish their prices (only about half or less publish their prices online).

Tre'Good $3500
Abbot's $1800-2800
Vintnar $2500
Kreative $3750
Vom Banach $3000+
Are these all working line breeders?
 

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....and some of those prices include more than just the dog itself. I think it’s best to allow ppl to do their own research.
 

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....and some of those prices include more than just the dog itself. I think it’s best to allow ppl to do their own research.
I'm not seeing how my post disallows them doing their own research, and all dogs from breeders include "more than just the dog itself." For example, vaccinations, basic socialization and training. If you're implying those prices come with special training or shipping, I saw no evidence of that.
 

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I'm not seeing how my post disallows them doing their own research, and all dogs from breeders include "more than just the dog itself." For example, vaccinations, basic socialization and training. If you're implying those prices come with special training or shipping, I saw no evidence of that.
Kreative - prices include airfare, travel, crate and microchip. They also have different purchase prices between males and females...both higher and lower than mentioned.
So no, it doesn’t stop anyone from researching further, but imo can present an incomplete picture.
 

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Whoa, your post is mischaracterizing what Sabis mom was saying. You should take the time to read her past post on dogs she’s rescued and taken in. 😏

Her points are valid. Try not to be so defensive. You’ll get more out of the site this way.
She was insulting and I'm done with this site. The working line GSD we had was edgy, intense, and way too aggressive I only responded to this post because the OP's description of the dog they want sounds like my three rescues. Our experience with a working line GSD was poor. He was too edgy, intense, and aggressive. He was never going to live safely with our cats. If the OP had said they were looking for a good family pet AND a dog they could participate in Schutzund or search and rescue, or something along those lines, then I'd say go for a working line. Otherwise, I'd not go there. Those dogs need jobs. I don't believe they are content to be just the family pet.
 

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She was insulting and I'm done with this site. The working line GSD we had was edgy, intense, and way too aggressive I only responded to this post because the OP's description of the dog they want sounds like my three rescues. Our experience with a working line GSD was poor. He was too edgy, intense, and aggressive. He was never going to live safely with our cats. If the OP had said they were looking for a good family pet AND a dog they could participate in Schutzund or search and rescue, or something along those lines, then I'd say go for a working line. Otherwise, I'd not go there. Those dogs need jobs. I don't believe they are content to be just the family pet.
It's a shame that you condemned an entire line based on one crappy experience. My current rescue is a nightmare, riddled with health and behavioral issues. Fortunately for other rescues both past and future I don't hold her against them. Also fortunately for her I work through our issues, and have for 9+ years.
My WL male was a walk in the park comparatively. Both in effort and cost, and he was a rehab project. At the very least he had better genetics and health.
I have seen fabulous German Shepherds from all lines and all backgrounds.
 

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Hi everyone,

We are looking for a GSD and wanted to get some general advice. We've done lots of research – talked to several breeders, but it's hard to know who to trust given many might just be telling us we want to hear, and hard to know what will be best for us in the future. We are trying to make the best decision overall and could use some input.

About us: We are a family of four. We have two young kids and are both active in our day-to-day lives. We both have strong personalities and feel confident about our ability to train/manage and raise our GSD. We would like a dog that can play with us, take a hike once or twice a week, protect, but also relax with us and watch a movie/cuddle on the couch. A dog that we won't have to worry about biting us or others. A dog with a mild drive that is well suitable for a family vs training for an IPO.

We have spoken to several breeders – all breeders seem nice, knowledgable, but I wonder if they are telling us what we want to hear.....The reason I mention this is when in conversation with K9 trainers, showline breeders, they all seem shocked when we mention we are considering a workingline breed. I realize these may be political jabs because they don't like the particular breeder we are considering. But should we be concerned by this? Specifically, this happens when we mention breeders who's dogs are titled and train for IPO's

In short, can a workingline be a good family pet? Who is telling the truth? Based on what you know about us, what/who do you recommend for us? We are just a little confused and are wondering how we can determine who will be the best breeder for us....and how we can determine temperament/suitability over the phone or in person.

Also happily accepting referrals in California (North preferred but can travel as far as SD.

Thank you for your help
Hi there,
MY husband ( 73 years old) and myself (77 years old) after extensive research on breeders and the quality of their dogs, got 2 GSD female puppies almost 2 years ago....at 8wks old.....we have never been sorry...we are raising them with love and attention...and patience.....they are the most gentle loving animals we have ever had...they are beautiful, well socialized with people and other dogs....hard to believe, but they get along and play really well with each other and miss each other when apart....but, we are a family of 4 and rarely are apart.... Nellie and Maggie (60lbs each) will jump in our king size bed with us in the morning.....our smiles and love for these dogs have grown beyond our own belief since we picked them Oct. 5th 2018....they are very active...love playing fetch and swimming and being in our company.....we use a combination of raw and dry feeding.....You sound like excellent future parents of the best breed of dog ever...Good Luck to you and yours....our breeder is in Queen Creek, Az. .....
 

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Hi there,
MY husband ( 73 years old) and myself (77 years old) after extensive research on breeders and the quality of their dogs, got 2 GSD female puppies almost 2 years ago....at 8wks old.....we have never been sorry...we are raising them with love and attention...and patience.....they are the most gentle loving animals we have ever had...they are beautiful, well socialized with people and other dogs....hard to believe, but they get along and play really well with each other and miss each other when apart....but, we are a family of 4 and rarely are apart.... Nellie and Maggie (60lbs each) will jump in our king size bed with us in the morning.....our smiles and love for these dogs have grown beyond our own belief since we picked them Oct. 5th 2018....they are very active...love playing fetch and swimming and being in our company.....we use a combination of raw and dry feeding.....You sound like excellent future parents of the best breed of dog ever...Good Luck to you and yours....our breeder is in Queen Creek, Az. .....
Are your girls working line or showline?
 

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She was insulting and I'm done with this site. The working line GSD we had was edgy, intense, and way too aggressive I only responded to this post because the OP's description of the dog they want sounds like my three rescues. Our experience with a working line GSD was poor. He was too edgy, intense, and aggressive. He was never going to live safely with our cats. If the OP had said they were looking for a good family pet AND a dog they could participate in Schutzund or search and rescue, or something along those lines, then I'd say go for a working line. Otherwise, I'd not go there. Those dogs need jobs. I don't believe they are content to be just the family pet.
Sounds like you were improperly matched with the dog you were given and didn’t have the experience level to handle that kind of dog. It doesn’t sound to me like you got him/her from a good source as it’s rare that a reputable breeder (or rescue) would place a puppy in a home that couldn’t handle it. It isn’t fair to say all working lines are that way. That exact same dog could easily have gone to a different home and been an absolute dream of a family dog. Different people need different things and can handle different things. My breeder gave me one of the lower drive and easier pups in the litter because he is my first working line, and he’s incredible. I’m sure most of his littermates would have been way too much for me right now, and I would say they aren't a good match for my family. However, in the homes his littermates are in, they’re all great family dogs. Don’t condemn a whole line based on one experience with a dog that didn’t work for you.
 

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I would also say this one last thing on the subject - there are a lot of GSDs that end up in rescues. These dogs can make wonderful family pets whether they have the GSD "personality" or not. These dogs deserve good homes. What would you propose we do with them - euthanize them all just because they are BYB?
I understand what you're saying and I think it's great that you have a big heart and are willing to rescue some of these dogs. However, imo, if people started educating themselves and STOP supporting BYB then perhaps there wouldn't be as many dogs winding up in shelters.

And this isn't necessarily in response to you but for others as well:

Boycott BYB. And just because a so called breeder is registered and has 20 years behind them doesn't = good breeder

There are plenty of 20 year plus breeders, breeding for colour or size who have zero understanding of genetics or the lines they are breeding; I also call these back yard breeders.
 

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She was insulting and I'm done with this site. The working line GSD we had was edgy, intense, and way too aggressive I only responded to this post because the OP's description of the dog they want sounds like my three rescues. Our experience with a working line GSD was poor. He was too edgy, intense, and aggressive. He was never going to live safely with our cats. If the OP had said they were looking for a good family pet AND a dog they could participate in Schutzund or search and rescue, or something along those lines, then I'd say go for a working line. Otherwise, I'd not go there. Those dogs need jobs. I don't believe they are content to be just the family pet.
Guarding a home, truck,etc and being a family companion is one of the most important jobs a German Shepherd has. The traits you describe are exactly what many desire and are in line of what a real German Shepherd should be.

As someone else mentioned, a reputable breeder would have never sold you this dog because its temperament is not in line with your personality or lifestyle.

That is why it is imperative that people seek out a reputable breeder that can match the correct breeding and puppy temperament, to the lifestyle and experience of the potential owner.
 

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Hello!

I have two working line shepherds in my house and with my young children. I don’t know as much about “show line” shepherds, but both my male and female shepherds are great.
Regardless of what dog you choose, they need exercise, discipline and affection in that order. A dog your don’t have to worry about is going to need lots of exercise and attention, and to know that YOU are in charge.
 
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