Promoting responsible German Shepherd Dog ownership
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I mostly agree. I do abhore the breeding of working dogs for the pet markets though. There are plenty of breeds that were designed to be companion animals and fill the role much better. I think that you are spot on when you say any line can make a good pet for the right person. I know people who enjoy having dogs that I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.
Can’t pets do more than just hang around? I’m thinking of Labs and Retrievers that make excellent companions but also need to work or get a lot of exercise. I saw one today that was saying hello to everyone but looked like he was ready to jump out of his skin. He needed exercise.
Most companion only dogs bore me. Although I like them from a distance.
DW (GSDogwalker) said:
This is opinion only. Working lines are best for protection sports and other high energy, high drive sports, scentwork, tracking. WGSLs are good for other types of sports and herding. ASLs seem best suited as bred for a show ring. Pet lines are for people who always wanted a German Shepherd as a pet. Any line can make a good pet with the right owner, but should have activities they love to do. There is crossover and these are not absolute. What do you think? What do you tell people asking for advice? WGSLs and WLs are best in experienced homes or with people willing to use trainers and learn. ASLs (if they have good temperament and no extreme angulation) make good first time pets. Pet lines are OK for those with no experience, but they should be reasonably well bred. All lines should be bred according to high standards with health certificates.
Why can't working line be good for work? Where is it written that they have to be high energy? Why high drive? Why not strong drive? Why can't other lines do scentwork? WGSL are good for what other types of sports? What makes them good at herding and not working line? Paradox, no? What does bred for show ring mean? Bred only for conformation? Pet lines are only for pets? Most of the pet lines that I have met have either been nerve bags, stable dogs, or beasts that should be working in LE or PPD. Why does a WGSL need an experienced home? What makes you think that WL and WGSL need a trainer? If ASL are only bred for conformation, then how do you know if they might make good pets? Man oh man, you wouldn't want to put one of my first pet line GSDs into an average pet home. That was a lot of freakin' dog. I believe, and so do others, that some of the best GSDs temperamentally are chained up in somebody's backyard, for work that is. Why shouldn't all lines be bred for temperament? Never met anyone that wanted a second GSD because their first one was so healthy but met many people who got a second GSD because they loved their first one's temperament.
The thing is when you start focusing on producing pets, you start to lose working traits, usually because you start producing dogs accessible the most people possible. You start to breed away from things like the drive, energy, and aggression that make the working breeds successful. Pets can do more than just hangout but there’s only so much most people are wanting in a dog. I usually compare it to cars. I can daily drive a corvette but a most people wouldn’t enjoy. Usually they want a car that comfortably goes from A to B.
Are people specifically breeding for "pet" traits or is it that they aren't breeding for any traits when breeding for pets? I would shy away from the first type, who knows what their idea of a "good pet" is and as for the latter, you can get quite the firecracker.
Depending on the type of breeder. The ones specifically breeding for pet traits are breeding down. The ones that aren’t breeding for any traits tend to produce crapshoots in general. You usually end up with a wide range of random traits you can get in the dog. Breeding specifically for pet traits does a disservice to the working dog in general. Not breeding for anything in particular could be better or worse. You’d probably still end up with dogs a lot closer to the intended function.
None of those comments are absolute rules, they are observation of people other forums. It seems from what I see locally, that showlines are easier, and of those ASL and pet lines seem to workout better for inexperienced owners. Yes, if someone gets a WL with a good temperament it might be the best dog they ever have. Most WL breeders seem to select for driveyness and intensity.
My fear biter was a pet line. He looked just like a Royalair dog, so he was either from that kennel or a similar breeder. He had a weird temperament for a German Shepherd. I was fostering and the longer I kept him the clearer it became no one was going to adopt him, and he was so attached me, we decided to just keep him.