Promoting responsible German Shepherd Dog ownership
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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.
I’ve seen dogs advertised like that. One kennel that was highly recommended for pets had a female that was a “good producer.” She was kind of lumpy, her coloring was washed out but I called them anyway because of the rec. the woman told me she had a list for that dog’s puppies for the next three years and was not going to breed her more than 3 times, then retire her. She said that dog had the most popular of all her litters. I was interested because her sire was Vom Kirschental. I did not want a puppy from her after hearing how and why she bred. They were clearly all pets, and she was intentionally making softer, quieter, slower dogs than her male’s line.
That diagram really shows the differences. I would love to see ASL thrown in there too to see where they lie. It would also be helpful to see what traits those genes represent.
People are experimenting with crossing half ASL and half WGSL, hoping to get a better structure. If you take an extreme slope and mix it with a roach, do you get a dog with more moderate lines or do you get a dog with its butt on the ground and a roach back?
I’ve seen some decent WGSL/ASL mixes. Still more curved in the back than I like though.
As far as pets go, I think in some cases traits that make a good pet aren’t always selected for when other priorities get in the way or good trainers are raising the dogs. And people breeding just pets are usually just breeding any random two dogs together so they still aren’t selecting for traits that make good solid pets.
All the amazing GSDs I’ve met were all just random pet bred dogs. It was definitely the temperament of those dogs that got me interested in GSDs. But I’m not sure how hard it is to actually find that dog with good breeders
If an excellent breeding happens on accident, it’s hard to duplicate without the same dogs,
It seems like a lot of show and pet line dogs show a lot of herding traits. Possibly because they aren’t selectively bred for IPO/tracking traits which don’t necessarily translate to herding traits, particularly in the differences in the prey drive department.
It really is interesting to watch Shelby the WGSL/pet bred dog and I really wish I could’ve tried to get into herding with her. Last time I was back home we had 6 dogs all together. Her mentality was different than when it was just her and 2 other dogs. Definitely tapping more into controlling the group over controlling the play with herding tendencies. I personally haven’t seen much for herding traits in the other GSD I’ve spent time with like I do with her. Our other was ASL type and he was big into tracking. Granted Shelby doesn’t have really have any other drives besides wanting to be best friends with everything
The byb WGSL dogs I’ve been around definitely seem to do well as a general public companion provided they have an owner capable of doing basic training. Not sure if that comes from byb breeding or the traits in WGSL selection
ASL seem similar but I’ve seen more of them with reactivity etc. A few of them I think they’d be decent dogs in the right hands, but they have too much of a demanding edge to be in the hands of any type of push over. Pretty sure they’re all from the same breeder here in town who is a color breeder as well. She did get her hands on some really nice dogs somehow. Didn’t keep a single one of them for her program though??
I went to a lot of local dog shows for a few years and only stopped when COVID hit and they were cancelled. I initially went for the advanced obedience trials as I hadn’t seen one and I was curious which dogs were entered and how they did. I saw some WL dogs, all small sable females, and a lot of other breeds. The GSDs did really well in Utility and Open.
The beauty contest trials were mostly all ASL and they were very well behaved. I talked to breeders and owners after they showed but to be fair, there was only one line in any show that looked really nice in terms of structure and movement. Dogs that go to a lot of shows tend to be high energy, even a bit whiney out of the ring, a lot of pacing and squirming, but when they hit the show ring they had sharp, clean movements. I talked to one woman who must have been 75 who had a 2 year old male she purchased at a show the previous year for the breeder. Her agreement was she would take the dog and bring him to shows, and their handler would title him. He was a very nice dog. I have a picture of him somewhere. That was about 5 years ago. Her husband died and she went to a dog show and came home with a dog. That is rare as they aren’t allowed to use shows to sell dogs on the premises, but they found a way around that. He was 1 when she took him. I presumed if she was unable to keep him when she got older, he would go back to the breeder.
The friendliest GSDs I ever met were 2 Schutzhund trained dogs from Germany at Wynn Strickland's house. A well bred GSD is capable of being a great working dog and family pet. They are well rounded. If trained they can do anything. But you can find different personalities in the same litter. My GSD was a family pet, obedience trained, a protector that loved small children and small animals. She had a high prey drive and extremely loyal and affectionate while always being kind to weaker. I took her to a nursing home where she greeted invalid, bed ridden and Alzheimer's patients and made them smile. I took her to school where she adored the kids. I showed her where she got a blue ribbon one day but another she ran around all sassy. When someone came to my house unannounced she growled viciously at the door, same as my car but when they were invited inside she greeted them. She carefully opened her Christmas presents then played with them. She would play hide and seek with my son and pull the covers down in the morning to wake him. She was athletic, smart, affectionate and beautiful.
My breeder was Wynn Strickland of Wynthea Kennels.