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Promoting responsible German Shepherd Dog ownership
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You must also be a good trainer and handler to get such a well rounded dog. German Shepherd puppies come with potential but it takes a good handler to bring out their best features. That is why I asked if you rode horses. Horse handlers tend to also do well with this breed.
My trainer got into handling GSDs in the military when he was young. He was still young when I started working with him a few years ago. He is used to military bred working line dogs. So when he started working with the kinds of German Shepherds they breed now, he was surprised they are so out of breed standard. People are buying pet lines hoping to get Golden Revtrievers that look like German Shepherds and training them as if they were Goldens. Then they are upset when the dog becomes unmanageable. Mine is a working line and when I found the trainer he was wild. High drive, the skills I had weren’t working for him. I had to learn a whole new method of training.
I don’t introduce my dogs to people who are working on my house for a few days. There isn’t any point. If a friend comes over for half an hour, yes, they meet the dogs and the dogs must behave.
Yes, their foundation dog was Eiko Vom Kirschental. Uran vom Wildsteigerland was the sire. He was very prolific. My current dog doesn’t come from those lines but the breeder also had Uran progeny early in her program. There are certain dogs that were used often in early breeding programs because they were good producers and could provide traits that were prized at the time. Eiko vom Kirschental was world seiger in the late 1980s. The dogs in their kennel were all trained and exercised on sheep because they needed them to work. Breeding dogs today are rarely used in that way.
There are a few people who work sheep with dogs. I have a friend who does search and rescue with her GSDs and trains others.
I'm not a good rider or dog trainer but Wynn Strickland tried to help me and my dog like most GSDs was devoted and tried to please me. However she was a tough cookie, not really a beginners dog. She had a sweet and kind personality and her mannerisms were a lot like Uran's. She could look mean as spit when a stranger approached our car or house but never bit, but she would hold them. She protected my young son. She protected our little Yorkie and cats were attracted to her like a magnet. I never understood why strange cats would be attracted to her but she was kind to them and great with my horses and they liked her too. She seemed to know friend from foe. I think they can smell it. When someone intends harm I bet they produce a different scent. A member of the Washington Capitals hockey team came to watch our training and saw how fast my dog came to me on a recall and said he wanted a dog like her. You couldn't ask for a more devoted dog who loved me and her family.
People still talk about Wynn and her kennel. It's so sad to drive by and see how it's fallen into disrepair and part of the 25 acres have been sold. Her friend and kennel manager is no longer in good health after a couple strokes. The part of the property with the house and kennel are still for sale. There's a good business opportunity yet. It's in Landenberg, PA.
There are but most people don’t own sheep anymore. We have a few but they won’t use German Shepherds.
She sounds like the perfect dog.
It’s very difficult to make a living as a dog breeder today.
You would have to be so outstanding with additional work like authoring an authoritative book after you have been extremely successful in the show ring. Otherwise breeding is a side job. Few kennels can survive without name recognition.
Breeding is a full time job for many working line dogs that will never see a show ring. They are bred for performance and people's lives can depend on them. Stephanitz wanted his breed to be kept a working dog.