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  #11  
Old 02-20-2014, 09:07 PM
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I'm a fan of working bred GSDs but...I'd be hesitant to suggest one for someone who was really looking for "just a pet". Yes working bred GSDs can be just pets for active and involved pet owners. Owners just looking for an house pet to lounge around, play fetch now and then, maybe go for some walks and just be a good, easy companion is not going to make a working bred GSD happy. It's extremely uncommon for a quality working breeder to produce truly low drive, mellow and not guardy dogs. And since she wants a puppy, that makes me even more hesitant. Puppyhood with high drive, high energy GSDs can be challenging. They bite a lot and will destroy your possessions. Jora chewed apart an entire porch swing as a puppy. Chewed it down to nothing. Chewed the couch. Chewed the deck steps. Chewed up shoes and who knows what else. She didn't develop an off switch until she was a year old or so and had to be put in a crate to get her to chill out. And that was in a dog savvy home. As an adult dog, she was a great pet but she still thrived on work and exercise. She was certainly one of my more challenging puppies (not that I minded, she was my perfect dog). I've been around a lot of GSD puppies and my experience has been similar with all of them - the higher drive, higher energy puppies are usually more difficult until they mature and get some sense



I think you are on the right track with suggesting she get a show bred dog. Despite popular belief here, a lot of show bred GSDs are great companions for pet owners looking for pets. They're basically bred to be pets and show dogs. I had an Amline girl, Lexi who was smart and protective but definitely a much easier dog than Jora. She was happy being a good housedog, going for walks, running around the yard and "for fun" training. She was a very sound dog all around and lived a very healthy 14 years. She wasn't a fluke either, a lot of dogs from her line were very similar to her and lots and lots of them are good pets with happy owners. Of course you need to be careful with who you buy from. But that goes for looking at any lines.



Covy Tucker Hill is in CA and are by far one of the most influnitial and well known breeders in show bred GSDs. Their dogs overall tend to be less extreme than some show lines and I imagine it wouldn't be hard to get a very moderate pet puppy from them. Lexi was from CTH lines but not bred by them. I have never had any interactions with them but having your sister talk to them about what she's looking for might be a good starting point. I'm sure their puppies are not cheap though.



http://www.covy-tuckerhill.com/



This is a CA AKC GSD club, quite a few CA contacts here:



http://www.akc.org/club_search/index...1&club_id=1999











Honestly because they're such a common breed, there's no reason to think someone really looking for just a companion couldn't find one in their state. Especially a state as big as CA. I'm sure there's plenty of nice pet quality puppies available in CA. They may not be the puppies you or I would choose but that's ok. Really it is I know for sure what I want in a GSD is not an easy house pet type dog.

Thank you so much. The beginning part of your post describes exactly what they are looking for. They may do a little hiking here and there or camping, but they really aren't going to be very active with their dog. She isn't interested in any dog sports and neither is her fiancé as far as I know.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:08 PM
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Is she able/willing to travel to Oregon? Ann Akerill has show line GSDs but I know they do performance stuff with them too. I don't know if they do bitesports or anything.



Mel has a bitch from them that would have been really good as "just" a companion. She does herding and OB, but she's very chill, extremely stable, and just an all around good everyman type dog that would have fit in great with the average home. She puts up a big scary show for trespassers. I personally would not push her once she matures. lol. She's still under 1 year old and really hasn't destroyed anything at all, and is the star of the obedience class.



They produce both long and short coats. A lot of her dogs are black and tan.



This is Maggie Mae









Maggie doesn't do that weird hock trotting thing you see in some dogs and has a nice topline. If the rest of them are anything like Maggie I'd definitely recommend them to someone wanting a companion, sport, or show GSD.

Awesome thank you so much. I don't think Oregon would be too far out of her reach.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by skittledoo View Post
Thank you so much. The beginning part of your post describes exactly what they are looking for. They may do a little hiking here and there or camping, but they really aren't going to be very active with their dog. She isn't interested in any dog sports and neither is her fiancé as far as I know.
I would definitely be looking into American showlines then. German showlines are still required to do IPO for breeding and they're almost certainly going to be higher drive/high energy and more working type temperament than the average American line dog. Jora was German showlines and very much had a working type temperament. Like I said, American line dogs from good breeders are mostly expected to be good show dogs and pet dogs. Lexi had pretty high prey drive and like I said, she was protective of the house/yard/car but she was by far an easier pet-type dog than Jora. As far as being a sport dog though, Jora was an outstanding - absolutely loved to work and would work at whatever you wanted to do with her until she dropped. Lexi was more "Ok we'll do this if it's what you want to do, I'm cool with it". Jora was very aloof to anyone outside of her family/friends, Lexi was very social and easy going. Really...pretty much Jora had a working type temperament and Lexi had a pet type temperament. Lexi could have easily and happily been a nice pet dog for an average, responsible owner. Jora could have been a nice pet dog for an active, involved owner who was into doing active stuff with their pet. An the average, responsible owner would have struggled with her and especially in puppyhood. I found Jora to be a great pet and she was a good house dog once she grew up but I certainly am not an average owner looking for a fairly easy companion.

Good luck to your sister in her search
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:27 PM
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I don't have anyone out there I'd recommend. All of my working lines have been very good as adults even with little activity. There are times of the year, like this winter, where I haven't done anything with my dogs that can be counted as anything more than being extremely lazy and they aren't going stir crazy

As puppies however, it was a lot of work They didn't know inside and outside rules.

That said, GSD's are driven working dogs, maybe a GSD isn't what this person wants????
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron View Post
I'm a fan of working bred GSDs but...I'd be hesitant to suggest one for someone who was really looking for "just a pet". Yes working bred GSDs can be just pets for active and involved pet owners. Owners just looking for an house pet to lounge around, play fetch now and then, maybe go for some walks and just be a good, easy companion is not going to make a working bred GSD happy. It's extremely uncommon for a quality working breeder to produce truly low drive, mellow and not guardy dogs. And since she wants a puppy, that makes me even more hesitant. Puppyhood with high drive, high energy GSDs can be challenging. They bite a lot and will destroy your possessions. Jora chewed apart an entire porch swing as a puppy. Chewed it down to nothing. Chewed the couch. Chewed the deck steps. Chewed up shoes and who knows what else. She didn't develop an off switch until she was a year old or so and had to be put in a crate to get her to chill out. And that was in a dog savvy home. As an adult dog, she was a great pet but she still thrived on work and exercise. She was certainly one of my more challenging puppies (not that I minded, she was my perfect dog). I've been around a lot of GSD puppies and my experience has been similar with all of them - the higher drive, higher energy puppies are usually more difficult until they mature and get some sense

I think you are on the right track with suggesting she get a show bred dog. Despite popular belief here, a lot of show bred GSDs are great companions for pet owners looking for pets. They're basically bred to be pets and show dogs. I had an Amline girl, Lexi who was smart and protective but definitely a much easier dog than Jora. She was happy being a good housedog, going for walks, running around the yard and "for fun" training. She was a very sound dog all around and lived a very healthy 14 years. She wasn't a fluke either, a lot of dogs from her line were very similar to her and lots and lots of them are good pets with happy owners. Of course you need to be careful with who you buy from. But that goes for looking at any lines.

Covy Tucker Hill is in CA and are by far one of the most influnitial and well known breeders in show bred GSDs. Their dogs overall tend to be less extreme than some show lines and I imagine it wouldn't be hard to get a very moderate pet puppy from them. Lexi was from CTH lines but not bred by them. I have never had any interactions with them but having your sister talk to them about what she's looking for might be a good starting point. I'm sure their puppies are not cheap though.

http://www.covy-tuckerhill.com/

This is a CA AKC GSD club, quite a few CA contacts here:

http://www.akc.org/club_search/index...1&club_id=1999





Honestly because they're such a common breed, there's no reason to think someone really looking for just a companion couldn't find one in their state. Especially a state as big as CA. I'm sure there's plenty of nice pet quality puppies available in CA. They may not be the puppies you or I would choose but that's ok. Really it is I know for sure what I want in a GSD is not an easy house pet type dog.
This is what kills me with the GSD as a breed. They aren't supposed to be lounge around house all day type of pets. If thats all someone is looking for, then I would just suggest to find a different breed all together. And I find that the more breeders that are just breeding "pet quality" dogs are also the ones who have no show titles or working titles and minimal health testing, and this is where the problem with nerve and health in the breed is getting worse and worse. Its why I don't think anyone who wants a pet GSD should just go to the nearest person who thinks they have nice pets.

I do agree about German Show lines not fitting the bill, in this case. They are still supposed to have some capability to work in IPO.

The only personal experiences I have with American Show lines are the dogs who have been through the kennels that I worked at and the ones who visited our IPO club. In the majority of the encounters, the dogs had some sort of strange nerve issues. They were bought from show lines just to be "pets" and not trained in the ring, and ended up being fear aggressive and dog reactive/aggressive and I don't think I single one of them was actually allowed in any daycare play groups after 6-8 months old. The ones who tried IPO lacked any sort of work ethic in that aspect and ended up leaving.

I guess the ASL/GSL and WL split in this breed is so dramatic that its pretty much like getting three completely different dog breeds depending on what you want. I guess I just wouldn't recommend a GSD to any owner just looking for a pet that won't put in the serious time and effort to really stimulate and exercise them. According to the standard, thats what you should be signing up for when you get a well bred dog.

Probably not the popular opinion here, but its just my two cents. The breed has become so popular that I don't think I can say that I've met a single GSD pet owner who doesn't have a serious complaint about their dog, be it health or temperament, in the last year and it makes me upset.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:37 PM
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I don't have anyone out there I'd recommend. All of my working lines have been very good as adults even with little activity. There are times of the year, like this winter, where I haven't done anything with my dogs that can be counted as anything more than being extremely lazy and they aren't going stir crazy

As puppies however, it was a lot of work They didn't know inside and outside rules.

That said, GSD's are driven working dogs, maybe a GSD isn't what this person wants????
THIS.

You replied before I could finish typing
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:54 PM
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I'd bet money on a more stable working line GSD than show line any day. There is a pet quality working line puppy in every litter that would probably lack the nerve problems that you see way more often in the show line dogs.

That said, I don't know of a single show line breeder that I'd honestly recommend in that area.
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I'm going to go ahead and thumbs up this entire post...said much more politely than I was able to think of in my head.
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Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
I don't have anyone out there I'd recommend. All of my working lines have been very good as adults even with little activity. There are times of the year, like this winter, where I haven't done anything with my dogs that can be counted as anything more than being extremely lazy and they aren't going stir crazy

As puppies however, it was a lot of work They didn't know inside and outside rules.

That said, GSD's are driven working dogs, maybe a GSD isn't what this person wants????

^^^^^ALL OF THAT.

Seriously....PLEASE ruin the GSD breed more. Let's breed more pets with no purpose other than lounging on the couch.

California is a big state and I'm sure she'll find the perfect pet. I hear Craigslist has some great ads and might want to check the local papers.

(I placed 2 working bred puppies in PET homes from Judge's kast litter, one being a new dog owner all together and they have an 18 month old baby...guess what...that working bred puppy is perfect with the baby and they are doing wonderful with her.) It's called proper placement!

I would honestly suggest a stuffed GSD. They're not bred for sitting on the couch. That'd be like getting a sighthound and expecting them to not need to run once in a while.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:08 PM
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I understand and I agree with you completely that another breed may be better suited. I can suggest other breeds all I want but unfortunately I don't think I'm going to sway her to change her mind and since personally I don't have much desire to own a GSD at this point in my life I haven't really looked into them much myself hence my decision to start this thread.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:16 PM
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I understand and I agree with you completely that another breed may be better suited. I can suggest other breeds all I want but unfortunately I don't think I'm going to sway her to change her mind and since personally I don't have much desire to own a GSD at this point in my life I haven't really looked into them much myself hence my decision to start this thread.
The point of my response is at least to sway her towards supporting an ethical breeder. I wasn't lying about pet quality puppies in each working line litter. I work in a breeding kennel right now who breeds working line sport dogs (WGWL) and maybe 2 or 3 puppies out of a litter or 8 will end up in working homes..The rest are pets. By going that route, at least she'd be supporting someone who is following the true standard of the breed and not just the conformation aspect alone. You can find pet quality puppies in both WGSL and WGWL litters (the two types that I have the most experience with).

I should also add that I think the majority of people who get involved in dog sport start with a dog that they had no intentions of doing it with. So having a dog with proper temperament that could be both a stable pet and stable sport dog is a good place to start. A well bred GSD should be totally capable of doing both. My dogs would be just as happy going for a couple walks a day and playing fetch in the yard as they would be strictly working dogs. In the winter, we really hardly get out anyways, and my house isn't in shambles..
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:25 PM
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I don't typically personally recommend dogs from breeders that I don't have any personal experience with. I do have personal experience with Nick vom Patalia who is a seriously incredible dog, as far as working ability is concerned.
Yeah, I should specify that these aren't so much recommendations/raving reviews as they are "well, I've heard of these names so maybe you can look into them and judge for yourself". They're breeders I would personally like to own a dog from, but from the sounds of these later posts what I look for and what skittledoo's sister is looking for are on two different ends of the spectrum.

Amber, if your sister is looking in Oregon, Trent's breeder is here. That said, from what you've said in your later posts it does seem like his breeder and all of the breeders I had listed before are not producing what your sister wants (and possibly can handle). I agree with what Aleron has said about even the pet quality dogs being a lot to handle - and take this from someone who did have a working line dog as a first dog and as "just" a pet. I was prepared to handle the energy, but not the drive, the high guardian tendencies, the confrontational attitude, the independence, and just the general pain in the ass-ness that he was. Sure I love it now, but I don't know how many would if they had delved into these dogs blindly.

My dog can easily handle going days without exercise if he had to, and is the champion of chilling on the couch and letting me watch TV all day. But all his drives are still present and he is still a working bred dog through and through. I agree that this is what a GSD should be, but I also know how difficult it is to change someone's mind, especially if they've already seen pet bred GSDs every day doing exactly what they want in a dog. And a good show line GSD can also have a lot to offer the breed. I've known of show lines with drive and working ability, though often they don't possess the intensity and die hard spit and vinegar of the working lines I've known, and I think that's what makes them more suitable as first time companion pets. Make sure she looks for dogs of strong nerve and meets these dogs and their progeny (if possible) in person.
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