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  #71  
Old 02-22-2014, 01:31 PM
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it's not about the right to exist to me. There are differences in GSD's. Without a doubt, test them, pressure them, live with them and you'll see that some dogs have a lot more "stuff" in them than rest.

They may look similar, they may act similar, but when things really matter, they aren't all that similar. Most aren't even close.

Breeders that genuinely are maintaining a standard breed a lot of amazing dogs, some very good dogs that don't fit the bill and once and while some crappers.

Breeders that don't follow a standard, or say they do, but in words only tend to produce a lot of dogs that are substandard and once and a while they might have a good one. The differences between a workingline GSD and an American show shepherd are vast. I can't believe they're even of the same breed.

One was bred to a working standard, the other was not. THe absolute very best ASL I've seen was barely average for a working line dog. Barely. That says something. Dogs bred with a standard in mind produce litters capable of everything. Leader dogs, service dogs, SAR dogs, patrol dogs, great companion dogs, everything. Dogs bred with no standard in mind produce a whole heck of a lot less.

And if your standard is just to breed pets, then I get back to my earlier argument, it's sadly funny that people so badly want what they really don't want. A GSD is a working dog, or should be. If you don't want herding dog traits, don't breed herding dogs. Seems pretty simple
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  #72  
Old 02-22-2014, 01:31 PM
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I think because there are already enough pets out there. Want a pet? Get one from rescue or a pet quality pup from a responsible breeder. There are more than enough out there so that everybody could have the pet of their dreams.
Except... the person who wants a pet GSD?

I mean, really, if someone started calling their pet-bred GSD's "German Couch Potatoes" would that be ok? Because then they're not passing them off as GSDs, except... then they shouldn't do that because there's already enough breeds to choose from? But creating something like a silken windhound is ok?

It's all legitimately very confusing to me. I honestly don't understand a lot of these arguments that pop up around what seems to be a core issue of "I like the breed(s) I like the way I like it/them and think no one should mess with them." Which honestly I think is perfectly acceptable even if I don't truly understand it, but then just say so.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:51 PM
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I personally would be happier if German Shepherds were purely working dogs... every "GSD" you saw had solid nerves, was protective, etc. Everything else would be a German Couch Potato.

I used to feel strongly about it but in the end it seems like a semanitc argument.

You want a dog that looks like a GSD and kinda acts like one, but mostly just does the lowkey dog thing? Gets excited when you come home, plays with the kids, does funny stuff, has a cute personality, isn't too demanding? Go get your dog from someone who breeds GSDs like that. It's the only way you're going to get the look and temperament you want. I'm not about to tell someone who is looking for a dog with those specifications that they should get a PWD instead, when there is someone out there breeding a dog to their specifications. That seems silly.

I still don't like it much... the idealistic part of my brain is going " no no no those are GSD rip offs, they shouldn't exist!!1" but in the end I'd rather be pragmatic, and the cat's already out of the bag on this one. I back you 100% in keeping your Ibizianspithaubenkoffenguard Mastiffs under lock and key and only selling them to people interested in working dogs, but pet GSDs aren't going anywhere.

Last edited by Xandra; 02-22-2014 at 02:04 PM.
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  #74  
Old 02-22-2014, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Except... the person who wants a pet GSD?

I mean, really, if someone started calling their pet-bred GSD's "German Couch Potatoes" would that be ok? Because then they're not passing them off as GSDs, except... then they shouldn't do that because there's already enough breeds to choose from? But creating something like a silken windhound is ok?

It's all legitimately very confusing to me. I honestly don't understand a lot of these arguments that pop up around what seems to be a core issue of "I like the breed(s) I like the way I like it/them and think no one should mess with them." Which honestly I think is perfectly acceptable even if I don't truly understand it, but then just say so.
But, you CAN get a pet GSD from rescue or a responsible breeder. Why not support one of those two places rather than a breeder who doesn't breed to standard?
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:10 PM
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But, you CAN get a pet GSD from rescue or a responsible breeder. Why not support one of those two places rather than a breeder who doesn't breed to standard?
Which gets back to my original confusion about WHY it's not ok to breed pet GSDs. See? It's completely circular. I am probably closer in my dog ownership to JQP than most people here, and from where I'm sitting it seems like all of the tangential arguments really go back to trying to shore up "don't mess with my GSDs." Which is totally fine, and if I loved any particular breed that way I might feel the same.

But at the same time, I think it's totally unrealistic and sort of unfair. It's not a shock that people in modern American society want what they want and that appearance plays a role in their choices, and big dog shows like Westminster don't really do much to deter that IMO... there's really not much of a nod given to how these dogs' temperaments should be/are evaluated and the dogs to a lot of average dog owners' eye all act pretty much the same in the ring.

And anyway, surely it's not a sin to prefer a specific appearance, since colors and other cosmetic features are specified as acceptable or unacceptable in so many breeds? Surely along the way to their creation certain breeds have a certain appearance because the original breeders liked a certain look as much as wanted the dog to perform a certain function. People are people.

I don't know. I do and don't understand both sides, but at the end of the day I can't really fault someone for wanting something like a pet GSD. Why does anyone want what they want or like what they like. You can't argue with the chemicals in people's brains.
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  #76  
Old 02-22-2014, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Which gets back to my original confusion about WHY it's not ok to breed pet GSDs. See? It's completely circular. I am probably closer in my dog ownership to JQP than most people here, and from where I'm sitting it seems like all of the tangential arguments really go back to trying to shore up "don't mess with my GSDs." Which is totally fine, and if I loved any particular breed that way I might feel the same.

But at the same time, I think it's totally unrealistic and sort of unfair. It's not a shock that people in modern American society want what they want and that appearance plays a role in their choices, and big dog shows like Westminster don't really do much to deter that IMO... there's really not much of a nod given to how these dogs' temperaments should be/are evaluated and the dogs to a lot of average dog owners' eye all act pretty much the same in the ring.

And anyway, surely it's not a sin to prefer a specific appearance, since colors and other cosmetic features are specified as acceptable or unacceptable in so many breeds? Surely along the way to their creation certain breeds have a certain appearance because the original breeders liked a certain look as much as wanted the dog to perform a certain function. People are people.

I don't know. I do and don't understand both sides, but at the end of the day I can't really fault someone for wanting something like a pet GSD. Why does anyone want what they want or like what they like. You can't argue with the chemicals in people's brains.

That, completely.
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  #77  
Old 02-22-2014, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Which gets back to my original confusion about WHY it's not ok to breed pet GSDs. See? It's completely circular. I am probably closer in my dog ownership to JQP than most people here, and from where I'm sitting it seems like all of the tangential arguments really go back to trying to shore up "don't mess with my GSDs." Which is totally fine, and if I loved any particular breed that way I might feel the same.

But at the same time, I think it's totally unrealistic and sort of unfair. It's not a shock that people in modern American society want what they want and that appearance plays a role in their choices, and big dog shows like Westminster don't really do much to deter that IMO... there's really not much of a nod given to how these dogs' temperaments should be/are evaluated and the dogs to a lot of average dog owners' eye all act pretty much the same in the ring.

And anyway, surely it's not a sin to prefer a specific appearance, since colors and other cosmetic features are specified as acceptable or unacceptable in so many breeds? Surely along the way to their creation certain breeds have a certain appearance because the original breeders liked a certain look as much as wanted the dog to perform a certain function. People are people.

I don't know. I do and don't understand both sides, but at the end of the day I can't really fault someone for wanting something like a pet GSD. Why does anyone want what they want or like what they like. You can't argue with the chemicals in people's brains.
I agree.

I have really lessened my opinion about the whole "purebred" dog thing. As long as people are breeding mentally and physically healthy dogs and is being ethical and responsible in their breeding practices (stands behind their pups, screens homes, etc., etc.)...if there is a niche for the dog being produced, then who am I to say to not produce that dog?
That goes for pet dogs, show dogs, working dogs, sport dogs, etc., etc.

I see nothing wrong with someone wanting a "pet" dog that looks a certain way, has certain behavior characteristics, and comes from health tested parents.
Heck, that is why I have Abrams. I wanted a pet that looked a certain way, had certain behavioral characteristics, and comes from health tested lines. Now, the breeder I purchased him from also sells puppies for hunting companions and they do quite well, so she doesn't just have "pet" dogs to the strictest definition...but she is a breeder who focus is breeding dogs for companion purposes. The showing, and titling, and hunting is just for fun (as well as other reasons, such as seeing how her dogs line up to others, functionality, etc., etc.).

Could I have just adopted a puppy from the shelter? Probably. But then I would have known nothing about its lineage, or health, or what its behavior was likely to be. And at this point in time in my life, I didn't want to gamble.
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  #78  
Old 02-22-2014, 05:24 PM
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But, you CAN get a pet GSD from rescue or a responsible breeder. Why not support one of those two places rather than a breeder who doesn't breed to standard?

They were saying that breeding away the working dog temperament was breeding out of standard. That basically every breeder not breeding working dogs are doing it wrong.

What about breeds who's jobs no longer exist, and also don't perform well in dog sports? Should we just stop breeding them?
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  #79  
Old 02-22-2014, 06:25 PM
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What are general thoughts on German showline GSDs? Are they seen in the same way as American showlines?
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  #80  
Old 02-22-2014, 06:39 PM
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What about breeds who's jobs no longer exist, and also don't perform well in dog sports? Should we just stop breeding them?
To steer this away from GSDs for a moment because hopefully people won't be so emotionally invested in the breed being discussed:

^^I wonder that about bull terriers. They were bred specifically for blood sports and as a gentleman's companion.

A bull terrier isn't particularly agile in terms of being a good vermin hunting dog that can fit into crevices and stuff, and that's not what they're made for anyway.

They could be good at tracking in theory, but again they're a very independent breed and it's not something they were ever bred for. It would be more of an individual dog type activity.

Nope to herding. Nope to police type work. Maybe as detection dogs or SDs but those would be special individuals vs. something the breed as a whole is good at.

I have seen them be good at agility, but their conformation limits their ability to be competitive at high levels with sporter bred mixes.

So, what kind of work do you breed a breed for when that breed's work no longer exists/is illegal?

People could start breeding them for tracking or agility. I don't see anything wrong with it, but by doing so you're changing the breed in a fundamental way. For breed preservationists, how do you reconcile that? How is one type of change superior to another?

The way I see dog populations is that they're constantly in flux. We want to preserve things, and that's great. I do. I'm one of those people. I want my borzois to retain the ability to bring down a wolf even though it's illegal to hunt wolves with hounds anymore. I get wanting to preserve that.

But at the same time, with different pressures the breed is going to change. I've seen it with people using lure coursing to test their borzoi's hunting ability. They want to be competitive and start selecting toward a dog that is smaller and lighter, and would make a great rabbit or fox coursing hound but could never dream of pinning an adult wolf to the ground and holding it there. It does make me kind of sad, but that's what it's becoming and really as long as the dogs are healthy and have good temperaments and there are enough homes that want them, is it really such a huge tragedy?

I'm conflicted on it, I'll admit. I know what I breed for, and what I'll keep striving for. As long as other breeders are doing their parts with health and temperament I'll be content with that.
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