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by CritterMama on 09 March 2018 - 20:03

I would love some unbiased input here: For the past two days, I’ve had a back and forth about GSDs. The post began innocently but was blown way out of proportion. The “expert” or so she would like others to believe, stated that NO GSDs should be bred unless they are Shutzhund trained, as that is a breed standard. My contention is no, unless it is being chosen specifically for police, military, or etcetera duties and when choosing a pup for those reasons – at that time, they are not Shutzhund trained and are graded by a various of techniques. Training is contingent upon the buyer’s specific needs or requirements for the dog. She said anyone who breeds a GSD that is not a Shutzhund trained dog is doing the dog and breed a disservice and is an outrage. I wasn’t aware that service dogs for Ie: the blind, cadaver scent trained, farming (herding) or for loving home goofball, yet protective dogs was a requirement. I mean all of my dogs, whether Dobermans or GSD’s had strong protection characteristics that were inherent. She also went on to say that one of my dog’s lineages is not truly of DDR if I don’t compete in Shutzhund Umm…the lineage is imported DDRs and can’t be changed. She also demanded I provide her with a pedigree – which I didn’t do as by then, she was just being a bully, albeit unsuccessful. I’ve worked and handled 2 SAR’s that were NOT Shutzhund trained and they were wonderful dogs yet to her, they were useless and shouldn’t have ever some into existence. Any thoughts??


by Hundmutter on 09 March 2018 - 21:03

You are sort of BOTH right. [Erm, MKC, how is that tearing anything down ?]  When the German Shepherd Dog was first developed (from a bunch of sheepdogs from various parts of Germany) back at the end of the 1800s, the chief creator and main promoter of the new breed, Max vom Stephanitz, always said he was trying to produce a breed / dog which could do just about any task you threw at it, including Police/Army dog, as well as continuing to be able to herd sheep; but he felt that it was only fair to this 'superdog' to have its talents fostered properly, so he said "Above all, keep my dog a working dog".  Now Schutzhund competition, and its successor IPO, did not as such exist, at that point.  So 'Shutzhund'  could never form part of what the original (German) Breed Standard wording asked for;  nor has it ever been specifically included in the SV, VDH, FCI, UK or AKC Kennel Club (etc) versions of their Breed Standards which have come along since.

I think the only reason it has never been incorporated in recent years is to do with the whole ethos of dog breeding, being about physical conformation competition, primarily.  Just as, say, Labrador Retrievers, while it is recognised that they were originally bred as dogs to accompany shooters of game, and many people feel the ability to do that work should be maintained in the  breed, do not have a clause in their Standard which demands they compete in Field Trials.  The rider to that is that if they do so, successfully, they can then be awarded the title of Dual Champion, ie they can be Show Champions AND Field Trials Champions (terminology is UK based, but I am sure you get the point).

There isn't an equivalent really for German Shepherd Dogs, because in the original home of the breed (Germany) it is closely regulated by the SV, and so all conformation competition ALSO includes basic IPO, and dogs cannot gain top grading unless they successfully compete at that element as well as just the 'look great and gait properly' bit of the Show ring.  Such is not the case in many other Shows in many other parts of the world. It is true of SOME shows in America, the 'SV' type shows, but it is certainly not true of the established AKC Show circuit. Owners and breeders choose which way to go !  Some AKC exhibitors DO work their dogs too, because they believe it is crucial to the nature of the breed (as in "Keep my dog a working dog..."); but many don't.  PLUS as you have noted people may choose to do other tasks with their dogs, rather than go the Korung/ BH/AD/IPO1,2,3 route - they go Herding; they do Agility, they train LE or PP work that does include  'manwork/bitework'; or they make them Service Dogs with one or another skill set.  As far as most of us in the GSD breed seem to be concerned, those things are all jobs of work, and equally worthwhile. What nobody in GSDs should really WANT to see is dogs that are simply couch-potatoes - though granted, they can lead a perfectly worthwhile existence as a family & companion animal.

I'm not  sure how organised the countries of the old DDR are in making the SV system happen, concentrated as that was in West Germany for so long.  But as so many of the so-called DDR Lines dogs are bred and promoted as 'working line' dogs, I guess they must be making some sort of organisational fist of it ! You will gather that I am no expert on that part of the world.

A word of caution about DDR dogs - although there are a few breeders in the old eastern bloc countries, and in America or elsewhere, who strive to keep as closely as possible to the bloodlines of dogs used most in that part of the world, the dogs the eastern countries STARTED with are the same as the dogs at the root of the breed in what became WEST Germany; and while there was the split between East and West, the GSD breed still did not remain entirely in two inviolate halves, there were always smuggled dogs etc - and the Berlin Wall has now been down for a great number of years !

There are many in Czechki, Serbia, etc who will happily claim things for the lines they use today which do not stand up to close scrutiny.  And of course if you are trying to sell Working Lines, you need to make some efforts to achieve working qualifications with them, to prove their worth.


Unless you are trying to sell somebody a puppy, they have absolutely no right to 'demand' a copy of your dog's pedigree from you.  In the interests  of spreading goodwill and breed information, I myself would never have a problem giving anyone a photocopy (as long as it is obvious that it IS only a copy !) of the pedigree of any of my dogs; but I'd not take kindly to a 'demand', even to settle an argument.  Least of all with somebody on 'social media'.



by CritterMama on 09 March 2018 - 21:03

Thanks. :)
Q Man

by Q Man on 10 March 2018 - 01:03

The German Shepherd was designed and bred as a Working Dog...It was to be kept as a Working Dog...If you watered down their working ability you lose a lot of the characteristics that the breed should keep...
There are some Organizations like the SV who require a working title for full breeding rights...Other Organizations from other countries don't have those rules or requirements but the AKC is an All Breed (within the U.S.) Organization within the United States...
The SV...from a German Shepherd Organization and has it's own rules...But they aren't the only German Shepherd Organization in Germany...
No one has the right to demand you show them your dog's pedigree and if you want to share it I would show them a copy...My original Pedigree/Registrations are basically kept under lock and key (not really just in a file cabinet that I don't bring out and keep them safe)...
No one has to explain their dog's pedigree...It's your dog and as long as you have what you like and happy...


by Centurian on 10 March 2018 - 12:03

There are a lot of avenues for a German Shepherds to show what they are made of .... . I have seen many GS Sch titled that I wouldn't give 2 cents for and I have seen many GS non titled that were one hell of a dog that could work .. So much for that ....

      As everyone knows GS are in S&R , Bomb detection , Fire / Incendiary Devices detection [ professional for Insurance companies claims ] , IPO/ Sch , Police and Tactical units , Military , Different Rings Sports , Therapy... Personal Protection .You'd be surprised how many people are brain washed thinking Sch is the be all and end all .. Some people are just so tightly all wound up ! IMOp , titles are a farce.. what matters is who , what the dog is , and what it can and cannot do .. that simple ...


by Hundmutter on 10 March 2018 - 13:03

Guys, the person the OP was being harangued by [on FB] did make the point that (under German rules at least), the OP's bitch would have to have at least SchH I or IPO equivalent in order to be considered 'breedworthy' enough to produce pups from. (I guess we can add HGH to that as an option). I've pointed out that if the OP is in America, she does not have to abide by that if she prefers some other 'work' for her dog/s.  And that there is a lot else (health etc) to worry about before one considers a dog breedworthy.

But if one wishes to abide by the country of origin's proscribed way of doing things, there isn't really a way to get the SV to consider other jobs as of equal value ...? 

by Centurian on 10 March 2018 - 15:03

Nice commentary Hund :
True what you wrote but there are many people and also the organizations in the USA , unless they changed the rules as far as I know [ some one correct me if what I now write is not so ], that many people think that the GS is breed worthy , that is the criteria .. if the dog has An IPO / Sch title. YES health should be the #1 main criteria .
The SV , a polluted , corrupt organization in my opinion always wanting absolute , complete control .. For 20 years I laughed so hard at these people and their Sch titles in the USA. Goodness gracious , 25 + years ago when we were tested to teach Sch , part of our program was not the just the competence aspect of Sch Titling a dog , but more so proving our skill by bringing a temperament , problem , unsound dog , to be able to Sch work !! And how many temperament deficient dogs Sch titled I have seen in my lifetime .. for me .. to many !!
I always thought in the organizations , especially the SV , that you could have a Ring 1 Titled GS and by their standards that did not stipulate that dog was breed worthy . The Ring 1 title was not even recognized at one time in the USA , under the auspices of the SV in a manner of speaking , and that meant in their eyes your Ring titled dog was not breed worthy . The Irony ,is that the Brevet or the Introduction Level and Ring 1 level is more demanding on the dog and exceeds the ability of a Sch 3/IPO 3 requirement IMOp !! . So ... I laughed at Sch 3trained dogs compared to our beginner Brevet and Ring 1 dogs. . But in the GSCA-WDA and the Sch USA , they ask for the Sch / IPO title .. What a farce, what a bunch of hog wash ... I am not bashing Sch as I accept it as a viable , fun sport and recommend it to any one interested in dog sport.

But my point : there is so much CONTROL , MONEY and Ulterior Motives within the dog world , that the dog itself is secondary to the whims of those that are in control. People say : we breed for the betterment of the dog .. That is such a full of SH** comment that I ever heard. Because what I have seen through decades , subjectively .. people breed for the money .. You need a good dog to make good money . Just look at the requirements of some of these titles - they are pitiful ! So much foolishness , hypocrisy exists that it is not even funny. I'd take a super dog any ol' day without or with a title . Either way titled or not .. the dog's genetics are the same ... A side note : If you cannot look at a dog , if you cannot evaluate a dog , and I am assuming that one evaluates what they buy whether it is titled or not , then you have no business even breeding the dog. That is the criteria for breeding .. THE Dog itself , not some piece of paper.

by yogidog on 10 March 2018 - 16:03

I'm in agreement with alot said. But what I have to say is alot of respect is deserved to the people who do iPo with their dogs. The time and commitment that goes into it from iPo1 to ipo3 and further if dog is capable as well as handler is imo super.

by ValK on 10 March 2018 - 18:03

CritterMama, schutzhund isn't and never been criteria of GSD standard. it's rather was established as a tool to evaluate soundness of the dogs to be worthy of initial breed's purpose, which at very beginning was based on usefulness of the GS dogs in police/military and herding applications. therapy dogs, hiking companions, S&R, show or sport competitors, etc. purposes did come much later and of course those did set up quite different requirement for dog's temperaments, physique and abilities.
so, if your plan goes to increase "livestock" of GSDs by breeding dogs in your possession, all depends on your understanding and view on what kind of dogs your breeding program should produce.
very correctly Hundmutter pointed above, all bloodlines at some point did come from one location. if you go far back enough in pedigree of ossis, czech or for that matter any GS dog, you'll reach end in 19 century SZ domain. thus DDR pedigree is just simple paper work with indication where particular dog was born. what did set ossis apart from rest of GSD world was a mindset of society on GSD breed purpose and accordingly approach in selection of the specimens worthy of reproduction.
as Centurian said, SchH/IPO titling had become a farce of enormous scale. such huge that created full scale industry of "paid for" trainers, canine psychologists/behaviorists and so on. did it help for breed betterment? absolutely no. but it helps dishonest breeders to hide weakness of their brood bitches and stud dogs and multiply weak dogs but at same time gain top sale price for offsprings of these "titled" dogs, regardless of what sort of crap they produce.
so bottom line is - all in your hands and how honest you are to yourself. from that will come results of your effort and you'll become either good breeder or one in breeding for easy money grab.

b.t.w. i'm not really sure i understand what issue do you have with showing your dogs pedigrees? i guess 3 dogs, you did enter in this data base are yours and i don't see problems if you provide links to any one who asked for. my thought on this is - it's just information on factual data which do not care any obligations and responsibilities others that to be correct.


by Jessejones on 10 March 2018 - 22:03

Crittermama, if I understand the issue correctly, I think there is no right or wrong in this discussion.
For example, how one thinks about this issue will depend on where you are from.
If you are from Germany, then your dogs will have to be tested, and the SV and other groups, do that testing in order that you get the ok to even breed your dog.
Historically, von Stephanitz created the standard to be, and to remain, a true all-around working dog. In Germany, this is done through the SV and other clubs and SchH. In the DDR too, at first along with the SV, but then they split around 1950 with the DDR creating their own. Still, there was a lot of testing and documentation done in the DDR, through testing for breeding rights and also testing of all pups from those litters, of which some years up to 70% of pups born where tested (Nachzuchtbeurteilung). There was incredible cross referencing going on so that inherited traits - (mostly only from sires as they often produced hundreds of offspring vs the females that could only produce 1-3 litters per lifetime) could better predict outcomes of potential matings with particular dams. Each registered dog was tested and had a 6 digit number after his name which was a system to identify the traits of this dog (wertmessziffer) as a grading system of traits from type, constitution, conformation, sportiness, or hard or soft. So with one glance at these numbers, one would know all aspects of the dog without even seeing him in person. This incredible wealth of info could never been collect without this system of tests or schH.
At this time, perhaps a bit too much emphasis is placed on the bite work aspect,in some arenas of schH, as it is the most adrenalin producing part, but in my opinion, more needs to be placed in a Wesenstest (character test) which I think the SV is starting to finally push in the last few years.
One has to understand Germany (which includes the former DDR-East Germany) in order to appreciate this dedication to the breed... And the talent for organization of the Germans, is matched perhaps only by Switzerland and very few others.
Germany was historically, and still is, very organized in all things...and one can not easily draw outside of the lines. In Germany, organization and orderliness was/is considered to be for the good of the majortity...and individual rights were not considered as important as things that are “good for the majority”. Why is this? Because Germany is a small country (land wise) with a high density population and good organization was/is necessary for the best outcome and a high quality of life.
If, however, you are from another country like the USA, there is simply historically less organization and less history even. And distances and land-mass are huge. The rights of the individual to do what they wanted to do was strong in the psyche of the people, survival was all were immigrants at one time (except Native-Americans), life was hard, and people were constantly fighting a rough wild terrain that had not yet been settled. The West Coast only began being settled to a large degree in the early 20th century.
So yes, to your point as well. Since there is not really an alternative in the USA as there are too few SV, or other types of dog clubs, to even join to test even if you wanted to. In Germany, there is a club in almost every small town or village.
Over the years other things have, and continue, to pop up like Obedience and Agility....which is fine and a good thing. A shepherd does need to work, even if as a therapy dog, SAR, or even just backyard training sessions with YouTube. But as for breeding GSDs, personally I do prefer a when an official testing or Körung system is used for conformation, athleticism and trainability, but ideally with more emphasis on character (Wesen) as well in the future moving forward. Is schH perfect...absolutely not and hopefully it will keep evolving to the better. My info on the DDR system may need correcting, especially from ex-DDR breeders that are reading.


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