by Hundmutter on 09 June 2019 - 20:06
OP, in view of what some posters have said, perhaps I should clarify:
I am writing to you from the UK. Your post could have come from anywhere, to me it read possibly as from Europe somewhere, and not necessarily from the US (despite the majority of participants on PDB being American.) So its not surprising if my take on these German mainly S/L breedings is a European one.
There is still no distinct & rigid dividing line between show stock and competition dogs on this side of the Pond, unlike in the USA where more dogs than not seem to be competely split between Working (and it seems for that matter all other aptitudes for competition / physical activities), and Show dogs. (Or middle road dogs of mixed lines, that to a great extent do neither).
Though in-depth knowledge of Showing is often thin on the ground, and relies as much as anything on the impressions of the history of the AKC Shows and what is expected there, than it does on possibly the better comparability of the SV competitions put on by American affiliates to the German system, where I understand more 'working' qualifications are required to even enter your dog. But you do not have to have a 'podium dog' to achieve Entry, just one that can give a reasonable showing of itself. There are always lots of also-rans in competition, and we have seen some of them do surprisingly well, nonetheless, in Conformation ! Nobody should expect to win, on either route, with their first Shepherd - although of course some do get lucky.
It is true that unless you go this route in America, your chances of winning reduce; your average very Germanic / International type dog [without working training] will not get far in the all-breeds US Showring, as it is almost certain to be overlooked in favour of the more 'American' style of showdog - but hey, stranger things have been known and some people have occasionally been placed with more 'International type' animals. Might just depend on the Judge on the day.
If you are in the UK you would not need to worry about this, at least in the early part of your dog's life, since even our SV affiliated Clubs do not demand much in terms of working qualifications. (Not saying in my opinion that should not be stricter !) Cannot speak about other European countries' Rules, as not familiar with those. I think your best bet would be: do some more research, find out about normal Showing requirements in your own area.
Although it is true that the ideal GSD should be 'kept as a working dog', the specifics of what is entailed in that are less transparent. Views vary as to what constitutes a 'working' dog. Some see this as ONLY GSDs which can pass at least Grade 1 of what is today called IPO, some set the bar 'higher' and think every dog should do personal protection bitework and be trained to Police levels, some set the level of expectation somewhat below those...there is NO reason most of the breed (and CERTAINLY European-bred dogs) should not be able to at least have a go at IPO, OR stuff like Rally, ordinary Obedience competitions, dock-diving, Agility or any other bloody discipline. How GOOD the individual dog gets at whatever it competes in relies on a LOT of factors, not just the natural aptitude and trainability of the breed, nor of whether it comes from 'Show' or 'Work' "lines". (Handlers and Trainers abilities, health setbacks, even diet [!], included.) If it is necessary for your pup to do first level IPO or at least a BH and/or AD before they will let you enter a conformation competition wherever you live, then you must be able to at least do some basic Training for that.
It occurs to me that if we always treat all of the breed as tho' it cannot be that all-rounder dog originally intended, there is no surer way to make the 'split' happen universally. I do not wish to see that happen - JMO.
by GSCat on 11 June 2019 - 07:06
Talk to the breeder. If the breeder is honest/reputable he/she can advise you about the litters, as he/she chose the matings. He/she should also be able to match the correct puppy (if any) out of the litter for the purpose you want. The puppies in every litter are all different, although there will also be consistencies. It is also possible that a specific litter won't have a puppy in it that will be suitable for your intended purpose and you would need to wait for another litter. An honest/reputable breeder will tell you so there isn't a mismatch causing both you and the puppy misery. An honest/reputable breeder cares about the puppies, even after sale, and works hard to match puppy(ies) with buyers :)
When I got my dog, the breeder I chose had two litters that would have likely produced puppy(ies) good for my intended purposes, but after digging into the specific pedigrees, one of the litters was more to my liking. My breeder agreed with my reasoning and picked the perfect puppy out of that litter for what I wanted :)
by Nans gsd on 11 June 2019 - 16:06
I would definitely attend some shows also, AKC, UKC, SV whatever you can find in your area and possibly join a training club or kennel club. Good Luck.
ps before your puppy arrives.
by rawmilkandhoney on 12 June 2019 - 16:06
by Centurian on 12 June 2019 - 20:06
As I wrote in another thread , think about exactly what you want. Without being or intending to offend anyone , my personal opinion and advice : don't even think about purchasing an American Line GS .. I did not say American bred for many GS have been imported from Europe and bred - those pups born in USA are American Born . Again I said American Line . Like you often see in the AKC shows . Several times GS have place #1 in the National USA AKC Shows [ Westminitster] - I can tell you with certainty when I saw those GS tkae #1 position , I laughed so hard . There was not one dam feature that was correct in their entire structure .
Decide if you want a LH or not. I have seen some superb LH get very good ratings in the USA at SV type Shows. Years ago I had a LH that had VA Structure from Odin Tannemiese / Jeck Noricum but unfortuntely at that time LH were not show material.
Ok .. I am quite familiar with those dogs that you named..... but if you are deciding about the puppy , ask the breeder to send to you pictures of the pup in stack posture at 6-7 weeks old. That is when I pick my puppies . I cannot give to you a seminar , although I would love to do that , but in short on the PDB there was a thread years ago that gave a link . Thislink had pics of a 6 week pup with perfect structure . If you cannot find it then PM me and I will try to get to you those pictures or that thread site. [ Also there are probably DVD's about the GS structure - if you buy that DVD then you will better know what to look for ] . If not aks the breeder to help you in what you want to achoeve. That is good advice also for people that want a dog from a working line too !!
The best thing to do is see the pup at 6.5 weeks . [ have some one knowledgeable help if possible . ]Aside from structure you can get a handle on the emerging temperament - although sometimes the pups change a bit from day to day at that point in developing . If your primary goal is showing , the most important feature is for you to see how the puppy moves going striaght ahead. Because , the movement will validate whether the pup has the structure that you will want for showing. Or if you see two pups very very close in structure the one with the better movement would be the one you choose for specifically showing.
I had a German SL pup 6 years ago and I showed him in many AKC shows but even as a young pup at the right time I showed him in the German style shows 3 mo, 6 mo, 1 year , 1.8 year and adult classes . The AKC showing was to keep him practiced in the ring. He took always 1st place in the AKC shows and came in first in all but 1 of his German Syle shows. . If you have a spectacular dog , with fair judging you have a chance still in AKC shows , even though you compete with those awful AKC American Line structured GS . A well put together GS can do well in both type of showing style events. But keep in mind the show handling is different from one to the other. I got away with the AKC showing because at a certain age all thatbi nhad to do is heelthe dog withn attention but at a trot when I showed AKC. So to the dog he could handle [ no pun intended] b oth styes of handling. For German style show handling I taught him a cue that meant " gait ahead " . The AKC Judges were in awe of him and any one seeing a great structured GS , they have would also be amazed .
So ... Good Luck
by Centurian on 12 June 2019 - 22:06
GSD Puppy Conformation - picking the right puppy - page 1
by rawmilkandhoney on 13 June 2019 - 00:06
by hexe on 13 June 2019 - 01:06
They're not necessarily going to be a 'hard' dog comparable to [some] of the Euro working line dogs, but they're also more suitable for placement in an average American family who just wants a sound, stable pet that will alert them to intruders than those 'hard' Euro working line dogs.
And there's not a damn thing wrong with that. As the saying goes, 'Courses for horses.'
by Hundmutter on 13 June 2019 - 07:06
Hexe, I think there are two problems there: one is that it isn't always obvious who those breeders are and what they are producing, for those newbie buyers who do not first do their research / homework on the breed and what is being produced. If they are not inquiring into the breed at all, and so many are not, then they are certainly not haunting the AKC Show circuit studying young, successful (?) dogs, and learning to distinguish between Show breeders for themselves; they are just - maybe, only maybe - hearing descriptions from the Working side through competition and Clubs, or individual Trainers. Much of that is so obviously generally negative about the Showlines.
Secondly, on conformation alone, (and there are all sorts of other attached issues like nerve strength, correct dentition, yada yada yada), I have to defend & promote International ''type'' here; it may not be perfect, it may have become largely 'cookie cutter', some breeders may have produced spines that were too hinged or curved, or dogs with hocks too loose (though the latter has never been confined to any ONE Show type, has it ?). But it is still closer to what was demanded of the original German dog than the travesty of shape which evolved in the AKC scene. That structure may technically be 'sound', but is it also 'correct' ? I would argue not; just as I would with UK dogs of 'alsatian' type.
And sure, a lot is to do with 'show stance'; but for want of a fuller description, that overlong neck and/or back, in relation to leg length, is always overlong (and often 'dippy') and cannot easily be hidden.
by Centurian on 13 June 2019 - 18:06
Hexe ...... what many people fail to undersatand in the American nline , aside from that they do not understand the structure abd related mechanics is the movement. Just look and compare the American Line GS to any other country's GS . The American Line if we dismiss talking about the structure point blank , has the worst movement a dog could ever have. Not being critical or putting any GS down ... but dogs do not run on their rear hind legs like rabbits do . If you understand movement in these dogs , you will always see the imbalance of the front part of the carriage with the rear part of the carraige. There is a discrepancy of movement from the front of the dog to it's rear and vice a verse. A whole two dfay seminar can be given about structure and movement.
My purpose in posting this is again not to critisize but to educate people about the GS . I will tell you one thing : when I had brought my male GS to the local AKC shows , even in his youth , people came over to me to talk that showed and bred the American Line GS. After they saw my GS in show , movement , structure , and temperament --- several said they were not going to breed their stock but switch over to the European GSs. When they actually saw a well put together GS dog , they were awestruck and then they understood .. about structure , movement etc when they saw him perform in the ring .
However , I never told them nor do I think they understood that they were looking at VA quality GS in USA . People who knew nothing about the GS, knew the American GS in that ring did not even start to measure up to him in structure .. And the judges , who you would think would not have place him well , knew they were looking at something at a whole different level of a GS compared to the American Lines , Theoretically for what the judges typically are looking for in American Line GS he should not have done well . But they always gave him 1st place on many occasions from 6 months to 2 years in the showing the difference in quality of a dog's structure and movement was that apparent..