German Shepherd Dog > Experiences from breeding showlines with working lines (158 replies)
Experiences from breeding showlines with working lines
by Petros on 25 February 2012 - 21:14
|I hear many times that "The German Shepherd dog breed is ONE breed" yet there are the German showlines, the DDR/Czech woriking lines, the West Germany woriking lines, etc". Has anyone any info regarding crosses and breedings between the show and working lines and what were the results. Why there is no attempt by breeders to try to make the lines ONE breed as it was in the past? I hear many people complain about ecxessive type in both lines....SO? Any info regarding cross breeding between the lines?|
by Ibrahim on 25 February 2012 - 21:38
|Yes courageous breeders who did this and still do are there working hard for ONE beautiful versatile balanced GSD to the standard in health, trot, temperament & service, it probably needs several generations to start paying off in producing both show and actual work utility dogs from same litter on consistent basis, it takes guts, knowledge and hard research on lines from patient breeders to do it and achieve consistent results. Hopefully you'll hear from some of these breeders and we all learn from their experiences whether positive or negative results were achieved and why.|
by elisabeth00117 on 25 February 2012 - 21:54
|Not a breeder, but I do own and work a show/working cross who is almost 3 years old.|
My male has a strong working pedigree and I feel that carries a lot of what I see in terms of working ability.
We train in a few venues, schutzhund being our main focus. He has done agility and obedience and has his HIC and will continue with lessons in herding as well (tending).
I will start off by saying that I love my boy with my whole heart and I now enjoy working with him a lot.
It was a hard start. He lacked the drive, motivation and willingness to work for me as a younger dog. I did A LOT of drive building, and still do before a working session. He does not have much of a toy/ball/tug drive so finding what worked for him (and me) was hard. He has extremely low food drive as well. He is also very independent and would much rather be tracking than doing obedience.
At almost 3 years old, he is now just getting ready for his BH in the spring. He is not a flashy dog at all, but the fact that he is at a point where he will work with me is a great start.
He has great nerve, totally sound with his environment, I did a lot of socializing as a pup/dog and still do (we live smack dap in the middle of a huge city in Canada) but I don't think it really would of mattered. Nothing phases him. He was a bit reactive as a pup but I have come to learn that it was a training issue (me allowing him to get away with things) as I have worked with many people in and out of the schH world regarding the issue (which was not really an issue to begin with.. lol).
He has great stamina, okay structure (weak pastures, cow hocked and easty-westy) but his temperament is spot on. Great with other dogs, people and especially kids.
He has medium to high thresholds and is quick to jump from prey to defense, but settles within milaseconds if the threat is gone/netural. He is very much a thinker.
I now have a young female (1/2 Czech, 1/4 DDR, 1/4 WG) who is what I would consider an amazing working dog. She is still young but excelling in schH s far. Rock soild dog and an amazing worker.
I am all for breeding with a goal in mind and using the different lines, but I would like to see breeders really put thought into what is being produced and how to accomplish that. My male is great, but for me personally, I perfer a little more... I like my working lines.
by GSD2727 on 25 February 2012 - 23:18
|My foundation bitch was a working x show cross. Here is her pedigree. http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/dog.html?id=120782 you can also see all of her titles (including SchH3 IPO3 SG show rating Kkl2). Her mother was from old German show lines and her father was from mostly Working lines. She also had another sister who was titled to a SchH1 and two brothers who were working police K9's. |
I took her and bred her to a working line males.... she produced police dogs, SchH dogs, therapy dogs, various performance dogs and great pets. I kept a puppy (making her 1/4 show 3/4 working lines) http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/dog.html?id=124865 She also titled to SchH3 as well.
I bred that female to working line males... she also produced police dogs, SchH dogs, SAR dogs, therapy dogs, various performance dogs and great pets. I kept a puppy from one of the litters... the father of the litter was technically 3/4 working lines 1/4 show lines - so that makes my Drama about 1/4 show and 3/4 working lines also. http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/dog.html?id=492183 She is SG show rated, has her SchH1 and AD and is Kkl1. I hope to finish her SchH2/3 later this year after she is done with puppies.
While my preference lies with working lines, I have had very good results and really love what these lines have produced. I think that there is some real value in mixing the two lines if it is done correctly! You cannot take a show line dog who has no working ability and breed it to an ugly working line dog hoping for the best of both worlds. You need to start with a show line dog who can work and a working line dog who is correct in structure.
All of the above dogs have had excellent drives, high biddability/desire to work, good work ethic, good working structure, etc...
I have seen some other very nice working x show crosses over the years... Some people are dead against combining the lines.. while others have had good results doing it. Some big kennels in Germany also make the crosses sometimes.
by macrowe1 on 25 February 2012 - 23:35
|I have a show/working cross. She's great. Good drive, even temperment, still can live in the house and be lazy. Small and petite like working, black and red like most show. Gaits beautifully, full bites.|
by Rass on 25 February 2012 - 23:43
|The problem is that since the Martin Brothers (one of them headed up the SV) the show lines have weakened to being all about looks. NOT all show lines are this way.. but it is a problem. Raiser has not helped it either. |
Before the Martin Bros. there were show lines and working lines but they were not so far apart as they are today. Fact is, from its founding days, there have been show lines and working lines. The difference back then was when it came to doing work, the difference was not so great.
Today the difference is marked. Dogs like Zambo (2011 World Universal Seiger), Griff and a few others buck the mold.. but for the most part, the difference in endurance and fight drive (combat drive) from working lines is HUGE. The issue with the working lines is breeding for prey drive more than combat drive and so drives are out of balance.
When you breed two animals of the same species that are very very different, the first generation tends to show a proclivity toward one or the other parent. So, in your show line/working line cross you may end up with a phenotype that LOOKS better but lacks work ethic OR a type that looks like a working dog that won't work.. or dogs that will work. You should NEVER have to BUILD DRIVE. It should be (like the commercial says) "in there" from the get go.
So.. from the F1 generation of dog, you need to go back and line breed to build either conformation or work ethic. If you have a wonderful looking dog that has little work ethic in the F1 then you back cross (line breed) to the working lines to try to produce a nicer conformation dog with the endurance and work ethic. If you F1 has great work ethic but looks like a working dog.. you may want to back cross on show lines.
I have thought about this a LOT and the thing you need is time. You need to be able to take that first generation dog and back cross it on working lines.. and honestly.. it will take a LOT of time (generations) to build a dog that has both the SL conformation and WL stamina and drives.. and have it be there consistantly.
Can it be done? sure. It just takes sticking to it and making sure all the dogs that do NOT fit the entire mold along the way are placed in great homes.
After all, Doberman created his breed in his lifetime.
by joanro on 26 February 2012 - 02:37
|Sounds like you're taking two different breeds to create a new one. Doberman didn't use totally divergent types to create his breed, so it didn't take as long as it will take to create your proposed breed.|
by TingiesandTails on 26 February 2012 - 02:53
|I have had German Shepherd Dogs in Germany since 1972 - there is no such thing as "Old German showlines"! Before the 1980's there was a stronger unity in judging Schutzhund dogs and the dog was bred and sold as working dog, at least in Germany.|
With the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989 Chech and DDR lines were available for the Western world and influenced mainly breeders that were looking for a harder dog, mainly because most of the Chech and DDR dogs originated in police and border patrol.
Some of these dogs though didn't have the versatility that the original GSD should have portrait, as their hardness was good for police work, but not suitable for family protection.
Oh, by the way, that was before the term "fur baby" .
Unfortunately "pretty" dogs with darker red colours (see discussions on GSD genetics on the pedigree database board) and bigger heads mostly weren't as workable anymore.
Now, we can't even use the word "Schutzhund" anymore, apparently the dog is not allowed be called protection dog anymore, and trial rules have watered down the challenge of this workability test.
Obviously I'm a working dog person. If my dog has strong nerves, good grip, is of medium size, medium weight, is healthy, I really don't care about the coat colour.
And...if I go back to the "really old German lines", sable is just perfect for me.
Why would I want to compromise?
by GSD2727 on 26 February 2012 - 04:22
|I said "old German show lines" meaning that the dog was linebred on Canto/Quanto but did not carry the lines/dogs that you see today. She did not carry Uran/Quando/Palme or any of the "newer dogs" that show up so many times in today's show line pedigrees.|
by Petros on 29 February 2012 - 09:25
|Thank you ALL for your inputs. I hear all the time the show lines lack drive and working lines lack conformation. And i have wondered why these attempts do not happen more often.....Or do you think that the differentiation of the lines serves better our world today as show lines are used mostly for pets and shows and working lines almost 100% for work?|
by joanro on 29 February 2012 - 09:43
|The conformation of the two lines is what differentiates them in workability, structurally. Crossing the lines to cause the WL to have the same extremes in build as SLs will render them useless for their work. The two lines are fundamentally two different breeds. It has taken many generations to get them to this point and attempting to undo what many, many people have worked diligently to maintain(two totally separate lines or breeds) would be be the ruination of the real GSD.|
by Bob McKown on 29 February 2012 - 15:27
and I quote:
"Raiser has not helped it either"
Raiser is one of the few in Germany who absolutely know what it will take to save the breed and the true direction it needs to go. Your comment show,s lack of knowledge and vision...
by GSD2727 on 29 February 2012 - 15:48
|Petros, IMO the working line dogs should still be able to make good pets/companions as that is where most of the puppies end up! Even if someone works the dog, it often still lives in the house with the family. My high drive working line dogs are awesome pets/companions, wonderful with my 2 1/2 year old daughter and are pleasant to have in the house. A good working line dog should have an "on/off switch"... be able to turn it on when it is time to work, turn it off when it is time to relax. My two SchH girls are laying beside me right now relaxing. If I were to stand up and say "lets go" it would be a race for the door lol |
Of course if a pet owner is wanting a couch potato who does nothing all day, the GSD breed is not for them. But there is no reason a good working line dog cannot make a good active family companion.
by vomtreuenhaus on 29 February 2012 - 15:52
|Joanro, your post made alot of sense. Let those who want to breed for show/pet purpose breed for just that and get by with their titles and health requirements. And let those breeding for sport/work do the same.|
It sucks that the breed is so divided, but it is what it is. Border Collies have the same issues and arguments as we all do with GSDs.
by Silbersee on 29 February 2012 - 20:28
|I like Margit van Dorssen's Lotte von Arlett: http://www.working-dog.eu/dogs-details/70368/Lotte-von-Arlett|
by Silbersee on 29 February 2012 - 20:44
|And when you look at Lotte's first litter (under "Nachkommen" - offspring), you will see that Margit took her to another show-workingline cross male (Hoogan vom Vorderhain who was also shown at the German Sieger Show and at the LGA and the German Youth Championship to 11th place) and got two really nice black females out of that breeding. Very promising! Way to go!|
I have mentioned it here on the PDB a few years ago and will do it again: Big name breeders in Germany have done some of these crosses and work to refine it. I have talked to a known breeder in Germany about it and he said that these will be the dogs with a future - not the overangulated dogs with weak hocks (this was a direct quote). Margit's breeding with Lotte is just one example, there will be more. Just see how many showline breeders used Javir. They just do not advertise these kind of breedings but rather do it silently and continue with it - thank god!
By the way, Lotte is not an accident. I know her brother Levis as well. A nice V-rated male with super bitework and great personality! I spent a day with him a few years ago in Germany. http://www.working-dog.eu/dogs-details/490604/Levis-von-Arlett
by beetree on 29 February 2012 - 21:15
|I always did like you Silbersee. I am glad some breeders don't feel the need to toot their own horn, but rather let the dogs speak for themselves.|
by Blitzen on 01 March 2012 - 00:24
|Beautiful dogs, Chris. Looks like they both got the best of both "lines". Are you breeding showlines x workinglines too?|
by Silbersee on 01 March 2012 - 14:23
|Thanks beetree! The feeling is mutual ;-)|
Yes, Blitzen. I have done a cross - my T-litter, born in December of 2008. They were out of VA-Arko vom Butjenter Land and my workingline foundation dam V-Chuckie vom Schloß Laer. Chuckie is now retired and lives a happy farm life but she was one of these rare producers. In my opinion, one of the best workingline females to come to this country. If I would have had more space, time and supporters, most of the puppies she produced would have stayed.
We kept 3 females back from that T-litter. Taiga went to Germany at about 5 months but the guy who had her sold her to DVG-people because she was a bit small. For the same reason, I sold our Tanja to a law enforcement officer as a personal companion. Trixi went to a good friend of mine in upstate New York and works in Search and Rescue. Tillie is also active in AKC sports, rallye and agility and holds a few titles. A couple of regulars here know her better than I do.
So, I ended up not keeping anything out of that litter because my choices were a bit too small and compact in size for my taste as a breeding female but I really liked that litter in uniformity and temperament. I won't hesitate to do such a cross again but the dogs should be matched up wisely. It is best to use proven and consistent producers, so there is predictability (is that the right word, lol).
Here is a list with photos of the T-litter (just scroll down to the litter out of VA-Arko vom Butjenter Land): http://www.pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/dog.html?id=400203&p=progeny
by skyhorse on 01 March 2012 - 17:37
|Showlines can potentially be "improved" by breeding into working lines. Will take many generationes (to remove wierd hind ends) Get that. Don't get that working lines need anything from showlines. The working lines are very diverse and have plenty of pet-quality offspring available for the average owner.|