Newbie questions on working v. show lines and pedigree - Page 1

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by KKB on 23 November 2022 - 15:11


Could someone help me understand how you tell if your GSD comes from working lines or show lines, and what the difference is between them? I see many references to West German show lines. Is there such a thing as East German show lines? I understand that American show lines are a whole different thing?

Second question (and I apologize in advance if this is too broad): When looking at a Pedigree, is there a way to tell if your dog comes from good lines, or does that just come with experience?

I'm very new at this, and appreciate anyone taking the time to respond. Here is my dog's pedigree if that helps:

(I realize the picture could be better. Working on getting one with me out of the way.)

Thank you!


by Rik on 23 November 2022 - 20:11

your dog would be considered as coming from WG S/L.


by joepetak11 on 24 November 2022 - 04:11

Second question :-

Yes, look for titles.
Example, Titles in front of the name reflects show titles, such as : CH, V Rated, CAC.
Titles behind the name reflects working titles, such as : BH, IPO 1

If the Sire & Dam is from a good bloodline, titles will reveal them for you.

Q Man

by Q Man on 24 November 2022 - 12:11

I am not a Showline person...but...You can look at what organization the dog or dogs are registered with...For instance...SV...AKC (DN) and so on...But this is just an indication because a dog can be registered in a lot of different organizations...
Just because a dog is registered with a particular organization doesn't mean they're from that country or their bloodlines are from that country...To know more about what the dog is you have to know a dog's pedigree and then the particular dogs behind them...Experience gives you a lot of the answers...but...
You can go back farther in a dog's pedigree and see there's a mix of bloodlines...So what do you call a dog them....


by Klossbruhe on 24 November 2022 - 13:11

The dog in the topline and rear has the look of an American GSD but he clearly has a bit of German in him. A fontal picture of his head would be useful. Up front, his ancestors are American and Slavic. However, further back there are German show line dogs. But the only notable German showline dog in the pedigree in the first 3 generations is Sultan von der Jahnhohe, a good dog bred by Johann Mayer of Bavaria The rest are just average showline dogs. There are no "East German" and workling lines dogs in his background. (There are no more East German dogs. It has been 33 years since unification. There are still dogs which retain some of the looks of the old East lines, but most of these come from the Czech Republic)

Your dog is line bred on 2 Siegers Pakros d'Ulmental and Vegas du Haut Mansard, but that is pretty far back and he is unlikely to have much of either of them in him


by Sunsilver on 24 November 2022 - 13:11

I see many references to West German show lines. Is there such a thing as East German show lines?

No, the East German dogs ceased to exist as a separate line when Germany was reunited. Until then, they had their own registry, with the initials DDR. These dogs would be considered working line, and you will see them in many working line pedigrees, especially Czech/Slovak lines.

I understand that American show lines are a whole different thing?

Up until about 1967, the American and German lines were pretty much the same. Then in 1967, a dog named Lance of Fran-Jo was chosen as the top American show dog. Everyone went crazy breeding to him and his sons, and the look of the American dogs changed. They had upright fronts, and lots of angulation in the hind legs. The other thing that helped create the split was the American and Canadian Kennel clubs no longer allowed their dogs to be trained in bite sports. In Germany, Schutzhund was the test of breed-worthiness - you couldn't breed your dog without at least a Schutzhund 1 degree.

The split between German show lines and working lines happened later on, when the Martin brothers began breeding a type of dog that was black and red and had an arch in its back. The show lines also became more angulated, in imitation of the American dogs.

mrdarcy (admin)

by mrdarcy on 24 November 2022 - 14:11

KKB you have some good photos in your gallery and looks like you do something with your dog...tracking photo??

by gsilas on 24 November 2022 - 18:11

This dog is a working line showline cross. It’s mostly showlines. The Damn is half west German show line, half ddr.


by KKB on 25 November 2022 - 14:11

Thank you to everyone for responding. You are so helpful and gracious to a newcomer, and it's appreciated.

@joepetak11: Thank you for explaining about what the titles before and after the names mean. That makes sense.

@Klossbruhe: I have some (what I think are) frontal pictures of his head in my gallery. Are they what you're looking for? Would a better stack show his conformation better? Thank you for your insight and comments on the dogs in his pedigree.

@Sunsilver: Thank you for your answers to my questions. Your explanations are very helpful!

@mrdarcy: Yes, that's a tracking photo. We are still in the learning phase, but it seems to be his forte. I hope to title him in it this coming year, but hope to put it to some practical use as well.
I've been doing nosework with him over the last couple of years and he pretty much blew through the levels at AKC. (We don't have other organization's venues close to us.) Just finished his Master titles in odor and handler discrimination and now working on Detective. He's the very first dog I've ever done any competiton with, and in spite of having an inexperienced handler, is doing very well. I've been trying out the obedience sports too.

Temperament wise, he's rock solid to the standard.

@gsilas: Now that I know what ddr means, does that add working ability to the line? My understanding of show line vs. working line is the level of drive and intensity? Is that correct?

mrdarcy (admin)

by mrdarcy on 25 November 2022 - 14:11

Good for you KKB and your dog and well done on your achievements thus far!


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