old style vs. show bred gsd

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Member Since
Barked: Mon Jan 14, '13 3:14pm PST 
wondering what the major differences are between the two. other than the obvious height an frame.
are show bred dogs with health testing as good a choice as an old style with health testing?
what is the better choice for a psd?

i was previously considering a shiloh shepherd but am now thinking of going with a smaller dog. I am very set on having a protection breed of dog (obviously with lower instinct) as this is what I am familiar with and enjoy most in a dog.

as a side note does anyone here have a rotti psd or have experiances to share? im pretty unfamiliar with that breed.

If i was to choose a shepherd from a rescue what are warning signs to watch out for? would i still just base the decision off the volhard test? (obviously will be employing a trainer also but just wondering what thoughts are and who has experiance with it).

Also I am now looking for an older dog (6-18mth) as reccomended previously on this forum =)
If anyone knows of great breeders in canada or the us id love to hear! Thanks so much guys!

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 12:03am PST 
I kept meaning to get to this but haven't had the time. First off I think you'll likely be happier with a shepherd in the long run and hope that we can help you locate the right breeder or rescue for your needs. I can't remember right off hand if you needed a dog that could also do mobility work or not but that will affect your choice of breeders. Personally I'm not a fan of show line shepherds... that said I won't move you away from them.

For a psd either line of shepherd would work as long as the temperament is tested completely. In my personal experience show lined shepherds can tend to be very sharp, but the 'old style' shepherd tends to be soft and of such low drive it can sometimes be harder to train them.

I seriously recommend that you take this question to the choosing a breed board and ask for some recommendations of shepherd breeders in your area. I'm primarily familiar with working lined breeders in the USA so I won't be as much help. I do know a few old style breeders in the US that might be able to give you names of breeders nearer to you that might work for you.

As for temperament testing I recommend that you find the trainer that you'll be working with and have them help do the temperament testing because done wrong temperament testing can be worse than no testing at all. Not to mention that a trainer who has worked with a large number of dogs is going to have a better sense of what will work or what won't.

If you're going through a rescue be prepared to do some health testing first thing, and make sure it's a rescue that will be willing to work with you. Ideally you could find a rescue that would allow you to foster for a few months to see if it will be a dog that will work for you and your needs. That will take out some of the risk. Look for dogs with known pasts ideally, dogs who have been in family situations and haven't been released for any major behavior issues.

Again feel free to email me and I'll try to put you in contact with a few people who might be able to help.

~Jeanene and Happy
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Sat Jan 19, '13 10:55pm PST 
Keep in mind, there's also American show line vs. West German show line, two very different things, as well as the various working lines of GSD...

Member Since
Barked: Sun Jan 20, '13 5:59am PST 
thanks so much for your help!

i will deffinatly ask on the breed forum. I think a 'sharper' dog is more my style. I do want a dog who has energy though - who gets excited to see me and likes to play and is generally enthusiastic about life - but who has the mind to differenciate play time, work time, and when were just relaxing. I also want a dog who is very loyal - but who will tolerent strangers obviously.

I am deffinatly planning on working with a trainer - Im just hoping to get a really good sence of what Im looking for in a dog. Im staying with my mom right now and her golden has convinced that that'sI deffinatly not what I want - but Im falling in love with the neighbors mutt who is mostly shepherd (looks like an old style and is very dominant) whom I walk everyday. Deffinatly theyre two oposites - but it's really helping me narrow down qualities I want and the ones I dont.

And thanks for the information about rescuing. Do rescues allow you to health test before adopting - or while fostering? Fostering is a great idea though - thanks for the sujestion!

Edited by author Sun Jan 20, '13 6:06am PST