Saturday, July 4, 2015

My American GSD

My gorgeous American show line dog
Most people look at Jedi and see a German shepherd dog. Period. German shepherd people, however, like categorized German shepherds. They ask things like "Show lines or working lines? American, German or Czech?" So what does this mean?
Many Herding breeds and Working breeds are divided into show lines and working lines. Basically, this depends on the primary reason the dog was bred.
  • Show line breeders emphasize conformation to the breed standard. Height, weight, proportion, angulation, gait, coat color and texture are all important.
  • Working line breeders emphasize function, drive, instinct and performance.
The truth is, you'll never get a perfect dog. A show breeder may choose a dog with a lower energy level and weak instincts as long as the conformation is correct. A working line breeder, however, may choose a misproportioned, poorly coated dog if it has the right drive to do what needs to be done. It should be noted that a responsible breeder always breeds for health and temperament above all else.

Country of origin can make a difference too. European German shepherds tend to have a higher drive and can be more aggressive (especially if they aren't working enough). Most police dogs and protection dogs have European roots. American dogs (both U.S. and Canada) tend to have lower energy levels and -- dare I say? -- are much prettier. Please note: All these are generalized statements. You can always find a dog that doesn't follow the norm. I have seen beautiful European dogs in the show ring and I have seen American dogs kick ass in herding and protection sports. Even better, I have seen well-rounded dogs with both conformation and working titles.

So, does it matter? Some people think it does. Some people will even vehemently argue that one group is better and the other is "ruining the German shepherd dog." I recommend you avoid those people. However, if you're looking to add a German shepherd to your life you should take these things into consideration depending on what you want to do with the dog. And ask the breeder what traits she was looking to pass on when she chose to pair up those two dogs.

It's Sepia Saturday! We are joining Ruckus the Eskie and Earl's World as we share what's on our mind with an auburn hue. Click around and see what others are sharing today! -- K

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