The German Shepherd Guide is a total resource for everything German Shepherd dog!
Whoa! A ton of work went into creating this guide.
I’m aware of most of the breeders and individuals responsible for this site.
And while it is a well thought out, useful basic resource… said breeders and individuals involved are certainly married to their “types” and hold strong to their own biases.
Using the Joy Tiz article on temperament is a laugh. Anyone claiming IPO (and to a lesser extent herding) are the only “true” test of a dogs breeding worth frankly has their head in a nice, dark hole of which they probably should stay put, lest they hurt themselves ;)
It would have been nice, for instance, if they took the time to ask for or include a contribution from individuals like Jim Moses, one of the Alta-Tollhaus crew or maybe one of Karl Fueller’s studies (if there are any left to talk).
There is more to the GSD than IPO and black sables, after all.
I know some of the folks who created the guide as well (the dog world is very, very small in Canada); sure, they have their (strong) personal opinions (or biases) on what constitutes a good GSD. So does every GSD owner on the planet; myself included. However, I sincerely appreciate the work that these folks put into a *free* online resource; no, it’s not the only source you will ever need on GSDs (what resource is?) but it provides beginners with an entry point so that they can do in-depth research to form their own opinions. Of course, I’ll read anything that Cliff writes on GSDs.
My only issue is, they are very strongly representing a very small sample of GSDs.
If this is a guide written for the casual owner, then why the emphasis on the “correctness” of the GSD as a working animal?
Again, there is more to this dog than just an IPO or sport dog. The vast, vast majority of GSDs on this planet are NOT working dogs… and frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. The strong insinuation given by the tone of this website is that several of these lines are not “correct” GSDs. What, then, is the “average” person supposed to feel suits them best?
If all American dogs are painted as a weak link to the breed, if show dogs have had everything good bred out of them, where do they turn? To the Czechs? To the HEAVILY sport oriented (don’t let all their howling to the contrary fool you) West Germans? Does one really want the casual owner to fall into these dogs?
Perhaps there is an argument that only “certain” people should own a GSD bla bla bla. Its not an argument I’m willing to partake in, for a variety of reasons. But as someone who has seen time and time again what becomes of these “correct” GSDs who were obtained because the American dogs are “crippled” or they don’t want a “sickly show dog”… and the “correct” GSD breeder who boasts an impressive list of IPO titles but honestly couldn’t tell you when the last time he had a dog tested for DM was… I simply hang my head and wonder.
The breed community and its petty narrow-mindedness continues to unimpressed.
For the record, I find Cliff’s experiences with the breed fascinating and put a lot of value on his opinions regarding these dogs. Chris Wild? Probably one of the best breeders on the breed right now.
But who is here to discuss what a MASSIVE impact dogs like Kismet’s Sight for Sore Eyes had on the breed? Who’s here to talk about what an amazing, breed changing kennel Kirschental was? Lets talk about Bullinger, lets talking about Darby-Dan… lets talk about MORE than just this supposedly uniquely “correct” West German/DDR/Czech/Dark Sable/”Extreme!!!! Drive”/IPO3 dog.
There’s a lot of discussion to be had on this breed, and a massive chunk of it is being left out to arguably the most important audience the breed has.
Everyone has an opinion on what the GSD should be. I’m one of those folks who chugged the Koolaid and believe that the GSD is and should be a working breed. I don’t think the GSD breed suits everyone’s lifestyle- just browse through the Kijiji ads for two year old GSDs being dumped because they take too much time/are too aggressive/too destructive/too whatever. I invest a considerable amount of time into my dogs and that’s not a choice everyone is able/willing to make. I chose the GSD as my breed because I wanted a dog who lived to do things with me. If I wanted a dog that was just happy to hang out on my couch then I would have chosen another breed. Of course, lower drive GSDs exist- I own one- but that doesn’t mean that The Mule should be reproduced. For lack of a better phrase, “pet quality” GSDs are produced in many “working” litters.
I adore my cliched “dark sable-raccoon eyed-big headed-big boned-blah-blah- Czech/Slovac GSD”, not for how he looks but for how much fun he makes everything. There are no bad training days with Bosco. However, I would LOVE to own one of Tracy’s dogs; of course, I was saddened to read of Karl Fuller’s passing. I’m not someone who zealously promotes one particular GSD type …. but I want a dog that loves to work. Most of my dog friends feel the same way. My only response to those folks who slam IPO is that it’s a lot of work - it’s a serious time commitment to training the three phases and you learn a lot about your dog along the way. I certainly don’t have the same depth of understanding of The Mule as I do of Bosco. I’m also not one to disparage anyone else’s choice of dog activity either. Finally, the DM test is a complicated issue and I don’t think the results are as black and white as they are purported to be.
That’s it for me on this topic since I have dogs to walk. I hope everyone has a good evening.
My only response to this is that there is time and commitment invested in every line of GSD.
People think “show lines” or “pet lines” and somehow assume “not a good working dog”. But what constitutes a “working dog” to some, does not to others. I’ve many times posted links to kennels that most would scorn, but yet produce dogs doing such things as SAR, therapy and service work. These are not “jobs”? That is not “work”?
Before anything, before being a good “working dog” or an IPO champ, the GSD was bred to be versatile. Without versatility, there is no utility, and there is more than enough room in this world for more than one type of GSD or more than one interpretation of what he is.
You see 2yo GSDs up for adoption all the time… hey, me too. I’ve taken some in myself. Not all that long ago I saw a beautiful, lovely sable girl that had been dumped at AC (pregnant, I might add) because she was “too much” for the family and kept escaping their yard (hence the pregnancy). You know what that dog wasn’t? Some “miserable, no drive crippled show dog”. No, she was a gorgeous black sable girl, very type-y and certainly at least in part of that Eastern block ilk. And yet she was dumped… for being too much for a family to handle.
This has nothing to do with crappy “no drive”, “pet bred, “show dog” breeders. Most of THOSE dogs actually don’t end up in shelters, oddly enough. When was the last time someone came across a Roylair dog at the humane society? Or a Kaleef dog? A grand total of never. And yet, good working dogs end up there constantly. This is not coincidence. People want what they want, and will have it. I would rather them have something they can actually deal with and manage, than let good dogs suffer needlessly.
Testing for DM IS a black and white issue- all breeders need to be doing it, period. Whether or not a dog is bred based on those test results is another matter, but saying breeders don’t need to be testing for and keeping tabs on DM in their breeding stock is no better than all of these psychic visionaries who don’t x-ray for HD because they “just know” their dogs don’t have it. AKA, a lot of bullshit.