Friday, July 30, 2010


Well here it is Friday and the start of another week-end already. I’ve never seen time go by so quickly. My mother always told me after my twenties, time will fly by quickly. Well I haven’t seen my twenties in quite sometime, but I can attest to the fact that time indeed flies by too quickly. For instance, where the heck is the summer going? In a couple of days, August will be here. And fall, I just love the fall, but it goes by way too quickly and then we’re looking at “Old Man Winter” who always hangs around a lot longer than we want him to. Oh well onto today’s subject.

I got a little more mail than usual this week about some of the subjects that I wrote about pertaining to breeding problems with the German Shepherd Dog. Quite a few were very concerned about the practices that they are witnessing in our breed by those breeders that never take into consideration the health of our breed. Someone wrote to me to tell me of a breeder that continues to breed one of his animals that has produced mega in two litters and is now repeating it for the third time. Must make that almighty dollar no matter how you have to do it! And now he can use the bad economy as an excuse!

Someone also wrote to tell me of a so called “big shot” breeder that just dumped his dog in a shelter because the dog that he had been using for his breeding program was no longer of use to him so he dumped him in a shelter complaining about the dogs bad temperament. As this writer continued, just imagine how stressful the kill shelter environment was for that already fearful animal!

Then there’s another letter someone else wrote talking about those breeders that knowingly breed dogs with terrible temperament and then send it off to a handler for training so he can be shown. The dog may be so well trained in the ring and behaves flawlessly, but step out of the ring with a crowd of people gathering around him and his shaking legs can barely hold him up. This man questioned how these people sleep at night. My response to him was, “Oh they sleep very well.” These are the type of people in the breed strictly for what the breed can do for them. Winning at any cost is their motto.

Oh and here was the best one. Someone wrote to say that a dog that someone bought for showing turned up having seizures and the owner decided he wasn’t going to use the dog for his breeding program. The breeder has the nerve to ask him, “You’re still going to show him, aren’t you?” Where’s my gun???

I have a couple of problems with some of this. First of all, why are dogs that have bad temperaments being sent to handlers to “fix” so they can be shown in the first place? Answer: So they can produce another champion and give some more ROM (register of merit) points to their undeserving breeding animals. And why are handlers even taking these dogs to train them to stand for examination? Let’s take it one step further, WHY ARE SOME BREEDERS BREEDING TO DOGS WITH BAD TEMPERAMENTS TO BEGIN WITH? What is that about? What are they doing to the breed? And even more amazing, they're paying a big stud service for the "privilege" of breeding to the bad tempered male! In this writer’s opinion, breeders are responsible for nearly ever genetic problem that we have in this breed.

As in one correspondence that I had with someone last night, we discussed that if the “forces to be” tells the fancy that this is the dog that they should be breeding to then those that are easily influenced will do just that. Then I don’t call that person that is easily influenced a breeder. They’re just a follower.

Someone wrote to ask how come some judges are putting up bad temperament? Now they’re not talking about dogs that have a reputation for this type of temperament. They’re talking about those dogs that spook from the judge in the ring and they still put them up because of who’s on the end of the lead or who owns the dog. In these types of scenarios, I’m always amused (sort of) when I see the “big shot” owner on the outside of the ring bringing attention to herself to make sure the judge knows who owns that dog. It’s is so obvious what they are doing.

Our dogs deserve better reputations than this. Bad temperament is a reflection on bad breeding and lack of proper socialization in my opinion. If a breeder knowingly breeds a dog that has a bad temperament or breeds to one that does, the offspring shouldn’t have to suffer because of their greed and lack of concern for their dogs. Giving them the needle or dumping them at a shelter isn’t the answer. Why should the dog have to give up his life when they are the one that made him this way in the first place? The answer is don’t intentionally breed to bad temperament. Everyone now and again may produce a puppy or two that doesn’t have the ideal temperament. But to knowingly breed to it is a crime against this noble breed.

I’m smart enough to know that just because I write about this it won’t amount to a hill of beans to those that are guilty of these practices. But for those that do care and love the German Shepherd Dog, hopefully they will stay away from those who continue to poison the genetic pool with their unhealthy breeding practices.

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My rating: Temperament problems: (1)


  1. Barbara, isn't it funny how our mom's had all those great sayings that we only can appreciate in later life? My mom had the same saying and also used to frequently say that it only takes one bad apple to spoil the entire barrel. I think that applies to your topic. Only one bad apple. In the overall scheme of things it is the GSD that suffers and not the bad apple. Until all those good apples speak up those bad apples will continue to pollute the barrel. Keep up the good work on your blog site.

  2. I know what you're saying Bruce. Someone just wrote to me and said until we can "out" those that are breeding genetic faults, nothing will change.

  3. Barbara,

    The problem is that nobody will OUT these breeders. I do tons of research before I even think about breeding. I talk to many breeders to get their opinions about lines or animals. I get generic answers with no actual information. Nobody will name anyone as producing health issues, other than to say some major breeders do it. When someone tells me it's not a good match for a certain dog for my bitch, I have to wonder why, other than health issues as I already know what I want to improve in structure and movement.

    Until folks will name names, nothing will change and the rest of us will give up after being burned one too many times by breeders we thought we could trust.