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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Basically, I'd love to breed dogs in the near, soon, or far away future. I decided I'd like to breed GSD. Big surprise, right?

There's no way I'll ever do it if I can't successfully title the dogs, afford them, and have the knowledge to do it, so I've been looking for a 'mentor'. There's only one breeder in my area that I would be able to regularly meet with, etc, but I have no idea how to go about asking her/them to mentor me? She's seems like a very popular breeder, and I'm not sure if she'd even have the time. What are most breeders opinions and thoughts on mentoring, especially younger generations? What things do you look for, and what should I be looking for or to gain?

So how would I go about asking, and what exactly should I say or ask? Email, letter, phone? Thanks for any suggestions, if you're interested in giving me opinions or thoughts on the breeder, or just checking them out, here's a link to their website-

http://www.kolendakennels.com/
 

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Hopefully Zeph will stop by and give you some information on these breeder.

But for just some generally questions on mentoring, I'll see if I can help. I personally wouldn't limit yourself to someone close by. Or even just one person. The best experiences I have had with my mentors have been sitting ringside and watching dogs move. That is how I 've gained most of my knowledge. The rest just comes when you have questions that pop up, either about a breeding line or a specific dogs, or whatever comes to mind. Your mentor then basically acts as a sounding board for you to bounce questions and ideas at.

But I think the most important thing you could do is just get active. Start going to shows, and get your name out there. Buy a catalog so you can start matching breeders with the types of dogs they breed and get to now people. I also seriously suggest buying a couple of books on movement. It will give you a foundation on movement as well as frequently used terminlogy. Then you can walk into a show with a few tools already in your belt.
 

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Kolenda Kennels... have you had any personal experience with the breeder or the dogs?

I have not heard the best things about their dogs...

Also, do you plan to breed west German show lines specifically? Often the breeding mentor may be the breeder of your breeding bitch, and their expertise will be on the specific lines they breed.
 

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Also, more important than location, is finding a breeder you are comfortable with, and a breeder who's practices and system and dogs YOU personally admire and respect. Popularity means very little, if the breeder's goals and views aren't what you would agree with.

I think going to shows or trials are a great idea, too. If you want to focus on German show lines, go to SV shows. If you want working lines, go to SchH trials, and speak to and visit Schutzhund clubs, and if you want American show lines, go to AKC conformation shows. Not all breeders have a website, and not all breeders with a website and popularity are going to be great breeders. Find someone on your own who you personally like and respect as a breeder, someone you would want to learn from, someone you would like to help guide you. Then start making decisions.
 

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Don't bother with Kolenda. "Popular" doesn't always mean "ethical".

I've never had a mentor, for many reasons, and I don't think the mentor thing is overstated. I think it is important to ask a lot of questions to a variety of people. Mentors are nice, and they can give LOTS of useful info, but I've found them to be far more useful in a "here's how you groom up a dog" sort of way than anything else, as other info can often be one sided, and if you ask somebody else the same question, well...things can go sour (because the mentor told you this and that should be good enough).

Ask questions of lots of people, compare contrast, and if you do find a mentor, don't be afraid to ask questions of others too. You need more than one point of view to truly understand a subject.

And like Equinox said, if there's a certain line you want to pursue, check out those shows. Myself? I really like the American/German crosses, and so I do keep my ears and eyes open for dogs I like, and ask about them. I've made friends with a couple of GSD people here in VA and one woman has a BEAUTIFUL Orbit Huhnegrab son she imported.
 

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I've never had a mentor, for many reasons, and I don't think the mentor thing is overstated. I think it is important to ask a lot of questions to a variety of people. Mentors are nice, and they can give LOTS of useful info, but I've found them to be far more useful in a "here's how you groom up a dog" sort of way than anything else, as other info can often be one sided, and if you ask somebody else the same question, well...things can go sour (because the mentor told you this and that should be good enough).

Ask questions of lots of people, compare contrast, and if you do find a mentor, don't be afraid to ask questions of others too. You need more than one point of view to truly understand a subject.
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^
That. Good points brought up.

The more people you talk to, the more you get a feel for the German Shepherd breed, and the more you find out, the better. Breeding is not something where there are guidelines that say "If You Do A) B) and C), You Will Become a Successful Breeder". There are different types of reputable breeders, and different ideas floating around, with no one right way to do things. Good breeders can make decisions others wouldn't agree with, whether they are "bad", or simply unpopular or "old-fashioned".

You'll have to make a lot of decisions for yourself, and figure out what you want to do. There's going to be a lot of learning involved, so keep an open mind, talk to a lot of people involved in the breed. Breeders/mentors are wonderful, and can be infinitely helpful, and tell you things such as the effects of linebreeding on Lord on hips, or the prey drive vs. defense drive and fight drive of specific dogs. But they are also passionate people with bias and opinions, so keep an open mind when it comes to taking advice.
 

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That. Good points brought up
Thanks. By the way, I meant to say that I DO think mentorship is overstated. It's nice, but as the rest of my post said...you need more than one viewpoint, and finding a "mentor" that's unoffended if you ask other people the same questions (especially people they don't like) is extremely difficult...at least in GSDs (my experience).
 

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Thanks. By the way, I meant to say that I DO think mentorship is overstated. It's nice, but as the rest of my post said...you need more than one viewpoint, and finding a "mentor" that's unoffended if you ask other people the same questions (especially people they don't like) is extremely difficult...at least in GSDs (my experience).
That's interesting point, and not one that I have ever considered. My main mentor has never taken offense when I would run a question by several people. She's actually been very supportive of my networking so to speak. But every breeds social circle has it's own taboos I suppose.

I do however completely agree that it's important to have multiple opinions. Every breeder out there has a different set of goals and a different ideal of what makes the perfect dog. The last thing you want as a new breeder is to find yourself boxed in to someone else's mentality.

Personally, I like having a definite mentor that understands I will be pressuring her with questions every chance I get. It keeps me from annoying innocent victims. For instances, I'm in the process of planning my first litter now, so we talk on the phone every couple of weeks or so. But I've still confirmed my stud dog with 3 other various experts in the breed. And I asked each of these people for very specific reasons.

The important thing is just meet people with experience that are willing to share their knowledge with you. It doesn't have to be on an official basis.
 

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It sounds like Dobie people are much more open to it as well, DobManiac, because in GSDs, it's basically "This is what I'm telling you, accept it, ask nothing else." The fanciers in my breed though, are generally getting up there, and stuck in the old fashioned mindset of feeling that "because I said so" is an answer, and then they are insulted/offended/throw you to the wolves when you insist on a REAL answer.
The important thing is just meet people with experience that are willing to share their knowledge with you.
Agreed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Woah. Lots of information to take in, sorry it took so long to respond.

So, Kolenda isn't great. Okay. I've been wrong before, I can be wrong again. :p What's unethical though? I was browsing their site, and the only thing I didn't agree with was the kennels... but they do have 13 dogs. Is that the issue? I just thought their breeding program was vary in depth.

In regards to lines... well, I haven't really decided yet, which is sort of something I was hoping to gain from a mentor, but I now realize that with them being so close minded, I would end up breeding the same lines they do. I have not been around many different lines and been able to see them interact, perform, etc. so I haven't had much to judge off of.

So, I should gain multiple contacts then, or multiple "mentors" and just get a feel from it from there? I'm just really lost on the whole breeding program thing and would like to make sure I know as much as there is to know before I delve into anything, but even then, I really have no idea what things I need to know. Will imperant questions just come up as time goes on?

And I obviously made the mistake of choosing Kolenda. Whether on the internet or in person at shows, how should I go about finding a breeder? Like at shows, who should I choose to ask about what?

Haha, I'm so vague. I know I want to do this, I just don't know how... Thanks for bearing with me.
 

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No, it isn't so much the number of dogs, but the breeder herself that bothers me, and several other people. You'll find a couple of Kolenda GSD owners on the other forum... and all (with the exception of one) have expressed their discontent and complaints about this breeder. There have been, from what I hear, a variety of issues with this breeder, whether it's the breeder's attitude, temperament of the dog, dealing with this breeder, etc. So frankly, if we're talking about someone to help you establish a base for your breeding system and to help guide you along the way, you can do much, much better.

Plus, this just makes me laugh

"Quality companion/ German Shepherd Puppies with super temperament for companion/pet/protection: $2000 - $2800

Select show quality/ German Shepherd Puppies for pet/companion/breeding potential show/schutzhund potential: $2800 - $3800.

Excellent Select Show Quality/German Shepherd Puppies/Breed potential/Show potential/schutzhund potential : $3800 - $5800.

Special Order super show quality /Breed potential/schutzhund potential/ : $4500 - $7500.



The people's choice! Selling World Class German Shepherd Puppies Recommended by Veterinarians Nationwide.
"

Uh... so how does one distinguish a "Special Order super show quality" from an "Excellent Select Show Quality" from a "Select show quality"? And the comment about selling World Class puppies recommended by vets nationwide confuses me as well.

This is what we mean by getting a feel for the different breeders around. Get to know the good and the bad of each, ask around, and meet the breeder and their dogs.

I'm not saying "Yikes! Get away from that awful breeder FAST!!", because I'm not.

If you had said "I have gotten to know this breeder over a long period of time, as well as her dogs and the dogs she produce, and attended shows with her and am very happy with her breeding system and ethics and believe her to be a wonderful, trustworthy person who I would love to learn from" then I'm not going to tell you you've made a mistake. If you understood every aspect of her breeding practices and felt that was something you wanted to become and learn from, then that's your choice.

Breeding, as we all know, is a long, hard, sometimes heartbreaking, and strenuous process. If it were that easy to do it right, more people would be doing it. It's going to be much easier in the long run if you take the time to get more experience and knowledge, and I'm glad you're more than willing to do that.

As far as shows, when I see a dog who's conformation and confidence I like, I'll usually find the handler or owner after they step out of the ring and ask about the dog's background, find out who the dog is out of, and who is the breeder. When you meet enough dogs, or even see pictures over the web (though in person is obviously preferred), you can gain a better understanding of what dog produces what when paired with which other dog, see which specific lines you like the best, which dogs you would like pups from personally, what kennel breeds the lines and look and temperament you prefer, and which breeder you would really like to learn from.
 

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I would also first try and determine which lines you want to breed and what your goals are.

If you want to breed Showlines I would suggest:
Alta-Tollhaus-http://www.24kgsd.com/

From what I have heard, Julie is a very nice lady. I am considering my next puppy from them.=)

If you want to breed Working lines, there are some working line GSD breeders on the other forum.
 

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No, it isn't so much the number of dogs, but the breeder herself that bothers me, and several other people. You'll find a couple of Kolenda GSD owners on the other forum... and all (with the exception of one) have expressed their discontent and complaints about this breeder. There have been, from what I hear, a variety of issues with this breeder, whether it's the breeder's attitude, temperament of the dog, dealing with this breeder, etc. So frankly, if we're talking about someone to help you establish a base for your breeding system and to help guide you along the way, you can do much, much better.

Plus, this just makes me laugh

"Quality companion/ German Shepherd Puppies with super temperament for companion/pet/protection: $2000 - $2800

Select show quality/ German Shepherd Puppies for pet/companion/breeding potential show/schutzhund potential: $2800 - $3800.

Excellent Select Show Quality/German Shepherd Puppies/Breed potential/Show potential/schutzhund potential : $3800 - $5800.

Special Order super show quality /Breed potential/schutzhund potential/ : $4500 - $7500.



The people's choice! Selling World Class German Shepherd Puppies Recommended by Veterinarians Nationwide.
"

Uh... so how does one distinguish a "Special Order super show quality" from an "Excellent Select Show Quality" from a "Select show quality"? And the comment about selling World Class puppies recommended by vets nationwide confuses me as well.

This is what we mean by getting a feel for the different breeders around. Get to know the good and the bad of each, ask around, and meet the breeder and their dogs.

I'm not saying "Yikes! Get away from that awful breeder FAST!!", because I'm not.

If you had said "I have gotten to know this breeder over a long period of time, as well as her dogs and the dogs she produce, and attended shows with her and am very happy with her breeding system and ethics and believe her to be a wonderful, trustworthy person who I would love to learn from" then I'm not going to tell you you've made a mistake. If you understood every aspect of her breeding practices and felt that was something you wanted to become and learn from, then that's your choice.

Breeding, as we all know, is a long, hard, sometimes heartbreaking, and strenuous process. If it were that easy to do it right, more people would be doing it. It's going to be much easier in the long run if you take the time to get more experience and knowledge, and I'm glad you're more than willing to do that.

As far as shows, when I see a dog who's conformation and confidence I like, I'll usually find the handler or owner after they step out of the ring and ask about the dog's background, find out who the dog is out of, and who is the breeder. When you meet enough dogs, or even see pictures over the web (though in person is obviously preferred), you can gain a better understanding of what dog produces what when paired with which other dog, see which specific lines you like the best, which dogs you would like pups from personally, what kennel breeds the lines and look and temperament you prefer, and which breeder you would really like to learn from.

If I wanted a pup from Kolenda I might as well sell my house!:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No, it isn't so much the number of dogs, but the breeder herself that bothers me, and several other people. You'll find a couple of Kolenda GSD owners on the other forum... and all (with the exception of one) have expressed their discontent and complaints about this breeder. There have been, from what I hear, a variety of issues with this breeder, whether it's the breeder's attitude, temperament of the dog, dealing with this breeder, etc. So frankly, if we're talking about someone to help you establish a base for your breeding system and to help guide you along the way, you can do much, much better.

Plus, this just makes me laugh

"Quality companion/ German Shepherd Puppies with super temperament for companion/pet/protection: $2000 - $2800

Select show quality/ German Shepherd Puppies for pet/companion/breeding potential show/schutzhund potential: $2800 - $3800.

Excellent Select Show Quality/German Shepherd Puppies/Breed potential/Show potential/schutzhund potential : $3800 - $5800.

Special Order super show quality /Breed potential/schutzhund potential/ : $4500 - $7500.



The people's choice! Selling World Class German Shepherd Puppies Recommended by Veterinarians Nationwide.
"

Uh... so how does one distinguish a "Special Order super show quality" from an "Excellent Select Show Quality" from a "Select show quality"? And the comment about selling World Class puppies recommended by vets nationwide confuses me as well.

This is what we mean by getting a feel for the different breeders around. Get to know the good and the bad of each, ask around, and meet the breeder and their dogs.

I'm not saying "Yikes! Get away from that awful breeder FAST!!", because I'm not.

If you had said "I have gotten to know this breeder over a long period of time, as well as her dogs and the dogs she produce, and attended shows with her and am very happy with her breeding system and ethics and believe her to be a wonderful, trustworthy person who I would love to learn from" then I'm not going to tell you you've made a mistake. If you understood every aspect of her breeding practices and felt that was something you wanted to become and learn from, then that's your choice.

Breeding, as we all know, is a long, hard, sometimes heartbreaking, and strenuous process. If it were that easy to do it right, more people would be doing it. It's going to be much easier in the long run if you take the time to get more experience and knowledge, and I'm glad you're more than willing to do that.

As far as shows, when I see a dog who's conformation and confidence I like, I'll usually find the handler or owner after they step out of the ring and ask about the dog's background, find out who the dog is out of, and who is the breeder. When you meet enough dogs, or even see pictures over the web (though in person is obviously preferred), you can gain a better understanding of what dog produces what when paired with which other dog, see which specific lines you like the best, which dogs you would like pups from personally, what kennel breeds the lines and look and temperament you prefer, and which breeder you would really like to learn from.
Oh, alright. Glad I didn't just overlook something bad about their actual program. :eek: So it's really going to depend a lot on the breeder's attitude and personality and whether or not we mesh?

I did just pick the closest breeder so that I would be able to meet with her more and see the dogs, etc more, but I'm definitely open to long-distance relationships with a breeder. My only concern there, is that I can't see their dogs. There's a breeder near detroit that I like the style of from what I've read online (since that's all I really have to go by for now) but I don't think they'd ever be showing near me. What would I do in that case.

I would also first try and determine which lines you want to breed and what your goals are.

If you want to breed Showlines I would suggest:
Alta-Tollhaus-http://www.24kgsd.com/

From what I have heard, Julie is a very nice lady. I am considering my next puppy from them.=)

If you want to breed Working lines, there are some working line GSD breeders on the other forum.
Well I've always been partial to the thought of Working lines. Definitely not sure about further specific lines, I'd have to meet and see some dogs of those lines to decide, but I don't think I'm going to go the showline route- just because the thought has always left a sour taste in my mouth. Thank you for the suggestion though- I am probably going to be asking some questions on the other forum too. :D
 

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Oh, alright. Glad I didn't just overlook something bad about their actual program. :eek: So it's really going to depend a lot on the breeder's attitude and personality and whether or not we mesh?

I did just pick the closest breeder so that I would be able to meet with her more and see the dogs, etc more, but I'm definitely open to long-distance relationships with a breeder. My only concern there, is that I can't see their dogs. There's a breeder near detroit that I like the style of from what I've read online (since that's all I really have to go by for now) but I don't think they'd ever be showing near me. What would I do in that case.



Well I've always been partial to the thought of Working lines. Definitely not sure about further specific lines, I'd have to meet and see some dogs of those lines to decide, but I don't think I'm going to go the showline route- just because the thought has always left a sour taste in my mouth. Thank you for the suggestion though- I am probably going to be asking some questions on the other forum too. :D

Chris Wild is a working line breeder....Spartanville is another.Beautiful dogs too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chris Wild is a working line breeder....Spartanville is another.Beautiful dogs too.
Chris was my "second choice" so to speak, and looking at her website and dogs, information, and lifestyle more, I definitely think I'll contact her once I know exactly what to say/ask. I have noticed a few people with Vom Wildhaus pups, and that drew me to them as well.

I've never heard or Spartanville, but then again, I haven't heard of a lot of breeders, so I'll check them out.
 

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Chris was my "second choice" so to speak, and looking at her website and dogs, information, and lifestyle more, I definitely think I'll contact her once I know exactly what to say/ask. I have noticed a few people with Vom Wildhaus pups, and that drew me to them as well.

I've never heard or Spartanville, but then again, I haven't heard of a lot of breeders, so I'll check them out.
http://www.spartanville.com/ some people have their dogs too.Forgot who, but some do.
 

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<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 Spartanville!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, I'm posting a thread on the other forum asking about lines and such, but do you guys have any recommended reading on them to help me further decide, or do you think it would be best to go to shows/trials (what do they call them in schutzhund) and ask about the dogs I like best? Obviously, I have a lot of research to do before investing in a program, I just need to know where to start, and lines would be the first place.
 

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It's a schutzhund trial :) And I'd go to some if you could
 
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