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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I’m trying to decide between a Doberman and working line (curious about ddr and Czech) German Shepherd for my next dog. Currently have an 8 month old female shepherd mix.

Other breed recommendations is welcomed. No adopt don’t shop comments.

I’m really into training my dog and would love a dog I can do more serious obedience works.
medium-large breed 30-100lbs. Little to no drool I don’t mind shedding. I would prefer a dog that is medium energy with a good off switch, deterrent and guard with training so no accidental bites.Aloof to strangers as my current dog is overly friendly and will go up to anyone. I would prefer a dogthat would stay by my side but can tolerate other people and be friendly if I tell them it’s okay. I’m looking to be more active going on runs, hikes, camping, out doorsy kind of activities but also some times just stay home and relax. I have cats. I don’t have kids but plan to in the future I do have family that has kids. I’m also curious about male Gsd and Dobermans as I’ve only ever bonded/connected with females but would like a male next.

Thanks!
 

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No adopt don’t shop comments.
Be careful about dictating what sorts of responses you will "allow." This is an open forum. As long as responders are respectful, all opinions are welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Be careful about dictating what sorts of responses you will "allow." This is an open forum. As long as responders are respectful, all opinions are welcome.
I understand that but I’ve posted on Facebook groups and such and those are the types of responses I get. I just want suggestions on the breeds I’m interested in.
 

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Have a look also into the Beauceron and the
Standard Schnauzer

Cats and kids can be tough to match with aloof, guarding traits and depending if you want those hikes and runs to be off-leash or not that adds a layer of complexity
 

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As an FYI, Dobermans have some serious health issues. It's estimated that at least half of them will develop Dilated Cardiomyopathy, and as such, owners need to do regular holter (24 hour EKG) and echoes (cardiac ultrasound) starting at around age two. Even then, for some owners, the first sign their dog even has a problem is when they keel over dead. Cervical vertebral instability, aka cervical spondylomyelopathy, more commonly called Wobblers Disease, is another issue that is all too common. They are also very prone to cancer. Hypothyroidism is rampant. Getting one to make it to ten is an accomplishment. They can also have very high prey drive, and some of them can never be trusted with cats or other small pets.
 
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I think a show line GSD would be a good fit for you. You won't get "medium energy" from a working line GSD... or Beauceron... both can be very high energy and demanding.
 

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How about a Rhodesian Ridgeback? Hits most of your wants. I have met many, but never owned one...will be our next dog for sure!
 

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Belgian Shepherd comes to mind.
 

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I thought generally speaking the hounds aren't easy dogs for "serious" obedience competition?
True, it might be more of a challenge :) but RRs do compete in rally and competition obedience...and they're awesome at lure coursing. Definitely not gong to work like a BC or Aussie though.
 

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I think a German Shepherd, but I am biased. If you can get someone to show you how to USE the dog's drives to obtain obedience, a lower drive working line dog is fine. I prefer working lines to show lines as many of the show lines I have seen have serious nerve (temperament) issues. You do not want a dog that worries or is unconfident.

You will also need to go to someone to help you get started in this. Obedience training for competition can be demanding.

First you need to find a good breeder. This breeder needs to understand what you want and then also must understand the temperament of the dogs they breed.

I am fortunate in the dogs I currently have. One is an old West German Show Line dog that has competed successfully in obedience and is great with my cats but she is nervy and washed out of Schutzhund/IPO now IGP training. She is a good pet. Her sire was a world champion two years (in a row in WUSV universal Sieger 2011 and 2012) for show line dogs.

The other dog I have was sired by the world champion (V1 2015 WUSV) for working lines. He is very confident and has an off switch and plenty of drive when we need it. He is sleeping on the hall (he is 3.5 years) while I am typing here. We train a little every day. He settles well in the house and has learned to leave the cats alone.

Another dog I had was also working lines and sired by a dog that competed at the World level. She obtained all her titles to IPO 3 and has an FH 1 (first place). She retired to a home where she goes with her owner running every day, goes on hikes, goes to wineries, goes to the beach and even went of a cruise. She also settles in the house and was trained to a very high level of obedience. She was retired at age 5 so was still plenty energetic.

So, it is the breeding behind the dogs and a breeder who breeds for correct temperament that makes them universal, not necessarily working lines vs. show lines. I find the temperament of working lines more reliable because the dogs had to actually do something to prove nerve and confidence in order to be used in breeding. Show line dogs also have to prove something but the emphasis is no looks, not on ability to work and partner with a person to get a job done (even if the job is a title in a competition).
 

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I thought generally speaking the hounds aren't easy dogs for "serious" obedience competition?
I guess it depends on your idea of "serious". These are the AKC's 2019 statistics:

Hound Group: 91 CD, 9 UD, 0 OTCH
Golden Retrievers: 323 CD, 90 UD, 26 OTCH

The Hound UDs were an Afghan, a Basenji, 3 Dachshunds, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and 2 Whippets.

The highest titles earned by a Golden were a UDX 55 (good lord, that's a lot of trials!), 12 OGM (also a lot of trials, with really good scores), and an OTCH59 (I can't begin to even comprehend the amount of time and money that took...)
 

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The AKC numbers seem to prove that ALL dog breeds, including those in the often-thought 'most difficult' hound group, can successfully compete in organized obedience.

If I were the OP, I wouldn't restrict myself to exploring only the conventional OB breeds. That is, unless there are absolute expectations of attaining OTCh's, H.I.T.'s, etc.

Above all -- especially for the weekend warrior, not-so-serious competitor -- do consider that the time spent inside the ring amounts to less than 1% of the total time spent with the dog during the course of its life. Virtually all dogs are companions first and foremost. In that sense, a Ridgie (or whatever) may theoretically be a good fit. Hounds can be amazing comp dogs, as well as being wonderful house pets at the same time.
 

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Probably each of us could mean something different by serious obedience competition, but I'd expect it to mean a goal of advanced titles: UD, UDX even OTCH. The stats LeoRose put up are the entire Hound Group vs. one good-at-obedience breed:

Hound Group: ... 9 UD, 0 OTCH
Golden Retrievers: ... 90 UD, 26 OTCH

An experienced trainer with a record of success might want to prove what they could do with a challenging breed, but I don't get that sense from the OP. Not that anyone who wants to do well at obedience necessarily needs to run out and get a Golden, but it would make me look long and hard at them (maybe too friendly but good with kids and cats) and other breeds more inclined to the kind of handler/dog cooperation that produces top obedience teams.

My obedience experience to date is strictly CD level, and I don't like obedience a lot. My fun sport is Rally, but I can tell you there's nothing more frustrating than working with a dog that would rather be doing other things, and nothing greater than a dog that's so in tune with you that going through a Rally course is like dancing with the perfect partner.
 

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Yeah, if high scores and an OTCH UDX OGM are your goals, then it might be a struggle with an "off breed". Of course, having a breed like a Golden, Border Collie, or Sheltie doesn't guarantee high scores and advanced titles, it's just that statistically, those breeds are going to have higher numbers of them.

As a comparison, these are the 2019 stats for the two breeds mentioned by the OP.

Doberman Pinscher: 86 CD, 11 UD, 1 OTCH
German Shepherd Dog: 155 CD, 17 UD, 1 OTCH
 

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Numbers would enter into it too. In other words, if there aren't many titles for a breed, but it's relatively rare and there aren't many of them.... But I'm not much of a math person.

The deterrent and aloof with strangers but good with cats and kids thing eliminates a lot of prospects, especially since the kids aren't there yet so that the dog would be raised with them from a puppy. For instance, I've been researching the German Pinscher - smaller than the Doberman, healthier breed in general, good for obedience and those type sports, but not recommended for kids under 9 and only maybe okay with cats if raised with them. Definitely death on anything smaller. I'm finding in my search for my old lady's dog, I'm going to have to compromise somewhere; it's a matter of where.
 

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Just wanted to add:

Some breeds tolerate drilling. German Shepherds do not. Male German shepherds tend to bond better and have more pack drive (willingness to partner with a human to do a task) than females who tend to be more independent. I did have a female with tremendous pack drive years ago. She should have been bred but I did not.

With both well bred working line Dobermans and German Shepherds you have to understand DRIVE. MANY AKC obedience trainers do not understand the drive in these two breeds. They are much more experienced with Goldens and other high ranking AKC obedience breeds. The other issue is judges sometimes actually penalize a dog that is driven and powerful in obedience.

I have gone to matches with my dogs and while the heeling is correct and focused the judges have mentioned the dog showing too much excitement. It is not excitement... it is drive. Other people with dogs also seem "afraid" of my dog even though he does nothing except show drive, playing hard with the reward toy and so forth. He has never even glanced at other dogs in other rings.

I never plan to OTCH a dog. Too much repetition to get the points (repetition is the death knell for most working line German Shepherds) and WAY too much money so that is a consideration.
 
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