BREEDING PHILOSOPHY

At von Tighe Haus, we will only breed dogs who have been proven breed worthy.  We adhere to the FCI German Shepherd Dog breed standard.

 

All of our breeding stock is registered with an FCI approved registry (CKC / AKC).  We adhere to the standards set forth by the SV (German Shepherd Club of Germany) and all the dog we breed have;

 

  • A working title (Schutzhund (IPO) or Herding Equivalent)
  • Hip and Elbow Certification (A-Stamp or OFA)
  • Endurance test (Ausdauerpruefung)
  • Conformation rating of Good or better
  • Breed survey

 

This is the minimum required from any dog or bitch before it will be bred.  Our breeding dogs are also:

 

  • DNA tested for Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Congenital Heart Disease Tested and Registered through the OFA Database
  • We like PennHip in addition to certification

 

Why? Read my article about hips

 

Requirements for the use of our stud dogs include working title (IPO or HGH), Certified H/E (OFA, a-stamp or PennHip), & Brucellosis Test.

 

There is also much more we look for in our breeding dogs; temperament, biddability & drive are three important parts of a German Shepherd Dog that are not as easily assessed by the above Health Testing. Conformation and Working Titles are important - but they only make up part of the package.  All breeders have preferences - some breed for sport (high drive), some unfortunately breed for pets - we like a dog that is well balanced, stable, easy to live with yet has the drive & eagerness to work.  We train, trial and live with our dogs. We know them inside and out!

 

We breed West German Working Line GSDs, not show dogs. No dog is perfect - not even ours! We look for everything in harmony, too much of one element and you can lose another. Some people think breeding dogs who are trained in Schutzhund (now IPO) do not make good pets - this is far from true. Our dogs are our companions first. Our dogs live in our home, swim in our pool, go to work with us, hang out with company and are a constant source of joy in our lives.

 

We do not sell our dogs on Kijiji and you will have a hard time finding another breeder who does all that we do. We try to post accurate and complete information on this site. Many answers can be found on our FAQ Page.

 

We are not trying to invent a new breed but to preserve the breed as it was intended. Are you just looking for a pet and think this is all too much? Read "But I just want a Pet!"

 

We breed for ourselves - and we want a puppy that is bred to the highest possible standards

SIX IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF THE GSD

 

All of the following 6 elements of the GSD are important individually, yet they affect each other and you cannot have some without the others. Why are these traits so important in a German Shepherd Dog?

 

Working Ability

“The Shepherd Dog wishes to work, not for work’s sake, but because it affords him the opportunity for living out his life.”*

 

The ability to work is not assumed, it is tested through the sport of Schutzhund. One difference between the GSD and other breeds is its ability to work - it must be bred to be able to fulfill the need for working dogs as work fulfils it. Accomplishments in the sport of Schutzhund (and other areas) are posted under each dog.

 

Temperament

“The German Shepherd Dog must be even tempered, well balanced (with strong nerves), self assured, totally at ease (except when provoked) and good natured, as well as attentive and easy to train.  He must possess courage, combativity and toughness in order to be suitable as a companion, guard, service, Herding-dog and protection-dog”*

 

Without good temperament you will have a dog that is unfit for work and unfit as a pet.  Temperament is tested in Schutzhund (IPO), and/or many of the temperament tests available, but the true test of good temperament comes from the breeder’s knowledge of their dogs and the breed.

 

Health

Common health issues in the GSD are hip & elbow dysplasia, ear infections, bloat & Degenerative Myelopathy

 

As a dog owner, I want nothing more than for my dogs to live long, healthy, active lives.  We test for every relevant disease, we PennHip/a-stamp hips, certify elbows and we will not breed a dog that suffers from allergies, chronic hot spots, IBS or any other chronic disease.  All health clearances will be posted here.

 

Biddability

A biddable dog is one who has a natural motivation to work with the handler. They want to engage, interact and please the handler. The pack / social drive is a strong motivator for them.

 

Drive

There are many different types of drives (Food, Ball, Fight, Hunt etc..) and these are what ‘drive’ a dog to work.  The German Shepherd Dog is not meant to have over the top, out of control drive in any of these areas, but to have good solid drive in all of them.  These drives are developed in training and tested in trialing / work.

 

Conformation

…it has to look like a GSD ;-)  Proper structure allows the dog to perform the work he is bred to do. FCI Breed Standard.  "Handsome is as Handsome does*

 

*Captain Max von Stephanitz, creator of the German Shepherd Dog

GSD OR SHI-TZU?

 

Without describing how they look, what is the difference between a Shih-Tzu and a German Shepherd Dog? Both belong to the same family (canis familiaris) both have tails, both have the same number of legs, eyes, ears etc…. Both have fur, both bark, both have teeth, both are companions for humans…

 

So what is the difference…..?

 

What should come to mind are things like courage, good nerves, intelligence & working ability. German Shepherd Dogs can herd (tend livestock), they are police dogs, guide dogs, military K9s etc… We don't see Shih-Tzus doing these things because even if they were a larger breed, they don't posses the right temperament and traits to accomplish these tasks.

 

So how do we keep the German Shepherd from turning into a giant Shih-Tzu? We breed dogs that posses the traits that allow them to accomplish these tasks. Testing breeding stock is not only important to someone buying a puppy, it is also important to preserving the breed.

 

It can't just look like a German Shepherd - it has to BE a German Shepherd!

VON TIGHE HAUS GERMAN SHEPHERD DOGS ONTARIO CANADA

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