Your opinions on these GSD breeders?

louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
edited 18 February, 2012 in Choosing the Right Dog
Ok, so i was browsing through a site the other day that lists breeders etc and i came across these GSD breeders. Their dogs are stunning IMO, i love their structure and long coats but they don't appear to do anything with their dogs. They just breed sound dogs to go to pet homes. I was glad to see they placed a breeding endorsement on their pups but then disheartened to read that they will lift the endorsement if discussed when buying your pup :-k I do love my Weims but when i look at other breeds ( namely Rotties and GSDs i start yearning for one of those to ) :)) Rushlands Just wanted opinions.
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Comments

  • Amy OsborneAmy Osborne EdmontonPosts: 1,907Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    It doesn\'t say much about showing or using them for sport or anything.... but they claim to be health tested which is good. I don\'t know what else to say about that, I am sure someone else would be able to give you a better answer. They are lovely dogs. The most beautiful GSD\'s I have personally ever seen were from http://www.fckennel.com
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    Here\'s my very honest opinion. I\'m not a person to lay blame down on breeders who choose to breed an exceptional dog, even if it has a pretty obvious cosmetic fault. If someone has an absolutely fantastic Blue/Liver/Panda GSD, with great hips and who excels at whatever service its been put into, then fine. Go for it, I wont hold it against them. But this kennel is obviously not breeding for purpose. They are breeding faulted dogs who have not proven themselves to be anything more than an average pet with a \"rare\" color. That just doesn\'t sit well with me at all. Not to mention that these dogs are oversized, which is yet another fault. I believe 27\" is the \"correct\" size for a GSD. 28 to 29 is quite large. AND several of the dogs they have posted have extreme pigment faults... some of them don\'t even have masks! The one girl they have, \"Misti\", doesn\'t even look like a GSD all... and yet they market her as \"unique\" looking. I\'m not going to lay judgment on them... maybe they have a good operation, maybe they don\'t. They are breeding way off the standard, for what seems to be a \"rare color\" operation, and that would get the goat of MANY a GSD fancier, I\'m sure.
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. I agree that Misti on the site doesn't look to much like a GSD and i was also a bit disheartened that "True" is having her 4th litter and she's not yet 5 years old :-O Seems a bit excessive to me. I then ventured on to the other website "Icemead" and again, i'm in love with the look of the dogs but not sure about them either. They breed only for pet homes. What are the coat colour faults in a GSD? Are all the dogs listed with them considered a faulted colour?
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    Coat faults in the GSD are: Liver, Blue, Panda, and White (depending on who you ask). Liver and blue are dilution genes... which means it washes out the black pigment in a GSD\'s coat (think the black mask/saddle) and skin (most blues/livers also have light colored noses, and light eyes). Its also an unnatural mutation in the breed, as I understand it. Faded out colors are basically never desirable in the breed, and are thus considered a large fault. Panda is some kind of mutation, the likes of which I\'m not very familiar with. Its also a major fault. White is a masking gene- totally separate from liver/blue, and has been around since the formation of the breed. It doesn\'t wash out the colors, it totally blankets them. It should ONLY affect the dog\'s coat, as a good white dog still has rich skin pigment with a dark nose/eyes. All of them are recessive, and both parents must either express the traits or be carriers in order for them to throw an effected pup. It could be debated that no color within the breed should be faulted, as color has nothing to do with functionality (the breed\'s selling point). It has been proven time and time again that there are NO negative health concerns related to whites (not sure about liver/blue/panda), and that they are every bit as capable as their colored cousins. However, as it stands, these colors ARE a fault... and people deliberately breeding against the standard without a specific goal in mind should be looked at with a wary eye. IMHO.
  • Michelle GonsalvesMichelle Gonsalves Posts: 1,854Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    I have a hard time trusting anyone who seems to breed for color alone. I couldn't see anything on the site that indicated that they breed for anything besides color and laid back temperment... and maybe hips. The responsible breeders that I personally know and love consider color last... and only when they are considering an individual dog for the show ring. Even then, it is less about the color and more about the patterning of the coat that may make a dog's structure less obvious in the ring (ie pied).
  • Amanda LynchAmanda Lynch Posts: 3,400Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    To me, the dogs aren't very typey and look like chows. :( They could be okay, but they're probably not someone I would buy from.
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    Wow, so supporting these breeders is like supporting those that breed Albino Dobermans? Which i'm totally against! I never actually knew Blue GSD's were considered a fault, i just thought they were a rare colour hard to come by :r
  • Ashleigh KayAshleigh Kay Lavington,Posts: 609Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    Colours of the german shepherd Personally I think these are bad breeders. No titling of any kind. Looks like a well set up BYB. You can make a nice website for anything
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    Tyler, I wouldn\'t quite put them on the same level as the White Dobie breeders... White Dobies, or really albino Dobies, have known health defects that can be devastating for the dogs. Blue GSDs, and the other color faulted dogs, are not necessarily unhealthy. Indeed, as I\'m sure you\'ve seen on this website, many of the dogs they have posted have very good hip scores, and are of good temperament. There are plenty of faulted dogs that pop up in champion lines, and the color alone (at least that I\'m aware of) isn\'t indicative of health problems. But in general, anyone breeding dogs simply because they are a \"rare\" color isn\'t something I\'d like to support. Just as food for thought also, basically all of their dogs are long coats... the long coat was a fault for a long time in the breed as well, and has only recently been accepted as part of the standard. So for as long as these people have been breeding oversized, long coated dogs with diluted pigmentation , they\'ve been breeding about as far off from the standard as you can get for this breed. Which, you know, take it or leave it. Some people love the standard, some people hate it. In the end, you need to look at this operation as a whole, and ask yourself \"what are these dogs REALLY doing for the breed\"?
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    They do breed English type Shepherds though which i believe are heavier and slightly taller then the German type. I just find them physically stunning, i must be one of the people who love the structure and "rare" colours of them. I know if i was ever to own a GSD that i would require nothing more then a well rounded family pet, so to be honest a "drivey" dog is not a necessity. Icemead is the other website i was looking at.
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 18 January, 2010
    Just be careful when supporting breeders of these \"rare\" colors. As, most likely, you will be supporting a BYB. And that is what these people strike me as... perhaps on the upper end of the scale, as they DO do all the health checks on their dogs (they actually do more than many of the breeders I see here in the states doing), but because they are not serving a purpose, or working towards any kind of real goal with their program (aside from to breed rare colors), I cannot rightfully call them reputable. But that\'s not to say some of their dogs aren\'t very attractive. Their one dog, Henna, reminds me of my old shepherd. Provided Shelby wasn\'t a long coat (and probably not ever a pure bred), she had that same Malinois (or Red Sable, as they call it) coat color like that dog. (a pic of my old girl as a pup)
  • Michelle GonsalvesMichelle Gonsalves Posts: 1,854Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    I would paint Icemead with the same brush as the other one: breeding only for color. I commend them for doing the health tests, but after that there really is nothing that says responsible breeder to me. You don't have to breed drivey dogs to do something with them. There are sports and activities that don't require a lot of drive, such as Rally here in the US and therapy dog work etc. It looks like they don't do anything with their dogs at all. So my question is, when there is a pet overpopulation problem, WHAT are these breeders doing to forward the breed? Or are they just breeding to make some money to provide people with odd colored fuzzy shepherds? I prefer to give my money to breeders that are seeking to better the breed in some concrete way... and to me, color isn't an important enough contribution to the breed.
  • Jeff JablowJeff Jablow ConroePosts: 2,755Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    Tyler, I don't know very much about GSDs but the first breeder, Richlands, looks like they may be mixing, or trying to breed some version of Shiloh Shepherds. That would certainly account for the large size of the males which in Shiloh breed standard is on target. Don't know if you have ever heard of Tina Barber but she began on a farm in upstate NY - is widely recognized as the founder of the breed. http://www.newzionshilohs.org/ ETA: Dogster "Jet" is a Shiloh http://www.dogster.com/dogs/689482
  • edited 19 January, 2010
    They are backyard breeders in disguise only looking to make a buck. Their dogs often appear to be treated well on the website- but by looking at the number of dogs they have there is no way they can claim they are all "inside family dogs". There has to be a kennel situation going on when you have over ten large dogs and litters of young puppies running around your house. When a breeder lies, that is a major turn off for me- that can only mean they are hiding more. I've learned a lot about breeders the hard way. And trust me, someone who doesn't breed dogs for a real purpose other than appearance is only looking to make money. Yes, their dogs are pretty- but these breeders are often very uneducated are are unable to properly evaluate their parent dogs' temperaments for breeding and they create unfit puppies. Beautiful, yes- but sometimes they can be very unstable in temperament. The Icemead website is a joke, "Our puppies won't ever make police dogs and would never win anything at schutzhund... We pride ourselves on breeding pet dogs for pet homes where they can easily adapt from home life with us to home life with you!" Schutzhund is something that is meant to be fun for a dog and doesn't always have to do with aggression from what I've seen. Just drive. I would, though, stick to someone who does not breed to the AKC conformation standard. In my eyes, they are ruining the German Shepherd breed's body. The legs, spine, ears- everything. Go for a breeder who breeds working line dogs. Working line dogs have bodies more fit to how the breed would have looked like back in the day when it had to perform it's herding job. Anyways, I've rambled on too long... I hope you got my point.
  • Caren CorkinsCaren Corkins Posts: 4,567Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    Nick, I had the pleasure of going to see Tina's original kennels when on a do buying/delivering trip in Canada - we swung back through upstate NY, and went to visit her & check out her dogs. Very interesting, for sure. :) Personally, I'm not a fan of psuedo GSD - they have nothing to do with what the original standard was, and are essentially, to me, nothing but designer breeds - pretty, yes, but not a true GSD by any stretch.
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    Thanks for all the feedback. It's highly unlikely i will be adding a GSD to my life in the near future and even more unlikely from the breeders i listed. I was merely asking for opinions. I'm to obsessed with having a Weimaraner as my next dog :)) But Nick, wow i do see the similarities big time! Some of their dogs look almost identical to a Shiloh Shepherd. I'm not even sure though whether they are even recognized here in the UK.
  • Keri CopelandKeri Copeland ManchesterPosts: 15,561Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    Tyler, please hunt down some more GSD breeders to ask about. Heck, feel free to find some that are near the Manchester area... ;) :)) A want a GSD as my next dog.. But finding a breeder? Hard work!! I know someone who breeds long-coats, does some form of showing and health tests all of her dogs... Quite a few of her dogs are obedience titled. Is it enough? Probably not! Finding a truely reputable breeder is looking to be hard work.. Good job its most likely going to be about 10 years before I plan on getting my GSD, I guess :))
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    Trixie, Maybe try this one on for size? Not necessarily my taste in dogs... German showlines they say, though the male is rather hansom. All Sch titled, health tested, and breed surveyed. Looks like a pretty good starting place for someone looking to get into the breed.
  • Amanda LynchAmanda Lynch Posts: 3,400Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    See, I wouldn't buy a GSD if someone told me up front they bred it knowing it would fail at schutzhund, seeing as how that sport was created to evaluate the breeding quality of a GSD.
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    While those breeders look good that you listed Mulder, i have to say i really don't like their build, the roached backs and general build of them. The look of these dogs appeal to me. Going back to breeding faulted colours, are there any likely health problems that could arise from breeding "rare" colours?
  • Amanda LynchAmanda Lynch Posts: 3,400Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    Sometimes folks inbreed to produce rare colors. A GSD breeder I knew had a problem with the dilute colors because she said that the dilute dogs have about half the smelling ability of the solid dogs. Anyone know if this is true?
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    Tyler- Pedigrees? Health testing? They have neither listed on their site... \"Puppies are always checked by a vet before they leave and go to their new home with lots of useful information as well as Kennel Club registration and pedigree.\" Is all I\'m seeing in the ways of health, and that doesn\'t impress me much. Keep in mind that if you want the look of a working dog... you have to be prepared to deal with everything else that comes with it. I\'m sure if you look hard enough, you could find a showline breeder who doesn\'t conform to the ghastly show standard. And, as a general whole, I would consider showline dogs to be much better suited as \"just\" family pet type dogs. Not that a good working bred dog COULDN\'T, but many could end up being \"too much dog\" for the average person. Also keep in mind that how a dog is stacked can have a major effect on how it looks in a picture. The male from the kennel I posted actually has pretty moderate sloping (comparatively), and would probably look even better if her were standing naturally. The female, on the other had, does appear to have a pretty nasty roach...
  • louise nichollouise nichol Posts: 74,667Member
    edited 19 January, 2010
    I didn't even check the website i posted above Mulder, i was using it as an example to show the dogs pictures. Not someone i would ever consider to buy from ;)
  • Emily ThorntonEmily Thornton Posts: 12Member
    edited 6 December, 2011
    Oops bit of a late reply to this thread but I'd love to give you all a positive overview of Icemead. I'm sixteen years old and have owned two German Shepherds in my life time, my parents four. My second pup is named Bear and we purchased him from Icemead, located in Durham. My honest opinion? Kim is a brilliant breeder and her intentions are well. I would like to hope that unless you've owned an Icemead dog that you cut down on the criticism. These dog's are from non working German lines, five generations listed crisp and clear on the pedigree. A working dog will gain no benefit from an owner who wanted a pet dog. Working dogs obviously require more mental and physical stimulation however, the drive of Icemead dogs are healthy and do wear us humans out! :)) My six month old pup Bear is gold sable, a beautiful yet sadly discriminated colour like the white and blue sable. Kim has not bred from ANY panda coloured Shepherds; so there is no need to mention that. His mother is True, a blue sable and his father is Breezer a(yes you may sigh out of relief) a black and tan. Bear's colours are of traditional pattern, black mask and black saddle yet the rest of his coat contains a silverish blue, cream, white and mostly gold. The litter that he came from and Wiccans litter at the time where born with masks, some differed in colour but the outline is there so Kim is not diversifying the breed to an extent that I think you're assuming. You may find these colours wrong, and that two parents who carry the recessive gene should not be put together. But hey, I've got light red hair and that's like saying my parents shouldn't have married to make me. You need two recessive gene's for that! And unless the colouration eg. Albino Doberman's come with increased health risks then in all honesty there is nothing to discriminate about. People are giving breeds different forms of identity and people think it's okay to dock ears and tails but not change colour and coat type? Icemead are not mutilating their dogs because of a humans selfish need to help their own image, she is simply providing healthy variety and no harm are in for her beloved dogs. Colour is the last thing on her mind, Quote " I cannot begin to emphasise the importance of a well balanced temperament and a good set of hips and elbows". Kim does not mention colour in her code of conduct. Hip and elbow scores are displayed quite clearly on each stud/****'s page. When I got Bear, she gave me a file full of papers which included in depth health checks recorded from both parents, with a signed veterinary signature. She is not an irresponsible breeder, she sells you the puppy with his/her microchip registered at pet log, it's first round of vaccination and the approved stamp and signature to go with it. She's even typed up her own summary of the German Shepherd Dog which includes advice like how to avoid bloat ect. and she gives you Gwens Bailey 'The perfect Puppy' book whether your a first time dog owner or not. She told my parents one person asked if he/she could purchase a puppy, Kim asked for the address. She checked up on the address to find they lived in a tiny flat. She refused to sell them the puppy. She did a house check on us too, and agreed we were the perfect type to own a dog. To conclude this I'd like to announce that because of Icemead I have a beautiful, big, long haired gold sable lad who's well proportioned with a straight back and wonderful personality. Wherever we take him people compliment his coat, colour temperament and proportion. C'mon guys, lets not judge a book by it's cover. :o):)
  • Lee WLee W Posts: 2,593Member
    edited 6 December, 2011
    This is a really old thread and you are pretty young however a good breeder is one who is doing something to better the breed. A brilliant breeder is one who makes a significant contribution to the breed. There may be show lines and working lines but the GSD is a WORKING breed. Since this breeder neither shows nor works she is doing nothing but a disservice to the breed. I am happy that you got an obviously loved pet from a BYB, I did as well and while she has proven to be a great individual she is not a well bred dog, I did not pay a fortune for her and no one told me she was rare or unusual. I would also let you know that I place rescue dogs and other peoples throw aways and I do home checks, employment verification and personal reference checks. All of my dogs are vaccinated and vet checked and I offer free training. I do not make a dime off these dogs, in most cases they cost me money.
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 6 December, 2011
    Going to mirror Sabi's point here somewhat. OP, you are young, and I don't expect you to understand or feel the same way I, or many other people on this breed, feel about these dogs. That said, this breed has a standard, a history, and a purpose. Icemead is not living up to any of these. The GSD was created to be the absolute dog. A tireless worker, who will run himself into the ground is that's what his handler wishes, and who will do absolutely anything you ask him to. He is a dog who does not tire, who does not give up, and who will gladly die doing what he loves without so much as a second thought. He absolutely IS majestic, but not because he necessarily looks it... not because he's huge with a giant fluffy mane with steel blue fur and amber eyes... but because his CHARACTER makes him this way. He's not a king, all-powerful and beautiful sitting atop a golden throne, but letting others do his work for him. Rather, he is a knight, noble and truthful, who will lay everything that he is at your feet, and who will charge into battle in defense of what which needs defending. Truthfully, as von Stephanitz said himself, no good dog is a bad color. A Good dog is a good dog, be he liver, blue, or purple. BUT. In that same note, no dog is good solely BECAUSE of his color either. You said Icemean doesn't make color a point of emphasis in their breeding program... yet nearly all of their breeding dogs are faulted. Why? If they were TRULY breeding for the total package, what this breed truly SHOULD be, you'd think their gene pool would be a little bit more standard. After all, it IS easier to find a good dog of a standard color than a faulted one, if for no other reason than numbers. Its nice that they care about temperament and health... honestly, that's fantastic and more than most do these days. But at some point you have to look at the big pictures, and at what this type of breeding does for these dogs. Is oversized, overly coaty, soft tempermented dogs really what the breed needs? It wouldn't be as big of a trigger point for me, if SO many weren't following this same path. THAT, to me, is what is most disturbing.
  • Emily ThorntonEmily Thornton Posts: 12Member
    edited 6 December, 2011
    Yep, sixteen is a young age and I'm not claiming I know more than anyone else but having visited her home and seen the dogs in their conditions I was pleased to say I was satisfied. This is an old thread but ended on a bad note and both side's of the debate weren't expressed equally so I pitched in to see if I got a response and I did. German Shepherds are of course traditionally working dogs, and from what I've experienced they do not completely lose their herding and guarding traits yet lose the high energy and activity needed to become useful in the working dog world. Across the road lives a retriever with her elderly owners. She's lean and skinny, hyperactive and rather mouthy. She's from working stock like many other breeds and her activity levels are through the roof. She see's a magpie she's bouncing up and down on the lead, pulling the poor couple all over. Of course, she was brought into the world to do that but it's just a little scary seeing an old couple being dragged down the street by the nine month old, especially now we're getting ice on the pavements and the old women's just had a hip replacement! :-O Their previous retriever wasn't from working stock and her activity levels were a lot more manageable for the old couple. I suppose good dogs cannot go to waste and those traditional working breeds that sometimes produce low energy pups need to go to good homes. Kim is adopting the calmer side of the German Shepherd and yet she's not changing the breeds well known characteristics. I personally think it's good for the narrow minded individuals who think German Shepherd's are dogs to be feared because I think it's unbelievable how many people out there think so. As for Back Yard Breeder, I think the term is a little harsh. I associate Back Yard Breeders as people who breed dogs typically without a registration and are bred based on looks and not health. Health comes first in Kim's code of conduct and she is registered and recognised by the Kennel Clubs Assured Breeder Scheme since 2007. But you're entitled to your own definition (-:
  • Alexa TravisAlexa Travis Birmingham, ALPosts: 4,692Member
    edited 6 December, 2011
    Guest, in the example you gave of the lab: there is absolutely nothing wrong with that dog, and EVERYTHING wrong with the owners who thought a high drive working dog would be appropriate for their situation (which it obviously isn't). And that's part of the point. If you can't handle a high drive, high energy, high intensity dog... then why get one? And on that same note- why try to FORCE change on them. Is it really ethical to completely strip a breed of all that he is simply to cater to the people who for whatever reason feel they NEED this dog, but in all reality aren't suited to owning it? Who untimely loses in the end of that scenario. Just because a GSD is bred to work, does not mean that he is not an agreeable, stable dog who makes a fine companion. However, the stipulation is that you have to take him for ALL that he is to be able to truly enjoy that- you have to be able to handle the side of him that WAS bred to work, in order to truly appreciate what he is as a dog. If you can't, then quite frankly, he just isn't the breed for you :?
  • Bunny_PrincesseLilyCGNBunny_PrincesseLilyCGN bathurstPosts: 9,421Member ✭✭✭
    edited 6 December, 2011
    I did not really look into any of the breeders mentioned, since I realized this was an old thread. However, I found a similar breeder of GSD's here. They are breeding for pets and they do Health testing. Now, I am iffy on showing dogs, I kind of look at it as a necessary evil. However, even if I was breeding companion dogs ( like say, oh, Chihuahuas;) ) I would be putting titles on the breeding dogs. At the very least CGN/CGC and preferably OB and/or therapy dog titles. Even a "just a pet" dog should have some proof it is going to be a good pet.:)
  • Emily ThorntonEmily Thornton Posts: 12Member
    edited 6 December, 2011
    I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the retriever, she is just not suited to an elderly couple because they cannot provide her with the mental and stimulation she needs. As I stated before, German Shepherds still have that guarding and herding instinct within them. It's apparent in Bear even at just six months of age. But he's not suited to a working environment because that instant drive to herd has been diluted. It honestly produces a dog more suited to family life, yet he will always remain a guarding and herding animal and I of course respect that. I don't favour long haired Shepherds over short haired Shepherds because they are equally as beautiful. Of course, when someone mentions 'German Shepherd' I instantly think of a short haired traditional black and tan German dog but I know there are varieties of coat types and colours out there now, and obviously I was a little girl when I got my first German Shepherd Tess who was long haired, but listened to the stories of my mam's short haired Shepherd Prince so I guess I've just become more accepting in the diversity of the breed. I am young, your experience obviously over powers me and I respect you for that. I can defiantly compliment you all on owning such a beautiful breed of dog and your concern for that breed. :) I'll grow up owning a German Shepherd till I'm unable to give it the care and attention they all deserve. I do think Kim is a good breeder, with controversial intentions but I won't criticize on her coat choice. The health of all her dogs are signed off and vet checked and I'd rather have an unusual coloured dog who's healthy, than a one with a curved spine and will suffer from an early age from bad hips. Thankyou for the friendly debate, no blood was shed! (-:
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