Work or Show line


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Choosing a work or show line should be based on individual owner-to-be need and experience. We highly advise you not to choose based on color and or coat, those should be last two things to consider.

If you have read the GSD Breed Standard , it describes physical features, often called conformation, and also describes traits/temperament/work ability. As early as 1940, some breeders started focusing mainly on conformation of the GSD with little attention to temperament and produced what is nowadays called Show line GSD. Others started focusing mainly on temperament and work ability of the GSD and paid little attention to conformation and produced what is nowadays called Work line GSD. Therefore we ended up with two separate types of the German Shepherd Dog, a show line and a work line. The two types, though still officially considered one breed, and both are intelligent and loyal, they actually have become very different from each other especially in the inside.

In order you can decide which type suits your needs and lifestyle best, please see below the main differences between the two types explained as simply as possible.

Show line

A. Temperament & work ability: 

Show line type, in general, has a soft temperament and therefore its work ability is minimum, nowadays hardly any police department uses this type for narcotics detection, bomb sniffing, riot combat or street patrol. Also, rarely can it score high points in BSP Shutzhund/IPO competition. Due to its soft temperament, low drives & energy it makes a nice inside home companion and pet.

B. Show line type has comparatively lower drives and is less energetic, and therefore it adapts to inside house living much better. It can do with less space and less daily exercise, but still needs sufficient  space and moderate daily exercise and activity. It can be trained for obedience easily.

C. Guarding ability:

Due to its soft temperament, it does not make an excellent active guardian for property and family, though it still is a good deterrent.

D. Size and substance:

Both types are of same size and substance, you will see some difference from one individual to another.

E. Conformation/structure:

A show line has closer structure to the breed standard, and it excells and achieves high placement in BSZS show ring. However I should point out that today's trend unfortunately favors deeper than should rears, flatter withers, excessive sloping toplines, and even roachy backs. all of that affects negatively a harmonious effective trot.

F. Coat:

Both types come in short or long coats

G. Color:

Show line usually comes in Black & reddish brown, some times it also comes in red sable color. In Russia and some parts of Eastern Europe it also comes in solid black with notable black color bleed through (you can see color of under coat) on the limbs.

Work line

 

A. Temperament & work ability: 

Work line type, in general, has a strong temperament and therefore its work ability is much better, that is why many police departments use this type for narcotics detection, bomb sniffing, riot combat and street patrol. Also, this type scores high points in BSP Shutzhund/IPO competition. Due to its sound temperament, high drives & higher energy it makes a a good sport as well as protection dog.

B. Work type has comparatively higher drives and is more energetic, and therefore it does not adapts well to inside house living. It needs more space and more daily exercise. It can easily be trained for obedience as well as Shtzhund/IPO, police work, civil defense work, army work and personal protection.

C. Guarding ability:

Due to its strong temperament, it makes an excellent active guardian for property and family, though it still is a good companion.

D. Size and substance:

As said before, both types are of same size and substance, you will see some difference from one individual to another.

E. Conformation/structure:

A work line's structure, in general, does not adhere well to the breed standard, though some line breeder do breed good moderate structure, but it's not the common. Hardly can a work line GSD place high in BSZS show ring

F. Coat:

As said before, both types come in short or long coats

G. Color:

Work line comes in all 4 colors of the breed; Sable, Black & tan, Bi-color, and Solid black.

 

 

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