Today's Versatile Working German Shepherd
People often ask if we produce both pet/companion shepherds as well as police/sport shepherds. The answer is yes, and we aren't leaving it to chance. We have designed two separate breeding programs, both sharing the priority of producing a physically and mentally sound German Shepherd, but differentiated by their energy and intensity levels.
Contrary to many "old school" German Shepherd enthusiasts, we believe there is equal value in the dog who can be calm and relaxed in the house who's job may be to provide comfort, perform service type tasks, or companionship and the dog who's purpose is to catch the bad guy or find drugs or bombs. We view both dogs as working dogs, but they are very different dogs to be around. Some say the ideal shepherd is both, but the truth is, the best of one is not the best of the other. Another common job of shepherds, dating back to 1899, was herding and guarding sheep. In the 1900's, almost half of Americans lived on farms as opposed to less than 2% in 1990. As our world evolves, so do our canine wants and needs...and so should our breeding practices.
I love the German Shepherd Dog and I am not suggesting that we turn our back to all of the wonderful traits our ancestors provided us with. I am, however, suggesting we acknowledge that more than one type of working German Shepherd exists and it's time we recognize their value. I grew up training FIDELCO dogs and they were some of the most impressive working dogs I've known, but their drives could not be extreme. Any guide dog prospects with over the top drive, failed out.
We focus our efforts on breeding two types of working shepherds:
Still with us? If you'd like to learn more about our breeding practices, read on.
We have also been breeding/raising/training/competing warmblood horses for over 20 years. What is a warmblood? Warmbloods are middleweight horses known for their versatility, train ability, and global success in a wide range of disciplines. Sound familiar to you? It should, because that description holds true for our German Shepherds as well.
There are a multitude of jobs a shepherd can excel in, much like the warmblood. We believe another parallel to warmbloods, is how they are bred. Let's take Hanoverians (a specific breed of warmblood), for example. The Hanoverian can be described as one of the most prominent breeds of horses today, originating in Germany, often seen in the Olympics winning gold in all three equestrian competitions. What can we attribute to their success? It's simple. They take great jumpers and breed them to other great jumpers. They take great dressage movers and breed them to other great dressage movers. They take great hunters and breed them to other great hunters. Its not uncommon to see an amazing Dressage Hanoverian who has terrible jumping form or an amazing Jumper who lacks beautiful movement...but that's OK! They are still all purebred Hanoverians who are superb at the job they are bred for. The differences separate their life's purpose, not the quality of their breeding.
We feel this is also true for the German Shepherd. In years past, we crossbred our police & companion bloodlines with the hopes of producing a few of each. Many fell somewhere in between the extremities of what we were aiming for. Now that we have separated our breeding into two programs, we are thrilled with the results. Here at Fox Hill Farm, home of Von Der Nordsee German Shepherds, we strive to produce both the best pet/service dogs and the best police/sport dogs, not all in one, but two, separate packages.
German Shepherd Puppies
Search and Rescue
Blind Guide Dog
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