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WindRidge has moved to beautiful Oregon.

Our new hometown is Junction City, OR

Our phone number remains the same: 580-450-0232 cell

WINDRIDGE NEWS

Let's Talk About German Shepherds

When people tell me they want a German Shepherd, I first ask them "why?" That may sound odd coming from someone who lives with a pack of German Shepherds 24 hours a day and wouldn't have it any other way, but the truth is most people understand little about the breed, and most of what they know comes from childhood memories of Rin Tin Tin. In fact, the movie industry has done a great disservice to domestic dogs with their anthropomorphic portrayals of Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Old Yeller and even cartoons such as Lady and the Tramp and Scooby Doo. The truth is dogs are NOT furry, four footed people and can't be expected to act as though they are. When you think about it, it is quite incredible and says a lot about the adaptability of canines that they fit so well into a human's lifestyle.

By and large, pet dogs are well behaved and tolerate our abuses and unrealistic social requirements amazingly well. With no ability to understand our motivation, dogs are willing to accept the boundaries and behavior parameters we so arbitrarily establish for them. Certainly the majority of the time our dogs behave in a predictable manner according to our wishes; however, this often leads to a false belief that dogs perceive their environment just as we do, and that spells trouble. Too often dog owners become complacent because Fido is such a good boy and fail to take appropriate precautions to protect both the dog and other people and/or property.

An adult German Shepherd is a large, strong, and intelligent animal with canine drives and behaviors that can make it dangerous. Before you purchase a German Shepherd, you must learn about the breed and honestly evaluate whether you are able to put the necessary time and effort into owning one. Keep in mind that a German Shepherd is going to become stronger and more agile than most adult men. They are not weak willed dogs and will often challenge authority. Controlling a German Shepherd with fear and a heavy hand will alienate the dog and cause it to react with shyness or increased aggression. Likewise, being too soft and inconsistent will quickly establish the dog as alpha and relegate the owner to a subordinate position. More than any other breed, a German Shepherd needs to establish a strong bond with its owner. This bond is comprised of love, trust, and respect which you must earn through patience, consistency, and affection. That is what controls the dog and makes it want to please and obey you.

It's my opinion that parenting is the most difficult job we have, and in a perfect world there would be education requirements for prospective parents. It's often been said that a dog has the reasoning capacity of a two year old child. I would add that a dog is more like a two year old with a loaded gun. Owning a German Shepherd is like having a perennial child with HUGE teeth. So educate yourself about the breed. Understand the history and genetic makeup of German Shepherds before you bring one into your family. For the next 10 to 15 years, you are going to be responsible for raising, socializing, training, and loving the most incredible breed of dog I've ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I reiterate that it's a huge responsibility and should never for even a moment be forgotten or taken lightly.

Now, assuming you are ready to own a German Shepherd, let me tell you about WindRidge:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are looking for a family companion and guardian that is healthy, loyal, intelligent, and beautiful, you have finally found what you are looking for. We do not breed specifically for show, protection, schutzhund, or herding although our dogs have done well in all those venues. Our goal is to breed German Shepherds that will become cherished companions, babysitters, protectors, athletes, and couch potatoes rolled into one. In other words, a dog your family can depend on regardless of the situation.

Widely recognized for their versatility, German Shepherds are the breed of choice for many families; however, when people try to find a healthy, sound puppy, they quickly realize that too many shortsighted breeders have exploited the breed for profit and ego gratification. Such breeders bred many generations of German Shepherds for a single goal with little regard for overall health and soundness.

Whether the breeder's goal was show, schutzhund, protection, or profit their tunnel vision failed to consider the welfare of the breed and ended up producing German Shepherds riddled with health problems, temperament problems (spooks, overly aggressive, or hyperactive), and structural extremes. In fact, inbreeding and linebreeding have reached a point where the German Shepherd Dog breed is in serious danger. The following article is important for all prospective puppy buyers to read:

The Downside of Inbreeding: It's Time For A New Approach


When searching for a sound, family companion German Shepherd, people also run across websites dedicated to lies, insults, and slander against breeders who don't agree with the site owner's extremely limited breeding goals. Don't be misled by such people; as a buyer, you should beware of snake oil salesmen claiming they breed the only "Real GSDs" because they have bloodlines from so called "working" lines. Too often the dogs they produce are unfit for family companions because of excessive prey drive, hyperactivity and/or poor training methods. Their dogs also suffer from the same inbred genetic problems found in the "show" lines they disparage, but they'll never admit it and often practice cruel culling to kill off their mistakes before anyone sees them. This is not to say there aren't healthy, well bred so called "working" line German Shepherds from many countries. However, reputable breeders are confident in the quality of the dogs they produce and don't need to resort to insults and personal attacks to prove their own worth.

Recently, during a conference regarding the breeding, keeping, working and showing of German Shepherd Dogs in the 21st Century conducted by the German Shepherd Breed Council and the Educational Working Party (UK), Mr. Peter van Oirschot, Supervisor Breed Affairs S.V. Netherlands, declared, "I felt, and still feel, a deep respect for the working Shepherd dog: searching for mines and explosives, as a rescue dog, tracking using his senses and intelligence and alertness in a variety of tasks as helpers for mankind, the embodiment of man’s best friend. Though, maybe his most important duty is his source of joy in thousands of homes as a lovely, reliable, intelligent companion."

We fully agree with Mr. van Oirschot. Although the "work" of canines has changed over the millennia with the needs of the times, the mutual bond of companionship between man and dog bringing joy to millions has remained unchanged.

Clearly, the human-canine bond is the oldest interspecies relationship known. Archaeological discoveries provide clear evidence of this relationship. Fourteen thousand years ago in what is now Germany, the human/canine bond was already so strong they were buried together (at an archeology site known as Bonn-Oberkassel such joint human/dog interments were uncovered ). In what is now Israel, a human body has been discovered in a grave cradling a puppy in its arms dating 12,000 years ago, and in the Americas, dog burials have been uncovered in Danger Cave, Utah dating back 11,000 years.

So, while there are small but very vocal subsets of breeders, whether so called "working" or "show", exhorting their myopic views on what constitutes a "reputable" breeder and "correct" breeding practices, the rest of the world knows that the most noble role of any dog, but specifically the German Shepherd Dog, is that of the family companion capable of providing both love and protection par excellence.

Fortunately, there are conscientious, caring breeders in every country who are breeding healthy, sound, versatile German Shepherd Dogs capable of family companionship. Such breeders don't resort to breeding extremes in either conformation or temperament and prudently combine bloodlines from many countries and venues resulting in healthier and more vigorous pups.

Without regard to country of origin, we have spent whatever was necessary to acquire exceptionally healthy, sound, and genetically diverse breeding stock. By making health, temperament, intelligence, and overall balance our priorities, we are successfully combining international bloodlines to produce a truly versatile, dependable, healthy companion dog: "the dog for all reasons," the German Shepherd Dog.

In summation, we end with a quote from Mr. van Oirschot. "The average buyer of a GSD puppy wants quality. His priorities are a dog with good health, a clear representative of his breed, sound character and a reliable companion. He wants a manageable, obedient dog and as he is involved in a range of activities he does not want bureaucratic rules in a busy world where he wants to relax and spend quality time with his dog. The GSD can be that quality dog. It is our task to breed the German Shepherd as such and to maintain him as man’s number one best friend. If he were here today Von Stephanitz would aim for this too. I’m sure of it"!


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