DDR Or East German Shepherds
Dogs are a commodity, regardless of the breed. They are bought and sold. The REASONS they are bought and sold are very diverse. But most will have to agree they are purchased with a “purpose “ or “job” in mind.
The job of the vast overwhelming majority of working dogs found in homes in the world today is "PROTECTOR". 99% of the "working line" dogs will never be trained or titled in any way. That begs the question, why bother having “working line dogs?”
Here is my explanation why the working line dogs specifically are a desired commodity. The primary difference between working line dogs and show line dogs other than the obvious "looks" is the amount of natural protection drives found in the dogs as a result of years of selective breeding. In DDR dogs specifically, you will find today that most have a lot larger "defense" drive than "prey" drive. While they may not necessarily have prey drives to chase a ball, and may not be professionally trained, you will most often find most working line dogs to naturally be a formidable opponent in the face of a threat to their family. This is where the genetic engineering of working line dogs play a significant role.
What the buying public (consumers) are really looking for are "best friends" who will not shrink, cower or run in the face of danger or imminent threat. And of course, This is how working line dogs were and are being bred to respond.
Face it, most people buying working dogs are not going to spend the time or money to get their dogs professionally trained. Just look at the current numbers. Remember, bite training is not teaching a dog to bite! It's teaching a dog not to bite until it is required of him by command OR necessary in the dog's opinion. What you are training the dog to do is respond as you wish when you are present. Then, Hopefully the dog will learn "thinking skills" which will have an effect on his response to threat when you are not present with him or her.
Professional trainers and exhibitors can stand on a soap box and scream altruistic or purist agendas concerning working dogs all we want, but the reality in the marketplace is that most people buying working line dogs really only want a FRIEND and PROTECTOR. In this day and age we live, a great protection dog is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. The working dog bloodlines are where these great PROTECTORS can be found.
If you are in the very very small minority, training or exhibiting working dogs, I applaud you sincerely. Your effort into training these dogs is a valuable contribution to preserving these magnificent dogs. You are also invaluable in the education of those who are obtaining these dogs simply as a friend and protector for their families. We must be honest about the FUTURE of the working dog lines and specifically the DDR lines.
The original "job" that the DDR “war dogs” were bred to do is no longer necessary in the world today. As a result the selective breeding practices over the last few years have changed. Marketplace demands is the driving force in the existence of all things in the world today. While I would love to have the same type of dogs that the GDR breeders were producing back when, the truth is, if we had them today, most of them would ultimately be in jeopardy of being euthanized, just as many of them were euthanized post DDR due to their inherent traits making them not suitable for homes.
As breeders of these wonderful dogs, we must fine a way to conform to the market place demands economically while satisfying the desires of the consumer. Consciously doing this and simultaneously making selective breeding decisions which will serve to carry on the former great working dog blood lines. Unfortunately, the DDR dog bloodlines need our protection at this time.
Without a conscious organized marketplace plan or agenda, the former great working line dogs that we have a such deep love for will become extinct.
The DDR dogs were trained to out-perform the West German Shepherd dogs by scaling straight six-foot walls, endure long patrols in harsh weather conditions and much more. The DDR’s worked as Border Police and guarded the East German border that was 850 miles long, in addition to the Berlin Wall. Their main duty was to track and attack deserters .