From whom did i learn the most as a breeder.

I really like the working German Shepherds, the good ones of course, and if they are the grey lineage (if I remember correctly this is the name given to the original German Shepherd) even better. In the days before Internet I travelled to Germany to purchase them and continued to do so for several years. On one occasion I brought back 11 dogs for breeding purposes, some were full grown adults, some puppies. On another occasion I travelled back with nine. When it wasn’t possible for me to travel to Germany, I would purchase by telephone. Sometimes things went well, others not so well.

The professional breeder knows that with such a complex and difficult activity, it is necessary to invest in installations, in dogs, etc.

In those trips I met many breeders, from all walks of life. They were and continue to be, mostly, hard working people, simple people with limited resources but with a great passion and knowledge of dogs, especially their breed. Obviously, I had a good relationship, and continue to do so, with those breeders who produce the real working dogs. These breeders are aware of the importance of selective breeding. With their great knowledge of breeding lines, they cannot ignore morphological defects, poor structure, rusticity and poor temperament.

I learnt many things from these professionals, fundamentally what is really important. I haven’t invented anything, it’s all been invented. To a great measure what I do day by day I have learnt from these people, not forgetting under any circumstance the differences between the Presa Canario and the German Shepherd.

Without a plan or a method, failure is guaranteed. The selection of dams and sires is not just to go out and buy a male and female from a reputable breeder and when they are of age to mate them etc., no, it doesn’t work like this!

I purchased a male and a female German Shepherd in Germany, from different breeding lines and as soon as I got back to my kennels I started observing them and tried to get an idea of what their evolution would be on reaching their first year.

If by that time I wasn’t convinced and although the pedigree was perfect and the money paid was substantial, I would purchase a substitute. If on the contrary both dogs were what I wanted, they would then enter into my breeding plan and then it was just a question of awaiting the result, and in this way generation after generation.

One error a breeder should never make is to lie to him or herself.

Manuel Curtó Gracia
Tenerife, 26 December 2014