Your thoughts on this dog breed

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Your thoughts on this dog breed

My family and I have been looking at getting a German Shepherd dog and were wondering about your experiences with this breed. Any information is appreciated.
cavalierkingcharles
 
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Location: Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

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Re: Your thoughts on this dog breed

Unread postby betsi » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:19 pm

Pros:
- They are extremely Intelligent. German Shepherds are very popular in police k-9 units, bomb sniffers, rescue dogs, seeing eye dogs etc. With the proper guidance they will be very obedient.

-Amazing Loyalty; Shepherds develope strong bonds to their families and will protect them without hesitation. This makes them excellent guard dogs. They Truly love their owners and will do most anything to please them.

-Versatility, While they are smart and tough enough to be guard dogs they can be Absolutely wonderful with children or all ages and other pets including cats.

The main cons with German Shepherds is that they require alot of dedication from their owners. They need proper training, socialization and exercise because this model canine citizen has the potential to be a nightmare and even dangerous if poorly raised.

-German Shepherds need exercise and mental stimulation.This dog breed won’t be happy confined to a house or apartment all day and will manifest their displeasure with destructive behavior.

-The German Shepherd dog breed has a tendency to be suspicious of strangers unless given early socialization. It’s important that they interact with a variety of people from a young age. This is even more True with strange animals

-They shed ALOT, all year round.

-Health Issues, they are subject to alot of health problems that could become very expensive and debilitation.

-There is the potential for legal liability. The German Shepherd is one of the dog breeds some insurance companies have on their black list, meaning they won’t insure you if you have one or will charge you a large premium. This is a sad fact of life since many German Shepherd dogs make model pets with proper care and training.
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betsi
 
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Re: Your thoughts on this dog breed

Unread postby cavalierkingcharles » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:56 pm

okay, any more thoughts from people that have owned this breed?
cavalierkingcharles
 
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Re: Your thoughts on this dog breed

Unread postby 1crazylady » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:30 pm

My hubby & I share our life & home with two GSD's. Our male is 5 and our female is 2 1/2 years old. The male is very mellow, relaxed, loving, is awesome with youngsters, protective of "his" people and has a hate on for ravens. Our girl has attitude- has since the day she came home at 8 weeks old. She is a dog that needs a boss or she will happily take the role. She is a sweet little angel full of kisses, play & wanting belly rubs about 98% of the time. That other 2% is why we do our best to maintain training and add new techniques when we hear about them. We also try to expose her to new people, situations and experiences to eliminate the risk of her reacting badly due to fear of something she has not encountered before.

Shedding... oh yeah. Invest in a good quality brush and get puppy used to getting brushed as soon as it comes home. Regular brushing helps control how much hair gets shed on it's own. The routine of brushing can turn into a relaxing habit for both your & the dog. The Furminator is awesome. there are also some that do the job for alot less expense. Once grown, be prepared to drop about $100-$130 when you go to the groomer. If you are willing to clip nails yourself then you can save money and keep the nails maintained at a short length. I bought nailclippers at the vet office for around $30, which is about the same price as having someone else clip them.

Be prepared. Everyone seems to know someone who has/had/grew up with/loves/wants a German Shepard Dog (GSD). Lots of folks will want to pet your pooch and unfortunatly they usually ask with the question "does your dog bite"? It is a breed people seem to either love or fear. Your GSD will learn very quickly to 'read' you and will be much better off if you are able to remain calm in situations so that it does not sense that it is time to be tough and protect you.

I totally agree about being dedicated to your dogs. My hubby & I work full-time so we hired a pet sitter to visit during the day (potty break and play time). We have a good play after work as well. We have several laundry baskets full of a huge variety of dog toys (toys, squeakies, ropes, multitude of different chew toys/bones) which along with napping seems to keep them out of trouble during the day. They were kennel trained and earned their way to have run of the house before they were 2years old. Happy to say we never had chewing on furniture and only the rare incident of chewing a non-dog item.

Health... do not have a big play or exercise right after eating to help avoid bloat ( a gastric twist issue). Research your breeder if going that route, keep in mind there are usually some lovely shepard-X's at the SPCA that would love to prove what a great companion they would make for you. Given some issues I have seen, I personally would stay away from adopting an ex-show ring dog (higher risk of hip/joint issues)- however if you are not looking for the athletic abilities then they still have a lot of love to give.

Ask around. With the number of GSD's I have seen in this town, see if you can visit some of them. Kind of like arranging a play date! Then you can ask loads of questions and get a range of answers on everything from training, temperment, coat care, feeding, stories right down to how much can you expect to pick up in the yard/dog run :) Think about the size of dog you are looking for. My girl is 70lbs, my boy is 90lbs and the dames/sires at the breeder they came from range from 70-130lbs.

Best wishes and congrats on thinking about adopting a new fur-baby!
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Re: Your thoughts on this dog breed

Unread postby Glazed » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:22 am

I've had two Germen Shepherds in my life. My first GSD was bought from a backyard breeder when I was young, stupid, and ignorant. Sam turned out to be a tremendous companion when all was said and done. He later developed health issues that you'd expect from such a breeder but he was a loyal and loving companion. I had Sam for eight years. He had developed hip displaysia and was completely blind by the age of five years. Nevertheless, as a typical GSD he was exceptionally easy to train. He took to voice and hand signals amazingly fast and learned at a tremendous pace. He was a joy. I lived in a rural area at the time and he had a huge yard. He was a model guard dog that let you know when we had visitors being suspicious but not aggressive more like, "I see you and I'm watching you" type of demeanor. He quickly learned what visitors dropped by regularly to visit his pack and who were truely strangers. His ears were a dead give away of what he was thinking. We put him down due to his severe arthritis and mobility issues. He had fallen down the stairs a couple times due to his blindness and his hips. It was truely heart breaking. I hope someone does the same to me if I get into such a state. I'll never forget him. The bluejays and grayjays rejoiced when their arch nemisis no longer kept watch on the food bowel.

My second GSD was Rex. We got Rex here in Ft Mac. His previous owner had problems with not having the time, space, or ability to properly care for him. Rex was a BIG GSD. He originally came from a Vancouver GSD rescue we later found out. He was already a senior when we got him at the age of 9 or so we think by looking at his teeth. He had some behavioral issues most likely due to no training, poor socialization, isolation, and poor owners in the past. He quickly adapted however to his new pack and lived happily until he passed away at the ripe old age of 13! Which is ancient for a dog of his size.

It has been my experience as a GSD owner that they are one of the most wonderful of the dog breeds. They are highly intelligent, very loyal, fearless, and they typically have a strong prey drive. Some people forget that the role of a GSD is not firstly a guard dog, as it is commonly portrayed, but was developed for herding. A typical GSD has a very strong herding drive and it is very commical in a lot of instances. If you have a GSD stand back and just watch what he/she does when around other people or pets. I used to take Rex to the dog park and he would routinely try to round up other dogs and "try" to keep them in little packs which he could manage. Even at home he tried to keep the cats and our other dog herded. You can imagine how successful he was at that.

GSD's need work. They need to be stimulated. They crave affection, attention, and they need to know their place in the pack. You have to be dominant. They need to know who is the pack leader to be happy or they will assume the role. Most dogs will actually which is never a good thing. The best way, in my opinion, to care for a GSD is to train, exercise, and socialise socialise and then socialise your dog. A quick note on exercising your GSD. A GSD is a very athletic and graceful animal. You need more than a quick jaunt out to the sidewalk to give your GSD a walk. They need to have good jaunt I'm talking a couple of km's. This is something to consider when you decide to adopt a GSD. When it's -35 outside you still have to take Tintin for that walk. They will get restless and irritable if not. Also remember just because they have that big luxurious neverending shedding coat that they do get cold, especially their paws. I've seen a lot of dogs in this town going for a walk in the winter doing the two-step shuffle because their poor paws were frozen.

If again, you choose a GSD you will end up with a dog that will astound you, your family, and friends. I also guarantee that you will not need a burglar alarm in your house. Have you ever heard a GSD bark? When a GSD barks in guard mode he says "Bring it on!" What a wonderful breed, such great memories, and great times. If you choose a GSD you won't regret it if you have the dedication, time, and love. It will be returned 100 fold. Do your research. Do you have the time to commit? Is the dog going to be left at home alone for more than eight hours? Are you working shifts? A dog needs a routine and it is very upsetting when his pack does things that interrupt that routine he/she has been accustomed to. It is very common to even have a dog get stressed by changing that routine or schedule. Yes, dog's can tell time. They know when it's time to get up in the morning and when you are supposed to get home from work. Dog owners, am I right? Do you have the money? Yes, owning a dog is expensive especially in this town. Are you prepared to make sacrifices? Want to go to Vegas for a few days? Great! Ummm, what about Tintin? Where will you kennel him? Who can you trust to take care of him/her (walk, play, spend time with him/her)? Who will want to look after him/her while you are gone? Dogs are work, just like horses... people forget that but oh isn't it wonderful work?

Glazed
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