I would like to begin by saying I love German Shepherds. They are my favorite breed of dog, other than my Golden Retriever who is my soul mate. I asked for a GSD, but my husband was more comfortable with the Retriever and, as things have turned out, it was meant to be.
My neighbor has a GSD. She's a beautiful rescue GSD -- I think a working breed, from her appearance -- my favorite. The couple who rescued the dog is probably early 70's (wife) to mid to late 80s(husband). The wife told me they rescued the dog because her husband was in WWII and scared of GSDs. Anyway, he was awesome with the large female GSD. He taught her to sit and behave as me and my GR walked by. This was a big step from the initial lunging and barking.
Very sadly, I found out the man had cancer and he died this past summer after they probably owned the dog about six months. The rescued dog seems very out of sorts again. The man's wife is extremely overweight and can't walk the GSD like I'm sure he needs to be walked. She's probably able to walk him a couple of blocks. I walk my Golden four to five miles a day. She either has a friend or has hired someone who is walking the GSD. This woman is in her mid 60s to 70, I would guess. She's probably walking the dog a mile tops. The GSD is not listening to her any and with good reason. She is not exhibiting any control over the dog. The poor dog is completely lost.
When they walk by me and my GR, I usually turn and walk away because the GSD is able to drag her across the road and is rearing up and barking at my dog. My dog is totally ignoring her and walking straight ahead out of self preservation, I'm sure. She seems to want to eat him for dinner. He's not a small Golden -- about 80lbs. She's not a small female GSD -- at least 80lbs or more.
Today when we passed, the woman said "I'm very nervous and don't know what to do." Good grief! She let the GSD drag her completely across the road and within two feet of my dog's flanks. Her dog was barking and lunging and she seemed almost completely helpless. She has her on what appears to be a six foot leash. She's holding the leash by the handle. I calmly and politely told her to choke up on the leash because the less leash the dog had to work with, the less she could pull her and get leverage. I also calmly told her her dog was beautiful. She looked like she was about to have a heart attack. I didn't know what to do, but figured calm was better than freaking out. The dog is freaking me out way less than the lady.
Good grief. I don't know what to do with this situation. I want to adopt the GSD, but obviously I can't. I certainly don't want the GSD eating my Golden Retriever for lunch. My Golden has never shown any desire to attack anything ever. It's just his nature. I know he would be fast friends with the GSD and perhaps the GSD in return if it had any semblance of a leader.
I feel sad the neighbor man didn't live because I really think the GSD connected with him. I feel guilty for feeling any animosity in this situation, but goodness! The dog obviously needs exercise and socialization.
Suggestions? My husband says walk the other way whenever I see them coming.