This is a rant: It is not directed to you, this is what I am screaming in my head as I try and steer the folks at work and other acquaintances that know me as “The German Shepherd Guy” away from my beloved breed. They are thinking about a dog for the family, a companion, a protector for the family etc etc. They don’t have dogs or if they do they are an afterthought beyond their puppyhood.
DO NOT GET A GERMAN SHEPHERD!!!!!!!
You will not train it! You will not exercise it! You will not care for it! You will come to me with stories of how at three months old, it is the smartest, most best behaved dog you have ever known. Then six months later when I ask you how it’s going I find out you had to “give it to your uncle in the country” or you “gave it away” because it went crazy at seven months old and you couldn’t control it.
I have had this happen several times through the years and I will do everything I can to keep it from happening again. Every time I see that noble animal in a back yard next to its overturned food bowl staring out beyond the fence, its fur matted with dirt I cringe.
Yeah, you wanted a German Shepherd.
Sorry, but I feel better now.
Let me say I am not a breeder, competitor or veterinarian. I am simply an owner of German Shepherds and have been around the breed all my life. I dearly love dogs and German Shepherds especially. I have often lamented pet overpopulation and mistreatment, and have taken steps to assist with the problem. I use my ability to donate to shelters as a primary activity.
As for casual acquaintances and co-workers I am known as the German Shepherd guy. I have a German Shepherd wall calendar and pictures on my computer desk top. Several times a year, I am approached by one of these folks as they express their desire to have a German Shepherd and their intention to obtain one. They inevitably ask for breeder recommendations. I always try and dissuade them from getting a German Shepherd. I do not trash the breed, but simply point out the time and effort required and encourage them to get something else.
They are a HUGE responsibility. People tend to look at getting a dog like they look at buying a new pair of shoes. They expect them to look perfect, and then when they get tired of them.... Just to be able to lock them away in a closet and get them out when it pleases THEM. People don't realize the years of training, and the hours of work it has taken to make a dog be like the ones they see on tv. They're a part of the family, not a robot with no needs or emotions.
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