First, thanks all for being such a great community. We brought Molly, our now 6 month old GSD home last September, and since (even before) then, this site has been a wonderful resource for information.
My wife and I had been kicking around the idea of getting a dog for a couple of years. Our kids were old enough, and both our families had dogs growing up. We looked at numerous breeds, from both animal shelters as well as breeders. After about a full year of waffling, we finally decided on a GSD. We prefer larger dogs, and my family had a Shepherd/Collie mix when we were growing up that will live in my parent's minds as THE. BEST. DOG. EVER.
So, we started looking locally at shelters, and came up with numerous mixes, but no dogs unfortunately that my wife, myself and the kids really clicked with. We looked at breeders as well, and during that process was referred by chance to a couple that just happened to have two GSDs and a recent litter of puppies. They were not breeders themselves per se, but a couple who had recently married, and their new family included two GSDs that had apparently not waited for the honeymoon, resulting in a litter of ten puppies.
We made the trip, and of course, the kids wanted to take all of them home. My wife and I decided on a female that seemed to lead the charge of puppies exploring the property and even had the guts to goad her father into play when he was clearly not interested. On the ride home, we named her Molly.
Speaking of her parentage, Molly's father was one of the biggest GSDs I have ever seen. He was at once truly massive yet the sweetest dog. After a few "who are the strangers?" barks when we arrived, he approached my young daughter with a large stick (my wife recalls it as a "log") and the two ran off to play. He was the classic black/tan, her mother was more of what I believe is referred to as a "sable" with more silver and gray in her coat. She had unfortunately been hit by a car a few years back and lost a leg, but you'd never know it by the way she tended to her pups.
We crate trained from day one. And honestly, that's the only night we've had an issue with it. Molly was understandably freaked out in a new place away from her litter mates, so we moved the crate into our bedroom and I spent much of that night laying on the floor next to the crate so she would quiet down. Since then no issues. Without a doubt, crate training while sometimes hard for the kids who wanted her out to play constantly, was the key to housebreaking her without too much drama.
We have learned so much from this community and one day I hope I can contribute to help someone else out in return.
Now, Molly is 6 months old and a happy, healthy 61 pound bundle of joy. She is a fast learner, amazing with the kids, and absolutely loves Lincoln, our 3 year old cat. Our cat is a total jerk to any other feline, but he shockingly took to Molly almost immediately. We're so happy to have her in our home.
Molly at 6 mos.