My wife and I want to add a dog to our family, so I've been zooming around the web doing tons of research. We have a daughter who is seven, a son who is three but will be four in July and a cat. We don't live in a big city but our yard is HUGE but not fenced in. I would like a bigger dog since I'm a large man myself (6'4") and I'm looking for something that is loyal and friendly but will also protect my family if I'm not around. Protecting is NOT the main priority and will not be trained as such but it will put me at ease knowing the dog won't run up to a burglar and become best friends with them.
She was set on a husky but since I've owned huskies as a kid I had to explain to her how much work they are. My uncle was a K9 officer when I was growing up and had a couple of GSD and I always remember how smart and beautiful they were but also a little scary because of their size. We've come to the road where we're not sure if we should get a GSD or a Lab, I'm personally leaning towards the GSD.
I have some fears and questions about them that I'm hoping everyone can answer! This dog will become part of our family, our human pack. While we don't get a ton of visitors I still want the dog to be pettable by friends and other family that come visit. Is this something I need to train them for or are they fairly good with this? I saw the video last night of the police dog and the reporter (I remember seeing it a while ago too) and I fear that a GSD might bite a friend or family member unintentionally if they touch it the wrong way.
If properly trained can they play off the leash? We sometimes go and visit my mother who just got another shih tzu and it's "up north" so I'd like to be able to let our dog run and play without a leash but without fear of it running away.
I guess my biggest fears about a GSD are the possibility of biting a "stranger" but that stranger just being family/friend visiting but still knowing my dog will protect my family when I'm not around. Also being able to play without being on a leash, in our backyard for example. We're near a busy road at the front of our house and a semi-busy side street and I'm afraid of the dog running off while we're playing catch or fetch.
Last but not least, boy or girl?? I've heard the females tend to be a bit more independent than the males when they get older, is that true?
I'm currently a full time student and stay at home dad so training and being with the dog is not an issue and our local Goldrusk has Puppy Socialization every saturday until they are six months old which we would attend! I want to make sure that we get a dog that fits our family, it will get so much love it'll be unbelievable!
Thank you in advance for anyone who responds!
Foxwood Kennels - Wisconsin Dog Breeding - Green Bay, Wisconsin - (920) 336-8780
This is a place we are considering buying our GSD from if this is the right dog, does it look alright?