Now or Never - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Now or Never

Well I have reached that point where I must decide if I am going to get my first GS pup. Ive done as much research as I can, and continue to do so. I have located an outstanding breeder and an available pup ( 14wks old ). All the family wants the pup, but my partner has expressed concerns;namely about the high degree of commitment that will be required for the dog. Im retired so for me that is a non-issue. Her's being practical based, like how can we leave dog alone if we want to go out for a few hours or take off alone for the weekend. I think she thinks ( and may be correct ) that I wont be freewheeling so much. I am an avid motorcycle rider. Although not so much in the snow belt months between November and March. Also the potential cost of vet bills. Have read some horror stories on that one. Have always wanted a GSD real bad. But want to make the right choice foe both me and the Shepherd. I believe that once the pup made a hold on the family it just might melt any feelings of anyone having second thoughts.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 01:31 PM
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They do require lots of time and vet bills can be quite high...In the last year I have put my dog through several classes, got the CGC, and started agility(well over a $1000.00) and she got sick and that cost me about $1500.00 to find out nothing. This does not include toys, bones, food, crate, etc. So yes it can be time consuming and expensive, that won't change.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 02:31 PM
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I haven't begun to go to a trainer regularly yet because of the timing, but here vet bills are no issue. They're relatively cheap. Here's how I look at it:

You really only need basic obedience classes or you can DIY. Vet bills are only plentiful when they're a puppy and need vaccines. If the special sports are expensive I'm sure your dog will be happy playing fetch or going on long walks. You only live once and life is short. If you want a puppy, you should get one. Sounds like you're doing your research and really want one. You have plenty of time to work with it. And going out for a fee hours is no biggie. Crate train, although I wouldn't go out for hours and hours everyday, your pup will be fine.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 03:26 PM
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I respectfully disagree on vet bills only being plentiful when puppies

Read some of the health issues here, people (myself included) have at times, spent thousands of dollars in one year or one visit for an ER on their dogs.

So they can be VERY expensive if some ER crops up or a medical issue.

I agree with basic obedience or DIY if one can do it and ends up with a well mannered dog, but problems can crop up and I always suggest classes anyway

In the end it IS a HUGE committment, it's like having a kid that never grows up

If you want to take a vacation or be gone for a day or so, you have to make arrangements for Fido, Heck I haven't had a vacation in 20 years )

Of course it can be done, dogs take up ALOT of my time, having two senior dogs not as much, but I have a 4 year old that (Masi gsd), that takes up the majority of my time when I'm not working, which I am not complaining about

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 03:41 PM
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If you came to me as a prospective owner with the concerns you listed with a "now or never" I would say that you are not ready for the "now" and possibly "never" .

there is no "that point where I must decide if I am going to get my first GS pup" .
this " but my partner has expressed concerns;namely about the high degree of commitment that will be required for the dog." is not good .
You can board your dog and if you are in the GTA I can recommend excellent boarding and training facilities. But will your spontaneity be crimped ? Sure will !

I wonder if the "outstanding breeder with a 14 week old pup available" knows about this situation.

" I believe that once the pup made a hold on the family it just might melt any feelings of anyone having second thoughts" maybe , maybe not , but the breeder who cared about the future of their dog would not place a dog in an iffy situation .

not blasting you. just making you think long and hard about your decision . Anyway why do you think the pup / breeder are so outstanding ?



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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 03:51 PM
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Your partner has great points because having a dog is a life change, but a puppy is a HUGE difference for me for at least the first year or so.

Like adding a child in many ways, if you think your time is still your own that's probably not so anymore

If you find a good breeder and get a good pup, then chances are the vet bills won't be the biggest cost. Training is more for me.

But true 'cost' is my time. If I don't already have alot of free time, or am not able to make alot of free time, then I am not able to add a puppy to my lifestyle.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 07:57 PM
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The vet bills are nothing to sneeze at and with a breed as beset by health problems as the GSD is, be prepared for them. I spent several thousand dollars on my dog's vet bills from age 11 weeks to two years. One memorable weekend a pet ER bill was $2,100. And they continue throughout the dog's life, not just during the puppy phase.

Although leaving puppy/dog home alone for a few hours is entirely normal, you will have to pay for boarding or an in-home pet sitter if you're going to be gone for a night or more. And that is costly. Boarding my dogs or finding a good, reliable pet sitter is the most difficult part when my family leaves for longer than just a day trip.

Training is mandatory. This is a smart breed, they need it. And even highly experienced people use training classes. The chance to get a second set of eyes is invaluable and the socializing in a group setting is especially important with puppies. Doing it yourself is not generally the way to go. There are very, very few exceptions to that.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 08:42 PM
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I think time and a change to your lifestyle is going to be your biggest issue. Crate training, house breaking, chewing on things, the landshark phase, and the exercise and mental stimulation are all things that take time and energy. Plus the socialization. This is a breed that you cannot skip that or take it lightly. If you're new to the breed, you may need to take classes. With your other half not on board with it.... that can cause some big problems. Yes, vet bills can get very expensive. I got major medical insurance on my pup, because I know the possibility is there for high dollar medical costs. What breeder are you looking at? Just curious, as it seems that most really good breeders don't generally have pups that age. Their litters are spoken for before they're even born sometimes.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2012, 09:14 PM
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Don't get a new dog if you and your partner are not on one page; in the interest of the dog and your relationship with your partner.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-03-2013, 02:07 PM
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My two cents:
I agree in part with bills and care costs will always be there. If you spend more for the pup on the front are paying partly for good sound health which may reduce these costs...but if he gets kicked by a cow or eats a christmas are going to need your vet and it will cost.

All of these points have already been made....WHAT I WANT TO ADD IS THIS: for you not to forget the other side of the equation....what he will GIVE YOU.
The most intensly loyal companionship and protection for your family that you will ever know. Gentleness with your children and Grandchildren (if you pick the right pup), and fierce protection of your home and family as well as the best buddy you could ever hope to have! I have four Shepherds...all have different personalities and some have been more expensive than others at the vet, but what they all give me back is priceless.
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