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Old 01-29-2014, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is GSD right for me?

Hello, thinking about getting a puppy! I want a german shepherd and wife wants a Swiss mountain dog. We have a 1 year old puggle now that needs a playmate, very active and energetic. We have a 4 month old daughter now, abd will prob have 3 kids total in the future. We like walks and running and hiking. With our schedule someone will be home most of the day at all times, with your expertise, which do you recommend? in terms of training, loyalty, and socially?
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What does everyone spend on food a month and what brand? and how much on heartworm/flea and tick? its a big difference from my 25 lb puggle who eats blue buffalo Freedom, would you recommend that for GSD? Thank you.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Food cost is nothing compared to the time investment with a GSD. And honestly, I spend way more on training and equipment and vetting than I do on food. If you have to budget food costs, don't get any dog, much less a GSD.


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Old 01-29-2014, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We feed our GSD pup blue buffalo large puppy breed. People think we're crazy for how much we spend on our food but her health is super important to us. It does get expensive between food (since she goes through it so fast!) and the training cost have definitely added up. But I would say if you don't plan to put your GSD in training classes or anything.... Probably go with a different breed. Or getting a GSD **COULD** be a very bad experience. That's just my personal opinion. Good luck finding the right breed for you.


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Old 01-30-2014, 12:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The cost of the food is totally depends upon food brand. And training cost is also vary according to the trainer. So if you love your GSD then forget about the money. But don't forget Best Tips to Clean Pet Stains.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a breed profile book. For Swiss Mountain dog it referred me to the Bernese Mountain dog. "potential for extreme shyness can lead to a fear-based aggression this is difficult to modify." "it is trainable, but patience and precision are crucial", "we do not recommend this breed for families with children because of the potential for aggression".

Gsd from same book, ""makes a great family pet when properly trained, and it will love and protect your children almost to a fault. It can be suspicious of your children's friends, which could lead to a biting incident if the child shows fear or flight". "Children are okay provided no roughhousing or chase games are permitted".
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think it is great you are considering whether a GSD is the right dog for you before you actually get one, hopefully you will be able to make an informed decision and not be disappointed in the future.

In terms of food, training, loyalty, and socially for a GSD, my experience is that they are not great eaters, an adult male can be on about 2 cups (220grams) and 1 to 1 1/2 cups for a female a day. Training - they are generally a breeze to train, very intelligent dogs that usually want to please you and really enjoy doing a job such as obedience exercises. Loyality - when I think of this word I immediately think of a GSD, they will be loyal, your friend and protect you always. Socially - now here is where you will experience different opinions, mainly based on the GSDs temperament, but my experience is that they are social with other dogs and people as puppies, however from about 1yo they can and do develop fears, insecurities and don't necessarily enjoy the company of other dogs - they only want to be with you. So if you are a person that would like to frequent dog parks and expect your dog to behave and run around playing with other dogs, a GSD may not be the right one for you.

With the Swiss Mountain dog, I assume you mean the Bernese Mountain dog, I have never owned one, but I used to see one at an all breads obedience training group and he was a lovely almost goofy type of a dog, not easy to train compared to a GSD, was as though he just didn't have the same intelligence but was every dogs friend and very playful, not to mention very good looking.
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I can't believe I'm being this much of a stickler, but the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a different breed than a Bernese.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

OP, I'm just curious, what is it that is drawing you guys to the two breeds? You're looking at some pretty different temperaments, there. You're getting a lot of info on GSDs, so I'll just throw in a little about the GSMD. They're a livestock guardian breed, which means they were bred to have a natural protective instinct. I don't think they're as bad as some of the more hard-core working livestock dogs out there, but you have to be VERY aware of what that protectiveness entails. Where a GSD is protective but bred to focus very much on a handler, livestock dogs are bred to literally live out with their flock. They ARE bred to be very gentle with whoever they are raised with, but not bred to focus on a handler. They are meant to make their own decisions on when to be protective because a predator can attack in the middle of the night and they need to follow instinct without waiting for commands.

What this means for pet owners is that the dog needs RIDICULOUS amounts of socialization. It takes a little more effort for training because the dogs aren't as naturally in tune with people. They will be super wonderful and loving with the family they're normally around, but can really easily develop guarding problems over "their" property. This can be as harmless as barking at people who walk past the house, or as dangerous as getting protective over your children while they're playing with friends. You really need to be diligent about not only taking the dog out of your property regularly for socialization and training, you want to actively work on training this type of dog to accept strange people in your house.

Like I said, I think this breed doesn't have as many issues as other livestock dogs, but you still need to be aware of the potential. They might look sweet like a lab or a golden, but they are definitely different dogs.

With a 4 month old baby at home (which is an awful lot of work!) you really want to objectively look at your situation, the time you want and can realistically invest into training, and the traits you're looking for in a dog. With your current dog, you might have a stubborn trainer on your hands (beagles and pugs are not really known for their smarts! haha), but neither dog is going to be naturally protective or aggressive. Now you're looking at two breeds that both have the potential to go pretty poorly unless you're really diligent with training. It's a really great idea to make a list of the things that are MOST important to you in another dog, then start picking out breeds that fit in that list. Not saying either breed necessarily ISN'T a good fit for you, either, since I don't know about your history with dogs or how much you want to invest in training! Just that it's good to think of all these things.

Also, don't forget that adopting an adult can be really great! You'll already have an idea about the temperament of the dog, so it's possible to find a dog that has the potential to be more difficult, but that will fit in well with your family. Good luck on your search!
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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There are 4 different Sennenhunds, or Swiss Mountain dogs. The Bernese is the most popular in the states. I have trained a few and have yet to meet one that displays the common traits of a LGD (Kuvasz, Ovtcharka, Anatolian...) but they all came from pet breeders. None of them would ever become OB superstars, but they were great family dogs.

My personal favorite Swiss Mountain breed is the Entlebucher. Nice, versatile breed for someone looking for a smaller dog.

Some information on the 4 breeds.
Sennenhund Breeds
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
There are 4 different Sennenhunds, or Swiss Mountain dogs. The Bernese is the most popular in the states. I have trained a few and have yet to meet one that displays the common traits of a LGD (Kuvasz, Ovtcharka, Anatolian...) but they all came from pet breeders. None of them would ever become OB superstars, but they were great family dogs.

My personal favorite Swiss Mountain breed is the Entlebucher. Nice, versatile breed for someone looking for a smaller dog.

Some information on the 4 breeds.
Sennenhund Breeds
Well that's good to know! Statement redacted! Never say you ever stop learning! Haha
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