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SD0202 03-15-2014 10:51 AM

Characteristics of a good owner
Hello Everyone!

As I was doing some researching of the breed (If I decide to get one, it would be my first GSD), I found a lot of characteristics of the dog. I also found myself being flexible stating "I think I could handle that, or I can try to do that". When I tried to research what kind of owners do best with GSD's, its not so clear cut. I am trying to be objective in my decision, and definitely want to make sure I am a suitable fit for the GSD. My question is, is there any characteristics you found you had that surprised you after getting a GSD? What is the one thing you would share to a new owner of a GSD, that you wish someone would have told you?


LoveEcho 03-15-2014 11:06 AM

The traits that I've learned are required to raise a GSD: Patience. Consistency. The ability to be firm but fair. A good sense of humor.

LaRen616 03-15-2014 11:08 AM

I have learned how to deal with all the hair, I hate the hair but I love the dog and he is 1,000% worth the tumbleweeds on my floor and hair in my food. :wub:

Blanketback 03-15-2014 11:23 AM

I think being observant is an asset, for sure! These dogs are very easy to read so you can interrupt bad behaviors and redirect to wanted behaviors just by paying attention to easily overlooked things like a change in facial expression, stiffening posture or a changing ear tilt. If you're the type to wait until things are out of hand before acting on something, I'd bet these dogs would be extremely difficult to live with, lol!

shepherdmom 03-15-2014 11:44 AM

You've got to stand strong just like with kids. Don't let them push you into anything because if you cave even once you are all done. They are very good with the just let me in the bed tonight mom and tomorrow I'll be good, eyes. ;)

Pretty soon they are big and then...

misslesleedavis1 03-15-2014 11:49 AM

Patience, being someone who does not quit when things get rough. A person who can provide them with consistencies and stability. Really knowing why they want a dog, lots of people get dogs but only few people are truly dedicated to them till the end.

Baillif 03-15-2014 12:01 PM

I really think the number 1 thing about being a good potential gsd or owner of any working breed imo is just having a desire to do stuff with the dog. The type of owner that has the most issues are the people who get a gsd or working breed dog because they like how it looks and then they expect it to act like some sort of piece of art in the house and dont really care for it outside of feeding it and taking it outside to poop or maybe the rare occational 30 min (if that long) walk.

They really need more than that to be fulfilled. It is a misconception that the gsd is space intensive. They are time intensive. Most days my dog spends most of his time chilling in a crate. When its game time we go HAM. Thats all they really want. To go HAM with their buddy.

crackem 03-15-2014 12:04 PM


Originally Posted by Baillif (Post 5205458)
I really think the number 1 thing about being a good potential gsd or owner of any working breed imo is just having a desire to do stuff with the dog.

And that is the end of this thread :)

Sp00ks 03-15-2014 12:17 PM

Coming from primarily a pet owner, and not "working" my dogs per say. I have had many GSD's and grew up with them in the family.

These are generalizations from dogs I've owned over the years in the above described environment.

1. Dedication to the dog. They demand it, they require it. They will not respond well to long periods alone or not being by your side 99% of the time.
2. They require patience and understanding. They respond well to positive reinforcement however some level of discipline is required. With that said, they are sensitive animals so discipline needs to be very light. (sorry,but that is the best I can describe it)
3. They do well with an active lifestyle. They need something to do. Work, Training, etc. They are very intelligent and need the mental and physical stimulation. You have to be two steps ahead of them in their mental development. Understanding that development process helps tremendously.
4. The hair. We brush ours almost daily and the house still has to be vacuumed nearly every other day to avoid the tumbleweeds.
5. Training is mandatory. Again, they are intelligent and you will be doing yourself and the dog a disservice by not performing some level of formal training. They learn extremely quickly. That statement includes bad as well as good.

My general recommendation for new GSD owners is formal training as soon as possible. Dedicate the first year to the dog. Everything revolves around the pup for the first year. I personally think they are the best breed on the planet if your dedicated to your dog. If the above is not followed to at least some degree, they can be destructive, fearful, fear aggression, over protective. Maybe that is a little over the top but I have seen so many people that train to overcome behavioral issues after they develop instead of before they develop.

Raised properly they will be a true soulmate and will value your life more than their own. They are full of personality, silly, smart, devoted, social and a sheer joy to spend their life with.

Tratkins 03-15-2014 12:22 PM

I agree with all of the above and the fact that these are not couch potato dogs which means you can't be a couch potato either. They go with you when they possibly can even if you think you are running a quick errand. Ie - the bank,the drive-thru, etc. GSD's are a lifestyle and truly like adding a new family member. They will be a part of everything you do.

We have changed where we go to dinner sometimes so that he can come with us ie - dog friendly patios. Instead of going into a fast food restaurant , we get drive thru and go picnic at the park outside. And I don't mean all of this in a crazy way but just that they are not content to "live in the backyard" kind of dog and are an active part I your life.

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