Choosing a puppy early on - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Choosing a puppy early on

So a close friend of mine's GSD just had her litter last night. Getting a second dog has been discussed with my fiancée ad I and we have been looking for the right puppy for a few months. We currently have a 2 year old male Jack Russell mix who is playfully dominant (pack leader amongst dogs) but is well socialized and well trained. My fiancée travels for long periods of time and as a pervious large breed owner (labs and wolf hybrids), I would love to have a big dog again if only to make myself feel safer when I'm home alone or on walks at night.

This litter that was just born is purebred GSD but does not have any AKC registration or anything like that. I'm ok with a regular dog and don't need and show lines. I like the idea of getting to see the litter dynamics early on (basically from birth) and that way we would able to chose a more submissive dog since my JRT is a dominant dog and would maintain that role. I just have a few questions when it comes to choosing a puppy from this litter.

1) Male or Female? My preference would be female only because I know if there is ever any instance of dog/dog aggression it is between same sex.

2) My JRT is my ESA and is very well behaved in public (pet-friendly restaurants, stores and airports) so I am also wondering what things I can practice with a young puppy to better assure they'll be "bomb-proof". I will have access to the litter throughout their development so once we have a better idea of which puppy we want I would love to be able to start early. Any ideas of what I can do ie exposure to loud noises, car rides, etc? I also asked the owner of the litter if she would be willing to do the bio-sensor program.

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 07:36 PM
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Have you met the sire and dam of this litter? The best way to assure that your puppy will be "bomb-proof" is if the parents are bomb-proof. In GSDs nerve strength is primarily genetic and remedial puppy education can only do so much.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 07:55 PM
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Totally agree. Nerve strength is genetic. Not only do you want to meet the parents, you want to see them off of the owner's property, if you really want a sense of temperament. Weak dogs can seem much stronger on home turf.

Why are the parents not AKC registered?

One of the issues with GSDs to be concerned about is that a weak nerved dog isn't necessarily a shy dog. Too often, that fear translates into unpredictable and dangerous aggression.

You're dealing with a completely unknown quantity in a large dog prone to numerous health and temperament problems. It may all work out great. Or not.

Around here, we try to guide people toward responsible breeders with proven breeding stock of sound temperament and with appropriate health clearances not only on the parents, but generations back.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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I have met both the parents. They were just bought off Craigslist as a family pet (I would never buy a puppy that way but that's what they did) so that is why they don't have papers. This current litter was not on purpose, the sire is now fixed.

For all I know they may be slightly mixed breed (Craigslist breeding VS responsible breeding) but they are primarily GSD forsure. As a current owner of a rescued mutt the lineage and pure blood lines is not an issue.

When it comes to the parents, they honestly have behavioral issues but since I know the friend I unfortunately believe that to be caused by poor exercise and little/no training.

I understand genetics of the parents can play into nerve strength (glad I know now that's what I was referring to) but as we would otherwise be rescuing a mutt I wouldn't have that info either. I'm purely looking at this as if I am getting GSD from a non-breeder and just want to know what I can do to 1)choose the right puppy for my family and pack 2)make sure I raise the puppy to be the best dog it can be. I have descent experience with dog training but this will be my first large high-energy breed and I want to set this puppy up right.


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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hope I'm making sense lol


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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 08:35 PM
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Look into Puppy Culture. Order the DVD and get started right away with it.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 08:35 PM
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I assume by ESA you mean Emotionally Support Animal? If so, how do you guarantee that your JRT can do his job when you have another dog? Since you consider him dominant, his focus can go to the new pup.
If your friend hadn't had this litter, would you have looked for a GSD pup anyways? Or is this an irresistible temptation?
Sounds like a random breeding (so far) so you can expect anything in a pup, even when the parents seem OK. Genetics are weird and unpredictable in this case. How about health clearances in both parents? It can work or not, since we don't know anything either (yet).
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yes he is an ESA. He "works" and is vested only when I fly so having a second dog distract him while he works would no be an issue as the second dog would not fly with us. When we take him to dinners (pet friendly patios) he is there as a pet. I consider him more dominant because in all play situations such as 1on1 or at the dog park he is usually the alpha but it is never in an aggressive way.

We were looking for a puppy at the rescue I originally got my JRT mix from so we were looking at all breeds/mixes but to make myself feel a little safer I was looking at larger breed mixes. The fact that is little is a GSD litter is just convenient.

Definitely a random breeding. So health/genetic info from the parents. I believe the sire the have better lineage as he looks more like your typical GSD while the dam is a little on the long side. I am looking at this as if I was adopting a puppy from a rescue, which you normally don't get to interact with the litter over the course of their development or spend quality time choosing the best puppy for your family. Since I am lucky enough to have that chance with this litter I just want to know which gender would be best for my family and what I can do before the 8 week mark to create a more desensitized? puppy


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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 09:05 PM
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It's kind of like playing roulette, you may get a good dog or you may not. You may get a dog with no health problems and you may get one with health problems. It's the main reason so many on here will tell you we went to a breeder who did health tests, know the pedigree of their dogs (the temperaments, strengths and weaknesses of the dogs behind the sire and dam), title their dogs.


Your JRT may or may not get along with your German Shepherd regardless of sex. JRTs are very high drive and prey driven, just like a German Shepherd. He's gotten along with friends' dogs, but this one will be in his house, with his toys, with his person. Or your German Shepherd as it grows may decide she doesn't want to share.


Personally I think your best bet is going to someone who is a reputable breeder who can help to pick out the pup that is best for you and what you want.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Choosing a puppy early on

Unfortunately going to a breeder is not something we're looking for. We'll probably just go the rescue route like we did with our current dog. Just thought I'd try and get some advice from people who know the breed better


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