Is GSD right for my family? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Is GSD right for my family?

My husband and I are hoping to buy a puppy after our vacation in the early spring and German Shepherd has been on our short list. We have two daughters that will be 2 and 4 by the time we are ready to make a purchase. Our desire is to have a pup that will grow in to a playful family pet that will also be protective of the family (mostly a deterrent) since my husband has to be on call monthly and works odd hours for that week. We don't have any neighbors, we're surrounded by open fields, so the added peace of mind would make my husband and I both more comfortable. My husband and I absolutely love the appearance of the GSDs. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 01:48 PM
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Its important to find one that has a good temperament. Mine is great with kids and I love watching her with the kids. I think they make good family pets if socialized and trained well.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 02:16 PM
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i think they are great family pets. research the different flavors and the training involved before you decide to add one to your family.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 03:11 PM
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Read the thread Am I crazy and then think about it. The poster who had children buys a puppy who later bites someone. There are a hundred other such posts on the list of either biting or growling at family members. So is a GSD right for your family? You could consider a rescue who has been temperament tested, has a known history and who you can return to the rescue if there is a problem. GSD people want their dogs with 'heart' but a lot of times that 'heart' comes out as a test that the owner must either pass or fail. So, are you ready for the tests?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 03:38 PM
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Referring the OP to a thread about an aggressive dog whose mother was aggressive and litter mate had issues it probably not a great example.

OP - what are you looking for in a dog? Are you looking for an active dog? Are you willing to put the time into to training? GSDs come in many 'flavors'. The puppies are known as landsharks and need alot of redirection. If you talk to a reputable breeder many of your questions will be answered.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
Referring the OP to a thread about an aggressive dog whose mother was aggressive and litter mate had issues it probably not a great example.
Exactly. Michelle and the other members who posted said it well. When purchased from a reputable breeder, properly trained and socialized, GSDs make great pets. You have to be prepared to put in the time and effort and you will be rewarded

Good luck!

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 03:54 PM
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I would meet some breeders and research,at least thats my plan the next time. They are folks on here that have great ,great dogs . GSDs if given training time and good genetics are great adaptable dogs. It is finding who has dogs w/ good nerves and health. I'm going to some dog shows and checking out breeders. My Daisy was a wonderful but not the dog for kids. Not sure where your located at but people here can give you some ideas.Its a challenge but well worth it to find the right dog ,give him or her training and then see them shine! I think thats true in any breed.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 05:24 PM
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WHERE you get the puppy from is just as important as the breed. Sometimes moreso. Please do not get a puppy from the newspaper/craigslist.

Now, since you said "grow into", I assume you want a puppy. You should know that GSD's, and all herding breeds, I believe, are very nippy//bitey puppies, which is something that should be considered carefully with such little ones in the home.

If you do settle on the GSD, talk to the breeder about your situation, and they should be able to help you pick a pup that's right for you.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 06:02 PM
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Congratulations on your plans. If you want to start with a pup you have to be prepared to put a lot, a lot if time into training and socializing in order to get the dog you are hoping for. The first 6 months can basically be puppy time 24/7. With a young family that can be a challenge. As a trainer I have visited several families whose small kids were living on the couch to prevent the pup from biting them. They had thought that it would be fun if the puppy could grow up with the kids.
If you plan on pup, check the adult dogs if possible. I am sure the members on the forum can help you find a good breeder.
It can be done of course, I did it when our kids were little but dogs were my passion and outlet.
If you contact several good rescues who know what they are doing (not every rescue does unfortunately) and are willing to take the dog back if it doesn't work (contract!), you might find a nice adult dog that is passed all the puppy stuff.
Have fun with the planning, so exciting!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 11:03 PM
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I raised my 13 year old son with the breed and have seen first hand how wonderful the GSD can be with children.

However, it takes a lot of time and effort. Puppies don't train themselves and need a ton of supervision and training to grow up to be the dog they can be. They are slow to mature and don't leave puppyhood until they are 2-3 years old.

My advice would be to get out and attend dog events where GSDs will be. Take a look at the different lines (or "flavors") that they come in and decide what strikes your fancy and what fits your life style. Then talk to people who have the type of dog that you like and find out where they got their dogs.

Be prepared to be work hard to get the dog you want. There is no better breed than a well breed, well trained and socialized German Shepherd dog. But it take work to get there.

Good luck!
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