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Old 12-02-2013, 03:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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again thank you for all the awesome advice guys
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Suggestions for training books? Go to your nearest library and take out anything you see about GSDs and dog training. Learning about different methods is a great way to prepare. I watched many videos on youtube too, like those of kikopup and tab (who has a lovely German shepherd himself). Look up Ian Dunbar's "before you get your puppy" its free online and easy to follow. He has follow up book too called "after you get your puppy". Honestly I'd just say go nuts on the internet. Search anything and everything that pops into your mind. You'll find lots of conflicting info too, but just go with what makes you comfortable and when in doubt, come back here and ask the forum members what they think

Oh and you could join a training club! They're totally invaluable when you're new to dog training.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Youtube videos are a great place to start. The best videos will explain their training philosophy and will explain why they are using a certain intervention/method (e.g. positive reinforcement, etc). I'm a big fan of positive reinforcement in every way. It focuses on shaping behaviors and teaching the dog what is expected. AND it communicates on the dogs level. Many people will assume that the dog can understand english (though they wouldn't phrase it like that). For example, many people will assume their dog will understand to stop an action when they say "NO," but how will the dog know that? And how will a dog understand that a bop on the nose is a punishment rather than a friend starting to play with them? You have to think about how the dog interprets your attempts to communicate with it.

Also, check out the Basic Training section of this forum for more. The "stickies" in a lot of different forum sections usually have links to great videos as well.

GSDs are smart and active (both mentally and physically). Early training is imperative in order to establish good patterns and expectations, as well as provide an mental energy outlet for your dog. I have heard people say that no matter what they do, they cannot physically tire out their dog, but will give them a healthy amount of exercise and then train train train in order to wear the dog out.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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How do your grandparents feel about the idea? Are they used to having dogs?

Do you know where you will live when you leave Europe…is it someplace the dog will also fit into?


I SO know the heart-strings tug of wanting a dog. When I was in my early 20's I moved across the country with my new husband, was dying of loneliness because he was very, very busy with his training and I knew nobody,promptly had a miscarriage..was told to wait a year before trying again, and bought 4 puppies in that one year! Three of them had to be re-homed when I finally did have a baby because they were all untrained and the house was chaos. I look back at that and just cringe. So, I always urge young people to proceed with caution and try to think things through as to how you will care for the dog for its entire life.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Awesome, thanks guys i'll do that now.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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A lot of training is just common sense. Be patient and loving. Do several short (5-10 minute) training sessions twice a day. Teach the basics - Come, sit, down, stay, heel, etc. Wait, drop it, leave it, are also important. The recall, Come! command is probably the single most important command to teach your dog. Incorporate the commands into every day life. Make the dog sit, before giving him his bowl. Make him sit to get leashed. Make him sit on each corner, before crossing the street. Make him wait before going through the gate, door, or down the steps.

Teach one command at a time, adding another as the dog grasps each command. Reward the dog for getting it right - praise, food, toy, etc. Use whichever reward motivates the dog.

Best of luck in your search. I currently have a shelter mix. He is awesome. I wouldn't trade him for the world.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KZoppa View Post
ETA: If you go the purebred route, rescues are good options. If you decide to go the breeder route, make sure you are aware of health checks on hips, elbows, etc. A dog with bad hips or elbows in their future can have a rough time of it.
I just realised that one of my posts implied that going the rescue route = not going the purebred route. Totally not true, my first ever GSD was a rescue, and he was 100% purebred (he even had a pedigree lol!), and he was the best dog I ever had. Rescue is such a great way to be introduced to the world of GSDs (if the rescue staff are good at what they do, and match you up with the right dog. Most are, as they want the best possible outcome for the dog)
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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my advice is if you want a german shepherd then you should get one! when i was about 5 i was bitten by a dog and i had to get rabies shots (which made me hate dogs more because i hate shots). the bite also left a scar on my forearm for a constantly reminder. i feared ALL dogs no matter the size for a good 15 years. every time one sniffed me i was so afraid it was going to bite me.when my house got robbed the 2nd time, i told myself i was going to get a dog. i wanted an english bulldog, a pitbull, a husky, etc. but after a lot of research i decided on a german shepherd because of the good balance of smarts, protectiveness and loyalty. i even googled a list of the smartest dogs because i wanted a dog that was easy to train. out of all the dogs on that list, not only are they one of the smartest but they are easily the most brave/fearless.

i've never owned a dog in my entire life. i got a german shepherd puppy. its almost impossible to be afraid of a pup. its also very hard to be afraid of your dog even if its grown. owners always think their dog is beautiful even if everyone else thinks its ugly. i had no experience and did just find. in this age of internet information, you can always seek advice. if you get a good stable puppy then they raise themselves. i find a german shepherd in some ways is much easier to raise then some other dogs. they are extremely smart and love to please you. they are loyal and will follow you every where. if you are willing to take the time to exercise and train then i dont see why you couldnt get a shepherd. a young shepherd is a lot of work as they can push their limits and can be hyper at times but if you raise them right, imo they are the best dogs to own.

whenever i heard the phrase "mans best friend" i always thought it was stupid until i got my shepherd. he seriously was like my best friend. we did everything together. he got me out of the house and exercising more. he got me looking up different places to hike. i am more confident opening the door with him sitting there. even when i am having a frustrating day, seeing my dog always made me feel better. they are seriously good therapy. if a german shepherd is what you want, you should get one!
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer11 View Post
my advice is if you want a german shepherd then you should get one! when i was about 5 i was bitten by a dog and i had to get rabies shots (which made me hate dogs more because i hate shots). the bite also left a scar on my forearm for a constantly reminder. i feared ALL dogs no matter the size for a good 15 years. every time one sniffed me i was so afraid it was going to bite me.when my house got robbed the 2nd time, i told myself i was going to get a dog. i wanted an english bulldog, a pitbull, a husky, etc. but after a lot of research i decided on a german shepherd because of the good balance of smarts, protectiveness and loyalty. i even googled a list of the smartest dogs because i wanted a dog that was easy to train. out of all the dogs on that list, not only are they one of the smartest but they are easily the most brave/fearless.

i've never owned a dog in my entire life. i got a german shepherd puppy. its almost impossible to be afraid of a pup. its also very hard to be afraid of your dog even if its grown. owners always think their dog is beautiful even if everyone else thinks its ugly. i had no experience and did just find. in this age of internet information, you can always seek advice. if you get a good stable puppy then they raise themselves. i find a german shepherd in some ways is much easier to raise then some other dogs. they are extremely smart and love to please you. they are loyal and will follow you every where. if you are willing to take the time to exercise and train then i dont see why you couldnt get a shepherd. a young shepherd is a lot of work as they can push their limits and can be hyper at times but if you raise them right, imo they are the best dogs to own.

whenever i heard the phrase "mans best friend" i always thought it was stupid until i got my shepherd. he seriously was like my best friend. we did everything together. he got me out of the house and exercising more. he got me looking up different places to hike. i am more confident opening the door with him sitting there. even when i am having a frustrating day, seeing my dog always made me feel better. they are seriously good therapy. if a german shepherd is what you want, you should get one!
I am so happy you posted this. While this forum is great, it is easy to second guess your own reasoning with all the perspective and information people supply on here (and it truly is great perspective and information). However, good research and commitment on your end will count for a lot. As long as you know what to expect and have an answer for it, it will work. Sounds like you are a smart fellow and are doing your research, so best of luck to you!
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Do what you are comfortable with, research breeds you are interested in and answer honestly to yourself if the breed is for you. German Shepherds are an amazing breed, I always like to say they are 'proper dogs', my friends with other breeds always laugh at that, but I secretly believe it!

Like any breed, females and males differ, my experience is the female is more aloof, much easier to train and guards more, my experience with males is they are much more affectionate, only get involved in issues if there is a real danger and of course are bigger. Just my experience, other people have different views.

My experience with owners is that there are some people that shouldn't own a GSD, I have seen a people love their GSD so much and want the best for the dog and try their hardest but they just don't have a 'strong enough hand' to manage their dog. The dog in return clearly loves the owners but is too strong willed and has little respect for the owners.

Good luck and let us know how you go
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if your GSD is eating and eating and eating and losing weight - please consider testing for EPI.

http://www.epi4dogs.com/epiinsnapshots.htm
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