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counter 03-16-2014 09:01 AM

Give me some witty comebacks for those "bigger is better" GSD people.
I'm not sure why this type of stuff still bothers me, but it does, so I need to be able to deal with it better. I was at Home Depot yesterday with the male GSD I'm adopting, and one of the HD workers says to me "my 7 month old is as big as your dog." My dog, Ozi (soon to be KamiKAZE), looks to be at the max end of the standard. I haven't weighed or measured him yet, but he's a big boy. He is slightly underweight, which I will work on once he's mine. I don't believe that he's oversized. I just don't understand why people feel they need to start out a conversation, or a compliment if you can call it that, with the whole bigger is better mindset. So his dog, at 7 months, will obviously be larger than Ozi, who is 2 years old and should be fully grown already. So was he bragging that his dog is/will be bigger? How is that complimenting my dog. It's not like it was done in a way that the worker was saying "my dog is oversized and outside of the breed standard, whereas your Ozi is perfectly within standard and a better representation of the breed!" Haha.

I would never pass comment on someone else's dog that their dog is "so small" (insulting) or "WOW, YOUR DOG IS SOOOO HUGE" (an unnecessary potential ego booster). I would find a way to comment/compliment without the possibility of coming across in a negative way, or I just wouldn't say anything at all. I'm not witty with on-the-spot comebacks, and I wouldn't want to comeback with anything negative. I guess I'm just looking for a neutralizer. With this guy, I looked at him and said "oh yeah?!?" and walked away unimpressed. But the comment kept weighing heavy on my mind, as I couldn't figure out if he was complimenting Ozi, thinking he's also another HUGE GSD, or if he was insulting me. I think it's not the size comment itself, but the fact that I can't figure out if I should be happy or upset over what was said. I just don't get these people.

What would you have said if you were in my shoes? Again, I'm not looking for insults. Just something to make the guy back off and understand that bigger isn't better when it comes to dogs, especially our GSDs. They are supposed to be within standard for a reason, and good, solid breeding should help to preserve the working ability of these magnificent dogs!

Mikelia 03-16-2014 09:21 AM

It all depends how much into a conversation you want to get, and likely with an individual who won't listen. My boy happens to be quite large - larger than most gsds - and I still get the 'my uncles friends sister had one that was 150lbs and was way bigger than your dog'. Whatever, Eli is 95lbs, huge and there aren't that many out there that are truly bigger than him. It's not worth the argument most of the time.
If I have the time and desire to try to talk someone through why bigger is not better I give this image "try to imagine a police officer carrying a 95lb german shepherd on their shoulders". The dogs are meant to be versatile, and small enough to travel with in rough situations. Smaller dogs are quicker and more agile, and easier to handle. Kind of like MMA fighting versus sumo wrestling.
But usually, it is not worth my time to get into it.
For the record my boy is big but we didn't plan for that. Both his parents are standard size, he just kept growing :)

brembo 03-16-2014 09:24 AM

Eh, water off a duck's back, just let it roll.

My old guy, Banjo, was MASSIVE. Tall and long with a chest that was equally impressive. He wasn't nimble, not to say he wasn't blindingly fast in some respects, but the smaller framed GSDs of friends could make him look silly when playing. He had a nice topgear, but needed some real distance to catch back up to the better proportioned dogs.

My female now, Allie, is on the small end of the scale. Just nudging 50 pounds, great leg length and overall structure. She has some serious leg muscles too. She can cut and run so easy, she makes daredevil moves look like she's gliding on skates. She regularly makes my bigger male, Cable, look like an idiot when they play. Cable is stout, compact and heavily muscled. He's in the lmid 60s weight wise, sorta stubby legs with a big beefy thick chest. He's easily twice as powerful and Allie still makes him look like he has 4 left legs.

Going from my old freakish mutant gazelle with canines to these more svelte dogs has made me appreciate the idea that the smaller ones are the sports cars of the breed. They move more easily, with more grace and can do some pretty cool acrobatics when the mood strikes.

glinny 03-16-2014 09:28 AM

How about, "Yeah, Kaze really is the perfect size for a standard GSD. Thanks." Then just walk away.

glowingtoadfly 03-16-2014 09:31 AM

The most hilarious question I received was " why she ain't big?". My husband and I had to resist laughing in the kid's face.

lyssa62 03-16-2014 09:37 AM

I would have said.." wow , really? have you considered a diet"?

Eiros 03-16-2014 09:42 AM

Haha I get a lot of comments, especially from the nice grandpa sort of guys who admire him and say "wow he's going to be big! I had a GSD that was 120lbs!" I try to be nice, but I always try to tell people that even though he's bigger than standard, I try and keep him lean because it's better for him. He gets a lot of compliments about how lean and fit he is too, which i'd rather hear than "he's thin!" which we get pretty often too.

If someone says your dog is too small, I'd just say "actually he's standard height and weight! They aren't supposed to be that big!" And keep walking. :)

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Wetdog 03-16-2014 09:42 AM

-----" But the comment kept weighing heavy on my mind, as I couldn't figure out if he was complimenting Ozi, thinking he's also another HUGE GSD, or if he was insulting me. I think it's not the size comment itself, but the fact that I can't figure out if I should be happy or upset over what was said. I just don't get these people."--------

He is telling you about his own fears and insecurity far more than he is telling you anything about Ozi. He's telling you that he has a compulsive NEED to be "better" than anyone else because he feels inferior. So, he gets a big dog because that is the only basis of comparison he knows. And, if there is anyone else should happen to not know that he has the biggest dog---he will be the first to point it out so that everyone in the vicinity will know what a wonderful person he is because he has a big dog.

Actually, the whole exchange has nothing to do with you or with Ozi. The guy is just fishing for attention and verbal props for his own ego from you.

No matter WHAT you say, you are not going to change what is going on in his head, so insults and arguments are useless. Just recognize that it has nothing at all to do with you or Ozi.

Come backs that I used to use to end such self serving conversations:

"Yup, sounds like you have a really big dog alright, I'm glad you are paying his food bills and not me."

"Yeah, Ozi isn't turning out to be as big as I thought. So, I decided to work on training with him and go for smarter instead of bigger. So far, it is working out pretty well."

If all else fails, there is always the old reliable, "How high can he jump?"

Nigel 03-16-2014 09:50 AM

I'm always more curious as to where they got their GSD and would just respond by asking them this. Sometimes a conversation might open up an opportunity to politely enlighten them. No matter, it's not a worth getting worked up over.

Gretchen 03-16-2014 10:03 AM

No response is best. By responding you are just giving them satisfaction, feeding into their rudeness.

We have an oversized female, 90lbs, we had rude comments about that and other things. Some people just need to feel superior, just ignore them.

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