Possibly adding a GSD to our family, some ?s
My wife and I want to add a dog to our family, so I've been zooming around the web doing tons of research. We have a daughter who is seven, a son who is three but will be four in July and a cat. We don't live in a big city but our yard is HUGE but not fenced in. I would like a bigger dog since I'm a large man myself (6'4") and I'm looking for something that is loyal and friendly but will also protect my family if I'm not around. Protecting is NOT the main priority and will not be trained as such but it will put me at ease knowing the dog won't run up to a burglar and become best friends with them.
She was set on a husky but since I've owned huskies as a kid I had to explain to her how much work they are. My uncle was a K9 officer when I was growing up and had a couple of GSD and I always remember how smart and beautiful they were but also a little scary because of their size. We've come to the road where we're not sure if we should get a GSD or a Lab, I'm personally leaning towards the GSD.
I have some fears and questions about them that I'm hoping everyone can answer! This dog will become part of our family, our human pack. While we don't get a ton of visitors I still want the dog to be pettable by friends and other family that come visit. Is this something I need to train them for or are they fairly good with this? I saw the video last night of the police dog and the reporter (I remember seeing it a while ago too) and I fear that a GSD might bite a friend or family member unintentionally if they touch it the wrong way.
If properly trained can they play off the leash? We sometimes go and visit my mother who just got another shih tzu and it's "up north" so I'd like to be able to let our dog run and play without a leash but without fear of it running away.
I guess my biggest fears about a GSD are the possibility of biting a "stranger" but that stranger just being family/friend visiting but still knowing my dog will protect my family when I'm not around. Also being able to play without being on a leash, in our backyard for example. We're near a busy road at the front of our house and a semi-busy side street and I'm afraid of the dog running off while we're playing catch or fetch.
Last but not least, boy or girl?? I've heard the females tend to be a bit more independent than the males when they get older, is that true?
I'm currently a full time student and stay at home dad so training and being with the dog is not an issue and our local Goldrusk has Puppy Socialization every saturday until they are six months old which we would attend! I want to make sure that we get a dog that fits our family, it will get so much love it'll be unbelievable!
Thank you in advance for anyone who responds!
Foxwood Kennels - Wisconsin Dog Breeding - Green Bay, Wisconsin - (920) 336-8780
This is a place we are considering buying our GSD from if this is the right dog, does it look alright?
don't even know where to begin . Dagen is an uncomfortably heavy looking dog .
there is no goal to the breeding . sorry. a pet dog should come out of a well thought out breeding program , not a program which sets out to only produce pet dogs.
here is an issue which I see more than on this web site along.
she has a number of dogs represented as search and rescue and police dogs---- there is one senior looking dog which is the only one she identifies by name "Ellie" shown after testing , so? After testing means nothing .
All others are very vague , handler with dog , dog with police officer .
Pass as in FAIL
I'm not a professional, but I raised my children with my GSDs and their friends and never had a problem.
That said, you want a dog with a stable temperament.
That, IMHO, means finding a reputable breeder who knows what he/she is doing. They won't come cheap - no bargains. But consider the years you will have with this dog!
You seem to be very worried about biting. A well bred GSD is a reserved dog but not a vicious dog.
They do need to be trained and exercised both physically and mentally. Puppies often nip or play bite a lot - not viciously but annoyingly. They will grow out of it and tend to do a lot less of it if properly exercised. As they say, "a tired puppy is a good puppy"
Yes, a well trained dog can run and play off lead, but I would not leave one, unattended in an unfenced yard for many reasons. When my pups were little I've taken them to unfenced area and attached a very long long line and thrown balls etc... With a busy street near by, you might be looking at a heartbreak no matter what breed you acquire.
I've had males and females and if your review threads on this you will see that we all have different ideas. My males have always been more laid back and my females more serious. Love 'em both.
No better breed if you have the time, the money and the devotion that it takes to raise a well trained dog.
I have two kids 5 & 9 and I have two German Shepherds and my sons dog a Siberian Husky. Both breeds are fantastic with kids if trained well!! Husky are way more work because their recall sucks!!! Training a German shepherd is a joy, they live to please their master.Obedience is a must!
My girl is way more affectionate then my male. She watches my kids as if they were her own. She adores children regardless if they are in my family or not. From day 1 that I bring my pups home they start to go to the bus stop with my son. I let all the children interact with the pups. Socialization with dogs and kids are key!! Teach little ones the right and wrong way to approach/touch a dog. SUPERVISION!!! My girl Athena would never mean to harm a little on but she forgets her manners from time to time and wants to jump and give hugs.
German shepherd make excellent family pets but before you decide on breeder research parents temperament / health background. Also look for West German Show line avoid working line to much energy around youngster. Athena is WGSL and Sinister is a cross between WGSL/ASL. Good luck and happy pup hunting!
I agree with Anne. I have two children ages 7 and 10 and our dog is great with them, but we have spent a lot of time educating our kids on appropriate ways to interact with him and they are a part of training. We also have a cat and I have spent ALOT of time teaching the dog what is and is not ok with the cat. Cat and 4 month old now sleep together on his bed and cat cleans the dog ears, but that took time for him to understand he can't chase the cat. It also depends on your cat. My cat isn't afraid of the dog and doesn't run away instigating a chase. Our dog is now 4 months old and even though he is good, I never leave him unattended. Actually I don't know how I could, my dog follows me EVERYWHERE I go....even the bathroom! Lol it is a full time job raising these pups, and lots of patience is required to allow their brains to catch up with the body size.
Our dog just started some advance obedience and agility training, and we do not plan to train him in protection. I like to use the term "watch dog" instead of protection. I feel like as our dog matures, he should be alert and watchful, but it is my job to defend our home and family if need be. I am a woman by the way and my husband travels so our security system will call 911 and our dog can let me know if I need to get my gun out. There are tons of threads you can search on this topic. A stable tempered, well nerves dog shouldn't "attack" but also would not run and hide under the bed, but look to you for his next move. At 4 months our new pup is very alert and will bark at strangers but will quiet when we say enough.
We have lots of grassy greenbelts where I live and have just started letting the dog "think" he is off leash for some play and running. We keep him on a 15 foot leash in the house at all times and outside in the unfenced play area, we use a 30 ft. He shouldn't be more than 30 feet from me anyway. Great way to practice recall. Our four month old already if we are off leash will go a few feet in front of us and always be looking back for us. If he is behind us and we move, he stops what he is doing and comes with us. If he is strongly bonded to you, he will stay with you. They are typically not "darters" (huskies can be though!), but shouldn't be trusted until recall is solid. Having said that, I still wouldn't take the chance of leaving unattended.
Good luck with your decision. We love love love our boy! Lots of great info on this forum and lots of great people with great experience.
I have never owned a lab and don't know how they are to train, they seem to be very good dogs as long as they are properly brought up. DO NOT GET A HUSKY! I know you said you weren't going to but let me just say it again DO NOT GET A HUSKY! You do not have a fenced yard at all, let alone a fenced yard capable of keeping a husky in! Huskies are breed to run and that is what they want to do ALWAYS! I had one and he would get out and run for hours, if you tried to get him, he just thought you were out on a run with him! They have HORRIBLE recall and take TONS of work and attention, they are great dogs but you do not have the means to have one right now!
Also as Athena's Mom said, do not get a working line shepherd. I have had shepherds and currently have a puppy (on the couch with me right now napping his lunch off!) I have had working line dogs and they are meant for WORKING! If you do not intend to train them and do a sport with them and give them a job, DO NOT GET ONE! They are bred for high drive and energy! They require several hours a day of physical and mental exercise and training.
My current little sleeping devil is a mutt puppy, I do not know anything about his breeding, don't know what his parents were, I got him from a bad situation and he is living like a king now and loving it! He needs to be worked with and trained just like any dog, BUT something I have noticed about shepherds in particular is that they really aim to please, this guy really doesn't want to leave my side and he doesn't want to upset me (EXCEPT when cat poop is involved!) He has gotten out the front door a few times because I left it open, but he really doesn't want to go away, he comes back when called and pretty much sticks by me. I just started obedience training with him and I hope his recall will improve because right now it is kinda halfhearted.
I did not look at the website you posted about where you would like to get a pup from. I would say just make sure the breeder is thoughtful about why they are breeding and has the health checks done on their own dogs, these guys can have a lot of expensive health problems and problems that can cripple them, if your breeder does the health checks on their dogs and they check out good, that is less chance for you getting a dog that could require extra care.
Playing off leash is fine AFTER you have completed training the dog and it has a VERY SOLID recall. If they have the drive and once they learn the game, playing fetch will be the most fun thing you could do for the dog! They will play fetch for hours!
Good job doing research BEFORE you get a GSD. They are a HUGE commitment but a lifetime friend!
Labs are just as high energy and tend to be EXTREMELY bouncy as puppies. I have one in obedience class with my puppy right now and this girl can't stop jumping long enough to learn a simple sit command.
All dogs require a lot of work but with proper training I feel a GSD is the best breed though not for everyone! You must be an active family!
That breeder is breeding and selling mutts... good lord. Their GSD's are incredibly sketchy looking. Since you're worried about temperament (as you should be), find a reputable breeder. There are many great stickies on this topic.
Agree with everyone else... and just wanted to reiterate, since there have been a rash of "my puppy is out of control" threads lately... this breed is a LOT of work. They may seem like less work than huskies, but that's only because this breed is a lot more biddable so you tend to see "results"- but, they still require a lot of mental and physical exercise, a consistent and fair hand, and a lot of patience.
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