I'm new to the GSD breed. I've always had Basset Hounds, and currently have a 9 year old female that we've raised since 8 weeks. My family is used to absolute couch (or floor) potatoes.
I actually broke my spine in 3 places, and dislocated it at L5-S1 in 1994, and have a hard time getting around on many days, so I have been wanting a service dog for a long time. Since I can't jump out of bed at 3AM to respond to an intruder like I used to, I thought a large breed that could help me, and protect my family at the same time was a good idea. The only hazard most Bassets present to a bad guy is tripping.
I researched, read, and asked around and settled on the GSD. Since my wife is a animal control officer (for the last two decades), and my close friend is a patrol officer for a different department, I have access to several K-9 handlers. Their advice, along with another close friend who has owned GSD's for the last 15 years sealed the deal.
Last Saturday I picked up Ranger. He is a 11 week old, 35 pound male GSD (AKC registered). He is from West German and Czech stock. He is learning the ropes, and will not leave my side, unless it is to play with our two year old daughter, try to get our Basset to play, or investigate/attempt to chase the cat.
I pretty much have him housebroken (I think). He already goes to the back door when he needs to go out. Then he sits (without command now), and stays (again, without command any more), and waits until I get one foot out the door and call for him. He gets too excited about going back inside to do these things without command and instruction, though. I have made him a bed on the floor beside of my bed, and he stays there from 11PMish until my alarm goes off at 7AM.
Right now he is just a clown. I have plans for him, though. I have a very good feeling that he's going to learn everything I need him to. We are going to start basic obedience at 6 weeks, Schutzhund training after that, and K-9 training last, per my K-9 handler/trainer.
Sorry for the long introduction. I look forward to reading this site and learning. It's nice to have good sources to turn to any time you need them when learning something new. And this breed is very new to me.