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Old 12-19-2013, 02:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Getting my first dog in 2014, please help me !

hey there everyone~ i'm Pandy : ]

In 2014 I am planning on getting a pup either german shepherd or golden retriever. Currently i'm somewhat leaning on a golden but I am here to find out as much as I can about germans before I make a absolute decision.

I'm someone who takes time and does their research as I have learned my lesson in the past that just because an animal is cute doesn't mean you should get it, which is unfortunately the case with most adoptions or people who choose a dog breed just because they like it. I like border collies but i'm mature enough to admit they are not a perfect match for me or my situation.

I'm searching for a dog of my own that I know will fit in with me, my family and environment. I'm 22 years old and I go to school and work from home. I'm home quite a lot. I don't have any children nor do I plan on any for quite a few years, i'm not married, but I do have a boyfriend and we've been together for six years and live together with his japanese bobtail cat kiwi, kiwi is picky about animals. So it has to be a puppy for this reason. I actually planned on getting an adult dog originally but I know kiwi wouldn't have that. Plus I think this would be a good experience for me as long as I know what i'm getting into first.

I live in southern california so there are lots of adoption events, breeders and people in my area.

I plan to bring the dog to pack walks, training school, the dog beach...various activities that will give him exposure to all types of environments and people from a young age.

What attracts me to shepherds is I like the idea of feeling safe with my dog. And I also like how intelligent they are. I grew up with a border collie and he was super easy to train and pick up on things but his energy level could be quite a handful he was also much smaller only weighing about 50lbs and I enjoy bigger dogs.

I want a dog that has a little bit of everything, just a well balanced dog.

I like how goldens are sociable, people friendly, that they love the water and they are just so loveable!

If any of you happen to have experience with both breeds and could give me your take on them, that would help me out quite a bit! And I would be very grateful and appreciative towards you. Or if you have any other breed suggestions, in the past I considered irish setters or samoyeds but i'm still a bit unsure about them.

Please help me learn all I can so that I may choose the right dog, i'm not a curious person, i'm someone who is actually interested in learning. : D

Sorry for writing a wall there, lol. Thanks for your time I hope to hear from you soon.

Last edited by MaggieRoseLee; 12-19-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here I go again sharing my GSD website... haha. It will help you start learning about the breed.

German Shepherd Guide - Home

I find the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever are two very different breeds, especially between show and working/field lines on both sides. I would absolutely feel comfortable saying that German Shepherds are not always an "easy" breed, or for the faint of heart. More often than not they require good leadership skills, dedication to training and exercise routine, etc... you get that with many large breed "working" dogs... but I have seen a lot of GSDs do poorly because owners weren't familiar with "what makes them tick" if that makes sense.

If you get a GSD puppy, or any dog from that matter, from a truly reputable breeder you increase your chances of acquiring a stable puppy that can mature into a wonderful adult. On that same note, the opposite can also occur. Poor judgement on a breeder, or lack of knowledge before selecting a puppy, can result in a problematic dog that could potentially be too much to handle.

There are a thousand and one wonderful things about the German Shepherd dog, but with everything else in life there are always "negatives".. simply be aware of that, and learn as much as you can about both breeds before making a decision - no need to rush, take your time and make a good decision.

What is your expectation of your dog? Strictly a companion? Active or couch potato? Sport or work? Breeders tend to specialize.. "show" animals, "working dogs", "active companions" - though not all specialize. Just more common than not.

Which breeder better suits your lifestyle and needs - entirely up to you to decide after you do extensive research. What KIND of GSD would you like? There are several types, which are listed and described on the website I linked above.

A well bred GSD should be friendly/aloof to strangers, well mannered, intelligent, easy to train and work with - again, all depends on where you go for your puppy.

Good for you for posting here, you are obviously open to learning - it will be lots of fun for you!
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good job on doing your research. It will pay off!

Here is a very helpful article on GSD's by Chris Wild, an experienced breeder who is also a moderator here. It will tell you a lot about what is available out there, and what to look for when deciding on a GSD.

(Types of German Shepherds, by Wildhaus Kennels )
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nice website. I have not seen it before. Looks like I have some reading to do on a couple of subjects. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-19-2013, 03:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's my 2 cents

I think either breed would fit your lifestyle however, gsd's are not golden retrievers and vice versa..Both breeds have their own bag full of health issues.

I know quite a few goldens and they are lovely/smart all around dogs. I have had gsd's 'forever', and while smart, loyal and most times easy trainers, They are much more aloof and can be anti social depending on the dog.

GSD's do not do well in dog parks (certainly not all), goldens tend to get along with anyone/other dogs (again not all).

If you want a social butterfly I would say go with a golden.
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have had both ends of the German shepherd personality types, and one in the middle (granted, two of them were crosses) My first one was a GS/elkhound cross and he was a jerk when it came to people, he was VERY protective of me and would bite first, ask questions later (BUT he loved other dogs, go figure) at home or at a place that he considered 'his'. I could take him place and he would be fine with strangers UNTIL the time he deemed that area as his responsibility and then anyone new was fair game. He was A LOT of work, but worth every minute, he lived to be 13 and when he passed I literally had to take a week off work in order to be able to function. He was my heart and I will NEVER find another dog like him. I also have/had a GS/lab cross, who is still going strong at 12, hardly can tell she is that old, however she got kicked in the head when she was only 12 weeks old by a horse and we have always wondered if her personality game from that or just her being part lab, but she has the lab (I love all the things and NEED to play fetch) mentality. The dog I just lost was GS/lab (we think) cross and he was a people dog all the way, loved people, was extremely loyal to me, followed me everywhere. He was amazing with my son when he was an infant and took more from him as he got older then I would expect any dog to take. I miss him so much it's crazy. The dog I have now is a pure bred white German Shepherd that I got from a rescue. He loves all dogs, wants to chew on my cat and is leary but friendly with strangers, he just needs to make sure they are not there to smack him then he is finthe. He is great with my 5 year old, makes a wide berth around my horses, and annoys the heck out of me with his puppy ways (when do they ever stop chewing on things????). I, personally, love the intelligence of the GS, my first dog was so freaking smart it was scary, and he told me things I should have listened closer to (bad boyfriends especially). It really depends on your personality and what kind of dog you think you are going to want. Good luck in your search and keep us posted!
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think for a first dog I'd recommend the Golden Retriever for you . You'll have to do your research for breeders no matter what you end up with, but I've just found the Goldens are just all around easier to have first and learn with..

Then, if you want in a few years, you will be in a better position for the more challenging GSD in your life!
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a golden growing up. I loved that dog. He was super sweet and loved every dog and person he met (with the exception of the neighbor down the street's dog who bit me as my friend and I were riding our bikes). But I will say he was not the easiest dog to train. He also seemed to shed more than my current GSD.


I think as long as you do your research and go with a responsible breeder you can't go wrong with either breed.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think you'll have fun with either breed honestly. GSDs are mouthy haha I know mine is, then again he is only 4 months old. I've never owned a Golden so I cant really give you my input on those breeds either. Cheers and good luck with your search!
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueangele View Post
I have had both ends of the German shepherd personality types, and one in the middle (granted, two of them were crosses) My first one was a GS/elkhound cross and he was a jerk when it came to people, he was VERY protective of me and would bite first, ask questions later (BUT he loved other dogs, go figure) at home or at a place that he considered 'his'. I could take him place and he would be fine with strangers UNTIL the time he deemed that area as his responsibility and then anyone new was fair game. He was A LOT of work, but worth every minute, he lived to be 13 and when he passed I literally had to take a week off work in order to be able to function. He was my heart and I will NEVER find another dog like him. I also have/had a GS/lab cross, who is still going strong at 12, hardly can tell she is that old, however she got kicked in the head when she was only 12 weeks old by a horse and we have always wondered if her personality game from that or just her being part lab, but she has the lab (I love all the things and NEED to play fetch) mentality. The dog I just lost was GS/lab (we think) cross and he was a people dog all the way, loved people, was extremely loyal to me, followed me everywhere. He was amazing with my son when he was an infant and took more from him as he got older then I would expect any dog to take. I miss him so much it's crazy. The dog I have now is a pure bred white German Shepherd that I got from a rescue. He loves all dogs, wants to chew on my cat and is leary but friendly with strangers, he just needs to make sure they are not there to smack him then he is finthe. He is great with my 5 year old, makes a wide berth around my horses, and annoys the heck out of me with his puppy ways (when do they ever stop chewing on things????). I, personally, love the intelligence of the GS, my first dog was so freaking smart it was scary, and he told me things I should have listened closer to (bad boyfriends especially). It really depends on your personality and what kind of dog you think you are going to want. Good luck in your search and keep us posted!
It looks like you don't/didn't have GSDs, you have mutts.
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