HELP! To own a GSD or not...that is the question :) - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 07-07-2014, 06:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HELP! To own a GSD or not...that is the question :)

Hi, I am sure you get this question a lot but I am trying to decide if the German Shepherd Dog is the right breed for my family?

Let me tell you about my family and what we are looking for. I am a single mom with 2 kids (ages 7 and 11) We already own a 5yr old spayed female Saint Bernard and a 3 yr old spayed dominant Malti-poo and a pet pig...yes i said pig We often foster motherless puppies and kittens for a local rescue. I have owned a female rottie in the past but lost her to cancer several years ago so I do have some knowledge on owning an intelligent yet head strong breed.

Our Saint Bernard is very protective of my family but unfortunatly they do not have a long life span, she cant be outside very often, and her hearing is starting to go Crime in my neighborhood has been on the rise and we decided to add another dog to our family, one that can be naturally protective, one we can take on walks and be outside in our large fenced yard while my kids are playing, but also lounge around in the house with.

I will be taking whatever pup we finally choose to training classes and will have it neutered. I have researched and researched the german vs american and the different bloodlines and if male or female would be best for our family and it has caused me such a headache trying to understand it all and which would fit best in with our family if at all. I have even talked to some breeders but am still confused.

Can anyone tell me your opinion on if you think a GSD would even be a good fit and if so what bloodlines etc male or female would be best??? Thank you very much!
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What I can tell you is some of what goes into raising a shepherd. They require SO much exercise. As puppies they nip and bite more than any other breed I have come into contact with. They are extremely smart (good and bad). They are loyal, and trusting. In my opinion they are very hard puppies that turn into wonderful companions for those who are willing to put in the time.


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Old 07-07-2014, 07:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As mentioned, this is a VERY active breed, and so smart! That means not only do they need physical outlets for their energy, but also mental stimulation like training, and activities like tracking and nose-work in order to be happy and well behaved. A bored, frustrated dog can become destructive, chronic barkers, and difficult to control. Walks are great, but not enough, especially for a young dog.

Now there might be some dogs that are mellow and easy going, and be completely satisfied with a regular leash walk - but finding such a dog, that is also good with kids and protective might be a challenge.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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you sound like a thoughtful dog owner.

If, that big word, you have time to work with a puppy, exercise a pup and train an active pup, it would most likely be a great fit.

Think raising your two year old with the energy of a teen...

As others have said, they start off rather nippy and you children will have to learn how to play with the pup without sending it 'over the top.' They will have to learn to redirect with toys and put up with a certain amount of the biting. They don't have hands, but want to grab everything that moves.

Don't know your budget, but go with a well recommended breeder who breeds for both health and temperament.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As far as male vs. female goes, I was once told that males will protect the property, females will protect the family. That is a huge over-generalization, but I do believe there is a bit of truth in it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Adding a 3rd dog changes the dynamics of everything quite a bit. I'm not sure how the pig will figure in, but adding a new puppy with a pushy little malti and a Saint Bernard you describe as protective? Have you thought about that Rachelle?
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am also a single mother and wanted a good family but guard dog. My experience with GSDs was limited to my grandparents adult dog when I was a child. I've raised labs & pointers in the past, but we went ahead with the GSD puppy. Yikes! Worst & meanest puppy ever, lol! They require lots of patience! And consistent constant training. They bite. Bad.
That being said, Luna is now 7 mos & the best, prettiest, smartest dog I've ever raised. She is very social & loves the kids that come over to plau. She also loves other animals. Now. Let's just say " be prepared!"
HELP! To own a GSD or not...that is the question :)-imageuploadedbypg-free1404873668.666002.jpg


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