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Old 07-17-2014, 05:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hello from Sunny CA

Hello,

My husband and I are looking to add another dog into our family, we have two young children and an elderly silky terrier, we both love shepherds would love to give one a great home. We have experience with silky terriers, a husky/rottie and an american staffordshire terrier.

We are looking for a family companion that will be good with our children, that isn't skittish or shy, can keep up with our active social lifestyle, get along with our dog and other dogs, will appreciate affection and will keep a watchful eye on the house.

Our yard is 1551sq, which feels big to us considering we live in CA, and is completely fenced in. We go camping and or hiking at least once a month, we also enjoy going to dog friendly beaches, doggy playdates, my husband runs 3 miles a day, I walk 3 miles a day, we spend most of our time outside paying in the yard. We take our Silky to the local dog park at least four times a week(she doesn't go on the long walks anymore), she completed basic through advanced obedience classes which our new dog will also. I am a stay at home mom and before that a stay at home wife, if we have to leave the house for more than five hours we take our dog, if we travel we take her with or my mom dog sits, my mom also has a fenced in yard.

My husband would prefer a dog through a breeder, I would prefer a rescue but we are both willing to compromise for the right dog for our family. We both would prefer a younger dog/puppy with no known health problems. We are willing to travel to the top of California into Arizona and Nevada but would prefer to stay local in Southern California. Our absolute maximum budget to adopt/buy only the dog is $3,000.

I've been looking at the available dogs at the rescues below:

Adopt German Shepherd Puppy, Mix or Pure breed, Young or Adult Dog
Available Dogs | German Shepherd Rescue
German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County | Dogs for Adoption
Dogs Available for Adoption from GSRSV
Southern California German Shepherd Rescue :: Available Dogs
Untitled Document
Adopt a dog (all dogs) Please Click Apply To Filter | Coastal German Shepherd Rescue San Diego
PetHarbor.com: Animal Shelter adopt a pet; dogs, cats, puppies, kittens! Humane Society, SPCA. Lost & Found.

In reading these forums I've seen the following breeders recommended as reputable:

Adler-Stein-Kennels-Los-Angeles-German-Shepherds
Danubius Kennels | Los Angeles K-9 Services
index
SentinelHarts German Shepherds
Boarding | Training | German shepherds | Protection Dogs
Dog Training Orange County, CA - German Shepherd ****zhund Training

Are there anymore rescues, breeders or resources that you would recommend I look into?

Thank you so much for your time,

Bubble
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Old Yesterday, 11:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A good breeder will be cautious about selling a dog to a family with no GSD experience and very young children. There are pros and cons to getting a puppy over a rescue dog, the main one being that you can select the dog you want and can socialize and train it yourself to your own standards from an early age. You have a few red flags in your post. The first is "young children." If they are under 6, think twice about getting a puppy, as they need a lot of attention the first year, training, and socialization. There is also the danger that the puppy will think of young children as litter mates and it will take a firm hand to quickly teach them not to nip ankles or jump on your children.

The other is the elderly silky. How well does your older dog do with other dogs and will a puppy be too much for an older, tiny dog?

Both GSROC and Coastal German Shepherds are excellent rescues. If you live in or near the OC, I suggest you contact them first and volunteer to foster a GSD. That will give you experience with the breed, and you usually get first chance to adopt a dog if you like it. You should go into fostering with the idea that you aren't going to keep a dog, and be willing to give it up for adoption if it isn't exactly what you need. I've fostered and adopted my own foster. I can tell you from personal experience that fosters might be on "good behavior" the first month or so, in a honeymoon period, and that if you even sense a problematic behavior, let someone else adopt the dog. Eventually you will find one you love, even if it's not a puppy. Take the dog through obedience, even if it's trained.

Then, in a few years, when your children are older and you are sure you understand the breed, you can bring in a puppy from a breeder. GSDs that are socialized to other dogs, love living on packs, and two dogs aren't that much more work than one.

If you foster, be very picky and clear about what you want. No aggression toward people or animals at all. A dog that is good with children and if possible, already knows basic obedience. The downside is that if the dog has any bad habits, you'll have to work to get rid of them. Both rescues should have trainers they recommend to help you with any problems. Those are the only two GSD rescues I'd recommend in So Cal (I hope I'm not offending anyone but I know people I've met online who have worked with each of them and were extremely happy, no complaints at all).
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Old Today, 06:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd also look into Grunenfeld kennels, I have a dog from there and he is an absolute joy and has a very good temperament. I own two small dogs and he is wonderful with them but they are a very active breed that needs a lot of mental stimulation, very different from your previous dogs. I'd avoid Alder stein... not that she's not reputable she breeds amazing dogs BUT she breeds very serious higher drive dogs not always great for first time GSD owners; just know what you're getting yourself into.

But if you decide to go the rescue route Cali has A LOT of GSD's in shelters and in rescues so I'm sure you could find a great match there to! An older dog may be a better match for your family, GSD puppies are A LOT of work and can be very nippy which can be an issue with small children.
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Old Today, 06:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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And also just know that GSD's aren't always dog park type dogs; they are very different from labs, goldens, etc... My GSD prefers his pack only and is also very aloof to strangers. If you're looking for a super outgoing happy go lucky dog friendly dog then a GSD might not the best match. They can be that way mind you but they are naturally aloof to strangers and don't always like playing with strange dogs. For example when I take my GSD to my in laws he pretty much completely ignores them, he could care less.

I'd also second trying fostering first to really find out if the breed matches your lifestyle.
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