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Thread: Seeking advice for adopting a puppy Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-23-2014 09:34 AM
blackshep Too late to edit. I find the Dogs 101 program to be pretty good at painting a general picture of most breeds

Dogs 101: Border Collie : Video : Animal Planet


01-23-2014 08:36 AM
blackshep I too, do flyball and while I've never owned a BC, I handle them and see them all the time. They are HYPER and FAST. Super intelligent, very bonded to their owners, but I think if you don't give them enough exercise, training and work them enough they can get a bit neurotic and OCD. Otherwise I really love them and they are very sweet toward their handlers (they don't always warm up to strangers very quickly). BC's aren't what I would call protective.

GSD's are harder, they can be tougher to handle I think, for the average owner (they will push back more, much bigger attitude than BC's), but I also think they have a better off switch and calmer minds than BC's.

Both breeds require a ton of work and exercise and are not one I would ever consider getting if I was busy in school. I'd wait until you're done school and working and have a better idea of what your daily schedule is going to be like and how much time you can commit.

Both are AWESOME breeds, if you make the time to work with them, socialize, exercise and train them, but both can be nightmares if you don't.
01-22-2014 09:34 PM
rjstrotz You might be better suited with an ADOPTED adult dog-- no matter what the breed. There are many people who must SURRENDER their dogs because they are moving, have lost their homes, or for health related reasons.
These people can give you a complete history of their dogs and you can learn about the character traits of the dog. PLUS (it is a big PLUS) you will be adopting a dog that is already TRAINED in many ways.
CRAIGS list is always a good source as are various BREED RESCUE GROUPS.
"Purchasing" a dog is costly and some breeders are "chancy" at best.
Go for an ADOPTABLE dog whose family you can meet and whose character is known. You will be saving a dog and he will be forever grateful.
01-22-2014 09:23 PM
Liesje I think the biggest drawback is the timing, the unknown. Being a student means a lot is changing and can change....housing, job/money, schedule.

I am not so concerned about the time commitment. Most of us work full time. I'm away from home 9 hours a day and I have 4 dogs, 2 are GSDs. 1 of those is pretty active, trains in several venues, over 20 titles, etc. Not a couch potato but he's a good GSD, he can turn it off and on when appropriate and he's very settled at home. Also I have a 13 week old GSD puppy who is half working line. I pay someone to come over during the day to let him out and play with him. I certainly am not walking each of my dogs several hours a day. They all get the training they need and we are traveling to compete almost once a month. Timewise, I don't think being a student is an automatic DQ unless you are a full time student AND working full time.

I worked several jobs while I was a student so I waited until after I graduated to get a dog. I got a 3 year old working line GSD from her breeder. My first dog, first GSD and she was a working line but more mild temperament. We did lots of training, sometimes in 3 different classes a week and I put many titles on her. Looking back, I'm glad I got an adult and not a puppy to start with, I was much more committed to hitting the ground running as far as training. With my puppy, it's like I have to wait almost 2 years before we can seriously start training in anything, in order for him to mature physically and mentally.
01-22-2014 03:44 PM
Merciel
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedative View Post
I prefer these two breeds because I want a big dog thats intelligent, and is protective. I generally have short days at uni, so basically during my semesters i am either at home or university (will have a long day approx 2/5 days a week), I do not work during semester. As for walks about 30-45min per walk, and 30min obedience training.
As other people have said, BCs aren't big and they aren't generally protective. I'd knock that off your list. A GSD, maybe. I think you'd have a pretty good chance of finding a suitable mixed breed in a shelter or rescue, too.

That's if you go forward with getting a dog at all, of course. What you've described might be your schedule this term, but what about next term? Next year? What if your courseload intensifies, or you catch the flu and fall behind for two weeks, or you pick up a part-time job? What if you want to do an internship, travel abroad, or pursue a work or grad school opportunity in a city where it's hard to rent with a big "protective" dog? Are you willing to sacrifice those opportunities before they even occur? Remember that the decisions you make now can have HUGE effects on your career prospects and lifestyle five or ten years down the road -- or even longer.

30/45 minutes' walk and 30 minutes' training might be sufficient for a pet dog, depending (again) on how intense and focused your work is during those time periods. But generally that's not going to be sufficient for a working dog, not if that's the high end of the range rather than the absolute bare minimum that you put in every day. And for a puppy, you're going to need a lot more than that.

I'd second Jean's advice about getting involved with a shelter or rescue. Fostering might be a good way to try out living with different dogs and learn exactly what it's like to train, exercise, and be responsible for another living creature, without necessarily committing yourself for a decade-plus.
01-22-2014 07:14 AM
JeanKBBMMMAAN
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedative View Post
I prefer these two breeds because I want a big dog thats intelligent, and is protective. I generally have short days at uni, so basically during my semesters i am either at home or university (will have a long day approx 2/5 days a week), I do not work during semester. As for walks about 30-45min per walk, and 30min obedience training.

Thanks all for the replies so far, very helpful.
Cross the BC off the list for protective, in my mind, not a protective dog and agree with what Liesje said - I have BC mixes - very smart, can be super sensitive, over think things, funny dogs. Can pick up on cues that we don't see ourselves doing.

As far as protective, a dog needs a confident person as their baseline, in my mind. It helps them level out - then if they are protective they can be appropriately so, if they aren't they don't need to be.

You might want to volunteer as a foster for a rescue or shelter with the time you have - help a few dogs and get to see what different dogs and breeds are like, learn a lot in the meantime.
01-21-2014 10:11 PM
Sunflowers
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mocha View Post
It was only for a check up, one vaccine and a fecal exam

I always think the same thing.... I can't imagine what it would be if he actually had something seriously wrong with him. One time he had a bump and I thought it be something serious and luckily it was something simple. The differences in vets are insane. My vet back home is half the cost. One time a visit was only $40.... Imagine that!


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Thing is, there doesn't have to be something seriously wrong for the bills to add up to thousands. Little things that need testing and medication and repeated visits, such as the skin and soft stool problems we had, can add up really quickly.
01-21-2014 09:57 PM
Mocha
Quote:
Originally Posted by misslesleedavis1 View Post
@ Mocha,
At one visit (yes, ONE), my bill was $137. Mind you he had three visits in a row.

I saw that and went omg lucky, one vet for one dog for me is 235.00 and even at 235.00 the first thought that crosses my mind is "oh thank god its not more", vets (some of them) are insanely expensive. I should also add that my dog is 100% healthy, i cant imagine what it would be if one was sick.
It was only for a check up, one vaccine and a fecal exam

I always think the same thing.... I can't imagine what it would be if he actually had something seriously wrong with him. One time he had a bump and I thought it be something serious and luckily it was something simple. The differences in vets are insane. My vet back home is half the cost. One time a visit was only $40.... Imagine that!


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01-21-2014 09:36 PM
misslesleedavis1 @ Mocha,
At one visit (yes, ONE), my bill was $137. Mind you he had three visits in a row.

I saw that and went omg lucky, one vet for one dog for me is 235.00 and even at 235.00 the first thought that crosses my mind is "oh thank god its not more", vets (some of them) are insanely expensive. I should also add that my dog is 100% healthy, i cant imagine what it would be if one was sick.
01-21-2014 08:50 PM
Mocha
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedative View Post
I prefer these two breeds because I want a big dog thats intelligent, and is protective. I generally have short days at uni, so basically during my semesters i am either at home or university (will have a long day approx 2/5 days a week), I do not work during semester. As for walks about 30-45min per walk, and 30min obedience training.

Thanks all for the replies so far, very helpful.
Lastly, a GSD during the puppy stages will need more attention than this. For the first few months you will need to devote at least half your day to them if you want to ensure they turn into well behaved, stable dogs. And, border collies are rather small-medium sized dogs.


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