|11-26-2012 11:45 AM|
It sounds like you have a lot more research on GSD to do before deciding to bring one home. This forum is a great resource to learn but I would also get some books and contact a responsible breeder.
It took my husband and I years of waiting before introducing a puppy into our home and we have 2 kids. (Just got him last year.) We waited until our youngest was 5 years old and after we got him I kept telling myself that I was SO GLAD I waited. There were even times when I felt like maybe we should have waited yet one more year. Knowing that you have several children under 5 years of age, I would highly recommend waiting. A puppy is a baby. A dog is a child. That's the way I see it. Puppies have to go out every few hours when learning to potty train and have constant monitoring. I would consider those things for a long time before deciding to bring a dog home and better yet, I suggest taking care of someone's dog for a couple weeks. Maybe you can even find a puppy to care for to really see how it works in your family.
Shedding is a non issue for me because all dogs shed. Yes some more than others but they all shed. So regardless of breed, if you're considering getting a dog, expect to deal with it for years to come.
I will say that one thing that makes raising a puppy so much easier is to utilize crate training but that doesn't take away from the overal responsibilities.
|11-26-2012 09:10 AM|
Oh they shed like mad!
My friends GSD was over for the weekend, and I couldn't wait to get rid of them to sweep, mop and vacuum. There were tumbleweeds of hair everywhere! Some are worse than others though.
Mine isn't too bad, but she's black and has a tight coat, so maybe I just don't see the hair was much, and she's also young, so maybe once she's full grown it will get worse. I also brush her daily.
I love GSD's but they are honestly some of the worst shedders I've ever seen!
As mentioned, get one from a good breeder. Training classes are a must and it's SO IMPORTANT to start socializing them right away! They can be suspicious, so you need to really work on socializing them with everything and everyone. Just read all the behaviour, development/socialization and aggression threads to get an idea of some of the challenges you can face with them sometimes.
I socialized the heck out of my puppy and I still have some issues, it's really a lot of hard work, which might be a challenge if you're busy with young kids. 8-16 weeks is the most important time for this, so you really need to start right away.
|11-26-2012 02:45 AM|
|msvette2u||The Best Home Alarm System Money Can Buy - USA Carry|
|11-26-2012 02:29 AM|
I confess I haven't read all 7 pages, so forgive me if this has been suggested already. Have you considered finding a few breeders that you like, that are responsible and ethical and most importantly, educated in the breed with TIME in the breed, and asking them if they have a young adult, or even just a middle-aged dog that needs placing? This can REALLY be a godsend for you. A good breeder seems to always have an adult that passes through that needs a new home. Many of these dogs will be excellent with children. Some may not be, and so this is why you need a breeder you can trust. There are people on this forum that may be able to suggest breeders near you to start with.
An adult dog will be MUCH easier for you to integrate, and believe me---the bond will be just as great as it would be with a puppy. Possibly greater, because there won't be any resentment with all the time a puppy will take. My kids are now 13, 14 and 17, and my pup just turned 17 months. He is not my first dog, nor my first puppy, nor my first GSD. And still, there were nights I laid awake wondering what the heck I had done to myself and my life. My kids are extremely dog savvy, too, and helped a LOT.
Consider finding a well-bred, trained, mature GSD from a breeder. It could be perfect for you all.
|11-26-2012 01:09 AM|
|katieliz||you are wise to be considering this so carefully. imho (six decade history with the breed, parents were breeders, grandfather was an importer), in your current situation (too many young children), you should not be getting a shepherd puppy especially at christmas time. lots of health issues in the breed. lots of work training. lots and lots of time needing to be spent. hard on the kids, hard on the puppy, really REALLY hard on you. if i were in your situation i'd be looking for a healthy mixed breed adult rescue, that was proven good with children, and who didn't require the time and energy necessary to raise and train a shepherd puppy.|
|11-26-2012 12:36 AM|
|selzer||My trainer has Leonbergers. Yeah, huge hairy dogs. She lamented one day, and guess who's shedding? Yup, the ancient GSD. She said she was worse (shedding) than all the Leos.|
|11-26-2012 12:23 AM|
Like everyone has said: They DO shed a lot.
My previous dog was a sheltie that seemed to shed at least three more dogs' worth of hair per week.
...He was a shedding anomaly. After him, Gabe's hair is a bit of a relief. But to a normal household, it would seem like a lot of hair.
|11-25-2012 11:03 PM|
Well, personally I love GSD's and I think it's not quite so hard to raise a GSD pup as many here on many occasions make it out to be, and I love the enthusiasm for the breed of the likes of Kelina.
But if it was me in your shoes...
And you've gotten some really good advice here, but the fact is that you can probably live with house-breaking, and with shedding. But understand that that 8 week old puppy you're looking at won't be an 8 week old puppy very long.
And overnight, she's not going to be a year-and-a-half old settled adult either.
In between that she's going to be a very rambunctious juvenile. She's going to be 50-70 pounds of high-energy legs, muscle and body in constant motion. She's going to be a nearly full-grown dog that thinks she's still a puppy. She's going to think your kids are her litter-mates, and she's going to 'play' with them as if they are. This means being 'excited' when they come home and running up and jumping on them. Running and jumping with paws that come equipped with sharp toenails that she's going to hate for you to cut. And there will be a time the only real way you can handle all that excitement is simply to tire her out. It sounds to me like there's just you. All those kids to take care of and tire out a GSD juvenile to boot?
I wouldn't wish that on any one.
I wouldn't do it in your situation. I can't even imagine trying.
Good luck if you do, to you, your kids and the dog. You'll all need it.
|11-25-2012 10:55 PM|
I am having to vacuum Hans's Kuranda bed twice a day because he is currently shedding so much.
Until now, it was OK, but recently there is a lot of hair!
The shedding coincided with me running out of Feedsentials. Two weeks later, hair everywhere and he is scratching a lot! I don't know if it is dietary or he is just blowing coat.
|11-25-2012 10:46 PM|
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