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Thread: Is GSD right for my family? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-06-2012 11:39 AM
dazedtrucker A puppy will be like having another 2 year old... needing constant attention, supervision and training. GSD puppies are alot of work. They chew, tear things up, get ahold of the kids favorite toys and destroy them... Rewarding however
You can skip all this by adopting an older pup or dog, that is known to be good with children. There's a million of them out there needing loving homes. They are wonderful family dogs all around. I have always had them around my kids, 20+ years now. And a good deterrent. Most criminals are not going to pick the family with a GSD. (or 2 )
12-06-2012 10:47 AM
Kyleigh I'm single and in my 40s and got Kyleigh 16 months ago. I have lots of experience with dogs, and my "dream dog" is the GSD.

As a first time GSD owner, I was rudely awoken a number of times with Kyleigh. She did things I haven't seen in other dogs / puppies.

The landshark phase / biting / teething ... it CAN be over the top for someone. Especially if you have children - and ages 2 and 4 are too young to be dealing with that (not that I expect you to have them "deal" with it). But just managing that "phase" as well as two small children will require extraordinary effort - do you cage the dog all the time? Or the kids? (just kidding!)

If the puppy is not managed 100% of the time during the teething / landshark phase, your children might become afraid of the dog.

Kyleigh demanded (and yes, I mean DEMANDED) my full attention until she was about 8 months old. If I wasn't working with her (training, playing, etc.) She was in her crate (thankfully she settled in her crate admirably). I had to "teach" her to have an off switch. I had her leash attached to me for 4 months while we were in the house. This taught her to follow me, respect my space and I could watch her and make sure she didn't chew / eat anything she wasn't supposed to.

BUT ... she would NOT settle for longer periods that 15-20 minutes unless she was in her crate. This is what I had to teach her ... and it doesn't happen over night.

Some puppies are more demanding than others. You might get lucky and get a mellow puppy, but on the other hand, you might get one that DEMANDS your attention like Kyleigh did, and I had to teach her to relax.

Kyleigh calmed down around a year old. I exercised her both physically and mentally for hours ... and she was still ready to rock and roll at the drop of a hat.

Personally, with my knowledge of dogs and my very recent experience of raising a GSD puppy, I would go with an adult GSD from a rescue, or even a retired dog from a breeder. With two children in the house, you will simply be adding another child to the picture ... but one you can't have a discussion with!

Just my two cents!! Good luck with your decision
12-06-2012 10:42 AM
Anitsisqua
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ageizm View Post
Y ( I'd go with a security system ), if she feels she needs the deterrent while at home I'd go with a gun ( the dog might need protection as well).
Porque no los dos?

The gun is great if you are actually being threatened when at home, but if you have a large, barking dog (or sometimes even a small barking dog), most criminals will move on to easier targets.
12-06-2012 09:41 AM
Jo Ellen I have a GSD puppy that is not aggressive in the slightest. A bit territorial, he notices everything that moves outside our "territory."

But he sure is into rough and tumble play. I've had quite a few injuries from Spirit ... from his paws, jumping on me, he loves to jump on my head when I'm sitting on the couch. Is he out of control? I don't think so. Is he a normal life-loving rambunctious puppy? Definitely. He's very strong too, incredibly strong -- both physically and in temperament.

I don't have small children though, not sure how he would play with a 2 and 4 year old. But I can say he plays very rough with me.

Aside from that, these dogs demand activity. On the days that work consumes me and I can't give Spirit a decent level of activity -- he's into trouble.

All this said, I wouldn't trade him for the world
12-06-2012 01:05 AM
Ageizm Yea i guess having always lived in urban areas leaves me a bit blind to rural crime issues. By the same token if she's away from the home wouldn't said criminal element just poison the deterrent? I mean with no neighbors all the barking in the world wouldn't really make a difference imo. This of course suggest that she needs the deterrent for when she is not at home ( I'd go with a security system ), if she feels she needs the deterrent while at home I'd go with a gun ( the dog might need protection as well). Of course not knowing her exact reasons for needing said deterrent leaves us to simply speculate...which I will stop doing now lol
12-06-2012 12:33 AM
Nigel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ageizm View Post
With a 2 and 4 year old, and a husband who is often occupied with work, I wouldn't recommend a GSD puppy. As stated these dogs require lot of attention and work, and frankly it sounds like you have your hands full already.

Not sure why you'd need a deterrent if you don't even have neighbors...so i'm a bit puzzled one that part... but for the kiddies I'd go with something smaller like a terrier, if it has to be a large breed, find a lazy large breed....some googling will find the right fit for you and your family.

Remember this is only my opinion based on what you stated in the OP, ultimately the decision is yours! Best of luck!
Rural homes have become huge targets where I live. Crooks will often investigate and learn people's schedules. They just watch home owners as they come and go. Some don't care if you are home. The seclusion works to their advantage.
12-06-2012 12:12 AM
Ageizm With a 2 and 4 year old, and a husband who is often occupied with work, I wouldn't recommend a GSD puppy. As stated these dogs require lot of attention and work, and frankly it sounds like you have your hands full already.

Not sure why you'd need a deterrent if you don't even have neighbors...so i'm a bit puzzled one that part... but for the kiddies I'd go with something smaller like a terrier, if it has to be a large breed, find a lazy large breed....some googling will find the right fit for you and your family.

Remember this is only my opinion based on what you stated in the OP, ultimately the decision is yours! Best of luck!
12-05-2012 11:08 PM
doggiedad you have to be right for a dog. you can train your
dog to be super friendly, protective, cuddle bug,
friendly/protective, etc.
12-05-2012 11:03 PM
sit,stay I raised my 13 year old son with the breed and have seen first hand how wonderful the GSD can be with children.

However, it takes a lot of time and effort. Puppies don't train themselves and need a ton of supervision and training to grow up to be the dog they can be. They are slow to mature and don't leave puppyhood until they are 2-3 years old.

My advice would be to get out and attend dog events where GSDs will be. Take a look at the different lines (or "flavors") that they come in and decide what strikes your fancy and what fits your life style. Then talk to people who have the type of dog that you like and find out where they got their dogs.

Be prepared to be work hard to get the dog you want. There is no better breed than a well breed, well trained and socialized German Shepherd dog. But it take work to get there.

Good luck!
Sheilah
12-05-2012 06:02 PM
wolfy dog Congratulations on your plans. If you want to start with a pup you have to be prepared to put a lot, a lot if time into training and socializing in order to get the dog you are hoping for. The first 6 months can basically be puppy time 24/7. With a young family that can be a challenge. As a trainer I have visited several families whose small kids were living on the couch to prevent the pup from biting them. They had thought that it would be fun if the puppy could grow up with the kids.
If you plan on pup, check the adult dogs if possible. I am sure the members on the forum can help you find a good breeder.
It can be done of course, I did it when our kids were little but dogs were my passion and outlet.
If you contact several good rescues who know what they are doing (not every rescue does unfortunately) and are willing to take the dog back if it doesn't work (contract!), you might find a nice adult dog that is passed all the puppy stuff.
Have fun with the planning, so exciting!
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