|08-15-2013 09:26 PM|
regardless of breed are you ready and right for any dog? i think it's more
of is a person fit for a dog.
|08-15-2013 04:46 PM|
You sound like a good match for a GSD.
Heinz is the first dog I've owned as an adult, and I couldn't be happier with him. He's a big, laid back dork most of the time, but he certainly looks out for me and the rest of his "family" (my husband and the kitties). I live in a small house with a small fenced-in yard, and he does fine. He's got a doggy door for potty breaks/fresh air when we're at work, and he gets a good walk every day.
He's very trainable, but I do have to keep up with him. If I don't reinforce stuff and keep him working, he'll start blowing through my commands (like not "staying" and running off the porch to greet another dog). He's also more prone to misbehave if I've not given him a good LONG walk or romp at the dog park for a while.
As far as not running off - he's never far from me. He goes to the barn with me off leash and stays in sight the whole time, despite horses, cats, and vermin running about. The ONLY time he ever took off and didn't return was a few days after we rescued him. I forgot to close the back gate, and I ran around to the front of the house, calling frantically. Turned out he had taken advantage of my neighbor leaving his truck door open, and he jumped right in
Clearly he enjoys car rides, and it just takes an open door to get him in there, no matter whose car it is.
|08-15-2013 03:54 PM|
|Diesel and Lace||
Here is how Diesel travels:
No issues here!
It took me about 3 months of training a really good recall before Diesel was completely off leash. He loves the freedom we go hiking and to the barn and camping and he is always with me. When we are out and about say camping (we go very frequently) I tie him out (leash laws and dont want him running into another dog) while at camp, if I am out of site he does have a bit of a melt down but then will be fine about 5 minutes later... He is a velcro dog but thats to be expected from a rescue that was extremely underweight and I am probably the first human who has properly trained, cared, fed, and exercised him like he needs so I am his world
|08-15-2013 12:03 AM|
I think you got some good solid responses for your first set of questions so I'll jump ahead and start with these. All of my GSDs have been great with travelling. My husband is in the navy so we do road trips back home whenever we can. My female rides really well. She'll jump in and settle on the 3rd row seat in our van and just chill. My pup hasn't been on a road trip with us yet but he does beautifully around town and longer distances so I've no doubt he'd be great 2-3 days in the car.
Also, my female is trained to "wait" which means she's not allowed to cross a line unless I say so. This gives me time to clip on her leash. My pup is learning this. I also body block so they'd have to push past me in which case I'm in a perfect position to grab them.
Training a solid recall is extremely important.
You sound like you could handle a GSD pretty easily. All of my purebred GSDs have been females. Our mix was male. My current pup is a male. I love my female. She's playful and silly at home but when we're out of the house, she's serious and alert. Now I know she doesn't have a protective bone in her body but just the fact she's a full grown german shepherd tends to keep most at a distance, especially when she focuses her attention on them. My male, I actually got with the hope that he'd have more of a protective instinct so I went with a breeder who works her dogs and expected the pups to develop appropriately to at least alert to anyone at the door.
My male is 5 months old right now and I don't expect anything from him except silly boy antics which he's really good at. He's a character. An opinionated one but still a fun pup. My female was eager to please and a quick learner so training her was a breeze. My boy... well he has a serious case of puppy brain and tends to pick things up a little slower but he does very well. I'm proud of him.
IME, females tend to be a tad more independent and not nearly as mushy while males are goofy silly in your face. My female will get in my face and I haven't been to the bathroom alone in years. She'll listen for me in the house and if I don't come back to the living room in a timely manner, she'll come find me. She does follow me around the house more often than not. My male, if he cant find me downstairs, forgets there's an upstairs and will bark to let me know he cant find me and is kind of panicking.
It really just depends which sex you prefer honestly. You can get the same qualities from both just different levels. Going to a reputable breeder, I'd suggest dropping the sex preference since you don't currently have a dog already, and just let the breeder know what traits you're looking for and letting them pick the best match for you temperament wise.
|08-15-2013 12:02 AM|
|08-14-2013 11:29 PM|
Two personal experiences for you (and dogs are so different, but still...) We had an eight hour car ride home from the breeder's, and after about 1/2 hour of whining, my pup settled down on my lap. I also put her in the back seat to see how'd she'd do, and she passed out for 2 hours. Ever since that, she has been a dream dog in the car, I could completely forget she was back there. I do use a seatbelt harness, but I still don't think she'd act up. Short trips, 10 hour road trips, she's still perfect.
I have a walled yard and Jedda's never off leash unless we're on a hike or someplace fenced, so I don't really know how far she'd go from home if I let her have that kind of freedom. When I'm out working in the yard, and any time she's off leash, she'll stick right by me. Like NEVER out of sight. If she was home alone and got out, I have no idea what she'd do though - God forbid, something else to worry about now!
Just a note about the protection factor - I definitely feel more comfortable walking around with her - people either admire her or give us a wide berth, and I highly doubt anybody would mess with me with her there. I prefer a big, fierce sounding dog to deter burglars (after my own house was broken into, and several more in the area). But, she's almost always in the crate when she's home alone, and I'm now more concerned that somebody would take HER than anything else!
Good luck and have fun if you pick a GSD! I have definitely put more work, time, attention, and training into this dog than any other I've had, but wow she is a GREAT dog!
|08-14-2013 10:12 PM|
Your first set of questions was answered pretty well, so I'll hit up the next two/
Travel? Just try and keep Cable out of the car, he loves rides. My old GSD loved to ride, was a bit whiny the first few miles, probably excitement. Depends on the dog really, if all the dog ever does is go to the vet after a ride, then it will likely not like the car. If the dog is treated to a nice hike or run on the beach after a car ride then they will associate it with fun times.
The whole running off thing is dependant on the dog, breed-wise is a bit more murky. I'd hazard a guess that a well bonded GSD won't dash off as easily as say an air-head lab or spaniel, but some dogs do like to explore. Banjo(my old GSD) would sit and look at an open gate and not even consider leaving the yard. He wanted to be where I was, not food or other people could unstick that bond.
Something to consider once the dog is acclimatized to your home and schedule is a doggie-door. When you are sure the pooch is happy and not going to wander off a doggie door makes life so much easier on both parties. Potty breaks are taken care of, they can go run off some energy while you are at work(you HAVE to know the dog won't run off, otherwise no doggie-door).
|08-14-2013 09:35 PM|
|IntotheVoid||Thanks guys!! Really helpful stuff here. A few questions I thought of today... How are german shepherds with traveling (by car)? Do they typically run away if they have the opportunity to? I have had dogs that run as soon as they had the chance, and some dogs who would never leave the yard even if left alone.|
|08-14-2013 03:12 PM|
|Mac's Mom||I definately think you can fit into a german shepherd's lifestyle I strongly believe its important that your boyfriend is on board since he will be joining the pack in the near future. You've gotten a lot of good advice on finding good breeders but just keep in mind there are a lot of young dogs in shelters and rescues too. As far as being "protective" I can tell you that I haven't felt unsafe one day since Mac was about 7 months old haha. Not because I think he'd attack an intruder but because I don't expect any intruders when I have a GSD barking at the door or window As far as loyalty and companionship..he's at my side 24/7 Yeah its tough sometimes to keep up with them...their intelligent and energy level...they need more mental stimulation and exercise than a lot of dogs...but to me its worth it.|
|08-14-2013 02:16 PM|
You sound like a perfect person to own a German Shepherd, I too live alone and feel completely at ease and safe with mine watching my yard and house. I think the beauty of dogs, really any dog, is that they are so incredibly adaptable to our life styles and the schedules we place them in. I find that dogs thrive on routine, no matter what that may be, I don't have the luxury your dog will have of being 3 miles away, I work 80 miles from my home, yet my dogs stay comfortably and happily in their pens and kennels till I arrive home, no problem. I also have horses at home so my dogs exercise consists of following me around on my chores of cleaning, feeding and exercising my horses twice a day, I guess I have been incredibly lucky because I have had over 10 German Shepherds in my life and NOT ONE was an over the top high drive maniac that required several exercise outings a day, they were/are content to do essentially what I do, they do go for trail rides on the weekends, or hiking in the mountains, but it's not something that HAS to be done, they just want to come along and be with me, if I don't feel well, or the weather is bad, than they hang in the house with me, no big deal. I think you need to express to your breeder exactly what you are looking for in your puppy, they will help select the puppy that best suits your needs.
I have both male and female, I find the males more goofy and playful, the females tend to be more serious and watchful over their person, they are both incredibly loyal to their owners, but I guess if I had to choose one sex to be my companion it would be a female because of the serious demeanor, this is of course my opinion, but it's based on several dogs.
Good luck to you and heres hoping you find the perfect puppy!
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