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Thread: Is GSD right for me? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-10-2014 08:21 AM
blackshep
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawhyno View Post
For worms, flees, etc… I feed my dogs diatomaceous earth. It's a natural mineral that takes care of the problem. Healthy. Organic. Cheap cheap cheap.
DE does NOT work internally, it MUST BE DRY in order to work. It's also not a mineral, it is crushed diatoms. It can cause GI upset/irritation, lung/throat and eye irritation (some links to lung cancer). If you have a healthy animal with a good immune system, they are not a good host for parasites as a general rule, and will have some natural immunity.

This is about horses, but it's the same premise for dogs:
Chemical Dewormers are Best

Your dog will need heartworm medication for warmer months, I wish there was a way around using the meds, but it's not worth the risk IMO.
03-10-2014 07:57 AM
Maeuselchen Hasenherz
sorry can't edit the post anymore because I'm such a slow writer:

One thing I also noticed that DSHs as well as Sennenhunde grow up. Of course a poodle-mix does as well, but the thought of getting a "playmate" for your dog seems a bit like you're humanizing your dog. There is a high possibility that that dogs from these breeds either don't want play or they play in a way that can be dangerous for your first dog which is much smaller than them.
I also get stomachaches when thinking about a family rising 3 very small children and a big dog at the same time.
Rising a puppy can drive you nuts and I think it can be quite demanding to watch over a pubescent German Shepherd and a toddler at the same time. ^^"
I think you should enjoy your poodle-mix and wait until your children are older and then think again if you really want a big working dog or if a medium sized companion dog wouldn't be a better fit.
03-10-2014 07:54 AM
Maeuselchen Hasenherz I only know what owners told me and was I've read about the Sennenhunde, but all of them seemed to be relatively territorial and have a strong bound to their family.
I've heard one family with an Appenzeller, that hat a biting accident, because it didn't accept the dog sitter after the family was gone...as long as the family was present he was very friendly.
the great Swiss Mountain Dogs I've met also didn't like other Dogs so much...pretty aloof. The male as pretty protective of the girl of the house...when a friend hugged her, he really went ballistic. To our luck nothing happend except a few bruises. he just tried to get that "stranger" away from "his baby" (5y) and as soon as he has knocked over the man he was stand tail wagging infornt of the girl. Could have ended uglier though.
I don't say that these dogs aren't cool family pets, but they are strong and you should think carefully if you want to end such a big dog with a strong protection drive in your house. Especially when you want to do outside activities or have a lot of guests.

Of course that is similiar for for DSHs. There also relatively big and strong and have a protection drive, bind to their people very closely. And of course you should never leave your dog unattended with children or a non-family member (without being sure that it is okay), but I think most Sennenhunde are still different in temperament than most Schäfis.
One of the cool things about German Shepherds is that they love to do something active outside and explore new areas with their master, do sports or work with them.
In contrary the most of the Sennenhund breeds, I met, didn't really need a packed working schedules, sport or long walks (this doesn't mean they don't need exercise)...they actually did better with small doses of "adventure" and being at home with their family.
All these families had a pretty big house with a garden or a farm though. The Sennenhunde were mostly busy guarding "their" territory and interacting with their family. They seemed happy with it though.
I think perhaps some DSHs would find this boring.
03-10-2014 07:40 AM
Maeuselchen Hasenherz I only know what owners told me and was I've read about the Sennenhunde, but all of them seemed to be relatively territorial and have a strong bound to their family.
I've heard one family with an Appenzeller, that hat a biting accident, because it didn't accept the dog sitter after the family was gone...as long as the family was present he was very friendly.
the great Swiss Mountain Dogs I've met also didn't like other Dogs so much...pretty aloof. The male as pretty protective of the girl of the house...when a friend hugged her, he really went ballistic. To our luck nothing happend except a few bruises. he just tried to get that "stranger" away from "his baby" (5y) and as soon as he has knocked over the man he was stand tail wagging infornt of the girl. Could have ended uglier though.
I don't say that these dogs aren't cool family pets, but they are strong and you should think carefully if you want to end such a big dog with a strong protection drive in your house. Especially when you want to do outside activities or have a lot of guests.

Of course that is similiar for for DSHs. They're also relatively big and strong and have a protection drive, bind to their people very closely. And of course you should never leave your dog unattended with children or a non-family member (without being sure that it is okay), but I think most Sennenhunde are still different in temperament than most Schäfis.
One of the cool things about German Shepherds is that they love to do something active outside and explore new areas with their master, do sports or work with them.
In contrary the most of the Sennenhund breeds, I met, didn't really need a packed working schedules, sport or long walks (this doesn't mean they don't need exercise)...they actually did better with small doses of "adventure" and being at home with their family for the biggest amount of time.
All these families had a pretty big house with a garden or a farm though. The Sennenhunde were mostly busy guarding "their" territory and interacting with their family. They seemed happy with it though.
I think perhaps some DSHs would find this boring.
03-04-2014 01:12 AM
Chip18 Most of the time people "think" they want a GSD but they are not really prepared to deal with all that entails.If you get the wrong dog, wrong temperament in the dog and wrong training. Your Puggle is not gonna stand up to any mistakes if you any of this wrong!

High rank drive was my downfall I had Boxers, Bull-mastiff/Pit and Boxer/ Pitts as dogs for the last 15 years and my High Rank drive GSD was my only real challenge! All my other dogs did not have high rank drive as a breed characteristic.

Won't even mention the people aggression because that was solved relatively easily solved by me (not expected!!) but solved, with a sound dog and the right training.

Further reading for you.
(Elements of Temperament, by Joy Tiz )

Gonna say that alot of folks "think" they want a GSD but don't realize what all that entails, if what you really want is a dog that looks like a GSD..check these out

https://www.google.com/search?q=king...hrome&ie=UTF-8

Shiloh Shepherd Information and Pictures, Shiloh Shepherds, Shiloh Shepherd Dog, Shiloh Shepherd Dogs
03-04-2014 12:28 AM
lawhyno
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoke8 View Post
What does everyone spend on food a month and what brand? and how much on heartworm/flea and tick? its a big difference from my 25 lb puggle who eats blue buffalo Freedom, would you recommend that for GSD? Thank you.
Feed raw. It's healthier and you can find an affordable solution.

For worms, flees, etc… I feed my dogs diatomaceous earth. It's a natural mineral that takes care of the problem. Healthy. Organic. Cheap cheap cheap.

As far as your first question… From my personal experience owning Czech line shepherds… they are wonderful family dogs and protectors. They are aggressive and territorial towards strangers but I can trust them in the company of my child any day. They are smart, loyal to the death, and bonded deeply to my family. Strangers are in for trouble though. This has to do with the bloodlines I like. Lots of different types of GSD out there.

Only concern I'd have is being able to nurture your puppy while taking care of your children. It's gonna be tons of work for the first few months. Getting educated on how to take the right precautions is also an investment. It's not easy having these types of dogs. Family dogs are definitely easier than a working dog. There are GSDs that are "family" dogs too. I can only speak for working lines.

Best.
03-03-2014 10:40 PM
Jrnabors They shed constantly and if they are "high strung" like mine they can be nearly impossible to train. I don't know anything about the other breed you are looking at, but my GSD has not been what we'd hoped for. Will be going with a different breed when she's gone.
01-30-2014 03:59 PM
Wolfenstein
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Winners View Post
There are 4 different Sennenhunds, or Swiss Mountain dogs. The Bernese is the most popular in the states. I have trained a few and have yet to meet one that displays the common traits of a LGD (Kuvasz, Ovtcharka, Anatolian...) but they all came from pet breeders. None of them would ever become OB superstars, but they were great family dogs.

My personal favorite Swiss Mountain breed is the Entlebucher. Nice, versatile breed for someone looking for a smaller dog.

Some information on the 4 breeds.
Sennenhund Breeds
Well that's good to know! Statement redacted! Never say you ever stop learning! Haha
01-30-2014 07:34 AM
David Winners There are 4 different Sennenhunds, or Swiss Mountain dogs. The Bernese is the most popular in the states. I have trained a few and have yet to meet one that displays the common traits of a LGD (Kuvasz, Ovtcharka, Anatolian...) but they all came from pet breeders. None of them would ever become OB superstars, but they were great family dogs.

My personal favorite Swiss Mountain breed is the Entlebucher. Nice, versatile breed for someone looking for a smaller dog.

Some information on the 4 breeds.
Sennenhund Breeds
01-30-2014 07:09 AM
Wolfenstein I can't believe I'm being this much of a stickler, but the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a different breed than a Bernese.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

OP, I'm just curious, what is it that is drawing you guys to the two breeds? You're looking at some pretty different temperaments, there. You're getting a lot of info on GSDs, so I'll just throw in a little about the GSMD. They're a livestock guardian breed, which means they were bred to have a natural protective instinct. I don't think they're as bad as some of the more hard-core working livestock dogs out there, but you have to be VERY aware of what that protectiveness entails. Where a GSD is protective but bred to focus very much on a handler, livestock dogs are bred to literally live out with their flock. They ARE bred to be very gentle with whoever they are raised with, but not bred to focus on a handler. They are meant to make their own decisions on when to be protective because a predator can attack in the middle of the night and they need to follow instinct without waiting for commands.

What this means for pet owners is that the dog needs RIDICULOUS amounts of socialization. It takes a little more effort for training because the dogs aren't as naturally in tune with people. They will be super wonderful and loving with the family they're normally around, but can really easily develop guarding problems over "their" property. This can be as harmless as barking at people who walk past the house, or as dangerous as getting protective over your children while they're playing with friends. You really need to be diligent about not only taking the dog out of your property regularly for socialization and training, you want to actively work on training this type of dog to accept strange people in your house.

Like I said, I think this breed doesn't have as many issues as other livestock dogs, but you still need to be aware of the potential. They might look sweet like a lab or a golden, but they are definitely different dogs.

With a 4 month old baby at home (which is an awful lot of work!) you really want to objectively look at your situation, the time you want and can realistically invest into training, and the traits you're looking for in a dog. With your current dog, you might have a stubborn trainer on your hands (beagles and pugs are not really known for their smarts! haha), but neither dog is going to be naturally protective or aggressive. Now you're looking at two breeds that both have the potential to go pretty poorly unless you're really diligent with training. It's a really great idea to make a list of the things that are MOST important to you in another dog, then start picking out breeds that fit in that list. Not saying either breed necessarily ISN'T a good fit for you, either, since I don't know about your history with dogs or how much you want to invest in training! Just that it's good to think of all these things.

Also, don't forget that adopting an adult can be really great! You'll already have an idea about the temperament of the dog, so it's possible to find a dog that has the potential to be more difficult, but that will fit in well with your family. Good luck on your search!
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