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Thread: Life with a working line GSD? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-01-2014 08:16 AM
robk Not all working lines are created equal. I have two and they are very different from each other. One is all west German working line and he settles very nicely in the house and is generally easier to train than my other dog. however he gets very amped when we go into public and is much "higher" when stimulated. The other one is a west German x Czech blend and she has a much harder time settling down in the house but is much calmer in public.
09-01-2014 07:38 AM
JakodaCD OA I guess I would ask 'why' do you want particularly a gsd?

I have always had working lines (1 am line), a couple were crosses with am lines, those I think were the 'easiest' dogs that I would consider to be able to live in just about any situation.

My female now, is czech/slovak/ddr. At 6 years of age, she's still very much an energizer bunny..She would not do well with your initial description of being able to walk your dogs once a week. That wouldn't fly with her at all.

She was an easy trainer, but ALOT of energy and required alot of mental/physical exercise , as she matured she has learned to settle nicely in the house , the first two years were a whirlwind tho She is no couch potatoe and requires daily exercise whether it's a long hike, walk, class, 'something'..

I'm sure you can get what your looking for, and it's good your researching early, certainly depends on the dog itself and finding a good breeder who can 'peg' what you want and don't want to live with.
09-01-2014 02:19 AM
dvt510 Very True. Again exactly why I needed everyone insights about their GSD on this forum so badly haha.
09-01-2014 02:08 AM
dvt510 Hey Carmen,
I have two dogs and manage 100+ dogs a day playing at a day care as well as work with shelter dogs so I think I do have some skill in managing dogs.

However with that said, to be a dog trainer, at least a good one that doesn't self qualify oneself as a dog behaviorist from simply watching the dog whisperer (yes, I was unfortunate enough to hire TWO who messed up my dog big time before I met a legitimate trainer) of course I will put myself through a professional qualified school to properly learn and qualify myself. Of course seminars and apprenticeship is a must as well.

As for GSD as a breed, you are right, that is why I am on this forum a year ahead before I decide on buying a GSD.

Also, thanks for being up front with me about SAR work. The more I think about it, the more unrealistic It seems to be. I don't think the training and lifestyle of a SAR dog will balance well with my career as a pet dog trainer/walker especially with my need for my dog to work beside me in that kind of environment.

Perhaps competitive obedience of shutzhund is a better fit. I will look into it.

I am pretty set on a GSD though but will keep an open mind.

Also thanks everyone that replies, really gave me good insights
09-01-2014 02:05 AM
Pax8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvt510 View Post
I actually have a rescue pitbull mix (low drive, low-med energy) and a rat terrier I found as a stray (high drive but very good on/off switch). I am lucky enough to have them as very very good pets. very respectful inside the house and good manner everywhere in general. I can go several days- week without a long walk for both and they'll be just as calm.

With that being said, I lack the experience of living with "the dog that NEEDS to be walk" or has any serious house manners. My dogs caught on to my rules and boundaries extremely quick, but I think that's just them by nature, a puppy especially one form a working line of course would require much more work than adult dogs which is why I am asking around.

Aside from my dogs, I work at a dog day care and volunteer at my local shelter so I do have a lot of experience with a variety of breeds including GSD. However I also understand that a GSD when away from it's owner is a very different dog at least form the 7-10 GSD I've met at my workplace (nervous, anxious, etc) and it's unfair to judge them by themself which I why I am asking around on here about a GSD true life when with his family.
Unless you know where the 7-10 GSD's at your workplace come from, their socialization, and their training, you probably don't want to base your views of working line GSD's off of them. I also work part of the time in a boarding facility and all the GSD's we get there are nervous wrecks, but they are also all backyard bred or from very poor breeders. A large portion of GSD's in the general pet community are not very well bred because the average pet owner does not typically go to a responsible breeder for their dog.

We actually had a GSD from Germelhaus stay with us for a couple days. She was an absolute dream. Super solid, sweet, and absolutely calm and confident. She was also from a great responsible breeder. Buying from a reputable breeder can mean a world of difference in your chances of getting a calm, stable dog.

Working line GSD's in general do tend to require more work because they are an intelligent dog that likes to have a job, but that doesn't mean that they are typically anxious or neurotic in any way unless you don't fulfill their needs. A good breeder is breeding for a dog that wants to work, but does so with confidence and stability.
09-01-2014 01:49 AM
dvt510 I actually have a rescue pitbull mix (low drive, low-med energy) and a rat terrier I found as a stray (high drive but very good on/off switch). I am lucky enough to have them as very very good pets. very respectful inside the house and good manner everywhere in general. I can go several days- week without a long walk for both and they'll be just as calm.

With that being said, I lack the experience of living with "the dog that NEEDS to be walk" or has any serious house manners. My dogs caught on to my rules and boundaries extremely quick, but I think that's just them by nature, a puppy especially one form a working line of course would require much more work than adult dogs which is why I am asking around.

Aside from my dogs, I work at a dog day care and volunteer at my local shelter so I do have a lot of experience with a variety of breeds including GSD. However I also understand that a GSD when away from it's owner is a very different dog at least form the 7-10 GSD I've met at my workplace (nervous, anxious, etc) and it's unfair to judge them by themself which I why I am asking around on here about a GSD true life when with his family.
08-18-2014 12:24 PM
MichaelE Lisl is a working line Czech/WG K9 GSD. She has more drive in all areas, and a lower thresholds than any of my other GSD's did.

She has settled down as she has matured and earned her house privileges when she was 15 months old. It was a lot of work and consistent training and teaching her boundaries, but it was well worth it in the end. She was potty trained at four months.

She was also easier to teach than my other pet line and ASL GSD's. She has an ability to focus that I've not seen in the other dogs. She catches on very quickly. She is also very lovable and affectionate towards me, but is still sometimes very independent.

Life is good with Lisl.
08-18-2014 12:10 PM
Wild Wolf I have two West German working line GSDs, and both are house pets / companions first and working dogs / sport dogs second. My female is more spirited and energetic than my male, but both settle beautifully in the home and go with us everywhere. We go camping, visit family, traveling, they accompany us practically everywhere and they are (almost) always well behaved and calm. They get excited if we are going somewhere "for dogs" but they both have that on/off switch I value so much.

Both dogs are trustworthy in the home. My male, especially, would not destroy or get into anything in my home. I could literally leave a plate of human food on the floor, he wouldn't touch it. He is my dream dog, I say that a lot, because he is literally the easiest dog I have ever had the pleasure of working with - and he is still a phenomenal driven working dog. He is no effort. I can stay at home for a week and do nothing, and he won't cause trouble or be crazy from lack of exercise. That is saying a lot, I think... since he has so much drive for work on top of it. That's that on/off switch I love so much

Not every working line dog is like my two, I think you need to focus on the right pedigree and the right breeder to get this kind of dog. Lots of forum members here have working line dogs are active companions.

No matter what you get, all German Shepherds need lots of exercise, firm leadership, consistent lifelong training and regular mental stimulation for such an intelligent working breed.
08-18-2014 09:54 AM
Las Presitas How much experience do u have with dogs in general? Couldn't tell by your post. Just a thought if you don't have a lot....A good place to start could be volunteering at well run rescues and shelters. Maybe familiarize yourself with more breeds. I started with mutts, labs and now my WGSL. If you don't have the time or finances, it can be difficult to start off with GSD.
08-18-2014 09:21 AM
Liesje I have had WL GSD, WGSL GSD, and cross. ALL puppies and young GSDs have been a lot of work. After 18 months or so, all my GSDs regardless of lines have been decent house pets, not destroying the house, OK with the other dogs, not requiring to be crated when I'm not there. But that took a lot of work on my part with initial management, slowly learning freedom and what is expected in the house. I don't think it has anything to do with working lines vs. other lines. In fact I've met a lot of show lines that act hyper and unsettled. IMO, no decent GSD *puppy* is going to be low drive, quiet, and calm in the house, but they can learn that and settle really well with an off switch.
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