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Old 02-20-2013, 07:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile New Jersey, Delaware Area - Looking for a Young GSD

My fiancÚ and I have wanted to adopt a GSD for about a year and we're finally getting our first home. We're looking for a German Shepherd to make a good family dog and companion. Our new home has a little over 2 acres so there will be plenty of room for the dog to run, play, exercise and generally have fun.

We'd prefer a male and already have a name picked out for him (see the username?) but we're not opposed to a female. We really would like to get one young so we can train it from a puppy. We plan to have children in the future and we also have cats so finding a dog with the right temperament and at a young age so we can train it is important to us. We work from home so we would have plenty of time to train the dog.

We currently live in Northern New Jersey and are moving to the Dover, Delaware area at the end of March. We're willing to travel and would be open to anywhere between NJ and DE or within about 3 hours of this proximity.

We've looked at multiple GSD rescue websites but have found the applications and adoption process to be a little overboard and nit-picky to be perfectly honest. I wonder if some of these rescues really want the dogs to be adopted!

If anyone could point us in the direction of our new best friend we'd be very grateful.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You may want to search on Petfinder as that site also lists dogs in shelters. For the rescue, the volunteers have rescued these dogs and have put a lot of time and effort into training the dogs - they know what type of home will be the best fit for the dog. They also want the adoption to be a success because each time the dog is returned it sets the dog back. So they are going to be very selective. Young dogs are harder to find, so you may want to consider an adult - you would know that the adult is good with cats and children. If you do still want a young dog, I suggest you also consider getting a pup from a breeder.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My advice is to go beyond browsing rescue websites and contact them directly. Go to an adoption event they are holding. Get to know them and help them get to know you. You will find that the process is far less intimidating when you talk to people involved and understand the thinking behind some of the written policies. Take that extra step, at least, before you dismiss them.

In your area, I imagine there are quite a few breed specific and all-breed rescues.

Actually, I have a lot of family in Westfield, New Jersey and I know the shelter there encourages people to call and talk about what you are looking for so that they can help direct potential adopters to dogs in need.

I have always volunteered for all-breed rescues and shelters and there are a lot of German Shepherds in these facilities. I think the same would be true in your area.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One year old, good with young kids, cats and everything else is a tall order.
Adopters have the right to be demanding, why would not rescues?
Maybe you can look on craigslist: often there are nice dogs there and the owners have no further demands than to get rid of their pet as soon as possible. Nothing nit-picky or overboard. Most shelters have little information about the dogs, so all demands would be hard to meet.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookingforLuke View Post
We'd prefer a male and already have a name picked out for him (see the username?)
BTW.. Love the name!!!
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Check Petfinder. There is a GSD rescue in Marcus Hook Pa & Claymont DE, and the Kent and Sussex County SPCA's always have a lot of good GSDs (parents are getting a boy from Sussex in the next few weeks) There is also and GSD rescue in Baltimore
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TommyB681 View Post
Check Petfinder. There is a GSD rescue in Marcus Hook Pa & Claymont DE, and the Kent and Sussex County SPCA's always have a lot of good GSDs (parents are getting a boy from Sussex in the next few weeks) There is also and GSD rescue in Baltimore
Please also make sure you thoroughly check out any rescue that you are deciding to adopt from. I am in SE PA and have been a volunteer with several rescues in this area for over 5 years. If you want, I can let you know the reputable ones and the ones to avoid.

As Rebel pointed out, finding a young dog good with all those things will take some patience and for some rescues, they have approved adopters on waiting lists for those kinds of dogs. Best to contact the ones you want to work with and go through the process now.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"One year old, good with young kids, cats and everything else is a tall order" ----- actually I think they are looking for a young puppy (clean slate) which they can name and train .
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If they are looking for a baby, a breeder may be the easiest way. Caution with the Amish puppy mill breeders. A well-bred working line puppy is around $1500 and up, show line $2500 up. Some breeders also ask questions. Most rescues have wait lists for puppies.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you for all of the information and quick replies from everyone. We certainly appreciate it.

Most of the rescues that I've come across require a home visit before being approved for adoption. I'm afraid that as soon as they hear that we're planning a move in the very near future they're automatically going to deny us. Some of these rescues state right on their websites that they do not adopt out of the state of New Jersey (because they want to be able to see the house first).

I understand their intentions and their hearts are in the right place but (to me) it seems like they can home many more dogs (and to good homes) if they weren't so strict. For us, we've been waiting to get a GSD for a year and we're finally ready to adopt one and give it the home it needs. Having to go on a waiting list with no guarantee of being able to adopt a dog isn't exactly what we're looking for at this point.

I've been searching Petfinder and a lot of the places that advertise are rescues like the ones I previous mentioned.

We've been looking on Craigslist as well. I'm hoping that we can find someone who decides to list on there before deciding to surrender their GSD to a shelter. We haven't had much luck yet though.

I realize that we're looking for a very specific dog and it being a puppy is going to be even harder to find. If we decide to go through a breeder, could anyone recommend reputable breeders in our area? I don't know if publicly posting this on the forums is allowed or not, but a PM would be great.

I've found reputable GSD breeders online but from what I've seen the prices start at around $2,500. They're absolutely beautiful dogs but we're not looking to show the dog or do any specific training with him/her. Again, our main reason for wanting a GSD is to have a great family dog and companion.

At the other end of the spectrum, I'm finding puppies listed from what appears to be backyard breeders. These puppies are listed at a much more affordable price ($600-$800 range) but I know these individuals are somewhat frowned upon for various reasons and I would really rather not support them if we can help it. We're just not seeing a lot of alternatives at the moment.
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