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Old 05-14-2014, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is this the perception of German Sheherds today?

I was walking Bear the other day and a boy about 8 or 9 years old said to me as I walked by " is that a German Shepherd?" I replied "yes" he then asked "Is he trained?" I said "yes, he is trained" he then says to me "Good, because if they're not trained German Shepherds will bite you.
I proceeded to politely tell the boy that any dog can bite if it's not trained, not just German Shepherds. I was kind of amazed that he specifically said this about Shepherds.
Has the breed gotten that bad of a rap?
What happened to the good old days where they were viewed as loyal family members and service dogs. Now a days I get more people that will cross over the street than to pass directly by me with my dog. It's all very sad.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I find that most younger kids associate GSD's with the police and as police dogs. I also find that unless they get to know them, some are afraid of them because they are "police dogs", even if they are not. My own nieces and nephews thought this way, that of course has changed, but those were there thoughts.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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if you talk to ER Docs, they will tell you, the most common dog bites are from gsd.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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if you talk to ER Docs, they will tell you, the most common dog bites are from gsd.
My regular vet complimented me heavily on both of mine and their behavior, she said sadly they aren't the norm anymore but a welcomed sight.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
My regular vet complimented me heavily on both of mine and their behavior, she said sadly they aren't the norm anymore but a welcomed sight.

My vet says the same thing about my GSDs. Mine are a piece of cake at the vets, but apparently not the norm around here.


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Old 05-14-2014, 10:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear GSD View Post
I was walking Bear the other day and a boy about 8 or 9 years old said to me as I walked by " is that a German Shepherd?" I replied "yes" he then asked "Is he trained?" I said "yes, he is trained" he then says to me "Good, because if they're not trained German Shepherds will bite you.
I proceeded to politely tell the boy that any dog can bite if it's not trained, not just German Shepherds. I was kind of amazed that he specifically said this about Shepherds.
Has the breed gotten that bad of a rap?
What happened to the good old days where they were viewed as loyal family members and service dogs. Now a days I get more people that will cross over the street than to pass directly by me with my dog. It's all very sad.
I think the breed has always had that rap. Growing up, we always called them police dogs because that's mainly what our PD had and not that many people had them as pets around where I lived. I think it's more outwardly spoken because of all the media, internet, youtube and television shows that are around now.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntergreen View Post
if you talk to ER Docs, they will tell you, the most common dog bites are from gsd.
According to the statistics the insurance underwriters use the quote is true.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I frequently have kids asking me if Abby is a police dog, or recently a little boy asked if she was a "cop dog" I thought he said "hot dog" because it was a warm day and she was panting. So my answer of "well she is probably a little warm" confused the heck out of him. Thankfully my husband heard him correctly and said "no, she is not a cop dog". It surprises me that so many kids ask when my neighborhood has quite a few GSDs and GSD mixes. But this thread did remind me of when I was a kid and a neighbor had what I now know was a sable GSD (probably considered silver). His name was Bandit and he had a reputation for biting neighborhood kids (he was an outside only dog, but he did have free run of their fenced backyard which was large). I loved Bandit and often played with him through the fence and he never so much as growled at me, but he bit some of my friends on the hands/fingers as they would reach over or through the fence to touch him. I don't think the owners ever got in trouble, Bandit lived to a ripe old 12 or so, people just told their kids not to stick their hands through the fence if they didn't want to get bitten. Bandit's backyard backed up to mine, so I saw and played him almost everyday (he would bring tennis balls down to my side of the fence and leave them for me to come and throw for him ). Anyhow, sorry for that little trip down memory lane. I guess my point was that Bandit and his biting days were in the 80's and most people I knew had negative feelings about GSDs then. So I don't know how much has actually changed, at least in the last 30 years.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My coworkers hate GSDS because most are poorly bred, poor handled, poorly trained. This equals fearful and bitey. Before people on this board argue, keep in mind that the very fact someone is on this board makes them above the norm. I've met few shepherds in the public world I would call "stable" or "well trained". Most of them I wouldn't trust not to bite me.

my german shepherds are held in high regards in my work place, well above the expected norm.

GSDS are NOT top biters though. That would go to dachshunds, chihuahuas, Jack Russells, cocker spaniels, through a study done that questioned thousands of owners and people that work in the animal industry.

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Old 05-15-2014, 12:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I find that most younger kids associate GSD's with the police and as police dogs. I also find that unless they get to know them, some are afraid of them because they are "police dogs", even if they are not. My own nieces and nephews thought this way, that of course has changed, but those were there thoughts.
This might be the result of elementary schools inviting police offers with their K9s into the school for education purposes. Kids can easily take things out of proportion.
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