Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: The Reputation of the German Shepherd Dog
in my so far limited time w/luc (3 weeks today!!!), i've found it's mixed. some people are scared of him when he's behaving like an angel, b/c of how he looks (especially people with small dogs straining at the leash and growling; luc generally seems to find those dogs beneath his notice). when i first got him he nervous strained on the leash a lot - he barely does it now unless there's something unusual or 20 trucks and a couple of buses pass at once, and even there there is improvement - and when he strained he definitely made some people nervous, but i find there's little difference in people's reactions whether he was straining or now when he's not. it seems to be largely who he is, not what he's doing.
but some people really like GSDs. i do get lots of "nice dog!"s.
my mom was quite funny - i told her i was looking at getting a dog, and when i met luc and said 'i'm going to adopt him, he's a GSD X' - well - she'd been a little disinterested in me getting a dog, but a GSD - my mom LOOOOVES GSDs, it's a little scary LOL (in the conversation i had with her yesterday, she said "you know, i can retire, and i could luc for hikes during the day, and i'd feel comfortable being alone on the trails with him (she's been hiking with him twice so far), and i could take him to do training stuff, i was thinking schutzhund might be something that he'd be good at (b/c he's showing some instinctive protective behaviours, and i want them correctly harnessed), and YOU don't have a car, but I do, and I could take him and do the training with him". while i actually like the idea of schutzhund he needs stronger basic obedience and i think he'd need to be a lot more settled/stable - i'm not sure he'd be a good dog for it, but it's something as he settles in i will look at - i thought it was really sweet/funny that my mom is planning all this stuff for him!
i think the reason why my mom loves GSDs is a really cute story though. when she was a little girl, about 5, some neighbours down the street had a large GSD that my mother was just terrified of - it was a big dog! - but it was also a very well-trained dog, and the neighbours realized how scared my mom was, so they invited her to watch the dog show off it's latest trick - blowing bubbles out a clay pipe! my mom was SO impressed, and the neighbours said "well, he really likes ice cream as a treat. would you be able to help us and take him to the store for an ice cream?" and gave her money for two ice creams - one for her, one for the dog. and they told the dog (no leash) to go with my mother down to the corner store, and it walked her there, happily ate the ice cream she got it, and walked her back. they did this every week, so of course the dog thought my mom was amazing, b/c she gave it ice cream every week, and my mom got to be comfortable with the dog, who would faithfully escort her to and from the store and blow bubbles on the pipe for her.
Luc 15.5 yo GSD
Neb, husky/terrier/lab? X, DOB 18.4.2008
Xerxes, beagle, ~3yo
Cats Mitch RIP; Lear RIP; Esme RIP; Timothy and Cordelia
Nikolai & Eco the bunny couple extraordinaire RIP