So everyone, I am a first time GSD owner and my GSD, handsome boy that he is, is from the pound. I don't do sporting with him, or working, just regular pet stuff, although he does get a lot (average 2 hrs) of exercise per day. He loves to chase the chuck-it ball and frisbee, even jumps in the air for them. (He is on my bed chewing the heck out of his Kong ball right now--if we let him keep it, he would be chasing it around the house for hours).
We got him Oct 14, 2013. I love him so much that I can't believe how lucky I am...and as I look to the future, all I can think about is how am I going to ever find another dog as good as he is? Of course, he's not sick or anything, but I already know that I'm going to want another one just like him. Obviously, I can't "count" on going back to the pound to find another dog just like him, or similar to him even.
I have met other GSDs in the area, whose owners got them from breeders, and many of these dogs are shy and nervous or unfriendly--I don't mean aloof, I mean unfriendly.
The two things I want are that the next dog be attractive, as attractive as my Ben, and have a GREAT temperament just like Ben does--he's good about meeting people, new dogs of all sizes, kids, doesn't crack up around sirens or fireworks or thunder. [His Achilles' heel is car barking. ****, he's a heck of a barker in the car, esp. when we're parking.] Of course, it will be a different dog with different a personality and quirks, but still, needs to have both of those qualities.
I've seen a lot of good looking dogs for sure, but lots of the ones I've seen around town, reportedly from breeders, are so nervous and flighty. My vet told me when we went to get his hips checked that Ben is unusual in her experience bc the GSDs that come in are usually nervous and kind of bitey.
I have no idea where my dog came from, but I want another one in the future; specifically a good-natured dog who can be confident/neutral with strangers/dogs/kids.
Is it true that GSDs are nervous/flighty a lot of the time? Do I have a weirdo dog, or are there breeders out there who are more dedicated to temperament than maybe the ones responsible for the half dozen to ten dogs I've met in my own experience?
Everywhere I read has said that genetics are more dominant than socialization, and a shy nervous pup can be managed, but not turned into a confident animal.
I've met a few also with gastric issues too; I'd be willing to deal with that (Ben has apparently a cast iron gullet, but we don't push it too much anyway), as long as I could get a nice confident animal.
I live in the southeast and maybe will be looking in a couple of years. I'm just that person who starts researching this early, yes.