Service Dog Breeders? - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 02:01 PM
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I kind of get the feeling some of the other posters think my dogs' work is almost like a joke for the GSD world. He gets worked every day and contrary to some of the others remarks, no I don't allow strange people or especially children to touch him. Almost all of his gear says "do not touch" on it and I enforce it very seriously. I work 6 hours a day doing private security which half the time is outside and we are NEVER sitting for 3 hours. We're always moving and he is constantly worked with physically and mentally. I have had dogs fail service work before. I keep them as pets but I do just as much work with them and usually do scent work, pulling, etc.
I truly, sincerely hope I did not give you that impression! That was certainly not my intent.

I cannot think of any job more important or more in keeping with the heritage of the breed then being a service dog and companion.
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post #22 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 04:33 PM
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OP, please listen to previous advice given by others. I agree completely with looking towards older dogs with more history behind them. And if service is what you’re looking for, a puppy isn’t going to be ready for at least 2 years. Is there a specific reason you want a GSD? And what type of work do you need out of a service animal?
I am actually planning to retire my current one in about 3 years which is why I am looking now. My current GSD I raised from 7 months old and the Malamute/Husky mix I raised from 3 months old. The mix I actually only got because someone I knew got her as a first puppy and a month in couldn't handle her and the breeder didn't want her back. I've grown up around GSD's my entire life, from the ones my grandparents brought over when they immigrated here from Germany. I've been around other breeds, pet and service, and haven't really been happy with anything else.

I once helped another SD handler when they were having issues with training a certain task ( the dog was a golden) and I had to work with him a completely different way then I've ever had to with GSD's. I use a Service Dog as basically a Medical Alert Dog though mainly PTSD. My current GSD does DPT, search and alert work, interrupting behaviors and occasionally forced leading and bracing.

I kind of get the feeling some of the other posters think my dogs' work is almost like a joke for the GSD world. He gets worked every day and contrary to some of the others remarks, no I don't allow strange people or especially children to touch him. Almost all of his gear says "do not touch" on it and I enforce it very seriously. I work 6 hours a day doing private security which half the time is outside and we are NEVER sitting for 3 hours. We're always moving and he is constantly worked with physically and mentally. I have had dogs fail service work before. I keep them as pets but I do just as much work with them and usually do scent work, pulling, etc.
I would never take service work of any kind as a joke. I suffer with my own inner demons, and my GSD is super in-tuned with me. She helps me out of crippling depression, massive anxiety attacks (and alerts me before they hit, so I can get some meds in me to lesson the episode).

Having close friends I grew up with serve, and coming back completely different people is heartbreaking, and I’ve never thought once that PTSD was something to be taken lightly. I’ve worked with a foundation that trained dogs for vets, mainly as therapy animals, and I always did the follow up in home visits. The huge amount of change in the confidence and happiness in the vet was amazing, and it was all due to a canine companion.

If you’re years away from retiring your current SD, I don’t see why starting training on a pup now would be an issue. I never had the experience of choosing dogs for the foundation, just always worked with their training after they were selected and past the first line of testing.

If you’re retired military, I would look into some of the foundations they may have in your area. They SD dogs are donated at no cost to you, but you may face a long wait list.

Good luck in all that you do! And prays out to you that you find what you are looking for!
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post #23 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 05:19 PM
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@Eakaminski - I sent you a PM.




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post #24 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 09:04 PM
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OK, this is a ten minute response so here goes.

Biddable my barnacles.

Biddable means that the fact that you tell a dog to do something and he understands what you want is enough for the dog to do it as long as it's reasonable—even if he’d rather not. No toy needed. No treats needed. This trait has been almost completely bred out of German Shepherds.

The dog prancing like an idiot in that pic cares about only one thing, and it’s not his handler. That poor prey-drive freak is focused alright, and it's not on his handler. He is insanely focused on getting the chunk of rubber or whatever toy was used to train him. He “trusts” the handler to eventually give him the toy that is the most important thing in the world to him.

I could not possibly have trained my working lines GSD from 30 years ago to walk in such an idiotic manner. If I had tried, he would have looked at me like I was nuts and stalked off in a huff. He knew—without any training—that one of his most important jobs was to pay attention to his surroundings.

If I had started waltzing around snapping a flirt pole like a moron, he would have walked away from me, laid down with a grunt of disgust and waited for me to calm down.

Totally worthless as a sport dog. But he stopped some thugs from hijacking my girlfriend’s car, tried to go through a window to stop a burglar, and bit a fool who broke into my car. He also came to a halt whenever he saw a disabled person—no matter how weird looking—or someone in distress and begged for permission to go and do what he could to console the person. Which he always got if the person wanted him to, which they almost always did. There was one kid with cerebral palsy who was thrilled with him but was so spastic that his petting amounted to slapping my dog. And my dog just cuddled up closer to the kid. None of which is worth anything in a sport dog competition.

One of the tests some guide dog schools use for potential service dog candidates is to get the dog settled next to a handler, then have someone out of sight roll a ball past the dog. If the dog goes after the ball, he flunks. Period. No excuses. The risk is too high that he won’t be able to focus on his job. Sure rules out the prey-drive freaks.

Sending a disabled person to a breeder of prey-drive freaks to get a puppy who will almost certainly fail as a service dog is just rotten. This isn't some stupid thread about eastie-westie feet where it doesn't matter if you're wrong.

And now I really am gone, much to the relief of those who hate having their fantasies disrupted.

So do working lines come out of the womb "prancing like idiots" with an insatiable drive for spherical rubber toys? Nope, they're taught. The drive for the toy comes through engagement with their handler. Engagement is key to building value in the toy/reward and its the interaction they seek through the toy ......and it does not matter if it's a $15 ball, a stick, or pine cone. This has been my experience anyways.

Judging by the OP's training experiences they should have no trouble working with a gsd from the one of the breeders suggested here.
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post #25 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 09:54 PM
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Guys....just don't engage. Don't let this take over the OP's thread. I reported the posts and the unwarranted attacks on the breeder.
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post #26 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 06:42 AM
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Seems to be way to many unwarranted attacks on lines of gsds on this forum.

If you type in #gsdservicedog on Instagram in the search option you will find many many german shepherds of all lines as service dogs. You can message the owners and find out where they purchased or adopted their dog from -it is just a start.

Just a few instagram gsd service dog stories out of many -going to school with high school student.
https://instagram.com/dog_cam__?igshid=389dlvkceoun

https://instagram.com/max_and_rachel...=1tmre4mhkpqiv

https://instagram.com/the.service.dr...=1uwmtclq8cw5x


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Last edited by Jenny720; 07-08-2019 at 07:05 AM.
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post #27 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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I truly, sincerely hope I did not give you that impression! That was certainly not my intent.

I cannot think of any job more important or more in keeping with the heritage of the breed then being a service dog and companion.
I can assure you, you didn't! I found your advice extremely helpful! Also, is there any real difference in gender I should be aware of? I've only really been around male GSD long term. I know every dog is different and I'm sure the breeder I decide on will probably advise me on temperament and drive first, however, there could be more than one puppy they think fit my needs. In that situation, I would probably have to decide between genders.
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post #28 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Eakaminski View Post
I can assure you, you didn't! I found your advice extremely helpful! Also, is there any real difference in gender I should be aware of? I've only really been around male GSD long term. I know every dog is different and I'm sure the breeder I decide on will probably advise me on temperament and drive first, however, there could be more than one puppy they think fit my needs. In that situation, I would probably have to decide between genders.
My female (totally different breeding and breeder than my male) is soooo sensitive to me. I hear from my trainer that is a female thing and I don't doub that. She has many characteristics my last female had.

A male might be a little "harder" in terms of handler sensitivity. But, genetically, my female can take a correction better than him. He takes corrections personally.




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post #29 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Eakaminski View Post
I can assure you, you didn't! I found your advice extremely helpful! Also, is there any real difference in gender I should be aware of? I've only really been around male GSD long term. I know every dog is different and I'm sure the breeder I decide on will probably advise me on temperament and drive first, however, there could be more than one puppy they think fit my needs. In that situation, I would probably have to decide between genders.
I think gender is personal preference.
I always said that I found females protect people, males protect territory. Others have different views. I find I work better with females others have said exactly the opposite. I placed an equal number, roughly, of males and females as service dogs and all did well for their specific people. I have never had a service dog, just patrol/protection dogs so I cannot speak to the specifics of service dog work.
I do wish you the best in your search and I am very happy to know that I said nothing wrong. As I said I believe in service dogs, I believe in the work that they do and I cannot honestly think of any job more fulfilling for a GSD.
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post #30 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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I would never take service work of any kind as a joke. I suffer with my own inner demons, and my GSD is super in-tuned with me. She helps me out of crippling depression, massive anxiety attacks (and alerts me before they hit, so I can get some meds in me to lesson the episode).

Having close friends I grew up with serve, and coming back completely different people is heartbreaking, and I’ve never thought once that PTSD was something to be taken lightly. I’ve worked with a foundation that trained dogs for vets, mainly as therapy animals, and I always did the follow up in home visits. The huge amount of change in the confidence and happiness in the vet was amazing, and it was all due to a canine companion.

If you’re years away from retiring your current SD, I don’t see why starting training on a pup now would be an issue. I never had the experience of choosing dogs for the foundation, just always worked with their training after they were selected and past the first line of testing.

If you’re retired military, I would look into some of the foundations they may have in your area. They SD dogs are donated at no cost to you, but you may face a long wait list.

Good luck in all that you do! And prays out to you that you find what you are looking for!
I certainly never meant to imply that everyone on the forum was taking PTSD and other physical or mental disabilities as a joke, I do apologize if it came across that way.

There are facilities I have looked into, but as you mentioned, they do have substantial wait lists. Many told me it would be a minimum 5-10 years and then I would have to wait another year to two years for them to train to my specific needs. There are also a lot of foundations that will not place you with a SD if you currently have other dogs that are not retired service dogs or other pets. As I currently have a dog who is a "pet" though also a certified therapy dog who sometimes visits local hospitals, that doesn't really work well for me.

You also have to notify your current employer and basically, get "permission" from them for the SD to be allowed on premises. My current employer obviously doesn't have an issue with it but if I were to ever change jobs and my employer admitted they don't want the hassle, the facility won't place with you.

I LOVE working with dogs. It's one of the things that currently keeps me clear headed and the amount of training I put in keeps me on my feet. I would be terrified of how I would be if I didn't at least have one dog with me.

Thank you so much for your advice and for sharing your experiences with me. I'm probably going to ask around to some of the recommended breeders and talk to them about what I am looking for.
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