To all first time GSD owners (long)
i was a little scared when i came on this site the first time. this is my first gsd and i was embarrassed to tell my story for fear of being ridiculed (sp) for not researching and what people refer to as impulse buying. but i hope that my story will encourge those who are lurking or thinking about getting one to do their homework. but obviously if you are on here, you are a step further than i was. i guess you could say my jasmine was an impulse buy. i had never had a purebred dog before and loved the breed. my bf had a gsd in the past but got him when he was older and they lived in the sticks so no need for training socializing etc. so we went to a breeder we found online, a byb. ( diidn't know the difference at the time)she brought all of the paper work out for us, and the puppy. she allowed the dam to come out and meet us, but the sire remained in the backyard. she asked us about where we lived (apartment) and if we ever owned one before( yes and no). she explained the hip/elbow gaurentee, asked if we were going to breed ( no, then marked limited registration) and we paid her $250 and took home our new puppy. i had no idea of socialization trainning etc. boy was i wrong. it never crossed my mind because none of my other dogs needed any extensive training. im one of the idiots everyone hates. even though we took her everywhere it just seemed to be getting worse with her fear. then i came on here and found out a lot of things i wasn't doing and needed to do. how to socialize properly, health, training, etc. i now socialize 3-5 times a week and am currently enrolled in basic obidience. slowly but surely she is getting better. she has had some health issues already nothing major have cost around 500. i am like most novice dog owners who think that as long as you feed, care properly for the dog, and love it and teach basic commands the dog will be fine. i assume thats why many people give up their dogs to shelters or dump them. it is definately time consuming and a struggle. i had no clue about her lines and heritage ( i know a tad bit but have a lot more to learn). over all, i love my baby and i treat her like a child. i wouldn't give her up for anything and try as hard as i can to do everything i can to ensure she is happy and well cared for. moral of the story:
1)ask the potentail breeder all the questions that are on the stickys here
(hips certified, temperment, titles, past puppies, what kind of trainning and socialization etc) i didn't ask about if the parents hips were ofa'd and im scared that she will have hip problems. but you live and learn
2) everyone here has great advice to give. (Some may come off a little strong which at first scared me off) but they are trying to help because they love the breed and want what is best
3)i would reccomend getting a puppy from a reputable breeder,however, there are some people who want a puppy and like me couldn't afford to pay 1000+ for a pup. there are good dogs out there for less. some may not agree and say if you cant afford that, then you cant afford a dog. true. however, jasmine has all the toys, bones, and best food (diamond naturals) that can be provided. when she is sick, she goes to the vet no questions asked. if we have to lack on something else so be it. she comes first. any dog can get sick, no matter how much it costs.
4) ask questions. if your curious, ASK. don't be afraid. no matter how stupid it might seem. i have learned so much here.
5) everyone makes mistakes. it is those who learn from them and try and correct the situation are also good owners in my opinion. no one is perfect.
6) i have found courage to tell my story now. i am not afraid to be ridiculed (sp) because i know that i am doing the best to my ability to care, train, and socialize my pup.
i hope i can help someone with this or reach out to anyone else who bought a puppy the way i did.