Is a german shepherd suitable? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-02-2017, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Is a german shepherd suitable?

Hi everyone,

I'm new to these forums even though I've been trawling them for the past few months. For about half a year now, we've been contemplating getting a family dog, and of course I wanted my favourite breed the GSD. I've done a lot of research on them, and know they need a lot of exercise/interaction and proper training, all of which I am willing to give. As for lifestyle, I'm a uni student who lives at home, with a younger sibling in early high school. Of course we have work/class commitments, but we would be able to give the potential dog at least 2 hours a day of our time for walking/running/playing. We have owned a maltese a few years ago, but I expect a german shepherd to be way more demanding and difficult. It's a challenge I'm prepared for, as we live in quite a house with a spacious backyard and a pool. We also have a park and walking trails through bushland nearby. I'm determined to socialise a new pup properly, and wish for him to be friendly and approachable but not completely over strangers. I've contemplated different breeds but always come back to the GSD.

My problem is that the more I research, the more I feel that the task of raising a GSD well is daunting because of all the stories I've read about potential aggression and difficult behaviour. My friends assure me that I will do fine and that it is not as difficult as I have made it up in my mind, but I stress whether I'd be able to raise him perfectly, especially since I have not owned a GSD. I have constantly been flitting between feeling confident and prepared, and generating what if scenarios in my head of having to give up my pup in the future due to behavioural issues (ofc I don't want to ever give up a dog).

So my question to you guys is: Am I being overly paranoid and should just relax and go for it, or should I reconsider getting a german shepherd? Would a GSD be suitable for my situation?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-02-2017, 08:55 AM
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I had my first GSD as an undergraduate student living at home. I think it is doable. Will your parents/family be willing to keep the dog if you are not able to take it with you after your finish your schooling? You sound like a capable, responsible person and are doing your research, and you'll probably be fine with a GSD. The only thing I'd recommend that I didn't see in your post was to make sure you get a puppy from a good breeder (or a good rescue facility) and to have some training plans.

There are lots of bad breeders around. If you go to a responsible breeder I think you increase your chances of ending up with a stable healthy puppy. Genetics are important. There are lots of posts on this site about how to choose a responsible breeder.

I wouldn't get a GSD if you don't think you'll enjoy training a dog. I've had both big and little dogs over the years, and the toy breeds just don't compare to a GSD. I think that GSDs need structure, boundaries, and training to grow up to be their best. I like to keep my puppies in training classes for their first year or two--not just for the input of the trainer, but for socialization. It gets the puppy used to being around lots of people and dogs in a controlled setting (I'm not a fan of dog parks), and it's a good place to practice obedience with distractions. In addition, you'll get input and guidance from the trainer--especially important if you've don't have a lot of dog experience.

Good luck on your decision. There are certainly easier breeds around. If you would be just as happy with another breed that may be less challenging as a first-time dog then maybe that is your answer. I love and admire lots of different breeds, but GSDs are my favorite. I just connect with them. Research what the breed is bred to do and what the ideal temperament is like. THen go out and meet some dogs at trials or shows, and if you still think GSDs are great---then go for it.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 10:37 PM
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One of these days I am going to compose a script especially for folks like you who are trying to make the decision whether or not to get a GSD. Firstly you sound as if you have your act together but I think you might be over analyzing the situation. Here are some thoughts - BY THE WAY I agree with just about everything you have heard from sebrench.
Research a RESPONSIBLE breeder - this is a must. Not all breeders are in it for the betterment of the breed.
Once who have found the right breeder visit them; get to know them, their dogs and their puppies. If they are not receptive to your visits turn around and walk away! I wouldn't trust a breeder that keeps you at arms length.
Ask for the puppy's vet check and worming documentation etc.
Get into a class type training program. This will socialize your puppy with other dogs and other people. Sorry I don't like dog parks for socialization - actually I don't like dog parks. OK let me switch gears because you'll be getting more info from the forum members.

Facts about GSDs. They are SMART! Therefore they are easy to train. They are movitivated and they love to please. They are clever and can tend to stay one step ahead of you unless you establish that you are the alpha. They are loyal. They are affectionate. The are obsessed with family - they don't well without companionship. The love kids. PROPERLY trained they are the perfect dog!
I should know; they have been a part of my life for well over 60 years!!

Good hunting - keep in touch 😊😊👍

ARABELLE vom Garringer CGC, TDI

BRYNNA vom Garringer AKC STAR PUPPY, CGC, TDI (crossed over February 15, 2018)
AHREN vom Garringer (crossed over December 30, 2011)
B'ELANNA vom FlaglerHaus CGC, SAR (crossed over March 4, 2011)
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