Is a German Shepherd Right For Me? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2017, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Is a German Shepherd Right For Me?

Hello! Is a German Shepherd right for me? I've recently been obsessed with German Shepherds lately, and I've been reading all about them. One thing I just don't know, is if a German Shepherd is right for me. Here's what I have scheduled as a plan while having a German Shepherd. Before I show the schedule, just know this is my school schedule;

(I do not have a gated back yard, I have 2 front lawns, and a school field I can always walk too to play with my dog)

6:00 - 6:30 AM = Morning Needs
6:30 - 7:00 AM = Breakfast, getting ready for school
7:00 - 8:00 AM = Take dog out for a jog, and play with dog using a chuckit. (Throw, Retrieve ball).
8:00 (AM) - 3 (PM) = School.
3:00 - 4:10 PM = Play With Dog.
4:10 - 6:10 PM = Homework.
6:10 - 8:00 PM = Play With Dog.
8:00 PM - 6:00 AM = Sleep.

Pretty much my schedule. Should I make any changes? While I'm at school I plan on putting the German Shepherd in a 48" cage, with a small bed, food, and water. While I'm doing homework, the dog will most likely just be able to roam free for a bit, or just rest. Also, any dog ideas? (Male of female).
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 02:39 AM
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At what point in your school life are you? High school? University? German Shepherds are a very big investment, both time and money wise. The initial investment is high so that you reduce your likelihood of forking up ten fold later. Your available time isn't really that much... 4 hours a day isn't a lot for a dog to go on. Especially a high energy, rambunctious puppy if that's what you're considering. You'll want to hold back on doing any rigorous retrieval or jogging with a young puppy because you'll do way more harm than good on those young, developing joints. Our breed can be wrought with HD and ED, so it's important to be careful until their growth plates close close to a year and a half.

As for allowing a young pup to wander while you do homework... they're mischievous things who like to get into trouble. It will be difficult to sit for longer than 5 minutes at a time with a young pup in one place, and when they first come home you'll be running them outside every 20 minutes in hopes to potty train them. While you're at school, it's important to remember that a pup will not be able to hold it for 7 hours long until they're closer to a 6-7 month age unless they're sleeping at night. But with your schedule, your pup is going to be crated or sleeping up to 17 hours... that's not very fun for either of you in my opinion.

If you are highly interested in a GSD, perhaps a mature adult with a calm temperament would be best - one who is happy to relax in the home and enjoy those jogs, retrieves, and time out but not with exceptionally high mental and physical needs that a developing pup needs for the first few years of their lives. On the plus side - potty trained to boot! German Shepherds are meant to serve a purpose, and I feel many become lost and listless without having one. Sometimes it's being a companion, sometimes it's working on the field. They do best with quality stimulation and they are very, very loyal to their people. The less time they get with them, the worse off they are. An adult you can trust to roam the home and thus have more freedom during the day, and one who has started obedience that you can continue to work on so you can keep their skills sharp and build an even better bond would be your best and most fair option.

The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 04:22 AM
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What is your experience with dogs? One way you can find out if a german shepherd is right for you is to volunteer with a german shepherd rescue organization. Financially, when you buy a dog, your expenses are just beginning. Then there's feeding, worming, training expenses, equipment, vet expenses, replacing chewed up stuff ....
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 07:38 AM
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My work is E-shop so most of my work is done at home and when I need to go to the warehouse I take him with me and still it was very hard. What I'm trying to say is that I have all the time in the world to take him out to train him etc. and still it was very hard of course I'm doing this all by myself I don't have anyone to even take him out for an hour. Now we are at the point when I have work he will sit calm but when he was two- three months old it was a nightmare. So I agree maybe an older dog is better for you they're very smart very nice dogs I don't regret a day with him.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 07:56 PM
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I can't say if a gsd is 'right' for you, but a couple changes I would make in your schedule...No playing/jogging for atleast one hour before and after they eat..And I would feed TWICE a day, when they hit 6months,,before that, it's recommended 3 times a day, smaller portions obviously..

If you get a puppy, be prepared for a chewing/pooping/peeing machine Maybe one a little older as one suggested, might be a good option..Good luck with your decision

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 08:07 PM
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It sounds like you'd do best adopting an adult while stating your schedule and what you're looking for in your dog- which sounds like essentially a nice, calm house companion to play fetch and jog with. Many breeds could fill this role though.

German shepherds are generally less suitable relative to other breeds as just a calm house pet, since you're asking if they are "right", but it's still the most possible to find a nice adult in rescue suitable for your lifestyle.

While they might not always be right, and you might not always agree, you can still find lessons to be learned from just about everyone.

Last edited by LancerandRara; 08-21-2017 at 08:12 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 08:14 PM
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I agree with looking into adults. A puppy is a lot of work, can be lots of nights with little sleep, very little social life as you need to meet the needs of the puppy first, expensive with puppy shots, puppy training classes, basically, they can take up all your time, money if your in school and so don't have much and most of your energy. An older more settled dog will be able to go with the flow of your life much better. They also won't be eating everything you own from your best shoes to your carpet.

Look at the threads for puppies on here and read through them. It can kind of give you an idea of what your life could be like. And do let us know what you decide!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2017, 08:17 PM
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You didn't mention training that I noticed. Remember that in addition to physical exercise GSDs need mental stimulation. A GSD without obedience training won't be much fun to live with. I recommend taking training classes with your puppy for the first year or so. Have you ever trained or owned a dog before? Is your family committed to the idea of having a puppy?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 01:21 AM
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I would recommend a 2-3 year old dog for the first time GSD owner.

A lot less work than raising a puppy. You've got a dog that will live a long time.
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