Re: The GSD in general
Arwen was a nightmare to housetrain, but that was my fault. Frodo was a very hard dog -- meaning you could crack a two by four over his head and it wouldn't phase him. (Not saying I did.) It would often take a stiff command to get him to do what you wanted. He was my first GSD and I was not the right owner for him. Arwen on the other hand was a bit soft, meaning a raised voice would crush her. Add that to the fact that she had to stay inside all day while I went to work, and well you could see how important getting her to potty in the morning was. As my anxiety and frustration increased, her ability to perform this task completely disappeared.
All the rest of my GSDs were very easy to house train. In fact, they practically housetrained themselves. Believe it or not, where you get your puppy from makes a big difference in house training. If you get a puppy from a pet store, chances are he will have no issue with eliminating in the crate and one of your best puppy potty training tools is not available to you. If you get your puppy from a breeder that leaves the puppy in squalid conditions, they may not have the same desire for keeping their sleeping area clean. If you get your pup from someone who has made a decent effort to keep the puppies clean and has provided them with enough space where they can choose to potty here and sleep there, potty training can be a lot easier. With luck, this breeder will have introduced them to crates as well.
Well I remember my parents' English Setter and how it took two years to get him completely potty trained. Again that was in part our fault as we covered the entire breakfast nook with papers and never would have gotten him trained if we hadn't broken down and used a crate.
About the dogs being prone to be good, not mischeivous, not obnoxious. Well, it depends on the dog. Most of the GSDs that I have, all that I currently have, have no greater desire than to please me. That is their greatest ambition. They want to do what makes me happy. That is their nature.
Are they sometimes mischeivous? Sure. We encourage that a bit. When the puppy comes out of the bathroom streaming toilet paper behind him it IS hard not to laugh and thus encourage. Dubya did this and much other theiving as a pup. We have very intelligent dogs, they are unlikely to lie on their pillow all day being perfect.
My current cheif toublemaker is my Jenna. In many ways, she is my favorite. She is beautiful (in my opinion). She is extremely intelligent. She is very athletic and has a lot of energy. She is loaded with personality. She is very lovey but not overly needy. She is an escape artist. I let her get away with murder.
Are they obnoxious? Mine are not. But some lines have super high drives and require a lot of excersize to keep them from becoming obnoxious. Your best bet is to talk to a lot of breeders and let them know exactly what you want. A lot of people want a police dog. They think that they would be the most trainable. They are very trainable for people who know what they are doing. Not all GSDs are likely to be trained for police work, though I think that the dogs with less drive would probably do just fine. For the average owner, buying a pup from a breeder who claims the pop was a police dog, or from someone who regularly has their dogs going to police departments, is not necessarily the best bet. Police dogs are often bred for high energy, high drive, hard nerves, and an independent, dominant attitude. However, the better breeders could pick out pups that would not have as much drive, not be as dominant and independent and give you a great dog. It comes down to the breeder really.
Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.