Discussion - Pet vrs. Service Dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Discussion - Pet vrs. Service Dog

For those who have had German Shepherds for both pets and a Service Dog:

How was this picking out the right pup between a pet and a SD Candidate different for you?

What would you do differently in picking out your next Candidate?

What advice would you give someone else going through this?

When looking at a litter what do you look for?

**********

As with any of these discussion groups you are invited to answer all questions or just pick one point to give your opinions. I put in some points to get the discussion started and hope some may be willing to expand on those.

I wanted to add that answering posts do not need to be long and in-depth. For those it is sometimes better to begin a thread of their own.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 10-28-2013 at 07:47 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 07:06 PM
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A: No different. I believe, every trainer makes his mind what he wants to achieve with his dog long before he starts his search. A true GSD is a "plasticine dog", you can model anything out of him, provided you are experienced, good tempered, cool-minded, patient and endlessly kind person.

B: I would look for smaller size GSD. They are faster.

C: SEE BOTH PARENTS AT WORK, or simply on the walk - YOURSELF. Pick the first or the second born, they would be not only healthier but also have more stable temperament. Judge human attendance, it must be costant human contact. Normally, good puppies are sold before their mother was mated.

D: It is not easy to explain behaviour of such a young puppy, but, with a closer observation, I believe, you can recognize necessary qualities. For instance, if you walk on the gass, wether your desired puppy will start following you the first, or he/she will be in the tail of the puppy train. There are a few tricks to check drives, irritability, etc.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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For a Mobility Service Dog needing to bear weight / balance work:

I am not an expert by any means on structure but going by what I have been told on the topic. While discussing this section on weight bearing or balance work please keep in mind that not all Mobility Service Dogs are needed for this and are used mainly for other tasks.

Talk to the breeder about a potential pup's family lines angulation. This is not the slope of the dogs backs. (This could be a different topic.) Here angulation refers to the angles in the front and rear of the dog.

A GSD with a level back but a lot of angulation would not hold up as well as one with less if the handler needed to put any weight on them or use them for long periods of time while walking.

German Shepherds were bred for trotting long distances which goes back to more front angulation for a longer stride than many other working breeds. The amount of angulation goes up in importance based on the amount of and level of use for weight bearing.
For those handlers who need their dog to bear larger amounts of weight it might be better to look at a different breed.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-28-2013, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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For a Psych Service Dog (PSD):

German Shepherds were originally bred for natural protectiveness. This is a trait still bred for by many breeders - not so much for those breeding more for the pet only people.

A dog tends to pick up on body language and actions from the handler. Some dogs will go into the "alert mode" easier and stay there longer than others. With a pup of course it will be harder to know how the dog will react at maturity. A good breeder can give a solid opinion and be able to give advice on this based on knowledge of parents and grandparents etc. and also from their working with a pup for 8 weeks or more before being placed.

A PSD needs to be extra stable and be able to distance their reactions and behavior from those that are often given by their handler.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-29-2013, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Taggart View Post
...

B: I would look for smaller size GSD. They are faster.

C: SEE BOTH PARENTS AT WORK, or simply on the walk - YOURSELF. Pick the first or the second born, they would be not only healthier but also have more stable temperament. Judge human attendance, it must be costant human contact. Normally, good puppies are sold before their mother was mated.

...

For your Part B my question is what type of SD needs speed (running?) to do necessary tasks?

And for Part C -- do you have any links to reputable research in which the First and Second born are healthier and are more stable temperament?

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
Family Companion, Non-Profit Mascot, In-Home Service Dog


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