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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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surprise german shepherd

Well for the past month or so i have been going to shelters looking for a medium sized dog to adopt. Now i have 2 smaller dogs, 1 chihuahua mix and the other is a mix of 2 small dog breeds. Now this week i went to a shelter near my area and saw a gsd that was pretty young , but in danger of being euthanized if it was not adopted. I instantly fell for this gal and commited to adopt her because i could not stand the idea of her not living past 6 months. So she should be arriving home in a few days, and i now realize that my decision was rash but i do not regret it. I am completely new to large dog breeds, and my smaller dogs are not really well trained. I want to bring paige up right and train her along with socializing her with my smaller dogs. My budget isnt that big atm so i would need to take small steps but i want to do everything i can correctly. She is 6 months, and she is friendly towards people and some dogs from what the people at the shelter tell me. I have spent a good amount of time which has made this decision one i cant change. I;m looking for training advice, how i should socialize her with my other dogs, potty training, teaching her where to sleep since i have bought her a nice bed or huge pillow type bed. I know im basically asking to get spoon fed this information, but im so new to this that looking through all the threads is a bit over whelming.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 04:29 AM
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the best advice i can give you is to breath and read through the puppy section. Also.... keep in mind there is a reason GSD pups are called landsharks and furgators. With that in mind, read up on bite inhibition which you should also be able to find easy in the puppy section. AND crate train. It will help you IMMENSELY in the long run and save you and your pup a great deal of trouble, stress and help keep your pup out of danger. Not to mention crate trained dogs are easier to handle at the vets office if they have to stay overnight for anything. Socialize in every situation you can and make sure its positive. Learn about fear periods and how they can affect your dog permanently if they experience something negative during a fear period. Get into obedience classes with your pup to not only help you bond but to help you learn how to work with each other and help your pup learn what is expected of her. Stick the dog bed in storage for a while. It'll be safer there.... Dont expect your pup to act like a mature adult any time soon. This is a breed that matures slowly, requires constant mental and physical stimulation and is a great deal of work but so totally beyond worth it all with the love and devotion they give back to us. Expect to exercise your pup pretty often. These dogs arent generally couch potatoes. They want and NEED physical and mental stimulation. Without it, they'll drive you up the wall to a level of crazy you werent sure was possible. If they are bored they will find a way to amuse themselves and its never a good thing for them to choose how to entertain themselves. It can often result in something being broken, chewed, swallowed and an emergency trip to the vet. These dogs need boundaries and they need to be enforced. Strong minded breed who will become extremely difficult if they think you're not a good leader, they'll try to fill the spot. They dont require harsh treatments. They LOVE learning and want to please. I know i'm leaving TONS out but theres what i personally feel most people should be aware of when first getting involved with this breed. As i said, this is a breed that is worth every frustration and troublesome moment you're likely to experience but they are beyond worth it. I wouldnt trade my troublesome pup for anything in this world. She's a blast to be with. She makes me laugh with her silly antics and she continually proves to me that in bringing her home, i made one of the best choices i could have made that day. You will be amazed with their intelligence. There are dogs on this forum who know taught themselves how to open step open trash cans. Some dogs know how to open doors, toilet lids. You're going to learn so much you'd be amazed and you'll keep learning. GSDs are an addiction. I wouldnt trade my punk butts for anything and i certainly cant imagine my home without at least one of these fabulous dogs in it helping me through life. You wont be sorry.

Thank you for adopting this girl. We cant wait to see pictures and hear more as she grows and learns. Congrats on your new addition!!!!

Shasta GSD 5/5/10 CGC, ITD, TC
"Dax" Thor z vom Weberhaus BCAT CAX2 CGCA ETD HCT NCO-1 PKD-T RATI RATN RA TC TKA 3/18/2013
"Hades" Guilty vom Blutfeuer 10/26/2018
Zena GSD 6/1/03-2/16/2016
Riley GSD/BC 1/10/05-2/1/2013
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 07:26 AM
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KZoppa did a nice job in getting you started. Congrats on your new baby and thank you for saving her.

If you have a library close go check out some books on GSD it will help you learn more about the breed. Also I do not think anyone can stress enough training, I know you said money was tight but you need to find a way to sign up for a class. Do not let her training go you will regret it later if you do. Also see if there is a GSD club or Sch club near you.

Introduce her and your new dogs on neutral ground. Have a friend help you with this and then take all 3 dogs for a long walk together. Do this BEFORE you introduce her into the home. Once in the house keep her in a crate until everyone is comfortable. If you do not have a crate get one, it will become your new best friend. You can look for a used one if you can not afford to buy new. If you can not get one before you bring her home then use a baby gate to separate the dogs.

I know others will chime in to help. Welcome to the wonderful addictive world of GSD

Valerie

Shewana's Maximum Velocity (aka Max)
Shewana's Hot-Spice (aka Callan)

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Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 07:46 AM
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Zkoppa gave you a great start!! It's fantastic that you are adopting, I know that your generosity will be repaid in love from your new pup.
The only advice I have echoes the others…. Crate train. Crates can be expensive, but you can look around at garage sales, Freecycle, (a yahoo group, go to yahoo, follow link to groups and search) and even 2nd hand stores. The crate will save your furniture, and sanity. Dogs love their crates, they become their safe den!!
There is a lot of conversation about food on this forum also, the best cost effective solution is to go to the local feed store. They have high quality dog food for less.
Good luck, post some pics!

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 12:04 PM
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Congratulations on your new addition! You have gotten some good advice. There are things you will need to change though, now that you have dogs with a drastic size difference living together. I would suggest you never leave the GSD and your two toy dogs unsupervised or loose in the yard together, as the size and play style difference alone is dangerous. All play should be closely monitored and needs to be stopped immediately if it seems that it is getting too rough. Also, for your toy dogs sake, please educate yourself on the issue of predatory drift:
Dog play behavior and "predatory drift" | Gail Fisher, All Dogs Gym & Inn | Dog, Dogs,

What is Predatory Drift? - Go Dog Training | Dog Time - Dog Blog Network
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 04:20 PM
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forgot to mention thats GSDs are a vocal breed. They like to talk and some like to back talk. They are also very vocal players. You'll learn the difference between playing and not pretty easily. My dogs when they play will sometimes sound like they're trying to kill each other even when they are just in the yard playing tag.

Shasta GSD 5/5/10 CGC, ITD, TC
"Dax" Thor z vom Weberhaus BCAT CAX2 CGCA ETD HCT NCO-1 PKD-T RATI RATN RA TC TKA 3/18/2013
"Hades" Guilty vom Blutfeuer 10/26/2018
Zena GSD 6/1/03-2/16/2016
Riley GSD/BC 1/10/05-2/1/2013
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 04:34 PM
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Congratulations on your new girl and thank you so much for rescuing her!! You have gotten some great advice so far. I would like to really stress the importance about reading through this site (especially the bite inhibition threads and the puppy threads) and on getting a couple of books specific to gsds. They DO require a TON of exercise, both physical and mental. If they don't get it they can and will entertain themselves and that will drive you crazy. You want to set her up for success. But all of your work is totally worth it. What these dogs give back to us in love and devotion is nothing short of amazing!! Good luck with your new girl and be sure to post pictures of her when you get her, we absolutely LOVE pictures!!

Debbi-
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-Dharma Van Fluffy Pants GSD
-Pippa Von Neurotic Butt- GSD
-Tessa- 11yo GSD- Waiting at the Bridge. RIP sweet girl.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great advice. Now after reading up on predatory drift, im not scared but i do realize that i have to change my plans a bit. My current girls are not the typical lap dogs because they enjoy being outside compared to being inside. Our back yard is sectioned off into two parts by a large gate. Now im wondering if having her in one section while the 2 smaller dogs are on the other is fine when I want to have them outside to get some sun. I wanted for her to sleep inside but now im a little worried because the smaller dogs can easily sneak inside the house. I'm trying to find the best way to set things up for all of my dogs. I want to get a used crate, but in the mean time I want to see if having them in the separate yard sections will work. My original plans were to just have them together while im at school or work, but now i see that having them unsupervised is a bad idea. I am also planning on taking her to some obedience classes, but my main priority is to adjust the living quarters so that they can all be comfortable.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amdnivram View Post
Thanks for all the great advice. Now after reading up on predatory drift, im not scared but i do realize that i have to change my plans a bit. My current girls are not the typical lap dogs because they enjoy being outside compared to being inside. Our back yard is sectioned off into two parts by a large gate. Now im wondering if having her in one section while the 2 smaller dogs are on the other is fine when I want to have them outside to get some sun. I wanted for her to sleep inside but now im a little worried because the smaller dogs can easily sneak inside the house. I'm trying to find the best way to set things up for all of my dogs. I want to get a used crate, but in the mean time I want to see if having them in the separate yard sections will work. My original plans were to just have them together while im at school or work, but now i see that having them unsupervised is a bad idea. I am also planning on taking her to some obedience classes, but my main priority is to adjust the living quarters so that they can all be comfortable.

well depending on a few factors, you really most likely dont have anything to worry about. Her sleeping inside at night is the best idea. GSDs are a velcro dog. They want to be with you and become depressed and troublesome when they cant keep an eye on you regularly so you may very well have a GSD who prefers being inside. Mine prefer being inside because thats where i am and thats also where the AC is but they also enjoy being outside as well. As long as you are able to supervise and correct when necessary i dont see why you would have any problems. She is still a puppy so she is VERY receptive to training and learning new things. Once things are organized and everyone is comfy with each other, it should be smooth sailing. they will have to learn to coexist in the same room and more than likely, when you get up, your GSD will follow you, even if she has to wake up from a dead sleep. Velcro dog = never going to the bathroom alone again. lol. You will most likely end up with a dog who sits outside the bathroom waiting for you to come out. but as i said, being how young she is, i dont think you'll have any issues with other dogs. not to say it cant happen but its unlikely.

Shasta GSD 5/5/10 CGC, ITD, TC
"Dax" Thor z vom Weberhaus BCAT CAX2 CGCA ETD HCT NCO-1 PKD-T RATI RATN RA TC TKA 3/18/2013
"Hades" Guilty vom Blutfeuer 10/26/2018
Zena GSD 6/1/03-2/16/2016
Riley GSD/BC 1/10/05-2/1/2013
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2011, 05:30 PM
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I would highly recommend obedience classes, not just for the GSD but also for the two little dogs. You say they are not trained very well... there's really no reason you can't train them now. Contrary to the popular saying, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! You can put all the training in the world on the GSD, but if the toys won't listen and are being rude to her, she is likely going to correct them for it. You need to take control and be in charge of discipline in the house... for all of the dogs, not just the big one.

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