I've been getting advice from this forum pretty much exclusively but now feel like maybe I can give some! Yay!
I got my GSD as an adult (3 years old), unspayed. She went into heat 4 days after I got her, unexpectedly. It was REALLY annoying; had to be super vigilant on walks for fear an unneutered male might harass her, couldn't leave her outside unattended, she would pace and whine around the house all the time (though granted that could have also been because she was still in an unfamiliar place), had to use doggie diapers and clean up blood from the floor. I had no desire to breed her (she'd already been bred once) so for me, spaying was a no-brainer. And the added health benefits (mainly preventing mammary cancer) sound pretty legit. As for waiting a while before spaying her though, I'll let others give their opinions: I hear mixed things, but it sounds like larger breeds should be spayed a little later in life to prevent orthopedic problems.
She came crate-trained which was a friggin godsend. She loves that crate and I feel good putting her in there when I have to leave the house for extended periods of time, as I'm sure she won't be anxiously pacing around or chewing/peeing on anything. She likes her crate so much she goes in there on her own when I'm home. I know you feel guilty that she's probably been in a cage most of her life, but if crate training is done right then their crate feels like their safe space, their den. Certainly the case with my pup, and I'm pretty sure she was neglected for the first 2 years of her life (and spent a lot of time in a crate and/or small dog run).
I had her crate in my bedroom for the first week or so but eventually put it out in the living room. I sleep better because her fidgeting doesn't constantly wake me up, I can still hear her if she whines to go potty (which hasn't happened yet), and it gave me a little peace of mind that I wasn't encouraging the development of separation anxiety--she can be comfortable not being in the same place as me 24/7. Don't know how important that is for you, but for me (single, full-time job) not having separation anxiety is critical.
Also for me I am house proud and like...a little bit OCD and don't want a dog in my bed or on any furniture. So that's just me...She seems pretty happy though. From what I read though, whatever house rules you're going to have in the future--like yes/no on furniture--you should probably be setting those rules now, or she'll be pretty confused later on when she starts getting corrected for stuff that was always OK in the past.
Last edited by banzai555; 10-20-2019 at 12:36 AM.