Why is the GSD a bad choice for 1st time owners? - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
"my puppy is so mouthy, its ridiculous. Its nice to hear that there are some people that don't discourage it though"

You DO need to discourage landsharking and mouthing
whoops meant to say there are some people who don't discourage this breed for a first time dog owner as long as they do enough research.

My puppy has made huge progress since she came home as far as nipping but still has to get her chew sessions on her bullies several times a day.
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post #22 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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A lot of good answers on here. I wish we had a like option on the posts.
I agree. These are all awesome answers. I stared this post out of honest curiosity as to why people think a GSD isn't the best choice for first time dog owners, since I literally just went out did this. It turned into this really great "list" of important things I should keep in mind so that we can be successful.

The biggest issue I've felt we have had is with finding a dog trainer that focuses on GSDs. I completely agree that a general dog trainer is not cut to the job. There are plenty of trainers around but GSD trainers all mostly in LA which is a 2.5 hour drive from me. I can't even take my puppy out yet (bc of vaccines) so I've found a few trainers who will drive to me but will charge $300-400 per hour because of traveling costs. We can afford it once or twice but not on a consistent long term basis, which is what we are actually looking for. I feel like a dog trainer should be a big part of your support system. In the meantime, I have a friend who breeds rotties and her husband is a retired police officer who has a cop german shepherd. I've been relying on this website and her heavily. Tons and tons of information on here. Sometimes it can seem like a daunting task to sort through it but I pretty much have no choice at this point. I can't wait until I can take our puppy out. That way we can drive to LA for training sessions and it'll be a fraction of the price.
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post #23 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 06:29 PM
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Good job Agaribay for doing your homework. Sounds like you have a solid plan taking shape. Please keep us posted with pics and updates during your journey with this lucky pup.
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post #24 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by car2ner View Post
Be careful when this pup gets to be about two years old or so. After all the work and training you will realize what an awesome dog you have...and then you'll find yourself thinking about getting another one. Beware of "puppy fever" (grin)
2 kids and a puppy is all I can handle for a long time to come! When my youngest is at least 7 ( our puppy would be 5 then) Id consider another puppy, or at least a rescue. I don't regret getting our puppy at all but I just would NEVER do it again while I have a toddler in the house.
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post #25 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 07:10 PM
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It can work if a first time owner does his research, studies the lines, reads up on dogs in general. I actually enjoy working with first time owners who are committed as they don't have to undo old habits. My first dog, adopted as an 9 month old male, (not a GSD) was very difficult for me but he forced me to look into behavior. Looking back I could have gotten way more out of him but he worked out well and we had him for 11 years. Classes at that time were not readily available but I made the best of it. He was not a typical first-time dog though but I was committed and willing to work with him.
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post #26 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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The flexibility of the GSD sets it above many other breeds. The intelligence that allows this can also show itself itself in negative ways if the drives and needs are not met. They must have what they must have. You can provide enough exercise but if their "intellectual" needs are not met - there could be problems and visa versa.

lol - also, I've never heard of another breed that is quite as enthusiastic for the wonderful sport of landsharking and velcro-ing. Some people get bothered by that. IMO the GSD is a more intense breed. They want to go everywhere, know about everything and really live life outloud and they want a deep relationship with their owner. You pair that up with someone who would better suited to a more sedate breed and you have problems.
I can honestly say that I do need to look more into meeting my puppies intellectual needs. I haven't figured out what kind of "job" she'll have yet. I was hoping training several times a day could be her job to start with but I just haven't found a person to train me lol She can do some basic commands but I know she gets bored of doing the same ones over and over. So now we try to do the basics ones with my toddler near by as a distraction just to add a twist. I tried enrolling her in a puppy class but they said i should come back later when she gains more weight. She now weighs 16 pounds at 3 months so still small but steadily gaining. Im thinking she'll be ready for puppy classes at 4 months.
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post #27 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 09:44 PM
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A German Shepherd's most important job is to be a family dog at the end of the day, regardless of venue worked, if any. There is no reason that if a person does their research of the breed and selects a GSD based on the breed being a good fit for their family, and purchases from a reputable breeder, that there should be any heroic actions necessary to incorporate the puppy into one's household. They do require strong leadership and not all are cut out to assume that role. One has to be honest with one's self in making that determination. Alternatively, there are lines of GSDs that produce a softer dog, and there can be pups in any breeder's litters that are of a softer side that might be more than suitable.

I think it is critical for a prospective buyer to pay close attention to the expected behavior as called for in the standard when the dog is well bred. Not everybody wants to deal with a dog that is genetically programmed to have a tendency to guard and be protective, which can result in aggression. The exercise requirement of a GSD is another point to be given careful consideration. Leash walking is not an adequate outlet for their exercise needs and a lack of exercise can lead to a host of behavioral and aggressive problems.
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post #28 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 10:22 PM
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I think all the posts on this thread have been great!

I don't know what it is like to raise a puppy because both of my dogs have been rescues, but I have read enough on this forum to know about some of the challenges of raising a puppy. I have also read many posts about the problems new owners of rescues face, but somehow, it seems we deal with those more as individual issues without ever acknowledging that part of it comes with rescuing. In other words, everyone acknowledges how hard it is to deal with a puppy landsharking, and they should because it is a common challenge and it IS hard. But most of the time, we don't necessarily acknowledge the common challenges of bring an 85 pound adult dog into your home. If a puppy is over-tired, cranky, fearful or misbehaving, you can pick it up if need be, like you would a small child in the same circumstances, and put it down for a nap, comfort it or remove it from the venue. The same thing is not always that easy, and may be impossible, if you are bringing a sixteen year old adolescent into your home or an 85 pound adult dog, particularly since many of them carry baggage from past experiences with humans.

My experiences with rescues have been good and I wouldn't trade either one of mine for a minute, but Newlie was a little bit of a challenge at first, mostly because he was much younger than we thought. We were told he was between 3-4 years old, but the vet said "No way," he was more like 1-2 years old. And Newlie was, and is, a sweet dog, but the energy, my gosh! I used to think he had springs in his legs. I can't tell you the number of times, I would be out playing with him in the freezing cold, pitch dark, backyard after work because if I didn't, he wouldn't be able to stand himself.

There are some shepherds who would probably not be a good match for first time dogs owners, but many others who would do fine as long as their expectations are realistic and most importantly, the commitment is there. Life can throw any of us some curve balls, but when I adopt a dog, I take it for life, either mine or theirs.
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post #29 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 10:59 PM
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I didn't realize she was only 16lbs. That sounds like good advise to wait. I would like to - at this time - shout praises for this site and the people who post here to help

I gained valuable knowledge here and one area I would like to recommend to you is to look into "drives" and "rewards". Some dogs are ball or tug freaks... I used to think "great"! we'll always be able to get good exercise in the yard with this dog. But balls and tugs are vital training tools too for toy driven pups and turns training sessions into a win-win.

The "drives" if you read and understand the basics - will help you to know your pup's "wiring" as she grows and her interests and what really excites her becomes known to you.

Seeing these drives in your particular pup is your key to what will assist you with training as well as what activity can really bring fulfillment and joy into her life in the future. It would be beneficial for you to learn about them so you will recognize them when they come. Some of what you see as a difficulty or undesirable behavior in the future- if you recognize what's behind it (drive), that will help you with a proper training approach.

This helps also, as time goes along and your questions are more specific help you to understand advise given when you get a response here by a trainer. When you get in to more specific questions or issues that are not generic normal stuff - the answers and suggestions can be more advanced - if your familiar with these terms and concepts- you will get a lot more out of those posts
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post #30 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-20-2016, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Good job Agaribay for doing your homework. Sounds like you have a solid plan taking shape. Please keep us posted with pics and updates during your journey with this lucky pup.
Thank you StoneVintage! We are always trying to learn more and this website has been there to fall back on. Im so glad I found it and made an account. Having a GSD is really something special.
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