Levels of knowledge for the average pet owner. - Page 5 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #41 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mr. D View Post
What if that's all she can afford in her current financial position? I don't base other's knowledge on what they can or can't buy. It's a bit presumptuous at best...
I overheard a couple some time ago at PetFart discussing what food they could afford. They were comparing ingredients and nutritional content to the "best" food while talking about their issue. I tried not to listen too much. They were in my way of getting my food. I had to go around several times.
I wasn't being snotty. We were talking about the different foods the vet sells several kinds and what was best for the dog when she mentioned she liked pedigree better than the other foods not because of price but because her dogs liked it.
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post #42 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
My vet doesn't even have shepherd spelled correctly in their system. A pet peeve of mine, if you are making $ off animals, at least spell the breeds name correctly!
Yikes!
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post #43 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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So you want a GSD.

There is a lot of variety in the GSD today. In general though, they are a medium to large breed of working dog. They are more aloof than many other breeds and they have a protective side to them. A level of aggression is necessary for them to do their jobs.

They need a good quality food and to watch their weight. There are health and temperament problems in the breed so you need to become aware of them and stay on top of it. They need regular grooming, exercise and vet care.

If you haven't owned them before I would recommend training classes or individual.

Besides exercise your GSD needs mental stimulation or they will find their own outlets and you probably won't like them. If problems arise you don't know the answer to get help soon. They can be the best breed on the planet but if not cared for properly can be a disaster and even a danger.

Some places will not rent to those who have them and some homeowners insurance will not cover them. If they are out of control or have bad nerves they can be a liability.

If you do the things necessary to own this breed they are IMO the best dog you will ever own.
They are Loyal, Confident, Intelligent, Strong, Protective, and above all love their family over anything else in the world.
I like this Andy!
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post #44 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
My vet doesn't even have shepherd spelled correctly in their system. A pet peeve of mine, if you are making $ off animals, at least spell the breeds name correctly!
My *previous* vet had *CAUTION* written and highlighted across Jägers record book for unknown reasons... caution why? cause he's a GSD? figured staff members would be able to figure that out on their own.

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Beschützer des Jägers v.d. Sportwaffen
Katya v. Hügelblick
SG Aska v. Ketscher Wald
Yōkai v.d. Sportwaffen
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post #45 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by hunterisgreat View Post
My *previous* vet had *CAUTION* written and highlighted across Jägers record book for unknown reasons... caution why? cause he's a GSD? figured staff members would be able to figure that out on their own.
Maybe it had nothing to do with the puppers.....LOL!

Hondo Von Dopplet L Bauernhof "Hondo"- GSD
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post #46 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by shepherdmom View Post
I wasn't being snotty. We were talking about the different foods the vet sells several kinds and what was best for the dog when she mentioned she liked pedigree better than the other foods not because of price but because her dogs liked it.
You didn't mention that pertinent info.
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post #47 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 08:42 PM
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I have had dogs my whole life, most of them GSD mixes, but never a pure bred. Didn't know what they "required", but I did know that a good diet, socialization, training, and vet care is needed and that is for any breed. Neither of mine get destructive if they don't get exercise, but will run and play any time they are allowed. They are well behaved and are loved. They are happy well adjusted dogs that succeed in everything I do with them.

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
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post #48 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:28 PM
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I expect them to know pretty much nothing about german shepherds. It doesn't even surprise me when a german shepherd owner doesn't know they come in more colors than black and tan.


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post #49 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Merciel View Post
Going back to the original question: There is no universal checklist for things people should know. There can't be. Every home and every dog is different.
I agree. Like Merciel, my experience is in all-breed rescue. So, my thoughts on this are from that point-of-view.

I think that an individual’s mindset about pet ownership is the most important thing to evaluate. By that, I mean, do they see the pet (regardless of breed) as a living entity with a distinct personality that they will have to get to know, understand and meet the needs of? Are they open to the ups and downs of incorporating a new pet into their family and household? Are they willing and able to deal with unexpected challenges and take the necessary steps to address them?

In terms of GSDs, I have fostered many. And, in evaluating potential adopters I take many factors into consideration. But, in the end, the most important factor to me is the person’s ability to engage with the dog in front of them, listen to my descriptions of that particular dog’s behavior, ask good questions as it pertains to that dog and then be able articulate how that dog (not breed) would be a good fit into their home and lifestyle.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I value potential adopters who want to get to know the dog as a dog vs. only seeing that dog through the lens of their imagination of how a GSD will behave.


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I give a copy of Patricia McConnell's booklet "Love Has No Age Limit" away with each of my foster dogs.
I am going to start doing this too! Great idea!
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post #50 of 106 (permalink) Old 11-22-2013, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by shepherdmom View Post
That is something I'd like to learn more about. Where do I find information on that?
http://www.amazon.com/Language-Dogs-Sarah-Kalnajs/dp/1929242409
is the best single primer on basic canine body language, IMO.

You can get bits and pieces of it from lots of different places. Dr. Sophia Yin has a ton of blog posts about it, Brenda Aloff has a photo book titled Canine Body Language, and then of course there are lots of more specialized explorations (agility people have massive resources on spotting subtle signs of pain and injury, Michael Ellis has great stuff on aggression, Temple Grandin's work on calming signals is a classic)... but if you only have time to look at one specific resource, then I would say that Kalnajs's DVDs pack the most variety into one place.

Seeing it on film is a lot better than still photos, too, since you can always pause and rewind as needed, and the picture quality is better than what you'd get on Youtube.

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