I love these forums! The main thing I've learned is that I have a lot to learn and even when I think I have figured something out, there's probably someone with better insight that I can learn from.
I have only been a GSD owner for almost two years (two years this October). My dog is 2.5 years old. We fished him out of the pound back in Oct 2013. Since then I've been learning as I go--from how to feed a dog in a health crisis (starved/sick), to dealing with "recent rescue" separation anxiety and ongoing training questions. I've lurked more than I've posted, although I've definitely had my times of plastering the boards with questions and comments.
I've also learned about the different varieties of GSDs and become familiar with the perspectives behind each point of view.
Just in the past few days I've been delving into temperament aspects, learning what's a drive and what's a threshold and good nerves. Found out along the way that what I first thought was some kind of anxiety/nerves is actually my dog just needing more training and me letting him get away with it!
The forums are just a great place for first-time dog owners/ first-time GSD owners like me (Yes, got a GSD as my first dog--I like a challenge!). I hope one day I'll be able to help out some other new person with answers that give confidence to that new owner. I know one thing I've gotten from the forums is confidence.
My dog Ben has benefited enormously from the advice I get here. Haha, this is the forum where I found the recipe for the "satin balls" he loved so much when we first were getting his weight up to normal. (Do a search...it's on a thread somewhere.)
Awesome people here! I'll never leave!