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Greetings! I am a new member as you can see and I am hoping to get some thoughts from experienced German Shepard owners. First a bit about me. I currently own a red brindle Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Merlin and have been doing shows in Europe with him for about a year now. I am hooked on the breed and love them. We were planning on getting another male corgi (I'm not ready to take on a female with the possibility of breeding yet, I need to learn more and find a good mentor in the breed before I take that step, if I ever do), but a unique situation has landed in our laps and we may end up getting a GS instead.

I have had many Shepard mixes through the years, but never a purebred. Currently I am dog sitting a couple of purebreds for a friend. One is an older female (about 9 I think) and the other is a younger male (2 years old). We may have the opportunity to adopt the male and we are very strongly considering it. However, I do not take dog ownership lightly and we have a lot to think about before we move ahead. Firstly.. he is a big boy (and beautiful!)... normally that is not a problem, but we are a military family that is stationed overseas in Germany right now so that adds additional cost for us to bring him home (I DO NOT believe in abandoning my pets!!!). I know it could also cause some issues with finding housing at our next base (we'll be going back to the US either the end of this year or next), but I am not overly concerned about that because I know we will find something and quite frankly it will be our last base before my husband retires and we can settle more permanently. Temperament and training wise he is just "okay". He has not had much training, but I know I can take care of that with a bit of time... his house manners are good (stays off furniture, doesn't beg, plays well with my corgi), but his leash manners leave a LOT to be desired, especially when other dogs are near... but he is not aggressive towards them.. just wants to pull, bark, and play!

We have two human boys as well, ages 5 and 7. The male dog seems to have already bonded with my youngest boy. He follows him around when he can and if anyone throws a toy or ball he takes it back to my son first to see if he will play with him. This is not the first time we have watched these dogs and both times he has been this way with my son.

Anyhow... I am interested in thoughts and also what kind of things should I be on the lookout for in regards to health issues? From what I know he came from a working farm here in Germany, but I am not sure if he has papers or not. He is not fixed right now, but he is not showing any undesirable behaviors linked to that and I would be planning to get him fixed if we did keep him. In the bit of research I have been doing I see they are susceptible to DM which I am already familiar with due to my association in the corgi world (thankfully my boy tested clear for that already) and obviously hips and bloat are potential issues in the breed due to size/structure, but is there anything else I should have up on my radar for health concerns in the breed? What are your thoughts about this situation in general? (Don't hold back... I have tough skin already)! :)
 

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Some Corgis look like a GSD ;) .... but its nothing compared to the real thing! :) You will have fun with your first German Shepherd Dog. Are you looking for a working dog or a pet? Depending on your needs, you can be matched with a dog that will serve you well for years to come. Congratulations on your interest in the breed and let us know what dog you do eventually decide to acquire!
 

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Corgis are smart and can take advantage of a weak handler - same with the GSD and their size is intimidating to some, but you sound like you'll either deal with issues or know how to get info to help. The big thing with these dogs is that they need a lot of exercise every day or they'll develop behavior issues, excessive self-lick issues, aggression, destruction, etc. Drain the energy or pay the price. Unless I want my 2 y/o neutered male to pace the house all evening I have to walk him for at least a full hour (mixed loose heel and ranging on 20 ft long line in woods, w/several off-leash bursts where permitted), plus 15 minutes of vigorous flirt pole chase work in the afternoon. Ideally I'd work in a morning walk or bike ride of at least a half-hour. A couple of short training sessions is helpful to drain mental energy. Previous owner of my dog didn't exercise him and he ate cushions, licked himself sore, etc. These dogs are a bit of a commitment, time and effort-wise. I expect my dog's needs to slow down as he gets older.

Bloat - nobody knows, but it makes sense to feed daily ration divided into two smaller meals morning and evening with no exercise/play for an hour before, 2 hours after, and not a lot of water at one time, esp after a meal.

Seeing so many military families dumping their dogs on Craigslist due to station change, I cringe when I see a military family getting a dog, but it sounds like you'll respect the commitment.

Best of luck to you.
 

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I would definitely check into any quarantines and whatnot about returning to the States, and also flight regulations. (Can't envision how big a Corgi is, do they fit in the cabin, or do you have to send him in the belly of the plane?)

Finding a home with a GSD is sometimes challenging, though getting the AKC CGC certificate can sometimes help. I believe breed restrictions have been made uniform with the advent of privatized housing, and GSD aren't restricted in post housing. (Double check that, but the most recent 4 installations we have been at did not restrict them.)

Seeing so many military families dumping their dogs on Craigslist due to station change, I cringe when I see a military family getting a dog, but it sounds like you'll respect the commitment.
You know, painting us all with the same brush is pretty crappy imo. There are certainly plenty of civilian families who use every tiny excuse to get rid of animals, too.
 

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You know, painting us all with the same brush is pretty crappy imo. There are certainly plenty of civilian families who use every tiny excuse to get rid of animals, too.
I don't want your comment to derail the OP's thread, but you provoke a useful point here.

I was in the military and saw massive pet dumping firsthand. Loving family oohs and ahhs over the puppy without a thought as to what's to happen with a PCS, then they simply rehome it (sometimes badly), dump it at the shelter, or even turn it loose, when the orders come - just another item to jettison, like the gas barbecue. Many get another dog at the new station after dumping the old one. Check your local Craigslist for too many confirmations of what I'm saying - they're not shy about telling you a change of station "forces" their heart wrenching decision. It's just out of their hands, you know?

Do non-military people do it? Of course. But at least the non-military people don't get the dog knowing when they get it that they're going to get a forced change of station in the next 2-4 years. Doing that without an exit strategy is irresponsible, I've seen it too many times (even knew a woman who had her 7 month old puppy simply euthanized by a vet because she didn't want to chance it falling into the wrong hands - the irony was lost on her) and I'm allowed to cringe when I see an active duty military family get a dog. Are you, like the OP, different? Good for you, and your dogs.
 

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I don't want your comment to derail the OP's thread, but you provoke a useful point here.

I was in the military and saw massive pet dumping firsthand. Loving family oohs and ahhs over the puppy without a thought as to what's to happen with a PCS, then they simply rehome it (sometimes badly), dump it at the shelter, or even turn it loose, when the orders come - just another item to jettison, like the gas barbecue. Many get another dog at the new station after dumping the old one. Check your local Craigslist for too many confirmations of what I'm saying - they're not shy about telling you a change of station "forces" their heart wrenching decision. It's just out of their hands, you know?

Do non-military people do it? Of course. But at least the non-military people don't get the dog knowing when they get it that they're going to get a forced change of station in the next 2-4 years. Doing that without an exit strategy is irresponsible, I've seen it too many times (even knew a woman who had her 7 month old puppy simply euthanized by a vet because she didn't want to chance it falling into the wrong hands - the irony was lost on her) and I'm allowed to cringe when I see an active duty military family get a dog. Are you, like the OP, different? Good for you, and your dogs.
I was on a FB group for pets in my current area. There were some who were military using PCS as an excuse, and they were usually taken to task by those of us who believe animals are for life. There were also a lot more who were civilian and "this dog won't potty train," "I don't have time to train it," "My kid is scared of it" and so on...and two days later, they were "in line" for the next cute puppy posted.

Perhaps I surround myself with a better caliber of people, but every military family I know with pets takes them everywhere. We PCS'd 6000 miles with 2 cats and a dog, and 6 years later PCS'd back 6000 miles with 5 cats and a parrot (B&G macaw, not a small parrot). Bought a house and inherited 2 semi-wild cats with it that had belonged to the previous owners...one was hit by a car a week after we bought the house, before we had been able to get him somewhat friendly. The other I did find a new country home for when we PCS'd, after dedicating nearly 2 years to getting her to the point we could catch her. The vet advised against trying to integrate her into the house with our cats, and when we would try to bring her in, she spazzed out. So, I did find her a new home, where she could continue to be a barn kitty. (My 4 cats are indoor ONLY. When they are outside, they are leashed. Not to say they don't sneak out sometimes, but they are never outside intentionally.)

Our puppy, when we get her next month, will be our only non-rescued pet. We have fostered many times over the years. Our oldest cat (10 years) was rescued as a feral kitten stuck in a Coke machine. Our twin kitties were on their last day at the shelter. Our lover was on his 4th home that we know of. We have been denied the opportunity to save animals BECAUSE we are military...and the animals ended up PTS instead of having a forever home.

It doesn't matter whether someone is military or not. If animals are disposable to them, then they are disposable, and they will find any excuse to get rid of them...and usually replace them with the next cutest kitten/puppy/whatever they find.

Military rehoming may be more visible because they say it's due to PCS, but I assure you, from the work I have done in rescue, civilian people are just as bad, if not worse.
 

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Dear OP: Congrats on the thought of getting a GSD. You are going into it with an open frame of mind and the research that you are doing is much more than 70% of most GSD owners would do! Your pup, if you get him, will be absolutely lucky to have you!

As for the military thing...it's funny that's brought up. My husbands' family was military and they PCS'ed with their Zoo and I know several members on this board who are military who PCS with their animals without a second thought.

At the same time, I live in a military town and it's absurd how many people have gotten rid of their cats and dogs just due to moving and pick up a new one at the next station. I know a guy who is proud of the fact that he gets a few new pets, then when he PCS's he tells his kids that the reason they are abandoning their pets is so they can get "better" dogs where they are going.
 

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MerlinCorgi, you sound like a very responsible pet owner, and the dog will be in good hands!
 

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There is a reason I said I have thick skin. Sadly, the military has earned a reputation with rescues (especially over here.. most of them refuse to adopt to us at all, no matter what). There are some of us that take owning our pet very seriously, but I am afraid we are seemingly out-numbered by the ones who will just as soon dump a dog and run. Myself and a few others are doing what we can to help the reputation of military pet owners, by working with local shelters and gathering donations, but a few good deeds pale in comparison to the years of mass dumpings. :mad:

We brought our dog with us when we came and we will leave with any animals we have. I don't get an animal of any kind unless I know I can afford to take them with me. I'm sure it will be more difficult finding a rental at whatever base we end up at next if we have a large dog and I have no doubt that I may have to pass up the "dream house" because of it... but well... if I can't have my dog with me then it wasn't much of a dream anyhow!

Just to clarify... we are not looking for a puppy or a breeder here. Rather we are considering adoption one of the two dogs that we are already dog-sitting long term. The owner is a single lady that is a bit over her head with two dogs. The older female she brought here with her and she has plans to take them both back with her, BUT it would actually be better for the younger dog if he could stay with us as the owner's immediate future is sketchy at best due to personal reasons that could not be avoided (she is not the kind that would dump a dog and I know she would not consider anyone else if they made the offer to keep him, but it is a special circumstance since he has already been living with us for a month now with at least one more month ahead of us).

Oh, and for the poster that asked... no, the corgi is much too big to ride under the seat on the plane. He is a trim 37lbs. ;) I joke sometimes that Cardigans are just German Shepards that are missing the legs. Just for comparison I will add a picture here of the two of them together from last year. The Shepard is a big boy too... he is a very slim boy and still between 80-90lbs. I haven't measured height at the withers yet, but I may do that tonight just out of curiosity. The good news is that we can reserve a spot on a "military connector flight" for a reasonable rate as long as we reserve it as soon as we get our orders. If we can't get them on that then we are looking at a considerably greater expense... which we are prepared to pay, but hope not to have to! (We are talking the difference between about $200 per dog vs $2,000 per dog to ship on a commercial flight).
 

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They look like best buds! Handsome dogs.
 

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Bearclaw "You have come far pilgrim."

Jeremiah Johnson "It feels like far."

Bearclaw "Whar it worth the trouble?"

Jeremiah Johnson "Ah......what trouble?"




Nothing worth having ever drops in your lap without troubles. It is the troubles that make something worth having. And what is worth the having, is worth the troubles.
 

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OP, I would suggest you get in touch with Mrs. K. She's from Germany and brought her GSDs over from Germany when her husband got stationed back over here.

Also, I've been told Cardigan's have a temperament closer to a GSD. Pembroke's are the goofy silly side while Cardigan's are serious side. Least that's what corgi owners have told me when I asked about them on a corgi forum. Having witnessed the differences in behavior between the two, I agree the cardigan is closer in temperament to the GSD.

Also, it's ShepHERD. Just for future reference. Sorry. It's a peeve of mine and many others.

I cant imagine not having a GSD in my life. They're amazing dogs and all mine have proven to do well with kids. I have a 4 and 5 year old.
 

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here you're going to find more people with German Shepherd's as opposed
to the very popular German Shepard.

Greetings!

>>>>> I am a new member as you can see and I am hoping to get some thoughts from experienced German Shepard owners. <<<<<

First a bit about me. I currently own a red brindle Cardigan Welsh Corgi named Merlin and have been doing shows in Europe with him for about a year now. I am hooked on the breed and love them. We were planning on getting another male corgi (I'm not ready to take on a female with the possibility of breeding yet, I need to learn more and find a good mentor in the breed before I take that step, if I ever do), but a unique situation has landed in our laps and we may end up getting a GS instead.

>>>>> I have had many Shepard mixes <<<<<

through the years, but never a purebred. Currently I am dog sitting a couple of purebreds for a friend. One is an older female (about 9 I think) and the other is a younger male (2 years old). We may have the opportunity to adopt the male and we are very strongly considering it. However, I do not take dog ownership lightly and we have a lot to think about before we move ahead. Firstly.. he is a big boy (and beautiful!)... normally that is not a problem, but we are a military family that is stationed overseas in Germany right now so that adds additional cost for us to bring him home (I DO NOT believe in abandoning my pets!!!). I know it could also cause some issues with finding housing at our next base (we'll be going back to the US either the end of this year or next), but I am not overly concerned about that because I know we will find something and quite frankly it will be our last base before my husband retires and we can settle more permanently. Temperament and training wise he is just "okay". He has not had much training, but I know I can take care of that with a bit of time... his house manners are good (stays off furniture, doesn't beg, plays well with my corgi), but his leash manners leave a LOT to be desired, especially when other dogs are near... but he is not aggressive towards them.. just wants to pull, bark, and play!

We have two human boys as well, ages 5 and 7. The male dog seems to have already bonded with my youngest boy. He follows him around when he can and if anyone throws a toy or ball he takes it back to my son first to see if he will play with him. This is not the first time we have watched these dogs and both times he has been this way with my son.

Anyhow... I am interested in thoughts and also what kind of things should I be on the lookout for in regards to health issues? From what I know he came from a working farm here in Germany, but I am not sure if he has papers or not. He is not fixed right now, but he is not showing any undesirable behaviors linked to that and I would be planning to get him fixed if we did keep him. In the bit of research I have been doing I see they are susceptible to DM which I am already familiar with due to my association in the corgi world (thankfully my boy tested clear for that already) and obviously hips and bloat are potential issues in the breed due to size/structure, but is there anything else I should have up on my radar for health concerns in the breed? What are your thoughts about this situation in general? (Don't hold back... I have tough skin already)! :)
 

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Thank you for correcting my incorrect spelling. I do apologize and I will be much more careful in the future to get it right.

You are also told right as far as the differences between Pembroke and Cardigans. One of my favorite quotes that I have heard is that if you took both breeds to a party the Pembroke would be on the table dancing and the Cardigan would be the butler.

Anyhow... there is a lot to be seen with this guy right now and there is a chance it may not work for us at all, but I wanted to get a bit of feedback in case it does. Regardless he will still be with us for a few more months so we will get to enjoy him that long and then we will see where life takes us from there. :)

OP, I would suggest you get in touch with Mrs. K. She's from Germany and brought her GSDs over from Germany when her husband got stationed back over here.

Also, I've been told Cardigan's have a temperament closer to a GSD. Pembroke's are the goofy silly side while Cardigan's are serious side. Least that's what corgi owners have told me when I asked about them on a corgi forum. Having witnessed the differences in behavior between the two, I agree the cardigan is closer in temperament to the GSD.

Also, it's ShepHERD. Just for future reference. Sorry. It's a peeve of mine and many others.

I cant imagine not having a GSD in my life. They're amazing dogs and all mine have proven to do well with kids. I have a 4 and 5 year old.
 

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Thank you for correcting my incorrect spelling. I do apologize and I will be much more careful in the future to get it right.

You are also told right as far as the differences between Pembroke and Cardigans. One of my favorite quotes that I have heard is that if you took both breeds to a party the Pembroke would be on the table dancing and the Cardigan would be the butler.

Anyhow... there is a lot to be seen with this guy right now and there is a chance it may not work for us at all, but I wanted to get a bit of feedback in case it does. Regardless he will still be with us for a few more months so we will get to enjoy him that long and then we will see where life takes us from there. :)

My grandma has a Pembroke. She's a nut. I've met and been around several Pembrokes and only one cardigan. The saying is one I can definitely believe!! The cardigan was very serious and "in order" and all the pembrokes have been very silly and clown-like.

Sounds like you guys are having the same problem a lot of military have over here. We gave up trying to adopt from a reputable rescue because the second they knew we were a military family we were denied despite having proof we our animals have been with us from one duty station to another.
 

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CONGRATULATIONS!!! Like you, I too have a mixed household. I grew up with a Samoyed, have had labs, now have a lab, lab-pit mix, and adopted my first GSD almost a year ago via an odd situation and a dog who needed a good home.

In some respects, they are very very different from any other breed I've been exposed to. Having worked in a small animal veterinary facility when I was younger, I've been exposed to many. I've had many friends with GSD's. I am really sold on the breed. I don't know that I'll ever have anything else. In other ways, many of the issues are just canine common sense. I'm a horse person too.

I've also found that he is LOYAL AND PROTECTIVE like no other breed I've seen and is tender with my 5 year old niece although he towers her and she isn't here that often.

This website will be TREMENDOUSLY helpful in terms GSD-specific behavior, diet, questions, etc.... I have learned a lot and have come to appreciate the help and advise I've needed, when I've needed it. I am grateful. I moderate for a NJ horse web site. Like all sites, you have a mix of members, and like dogs do, some more dominant members try to assert themselves over a seeming submissive. :) WELCOME & CONGRATS!!!
 

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Sounds like you guys are having the same problem a lot of military have over here. We gave up trying to adopt from a reputable rescue because the second they knew we were a military family we were denied despite having proof we our animals have been with us from one duty station to another.
Same. For one rescue, I was fine to FOSTER as many as they needed me to, but when I wanted to ADOPT one of my fosters, I was refused. Needless to say, I quit fostering for them immediately, and just started taking my donations to the local kill shelter...they may have had to put animals to sleep, but at least they didn't discriminate when people wanted to adopt.

Abandoned animals are a problem in all walks of life, it isn't exclusively military families that do it :mad:
 

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Same. For one rescue, I was fine to FOSTER as many as they needed me to, but when I wanted to ADOPT one of my fosters, I was refused. Needless to say, I quit fostering for them immediately, and just started taking my donations to the local kill shelter...they may have had to put animals to sleep, but at least they didn't discriminate when people wanted to adopt.

Abandoned animals are a problem in all walks of life, it isn't exclusively military families that do it :mad:

no but unfortunately, we're the ones that are blamed for the majority. I understand there have been those who adopt and dump every PCS but those who don't, they should make an exception if proof can be provided. I had a couple neighbors at my last station who were the adopt and dump types and bragged about it.
 
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