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Hey guys,

This post may be in the wrong place, so please move it accordingly if it needs to. I apologize in advance.

I am looking to get an adult GSD, but want to get the communities opinions regarding this. A prospective dog I am looking at is 4 years old, but has never lived as a house dog. Do you think this will be a hard transition for a dog who's never lived in the house? I want a companion in the a GSD and will be keeping him in my home. Please share your thoughts :)
 

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Many adult dogs have lived outside, gone thru rescue and successfully transferred to a home. You would just treat them as a puppy to housebreak them. Same idea of they have to earn their freedom and you'll have to take the dog to training. You are probably near Beth Bradley. Excellent trainer.
 

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I once transitioned my 15yr old (childhood) outside dog into apartment living with 0 issues. The tips from the above poster are good ones.
 

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One of my dogs I got as a 3 year old who had lived outside since she was a puppy. She transitioned extremely easy into an inside dog. The big thing I had trouble with was counter surfing and getting into the trash. But she was an easy dog and got over that pretty fast. In my experience potty training was fairly easy, females especially compared to say intact males or neutered ones that like to mark. I crate train and the dog is only unsupervised when I can directly watch them at first until I can trust them to not get into things and cause trouble for themselves or me. (I've had others but the female was the only GSD. All the males I had trouble with them wanting to mark in the house at first. The female had one accident and that was due to my family forgetting to let her out.)
 

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I fostered and kept a mid age male that had been tied to a rope outside most of his life. The rescue who placed him with me said he was 2, but we later found out his real age when he got age related cataracts. He peed in the house at first and could not walk on a leash, but he quickly learned to be a well behaved dog indoors. He was a spinner which was terribly annoying but we eventually knocked that out of him too as he became comfortable here. He loved being indoors. He had a nice bed in every room and a special cushion at night. He became an excellent house pet but didn’t trust certain people which was very challenging. We never broke him of trash tipping or grabbing things from the counter, so I learned to put those things out of reach.
 

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Hey guys,

This post may be in the wrong place, so please move it accordingly if it needs to. I apologize in advance.

I am looking to get an adult GSD, but want to get the communities opinions regarding this. A prospective dog I am looking at is 4 years old, but has never lived as a house dog. Do you think this will be a hard transition for a dog who's never lived in the house? I want a companion in the a GSD and will be keeping him in my home. Please share your thoughts :)
You will probably need to use the same approach you would with a pup. More or less. But many adult dogs have been successfully acclimated to indoors. Do be prepared for some extra shedding and be patient. It's an adjustment.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for this insight! I didn't realize adult male dogs tend to mark more - what would be the best approach to housebreaking with this being an issue?
 

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Thank you for this insight! I didn't realize adult male dogs tend to mark more - what would be the best approach to housebreaking with this being an issue?
Took in a few stray GSDs in the earlier years. They did not want to do their business in the house and none of them ever marked. I did see more of a tendency though for not wanting to be confined in the house alone.
 

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Training a dog is never too late no matter the age. Lots of dogs don't get to be fortunate enough to have a happy, basic home life with good humans and when they're trained, disciplined and loved properly, they transition well. Some may need more time, some don't really do. But as a GSD owner... I doubt that there's anything this dog can't be taught to do. So go for it!
 

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Thank you for this insight! I didn't realize adult male dogs tend to mark more - what would be the best approach to housebreaking with this being an issue?
First you house break him in general. If he continues to mark then with a correction. This is a training issue. You pee HERE. You DON"T pee here.
 

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I adopted a 3 year old who had never been an indoor dog. I think he had a total of 2 or 3 accidents before he understood the house training rules! One of the best dogs I've ever had - the only hard part was teaching him to bark when someone knocked on the door!
 

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Our son adopted a female GSD from an area rescue. The poor thing is 5 and had been in the rescue almost all her life. She has turned out to be a great dog. She has a couple health issues, but is doing fine with meds and good diet. One thing he found is you have to be very patient with them, just like a puppy, as they adjust to new people, new settings, and new routines. I’d recommend doing your homework on the health, training, and behavior history of the dog. I’ve found that many behavior issues are due to poor training by the owner and not a problem with the dog. Any dog can be trained and learn new things.
 
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