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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I have pre-booked a long coat GSD male pup (showline) from a reputed breeder and the litter is expected around the 2nd week of November. The breeder said we would be able to pick the pup around 8 weeks of age (1st week of January). However, due to a family wedding which involves a lot of guests and quite a lot of travel, I have requested him to hold on till 14 weeks (3rd week of February).

I have been going through this forum and reading a lot of other resources online about the breed from the past few months. It will be my first GSD, although I've always had dogs for the last 25 years or so. I lost my beloved companion a few months ago at the age of 14 years (Golden Retriever) and he was the best dog I could have ever hoped for. He was perfect in every sense, not a single day of accident at home from day 1, he was extremely intelligent and connected very well with the family.

I'm moderately active but I've been gradually stepping up my physical activity for health reasons and also to be able to keep up to a GSD's needs. I intend to take him along with me on my travels, socialize, exercise and train daily. I prefer to train him all by myself from scratch without engaging any trainer. I would like to keep him very disciplined while being protective of my family and most importantly have a great companion.

I have a few questions and would be grateful if senior/experienced members could advice on the following:

1) Will picking the pup at 14 weeks make a significant difference vs 8 weeks? Ideally, I would love to get him at 8 weeks and not miss a single day.

2) I have not used a crate for training any of my previous dogs but I've never had working breeds either. Is it recommended for a GSD? I like the idea for training the pups initially, especially during the teething phase but not when they're adults.

3) Initially, I was very keen on getting 2 pups together (2 different breeds) until my friends advised against it. I read about the littermate syndrome and also that there should be an age gap between the two new dogs. While narrowing down the list of breeds suitable for me GSD was my #1 choice, closely followed by Rottweiler at #2. I would like to get a male Rottweiler pup after 1.5 -2 years of getting a GSD, would they work? I understand it would solely depend on the individual personality of each dog but are there any large breeds that you would otherwise recommend?

4) W.r.t grooming and maintenance, would a long coat GSD be similar to a Golden Retriever?

5) My neighbour has a Golden Retriever, unlike most Goldens I've seen, he is very aggressive and attacks any dog he sees. He is very friendly with humans though. How do I go about introducing my GSD pup, as we would be crossing paths regularly? I thought of keeping him out of sight till the pup grows but I also feel introducing my pup at an early stage slowly would make him more accepting. I don't want my pup to start with negative experiences that would affect him in the long run.

I'm super excited to get a GSD and I'm looking forward to post pictures here soon!

Please do let me know what you think, thanks in advance!
 

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I'd rather miss the wedding than missing out on crucial learning time. 10 - 11 weeks is ideal for me, given that the breeder works with the litter.
Regarding the Golden: he needs to learn to ignore the idiot and never make contact or even attempt to have them meet.
If you are moderately active, your new pup will raise the bar if you don't want him and you going nuts.
Raise him for three years and then decide if you want to add a (FEMALE ) Rottweiler.
 

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Zeppelin - 2 yr old black GSD. Athena - 7 yr old Rottweiler.
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I have a 7 year old female intact rottie and 2 year old neutered GSD and theyre a good match. The rottie is in charge, bossy, my GSD boy is submissive and lets her be the boss within reason. I feel very protected in my home! In your case it will depend on the dogs’ temperaments and training for sure.
If your neighbour’s golden is aggressive, it is not worth introducing your easily impressionable puppy to.
Hope all goes well with the puppy.


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Yes it's highly recommended to use a crate for ease of house training,sleeping, learning to settle. Young GSDs can cause massive destruction when left alone all day or night if given the run of the house too soon.
They shed an incredible amount.
Keep far away from that Golden. Wave and give a friendly wave from across the street:)
 

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I have been reading up on socializing and it's super important to do it during the short window of opportunity. Is your breeder going to do it for you? I apologize about not remembering what that time frame is.
 
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Honestly, it will not matter that much I don't think. I picked up a pup at 12 weeks and not only was he more ready to leave the litter (he WANTED to come with me, never looked back, never cried), he was able to go all night without potty breaks and was easily housebroken because his bladder was a bit more mature. Training wise, he was a breeze. Went to classes, and by 6 months was invited to the advanced obedience class. Assuming that he's a sound pup ... he'll still be a sound pup at 14 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd rather miss the wedding than missing out on crucial learning time. 10 - 11 weeks is ideal for me, given that the breeder works with the litter.
Regarding the Golden: he needs to learn to ignore the idiot and never make contact or even attempt to have them meet.
If you are moderately active, your new pup will raise the bar if you don't want him and you going nuts.
Raise him for three years and then decide if you want to add a (FEMALE ) Rottweiler.

It's my sister's wedding, no option to skip 😅
I'm contemplating on getting the pup from the next litter instead.
I'll keep the pup away from the Golden, thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a 7 year old female intact rottie and 2 year old neutered GSD and theyre a good match. The rottie is in charge, bossy, my GSD boy is submissive and lets her be the boss within reason. I feel very protected in my home! In your case it will depend on the dogs’ temperaments and training for sure.
If your neighbour’s golden is aggressive, it is not worth introducing your easily impressionable puppy to.
Hope all goes well with the puppy.
Thanks for sharing the pic, they look adorable! It's my dream team :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have been reading up on socializing and it's super important to do it during the short window of opportunity. Is your breeder going to do it for you? I apologize about not remembering what that time frame is.
I will need to check with the breeder regarding socializing and training the pup in those additional 6 weeks. He did mention that he'll take care of the vaccinations during that time.
 

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If the pup will spend that time in a kennel skip it. If the pup will be in the house with the breeder, around its mom and other GSDs I might do it.

Have you physically visited the breeder to see what kind environment you pup would be in for those 6 weeks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If the pup will spend that time in a kennel skip it. If the pup will be in the house with the breeder, around its mom and other GSDs I might do it.

Have you physically visited the breeder to see what kind environment you pup would be in for those 6 weeks?
I have only seen pics so far, it seemed fine but I do plan to visit him next month and take a call after a couple visits.

Thank you
 

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Since you don't want to miss the wedding, I would wait until the next litter. These first few weeks are important and tons of fun at the same time. They lay the foundations for the dog. No way, would I like to miss that! Also, when he develops some issues later on, you will always think of what could have happened during the time you were not there. For me that's why it's crucial to know what happened after weaning from the litter.
 

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everyone has their preferences…. assuming the puppy is not “just sitting” for that time, i’d be thrilled to get an older pup.

i know that @Cassidy's Mom likes the puppy stage and prefers to do her own foundation work, but she got her most recent dog as an older pup from the breeder and if she’d be willing to share her experience, it might give you another perspective and example of a positive outcome for a similar situation.

depending on the reasons why you chose this particular litter / breeding…. i personally wouldn’t move to a different litter.

are they charging you any additional boarding or training fees? in addition to vaccines, any crate training, leash manners, socialization being added to the mix? these are important questions that we can’t answer.
 

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Our last GSD (passed 4 years ago) was from a kennel and we got her at 16 weeks. She had lots of peculiarities and odd behaviors that we always attributed to her being in a larger kennel for that long. We loved her, but...

A few weeks ago, we picked up another girl. This time from a smaller breeder and got her a day before 8 weeks. "Journey" is now 12.5 weeks. The differences are astounding. She is everything we hoped for. We don't know a whole lot, but feel like these early weeks are making a tremendous difference. She cuddles as much as any dog I've seen. She's potty trained, sit, stay, sit at doorways and fetching reliably, ALREADY.

German shepherd dog Dog Carnivore Dog breed Fawn


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What kind of wedding needs a 6 week delay? You could fly across the globe and stay for a week after to lose the hangover and still be well short. Is it a multi stage/week month long celebration?

I have had the occasion to pick up 2 pups at 12 weeks over the years. Both were excellent dogs and in some ways, an advantage over a very young puppy.

At 14 weeks though, the reality is you're buying someone else's foundation.
 

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I have had the occasion to pick up 2 pups at 12 weeks over the years. Both were excellent dogs and in some ways, an advantage over a very young puppy.
Agreed but only as long as the breeder works with the pups. Deja's breeder socializes them well with animals and people and all kinds of farm stuff. And the pups master crate training, the recall and sit at 11 weeks (puppy level).
 

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Why don't you get the dog and take it with you? The day of the wedding you could crate it somewhere at a family member's home or board it at a kennel for a day or two. This way you don't miss anything. I don't think I could wait for another litter. lol
 
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everyone has their preferences…. assuming the puppy is not “just sitting” for that time, i’d be thrilled to get an older pup.

i know that @Cassidy's Mom likes the puppy stage and prefers to do her own foundation work, but she got her most recent dog as an older pup from the breeder and if she’d be willing to share her experience, it might give you another perspective and example of a positive outcome for a similar situation.
We've NEVER gotten a puppy at 8 weeks old, lol.

Sneaker: 20 weeks
Cassidy: 16 weeks
Dena: 9 weeks
Keefer: 9 weeks
Halo: 10 weeks
Cava: 19 weeks

I do like putting my own foundation on a puppy but as Fodder mentions above, it makes a difference if the breeder is actually doing something with the pup or are they just being warehoused in the meantime. I signed the contract and paid for Cava at 8 weeks, but due to health issues with our current dogs, we weren't ready to bring home a puppy yet. Since the breeder offered to hold her for us and I liked how she'd been raising the litter we decided to go ahead and commit, but leave her with the breeder for awhile. We didn't know exactly how long it was going to be and it was definitely difficult to see pictures and videos of her online knowing we wouldn't get to meet her for some time. But I could see that she was being treated just like the two puppies the breeder was keeping - she'd bred the litter to get a puppy for herself and her husband fell in love with one of the others and refused to let it go, so she ended up keeping them both. They all went on socialization trips to the river and around town, they all got some play/training sessions throughout the day. Cava was chasing and retrieving balls and bringing a tug to play with from the time she was just a tiny ball of fluff.

Puppies are a lot of work, and those few extra weeks of maturity, both physical and mental, can make it a lot easier. Cava was already crate trained and housebroken, she ran to her crate and waited at mealtime. She would sit and look at me automatically. As much as I hated missing out on months of her puppyhood, it all worked out just fine. No issues with bonding, for her or us.
 

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I usually get puppies at 8 weeks but also got one at 12 weeks with some good training and another at 16 weeks with mediocre training. The older puppies were much easier to train, didn’t cry all night, didn’t bite and were potty trained. I won’t get any more 8 week olds.
 

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If it’s a dog you want then i wouldn’t sweat 8 vs 14 vs 52 weeks. Over thinking it.

ETA: I’ve brought home dogs at a variety of ages from 6 weeks to 5 years and varying life experiences for them. I don’t think it matters that much. Bear came to me at 12 weeks. There was an issue with him being afraid of passing care on walks. That was over by the end of the weekend. I don’t think it would have been different if he was 8 weeks.
 
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