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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have never posted on any website before this. I am looking for advice from people that own a German Shepherd. I have always wanted a GSD and I feel like I am in a position now that I can own one but I had a couple of questions that I needed to know first. I just recently lost my cocker spaniel/golden retriever mix at 13 years old to cancer. He was my first dog and we are heartbroken! He was a rescue and was just a wonderful dog and I miss him terribly. I know that I will be ready for another dog soon and I am seriously considering a GSD rescue but there are two things I would like to know:

1) I have a 7 month old BEAUTIFUL granddaughter named Jayden and even though she does not live with me, I see her several times a week like any proud grandparent. Would a rescue GSD be okay with her or is she too young?

2) I live in a two bedroom condo but I live across the street from a park that I walk at every night. I have a group of "dog friends" that I meet over there every night and we walk our dogs together and socialize. It was always my favorite part of the day. Sadly, these dogs have grown up together and now two of them are gone. This park also has plenty of room for a GSD to run, walk and play. Would this be okay for a GSD living in a two bedroom condo? All of the GSD rescue sites that I go to have something about a back yard and while I do not have a back yard, I am very active and my dog would be also.

It is just my husband and myself now since my daughter has married and moved out of the house. I do work 40 hours a week but other than that my life at home has always revolved around my family and my dog. There is no where else I would rather be than with them. My husband plays ball in the summer and that takes alot of his time and the dog and I liked to go to his games and then hit McDonalds for some chicken nuggets on the way home. This winter would have been difficult to be out a lot because we have had so much snow and below freezing weather. Thank you for taking the time to give me any advice and hopefully, I can come back and let you know about my own GSD if it is the right situation for me and the dog.
 

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You have some great questions. I am glad you are considering this in advance of obtaining a puppy or dog.

There is no guarantee that even with a puppy, you will get one that is great with other dogs, people, and the part time baby. But that is any dog of any breed. GSDs can be great with kids and babys, though no baby should be left unattended with any dog.

With an adult from a reputable rescue you can find a great match. I think you have to do your homework first though.

You need to know whether the rescue (hopefully a GSD rescue) has fostered the child, by whom, and for how long. What I mean by, by whom, is what kind of family, men, women, children, dogs, etc. Ask whether they have had the dog around babies at all. I currently have a four year old dog, great with everyone, therapy dog, good with dogs in class or that we meet outside, very nice. I took him to the park with my sister's two year olds. Everything went good. On the way home, the babies did a fall-down game, and it really ramped my dog up. I made them stop. My dog was not raised around babies and this was really his first experience with little kids. Still, a decent rescue might have been able to have enough experiences with the dog around little ones to know whether or not he would likely react to normal child play.

On the other hand, Cujo, the GSD I gave to my parents, who is untrained, unsocialized, and not exercised, is specially careful around the little girls, and now the new baby in the family. The little girls usually spend a couple days at thankgiving and a couple days at Christmas in my parents' house, the new baby has been there now for almost a week -- she is two months old. Still, no chance at leaving them together alone.

Again, ask lots of questions to the different rescue organizations, ask how they temperament test the dogs, and foster, etc. I hope you find what you are looking for.

Good luck.
 

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I think an older rescue dog would be a good fit, but be prepared for the "no yard thing". I hope some of our rescuers on here can chime in to give you some tips on how to deal with that. But be upfront about it and lay out your exercise plan. The good thing about a rescue dog is the fosters can tell you a lot about their personality.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Thank you for your help

Thank you for responding. I was starting to think I did something wrong when no one responded. Like I said I have never posted anywhere before so I am a little green. I found this website because I have been researching the GSD and I think I am in a good situation to have one now. My heart is still broken with losing my last dog and everyone tells me one way to cure it is to get another dog and shower it with love. As I stated earlier, It's just my husband and myself now and I believe it was easier to get over that "empty nest syndrome" when my daughter got married because I had my dog with me and now that he is gone, I think the next dog I get would have both of our undivided attention. So, you do not think a condo is a bad situation for a GSD or any large dog? I grew up next door to a older german lady and she always had GSD's and I loved those dogs and they were always great with me. I think that is why I want a GSD is because of my experience with her dogs. I just would never want to get a large dog if it would be unfair to have one that does not have a back yard. Again, I do have a park across the street that I go to everynight 7 days a week so it would get plenty of exercise. I live in Louisville, KY and I just learned that the only GSD rescue we have here is Tier Haven and I believe that is who I will get in touch with about a rescue GSD. Thank you for taking the time today to help me and I hope to come back and bring a picture of a beautiful GSD with me!
 

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I think that a backyard isn't a necessity if you're going to take the time every day to exercise your dog. My dog doesn't like to be out in the yard if I'm not there anyway - she just lays down and waits for me to come back. We own a small house, and she does just fine so long as she gets her exercise. GSDs are very people oriented and they aren't happy if they're not with their people, and it seems like you'll be home with him/her most of the time anyway. So IMO if you're exercising the dog a yard isn't a necessity. Good luck in your search!
 

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Some GSDs will do well in an apt. or condo. With this being said, they will need plenty of exercise. When you go to a rescue, tell them what you are looking for. Most likely you will need a low-medium energy dog that is good with children. I would not recommend a puppy, but an adult so you have a better idea of temperament.

Depending on how far you want to drive, there are a few rescues dedicated to German shepherds in your area.

1. MPM German Shepherd Rescue
2. Cincinnati Area German Shepherd Rescue
3. Shannons Companions Equine, Collie & German Shepherd Rescue
4. Dumas German Shepherd Rescue, Inc.
5. Shepherd Haven
 

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Discussion Starter #7
GSD Sunshine, GREAT picture by the way! Looks like a wonderful dog and Thank you for giving me more GSD rescues close to me. Cincinnati is just 70 miles down the road and I would be willing to drive there for the right dog. Orginally, I was looking at GSD sites in West Virginia because I could not find one on the Internet for KY and Indiana. Now that I know of ones closer to me, I will try to get in touch with them. My husband and I were talking about getting a older dog instead of a puppy because of all the work that goes into a puppy. I think a older dog (1-3) would be better for us and our situation. However it works out on what dog we get, it will be a very spoiled and loved dog! Thank you all for helping me today, I really do appreciate it and I will come back and let you know what happens! Spring is coming (I keep telling myself that with every additional inch of snow we get each day - UGH) so I would love to have a dog by Spring so he/she can meet their new "dog friends" at the park! In the mean time I do live in KY and March madness is right around the corner and if there is one thing I love almost as much as Spring is college basketball, if anyone on here is from KY they know what I mean!

Thanks again!

Thanks again!
 

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I think that a 1-3 year old dog will still require obedience classes and work on socialization, etc. 1-3 is kind of adolescent, young adulthood where the energy level is high and the obedience level is only as high as you have made it. Just saying, plan on taking your new buddy to classes for a while.
 

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Yep. 1-3 is Butthead phase. that cute little 2 year old in my picture can be a total but head. I would recommend a 3-5 y/o. The rescue can also help you pick an age too.
 

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A reputable rescue is going to work with you to match you to the appropriate dog..so tell them of your needs. Example...me...I had two small children...age 2 and 5, cats and a parrot...so I was very specific in my needs. The rescue did a wonderful job matching us with the appropriate dog...the sweetest 5 year old...she couldn't have been more perfect.

Most rescues keep their dogs in foster homes so they are able to know everything about the dog.

Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Older Dog

Did you have any concerns with a older dog? My concern is a dog that is older, you lose out on some years with them and their life span is so short to begin with. Maybe I feel this way because I just lost my dog recently but that was a concern of mine. I do believe that you may be right about a older dog, I do think that would be best for our lifestyle and were we live. After hearing feedback from all of you today, I cannot wait to find the right dog for me!
 

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Yes, if you take a five year old dog, you may get five years, more less with the dog. But you will have given a dog a happy home for that period. As dogs get older, they have a much more difficult time being adopted out for the very reason you gave, and many perfectly healthy, perfectly nice dogs are PTS simply because people want dogs that are younger.

I think that if your lifestyle merits an older dog, you will bond to him or her just as much as a younger dog, but there will be less instances of the dog knocking the baby off her feet from sheer exhuberance. An older dog may be a lot easier on you physically as well, not as likely to dislocate your shoulder in its attempt to chase a cat, etc. Its pace may be more your pace. It may desire to spend a goodly portion of its day curled up at your feet instead of chasing a ball in the back yard or trotting on a tread mill.

When her time comes, you can be happy that you gave a gal a great home for the rest of her life. The end will come either way, is it better for the end to come in five years than in eight years.

There is no guarantee about that anyway. You can lose a 1-3 year old dog in 1-3 years from some nasty theif of time. I think with a younger dog, you are stacking the deck in your favor for having the dog longer, but I think that the benefits to an older dog in your circumstance, and the benefits to the dog you choose, may outweigh the sadness you will face either way.
 

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I'm in a two bedroom condo with TWO dogs...lol. It can definitely work. I exercise my dogs every day. I take them to dog parks, my parents house, my friends houses, my sisters houses, the vet, parks, Petco, Petsmart, camping, etc. I've done that since they were babies...um...puppies.;)

I socialized the heck out of them and took them to puppy/dog school. All my neigherbors had dogs. They would play together for hours everyday. They are well behaved, good with dogs/cats/kids, housebroken, crate trained. I took in foster dogs as well while I had them. I used NILIF on them. Never had a problem with aggression or anything and they were both rescue pups. One of them had Parvo as a puppy.

One thing I loved about not having a yard was that I had to exercise them. Turning a dog loose in a yard is useless. Most dogs want you to be out there, too. How many people get a dog because they have a yard but they won't go out with their dogs? I take my dogs to my sister's house (who has a large fenced in yard) and the MINUTE I go inside, the dog is whining at the door to come in with me. He had no desire to be where I'm not. This also allowed me to teach potty on command. I knew when they had to go. It allowed me to monitor their bowel movements in case something was wrong. I got to teach them where to go. They never developed the bad habit of digging because they never had the chance. They have no idea that they can jump fences so they don't try. (I'm not saying you can't do that with a yard, also, just that not having one doesn't allow you to be lazy)

I also grew up with two huskys when I had a backyard. They dug under and got out. They jumped the fence and got out. Fences don't guarentee anything. Trust me. IMO, walking with the dog is more important. Don't let the no fence thing deter you. I have fostered many a dog with no fence and the rescues never had a problem with that...lol.

Good luck on your search.
 

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Thank you

Thank you so much for letting me know about having your dogs in a condo! That makes me feel so much better. The thing I love the most about having a dog (besides the dog itself) is the socializing with our "park dog friends", I look forward to it everyday. I have met so many great people and their dogs there. There a lot of dogs where I live now and several big dogs, so I do not think it will be a problem. I am now leaning towards a older dog because the puppy phase is a lot of work. I will continue to come on here and let you all know how it works out for us since I now know how to post!:laugh:
 

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German Shepherds love to be with their people. Mine don't really want to be outside in the yard without me. We live in a small house and they are good in there. I train and play with the dogs though.. they are not sedentary house dogs. A lot of time and energy is devoted to training, exercise and play. If you have the energy and desire, a condo can work. Be ready for a hairy condo though!
 

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I think there are enough GSDs in rescues, that if you want a laid back house dog that is good with babies and children, between 3 and 5 years old, and good with strange dogs, you can probably find several that match that.

I think too, that without a yard, rescues may be more likely to adopt an older dog that is more laid back, than a younger dog with high energy, high drive.

I have one dog right now that loves to spend the majority of her day lying on my bed. I have others that are bouncy and jumpy and want to go.

It is beneficial to any good rescue that is working with you to find the best match. Where purchasing a puppy from a breeder is a little more of a gamble as they are not necessarily the final product at eight weeks old.

Good luck.
 
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