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I am asking this question only because I tend to be a worrier by nature. I will read articles, posts, etc... on a dog related issue and start thinking of the what ifs?

I have a 15 month old GSD. We rescued him 3 months ago. He is a sweet boy. He is leash reactive because he wants to meet and greet. I have gotten him to the point where he does not bark at passing dogs. Yay! He plays well with other dogs and seems to love interacting with other K9s. He is a sensitive boy who wants to please. We are looking into rescuing an 8 month old female GSD. But after reading the aggression thread, I have freaked myself out. What if this? What if that? My boy has never attacked another dog... when he plays, he plays GSD style which can seem a bit rough at times. But he is a friendly dog. I will say that it is a wonderful thread as there are wonderful posts helping others. And, I may need that thread one day... even non GSD owners will need a thread like that. This community is wonderful.

Can anyone shed some light on why GSDs are the best and why I don't have to stress about the what ifs? Basically, what are your experiences with GSDs? :) This breed is so special... so intelligent... they take on their owners feelings. Amazing! I truly believe that the majority of it is how well they are trained, but most importantly, how they are trained.

Thoughts?
 

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My experiences with GSDs have been great. My childhood best friend had a white shepherd named Sampson. We were always safe playing in the yard with him around. That dog would have done anything we asked of him.

Next experience: Spring Spree police K9 demonstration. One dog in particular that caught my eye during the demonstration (I was about 8 or 9 years old) also happened to be the dog that once the demonstration was over for him, came out to do a meet and greet. The dog ignored the other kids around me and basically knocked me flat on my back and proceeded to give me some serious doggie kisses. I was laughing so hard. Since then, I'd wanted my own german shepherd.

Fast forward. I'm 18 years old and have graduated high school a semester early and moved in with my boyfriend. We adopted out first dog, Riley, a GSD/Border Collie mix. Not long after, we adopted Zena, a PB GSD female from the same shelter we adopted Riley from. Zena ended up being the best protector I could have asked for. She kept me safe at all times. Upon my boyfriend, now husband, joining the Navy and us being stationed in NC... Zena chased an intruder out of my home while my husband was gone for a week of training. I was home alone with my baby girl. Had just put her to bed and settled in for a movie. The dogs alerted to something. I had grabbed my baseball bat and was going to check the house. Zena wouldn't let me. She pushed Riley over to stand in front of my daughters room and refused to let me go any further than my dining room. My backdoor slammed open and I watched as a very large figure started walking into my house. Zena let out the scariest growl I've ever heard in my life and went after him. She made sure we were safe. She stepped up when she needed to.

Now I have Shasta and Dax. Shasta is my companion. She stays with me in the house pretty much constantly. The only time she does not follow me is when I tell her to stay or she's in her crate. She lays with me on the bed after my husband gets up for work. She's always there.

Dax is only 11 weeks old but I imagine he'll provide companionship and alert and potentially step up if needed. We'll see.

I can't imagine not having this breed. Zena was so far my most challenging because she was dominant minded female. Fabulous dog.
 

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I am asking this question only because I tend to be a worrier by nature. I will read articles, posts, etc... on a dog related issue and start thinking of the what ifs?

I have a 15 month old GSD. We rescued him 3 months ago. He is a sweet boy. He is leash reactive because he wants to meet and greet. I have gotten him to the point where he does not bark at passing dogs. Yay! He plays well with other dogs and seems to love interacting with other K9s. He is a sensitive boy who wants to please. We are looking into rescuing an 8 month old female GSD. But after reading the aggression thread, I have freaked myself out. What if this? What if that? My boy has never attacked another dog... when he plays, he plays GSD style which can seem a bit rough at times. But he is a friendly dog. I will say that it is a wonderful thread as there are wonderful posts helping others. And, I may need that thread one day... even non GSD owners will need a thread like that. This community is wonderful.

Can anyone shed some light on why GSDs are the best and why I don't have to stress about the what ifs? Basically, what are your experiences with GSDs? :) This breed is so special... so intelligent... they take on their owners feelings. Amazing! I truly believe that the majority of it is how well they are trained, but most importantly, how they are trained.

Thoughts?

With my first GSD I read and got scared, but there was nothing for me to worry about..it was all in my head:crazy: With the new male, I have to read more...any tips on how you got yours not to be leash reactive? We are having problems in this area and its hindering my hopes of getting into class. I adore my female, she is 150% my girl and I wouldn't trade her for the world, I'm hoping to getting there with my boy.
 

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Mine is just a little over a year old, she is timid towards men, she barks and her fur gets up. Only thing you can do is give them the best training and lots of love, they change a lot when they mature so a lot of the problem.s are the same as living with teenagers. I wouldn't trade my dog no matter what.
 

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A little over certain situations, that's the main reason I took so long choosing a breeder who I could trust to give me a stable dog. We all want the perfect dog, the Rin Tin Tin who will jump over chasms if we're in trouble, etc but a perfect dog just doesn't exist. But their quirks is what stands out and makes us love them more IMO I love my dogs for who they are :)
 

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:crazy: yeesh, step away from the forum for a while.... all of your threads scream gloom and doom to the point that you're going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Relax and enjoy the ride! :)

You gotta realize that there is a disproportionate number of "problems" here for a couple of reasons: 1, because people seek places like this specifically when they need help a lot more often than they would when everything is hunky dorey, and 2, there is such a mixed bag of well bred, poorly bred, rescues, etc...so you're going to have a mixed bag of backgrounds and issues. Go to any breed forum, for labs, for mutts, for golden retrievers, and you will find the same exact stories.

There are a LOT more good stories, about wonderful dogs, or rescues who came with issues but overcome them, etc but they don't get as many page views or responses as the "HELP ME RIGHT NOW!" threads. That's all.


My personal experience: My dog is from a BYB. I made a lot of mistakes in puppy-raising because of hogwash that I'd heard from inexperienced people (I see a lot of that crap on certain facebook communities, etc). I WISH I'd been able to post my minor crises on here when he was itty bitty. He's also a nervebag with really crappy genes. He's the perfect example of what's wrong with someone with really good intentions breeding their dogs because they're pretty. BUT. We have come a long, long way (he has his CGC and TDI, which is great for a dog with previously crippling anxiety) because of this board and because of learning from other people's crisis posts. He's not perfect, but he's wonderful with children, loves other dogs, etc. He will always be my "heart dog", even though I will have other dogs who fit the GSD personality better. I've had absolutely horrible experiences with rescues, but this board has lead me to know what to look for. I will rescue in the future, for sure, but my next dog (coming soon) is going to be from a reputable working line breeder as I'm looking for an IPO dog.

Look at this forum not as a book of everything that can go wrong with your dog, but rather as a book of how to work with every possible situation. And for pete's sake, start reading the "Brags" and "Stories" and whatnot ;) Again, remember that people are more likely to come here when they're having problems than when they're not-- hence why there's a lot of "bad" threads.
 

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You asked why you shouldn't stress - but I will give you a point that you might want to consider before bringing a second dog home.

You've had this dog for only 3 months - he is still a puppy at 15mo, and seems to have some reactivity issues. GSDs mature late and it can be 2+ before he truly starts to mature. If I were you, I would wait till he is at least 2 years old, and wait until you have had a chance to put more training into him. Try taking classes with him, trying for a CGC (CGN in Canada I think?), participating or trying out a sport.

I only suggest this because with your temperament (admitted worrier), the short time you've had your current dog (just 3m), relative inexperience with the breed (not meant as an insult - I just infer this because you've started a few threads asking about GSD interaction/behavior/traits), and your wish to add another puppy (8m) to the household.....perhaps you should slow down a bit, work a little more on the current dog, research more into the breed - then look into acquiring another. It can be exciting to add dogs - especially with such a fun breed, but consider slowing down a bit and waiting on the second one.
 

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:crazy: yeesh, step away from the forum for a while.... all of your threads scream gloom and doom to the point that you're going to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Relax and enjoy the ride! :)
I had to do that for my own sanity and for the best for Knuckles. I had become obsessed with finding ever bad signal in him that I was creating a monster. Once I quit coming here, I calmed down and started looking at him as a dog instead of a GSD. It worked out best for both of us.


You gotta realize that there is a disproportionate number of "problems" here for a couple of reasons: 1, because people seek places like this specifically when they need help a lot more often than they would when everything is hunky dorey, and 2, there is such a mixed bag of well bred, poorly bred, rescues, etc...so you're going to have a mixed bag of backgrounds and issues.

There are a LOT more good stories, about wonderful dogs, or rescues who came with issues but overcome them, etc but they don't get as many page views or responses as the "HELP ME RIGHT NOW!" threads. That's all.
and that is a very good point!!! Think of this forum like the media around Pit Bulls. You'll hear about every bad story, but rarely hear the good ones, so they get a bad reputation.

I often wonder, too, if people don't get a GSD and start to worry at the slightest sign of anything... for example, the number of "My 10 week old puppy growled at me and bit me". Every single puppy does it, every breed, every mixed breed, but I think people get scared when they have a big breed because of the "what ifs". Sometimes I think people think of a GSD as their own species instead of what they are... a dog. Don't get me wrong, I love them and will always have one now that I have one. You want to do whats best, but it's hard to do that when you read so much negativity. You have to find your balance on your own :wub:
 

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I totally understand. I am a total worry wort. I have a GSD that I got at 7 weeks from the Seeing Eye so he comes from many generations of GSDs that were bred for temperament and health. Still this board made me nervous. I looked at every goofy puppy behavior as potentially dangerous. He is my first GSD and I was getting scared. Now that he is a little over 1 year and has calmed done a lot I can see that I was crazy to worry. He is a total sweetie.
 

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I had to do that for my own sanity and for the best for Knuckles. I had become obsessed with finding ever bad signal in him that I was creating a monster. Once I quit coming here, I calmed down and started looking at him as a dog instead of a GSD. It worked out best for both of us.


I often wonder, too, if people don't get a GSD and start to worry at the slightest sign of anything... for example, the number of "My 10 week old puppy growled at me and bit me". Every single puppy does it, every breed, every mixed breed, but I think people get scared when they have a big breed because of the "what ifs". Sometimes I think people think of a GSD as their own species instead of what they are... a dog. Don't get me wrong, I love them and will always have one now that I have one. You want to do whats best, but it's hard to do that when you read so much negativity. You have to find your balance on your own :wub:
Definitely! That was exactly what I did wrong in raising my dog... my own worrying over "not creating a monster" made me create a dog who was a neurotic mess. At least, contribute to his neuroses. He read my nervousness and because I was not a confident leader, he was not a confident puppy. I was correcting stuff that was normal puppy behavior because someone said, "oh, he's a GSD, you need to curb that before he bites someone for real!" and all that sort of stuff.

For me, getting over the negativity took being around really well balanced dogs (I was lucky enough to get to work with working k9's), and that was the "oh, THIS is what it's really supposed to be!" moment. I think getting over my fear of rescuing took getting to know a few specific members of this board who work magic with fearful/anxious rescues. Just gotta seek out the positivity!


PS- Berleen- Knuckles has turned into a total heart throb :wub:
 

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I think getting over my fear of rescuing took getting to know a few specific members of this board who work magic with fearful/anxious rescues. Just gotta seek out the positivity!


PS- Berleen- Knuckles has turned into a total heart throb :wub:
Shhhh he knows that :rofl: It's gone to his head.

I have to agree with the few specific members on the board. I had a couple seek me out through PMs, a few friend me on Facebook, and they were my lifesavers. There was one who is not an active poster that I spent hours on the phone with and he helped me GREATLY! There are so many good people on here and you just have to learn who to really listen to and who to say "ehh, whatever".
 

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I stress about everything from the wrong food/ pano/ hd/ death/ over exercise/ under exercise/ ....I do have to take a break now and then or else I drive myself nuts.
 

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You can't dwell on negative thoughts of anything in life. Making good decisions, using common sense and education is much healthier for human and dog.
 

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I stress about everything from the wrong food/ pano/ hd/ death/ over exercise/ under exercise/ ....I do have to take a break now and then or else I drive myself nuts.

Same here I feel like I'm one of those overprotective mothers that constantly spy on their children. It's so hard not worry, I mean how can you not? It's hard to fight what your truly feel inside. I always worry that my dog might have a bloat when I'm away from home or if she is not by me I hope other people watch her 100% of the time to make sure she won't get run over even though its practically impossible.. Can't stop these worries that's how much we love our dogs, they mean SO MUCH to us, they are family and you always care and love your family...


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Discussion Starter #15
With my first GSD I read and got scared, but there was nothing for me to worry about..it was all in my head:crazy: With the new male, I have to read more...any tips on how you got yours not to be leash reactive? We are having problems in this area and its hindering my hopes of getting into class. I adore my female, she is 150% my girl and I wouldn't trade her for the world, I'm hoping to getting there with my boy.
I met with our trainer one on one and she taught me how to desensitize. We started where we were walking one one side of the road and the other dog was in the other side. Every time Cooper looked interested at the dog and was going to bark, I click the clicker. When he looks he gets a yummy treat. I am only to use the clicker for walks. Sometimes I would have to click treat, click treat, etc... many times for one dog. Once he got better with that I would wait 4 seconds until I clicked. He started to look at me for a great when he saw a dog. :) Then, we worked on gradually getting closer to a walking dog.

Cooper is excitable so he just wants to meet and greet. I now go "head on" with dogs coming towards us. I have the clicker just in case but have not had to use it. He knows he will meet the other dog. My trainer explained that its important for dogs to relate seeing another dog as a good thing. We are a dog, I get a treat. :) It takes time this way but its all positive reinforcement. Yay! He will bark in the car but from what I have seen, that is pretty common.

I can give you more info on it if you'd like. Message me. :)
 

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Same here I feel like I'm one of those overprotective mothers that constantly spy on their children. It's so hard not worry, I mean how can you not? It's hard to fight what your truly feel inside. I always worry that my dog might have a bloat when I'm away from home or if she is not by me I hope other people watch her 100% of the time to make sure she won't get run over even though its practically impossible.. Can't stop these worries that's how much we love our dogs, they mean SO MUCH to us, they are family and you always care and love your family...
LOL omg that's me. I worry everytime I'm away from the house even if it's just to run to the store and I'm leaving a 22 year old or 25 year old..heck I even drill my 57 year old husband... "I'll be right back...don't leave anything lying around, don't give her any of this ..or that...don't let her eat sticks...make sure you take her out every 15 minutes"...etc etc and so on. I know I make the other people crazy in this house...especially when I ask them to inspect poops and keep track of consistency etc. :)

I am just glad I can come here and know I'm not the only one :laugh:
 

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When I feel myself headed in that worrisome direction, I refocus and reframe my thoughts.

Save the worrying, and the sadness, and the fear for the moments they are actually called for... crisis and trauma. There are enough of those in life already without manufacturing your own inside your head ;)
 

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No. The only thread that made me worry was the bloat one that had a dog with bloat. Dog lived. But I found this place a great one to take away worry. Eats poop? Oh, ok, gross but not deadly. Does not go in crate anymore, got rid of crate? Not a problem, be used she does not destroy things that belong to me. Destroys her toys? Most GSD do.


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Discussion Starter #19
You asked why you shouldn't stress - but I will give you a point that you might want to consider before bringing a second dog home.

You've had this dog for only 3 months - he is still a puppy at 15mo, and seems to have some reactivity issues. GSDs mature late and it can be 2+ before he truly starts to mature. If I were you, I would wait till he is at least 2 years old, and wait until you have had a chance to put more training into him. Try taking classes with him, trying for a CGC (CGN in Canada I think?), participating or trying out a sport.

I only suggest this because with your temperament (admitted worrier), the short time you've had your current dog (just 3m), relative inexperience with the breed (not meant as an insult - I just infer this because you've started a few threads asking about GSD interaction/behavior/traits), and your wish to add another puppy (8m) to the household.....perhaps you should slow down a bit, work a little more on the current dog, research more into the breed - then look into acquiring another. It can be exciting to add dogs - especially with such a fun breed, but consider slowing down a bit and waiting on the second one.
Excellent point and will make sure we are totally ready. Coop is almost there. He's doing great! Our first rescue was a senior male. What a lovely GSD. I miss him dearly. Cooper is my first young dog as we have always rescued age 5 and up dogs. We have learned a lot so far. :) Oh. And I did not take offense. Coop is my first young dog and I do worry. Your advice was wonderful!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you all so much. I'm feeling much more relaxed. Knowing others feel similar really helps. We worry about our babies!
 
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