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I keep seeing GSDs all over social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and so many people recently vlogging about "day in the life of a GSD"/"getting a GSD" on YouTube. I can't tell if this is just because I've been searching for GSD content so much that my news feeds just recommend what it thinks I want to see.... or if GSD are actually becoming more popular. I remember goldendoodles used to be super popular at one point - unfortunately, like a fad - but now I wonder if that's changed over to the GSD breed.

Any breeders or other canine professionals have an opinion or observation about this?
 

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My uninformed guess is that GDS excel when people have the time and energy to work with them. Some of the people who were constantly on the go before COVID-19 now have more time to spend with their GSD and are learning how awesome they are as companions.

The --doddle family of dog is lower maintenance. They made great pets for busy families who didn't have a whole lot of time.

The flip side is also true. If one doesn't have enough time for their GSD they can be a lot to handle. They are strong and can be reactive and strong-willed. So people end up keeping their GSD locked in their house and/yard... they never realize how great a well socialized and well behaved GSD can be.

A few months ago everyone seemed to be posting about their restaurant meals. Now they are posting pictures of their homemade muffins. A good GSD is like a homemade 3-course meal. It takes time, work, patience, and practice to do well.... but when it is done well it is something to savor.

My concern is that as life starts getting back to normal there are going to be a lot of neurotic pets who have gotten used to all the time and attention their owners had to give them. Daycares, board-and-trains, and shelters are going to be busy for a while.

The current fad in my neighborhood is professional-grade stoves. Everybody seems to be replacing their normal stove with really expensive ones. I live in a neighborhood where many people work in health care in some capacity. Layoffs are not a problem... but either mom or dad and the kids are stuck at home with time on their hands.
 

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Remember that social media becomes an echo chamber. You guessed it that if you click on an article about GSDs you will soon see a lot more articles about them. Just even posting here can bring the same results on another site.

AKC posted their annual popularity list not too long ago. I think the GSD was still in the top 3, perhaps #2 this year.
 

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Not only have they held on to the #2 spot in popularity in the US for decades, they also are the #1 breed worldwide.
 
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Who knew I was so trendy 😜
 

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It's weird to see those ranking stats, because I rarely see a GSD out and about, it's always doodles or bully mixes or labs. But I guess doodles and mixes won't make the AKC lists, and AKC reg'd GSD remain #2 (or #3) for a long time. I don't think they are growing or going down in popularity.


Some breeds or breed types that have shot up in popularity recently are doodles, french bulldogs and Siberian huskies. Also, when looking at the full list I was surprised to see Cane Corso #30 (up from #50 in 2013), malinois are #41 (up from #60 in 2013), tervuren #103 (about the same). Also surprised to see German shorthair pointers in the top 10. That's a high energy breed!

If I look through the entire list for the past 5 or so years, I do see more so-called "power breeds" moving up in rank. That could be a sign of the times, or simply due to random trends like movies, and publicity.
 

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@davewis - That's my concern too, that after the quarantine is over that GSDs may be too much for some people. I mean, being completely honest, I've worried about that for myself as well, so I have made sure that I have the appropriate resources and support for when/if I do go back to the office (so far, it's looking more like an "if" we go back). My team/office is very dog friendly and they're very supportive of me bringing my pup in to work or me working remote to stay home with the pup. One of my coworkers did the same last year with her puppy. And thankfully I am blessed to be able to fund dog walkers/nannies/babysitters if I must.

@car2ner - true! The online world can quickly become an echo chamber so I suspect that's what's happening with my social media sites. Not that I'm complaining though - I love seeing videos and pictures of GSDs 😄

@everyone else - Oh wow, I didn't know GSDs were that high up on the popularity list. Whenever I walked my previous boy Ned or took him hiking or camping, everyone seemed to be so shocked to see "Rin Tin Tin" still around. Maybe it's because I was previously in a more urban setting - NYC and SF - that it was surprising for people to see. But Ned was a very chill dog when I rescued him at 10 years old and due to his arthritis and hip dysplasia didn't care for more than the regular 2-3x 20min. walks and picnics once in a while. Now that I'm back in the suburbs I do see more GSDs but maybe just a couple more than I normally would.

I wholeheartedly agree that if properly cared for and trained, GSDs make AMAZING companions! I'm surprised power breeds and mals, tervurens, and shorthair pointers are rising in popularity. Maybe as more people have remote work capabilities due to technology their schedules are more flexible for these high drive breeds? Not sure, but I'm so curious about any other correlations.. hmmm...
 

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I think your talking about me?

I am a first-time GSD owner, gosh, first-time dog owner and during COVID-19. And worst, I made my puppy an Insta account!

I agonise over every detail of my pups life. I feel guilty going to work (we both work full-time, heck pups and life are expensive), I feel guilty we couldn’t afford a house with a huge garden (go-figure, we live in a city), I feel guilty I don’t know more about training.

I have not gotten every detail right, its constant work, research and change.

Lets give the first time owners extra support cause we need it!
 

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I think your talking about me?

I am a first-time GSD owner, gosh, first-time dog owner and during COVID-19. And worst, I made my puppy an Insta account!

I agonise over every detail of my pups life. I feel guilty going to work (we both work full-time, heck pups and life are expensive), I feel guilty we couldn’t afford a house with a huge garden (go-figure, we live in a city), I feel guilty I don’t know more about training.

I have not gotten every detail right, its constant work, research and change.

Lets give the first time owners extra support cause we need it!
Congrats and welcome. As long as you're dedicated to keeping the pup and putting the workin to raise it correctly, all is good. Checkout Nate Schoemer on youtube, he has a lot of good training videos.

Unfortunately there will be a lot of young dogs, not just GSD given to shelters in the coming months as they hit the equivalent of the terrible twos and teenage rebellion. These people got a puppy on a whim, life will get in the way, they wont work on training and get surprised that they don't have a perfect couch potato dog.

Also this a good book on GSDs, GSD Puppies month by month
 

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Congrats and welcome. As long as you're dedicated to keeping the pup and putting the workin to raise it correctly, all is good. Checkout Nate Schoemer on youtube, he has a lot of good training videos.

Unfortunately there will be a lot of young dogs, not just GSD given to shelters in the coming months as they hit the equivalent of the terrible twos and teenage rebellion. These people got a puppy on a whim, life will get in the way, they wont work on training and get surprised that they don't have a perfect couch potato dog.

Also this a good book on GSDs, GSD Puppies month by month
Thanks for your suggestions. I'll look into your book as I've actually been let down by the few I've read. So far I've found YouTube and this forum the best, but I'm still hunting on a reliable book that's always within reach for the "Is this normal?".

I hear you. I had to wait a long long time for my circumstances to be right for a dog. It's a huge responsibility (esp a GSD).

I actually cried yesterday thinking of losing my girl (who I've had a month) after reading an RIP post. Then I think I got home and for a split second thought about giving her back to the breeder cause she chewed something lol. She's mine forever!
 

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I keep seeing GSDs all over social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and so many people recently vlogging about "day in the life of a GSD"/"getting a GSD" on YouTube. I can't tell if this is just because I've been searching for GSD content so much that my news feeds just recommend what it thinks I want to see.... or if GSD are actually becoming more popular. I remember goldendoodles used to be super popular at one point - unfortunately, like a fad - but now I wonder if that's changed over to the GSD breed.

Any breeders or other canine professionals have an opinion or observation about this?
Probably just based on your search history. The ads are awful, advertising algorithms and data mining works well.

German shepherds are insanely popular, a lot of them never leave their house though, tons of them are "guard" dogs so the people want them home to protect their property. It's starting to go downhill but almost all of the byb dogs I met had beyond amazing temperaments and made perfect family dogs, there is a big reason why people want them for family pets and that's because most people have known or grown up with them as such. (Some people did breed insanely mean dogs but those weren't common and more just for themselves not to sell.)

Nowadays with less euthing of aggresive dogs and people wanting protective dogs and think fearful dogs are being protective I'm seeing a lot more issues with unstable GSDs in the pet world.
 
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I guess things depend on where you live. I went from backyard bred to strictly well bred due to the horrible nerve issues, fear, and excessive softness / submission that had become expected behavior.
 
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I guess things depend on where you live. I went from backyard bred to strictly well bred due to the horrible nerve issues, fear, and excessive softness / submission that had become expected behavior.
I agree 100%. It’s rare here to find a decent BYB dog. Most of the serious out of control behaviors are mixed breed dogs or poorly bred. I will never get another BYB dog again. That was why I stopped rescuing. In essence, I was supporting the worst breeders. Because the well bred and well trained dogs don’t land in rescue, unless maybe someone dies and has no family or friends to take them. My friend rehomed 13 dogs when a breeder died and not one had to go to rescue.

I think there are there reasons why people don’t see many GSDs when they are so popular. 1. Some areas have tons of them, others have fewer. 2. people with GSDs may be walking them or running and exercising them in less popular areas so they don’t have to deal with other people’s untrained and poorly bred dogs 3. Here most people have mixed breeds. Fewer have bought from breeders of any kind (good or bad) or of any breed. The Adopt don’t Shop crowd. So it seems like there are more other breeds but actually they are no-breed.
 

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the adopt to shop crowd can get down right nasty if you are trying to sell pups. when we had a litter of english bullies that we were trying to get into good homes, we got some seriously nasty messages from that crowd. We also do large breed rescue, and we will get nasty messages from people thinking we are ditching a dog we don't want, but quickly recant when we tell them the true story of the dog in question.
 

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the adopt to shop crowd can get down right nasty if you are trying to sell pups. when we had a litter of english bullies that we were trying to get into good homes, we got some seriously nasty messages from that crowd. We also do large breed rescue, and we will get nasty messages from people thinking we are ditching a dog we don't want, but quickly recant when we tell them the true story of the dog in question.
It’s none of their business what you do with your dogs. If anyone dares to get in my face about it, I explain my position and they can’t even argue with it, because it’s logical and true. Many of those rescue dogs come from puppy mills. i just ask if they support puppy mills, then the rest is easy.
 

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the adopt to shop crowd can get down right nasty if you are trying to sell pups. when we had a litter of english bullies that we were trying to get into good homes, we got some seriously nasty messages from that crowd. We also do large breed rescue, and we will get nasty messages from people thinking we are ditching a dog we don't want, but quickly recant when we tell them the true story of the dog in question.
All dogs come from a breeder. It all depends on what breeders you choose to support.
 

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We have a ton of German Shepherds in my location. Almost every drive around town, I see someone walking one. Maybe because it’s colder? It is interesting to see the breed dynamics of different areas.
 
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