German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning on adding a GSD to my group in a few years (after my old guy goes) and have learned a great deal from this board.

Currently, I have a 12 1/2 year old border collie/ hound mix, an 8 year old aussie, and an 8 month old aussie.

I would like to hear from anyone who has had experiences with GSD's and Australian Shepherds... just what their impressions/ experiences are of both breeds, and what living with both breeds may be like.

Thus far, my aussie experience has been as follows:

I love that my aussies are active and always ready for anything, whether it's a 15 mile hike in the woods, a 2 hour snowshoe trek during a snowstorm, a romp on the beach, a walk through the city, visiting friends, an agility class, and so on and so forth. My 8 month old requires hard exercise daily, at this point, to remain sane. My 8 year old has mellowed over the last year, though he still relishes long hikes and walks, he's fine without, if need be.

I also love that, at the end of a busy day, they morph into 45 pound lap dogs and snuggle with me on the couch. At bedtime, I find myself mooshed between two bob-tailed fluff balls (and a slightly disgruntled borderline collie who wonders why a puppy takes up so much space).

I do like that the aussies have a guardian instinct... but the watchful obedience that I have cultivated in my 8 year old, and am working on cultivating in my 8 month old, doesn't really impress people, as the watchful, obedient dogs happen to be wearing the fluffy, bob-tailed suit mentioned above. Both dogs will alert at the door/ in the yard, but are happy/ social when introduced to people.

My aussies want to be wherever I am, and involved in whatever I am doing, at all times. They love to work, and training them is fun. However, they do have a tendency toward independent thought and a sense of humor that can result in some interesting interpretations of cues if things get too boring/repetitive.

Lastly, I am constantly in awe of my dogs' speed, agility, and intensity. I enjoy watching them speed off, leaving other dogs in the dust, stop on a dime, and fly through the air (my 8 year old jumped over a parked car, once... the puppy seems to be heading the same way). I always feel a little surge of pride when other members of the obedience class marvel at my puppy's focus and intensity at the task at hand.

GSD's, it seems, share many characteristics with aussies, but I'm curious as to the differences. I've gotten the impression from this board that GSD's may be a little less demonstrative (I don't mind a dog that is aloof with strangers, but I do like my dogs to be affectionate with me). It also seems that, as far as training goes, GSD's might be a little less inclined towards independence.

Am I on the right track here? Does it seem like a GSD will fit in with what I want in a dog? I love hearing about other people's experiences:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,237 Posts
Your experience and mine with my Aussies and currently GSDs sounds very much the same.
Jakoda has Aussies, bet she will post here when she sees your thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Hello there. I have an 11.5 year old Aussie and 13 month old GSD. I have also fostered several Aussies over the years. It sounds like you are in love with Aussies (as am I) so I wonder why you want a GSD instead of another Aussie? We have a GSD because we were raising him for the Seeing Eye. We could have raised a lab or a golden but we chose a GSD because we figured that the personality would be the closest to an Aussie and I think we were right. Our GSD is very sweet, atheletic and outgoing, but he does not have as much energy as the Aussies we have had (our current Aussie aside since he is pretty low energy).
We have discovered that the biggest difference between our Aussie and our GSD is how they are perceived by the public. It simply isn't quite as much fun to take our GSD out in public. While most people seem to like our Aussie we find that many people are afraid of our GSD. It is okay, because we know that he is just as friendly (even friendlier) than our Aussie, but i am just so used to the positive response I get for our Aussie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,690 Posts
Delgado adores Aussies, they're one of the few breeds that can keep up with him. He'd play in a pack but if a Aussie walked by he'd immediately beeline to run with it. He actually beat all the Aussies in a dead sprint which shocked me and most of the Aussie owners lol

They're both great breeds and from what I've seen mesh well together :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses!

Rangers Mom, I certainly am in love with aussies, and will always have one. I've never been one to want to limit myself to just one breed, however. Before my current group, I've had a cocker spaniel, and have fostered for an all breed rescue (aussies, hounds, terriers and pitties... never any shepherds, though). I like a little variety:)

I've always admired GSD's. Their intelligence, devotion to their owners, and beauty appeal to me. I'm also drawn to the image they project. Like I mentioned previously, I value the protective instincts of my aussies... but they don't make a great visual deterrent. I'm a single female who lives alone and am frequently out hiking in remote areas. Some of my friends have had scary encounters, and I've gotten the occasional squinky feeling from certain people while out. I'm looking for a dog with some of the same characteristics as aussies, but that would be a more effective visual deterrent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Spndogs81, then a GSD wouldbe perfect for you. Ranger is the friendliest guy, but I am shocked by how many people are afraid of him. I have a 13 year old daughter (she was actually the one raising Ranger for the Seeing Eye) and I ahve already been thinking it might be a good idea for her to raise another GSD for the Seeing Eye when she is on college. It would make me feel much better to have my daughter walking around campus with a GSD :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
I don't have aussies myself but they're a breed I'd like to have with us. My uncle has always had Border Collies and Aussies and my experiences with Aussies and interacting with my GSDs have always been very positive. They keep up well with each other though there are definite differences. I enjoy having aussies in class when I do teach lessons. They're a fun breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
753 Posts
I had an Aussie up until last September along with 2 GSDs. I have also known many Aussies, they are pretty popular in dog sports around here. I have found that Aussies are more exuberant, higher energy and just generally goofier than GSDs. My Aussie was more agile than my GSDs but that's kind of a given considering they are half the size. Overall they got along really well HOWEVER my Aussie (along with every Aussie I've met) was very physical and loved to chase and body slam my boys. Since she was half the size this was a bit of a safety issue for her. I generally felt that the two breeds were a good combination, love the GSD for their loyalty and devotion, the Aussie for comic relief and a constant smile. My Aussie was always happy about everything where as my GSDs are only happy when there is a good reason.

If I wasn't so devastated about her death I would get another Aussie, I do think they are a good combo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,662 Posts
I've always been a fan of Aussies and have cared for a few in addition to now having one in the house (DHs dog technically but she's mine too)! What an awesome dog she's been. Awesome Aussies I say. :)

I was worried about same sex aggression with our Aussie girl, Autumn and Ilda. Autumn is now an adult and (knock on wood) those two are BFFs, two peas in a pod. Flippin' cute, I love my girlies. :wub:

Depending on what line of GSD you get (WL vs ASL vs WGSL) and variations amongst individual dogs what I think what you will find is the guarding/protection drives tend to more intense in the GSD, so there's more then just the visual deterrent. ;)

I'm really happy with our little pack and with the right training and management I think you will have a great pack too. :)

(first pic, Autumn as a puppy napping with big sister. Second pic, Autumn as an adult chillin' with her BFF)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Gwenhwyfair:

Hope I am not out of line but I have a question. What does WL, ASL, and WGSL stand for? I know this has been explained before but I can't remember. Ranger was bred at the Seeing Eye. I am guessing he is some kind of working line (WL?).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,662 Posts
Not out of line at all... :)

WL = working line,
ASL = American Show Line
WGSL = West German Showline (my Ilda is WGSL)

These are the three general subcategories of the modern German Shepherds.

If you have Ranger's pedigree or can link to his Pedigree from the Pedigree Database the folks here can tell you more about his ancestors and what lines they are from. Post it up in the Breeding sub forum for pedigrees.

Gwenhwyfair:

Hope I am not out of line but I have a question. What does WL, ASL, and WGSL stand for? I know this has been explained before but I can't remember. Ranger was bred at the Seeing Eye. I am guessing he is some kind of working line (WL?).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
I do not have a pedigree for Ranger and The Seeing Eye does not register them with anyone but i am positive that he is a full bred GSD. It just doesn't matter to them that they are registered but they are incredibly careful about breeding. They have been breeding for health and temperament for about 70 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,662 Posts
If you love him and he's yours it's all good! I was just answering your question. I personally don't know anything about Seeing Eye's dogs breeding program. Usually though you'll find WLs doing sport or LE/Military work.

Generally speaking it would be my guess if the breeder isn't registering the dogs then they probably are not WL or WGSL, at least close up in the pedigree.

btw- I gotta say most breeders who are really into GSDs have almost encyclopedic knowledge of pedigrees to understand if the mating combinations will stack odds in favor of producing pups to achieve the goals of their breeding program. As such it's odd that Seeing Eye wouldn't want to register to help continue their lines?


I do not have a pedigree for Ranger and The Seeing Eye does not register them with anyone but i am positive that he is a full bred GSD. It just doesn't matter to them that they are registered but they are incredibly careful about breeding. They have been breeding for health and temperament for about 70 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Gwenhwyfair, they keep their own incredible records. Believe me they want healthy smart dogs to guide the blind. Someone on this board (who adopted from the Seeing Eye) explained to me that they just don't care about registering with AKC but they are deinitely pure bred GSDs. I think she told me they were working line. They have a breeding facility on Moorestown NJ. They raise the litters at the facility for 7 weeks then puppy raiser families raise the pups (socialization and basic training) for about a year. Tis year is supervised by the seeing eye. At that time they go back to Moorestown for training to guide the blind. At that time they decide if they are good for breeding. I don't know exactly the whole process but I do know that they are very responsible breeders. They just don't give a hoot about AKC for their purposes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,662 Posts
Hmmm. Well I thought that seeing eye dogs were trending mostly to goldens and labs anyway?

I know a breeder on this board who has dogs that have been placed through service dog orgs but her dogs are registered.

At some point they have to be bringing in new bloodlines because they can't just inbreed on their unregistered dogs forever? Surely they aren't just going to BYBs when they need a new male or female for their program and getting unregistered dogs? Perhaps they go to breeders that breed (and register) for service dogs.

BTW- it's not about the AKC (for serious breeders anyway) being the only proof of a good dog it's about tracking and keeping track of the genetic background of dogs that have better potential of producing puppies that can do a job like service work. I don't know how a breeder looking for certain inherent charcteristics (genetically) could produce reliable results in off spring without keeping track of pedigrees?

I mean it's one thing if it's back yard breeders who are just producing pets but breeders of serious working dogs study and rely on pedigrees for the genetics (not just for status...) :confused:

To be clear I'm not invested in this in any way, I'm just explaining how pedigrees *do* help serious breeeders and that it's not just about some sort of status symbol for breeders to register their dogs. It's a valuable way of tracking what dogs are producing what, their siblings and their progeny as proof of what they produce. It's not the end all be all but it certainly is an important tool.

I just don't understand how seeing eye could do this while scoffing at what is a good tool to help breeding programs.





Gwenhwyfair, they keep their own incredible records. Believe me they want healthy smart dogs to guide the blind. Someone on this board (who adopted from the Seeing Eye) explained to me that they just don't care about registering with AKC but they are deinitely pure bred GSDs. I think she told me they were working line. They have a breeding facility on Moorestown NJ. They raise the litters at the facility for 7 weeks then puppy raiser families raise the pups (socialization and basic training) for about a year. Tis year is supervised by the seeing eye. At that time they go back to Moorestown for training to guide the blind. At that time they decide if they are good for breeding. I don't know exactly the whole process but I do know that they are very responsible breeders. They just don't give a hoot about AKC for their purposes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Okay, now I really feel that I am hikjacking this thread - sorry.

I don't know much about it myself so I looked up what MaggieRoseLee told me about Seeing Eye dogs. So here goes what she wrote in a previous thread:

The standards are VERY high to make it thru the program so many dogs don't pass for many different reasons.

I did have my Elsa Rose from the Seeing Eye and they are GREAT dogs! They have a closed breeding program with their own breeders and a geneticist on staff. So while they DO go to responsible breeders when they have to add a new dog(s) to their program to add some fresh blood occasionally. Generally they use their own dogs so don't bother with the expense and paperwork to register with another organization like the AKC. They absolutely keep track of each and every dog with more health checks/x-rays than most regular breeders could ever afford though . So they'd have a pedigree for each and every dog though don't bother handing it out cause it would be meaningless to anyone except those in the Seeing Eye except for the dogs they take into the program from the outside.

They do NOT breed for anything but health and temperment so the dogs tend to be nice and straight backed, black and tan, and a bit on the smaller side of the standard so it's easier for the person they are guiding to fit dog/hander around in the world. I know right after I got my Elsa Rose they added a few GSD's from Europe that were from the German Showlines and actually (I believe) either Seiger winners or Champs or along those lines.
[/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
Spndogs81, i am so sorry I have hijacked your thread. I can just add that for 20 years I had nothing but Aussies (and one girl from a byb that I strongly suspect was at least part bc) and I have found that the personality of my first GSD is very similar to the Aussies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
i always thought they clashed, the nervous energy of some AS made gsds lose their fuse just from what i saw but not always because these 2 happy aussie males adored my female and vice versa they use to always play ball. But the more nervous snappy ones I see clash with gsd's a lot. I guess it depends. Same goes for BC I see a lot of nasty interactions between the snarky BC and adult gsds. THe gsds just have enough of them and eventually go after them. BUT you get the friendly happy or ultra social bc and they just click. Just from what i have seen though. I find gsds usually go good with very lost dogs that are just not there like english bulldogs, some chows, hound dogs like the short long ones, SPECIALLY english bull dogs LOL actually, the dogs that seem to be in their own world all the time. But most here do not like those dogs lol

my friend here has bred chows for like 20 years he is near brockville off maitland i am not sure how many he has, my female adores male chows for some wierd reason. I never let her meet the females.

The 2 breeds are a bit the same I think a gsd should be a much more serious guard dog and more serious protector also a much stronger dog. LIke when looking for one from a breeder. AS are not bred to be serious protectors and police patrol dogs are they? They still are protective but i would not expect it. But I do expect serious protection skills from a well bred gsd. Show or working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,081 Posts
I think having the opp sex of each breed would be the key. The really nice thing about having one of each is they are both high energy so you can do that together at least lol Or train them to play games with each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,662 Posts
Actually that clarifies a lot (in red) the breeding stock is from registered dogs which is what I mentioned above. Seeing Eye works with breeders internal and external (and I think one of the breeders participates on this board). These breeders use registered breeding stock but the puppies that go into service probably aren't being registered. I can see how this would make sense as the person who is actually utilizing the service dog will not be breeding it.

BTW based on the last statement in red those dogs added were WGSL not WL so they probably were using mostly American bred dogs in the past (not showline though because of the use of the term 'straight back').

Anyhoo sounds like those dogs would be yet another sub-category of GSDs! whew!



Okay, now I really feel that I am hikjacking this thread - sorry.

I don't know much about it myself so I looked up what MaggieRoseLee told me about Seeing Eye dogs. So here goes what she wrote in a previous thread:

The standards are VERY high to make it thru the program so many dogs don't pass for many different reasons.

I did have my Elsa Rose from the Seeing Eye and they are GREAT dogs! They have a closed breeding program with their own breeders and a geneticist on staff. So while they DO go to responsible breeders when they have to add a new dog(s) to their program to add some fresh blood occasionally. Generally they use their own dogs so don't bother with the expense and paperwork to register with another organization like the AKC. They absolutely keep track of each and every dog with more health checks/x-rays than most regular breeders could ever afford though . So they'd have a pedigree for each and every dog though don't bother handing it out cause it would be meaningless to anyone except those in the Seeing Eye except for the dogs they take into the program from the outside.

They do NOT breed for anything but health and temperment so the dogs tend to be nice and straight backed, black and tan, and a bit on the smaller side of the standard so it's easier for the person they are guiding to fit dog/hander around in the world. I know right after I got my Elsa Rose they added a few GSD's from Europe that were from the German Showlines and actually (I believe) either Seiger winners or Champs or along those lines. [/
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top