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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you may remember that about 5-6 months ago I had trouble with my boys fighting. After asking this community we heard a lot about how we shouldn't have gotten litter mates, shouldn't be using the laser with them, feeding them too much protein, and a lot of other great information. We couldn't just give up because they where litter mates so we tried what we could. We got one of them neutered (we don't like to neuter our dogs, so we figure do one first and see how that works out), and that tamed things down enough for us to gather what we need to do and start implementing plans.

When they where fighting and before Shadow got neutered, we just separated them 24/7. They could see each other as they where in the same place but they couldn't get to each other, and they each had a place they could hide if they didn't want to be seen by the other. Of course this wasn't a long term solution, so we got Shadow neutered after about a month of that. There was still a lot of tension for the next month, but we slowly got them together, maybe 5 minutes one day, 10 minutes the next, etc. etc. We then started feeling comfortable with them together, so they where together again with no barriers. For the most part there was no issues, we had a couple hiccups but it worked out. This was all with us watching them though, ideally we would always be around, but what if we weren't? I started leaving them outside while keeping an eye on them through the window and they played great.

One of the coolest but not so cool moments was about a month ago Shadow had a seizure. Obviously that's not too cool (still not sure what cause it or if he's genetically prone to it like our lab), but Dargun stood by his side and made sure he was protected. It was pretty cool to see one brother protect another.

Now today we have no doubt in our mind that if we absolutely had to, we could leave the dogs alone for an extended period of time (24 hours, say if someone got injured and it took us out of the house for that long, etc.) that they will be fine. As of today, they are back to being loving brothers, and able to play together :wild:

Shadow is the light one, and Dargun is the dark one.





Now they are almost 2 years old and about 90 lbs. My extended cab pickup just can't handle two GSD's lol, let alone one. Next year I'm buying a car, or maybe selling my current truck and getting a crew cab. We have a '94 Ford aerostar that any more is just the dog transporter lol. Does anyone have a 4 door truck (F-150, 250, 350, Ford, Chevy, or Dodge), or even a Dodge Megacab? Is your dog comfortable in it? Do you think two dog would be comfortable in it? I'd be taking them a max of 20 miles in that, if we're going on vacation we'd put them in the van. The other vehicle I'm looking at is a Ford Focus hatchback, do you think 2 GSD's would fit comfortable in one of those? Again, not for a long road trip, but it'd be nice if they could lol.
 

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Hey, so glad to hear you've found a solution and been able to get through the problem areas with your boys, that's amazing! Also they are very pretty boys. I love Dargun's face!!

As to your car dilema, my husband has a Chevy Silverado 2500 Crew Cab, our last GSD was 100 lbs, and he COULD had fit back there (we took him in it a few times, although he preferred my Ford Escape with the back seats laid down for him, he could lay on his side all sprawled out) He wanted to sit on the seat, but he would always slide around on it, and he refused to sit on the ground. If he sat in the passenger seat he was fine. In the back we ended up having to put boxes between the front and back seats to fill the gap and covering it with a blanket for him, that was how he was comfortable. If you could get one to lay on the floor, and one on the seat, or if they both sat upright in the back seat, they would fit. Or if you put the boxes there, they would both fit. But you'd have to put boxes there, which was a pain. Or if one of them had the backseat and one of them had the front seat they'd fit.

As to a ford focus hatchback, I think the escape is only a little bigger than a focus, and if I put both my seats down, I could easily fit 4 dogs back there, (we only have 1 though haha), so I'm sure in a focus you could fit one. Best way is to go look at them though and put the seats down and see how much room there is in there. However, if you ever were going to drive with people in the front and back seats, you could not fit two dogs in the cargo area.

Hope that helps!
 

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Good to hear a success story with same-sex aggression. I'd caution you about not fully relaxing just yet. They're still young, still growing and developing, and issues can arise again.

If you're going to be getting a new car, consider being able to fit two crates in it. Plenty of people transport dogs without crates, but a good crate will make things safer (for everyone), so if there's any chance you'll go that route in the future, think about it now.

I've recently looked at crew-cab pick up trucks (2015+ RAM 1500, GMC Sierra, Ford F150); all of them will very comfortably fit two GSDs on the rear seats. Possibly even two crates in place of the rear seats, depending on the crate size. The RAM 1500 has a nice slide-out platform (under the rear seats) that provides a completely level surface which would be awesome for a crate.

Most full-size SUVs will also handle two GSDs in the rear seats (but two crates will be very tough/impossible, unless you also take up some cargo area). My '06 ML350 fit my large GSD and a friend's golden (comparable size) in the rear seats without any problems. I now have a 48" crate that sits on two (of the three) folded rear seats, and protrudes into the cargo area. Works well, although I bought a crate that's (in hindsight) too large.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys! No relaxing is done with these guys lol, always expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

I've looked into SUV's, my issue is that what ever vehicle I buy will be my work vehicle. I will be traveling for work so primarily it's the 72 miles from home to the airport which is no big deal, but occasionally we get "local" jobs that have us driving 250 miles for a 1 night job. I love SUV's in the sense they have a ton of space and a bit of ground clearance (I have a lifted truck so I get paranoid about speed bumps in cars lol). My only issue is that they don't get much better MPG than a truck unless I have a lot of money to spend. My grandpa has a 2015 Focus, I'm going up to see him Friday, so I guess I'll see if I think my dogs can fit back there.

We have two wire crates (like the kind people lock their dogs in when they leave the house) we used to use for transporting the dogs, but it's just a hassle. I suppose the hassle of getting a crate secure in the vehicle is worth both the dogs life as well as who ever is in the vehicle. It's a habit I'll have to get into. I imagine once I get my car / suv the crates will always be in there so it won't be a big deal. I doubt I'll get the truck, but upgrading from a '97 F-150 that gets 10 MPG would be nice lol. I suppose I still have 2 months before I have to decide, but I'd rather start doing my research now than going into it blind. You think a car salesman would mind 2 shepherds on a test drive? Lol.
 

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Thanks guys! No relaxing is done with these guys lol, always expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

I've looked into SUV's, my issue is that what ever vehicle I buy will be my work vehicle. I will be traveling for work so primarily it's the 72 miles from home to the airport which is no big deal, but occasionally we get "local" jobs that have us driving 250 miles for a 1 night job. I love SUV's in the sense they have a ton of space and a bit of ground clearance (I have a lifted truck so I get paranoid about speed bumps in cars lol). My only issue is that they don't get much better MPG than a truck unless I have a lot of money to spend. My grandpa has a 2015 Focus, I'm going up to see him Friday, so I guess I'll see if I think my dogs can fit back there.

We have two wire crates (like the kind people lock their dogs in when they leave the house) we used to use for transporting the dogs, but it's just a hassle. I suppose the hassle of getting a crate secure in the vehicle is worth both the dogs life as well as who ever is in the vehicle. It's a habit I'll have to get into. I imagine once I get my car / suv the crates will always be in there so it won't be a big deal. I doubt I'll get the truck, but upgrading from a '97 F-150 that gets 10 MPG would be nice lol. I suppose I still have 2 months before I have to decide, but I'd rather start doing my research now than going into it blind. You think a car salesman would mind 2 shepherds on a test drive? Lol.
My 2014 Ford Escape is a smaller suv, so is roomy and comfortable, but gets good gas mileage as well. I think I get about 25-28 mpg
 

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Thanks guys! No relaxing is done with these guys lol, always expecting the worst and hoping for the best.

I've looked into SUV's, my issue is that what ever vehicle I buy will be my work vehicle. I will be traveling for work so primarily it's the 72 miles from home to the airport which is no big deal, but occasionally we get "local" jobs that have us driving 250 miles for a 1 night job. I love SUV's in the sense they have a ton of space and a bit of ground clearance (I have a lifted truck so I get paranoid about speed bumps in cars lol). My only issue is that they don't get much better MPG than a truck unless I have a lot of money to spend. My grandpa has a 2015 Focus, I'm going up to see him Friday, so I guess I'll see if I think my dogs can fit back there.

We have two wire crates (like the kind people lock their dogs in when they leave the house) we used to use for transporting the dogs, but it's just a hassle. I suppose the hassle of getting a crate secure in the vehicle is worth both the dogs life as well as who ever is in the vehicle. It's a habit I'll have to get into. I imagine once I get my car / suv the crates will always be in there so it won't be a big deal. I doubt I'll get the truck, but upgrading from a '97 F-150 that gets 10 MPG would be nice lol. I suppose I still have 2 months before I have to decide, but I'd rather start doing my research now than going into it blind. You think a car salesman would mind 2 shepherds on a test drive? Lol.
How about an older Toyota 4Runner? Reasonably cheap, generally bulletproof, should get decent mileage and will definitely fit two GSDs. Tons of aftermarket support if you want to lift or do other mods.

I wouldn't even try fitting two GSDs into a Focus or Escape. Heck, I wouldn't try fitting one GSD in there.

A wire crate can do more harm than good in a car, so I'd avoid those. I spoke w/ Gunner Kennels a few days ago and they told me that several new sizes will be getting released sometime this year. They couldn't go into more specifics than that, but I'm guessing (hoping) there will be an XL model coming - if you hold out for that, it would be a great option.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd love a 4runner, Escape, or Expedition, but they are reasonably out of my price range. I'm looking for something 2010+ with 75k or less miles on a clean title. As of right now I'll have 10k cash, but one of my reasons for buying a new car is to establish credit, so I want to buy a 10k car and finance 5k of it. With that being said, if I find the right deal, I might find a 13-14k car, put 8k down, and finance the rest. Anyone own a Jeep / Dodge product? I've heard some pretty nasty reviews on these newer ones, but it's hard to tell by a review if it's an actual issue or just a fluke thing. One thing that keeps popping up is bad transmissions though.

My problem with crates that aren't wire crates is I can't find a big enough one that won't break the bank. I'm an apprentice carpenter, I probably should just make my own out of wood and put carpet on it like the do with the speaker box things lol.
 

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I'd love a 4runner, Escape, or Expedition, but they are reasonably out of my price range. I'm looking for something 2010+ with 75k or less miles on a clean title. As of right now I'll have 10k cash, but one of my reasons for buying a new car is to establish credit, so I want to buy a 10k car and finance 5k of it. With that being said, if I find the right deal, I might find a 13-14k car, put 8k down, and finance the rest. Anyone own a Jeep / Dodge product? I've heard some pretty nasty reviews on these newer ones, but it's hard to tell by a review if it's an actual issue or just a fluke thing. One thing that keeps popping up is bad transmissions though.

My problem with crates that aren't wire crates is I can't find a big enough one that won't break the bank. I'm an apprentice carpenter, I probably should just make my own out of wood and put carpet on it like the do with the speaker box things lol.
How big are your boys? We got a 36" hard plastic crate off amazon for $70.
 

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I'd love a 4runner, Escape, or Expedition, but they are reasonably out of my price range. I'm looking for something 2010+ with 75k or less miles on a clean title. As of right now I'll have 10k cash, but one of my reasons for buying a new car is to establish credit, so I want to buy a 10k car and finance 5k of it. With that being said, if I find the right deal, I might find a 13-14k car, put 8k down, and finance the rest. Anyone own a Jeep / Dodge product? I've heard some pretty nasty reviews on these newer ones, but it's hard to tell by a review if it's an actual issue or just a fluke thing. One thing that keeps popping up is bad transmissions though.

My problem with crates that aren't wire crates is I can't find a big enough one that won't break the bank. I'm an apprentice carpenter, I probably should just make my own out of wood and put carpet on it like the do with the speaker box things lol.
If the 2010+ requirement is to minimize running costs, I'd do some research into the annual running costs of a 2005-2010 4runner vs. a 2010-2012 Escape/Expedition/etc. I've a feeling the 4runner will actually be cheaper. They are very reliable cars. I'm actually hoping to get into a newer 4runner within the next couple years myself.

I've heard many horror stories about Jeeps and Dodges from people who have owned them. From what I've seen, it looks like the Dodge -> RAM transition (for trucks) has improved quality control some, but not drastically, and those trucks will be above your price range.

I know that air suspension is a big problem on the Grand Cherokees that come with it, and the same system is problematic on 2014+ RAMs (that have the option). Apparently fluids freeze up and the system stops functioning in cold climates. I've read about many engine issues on Jeeps. And how about when hackers were able to remotely shut down modern Jeeps? Yiiikes.

A wooden crate is also not ideal. Even if you avoid any metal hardware (that can come loose and become an impaling object in an accident), the wood itself can splinter and turn into a knife. The more research I do into crates, the more I like GunnerKennel's heavy-duty plastic option. Pricy, though.
 

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Hi, a Ford focus hatchback will fit two GSDs. It is a bit tight but we have had to do it and it worked while the puppy-hauler was being worked on.
 

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I have a dodge ram 4 door. It held 2 full size shepherds no problem. Just yesterday it held a full size shepherd, a pit mix and a lab along with my husband in the back seat.
 

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Buy a newer truck with a truck cap. Put the crates in back, secure and go. If its cold, you can add a heater. If it's hot, it wouldn't take much to install a swamp cooler
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The 2010+ is just because I know I can get a warranty plan for a 5 year old vehicle pretty easy (not that they are worth a crap when things do go wrong), but it's more of a reliability deal for me. I know, a 1980 you name it can be reliable, and a brand new car can be a hunk of junk, but the newer vehicles are more likely to be more reliable and the older vehicle have more rot and such. I would rather be working on an 80's vehicle than putting a new vehicle in a shop, but it's a double edge sword and when your job is on the line and you have to run 250+ miles, the newer vehicle may just give you that psychological false positive of a reliable vehicle.

As far as a truck, I'd be selling my truck, and adding that to the 10k I'd have. I'd be comfortable spending about 20k, I could get a decent base model truck for that, nothing fancy though.

As far as a crate, I think the wood would be safe if I carpeted it, but I just had another thought. The big problem in high school was everyone liked the wood shop and metal shop classes, but no one wanted to pay for materials for project so they pretty much got kicked out of the class. I know I could have someone weld me up a nice metal cage, that would seem pretty safe, right? What I'd be doing with it is taking out the seats and bolting it to the rails the seats where on, I'd do the same thing with the wood crate. I personally don't like putting dogs in the bed mainly because you can't see what's going on back there. Although it would give them more space, I'd have to put carpet or something down so they don't slide around in the back and get beat up. I'm not too worried about a wood box splintering and having objects coming at me, I have a tool box on me at all times, usually open, full of hammers, nails, screws, drill bits, pry bars, sockets, etc. It might be one less projectile flying through the air, but there are a lot more in place of it lol.
 

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$20k definitely opens up more options. A friend of mine bought a 2010 RAM 1500 a couple years ago for about that (in CAD, so less in USD). Fairly base-level model, but tons of room in it. I'm sure you can find something better today.

Bolting down the crates to the seat mounts is a good idea. A fella in an older thread had the same approach.
 

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The 2010+ is just because I know I can get a warranty plan for a 5 year old vehicle pretty easy (not that they are worth a crap when things do go wrong), but it's more of a reliability deal for me. I know, a 1980 you name it can be reliable, and a brand new car can be a hunk of junk, but the newer vehicles are more likely to be more reliable and the older vehicle have more rot and such. I would rather be working on an 80's vehicle than putting a new vehicle in a shop, but it's a double edge sword and when your job is on the line and you have to run 250+ miles, the newer vehicle may just give you that psychological false positive of a reliable vehicle.

As far as a truck, I'd be selling my truck, and adding that to the 10k I'd have. I'd be comfortable spending about 20k, I could get a decent base model truck for that, nothing fancy though.

As far as a crate, I think the wood would be safe if I carpeted it, but I just had another thought. The big problem in high school was everyone liked the wood shop and metal shop classes, but no one wanted to pay for materials for project so they pretty much got kicked out of the class. I know I could have someone weld me up a nice metal cage, that would seem pretty safe, right? What I'd be doing with it is taking out the seats and bolting it to the rails the seats where on, I'd do the same thing with the wood crate. I personally don't like putting dogs in the bed mainly because you can't see what's going on back there. Although it would give them more space, I'd have to put carpet or something down so they don't slide around in the back and get beat up. I'm not too worried about a wood box splintering and having objects coming at me, I have a tool box on me at all times, usually open, full of hammers, nails, screws, drill bits, pry bars, sockets, etc. It might be one less projectile flying through the air, but there are a lot more in place of it lol.
You can build a box for the bed and bolt it down.
 

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*****I mistakenly talked about Fusions instead of Focus! Oops! Every time I mention a Focus on this post, I actually meant a Fusion. Jeeze, I don't even think they make a hatchback Fusion, do they (though a Mazda 6 is the same platform, if I recall correctly, which can be a hatchback)? Okay, this proves I should go to sleep now...can't even remember what vehicles I own. Tsk. Darn you Ford and trying to make all your vehicles start with an 'F.' Welp, Ford did blunder with their "Ford Forgettable" line up by naming so many things with an 'F.'*****


I've never put my mother's oversized lab (larger than even the gsd's standard allows...) into my sedan Focus, but I'd imagine he could fit into a hatchback one, with the seats folded down, pretty well. Idk if two would be a great fit..you would definitely need the seats down. My pointer mix fits in the sedan's back fine, with the seats up.
I always prefer to take my snow conquering Mountaineer, though, if I'm taking my dog somewhere or taking my mother's to the vet. I keep the single seat up and fold down the middle+passenger down. Gives them space to lay down comfortably & can easily look through a bunch of windows. The lab usually goes into a comfortable sit and looks at the cars behind us.

If you're going 2 crates inside, you definitely have to cross out the cars and CUVs. I feel like I could fit two crates into the Mountaineer and still have some cargo space. An Expedition and you wouldn't have to worry about that. An Expedition is, essentially, an F-150 fixed into an SUV. Although, you do lose that nifty bed of an F-150...but if you don't ever really need a bed for your day to day, it shouldn't be much of a factor (if you're considering a Focus, I'm guessing it isn't needed). Plus, you can always rent a trailer from U-Haul for $20 and that fixes the rare actually need of a truck's bed.

My sister in law has a Jeep Patriot..a 2014? Puts around 100 miles/day on it going to&from work. Hasn't had any issues with the transmission yet. It's not the largest, but not too too small. I feel two gsds would be fine with the seats down, but I wouldn't try sticking crates in there. I wouldn't stick two crates in many of the newer Jeeps...they all just seem small. Maybe the Commander has some good space inside? Haven't been inside one of those. If I recall, the first couple years of the current Grand Cherokee had pitiful cargo space. I think they've gained some more, but the price of a 2015+ GC isn't actually cheap. But yea, historically Jeep/Dodge/Chrysler has been known to have transmission issues. But like any brand and model...some people will experience things, while others won't. I'm glad my Ninja never had the breaking issues that there was a recall for, ha.

I think the Mazda CX-9 may actually have a lot of space for a CUV, now that I think about those. Dont know much about them, but just throwing that thought out there.

Don't be so set on gutting back seats...a lot of vehicles have inside loading hooks and such. You could secure your crates with those. If only some in the back, you could run something from the base of the crates' fronts over the folded down seats and anchor it down to under the seats.

But like most car shopping...budget, confidence in reliability, and what vehicles are actually available/for sale when you're ready to buy are always major factors when it comes to it.
Remember to consider the year of each different vehicle you look at. A 2010 may be a different vehicle from the 2011 model. If the 2011 and onwards is out of price range for a particular model, that means you'll likely be just as good with the 2008 as the the 2010 (assuming those are still the same generation). And I'd take a 2008 with 50k miles over a 2010 with 150k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I definitely like the Ford Fusion, they look a lot nicer in my opinion. They are a tad bit more expensive though.

Being a carpenter, I always use my bed in my truck. If I get the car, I keep my truck, but if I get a different truck I'd have to sell my current truck.

As far as the year of the vehicle, you're right, as long as it's still the same style as the 2010, it's almost the same vehicle (they do some tinkering in between years), I just didn't want to say X year+ on this one and X year+ on that one lol, 2010+ makes it easier. I do know that I don't want a first model year vehicle. It seams like the first build are always the ones that have all the issues.

The more I'm looking, I think an SUV is more suitable for me. The only car experience I have is my brothers 2013 Mustang, every time I get in it I feel like I have to do a trust fall into it lol. I like to jump in, or slide into my vehicles.

The reason I'd be gutting the back seats is just for more space, and another spot to tie down on.

I looked at the Ford Edge on Craigslist, I can get a decent year with a fair amount of miles in my price range, my only issue with them as far as looks go is I can't find one without the sun roof (I just don't like them, another pace for water to leak lol). I'm sure my dogs would love one though.
 
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