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Discussion Starter #1
I am not sure if this is where this topic belongs, but here goes:

I have been considering adding a GSD to my family this coming fall at the earliest. If possible, I would like inputs as to which line would be best for my situation.

I am a very active person. I spend alot of time out in the country horseback riding and would love a riding companion for my border collie and myself. I also enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, etc. which I like my dogs to be apart of. I also do a lot of jogging to keep in shape for the Army. With all this in mind, I need a dog that can keep up with me.

As for the two lines, I have been leaning more towards the German lines as I am very interested in herding or possibly competing in agility trials and the American bred dogs I have met just do not seem to have the drive I am looking for.

Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Originally Posted By: DakotaSpirit
I also do a lot of jogging to keep in shape for the Army. With all this in mind, I need a dog that can keep up with me.
Good luck in your quest to find your companion GSD. It is always a thrilling adventure, and this is such a wonderful breed.

I would just like to interject here, and share with you that it is not advisable to have a GSD under 12 months to keep up with you in your fitness regime. To avoid the risk of HD, large breed pups should not jog, run, jump, or participate in any 'forced' hard impact activities till they are physically developed.

There is always the choice of adopting a young adult, either from a breeder or a rescue organization.

All the best in your research.
 

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I am not an expert what so ever. I am not even that experienced with GSDs.

My parents had a K-9 working police dog as I grew up but around 10 years old it died of Cancer. That was a german line.

I now have a 6 month old American/German line dog. Breed from american show lines and german show lines with a mix of Sch.

This dog has tons of energy. We go to two different training locations and they both recommend agility with him because he has no fear, very confident, and loves to explore. He has some pre agility basics that he excelled on.

So my opinion is that every dog is different. But I'm sure an experienced person will come in and tell you more then I can on the lines.
I told my breeder I wanted a companion dog for my family, not for Sch or agility. She recommended her amer/germ litter rather than her german litter.
 

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I also would suggest an older pup - 18 mo or more - as it is just too tempting to overtax a pup who does not understand his limitations....I had a Dane many years ago who developed very early arthritis due to stressing her physically too young taking her riding with us daily.

I also would suggest a working line dog for the kind of active lifestyle you describe. Often there are youngsters who just don't have the correct temperament or drives to excel in schutzhund but are still of sound temperament socially who are available very reasonably to companion homes. If you put your physical location in your profile, people will have some idea of who to refer you to.

Lee
 

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With a military lifestyle and the moving around the USA (world?) that may involve, I think you may want to just make sure the personality and temperment of your potential new puppy is key. For some reason there are quite a few fearful and aggressive GSD's being bred out there. When they are adorable puppies you can't see this, but as maturity rears it's head the cute little puppy becomes a huge problem for an active person with a very busy life.

Key for this is locating a 'responsible' breeder with the type of dog you decide on (whatever the breed). They will know their dogs, past litters health and temperment, adult dogs available on scene to look at, and you will be able to call them any time in the future with questions and concerns. Also if you get stationed overseas, you will have a great dog that friends relatives will LOVE to have while you are gone or (at the worst) a responsible breeder will take the dog back.

Here's information that was key for me to weed out the good breeders from the bad, and gave me the knowledge to ask the right questions and be considered by these breeders for one of their precious puppies!

http://www.dogplay.com/Breeding/ethics.html

http://st15.startlogic.com/~justonel/breeder.html

http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/breeder.html

NO PET STORES, no matter what. You aren't 'saving' the puppy in the cage, you are making sure that cage is ALWAYS full of puppies in the future as well as the parent dogs live their lives in puppy mills. Puppy Mill Infor (click here)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate all the input. I know not to overwork young dogs. My border collie has just started accompanying me long distances and he is going on two.

As for going with an older puppy/young adult, I have absolutely no issue with that and will look into it.
 

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Agreed that working german lines would be a good fit for you, and an older rescue would think it died and went to heaven if adopted into your life!

Check out the rescue section or check with rescues in your areas. Many very nice working line GSDs end up being re-homed because often their owners weren't prepared for the amount of exercise these dogs need and are "just too energetic and too playfull" (yeah, GREAT reason to give a puppy away!), but hey, their loss and your gain!
 

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I'd definitely recommend checking out the rescues in your area. You may find a wonderful older puppy or young adult who would fit perfectly with your lifestyle, and as Castlemaid said would "think it died and wen to heaven". Most good rescues do some sort of temperament and health testing on their dogs, so you have a better idea of what you're getting. Whereas with pups from even the best breeding there is quite a bit that remains to be seen in terms of how the pup will turn out as an adult. Pedigree and bloodlines may be unknown on a rescue dog, but since the dog is old enough to be pretty accurately evaluated that's not so much of an issue.

Good luck!

Chris
 

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Many drivey working line dogs end up as rescues because people with more money than time and brains hear that the working lines are better dogs and spend the money to get one and then realize that it's way too much dog for them. I would also focus on females as you are more likely to have issues with dogs of the same sex. That is not to say that you can't make it work, many do, but with all things equal dogs of opposite sex would be the path of least resistance.
 

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Something else to look at is either a breeder that pays attention to structure or a young dog with good structure. Not talking show ring here, but a dog that will be able to hold up to your active lifestyle. While heart and drive can help a dog overcome a lot, bad feet, weak pasterns, straight shoulders, overly long backs, etc can predispose a dog to injury and stress over time. You want a dog that will be able to join you for a long time.

Just something else to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just wanted to add to the Army situation. I am in the National Guard so don't have to move around like other military branches have to. If the occassion arises in which my unit is sent overseas, I already have somebody willing to take care of both of my dogs who have experience with GSD's and have taken care of my BC for me.

Also, looking long distance for a quality dog is not a problem. My BC I actually purchased from a breeder in Kansas and drove all the way there from ND to meet them and some of their dogs (after many questions were asked/answered on both sides and the conclusion was made the dog would be a great fit for my lifestyle). I do not regret the decison at all and would do it again in a heartbeat.

As for rescues, I am all for them and they will be considered in depth also. I worked for a humane society for two years and also have helped out with a border collie rescue (transport) so I understand how great of dogs rescues can make.
 
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