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Hi all,

in the near future I will relocate from my tiny appartement to a strip of land near the beaches of mexico. I always wanted a dog but due to my living conditions, amount of available time it never seemed like the right thing to do.

The german shepherd has always been a favorite of mine, I like the fact that its an inteligent dog, not everymans friend, protective, all in all I admire and respect the breed.

However I find it hard to figure out if my future conditions will be right for this dog and in addition what specific things I should take into consideration to provide the best care. For this I would like your opinion/feedback on what I expect for the future years to come.

We will be living in a remote area, plenty of space, close to the beach. I would say a wonderfull environment. However it is a warm and dry climate (daytime 77F winter - 95F summer), nights are cool.
In addition we already have 3 cats, are looking to get some chickens. If that isn't enough we also want children in the future (yep it's almost a zoo).

Time is something we have plenty of and a majority of work hours are spend at home, we are both active people so excersize also shouldnt be an issue. The first +/- six months after relocating I will be unemployed so I would have all the time in the world for socializing/training our newest addition.

A last thing to keep in mind is that we expect to be running a small coffeeshop in front of our house. This means plenty of strangers (no crowds) which I consider to be the biggest concern.

Would a german shepherd (after reading this) be a viable option? If not, why? and what specific things should we consider to provide the best home for our shepherd and provide the training so he/she can be comfortable in these surroundings?

We would hate to become the type of owners that have to return a pet because we can not manage it. However if there is anything we can do or provide we will.

Thanks!
Remko
 

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I think it sounds like a great set up for a puppy to start a new life:)

socialize socialize socialize would be my suggestion since you'll be having a business with lots of comings and goings..

other than that, I say go for it,,
 

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Welcome to the site. A GSD would be a great addition to your life. The concern for me would be finding a good breeder with good temperament/health in their puppies. The pup should adjust to life around a coffeeshop just fine and be a great ambassador to the breed.
I'm not sure how many good breeders would be available in Mexico~ or are you going to purchase before you move? I think you'd find some wonderful breeders in Europe, but the quaranteen(if by law), travel may not be so easy.
As long as you safely socialize your puppy and not isolate him from people/evironment, etc you should succeed!
This site is great for developmental stages:
Developmental Stages

Another great must read on temperament:
(Elements of Temperament, by Joy Tiz )
look around the above site, many great articles on the breed.

This one is good,too!
(Raising Puppies, by Wildhaus Kennels )
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback so far and encouraging words :)

I think it sounds like a great set up for a puppy to start a new life:)
Not just for the puppy :D

The concern for me would be finding a good breeder with good temperament/health in their puppies. The pup should adjust to life around a coffeeshop just fine and be a great ambassador to the breed.
I agree, however I see that as a follow up concern. I am able to provide the right enviroment and attention. If so, go look for a good breeder.

How does one determine good temperament/health in their puppies? Some "tests" I can do with the puppy when visiting a breeder? (I see a lot is in the articles, looks very interesting!)

Things that still concern me is the climate and I am a bit worried the dog will start herding the cats and future toddler (read some horror stories). I don't consider it the dogs fault but the owner. In the end it is still a powerfull dog with big teeth, any tips on how to keep things safe? I would never leave it alone in the house with little children. Should it be in a bench when left alone?

It might be a good idea to get a puppy from a breeder in Europe but that will depend on quarantine. Spending time in quarantine that could be spend on socializing, also I think it might be better to socialize it in the environment it will be living in?
 

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Does Mexico have quarantine laws? I don't know, I would not want a pup to be quarantined ever! So you'd be limited to buying one in Mexico. From reading on the PedigreeDataBase good breeders are far and few between there.

Proper training won't have your pup herding the cats and children. The dog will adapt to the environment, so that shouldn't be a concern either. All dogs have teeth, a small breed bites, too! You just have to teach bite inhibition(littermates and mom do this if the pups stay together for the full 8 weeks), and supervise constantly.
A "bench" you mean a crate or kennel? Yes that would be best when unsupervised to get pup use to crate. For the dogs safety.
 

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IMHO if you plan on having babies like you said don't get a GSD or any dog at the moment. My kids are now adults and from my experience when you have babies in the house you need every spare second to yourself. I personally don't think it would be right on you or a dog. A dog is just a dog and a family always has to come first. Your devotion and first priority must be to the baby and this could lead to a jealous dog. I would personally wait and see what the future brings and then decide.
 

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Once you are owed by a GSD you will never consider another dog again. Believe me I was not a dog person till Chewey. Wonderful, protective, family dogs. GOTTA LOVE THOSE GERMAN SHEPHERDS!!
 

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My GSD comes to work with me just about every day. Not a problem, just socialize. He loves meeting new people and is a great dog to have in this enviroment.
 

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IMHO if you plan on having babies like you said don't get a GSD or any dog at the moment. My kids are now adults and from my experience when you have babies in the house you need every spare second to yourself. I personally don't think it would be right on you or a dog. A dog is just a dog and a family always has to come first. Your devotion and first priority must be to the baby and this could lead to a jealous dog. I would personally wait and see what the future brings and then decide.
OTOH, we had a female GSD (BYB too) for about 2 years when we had our son and it worked out great with her becoming his favorite playmate when he was a crawler. And she was super with him even with sharing cookies while he was in a swing in the room.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
IMHO if you plan on having babies like you said don't get a GSD or any dog at the moment. My kids are now adults and from my experience when you have babies in the house you need every spare second to yourself. I personally don't think it would be right on you or a dog. A dog is just a dog and a family always has to come first. Your devotion and first priority must be to the baby and this could lead to a jealous dog. I would personally wait and see what the future brings and then decide.
We are certainly not planning on having both a pup and baby at the same time. To be honest I think the baby plans won't be due till several years from now. For a couple to not get a dog if they ever want children in their future at some point seems a bit too strict. I can however imagine some basic rules will apply like:

1. Don't get a pup if you are considering children within a year.
2. Make sure a newborn doesn't disrupt the basic schedule of playtime, walks etc. you have with your dog.
3. Some additional things to keep in mind, how to introduce dog and newborn, training so dog knows his place with the newborn etc..

Like I also said, time is something we will have plenty of. Good advice on how to handle a mature dog when a newborn comes into place I would greatly appreciate, or would it be an absolute no no?
 

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I'm not saying it wont work, I'm just saying the picture might not turn out as Rosy as everyone is painting it. A baby and a dog require a lot of attention and the last thing the shelters need is another dog because someone under estimated how much time a dog requires.

Ah, Just seen your last post. I was assuming you planned on getting the dog, chickens and kid as soon as you had moved in more or less.
 

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Does Mexico have quarantine laws? I don't know, I would not want a pup to be quarantined ever! So you'd be limited to buying one in Mexico. From reading on the PedigreeDataBase good breeders are far and few between there.

Proper training won't have your pup herding the cats and children. The dog will adapt to the environment, so that shouldn't be a concern either. All dogs have teeth, a small breed bites, too! You just have to teach bite inhibition(littermates and mom do this if the pups stay together for the full 8 weeks), and supervise constantly.
A "bench" you mean a crate or kennel? Yes that would be best when unsupervised to get pup use to crate. For the dogs safety.
Small dogs bite too but a chihuaha bite is easier to manage (still not desired). With a bench I probably mean a crate.

Although we don't like taking the car across the border (especially in some areas) something not too far in the states is something we will have to consider. If anybody knows a good breeder in Mexico or close to the border I am all ears :)
 

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I'm not saying it wont work, I'm just saying the picture might not turn out as Rosy as everyone is painting it. A baby and a dog require a lot of attention and the last thing the shelters need is another dog because someone under estimated how much time a dog requires.

Ah, Just seen your last post. I was assuming you planned on getting the dog, chickens and kid as soon as you had moved in more or less.
Dear god, not everything at once :p The reason I am asking is because I expect it will require special attention and at some point it is will be a real scenario.

Just curious on what to consider in order to make it work, doesn't have to be rosy but knowing what to expect and proper preparation helps in making the right decision (go or no go) and prevents running into the unexpected (and a dog being shipped of to the shelter).
 

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You are off to a very good start! Gather as much information as you can, and then you can make the best decision for you and your family (even the future kiddos!)

I would suggest also that you speak with the GSD rescue groups. You might just find that your dream dog is waiting for you today......
 

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I have not lived a day in my life without dogs, and a lot of them were German Shepherds, they weren't " just dogs" they were more like sibblings, and in fact I cannot remember one day of my childhood, that the dog who lived with us is not an integral part of it, I would never raise children WITHOUT a dog.
 

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I also recommend a puppy. We live in So. Calif and we have had frineds vacation in Mexico w/ their dogs. I would get the puppy after the coffee shop is opened so the coffee shop is part of the routine.
 

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Thanks everybody again for the great responses so far. Another question that has been going through my mind and I havn't been able to find anywhere. What type of owner goes well with a german shepherd? Besides the obvious, plenty of excersize so someone who prefers the couch over a walk doesn't work too well. I am curious to read what type of personality would suit the dog? So would an owner have to have a dominant nature, be very strict, quiet type/extrovert etc..

Secondly I think reading a book on the breed would be a great place to start. Any sugestions? I can find tons of books but am having a hard time selecting one. Preferably one that contains the pro and cons as well as the kind of specific care it might need (grooming, excersize, training, diet etc...).
 

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I also recommend a puppy. We live in So. Calif and we have had frineds vacation in Mexico w/ their dogs. I would get the puppy after the coffee shop is opened so the coffee shop is part of the routine.
I expect that our business ventures will be slow paced, so not an instant all in shop. Since I will probably be anxious once I arive and have more time than I know what to do with. Perhaps proper socializing and taking him/her to other shops with plenty of strangers could do just as well?
 

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I don't think that a GSD needs an owner who is extra vigiliant on control...most of them need an owner who is active, but not egotistical and think that the breed is so powerful that they need to be "alpha" constantly. I see newbie posters here often who think they need to constantly control their puppies, then the pups are little rebels-they really just want to please their handlers, not constantly be powered into compliance.
My three are from very different circumstances, rescue, BYB and a great breeder...the temperaments vary accordingly.

I am active enough, practice NILIF and treat all equally according to their personalities. They get along very well.

If you go with a reputable breeder who matches the pup to what you are looking for, and has been breeding long enough for you to evaluate their program you should have no problem with a pup who will give you a lifetime full of unending joy.
If you do end up with a dog with issues, learn how to manage them, and the dog will still give you the same as above.
My fear aggressive, allergy ridden dog has taught me more than I'd ever imagined as far as training and health so she is truely a blessing in my life. If it weren't for her, I may have been lacadasial in my GSD ownership like I was with my border/goldenx that was on the boring side...not that I didn't love her, she was just not exciting enough for me!
 
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