German Shepherds Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm 28 years old. I grew up with shelties and my parents currently have 2 mini australian shepherds, which I love. I'm moving out on my own for the first time and want to get a dog.



I'm considering an mini aussie, gsd, or siberian husky.



The thing I'm worried about is going for walks, and just people overall approaching the gsd. Is it easy to make them friendly towards other people? I'm sure this is a training thing, but I always think of gsd of very protective of their owner (which i love)


Let me know, thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,739 Posts
GSDs are not friendly toward strangers, nor are they supposed to be.
They are supposed to be aloof and to ignore strangers. Unfortunately, many GSDs have weak nerves and will be reactive toward strangers and other dogs, and training this out of them might not be possible, because temperament is genetic. You have to do diligent research and find a good breeder who has sound, clear-headed dogs.
They also require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They aren’t a couch potato dog who will be happy to hang out with you as you watch tv.. that is, until they are seniors :grin2:

A mini Aussie is a breed you’re used to and you know what to expect. I know nothing about them. What I know about Huskies is that they are super difficult to train and that they are runners.
GSDs require about a year and a half of constant training. Do not expect them to be lovey dovey with people they don’t know... and you know what? People don’t approach them, usually, unless they have owned a Shepherd.
If you are truly considering a GSD please read this forum, as there is a wealth of information on what to expect if you get one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
233 Posts
I've had 5 Siberians and a wof-Sib in my life, for sledding (and did Obedience with Lacey). Wonderful dogs that just want to pull and pull and run and pull. If you want that, they are awesome. But if they get away, they are gonzo. If you want a running partner, they are great dogs, but if you want a leisurely stroll, maybe not so much. They can be very destructive if bored. My hardest working dog was my little female Lacey, she pulled the sled harder than any other dog. They are great for ski-joring...
I'll add, a Husky is sort of like a Chow--it really doesn't care a whole lot if it pleases you or not, generally. (Not all, Lacey and Leica and 3 legged Nick rocked)

But a German Shepherd usually does want to please, making them more tractable as a rule.

I'll never have another Sib, too old for that now, and I'll never be without a German Shepherd or two, if that helps at all.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,255 Posts
I’ve never owned a pure bred Husky, I have a GSD/Husky mix though. Everything said above is true of my boy. Natural escape artist, and disappears in seconds. We rarely are able to find him, even split up into two vehicles. It’s normally a neighbor calling us from his tags. He’s about 2 1/2 now, and FINALLY settling down. We recently had him altered, but because DH is a guy, and you know, balls, he opted to spend more for what is technically a vasectomy for humans so he could keep hormone levels and his balls. Sigh.

Not only will he escape given a very narrow opportunity, he also jumps anything. 5ft fence from a sitting position? No problem. He can clear my DH’s head during agility, and he’s 6ft. In the summer months we cannot exercise him enough due to heat, and he gets very destructive. He had to be under constant supervision to this day. And the pulling, oh lord, the pulling. We made an urban sled for him to pull my son on, but now that my son is in college, we just fill it with weights and let him pull it that way. We are too old and broken to have him pull us on it. He is stubborn with training if there is nothing in it for him. I often get the “you want me to sit just to get a bowl of food? How about you sit and hold the bowl and I’ll eat it” look from him every meal time, even though he knows the bowl doesn’t touch the floor until his butt does. Think of it as a large breed dog with a cats attitude, but on crack.

He is incredibly loving, of both known and unknown people. Overly so. For some people, they love this. I don’t love humans so much, so it’s a nightmare for me. My DH and kids love him, I tolerate him.

I love the aloofness of GSD’s. I don’t want a stranger stopping me asking to pet my dogs. But I also want them to tolerate people that are in their proximity, and we have that. I don’t allow anyone to approach my dogs. Probably because like above, I don’t have much love for humans. So for me, a GSD matches my needs more. They are highly energetic and willing and eager to learn. They want to work with me, they crave it. They are also Velcro dogs that want to always be near you. I can’t open a bathroom door without at least 3 of them laying on the floor waiting for me to finish. They do have aggression, it’s meant to be there, but you have to be a firm handler, and give them the means to release that aggression in a positive way.

I’ve met one mini Aussie, and fell instantly in love. The most well behaved dog I’ve ever seen. Then I learned he had an accident at 3, and was affected mentally, he was apparently the exact opposite before the accident, so I can’t give any opinions on this breed, but like others said, if this breed is one you’re familiar with, I would stick with this breed for my first solo dog ownership, and down the line (years) when you have more available downtime to give a working breed the time they need, look into it then. JMO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,744 Posts
As a dog walker, I worked with Siberian huskies, German shepherds, and mini American shepherds (which are what “mini Australian shepherds” actually are). To be honest, I hated the huskies I worked with. I think they are absolutely gorgeous dogs, and I would NEVER want to own one. The two I worked with every other day were nightmares. They barked all the time, were dog reactive and aggressive, were destructive, pulled like freight trains and had to be on prong collars to be controllable, and could not have cared less about the person holding onto the leash. Their owner took them to training every weekend, and the dogs were still not what I would call obedient. To be fair, the dogs absolutely did not get enough exercise, and I have no idea if the trainer the owners worked with was any good, but still. I always say that you should never even consider owning a husky when in an apartment. It’s just not fair, not matter how much time you have to take them for walks and play with them. They need a yard to run.

The German shepherds I worked with were aloof at first, but quickly warmed up to me, then wanted my approval all the time. They wanted to please me. They aren’t dogs that love strangers, and that’s what I prefer. I have a golden retriever, and I do not enjoy how much she loves people, hence why I got a shepherd for my second dog. The GSDs needed exercise and time off leash, but they were much more biddable and handler oriented than the huskies.

The mini American shepherds I knew were vocal and not the strongest nerved dogs. They were a bit skittish and had loads of energy, but they were nicely behaved, well trained dogs. You do have to exercise them a lot too, or they will get fat and nuisance bark. I don’t need to go into much detail about my experience since you already know about them!

Anyway, that’s just what I observed and learned from working with the various breeds, and I admittedly didn’t work with huge numbers. Just a couple per breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
GSDs require a lot of exercise, stimulation and attention. You can't just leave them alone all day. If you are taking on a new job where you are going and are going to be gone a lot during the day it may be an issue. You might want to consider finding a GSD rescue that has an older GSD they have assessed for temperment. You may get lucky and find one that 's a little older and well socialized.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,588 Posts
It's not a training thing. It's a genetic thing.

They aren't supposed to be unfriendly towards strangers. Just aloof. You should be able to go anywhere with your dog and not have an issue if it's well bred and stable.

It really depends on the lines. Seger is more aloof. He doesn't like people in my space but only react in situations where he's off leash and someone approaches. If he has a toy he will bring it to most anyone to play tug. Faren has yet to meet a stranger and would trade me in for a nugget of food. She may change as she matures but as of right now.

Some are more genetically obedient and want to please. Other lines are more in it for themselves. Seger very much wants to be correct and please. he will work just to be with me. Faren, while she wants to be correct, is more about the food.

I also feel some of this is a male/female difference along with the lines.

so it really depends on what you are looking for. Are you looking for a dog that will interact with everyone freely? Or just one that you can enjoy and take wherever you go without a problem?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,029 Posts
I have a purebred Shepherd now, but I grew up with two Huskies. I will NEVER own another Husky. They are beautiful dogs, but aren’t compatible with my life style.

They dig, they run, they escape, they howl, they kill small animals, they are difficult to train, and they lack loyalty/protectiveness. The German Shepherd has the looks I like, similar to a Husky, but with the behavior I like. They are loyal, Velcro dogs who aren’t looking to run from you at every opportunity. They can be taught to co-exist with other animals. They are ridiculously easy to train and want to please you. A Husky wants to please itself.

It depends on what you’re looking for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,597 Posts
Dogs are primarily their genetics which can be enhanced or suppressed with raising and training. Carefully read and understand the written breed standards, especially the sections on temperament which outlines the expected genetic behavior of individual breeds. Find a breed whose behavioral traits are what you like and what suits your lifestyle and what you want to do with the dog. Once you have settled on breed, then you need to find a reputable breeder that breeds to meet the standard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,269 Posts
After growing up with a lot of trainable herding breeds, the style of a husky may be a bit of a shock for you! You may be shocked when you whistle and your dog ignores you and keeps running. :) It might be easier to stick within the herding realm?

If friendliness with strangers is important to you, then I'd specifically look for that temperament of GSD through their breeder, or find a rescue that's already been labelled a "social butterfly". Hmm, and actually, some of the friendliest sweetest dogs I've known have been collie/GSD mixes! Something about that collie DNA seems to nix the protective edge of the GSD...

My shepherd/husky mix (unlike jcrest's!) seems more shepherdy... aloof to strangers, responds obediently when called, is a "One Person" velcro dog, and seems to practically teach himself by observing my tone of voice and face. He does not welcome strangers touching him, and will warn them off with a growl - but if people leave him alone, he will walk silently by within inches of their leg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,843 Posts
With GSDs it definitely depends on the lines. It's a discussion with a breeder, and a good breeder is something you are going to want to research. There is a section here called Finding A Breeder. It's a good section to start asking. Im sure whatever breed you choose, there will be a forum like this one, or a local club where you can get good suggestions.

If you want a dog that is likely to be happy with an outpouring of attention from strangers at the park, I wouldn't go GSD. In fact ..I wouldn't go into getting any dog and expect that. That is a modern social construct by humans who wear "I want to pet your dog!!" hats.. plenty of dogs regardless of breed would not be comfy with that. Dogs are pack animals, period. Even if it is a pack of 2. There are breeds where that kind of open social friendliness is "more likely". GSD is not one them. Nor is a Husky. I don't know much about Aussies.

I think the biggest factor here is that you are moving out on your own for the first time. Are you renting? If you are consider the lack of permanency of the situation and that you may move a few times before buying. You will have a much easier time finding rentals with a smaller breed than a GSD or Husky. Just food for thought!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,196 Posts
German shepherds in general are not social dogs with strange people or dog. Dependent on the lines within line. It can range to pups are all different some are less social then others. My dogs As puppies were friendly and welcoming. Late teens Max become less welcoming and when i began to see changes and seeing strangers as not all friends. As adults max more watchful ,aloof not caring for pats from strangers he will want to smell them and check them out he is very obtrusive and nose and will often lie down if I am talking to someone for awhile.My female is more open to lavishes attention of strangers. If I happen to be good friends with one of these strangers - strangers to only the dogs they do follow my lead and become more welcoming and less reserved. The dogs are very welcoming to family and friends they know and still can be aloof at the same time. My male will turn 5 and had family over for a party he often is a way to generous greeter - I noticed he was more into his ball happy to be out with the family but a lot less in the middle of everything and completely ignored a table full of food. Some are late bloomers. It made me want to check his temp lol. . Layed in the grass watching happily and oh so content. We did a pack walk with the dogs and they were happy as clams. My nephew sneezed and got a big kiss from Max. My dogs do love my close family and friends. My friend has a lab she looks for people to greet. You can see it her face - did I say hi to that person yet? A lab is a great dog if you want a dog that is open to strangers and looks for affection and attention from them.
me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
I have an 11-month old GSD, my first one. I can tell you this: The first several months, he bit the HECK out of us. We call them "landsharks." I'm guessing a lot of GSDs get dropped in the shelter during this time. That tapered off (although he still sometimes grabs my forearm lightly), but even though I've invested tremendous time and money training him (4 sets of expensive classes, and training him daily for the first 8 months or so), it's still very challenging. Many people have told me Jupiter is a "nice" dog, especially compared to their nervy, snappy, barky GSDs, but there is still an edge to him that I just didn't anticipate. Unlike any other dog I've owned, I feel I have to watch Jupiter carefully and always be in control of him. He's just so powerful, and sometimes other dogs take a dislike to him. Whenever dogs run up to us, it's very stressful, because I just never know if there's going to be an "incident." It's also kind of scary because even with a prong collar, I'd be very hard to stop Jupiter from doing what he wants. He's just so strong! (and I'm a reasonably healthy man)

He has his own mind and is a bit too smart for his own good. He loves me, I think, but that doesn't mean he'll do what I say.

Jupiter is also very barky at home, barking at practically anyone yelling in our house or calling to each other. He barks if someone opens my door. He barks when I reach for the toilet paper (yes, he follows me to the bathroom). It's become very tiresome.

He's my buddy and there is a special bond there, but I'm starting to think I'd probably choose a different breed if I had to do it over. It's just so much work and there's a level of stress there that I really don't think I need. Of course, I'm committed and hopefully things will get better, but I have to say our Goldens and corgi were sooooo much easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
I have a purebred Shepherd now, but I grew up with two Huskies. I will NEVER own another Husky. They are beautiful dogs, but aren’t compatible with my life style.

...(GSDs) aren’t looking to run from you at every opportunity.
Oh, yes, I forgot about that. Growing up, we always had to be careful opening the front door, because our Husky would slither out and she'd be a White Bolt Across the Street. We'd run after her, calling, but she'd just run away. Eventually my dad would have to go driving around and find her. I guess she'd get tired or bored eventually, and he'd drive her home and tell us to watch the front door.

I sort of thought that's how dogs were and thought it was this amazing trick when I saw a dog who actually _wanted to stay with his owner_.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,123 Posts
My first dog of my own growing up was a sheltie, a lovely dog, very easy to own and train. I love australian shepherds also (have never met a mini one, however). I almost chose an aussie for our last dog, but decided to stick with GSDs since they are what I know. I dreamed of owning a Siberian husky or malamute as a child and young adult. However, when I finally had the chance to own one, I did some research, and realized that although I love their looks, they weren't the kind of dog I was looking for.

GSDs are supposed to be aloof. However friendliness can vary between individuals. I don't think you can necessarily expect a GSD to be "friendly" toward strangers. I do think that you can expect a well bred and properly trained GSD to be non-aggressive and polite toward non-threatening strangers.

What exactly do you mean by friendly? What do you intend to do with your dog? What kind of housing arrangements do you have? If you are renting, you'll have fewer problems finding housing with a smaller breed most likely.

If you are still considering a GSD, I'd recommend researching the breed, the different lines (show vs working), and getting a dog/puppy from a responsible breeder or rescue.

GSDs need structure, boundaries, training, and excerise.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top