German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've heard mixed things while searching online and eventually found this forum.

I have not had a dog in over 20 years..and back then I just had a mixed breed dog that ended up on our front lawn.

Anyway..i'm a single mom and my daughter just turned 17..she has been asking for a dog for a few years now and I think I am finally ready to get one. I'm a distance runner (100+ miles a week) and would like to take a dog out with me on a few runs. I live in Seattle and the weather is always nice for running..even the light rain is appreciated.

My daughter has this fascination with German Shepherds and really wants one. We live in a house with a fenced in yard but my only concern is temperment. A few people have told me they are unpredictable. I just would hate to get a dog that could end up hurting me or one of my daughters friends who come over, etc...

Anyway.. I have lots of questions I suppose but I would really just like a friendly dog with a good temperment that can join me on a run or two during the week.

The other breed we have been considering is a goldendoodle. I didn't even know what a goldendoodle was until I looked them up online. A classmate of my daughters has one and they are trying to find him a new home. He seems like a good fit too so we're just trying to make a decision. I think they look silly but I know looks aren't everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
I would say absolutely. However while a GSD is developing from 8 weeks to roughly 12 months you wouldn't want to take them on super long distance runs. Mainly because (and someone please correct me if I am wrong) they are growing and long distance running can cause problems with hips and elbows during growth spurts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
I would say absolutely. However while a GSD is developing from 8 weeks to roughly 12 months you wouldn't want to take them on super long distance runs. Mainly because (and someone please correct me if I am wrong) they are growing and long distance running can cause problems with hips and elbows during growth spurts.
I would even go as far as saying no forced exercise at all before 18 months of age. Only free exercise - where the puppy / dog is allowed to rest whenever he'd like is ok. You really want those plates to seal completely before starting him on a running program. After that, they can run for miles and miles as long as you build their endurance and don't do it in like 100 degree weather. So yes, they make wonderful running companions
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
A goldendoodle is basically a hypoallergenic golden retriever. They love to run and exercise and would do well as a running partner. They are sort of insane and require obedience training to rope them in.

Do you know why the family is trying to rehome the dog? If you are interested in adopting this dog I would discuss a trial period such as a 72 hour sleep over and see if he would fit into your family ok.

GSD's make fantastic family pets but they do require physical and mental exercise. So running with your dog is all fine and good but you still need to supply the pup with mental stimulation such as a form of obedience training. This goes for any dog IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
I am not a runner, but I can totally tell you that GSDs make the best pets as to loyalty. Mine is now 3 1/2 yrs old and he is a bundle of joy. He lives indoors with us and yes, he is our baby, he has never been taught agression therefore he is all lovable. He only hates cats. He loves people. They do love to run as long as it's not too hot. They are the best breed. That's all I can say....hope that helps!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,828 Posts
First of all, goldendoodles are not a breed and as such you have no way of knowing what they are like other than they are a mixed breed dog. If you meet your friend's dog and like it, then by all means take it.

GSDs are not unpredictable. Only people that don't train them and don't pay attention to what their dog is telling them will say they are unpredictable. That said, there are a lot of weak nerved, fearful dogs with very poor structure out there. You can read thread after thread on this forum to get an idea of how bad the situation is out there of poor quality pups with even worse upbringing. To get a good one you would need to go to a reputable breeder or get an adult that you can tell what it's like before you get it and then it's up to you to keep him that way.

GSDs can make great pets with the right training, socialization, and exercise. My own dog is a great example of one that is stable, friendly, and would love to run with you every day - I'm sure you would run faster and farther than I can which would make my dog's day. If you don't have the time to train and socialize your dog, you might want to think of a milder breed of dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,725 Posts
You are a serious runner. You will want to get a GSD that is lightweight, maybe a female. 100 miles a week is a lot. I do 30 miles a week and that's plenty for my male GSD. I'm not entirely sure that 100 miles a week is good for this breed. But I'm no expert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,084 Posts
I've heard mixed things while searching online and eventually found this forum.

I have not had a dog in over 20 years..and back then I just had a mixed breed dog that ended up on our front lawn.

Anyway..i'm a single mom and my daughter just turned 17..she has been asking for a dog for a few years now and I think I am finally ready to get one. I'm a distance runner (100+ miles a week) and would like to take a dog out with me on a few runs. I live in Seattle and the weather is always nice for running..even the light rain is appreciated.

My daughter has this fascination with German Shepherds and really wants one. We live in a house with a fenced in yard but my only concern is temperment. A few people have told me they are unpredictable. I just would hate to get a dog that could end up hurting me or one of my daughters friends who come over, etc...

Anyway.. I have lots of questions I suppose but I would really just like a friendly dog with a good temperment that can join me on a run or two during the week.

The other breed we have been considering is a goldendoodle. I didn't even know what a goldendoodle was until I looked them up online. A classmate of my daughters has one and they are trying to find him a new home. He seems like a good fit too so we're just trying to make a decision. I think they look silly but I know looks aren't everything.
dogs, and more specifically gsd's all vary in temperment... its all about socialization too. so if you have a very socialized dog, and it is trained, then you should have no problems with your pup hurting another.
yes they are AMAZING running partners. they have the drive to keep going. just make sure you work them up just like you did when you first started running (after they are adult, because of hips and joints)
if you just "jump" into it, they get sore just like us, and their pads can develop painful blisters (but so will any breed)
they can be your best friend/running partner, just don't get them into it too quickly, but im sure it will workout for you :D
good luck with your decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the information! We are willing to do whatever is needed to make sure the dog or puppy is raised properly. I know next to nothing about dog training, but would be happy to take classes or take him to a trainer on a regular basis.

The Goldendoodle situation.. the family just had a newborn and says he is too hyper for such a young baby. They have currently been leaving him outside and feel badly about it. My daughter has been around the dog since he was a puppy and no signs of aggression or things like that. He just has more energy than the family can handle. He's 8 months old and I don't think they have done training or anything like that for him either. They are getting him fixed this week and plan to see if it calms him down at all.

In a perfect world I would love to find an adult shepherd needing a home. I have been looking into local rescue groups or even semi-local. I don't mind driving for the right dog. I just don't want to make a mistake and be unprepared. It's been such a long time since i've had to take care of an animal.

I think my daughter is at the age where she can take on some responsibility for feeding and helping to train a dog.. and I think it would be good for her. I told her if she did well in school this year that we would re-open the dog discussion and she has done very well so here we are! I told her she had to prove she could handle small responsibilities like homework and keeping her grades up before having to help care for a living, breathing, animal.

She's always reading books about dogs and telling me what we should buy when we get "our" dog. She belongs to a dog forum online and is always asking them a million questions..probably like I'm doing now.

I also do realize a dog can't just jump into a long run with me..and that's fine. I really just want to be able to take a dog out with me once or twice a week.. maybe even for a shorter run or a quick jog at the park. I have this friend who worries about me jogging alone and he always says I should get a running companion. He has a black lab and they easily do 80 miles a week or so.

Thank you for the advice..and my daughter really wants a female so she can name the dog "Bella". She's a teenage girl and loves the twilight series. I'm sure it's probably a common name.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,742 Posts
I know a very dedicated runner who has had a GSD to run with for probably going on 20 years. The first one was a male from a breeder and the second is a shelter rescue female, both loved running! I don't thinkt he running will be an issue - a lot of medium to large, active dogs will enjoy that. The important thing is to make sure the breed is suitable for you. If the idea of any sort of aggression is worrisome to you, a GSD is probably not for you. It is fairly typical of the breed to show territorial aggression/guardy behavior and to have a high prey drive (which can result to "aggression" towards small animals). Also reactivity on lead towards people or other dogs (barking/lunging) is probably one of the more common problems people face with the breed. The breed needs a lot of training, early socialization and proper management but genetics also play a part in how the dog reacts to strangers, strange situations and other animals. I'm not saying these problems are only an issue with GSDs but they are not one of the easier "beginner" dogs. That said, if you are looking at adult dogs you may be able to find one who is social and easy going that would be a great fit for you. Craigslist is a good place to check too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,677 Posts
There is a small issue here. You say your daughter wants a dog, and you would like a running companion?

I foresee a potential problem tho. The dog is likely to bond with the person that spends the most time with it. 100 miles a week running is not an insignificant amount of time, and running with a dog will make it VERY VERY happy. The dog will almost certainly have a preference for you (IMHO at least). Will this be a problem with a 17 y/o teen girl that will likely pour her heart into the dog? A driven breed like a GSD will bond tightly to the person that supplies the most interaction/stimulus and/or whoever feeds them. Time will tell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Inmotion, I know how you feel. I live on the Burke-Gilman Trail (hi, neighbor) and am always thankful for my dog when I use the trail during quieter hours because I have seen some real weirdos out there. I am not much of a runner (despise it actually but I am trying to convince myself that I tolerate it) and having my dog with me seemed to make it more enjoyable.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,219 Posts
I've heard mixed things while searching online and eventually found this forum.

I have not had a dog in over 20 years..and back then I just had a mixed breed dog that ended up on our front lawn.

Anyway..i'm a single mom and my daughter just turned 17..she has been asking for a dog for a few years now and I think I am finally ready to get one. I'm a distance runner (100+ miles a week) and would like to take a dog out with me on a few runs. I live in Seattle and the weather is always nice for running..even the light rain is appreciated.

My daughter has this fascination with German Shepherds and really wants one. We live in a house with a fenced in yard but my only concern is temperment. A few people have told me they are unpredictable. I just would hate to get a dog that could end up hurting me or one of my daughters friends who come over, etc...

Anyway.. I have lots of questions I suppose but I would really just like a friendly dog with a good temperment that can join me on a run or two during the week.

The other breed we have been considering is a goldendoodle. I didn't even know what a goldendoodle was until I looked them up online. A classmate of my daughters has one and they are trying to find him a new home. He seems like a good fit too so we're just trying to make a decision. I think they look silly but I know looks aren't everything.
100+ miles a week isn't distance running, it is fanaticism. That's almost 15 miles a day !!! As stated above, most GSDs aren't built for even 1/4 that distance and I would not recommend running with one. My GSD is a lanky 70 pounds and she can't handle more than a couple miles a day without breaking down. I have had other GSDs and none of them could handle more than just a few miles a day. I know that some on this board have some that can handle more distance but I think those are the exception. MHO is that subjecting a GSD to several miles of pounding pavement per day is abusive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,782 Posts
I run with my soon to be 3 year old GSD male about 2-3 miles every day, he loves it. I would say he's more bonded to me than my mom because I do most of the work with him. I didn't start out at 2 miles a day with Dodger, I broke it down until I knew he could handle it. I just have to be careful when I spot a cat and hope he doesn't start to go after it. I trained him on all voice commands so if I need to turn I say left or right depending on what way I want to turn. so IMO GSD's do make good running partners as long you condition them right, but 100+ miles a week IMO is too much, maybe take your pup every other day. I run on dirt btw better on the knees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
my lab/gsd mix runs 3-4 miles with my 6 days a week and we absolutely adore it! my 6 month old puppy is too little to start that. i DO however run him around the block to tire him out a bit...and i play fetch with my lab and he chases her to waste some energy...so i will go with what other posters said and try to stick to play time and training lessons to exert energy to at least 1 years old
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,745 Posts
I think that if you were able to find an adult rescue GSD somewhere it would be a great fit. I think your idea of only taking him/her with you on shorter runs a few times a week is a great idea! I agree that 100+ miles a week would probably be too much for a dog, but if you took him/her on some shorter runs throughout the week it would be great. :) Good luck to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
100+ miles a week isn't distance running, it is fanaticism. That's almost 15 miles a day !!! As stated above, most GSDs aren't built for even 1/4 that distance and I would not recommend running with one. My GSD is a lanky 70 pounds and she can't handle more than a couple miles a day without breaking down. I have had other GSDs and none of them could handle more than just a few miles a day. I know that some on this board have some that can handle more distance but I think those are the exception. MHO is that subjecting a GSD to several miles of pounding pavement per day is abusive.
100+ miles a week is what marathon runners train for. most do 120miles a week. but i would say that would be too much for a dog. on my long runs i do one day a week- 6 miles and my dog is pretty freakin' tired (but happy!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
100 miles seems like an awful lot of running for a GSD, and as much as I'd love to recommend a rescue my concern is that if you are running that much and the dog is going with you even a few times a week, you really need a very healthy well built dog with excellent hips and elbows. I would also agree with the recommendation of a smaller framed female with a very short stock coat, vs a 90 lb stocky male with a thick dense coat.

To be honest the goldendoodle may be a better fit, and at 8 months he's much closer to being at an age where you can jog with him. Neutering isn't going to calm him down or really alter his behavior, so unfortunately he'll likely still be in need of a home in the near future. Training and exercise as well as leadership is what will alter his behavior. But, good that he's being neutered regardless.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,219 Posts
100+ miles a week is what marathon runners train for. most do 120miles a week. but i would say that would be too much for a dog. on my long runs i do one day a week- 6 miles and my dog is pretty freakin' tired (but happy!)
I have run several marathons and dozens of 10Ks and a few half marathons. I never was a front runner but I also never ran more than 60 miles per week. I averaged in the 5-7 minute/mile range depending on distance. And I STILL say that 100+ miles per week is over the top. I agree with most above, a few miles every other day may be tolerable but you have to build up to it over at least a year. GSDs are not labs or retrievers, which can go much farther. They are built to herd which is a lot of start/stop and agility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I think we are going to give the goldendoodle a trial and if he doesn't work out we will keep our eye on shelters/rescues and adopt a shepherd.

For those concerned about 100+ miles a week..that's what I run but a dog would only go once or twice a week. It is a lot of miles..some weeks are only 90 or so..it just depends.

I do train for marathons..i've done Boston for the past 6 years since qualifying for it and I really do love running. It started as a silly hobby to lose weight after having my daughter 17 years ago and turned into a lifestyle.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top