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I ask this because one of my main reasons for wanting a GSD is there intelligence. Thats why i was wondering if my luck in choosing a puppy could it be possible to get a pup that can't comprehend basic commands.
 

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Everyone I ever met that had a 'dumb' pup turned out to have an ower that didn't know what they were doing with the poor dog. So it was easier to blame the pup/dog than take the responsiblity for turning things around.

On the other hand, everyone I've known that have been pro-active with socializing their pup the first year or so, signing up for puppy kindergarten, locating a great trainer to then start up obedience/rally/agility/flyball/herding/schutzund/whatever...... All these dogs end up being amazingly intelligent!!!!

Have to add, finding a responsible breeder to match the puppy with the owner, support the new owner if they get into trouble, and basically be available for the life of the puppy is also a huge help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Originally Posted By: GSDBESTK9How old is this pup?
I don't have one yet still looking in the Raleigh, North Carolina area for a good breeder.

I think of my self as a good trainer I've had in the past APBT's and Boxers which both if not properly trained could have a mind of their own.
 

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I have one that I would not exactly consider dumb, but rather "difficult". Of course when I adopted her she was 2 years old and had ZERO training whatsoever.

She's rather stubborn in her ways, but I honestly don't think any dog is dumb, I just find that some are easier to train than others.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well i said dumb but difficult seems like a more suitable word. I have a 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old son the son is fearless but my daughter hates being scratched so i will have to teach down and no jumping quickly
 

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I rescued a dog who was 2. He'd had minimal training and we thought he'd been abused. Poor guy had a scar around his neck from being tied out on a choke chain.

He was gorgeous with a big blond head, we used to call him the blond dog. I'd always considered him 'dumb' for a german shepherd but maybe it was to do with lack of socialization and training at a young age.
 

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Even though your daughter is only four years old, make sure SHE gets to also work with teaching the dog "off" (I always use "down" to mean lay down and "off" to mean get off of something). I also use a "leave it" command when our 4mo GSD gets overly jumpy with my 6yo daughter.

If you are always the one to tell the puppy to get off of your daughter or not to jump, the dog is going to take longer to see that your daughter ranks above the dog in the chain of command. The dog will need to know that even though the puppy will soon be bigger than your daughter, your daughter still gets to be the boss of the puppy.
 

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Carter4, I personally have found GSD pups a huge challenge the first year.

As in, if I have the time and energy to add another human infant to the house, then I would be thinking about adding a GSD pup. (and I would talk to my spouse about this too
)

Because if the mental picture of adding another baby to the house at the current time would be overwhelming, I'd wait a year or so until it was more managable. The finances of classes, food, and vet bills............... along with the large amounts of time needed to take the pup out of the house on car rides, socialization trips, meet and greets, puppy classes, dog classes, etc................... I know would be a bit much for many families with very young children.

The very factors that make GSD's the best for herding, policework, search and rescue, drug dogs, bomb dogs........... are exactly what makes them much more of a challenge on a minute to minute basis then many other breeds. And the fact they really love to bite/chew/nip (in play but way more than any other breed I know) and that small children are at exactly the height that it's a face to face invitation to play that children seem to NOT enjoy...
 

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Well....

Have you seen all of the threads about mouthy/bitey GSD puppies? These pups aren't dumb, but they aren't gentle with small children either. And, you can't train many of them to be gentle quickly, or quickly enough, to trust them with small children for at least 6 months and possibly longer from what I've read and experienced.

Our puppy is very intelligent, but she's a handful. We've done puppy kindergarten, lots of socialization, lots of play and obedience work with her and at 6 mos she's just finally pulling out of being super mouthy. I don't mean occasionally jumping up either, but rather nipping holes in clothes and playing pretty rough.

If you plan to get a GSD puppy soon, be aware that your small children (and I have 5 children from baby to 11 years old) may have problems with a playful puppy who quickly becomes much bigger and stronger than they are even if the puppy is smart.

Intelligence and early training/commands with a pup under 6 months won't override puppy playful (but often destructive and sometimes injury inflicting) behavior.

Best of luck and thanks for your service.
 

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Originally Posted By: Carter4well i said dumb but difficult seems like a more suitable word. I have a 4 year old daughter and a 1 year old son the son is fearless but my daughter hates being scratched so i will have to teach down and no jumping quickly
Be careful with what you wish. I've not seen a GSD with big problems to understand concepts or in need of hundreds of repetitions to get an idea as I've seen in other breeds, but the "dumbs GSDs" I've met are more in the sense of lacks of motivation or for being too laid back.

Smart dogs are proactive, motivated, go for what they want, are persistent in what they wish... And often it means that when they are puppies they can be pushy and jumpers and they want to play all the time. In my experience GSD pups are more mouthy than other breeds and if you talk with owners involved in training you'll see that they consider mouthing one of the things you have to learn to live with until the pup grows out of it, sometimes not before 5 or 6 months.

Think of it like the smarter human kids on their class are those who ask more questions and investigate beyond the classroom. So maybe in the circumstances you describe the smartest pup is not what you really need. With smart pups thay also need a lot of time and dedication to keep those little brain occupied and far away from mischievings.
 

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MaggieRose Lee makes an excellent point.

They are a CHALLENGE and a lot of work the first year or two. Why not consider a young rescue? There are many Fantastic dogs out there that desparately need homes.....and they are already over the difficult early years. A good rescue organization can help you with an appropriate selection for your family.
 

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Originally Posted By: CampPappyMaggieRose Lee makes an excellent point.

They are a CHALLENGE and a lot of work the first year or two. Why not consider a young rescue? There are many Fantastic dogs out there that desparately need homes.....and they are already over the difficult early years. A good rescue organization can help you with an appropriate selection for your family.
Thats a great idea, Sarge was about 2 when we got him. He had been abused for the first 2 years of his life,he was also pretty much a mess. No training, way under weight, scared of everybody and everything. Turns out he was very smart and learned quickly. Now hes a well adjusted member of our family. Deffinately something for you to think about. I recommend it highly.
 

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I totally agree with all the previous posts. Pups are like babies....they take time to mature, learn, and grow. And expecting a pup to not want to chew on things when teething is like expecting a human baby to not want to gum teethers and toys to help with the teething pain/ache.

I think an older rescue is a great idea. It seems like a pup might be too much for your family at this point, and you could totally bypass the chewing puppy stage with an older rescue.

GSD's are smart! They just need to be challanged to keep their minds (and mouths) busy.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
whoa whats going on i have had puppies me and my wife both know what to expect and we are prepared i just didn't want to get my hopes up thinking that the GSD is exceptionally smart and end up being disapointed
 

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In your original post you seem to be equating intelligence with trainability and lack of intelligence with difficulty remembering and obeying commands.

GSDs are (on average anyway) exceptionally smart but I think what people are saying is that smart doesn't necessarily translate to well behaved or calm. In fact, I'd argue that the smarter the GSD puppy the more mischievous, energetic, and generally challenging it probably will be.

The most obedient and easy to train dogs I've owned or fostered have been those with excellent handler orientation but probably slightly less intelligence than many of the others. The most intelligent dogs I've owned and fostered have been the most challenging to train and none of them were dogs I'd recommend to someone with small kids. They were like small kids themselves!

There are those breeds which are high energy and also kind of thick skulled and GSDs typically don't fall into that category. However, even though GSDs are more responsive than some breeds, puppies are typically very high energy and can be extremely excitable and mouthy in play, which can be very hard for young kids to deal with because their little shark teeth are right at face level.
 

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Originally Posted By: Carter4whoa whats going on i have had puppies me and my wife both know what to expect and we are prepared i just didn't want to get my hopes up thinking that the GSD is exceptionally smart and end up being disapointed
Everyone just wants to make sure you know what your in for. GSD puppies tend to be jumpy and mouthy and lovingly referred to as little alligators.

I don't think you'll be at all disappointed if you do your homework and select a breeder who will help with the right pup for your family. The difference will be amazing when training a GSD compared to the other breeds you've had. While some are stubborn hardheaded dogs, a good breeder will help you find the right pup.
 

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Quote:GSDs are (on average anyway) exceptionally smart but I think what people are saying is that smart doesn't necessarily translate to well behaved or calm. In fact, I'd argue that the smarter the GSD puppy the more mischievous, energetic, and generally challenging it probably will be.
We are not trying to criticize you at all. What we are trying to say is that many of our GSD pups are much harder the first year than many other breeds. And NOT because of a lack of intelligence. It's cause of being too smart with the energy level of that crazy Energizer Bunny.

And I'm not saying you wouldn't ever be able to get one, I just would recommend waiting until your 1 year old child was a bit older. Really, if you asked your wife (and yourself) if you could adopt another human infant into your family right now, and then answer truly is that you both do have the time/energy right now, then THAT is the frame of mind I have to be in when I get a GSD puppy.

I have to have time, every day, to take the puppy out of the house for probably an hour. Away from the yard, spouse, kids and in the car. To socialize with new people in new places with new dogs. And I need to OFF LEASH, run that puppy, swim the puppy, exercise the puppy not in my yard, not around the block. And that's for about the first year, though I can fade to 3 to 4 times a week around 6 months, though I may have to be out with them longer.

So if your wife is willing to leave you with the 2 kids for an hour or so a day so she can work with the new puppy. Or if she's willing to have you come home from work, scoop that puppy up and leave for the next hour or so................ then you will be able to do this well.

Did you get a chance to look at the Teaching Bite Inhibtion site? This is a really huge huge problem for many of us. And I'm really not kidding. These GSD's are somekind of nuts with the having to use their mouths when wanting to play with us. And it's extremely painful for me as an adult, and it's just my hands at their level. Kids faces are exactly the correct location as a fellow puppy that they would bite, only we don't seem to enjoy seeing our kids faces in our puppies mouths.

You can ask anyone that posted on the bite inhibition site how they worked thru this and ALL of them try everything. It's takes a ton of time to teach them a new way to play with toys, and just a pup getting older helps alot. But getting to that older age is very painful.

I like that people are recommending a bit older GSD. If you locate a great responsible breeder they may have the perfect dog for you, or know of one. That way you get a healthy dog, great temperment, and someone else worked thru all the biting issues!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I just didn't want to get people thinking that i wasn't doing my homework or that i was totally ignorant to the responsibilities of owning a dog... The boxers are known for there jumping up in peoples arms literally whole body off the ground like here catch this lol
 
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