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I have had two people, after grieving my 4th GSD, Cheyenne, and adopting a GSD from a woman who rescues them, almost yell at me that I should have gotten a small friendly dog instead of the big bad GSDs ( this one may have some Malinois in him-I'm doing a DNA test). They are not normally friendly like a lab at the door when a stranger comes in. My Cheyenne was aloof but came up to people who did not reach out for her but she came to them and was ready to engage in petting and play. People don't understand that you can't push their threshold. I have had trainers with my other GSDs but because of work problems did not have enough to continue training with everything. I was just told, "GET RID OF HIM NOW< THEY ARE TERRIBLE DOGS! PLEASE GET RID OF HIM and get a smaller friendly dog! Then I got the, "You are never going to be firm with them", They never minded you. You never corrected them. Very untrue, I spent many hours in training with various trainers, until I found one I really liked. Mine would get overly excited and that'w when she would not calm down. I have my rescue a week now. He loves my husband, growled at him the first day, is still a big puppy at 11 months old, endless energy, plays ball with us constantly, I bought many toys, and taking him for walks. Now the neighbor down the street thinks I will never be able to handle a part Mal dog since they fly over huge walls. I said they were trained to catch balls on long poles waaaaay up in the air. climb trees etc. Mine is happy chasing balls. I am so tired of the negativity and no confidence in me but my husband and I are happy with him. Do we have to have a dog ready for company that only shows up once a year? She is still bouncy and we are having houseguests for two nights. We will be boarding him since the wife does not like animals and she is a very active puppy. If someone comes over I have a huge comfy crate she is okay with to put her in for a few hours. What is the problem with some people. O am sick of them. Do any of you have similar comments or stories?
 

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Many people simply are uneasy with the looks and temperament of GSDs.Too wolfy.It's to my advantage in the rural area where I live.It's not a high crime area but equipment theft is common.No worries about tools and tractors disappearing.'Weird Dog Lady's ' property is given a wide berth.
Some family and friends are not totally comfortable either so the dogs are gated or kenneled away from them.I usually make a point of showing off their obedience skills when moving them in and out.It helps to make the guests feel more comfortable.I've had people label them 'the two good ones and the mean one(Samson) just because he doesn't want to greet.Oh well :giggle:
 

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No one tried to talk me out of it but, there were some funny reactions. My mother immediately recalled a mean shepherd that lived across the street when she was a kid. A number of people asked me the typical questions, " aren't they aggressive?", "don't they fight with other dogs?", "don't they shed a lot?"...
My patient answers were, "some are, depends upon training/socialization". "some are, depends upon training/socialization", and "Yes they do, but I don't mind brushing and vacuuming daily"....People have lots to say about almost everything. Never worried much about that.
 

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I don't like people other than my immediate family so if my GSD keeps others away I'm good with it...LOL!
No one tried to talk us out of getting a GSD because we (me and my husband) are grown adults and didn't ask for anyone's permission on what breed of dog to get. If anyone were to inject their thoughts on the breed of dog we chose in the negative I would politely thank them for their thoughts on the subject and just disregard what they said. We are adults and it's our life to live the way we want with the pets we choose. It would be different if we asked for their advise before the fact.
I know several people with small dogs that are total terrors. I've been bitten by more than one supposed easily manageable small dog.
My life, my dog...mind your own business... Yeah, I'm snarky with a capitol "B".

FWIW Chow Chows are on many aggressive breed lists too. Our last two dogs were Chow/Samoyed mixes (female litter mates) and were the gentlest most loving dogs ever and no one ever suggested to us that Chows were a bad breed to own. Probably because although they were good sized they were fluffy and adorable.
People tend to be more afraid of their perceived image of a breed than the dog in front of them.
GSD's are seen as bad *ss law enforcement or military dogs. People forget that farmers and old world shepherds have used and lived with them for over a century with no issues.
All breeds can have bad apples. Good breeding, temperament and proper training matters regardless of the specific breed. Your friends, family and strangers are just ignorant to the facts.
 

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I don't like people other than my immediate family so if my GSD keeps others away I'm good with it...LOL!
No one tried to talk us out of getting a GSD because we (me and my husband) are grown adults and didn't ask for anyone's permission on what breed of dog to get. If anyone were to inject their thoughts on the breed of dog we chose in the negative I would politely thank them for their thoughts on the subject and just disregard what they said. We are adults and it's our life to live the way we want with the pets we choose. It would be different if we asked for their advise before the fact.
I know several people with small dogs that are total terrors. I've been bitten by more than one supposed easily manageable small dog.
My life, my dog...mind your own business... Yeah, I'm snarky with a capitol "B".

FWIW Chow Chows are on many aggressive breed lists too. Our last two dogs were Chow/Samoyed mixes (female litter mates) and were the gentlest most loving dogs ever and no one ever suggested to us that Chows were a bad breed to own. Probably because although they were good sized they were fluffy and adorable.
People tend to be more afraid of their perceived image of a breed than the dog in front of them.
GSD's are seen as bad *ss law enforcement or military dogs. People forget that farmers and old world shepherds have used and lived with them for over a century with no issues.
All breeds can have bad apples. Good breeding, temperament and proper training matters regardless of the specific breed. Your friends, family and strangers are just ignorant to the facts.
I agree, Darn, I am 63 and we make our own choices, I am not a fru fru dog person, fine for those who are, no problem, but I always had big dogs,and lots of GSDS. They puppyhood is the hardest then they settle down more. I have friends who are controlling and have no confidence in my ability to "make them mind". I can't change their DNA but I do train with trainers, no Petsmart ones either. I have done good training with my other ones but everyone wants a bug goofy dog to greet them. They are wary of strangers, they bark at the door, they are guard dogs. I have lived in bad areas before and no one messes with our house. I have a crate if someone wants to visit, or a nearby kennel for a few day visit but we rarely get visitors. I adore my breed. I got rid of one "friend", I just told another one off last night and am waiting for the other shoes to drop with one other. My family lives 800 miles away and has not made any attempt to visit me in 35 years. I am not designing my house or getting a dog based on a visit once every few months from a friend. My dog is my best friend besides my husband!.
 

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There is nothing like being able to send Ole to his place and have him wait contently while someone harangues me about why German Shepard are bad pets.

At first, I thought of 'place' as just something useful to get my energic puppy out from underfoot. Going to his place and lying down seems to cause him to relax and settle himself. He gets this expression like, "Ok, the human wants to work this out for himself. I'll be over here chewing this toy if you need me."

To be honest, I still have to be closer than 5 feet from the place to have Ole successful go to it. I have to stay within 10 feet of him or else he wanders at mild distractions.... we are making progress.
 

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That's bizarre. My mother had a scar the size of my fist from a GSD tearing a chunk out of her thigh when she was a child. She loved my dogs, especially Sabi. I never, in near 13 years, found anyone who didn't love Sabi though. The people we arrested thought she was cool. The people we evicted often commented on how awesome she was. The homeless regulars often brought her presents. Kids adored her. Police loved her. Mailmen loved her. Meter readers loved her. Vets loved her.
No one likes Shadow, lol. But no one tells me I shouldn't have her. And lots of landlords and hotel managers have commented that she's a great dog. She's actually a little jerk! But apparently we hide that well.
 

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Shouldn't listen to people............. Even when I say I have a dog, people ask me 'what kinda dog?' and when I say 'a German Shep' the reaction was mixed. There was once who said 'Ooh, I wouldn't get one. They're aggressive, hard to manage and have really bad hips and prone to sickness.' blah blah. Ignore
 

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I have had a co-worker ask me what breed of dog I had. When I said GSD she wrinkled her nose and asked why. Eh. To each their own. There are lots of breeds that don't appeal to me--I don't go around telling their owners that though. :)
 

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I thought you got a female. I need to read more closely. Yes, most people I know either don’t like German Shepherds or think everyone should have a small dog. I have a very small female we rescued and people have actually said to me, That is a good size for a dog. We love her but she is non standard. They are offended by big dogs. I ignore them.
 

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My cousin tried to talk me out of getting another GSD only because he wanted his travel partner (me), free for more adventures. He thought a more laid back, couch potato dog would be better suited for me. Doesn't matter now, he's gotten married since my last one died and so now he's got a new travel partner.

I feel like we're constantly (exaggerating a little) telling people here in the forums not to get a GSD when we hear about their family situation or reason or which line...
 

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I am a quiet artsy person but have always loved GSDs.
People think it's odd, and looked at me funny when I said that was the breed that we like best!
They think GSDs should be owned by the military or police, and think they are too mean, too big, too dangerous for an average home...that's the impression I got!

I have had clients and passersby shy away from my dog or ask if he bites...
 

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My MIL thinks Shepherds are unstable (her dad was a vet in rural England and apparently that's why...?) and she thinks Rotties (Agis is a mix) are terrible dogs. She never said this about Luc - I don't think she really knew Teagan - but she's brought the nieces and our nephew (4 of them, 5-10 years old) over to meet him and he did great despite four rambunctious children in a small space (we live in an apartment) and just had dinner with us Wednesday and was saying WHAT A NICE BOY HE IS!!!!!!! lol
 

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One of my coworkers said the only dog he would never get is a GSD because it was the only dog he was bit by when he was younger. To each their own I guess.
 

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Well.

They're not as friendly as Goldens or Labs or many other common breeds. And a GSD can do far more damage, if it decides to, with its athleticism and incredible bite force. People sensing that is not out of line. Not to mention, everyone has seen police dogs and Army dogs--the breed is used for those jobs for a reason. We sign up for that when we sign on for a GSD.

If I wanted a dog who was everyone's best friend and who everyone would cross the street to pet or fawn over, I'd get another Golden (my last two dogs were Goldens). Half the time, people cross the street to avoid Jupiter, an 80 pound GSD. That being said, lots of people want to pet him and even let him lick their faces! While he isn't aggressive and is better trained than 99% of the dogs out there, this is simply part of the tradeoff in getting the breed.

Surely we understand that and learn to accept that people are going to be wary of such a strong animal.
 

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unfortunately there are and has been many many bad shepherds out there who have bitten people and were bad actors
in public.
Add in poor or little training and improper socialization, well yes they do have a bad track record in the eyes of the public.

luckily I've been able to rescue 2 females from our county shelter. One with good breeding and one BYB sketchy breeding. Neither were truly bad enough to have given up at 2 yrs. old but both had a litter of ??? by 2 yrs. old and found on the street roaming.

So bad ownership is part of the problem in the breed also.

Because of repeated socialization efforts on me and my adult son, both were very pleasant, nice dogs even to strangers out in public. This 2nd one needed a lot of work to overcome dog reaction but is now on her way to being
an easy dog when out and about.

I'm still amazed though at the numbers of poorly bred GSDs, temperament wise. They run the gamut. And it's a crap shoot when adopting so they're not for everyone and they're not all the same despite registration or papers.
 
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