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Hi everyone,

We have been doing a lot of research on purchasing a puppy. We had been interested in Labradors but my wife is a stay at home mom who wants a dog that will protect the family if need be. We looked in to Rottys, Weimaraners and Rhodesian Ridgebacks but all of our research keeps pointing us at the German Shepherd. We have two boys; a five year old and a three year old. Anyone we speak with seems to feel a GS is great with children and are the perfect family dog. We plan on socializing and professionally training the dog.

We live on Long Island and have come up with a few breeders. I would appreciate any advice on the German Shepherd in general as a family dog as well as your opinion of the following breeders. Or, if you know of any breeders you might recommend.

Thanks in advance.


Tim

HOME - Ryanhaus Kennel


Connecticut German Shepherd Dog Breeder


GinaGardens German Shepherd Kennel
 

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Just thought I would put my 2 cents in on the children issue...I also have a 5 year old and a 3 year old and our Female German Shepherd is wondeful with them! Already at only 4 months old, if we are on a walk and someone approaches us she immeditaly puts herself between the "stranger" and my children.
 

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My Wolfie is a Ryanhaus pup. He's a great dog, extremely intelligent, and loving. I can't say enough good things about Paula. She has a genuine love for the breed and is a wealth of knowledge.
 

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I believe Wolfie's Mom got her puppy from Ryanhaus Kennels.

Also would like to add to the children topic: I have young cousins(elementary school ages) and both of my GSDs are wonderful with them. They know the boundaries when it comes to children.

ETA:I see she has already chimed in.=)
 

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I like Ryan Haus as well, nice dogs , like the bloodlines:)
 

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German Shepherd's are wonderful with children. I'd recommend going with a puppy and raising him with your children rather than getting an older dog. I have a 4 and 5 year old and a 4 month old puppy :)
 

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I just saw the new picture on the ryanhaus home page. The shepherd in the middle is Wolfie's Mom, Sam.
 

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Sounds like you have some good leads on breeders.

But the other big thing to make sure you know, is that you currently have alot of free time in your day. Because these puppies make huge demands on our time the first year or so. Crate training, housebreaking, the chewing up of the childrens toys (the swallowing and $$$$ vet visits that can result), getting up even earlier in the morning, puppy classes, socialization, EXERCISE.

And the biting, oh the biting! These GSD pups DO bite more than other puppies and children are right at their level.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/85888-teaching-bite-inhibition.html

Von Stroman German Shepherd Puppy Primer, Part I

Puppy's 1st Week

Von Falconer K-9 Training - Articles / Puppiest 1st Night to 1st Year
 

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I also have a RyanHaus puppy, he is 3 months old today. He is a fantastic dog and Paula truly has a love for the breed. We have 2 children, ages 5 and 2 and our puppy, Thor, is great with them. I really can't say enough about RyanHaus.

Thor is also Wolfie's 1/2 brother. Same sire, different dam.
 

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2 Things in your message jump out to me: Your wife is alone at home with the kids and would like a dog that can protect the home if need be. I assume that you mean more of a visual deterrent that barks at suspicious activity and can scare bad guys more than you're intending to spend $35,000 on a trained personal protection dog, am I correct?

The 2nd thing that jumps out at me is that you have children.

These two things make me think that an adult rescue or adult from a breeder would be perfect for you. If you get a puppy you're really looking at waiting a year until the dog is physically, mentally, and emotionally capable of being much of a "protector." And there's a very real chance you could end up with a puppy who loves everybody and shows the bad guys where the money is. If you chose an adult through a reputable rescue organization, that dog would have been living in a foster home for at least a month and the foster family can tell you if the dog is naturally more protective or if the dog never met a stranger, if the dog barks when someone comes to the door or licks them to death. The foster home will also be able to tell you how the dog gets along with kids. They don't call GSD puppies "land sharks" for no reason.

Similarly, with an adult from a breeder, the breeder can tell you about the dog's temperament, protective nature or lack thereof, and how it gets along with kids.

With an adult dog, what you see is what you get. Puppies are always a bit of a crapshoot.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

I personally would want a puppy to raise with my children instead of bringing in an adult dog. If it were just me (without children) I would be able to adopt an adult dog and trust it. If I had children I would not adopt an adult dog because I dont think I could ever fully trust it with my children. I would get a puppy and raise it with my children and It would be alot easier for me to trust him/her.
 

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Paula from Ryanhaus is a very nice person. She would be a good one to go to in your area. I've personally sold puppies to families that either wanted that security of having a GSD as well as a family member, and/or with the family having small children. They have always fit into the family lifestyle with small children just fine. Of course with the proper training too, b/c like someone stated you do have teething puppies with needle teeth that will chew on anything that is available. I've had 1 of my puppies protecting his family members at the age of 4 months old and did an excellent job at it too. If you think a GSD will be a good fit for your family, then I would research on training/bloodlines, etc.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

I personally would want a puppy to raise with my children instead of bringing in an adult dog. If it were just me (without children) I would be able to adopt an adult dog and trust it. If I had children I would not adopt an adult dog because I dont think I could ever fully trust it with my children. I would get a puppy and raise it with my children and It would be alot easier for me to trust him/her.
As was already mentioned, you really don't know the puppy's true personality until fully matured at 2-3 years, but buying from a reputable breeder will increase your chances of a well rounded dog. One of the great benefits of going with a reputable rescue organization that uses fosters homes (for a month minimum) is that you really know what you are getting. If the foster home is a good one, the dog has been socialized with people, dogs, cats etc. It really is stacking the odds in your favor and you get to skip the land shark and potty training phase especially with young children in the house. Emoore was just trying to present another option.

We've had lots of people give up their young adult dog that they raised from 8 weeks because it wasn't getting along with the children. More so than the families with young kids that adopted an adult from us that has proven to be reliable around young kids. It's not always better to raise the puppy with the kids especially considering how time consuming both are. Just another something to consider.

OP, I can't comment on the breeders as I'm not as well versed in buying a puppy as others but you've gotten some good advice from others. Sorry to high jack your thread.
 

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Emoore was just trying to present another option.

We've had lots of people give up their young adult dog that they raised from 8 weeks because it wasn't getting along with the children.
Yep, just presenting another option that the OP might not have thought of. :) At the rescue, one of the main reasons we hear for people surrendering dogs in the 6-18 month range is, "He's biting/mouthing the kids," "He knocks the kids down when he plays," "He doesn't mean it, he's just so big and playful and he hurts the kids," "The kids are afraid of the dog," etc.
 

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I usually recommend people with young kids get a dog that is 3 years+ that has been well socialized with small kids and is already trained. It can be difficult to raise a puppy and small kids at the same time. My sister is watching a hound puppy for my cousin (who shouldn't have gotten the puppy because he has no place to live) and is finding out its not always good to have a young puppy and a 2 year old at the same time. When she gets a dog of her own she wants an already trained, kid tested adult (and there are plenty in rescues).
 

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All of our Shepherds have been raised with children. Our first Shepherd was 4-years-old when she met our newborn daughter. It was love at first site. She was a well balanced dog who accepted whatever we accepted. She and our daughter were the best of friends.

I think the GSD is a fantastic breed for children. Just remember a puppy is just like a child and has to be watched and taught boundries.

Our girl Mia adores all children. She has been raised with our granddaughter who was three when we brought Mia home. She's always been great with her but she has been taught boundries. She knows she's not to jump on or even play bite with our granddaughter. They play harmoniously together. Mia Just turned 1-year-old in September.

Supervision with a GS puppy and small children is a must but can be the most wonderful thing when done right. Children will certainly have a friend for life.
 

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I would be very cautious with puppies and young children. Puppies, especially GSD puppies are mounthy, and they tend to get returned to rescues with the excuse "the dog is biting my children". Maybe people who pay $1000 for their puppy put in more effort into it. Our experence has been that everyone plays with the puppy and "loves" it but usually young families are too busy to provide training and socialization. We had several puppies and adults returned by families with young children: the dog lost the training that they had in the foster home. Properly raising a puppy requires a LOT of time and effort.

As to the dog being protective: few people can afford to have a protective dog, especially homes with children, or handle one. What if the dog decides to protect "his" kids against visiting kids when they are play-wrestling. Families with kids have people coming and going, the dog that is best suited for that situation is a dog that is friendly with everybody.
 

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Don't forget to think about the shedding with a GSD. Lots and lots of shedding.
 

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GSD puppies are very mouthy. You need to make sure you don't leave the little ones alone with a puppy or they could get nipped, badly. Puppies see other little children as litter mates and treat them accordingly. Raising kids and puppies together is great as long as there is constant supervision when they are together. Especially when the dog starts teething. Even as an adult person, dealing with teething can be a challenge so again, never leave them alone together.
 

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I think you have gotten some great advice and opinions here.

Bringing a puppy into a home with young children is absolutely more work than if it's just adults in the home. You have to know your own children and how well they will be able to stand up to a mouthy puppy and firmly say "no". You also have to know how comfortable you will be with your kids getting accidentally knocked over by the dog as it gets bigger. Yes, training and socialization are a ton of work and of course, with kids it's another thing you have to make time for each day. With all that being said, you can raise a puppy with young children, it's just about being aware of the work that goes into the whole process and the realities of GSD puppyhood.

My husband and I are currently raising a 3 month old GSD puppy along with 2 kids, ages 5 and 2. We also have a mixed breed dog, who is about 1.5 years old. We rescued her at about 3 months old. It is definitely a lot of work, but it is also so much fun!

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
 
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