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Discussion Starter #1
I will probably end up buying the right GSD, but I want to wait and maybe give a second chance to a good dog. The reason that I might not adopt is that I need the GSD for SAR and the work is very hard and challenging.

To tell you a little about the future living arrangements for the dog. I have a 3 bedroom house with a big back yard. The dog would spend most his time with me. In the summers my wife wants to spend a lot of time with the dog also, she's an elementary school teacher so she get's the whole summer off.

Requirements below are because of the use of this dog which will be SAR and for the safety of the dog, possible victims and rescuers.

1- The dog should not be overly aggressive

2- I need to know the pedigree to know if the dog has a healthy family history

3- I need to know that the dog has passed OFA and CERF

4- The dog should be located in the SE, as I reside in Miami, Florida
 

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That's great that you are considering a rescued gsd. When I volunteered with gsd rescue in WI we placed a number of dogs with SAR handlers and in other working positions. It seems that lots of high drive gsds between the ages of 9 and 18 months end up shelters--they're just too much for the average person to handle!

Keep your eye on the Urgent and Non-Urgent sections of this board and I bet you'll have no trouble finding the right dog!
 

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Originally Posted By: BowWowMeowThat's great that you are considering a rescued gsd. When I volunteered with gsd rescue in WI we placed a number of dogs with SAR handlers and in other working positions. It seems that lots of high drive gsds between the ages of 9 and 18 months end up shelters--they're just too much for the average person to handle!

Keep your eye on the Urgent and Non-Urgent sections of this board and I bet you'll have no trouble finding the right dog!
A high drive 9-18 month old with a high drive would be perfect. I didn't know if I'd actually be able to find a GSD that I could help and have it be strong enough for my work. But you got my hopes up!

I see what you're saying, I could imagine a high drive dog being too much for most people. Especially if you can't take the dog to work, you get home and the dogs ready to go, and the owner is ready to relax and have a beer! I have a very active lifestyle, I can't wait to share that with a nice high drive GSD!
 

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If my memory is correct, board member GSDBESTK9 fostered a gorgeous black sable male that she called Keno. He had so much drive that he was brought to the shelter in Newport News, Virginia and was then rescued. His foster mom, GSDBESTK9, found him to have incredible ball drive (even for her) and placed him in a working home. He would not have been good as anyone's couch potato.

I have tried to find his thread and updated photos, but was not successful. He is a gorgeous dog and, in the right hands, will be an incredible working dog.

In your post, you state that you need to know pedigrees for health status, OFA and CERF status. This is not usual in the shelter environment. You might have more luck in the Non-Urgent rescue forum from a private owner who got a dog that was just too much to handle due to its need to work and have a job to do.

Shannon
 

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We very rarely see dogs in rescue whose pedigree is available, have OFA or CERF, appropriate drives and are the right age. Quite a few excellent police and SAR dogs come out of rescue and do well as working dogs without a pedigree. Usually the handler or the agency takes care of the OFA.
 

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Sometimes its just a matter of opening up the right dog- without OFa and CERF and have him/her tested.............
that YOU can do .........with minimal expense..............
If you can find the right dog- go for it- you'll probably find the perfect pup online............ needing a job and a great home!!
 

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Originally Posted By: WVGShepIf my memory is correct, board member GSDBESTK9 fostered a gorgeous black sable male that she called Keno. He had so much drive that he was brought to the shelter in Newport News, Virginia and was then rescued. His foster mom, GSDBESTK9, found him to have incredible ball drive (even for her) and placed him in a working home. He would not have been good as anyone's couch potato.

I have tried to find his thread and updated photos, but was not successful. He is a gorgeous dog and, in the right hands, will be an incredible working dog.
Shannon
Carolina was able to place him with an agency in CT. I think he may still be there - she would most likely know.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the tips everyone! That Zeus is one beautiful dog. How a gorgeous dog like that gets discarded is beyond me. Too bad he's all the way in Austin.
 

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Transport help is often available.

I was on a SAR team with Grace (in my avatar) who is a shelter find. We weren't on long because I moved and had to quit SAR to start a more demanding job and a rescue group, but she was awesome at it. Ball drive through the roof! Turned into the shelter by abusive owners for being too energetic.

I plan to get back into SAR for the long term in the next year when I leave this position and will be in the same boat as you now that Grace is bordering on too old. I want very much to find my next SAR dog via rescue - rather than buying, and I think it can be done. There are actually A LOT of candidates if you are open to other breeds like Labs, but I want a GSD - which I suspect you do too.

Anyway, from my previous search, I found it difficult to assess and evaluate dogs in faraway shelters to the extent necessary but the info available from a foster based rescue group is usually very helpful and you can sometimes find a local SAR person to help you out.

I am not too worried about knowing the pedigree - that happens occasionally in rescue but not that often - what I'll be looking for is a dog between 8-18 months with the right drive and no obvious health red flags. I would then get x-rays and a medical assessment at my expense. I'm hoping to find a rescue group who will let me do that prior to adopting.

One thing I would highly recommend, if you haven't done so already, is to join your local SAR team and start your own training/make sure you like the group and it's a good match for you. You can be knocking your requirements out while you keep your ear to the ground for the right dog. A lot of groups won't even let you bring a dog until you've met or passed some of the requirements, so you've got time.

Hope that helps!
 

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Dang!!! Its to bad Hunter is in CA, or I would have to swoop in and scoop him up!! I love the German lines! (not to mention the "sable" coloring as its not the traditional black and tan)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Very good info. Thanks a lot brother.

Originally Posted By: pupresqTransport help is often available.

I was on a SAR team with Grace (in my avatar) who is a shelter find. We weren't on long because I moved and had to quit SAR to start a more demanding job and a rescue group, but she was awesome at it. Ball drive through the roof! Turned into the shelter by abusive owners for being too energetic.

I plan to get back into SAR for the long term in the next year when I leave this position and will be in the same boat as you now that Grace is bordering on too old. I want very much to find my next SAR dog via rescue - rather than buying, and I think it can be done. There are actually A LOT of candidates if you are open to other breeds like Labs, but I want a GSD - which I suspect you do too.

Anyway, from my previous search, I found it difficult to assess and evaluate dogs in faraway shelters to the extent necessary but the info available from a foster based rescue group is usually very helpful and you can sometimes find a local SAR person to help you out.

I am not too worried about knowing the pedigree - that happens occasionally in rescue but not that often - what I'll be looking for is a dog between 8-18 months with the right drive and no obvious health red flags. I would then get x-rays and a medical assessment at my expense. I'm hoping to find a rescue group who will let me do that prior to adopting.

One thing I would highly recommend, if you haven't done so already, is to join your local SAR team and start your own training/make sure you like the group and it's a good match for you. You can be knocking your requirements out while you keep your ear to the ground for the right dog. A lot of groups won't even let you bring a dog until you've met or passed some of the requirements, so you've got time.

Hope that helps!
 

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Originally Posted By: elfwolfeDang!!! Its to bad Hunter is in CA, or I would have to swoop in and scoop him up!! I love the German lines! (not to mention the "sable" coloring as its not the traditional black and tan)
It'd be a race...but CA is on the opposite coast...too bad, what a beautiful older style GSD. If I end up buying, I will probably get one with a similar back...Those old E.German dogs are awesome...but hey, all GSDs are awesome.
 

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Lexi my Certified area search dog was a one year old rescue when I got her. She was a true gods gift as she had just been put in the adoption pen while her foster mom was working at the shelter, not 15 mins before I walked into the shelter, she curled into my lap and we walked out on our new adventure together. Now 5+ working years later she is still fantastic. I have no idea of her pedigree and you can't have hips certified untill 2 years with prelims done at about a year I think. But when she ate a piece of tennis ball and ended up at the vet for xrays we found out her hips were perfect. My mom's dog Heidi that we rescued for her new SAR dog does have hip dysplasia but shows no outward signs and is happily working HRD at this time with not so much as a limp. You also need to decide if you like working males or females and what traits you are looking for. Different types of SAR work require different personality traits. My area search dog is much more independent thinking than my HRD dog who works much closer and with more direction at times from me. My husbands males drive me nuts sometimes as they can beat to their own drums and they have less need to please than my girls. Also the amount of pee they can produce even though they know its a no no drives me nuts. Do you want a disaster dog? Do you have a knowledgable seasoned handler or trainer who can help you evaluate a prospective dog or pup? How far are you prepared to go for the right dog? I was blessed that my first SAR dog was only 1 hour away but know that for my next I may have to travel to get it, especially since the next one I want is a czech or east german and their are no breeders locally that have what I want. Are you currently working with a unit? If so how long have you been with them, we like our new handlers to work with the unit at least 6-9 months before they really start to bring on a dog. It takes that long just to learn to read the dogs around you. I am asking these a lot of questions I know, but only in order to help if I can.
 

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While it is wonderful to want to rescue a dog - keep in mind most of the rescues do not come with pedigrees, OFA or CERF...I would open up to breeders who may be getting a dog back from someone for whom the dog is "too much"....as well as rescue....

Lee
 
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