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Hello! I've only posted briefly here. I had a German Shepherd, Sadie, as a child... she was "my" first dog at 10yrs old, and even though I was young, she was my dog through and through. My dad and I still look back with fond memories of her and miss her greatly... unfortunately, we didn't understand what it meant to own a GSD at the time. Parents had just been divorced, dad was in a bad place, and she never got the sufficient exercise or stimulation that she needed. She was a great dog with the family but hated strangers and ended up attacking someone on our property and got put down. I was completely devastated and cried for days. We also got her from a BYB so not good genes.

I have been seriously implementing the idea of another GSD as I've been thinking alot about Sadie lately. But it will be a little while off. I currently am "owned" by my best little buddy, Jackson, who is a 15lb terrier. He is totally the best dog I ever could have asked for. He's super active, yet laidback, he gets along with everyone and every dog. In fact, today at the dog park, he played GREAT with 2 Shepherd mix puppies at the dog park who were already double his size. You can view more of him on YouTube - brittanyjadexo's Channel and all the tricks and fun things he can do. He's into swimming, hiking, running, dog parks, and all that fun stuff.

Having a GSD will most likely be 2-3 years away. I need to own my own place first with a yard- atleast that's my goal. I want to wait and be the best GSD owner I can possibly be. I am very into training... Jackson is well trained, and in agility classes right now. But I thought it can't hurt to get ahead start.

A few questions-
1. Any good breeder recommendations in Maryland?
2. What type of health testing should be done on a GSD, and what health issues are they most prone to?
3. What colors do they all come in? I'm partial to black/tan.
4. Just how much shedding do they do? (I really don't remember).
5. How are they, in general, with little dogs? Really high prey drive? Or is it more dependent on if they are raised together? Would a puppy from a good breeder be recommended over an adult rescue dog?

I'll think of more questions, but I've just fallen in love ALL over again with the GSD. And even if it takes me 5years, I really want to have one again someDAY.
 

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Answers:
1. I can't answer this Q because I'm not in that area.
2. The health tests your breeder should do include: Hips, elbows, Blood, and I think eyes. GSDs, like most large breeds, have trouble with hip displaysia and they also have some skin problems. Then there's aggression in GSDs.
3. Sable, Black and Tan, pure black, pure white, and there's more.
4. I haven't experienced GSD shedding yet, but from what I read, they are a breed that sheds quite a bit.
5. GSDs do have a drive, and as for rescue vs breeder, it all depends on what you want.
 

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GSD's shed a ton mainly twice a year when they blow their coat. Other than that when fed well I find the shedding manageable with brushing and of course the good old vacuum cleaner. Health testing is doe for a variety of hereditary issues that go beyond hips and elbows, and aggression can not be tested for genetically mainly would be inherited from the parents so look for parents with awesome temperament which any real breeder is breeding for anyway. There are a few local breeders on here that will hopefully chime in like GSDBESTK9 and others who produce some amazing pups and have solid reputations. You can also look at other breeders on here and have the pup flown in- it's pretty simple and totally worth it if your looking for a specific line like West German showline, West German working lines, East German Working lines, Czech lines, and American showlines. You can get GSD's in black and tan, Sable, all black, all white, and different variations of these like dark sables, blanket backs, and so on.

Usually a pup raised with small dogs is fine with them provided you would be getting a puppy. GSD's do have prey drive which varies from dog to dog and something you would need to ask a breeder once you select one. I would study the lines to see what you want in a dog first and then you'll have a good idea of what kind of breeder your looking for:) Your videos are precious and if you implement the same kind of training and exercise with a GSD you'll be fine. They need to be socialized young with new people, places, and dogs and have this kept up because they can be really awesome dogs, or downright pushy and suspicious. Good luck in your search!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Answers:
1. I can't answer this Q because I'm not in that area.
2. The health tests your breeder should do include: Hips, elbows, Blood, and I think eyes. GSDs, like most large breeds, have trouble with hip displaysia and they also have some skin problems. Then there's aggression in GSDs.
3. Sable, Black and Tan, pure black, pure white, and there's more.
4. I haven't experienced GSD shedding yet, but from what I read, they are a breed that sheds quite a bit.
5. GSDs do have a drive, and as for rescue vs breeder, it all depends on what you want.
Thanks for answering my questions!

As for number 5, I want a "pet dog" but I would be interested in doing agility on the side, or possibly dabbling into some other dog sports. But I'm pretty sure it'd be just for fun, and exercise, of course. I would love to get a rescue dog, but I almost feel getting a puppy from a reputable breeder would be better for me, simply because I own a small dog who is my heart and first and foremost, he must be safe and happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
GSD's shed a ton mainly twice a year when they blow their coat. Other than that when fed well I find the shedding manageable with brushing and of course the good old vacuum cleaner. Health testing is doe for a variety of hereditary issues that go beyond hips and elbows, and aggression can not be tested for genetically mainly would be inherited from the parents so look for parents with awesome temperament which any real breeder is breeding for anyway. There are a few local breeders on here that will hopefully chime in like GSDBESTK9 and others who produce some amazing pups and have solid reputations. You can also look at other breeders on here and have the pup flown in- it's pretty simple and totally worth it if your looking for a specific line like West German showline, West German working lines, East German Working lines, Czech lines, and American showlines. You can get GSD's in black and tan, Sable, all black, all white, and different variations of these like dark sables, blanket backs, and so on.

Usually a pup raised with small dogs is fine with them provided you would be getting a puppy. GSD's do have prey drive which varies from dog to dog and something you would need to ask a breeder once you select one. I would study the lines to see what you want in a dog first and then you'll have a good idea of what kind of breeder your looking for:) Your videos are precious and if you implement the same kind of training and exercise with a GSD you'll be fine. They need to be socialized young with new people, places, and dogs and have this kept up because they can be really awesome dogs, or downright pushy and suspicious. Good luck in your search!!!
Thanks so much for all the great info!

I definitely think I have the tools and knowledge now more than ever to raise any dog, but specifically a GSD. I still feel so sad that we simply just didn't know with Sadie and went into getting her without prior knowledge or thinking it through, etc. So yes, my next dog will be socialized like crazy and trained, just like my current dog. :) I'm glad to hear they can be good with small dogs.
 

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whenever someone askes me if german shepherds shed a lot and how much i tell them they shed twice a year. The first half and the second half of the year. All day every day. When they blow their coat is usually the heaviest. As far as colors, they come in various colors. Solid White, Solid Black, various black and tan (bi-color,blanket back, saddle back), various sable shades, blue and tan, liver and tan....

there is just so much. My dogs are good with most other animals. They live with cats and wouldnt be here if they couldnt get along. They tolerate smaller dogs. they're not aggressive. all i can say is do your research, meet GSDs in person. get to know the breed. i know i'm missing some of your questions and i apologize but its bedtime. I'll be back later. lol. good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
german shepherds only shed once.... a day LOL
LOL!

Yes, I'm a bit scared about the shedding. It's just something I'm NOT used to considering I have a non-shedding dog. But I think if I found a perfect dog, I could definitely get past the shedding. ;)


I went to the German Shepherd Club of America site and this is the closest breeder to me that I found:
Country Lakes Puppies - German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers

Ironic that she breeds both Goldens and GSD's... I grew up with BOTH of them (together). Daisy (our Golden) was about 6, I think, when we added Sadie. And they eventually became the best of friends.
 

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specific line like West German showline, West German working lines, East German Working lines, Czech lines, and American showlines.
Can anyone explain to me the main differences between the lines? I noticed one breeders website stated her dogs were European GS puppies. And another states her GSD are imported from Germany.
 

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I'm too sleepy to go over all the different line characteristics but the info can be found on this site via the search function. I would be leery of "European lines" it's a little vague and imported from Germany also doesn't cut it and is often said to raise the price of pups. Google all the lines and get familiar or search here. Either way buy from a breeder that health tests, titles their dogs, has tons of references, and can give you at least information on the last three generations of both parents if not 5:) If you mention names here people can steer to away from and toward better ones:)
 

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Here is a website that lists and describes all the types of GSDs.
Breed Types & Related Families

There is search engine where you can look up threads on the many lines of GSDs. There are many, but if you have questions about certain lines feel free to ask away.

The breeder you listed seems ok, but if you are curious about the breeder and are interested make a new thread, people more in the know about that will chime in.
 

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Thanks for answering my questions!

As for number 5, I want a "pet dog" but I would be interested in doing agility on the side, or possibly dabbling into some other dog sports. But I'm pretty sure it'd be just for fun, and exercise, of course. I would love to get a rescue dog, but I almost feel getting a puppy from a reputable breeder would be better for me, simply because I own a small dog who is my heart and first and foremost, he must be safe and happy.
This isn't really true. Just because you get a puppy from a reputable breeder doesn't mean it will grow up to like small dogs, cats, or any other small "prey" items. Granted, you can stack the odds in your favor by doing heavy socialization, but there is no guarantee with puppies what they will and won't like as adults. An adult dog--whether from a rescue or breeder--will have a known quantity attached to it. Once a dog is mature they don't often dramatically change. You can specifically search for adult dogs that have lived with small dogs or have been heavily tested with small dogs.
 

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A few questions-
1. Any good breeder recommendations in Maryland? -- Can't help you there.

2. What type of health testing should be done on a GSD, and what health issues are they most prone to? Hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, EPI, SIBO, pano, pannus to name a few common health problems in GSD's

3. What colors do they all come in? I'm partial to black/tan. Colors: Black, sable (varieties include "black" sable, "red" sable, etc), black and tan (varieties include saddle back--what most people think of the "typical" GSD color, bi-color, and blanket). White GSD's are actually a separate breed as white is a breed fault.

4. Just how much shedding do they do? (I really don't remember). All the time, with major coat blows twice a year--usually around Jan and June.

5. How are they, in general, with little dogs? Really high prey drive? Or is it more dependent on if they are raised together? Would a puppy from a good breeder be recommended over an adult rescue dog? As I said in the previous post a lot depends on how they are raised, but a lot just depends on the dog in general. Best bet, IMO, is an adult dog that has been tested heavily with small dogs.
As far as lines...you'll find a heavy split amongst posters with show lines versus working lines. The most important thing is to find a GOOD breeder who is breeding true to the temperment of the breed standard. I am partial to working lines, but that certainly doesn't mean that there are not good showline breeders out there. I just think that you have work a bit harder to find ones that truly represent what the breed should be.

The most common categories are:
American Show Lines
West German Show Lines (originated from a breed split from West German Working Lines in about the 1970's. Most commonly associated with "banana back black and red" dogs).
West German Working Lines (working line "split" from DDR and Czech dogs)
Czech Working Lines (Czech border patrol dogs during the communist era. The original "czech kennel" was state-owned).
DDR/East German Working Lines (East German equivilant to Czech dogs. Similar in look and original bloodlines to Czech dogs)
 

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This isn't really true. Just because you get a puppy from a reputable breeder doesn't mean it will grow up to like small dogs, cats, or any other small "prey" items. Granted, you can stack the odds in your favor by doing heavy socialization, but there is no guarantee with puppies what they will and won't like as adults. An adult dog--whether from a rescue or breeder--will have a known quantity attached to it. Once a dog is mature they don't often dramatically change. You can specifically search for adult dogs that have lived with small dogs or have been heavily tested with small dogs.
Thanks! That is good to know. I definitely would consider a rescue adult dog who has been tested around small dogs.

This page: Breed Types & Related Families gave me a lot of info that was new to me. I think the first one, the West German Show (High lines) would be my ideal GSD. But like I said, I'm still learning.
 

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I just want to second what GSDElsa said. It's entirely possible to get a puppy from a responsible breeder, raise it around your cats and small dogs, and still have a dog that you have to supervise around small prey animals.
 

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Thanks for all the great info.
 

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I recommend the Bissel Pet Lovers vacuum. ;) :D

With two of the German Shedders running about I vacuum minimum every other day but they are SO worth it.

Best of luck in your search and check out the forums below about choosing a breeder/puppy, it was very helpful to me in my search.

(p.s. I chose W. German show lines, so far I'm glad I did as I felt it was a better fit for my family and experience level)

LOL!

Yes, I'm a bit scared about the shedding. It's just something I'm NOT used to considering I have a non-shedding dog. But I think if I found a perfect dog, I could definitely get past the shedding. ;)


<snipped>
 

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1. Any good breeder recommendations in Maryland?
Sorry, I do not know any breeders in Maryland. :(

2. What type of health testing should be done on a GSD, and what health issues are they most prone to?
I would want to see their hips and elbows done. GSD's are prone to HD (Hip Dysplasia)

3. What colors do they all come in? I'm partial to black/tan.
Solid black, black/tan, black/red, bicolor, light to dark sable, solid white, blue, liver and panda. They also come in stock coat and long coat.

4. Just how much shedding do they do? (I really don't remember).
I brush my GSD almost everyday and there is still black hair around the house.

5. How are they, in general, with little dogs?
My GSD loves small dogs, he was raised around small dogs so he knows to be careful around them. If you socialize your GSD with small dogs they might be ok with them.

Really high prey drive?
My GSD has medium drive. GSD's can have low, medium, high or very high drive.

Or is it more dependent on if they are raised together?
What do you mean? You want to get 2 GSD's?

Would a puppy from a good breeder be recommended over an adult rescue dog?
For first time GSD owners and first time dog owners I would recommend adopting an adult GSD over getting a puppy. If you have the time, experience, patience and desire to raise and train a puppy then a reputable breeder would be the way to go. But if you want to save a life then go for the adult GSD, he/she needs a home and not all of them make it out of shelters and rescues alive. :(
 
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