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Discussion Starter #1
We are adopting a GSD from our local shelter. She was a stray. We believe she is about 4 years old. The shelter calls her Helga...and we are changing that name. Name is not totally yet determined.

We haven't had a GSD before...but don't worry, I've talked to breeders, trainers, and did a ton of research.

Just wanted to say hi!

Any tips you could give me for our first couple days would be appreciated!

Heather
 

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Hi, welcome to the forum!

Thank you for adopting! New Name dog is lucky to have you!

Take it easy and slow, allow her to get to know you, and you her. You don't know anything about her, so be very vigilant in all situations until you are satisfied that she is a safe and reliable dog. Keep her on leash, stick to a routine, supervise all interactions with people, dogs and other animals very carefully.

Keep her home for a couple of weeks, let her settle in and get to know her new routine before you throw new places and experiences at her. New dogs often go through a "Honeymoon" period. Often in the first couple of weeks or so, they are very, very, very good as they just hang back and observe their surroundings, try to not rock the boat and try hard to please as they figure out the pack dynamics and their place in it. Once they feel comfortable and a sense of belonging, their personality comes out, and they may start testing their boundries and sometimes getting into trouble - so just be aware of this.

Set a routine, keep her leashed at all times until you know her better, avoid dog parks (tons of dog park horror stories, avoid especially with a new dog that you don't know that well), crate her, or get her crate trained if she is not already, find out if she is spayed and get her spayed asap if needed, and do plan on classes. As mentioned, a great way to bond and have fun together.

Post pictures and keep us updated!
 

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Welcome.

Lucia has provided great advice above. Enjoy the new dog!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks all!
We are very excited.
Her crate is setup. She is spayed. We have a vet appointment on Saturday to get her microchipped and all checked out.
She was very very mellow in the shelter. So I anticipate a bit of rebellion. :)
We plan to walk her often, crate while not home for at least a few weeks and I'm already interviewing trainers. And we already discussed keeping her on leash in the house for at least the first few days.

Names are narrowed down to 2. Will post pics and name over the weekend!

Thanks for all the tips!
Heather
 

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I'm so excited for you all! I am really looking forward to seeing the pictures. I've never met a mellow German Shepherd. That's great. :) I'm really impressed at how prepared and obviously committed you are. This is going to be awesome.
 

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Congrats

I've never adopted before, but have tried too. The local shelter is picky........ Too picky. I do however watch other dogs other than my own. Just prepare yourself for a few mistakes. There just going to happen. Have patients with your new friend, and you will be rewarded in more ways then you can imagine. GSD's are great dogs! When given the chance, they instinctively want to make you happy. It's now going to be your job to teach the new resident how to make you happy.

Once communication gets established, your new friend is going to try there hardest to please you.
 

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Midnite was pretty mellow when I met him at the shelter. His disposition win me over. Then we got home and went right past the honeymoon period. He definitely had his own plans, but I thwarted all of those:) he turned out fine and I learned lots. Congrats on your new addition.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Her name is Ginger. Right now she is laying on the floor relaxing.
My husband and i walked/jogged with her earlier and the she got a good brushing.
Her one ear is looking iffy and her one eye is goopy but we have a vet appt saturday.
We also took turns calling her and she ran back and forth happily.
Overall good first evening.
Now to see what the night will bring!
 

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Congrats, and thank you for adopting, also agree with finding a good class, it will help you with any issues the dog might come with, don't give up, though, trust me, it will be worth all the work!!!!! Enjoy!!!! Bob
 

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well here's to a long and happy future for you and the dog .

always remember to deal with the dog that is in front of you , not some wishful projection of what she should/could be based on "everything that you've heard about the breed".

that includes your team of trainer and vet. Some vets prejudge your dog based on experience with gsd they have dealt with in the past . Some trainers will expect behavioural traits which your dog may or may not have. Always keep it real .

for the ear Zymox does wonders.
Goopy eye -- improve her food . Shelters tend to feed what is donated or what they can afford , or off-date bags . Not the best.

love to see some pictures of the Ginger pooch .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks all! Its been an interesting weekend.
Our interviews with the trainer went well. the one we chose owns Shepherds and his program is general obedience- not protection, not schutzhund, etc. We liked that because we want her to be a family dog. I know this is controversial but we will be doing ecollar training. the trainer does all Ecollar. I've done it in the past with a lab and find it very effective and provides great results.
Our vet was nice. we all agreed that Ginger is in great shape considering.

the only things we are dealing with right now is some separation anxiety (see post in general behavior) and I've noticed that she doesn't seem to know how to play. she doesn't touch toys at all. I can't even get her to bite them at all. not a bad thing necessarily- just odd to me.

Will post some pics soon!! She's a looker if I do say so myself.
 
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