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Hello All,

I'm going to get my first german shepherd soon and I just had a few questions for you.

1. What kind of food is best for a gsd? I've heard eukanuba and royal canin are both good choices, what do you all feed yours?

2. How hard is it to train them? I'm trying to avoid going to a training class, and hope that I can train mine myself, but I'm not sure.

3. My girlfriend has a miniature schnauzer that is a male and I want the gsd and schnauzer to get along. I'm thinking if i get a male gsd this would cause too much competition between them. Is this true? Should I get a female?

Thanks!
 

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HI!!!

Congrats on the new little one.
here is my opinion on your questions.
1. I feed mine what my breeder used Purina Pro Plan but eukanuba is good too.

2. Training is difficult but well worth it. If you can find a trainer that comes to your home that is what I did with Brady. I get compliment on how well behaved he is.

3. as lond as you socialize them with each other they should be fine and you baby will grow up with him so he'll love him.

I hope this helped!!! make sure you post pics !!!
 

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to the forum bdavis86. You've come to the right spot to research the german shepherd. You may want to put your general location in your profile. That way, folks from your area may be able to point to to different resources as you research and after you bring your new family member home.

For the non-answeres to your questions:

1. What kind of food is best for a gsd? I've heard eukanuba and royal canin are both good choices, what do you all feed yours?

What you feed depends- First off you would want to start with whatever the pup's breeder is using. If you getting a puppy from a shelter/rescur, you would want to check with them. You could then wean them to a different formula.

2. How hard is it to train them? I'm trying to avoid going to a training class, and hope that I can train mine myself, but I'm not sure.

Again depends on your commitment to put in the time and consistently to train. I would (strongly) encourage you to consider looking into group classes for the socialization aspects of the training and growing part of your puppy's development. beginning and continuing socialization is tantamount to your success in properly raising and being reponsible for the development of the puppy.

3. My girlfriend has a miniature schnauzer that is a male and I want the gsd and schnauzer to get along. I'm thinking if i get a male gsd this would cause too much competition between them. Is this true?

Every dog is an individual. How is the schnauzer with other dogs? Is he a fairly social dog.
If you work on the socialization of a new puppy you should be able to introduce the two well. You would want to oversee and watch the two for a while. And it should not matter whether you get a male/female.

Makeu sure you spend a lot of time in the puppy section as there are a lot of great threads on introducing and training a new puppy.

Be sure to ask lots of questions.
 

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You might get a lot of mix answers for question #1. Go with whatever makes your pet happy, healthly, and looking good. =)

I used eukanuba but he was slimy. Switched to royal canin and has been good since.
 

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Re: Going to get my first GSD soon, got some quest

Welcome to the forum and congrats in advance on your new pup. Eukanuba is not good food. I'm not a fan of Pro Plan either. I cannot comment on Royal Canin because I haven't seen the ingredients. You'll get a lot of different opinions on food here. Some of us go with the really high quality (and expensive) foods that are only available at specialty stores and on line and others feed foods from the supermarket. Every gsd I've ever had has had digestive problems so I start them all on the really good stuff now to hopefully minimize problems in the future.

If you haven't trained a gsd before then I would find a good, positive reinforcement based training class and attend several classes with your dog. You'll both learn a lot and it can provide great socialization too.

My dog is fine with small dogs but I've worked with him so that he understands he has to be gentler with them than with big dogs.
 

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Re: Going to get my first GSD soon, got some quest

given some of the responses, I think i'll use the royal canin, since the eukanuba got some bad reviews.

I live in iowa and there is a petsmart in des moines that has some training classes so I think might have to look into those to see what they offer and if they are worth it.

The miniature schnauzer is a good dog, he likes other dogs and can be somewhat hyperactive and play pretty rough, I just want to be sure that a male german shepherd wouldnt interpret that as a threat of somekind and snap at him. We are currently thinking of taking the schnauzer to get the puppy when we go in about 8 weeks or so to see which one(s) he interacts well with, which have a good temperment, etc. Good idea?

Thanks again for the fast responses!
 

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Re: Going to get my first GSD soon, got some quest

The higher the quality of the food you feed the less you have to feed and the less waste produced. Dogs don’t process grains very well – they are used mostly as cheap fillers in dog foods. So, a food that has little grain and more meat is better. Or you could go one step better and feed a natural raw diet.


As for the training, most GSDs are very smart. I think sometimes they are smarter than their owners! Being fair, consistent and motivational is the key. Taking a puppy to training classes isn’t so much about teaching the puppy – it’s more about teaching YOU how to teach the puppy. And it is valuable socialization time for the puppy.

As for getting two males, if they are both neutered there’s less chance of issues. You should ask the breeder which of the pups is the most pack-social and least pack-dominant. If they don’t know I’d say look for another breeder. Most responsible breeders do not let the owners pick just any puppy. The breeder has lived with the pups since they were born. They should know all the pups individual temperaments and be able to tell you which pup (or pups) would do best in your situation.
 

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Re: Going to get my first GSD soon, got some quest

Originally Posted By: Lauri & The GangThe higher the quality of the food you feed the less you have to feed and the less waste produced. Dogs don’t process grains very well – they are used mostly as cheap fillers in dog foods. So, a food that has little grain and more meat is better. Or you could go one step better and feed a natural raw diet.


As for the training, most GSDs are very smart. I think sometimes they are smarter than their owners! Being fair, consistent and motivational is the key. Taking a puppy to training classes isn't so much about teaching the puppy – it’s more about teaching YOU how to teach the puppy. And it is valuable socialization time for the puppy.

As for getting two males, if they are both neutered there’s less chance of issues. You should ask the breeder which of the pups is the most pack-social and least pack-dominant. If they don’t know I’d say look for another breeder. Most responsible breeders do not let the owners pick just any puppy. The breeder has lived with the pups since they were born. They should know all the pups individual temperaments and be able to tell you which pup (or pups) would do best in your situation.
AGREE 100 percent.

Also re: GSDs it is very important to socialize a soon as possible and continually to as much as possible, people of all nations and ages, animals, places, things, sounds, so that you end up with a well rounded and balance GSD that will in the end know when to protect and not end up a dangerous dog to strangers that mean no harm.

I highly suggest finding a puppy class for socialization reasons, I personally like Petsmart's Puppy Education, it was a great socialization class for 8 weeks with Jesse who started it at 10 weeks.

Jesse is great with all dogs of all sizes but that is because we have socialized him to the max and continue to do so every single day and he also goes to doggy daycare to help the cause. Cause I want a dog that I will have no problems taking anywhere. Jesse was very easy to train, but he still attended obedience classes for bonding and social reasons.

Jesse has been on Canidea, Timberwolf and now Orijen - All high quality no filler foods only found in higher end pet stores - I personally would never feed food found in a grocery store - I would cook his food from scratch if I couldn't afford the higher end foods. GSDs tend to get some allergies that are in the lower end food.
 

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Re: Going to get my first GSD soon, got some quest

Originally Posted By: Sherush
Jesse has been on Canidea, Timberwolf and now Orijen - All high quality no filler foods only found in higher end pet stores - I personally would never feed food found in a grocery store - I would cook his food from scratch if I couldn't afford the higher end foods. GSDs tend to get some allergies that are in the lower end food.
I don't own a GSD yet but I do know a fair amount about dog food. I am not a fan of any of the dog foods that the OP mention but Sherush made some good recommendations.

If you are serious about good dog food, check out this website
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/
A lot of good information without corporate bias.
 

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Re: Going to get my first GSD soon, got some quest

Sherush-which Orijen formula is Jesse on?? Link is on Acana large breed puppy food right now which is made by Orijen.
 

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Re: Going to get my first GSD soon, got some quest

Welcome to the board.


As you can see this is the place to be for help and advice with your GSD.

There isn't much that I can add to what everyone else has said. It would appear that you intend to get a puppy rather than an older dog. I would start your puppy on a quality puppy food such as Eagle Pack Puppy for Large Breeds. After a year switch to Royal Canin's GSD formula.

I too strongly suggest that you enroll in a positive reinforcement training class. The socialization aspect is invaluable! Equally important is the fact that you will be trained to train your dog.

Constant socialization (with people and other dogs) is a must with a GSD. Socialization and exposure to the outside world is the best way to "bulletproof" your dog.

Best of luck!!
 

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Quote: 2. How hard is it to train them? I'm trying to avoid going to a training class, and hope that I can train mine myself, but I'm not sure.
Dog classes are great and shouldn't be avoided, rather something to look forward to. Hm, if I could socialize and train my dog the fastest and best way, shouldn't that be a goal (rather than avoided?)?

What makes GSD's so wonderful (energy and brains) is exactly why they are much more of a challenge to raise/train the first year or so. Any plan we have to be PRO-active to guide our dogs to perfection before problems crop up are a good thing for me.

Here's some great sites about GSD pups and how to prepare (they are not the breed for everyone, heck all the turn ins at the shelters can show that
)

http://www.gsdhelpline.com/willis2.htm

http://www.dogshome.org/docs/G852_GermShepherd_FactsheetQXD.pdf

http://home.flash.net/~astroman/primer1.html
 

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Hello & small world, isn't it??? I'm in Iowa, too & about 2hrs from DM.

Seek out a good class (or 2 or 3 or more). The socialization alone makes them well worthwhile. GSDs s/b socializedSocializedSOCIALIZED, IMO.

I've been feeding Canidae & will probably continue with it at least through the warm, muggy months. When cooler weather returns, I might go back to Taste of the Wild, a grain free food. Djibouti had loose stools with it & I suspect the protein content was a bit high, especially since he's still a youngster. (I supplement with raw chicken, eggs, yogurt & pumpkin. I give 'em table scraps, too)

A good example of the breed s/b relatively easy to train. GSDs are smart, <u>biddable</u> dogs. They require fair, consistent leaders which is true of most dogs. Some, especially intact males, might want to challenge you, particularly during puberty.

My male GSD does all right with my butthead 1/2 Mini Scnauzer muttchkin that's also a male(though neutered). Because of the HUGE size diff I don't think Djibouti lends much credence to Pluto's domineering, bullying snarky ways. He just grins & says cooool, let's rumble(play). Other large dogs might not be that tolerant or friendly. (Sam, Djibouti's Grandma, is equally forgiving of miniature buttheads, canine or feline)

Have you selected your breeder, litter, pup yet? IF not, consider very carefully EXACTLY what you want, need, expect in a dog & look for breeders that consistently produce sound, healthy pups with the qualities that are essential to you.
 

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There are many very good foods on the market and as others have said it really boils down to preference and what your dog does well on. *Cooked*grains are very well digested and tolerated by dogs.

I personally like Pro Plan and have always gotten good results with their products. I haven't been able to use Eukanuba for years due to the more recent inclusion of a grain called sorghum, I find many GSDs just do not tolerate it well.

As far as training I too enjoy training my own dogs
It is very rewarding. I would suggesting going to the library and checking out some books on the topic to see what type of training appeals to you and also invest in some good training books for reference at home. There are also many videos made these days you can either rent or purchase that are quite helpful. I too would recommend a lot of socialization so the Petsmart puppy classes can be great for that. But, the higher levels of training will depend on the trainer and you find trainers with Petsmart from very poor to very good.

As far as the two dog issue. I have found that most GSDs raised with a dog accept that dog as a pack member and respect the dog and see it as a playmate. If the Schnauzer is altered and you altered your male dog I see no problem. So again, gender will be a preference for you to decide about.

Hope that helps, and good luck!

Cherri
 

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In answer to your questions.

1. I feed Fromm's. One of the few dog food that is stillmade and processed locally, and not in a foreign country. Check out Fromm's Family Foods on the net.

2. Most GSD's are easy to train. Training classes do little in my opinion and can do more harm then good. However, it is important your dog be socialized with neighbors and other pets.

3. A bit tougher to answer. My GSD gets along with other males, after a few days. Nonetheless, I do rescue and they are always concerned about having my dog and another male together. If your GSD is a pup I would tend to think they will get along.
 

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i think u got a good idea on what foods and how to adjust and what not but i would certainly say that getting a GSD is pretty intimidateing. i mean its not like ur going to be bringing home a lab or golden. if u have done the research on the GSD u will see that these dogs THRIVE on learning, training, and strenuous activity. i can vouch for that too. training is fun whether it be doing it urself or with a trainer. u will be amazed at how fast they learn, all i could say is that u need to find out "who" ur dog is and go from there. as far as getting along with the shnauzer, u may have to adjust the shnauzer to the new pup.

the GSD is a lot of work but it pays off! good luck and keep us posted
 

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My advice to you is to get a dog food that is corn free. I have had dogs in the past that have had frequent ear infections and usually that is the reason for it. If I had only known then what I know now. This internet is great!!!
 
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