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Here's my dilemma. I am a college student, and I own a German Shepherd who is highly loyal and attached to me. He's great. But I know they can sometimes suffer from "separation anxiety." My parents can definitely tell a difference in him when I'm gone, and I can sense a depressive mood in him when I'm about to leave home. This also happens when I don't bring bags/suitcases home - he knows I'm not staying long. He mopes around, and isn't very active. I recently found out that I may be transferring further away from my hometown, several hours. However, my question is about what is healthier for him:

1) Take him with me when I move, so that he is not separated from his owner. However, he'd be separated from our Jack Russell Terrier, my family, and a big yard. Would a new place with less room be too much stress?

2) Leave him with my parents in a place he knows and is used to, going months on end without being reunited with me, his owner.

Leaving him would even be hard for me, but I'm just concerned about his health too.

-Bekah
 

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Take him with you. He would live in a cardboard box to be with you. The other dog, your parents and huge yard are not enough of a substitute for you. If it was, he would be just fine when you leave. He wants you!


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Its surprising how dogs adapt :) it takes time and patience but it's all about sticking with it I think. And there's crate training as well as a just in case.
 

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We have a small apartment (I'm a college student too) and my gsd would probably be happier here than in a huge house, she likes to be in the same room.

Take him with you, he probably wouldnt want it any other way
 

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They are amazingly adaptable. Worst case scenario, you take him and it does not work out, so he goes back to your parents'. Best case, he is with you.


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If you decide to take him with you there are many things you'll need to take into consideration. Obviously you won't be living in a dorm. You'll need to start looking for housing that allows dogs and be aware of the ordinances in the area you are moving too.

I have a question for you. Knowing you'd be going off to college at some point, did you think about any of this when you decided to own a dog? I'm in no way judging or saying this sarcastically. I only ask out of curiousity. I see a lot of posts from teenagers wanting to take responsibility for a dog and I wonder if they consider the day they go off to college.

Anyway, good luck with your decision. You obviously care very much and I hope it works out for all of you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Well, we've always had a "security dog" in our family. Normally, we'd choose from other breeds, or "mutts." We hardly ever got a purebred. This was our first time owning a purebred GSD. We got him 5 years ago, so I was around 13. At that time, I wasn't even thinking about college. We were just ready to get another dog, and this time, it was going to be mine. So we got him, and with no previous experience with a purebred shepherd, we didn't realize how loyal they are or how bonded they become. We'd only had a mixed shepherd, a good dog, but his characteristics and attachment were nothing like my GSD's that I have now. That, and I was planning on always staying close to home for college so that would not be a problem. Our "family" dog is attached to his owner, me, therefore I want to keep him with me. That's probably a lot longer reply than you were expecting, but I've never been irresponsible with my dog and have always had the best in mind for him. That's why I'm doing a lot of research about this so I can make an informed decision. I appreciate the concern though :)

Oh and thanks for the heads up about the ordinances! That one might of slipped my mind with everything else I'm looking into!
 

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Oh and thanks for the heads up about the ordinances! That one might of slipped my mind with everything else I'm looking into!
As a renter with pets, another thing you might keep in mind is that it may very well be easier to rent a room in a house with someone else who currently has or previously had a dog rather than try to find a pet-friendly apartment. I know it sounds cramped, but it is often the most effective pet-friendly housing, if a bit ghetto-fabulous...Also I've found that places that have fenced-in yards tend to be more dog friendly than apartments. You can find properties like these through Craigslist, or by checking with the major real estate companies in the area. Google "your town name + property management." They often have rentals even if they are better known for home sales. From my experience living in college towns, the rental companies that cater specifically to college students can be really hit or miss. We're currently renting from a family who happens to have a second house and we have a fenced-in yard plus dog run for $400/person/month.

But yeah, I agree with the other posters in this thread. Dogs belong with their "people" whenever possible. One of my friends got through graduate school (PhD, conference travel and all) with her white GSD at her side.
 
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