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Discussion Starter #1
HI all! Very informative forum! I wanted GSD owners opinions and experiences on an issue that will determine if I will be bringing home a GSD pup home.

I have a 11 month old Shih Tzu that is VERY well mannered, very quiet, very obedient, very good with other dogs and kids, and very obedient. My wife and I were thinking of getting a GS however our biggest worry is ... how will these two get along? We've been doing lots of homework and research but I wanted to hear experienced owners experiences and knowledge. Tips, info, and knowledge is greatly appreciated... thanks in advanced.
 

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Unfortunately there is no way to know how they would get along until it happens.

Some puppies are very submissive to any dog that is older than they are no matter the size. Others are NOT. Even a pup that is submissive within the litter, may not be when faced with a "strange" dog.

If you DO get a pup, I would DEFINATELY get one that is the opposite sex of the Shih Tzu. (Even more important if the current dog is a female.) And even then, you need to be prepared for the fact that when the GSD grows up, they may NOT get along and will have to be seperated 24/7.

On the other hand, they may grow up to be the best of friends. As I said, there is no way to know for sure until they are both adults.
 

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I agree with Tracy!!

My father brought a Shih Tzu home and he has a 10 yr old GSD and 8 yr old golden. Th Golden treats him as a pup and protects him the GSD goes the other way.

Definately get the opposite sex and time will tell. I am sure things will be fine the Shih Tzu will need some time but will get use to the puppy
 

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I just adopted an approximately 10 month old male GSD, Sam. My sheltie/keeshond mix Murphy is 30 lbs. and 16-1/2 years old. There is no doubt in Sam's mind who the boss is. Even at her advanced age, Murphy has put him in his place several times. BUT, he is not a dominate dog, so that's what makes all the difference. Our Max was a very big, but submissive GSD. Murph was 4+ when we brought him home. He never disputed who was the boss. He even got bossed by the cats. Didn't bother him in the least that a 6-1/2 kitty told him what to do!

In my opinion, it boils down to the personality of each dog - no matter what breed. I agree that a male/female mix is the best combination, but that comes from my personal experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thats interesting. I've read from a bunch of websites that females are more territorial? Also... does breed overcome training from owners?
 

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As others have said, you won't know until you get them together. But I can tell you, I have a 12 year male GSD who is very docile (maybe even senile, at this point!) and a 2 year old female GSD who is the polar opposite of my 12 year old. She is very defensive, rambunctious and needs affection and attention constantly. She is very territorial not only with her home and yard, but with her food, toys, etc. I adopted a 5 year old Shih-Tzu just last week (male) and after about 10 minutes of my 2 year old GSD barking, growling, etc., all is well. The 2 year old (who I thought might be a problem with this new little guy) loves him and they have become best buddies. The cats could care less, and my 12 year old doesn't mind him at all. I took the 2 year old to meet the Shih Tzu at the Humane Society first (neutral ground), then brought him home with us, both riding together in the back of the SUV. I think if you introduce them right, stop/solve any behavior problems right away, and don't let your original dog feel slighted, it will work out just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the great replies. I think mej is right in regards to nipping any problems in the butt right from the get go, and also introducing the two in a neutral ground. Now my only dilemma is male or female for my little guy. I'm really leaning more towards a male. However, I'm thinking if I was in my dogs shoes... would I want a new guy to come live with me? LOL I'd def. prefer a new girl on the block.
 

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Originally Posted By: Robocop I think mej is right in regards to nipping any problems in the butt right from the get go,...
That is all well and fine, in THEORY. But in reality, don't forget you are dealing with DOGS and as dogs, they have minds of their own. Generally, if there are going to be serious problems, they don't occur until the GSD becomes an adult. (around 2 yo.)

There are numerous occurances of 2 dogs getting along wonderfully for a few years. Then BAM, one tries to kill the other. And if you are lucky, it happens when you are home and are able to stop it. If you are unlucky, it happens when you are NOT able to stop it.

Don't get me wrong. I am NOT saying I think you shouldn't get a GSD puppy. I just think it is best to go into getting a new "family member" with your eyes WIDE OPEN, knowing what "could" happen down the road. So "if" it does, you aren't totally shocked. (Notice I said "could" and "if", NOT "will" and "when".)
 

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Here's my feeling. Two puppies in a household is a bit much. Your Shih Tzu is approaching adulthood. Why don't you let him finish up his puppyhood, THEN get a new puppy? We all think we can handle it. But whew! It's just SO MUCH energy in one household. I have an adolescent GSD and a young puppy that I just brought home.

My GSD is well trained, otherwise I never would have tried this. But even so, they wear me out. Just one example: when I put the puppy in her crate for a nap, after about a half hour, he gets bored and walks up to her crate and bangs into it, which wakes her up. Then she has to potty (of course), and she's ready to romp (of course) and then I have to get her settled back in again. Fully adult dogs don't do these sorts of crazy things. They just wait for the pup to come out of the crate, THEN they play.

And my adolescent dog never "got bored" before. He'd hang out at my feet and snooze. But now he has a playmate, and he wants to play with her whenever I let him. And if he can hurry that process along, all the better.

In your shoes, I'd just give your Shih Tzu some more time. Let him settle into adulthood. Enjoy the calm before the storm.


I know I'm not answering the question you asked. But I think you'd be wise to consider it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My wife and I would like to thank everyone for their input... its definitely contributed to our decision. Long considerations, and tonnes of homework and research have lead us to holding off on the gsd. Everybody had very interesting points, and we appreciate the honesty. We are going to wait because our little guy is still a pup and has much more learning to do, as it an ongoing process. Adding another little guy (well not literally lol) to the mix of things will be a handful, and we would want to focus on one pup at a time until behaviour is completely stable. We do know however that we WILL be bringing home a special pup home in the near future! Thank you all!

D and G
 

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Well, now that you have all this time, grab yourself some coffee and hang around this forum for a while. There's a lot to be learned. There are a lot of great stories. I'm always picking up new tips AND falling out of my chair laughing, as others recount their adventuresome lives with their dogs...

Ask questions, lots of questions. This way, when you bring your GSD puppy home in the future, you'll be a true expert!
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9MomWell, now that you have all this time, grab yourself some coffee and hang around this forum for a while. There's a lot to be learned. There are a lot of great stories. I'm always picking up new tips AND falling out of my chair laughing, as others recount their adventuresome lives with their dogs...

Ask questions, lots of questions. This way, when you bring your GSD puppy home in the future, you'll be a true expert!


Also to the OP, as you are reading, pay CLOSE attention to all of the troubles people are having with their pups. (Especially the chewing, biting, and acting like little maniacs.) GSD pup are NOT like a lot of other breeds. They make puppies of other breeds look like angels.

That way when you DO get your GSD pup and it chews EVERYTHING and likes nothing more than zooming around like it is on drugs, and biting the crap out of you, you won't be surprised. And you will be better prepared to deal with the "puppy crazies". Soon it will grow out of the crazieness and you will then MISS the puppy stage.
 

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i say they're going to fine together. when you introduce them for the first time do it outside with both of them leashed. is there anyway they can meet before bringing the puppy home?
 

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Originally Posted By: BlackGSD
Originally Posted By: 3K9MomWell, now that you have all this time, grab yourself some coffee and hang around this forum for a while. There's a lot to be learned. There are a lot of great stories. I'm always picking up new tips AND falling out of my chair laughing, as others recount their adventuresome lives with their dogs...

Ask questions, lots of questions. This way, when you bring your GSD puppy home in the future, you'll be a true expert!


Also to the OP, as you are reading, pay CLOSE attention to all of the troubles people are having with their pups. (Especially the chewing, biting, and acting like little maniacs.) GSD pup are NOT like a lot of other breeds. They make puppies of other breeds look like angels.

That way when you DO get your GSD pup and it chews EVERYTHING and likes nothing more than zooming around like it is on drugs, and biting the crap out of you, you won't be surprised. And you will be better prepared to deal with the "puppy crazies". Soon it will grow out of the crazieness and you will then MISS the puppy stage.
there's no trouble in raising a GSD. "puppy crazies", it's not that bad. i've never had a puppy that zoomed around like it's on drugs. between training and crating and socializing it's all rather easy.
 

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Originally Posted By: doggiedad there's no trouble in raising a GSD. "puppy crazies", it's not that bad. i've never had a puppy that zoomed around like it's on drugs. between training and crating and socializing it's all rather easy.


That is really a GROSS generalization. Some GSD puppies are so much different than others, it's like they are a different breed. I've had GSDs for 30 years and some of the pups HAVE been very tough to raise. While other have been much easier. But in no way, shape or form would I call it "easy". My Catahoulas and Border Collie were MUCH easier than some of the GSD pups I have had.
 

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As far as training over the breed...I wouldn't say "training" it's almost like you have to consider the lines (working, show, etc) a dog with high prey drive won't be able to help themselves. It's an instinct that has been cultivated and bred into the dog for a long time; you almost have to re-focus the drive. (no "almost" at my house...)

Having said that, I came from a marshmellow GSD to the fire cracker girl.
We have two cats, and babysit my mother's dog and now at 15 months Alice can be left alone with all three small critters.
I would not do that when Alice was between 6 months and 13 months of age.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well.. the wife and I have come to a final decision. We have changed our minds and have decided to go through with the gsd! We have been doing tonnes of research and homework on the breed, the training involved, the maintenance, etc... not to mention in contact with over 20 breeders! We narrowed it down to two breeders and are going to visit the dame/sire and the facilities this coming weekend. We have changed our minds due to many factors and i'd like to share:

1. We would prefer both dogs to both grow up together, as they will both be easier to train. Also our little guy now is neutered already and is very well trained. He also needs a buddy to play with!

2. We both have lots of time off from work when we bring the pup home so we can spend lots of time with the pup.

3. We have found two breeders that have been very knowledgable, and honest with us. Both breeders made us fill out personal information forms telling them about our lifestyle, our current dog, etc... and i am very comfortable with the fact that they will be choosing the specific dog for us. I couldn't possibly go and visit for an hour and pick out a pup. Both breeders raise the litters in their own homes and monitor them 24/7.

4. We're experienced dog owners and we're going to incorporate click training with the gsd.

5. We decided to go with a herding line (http://www.kirschental.de/). Our breeder breeds by german standards and through research is a top breeder in our province.

6. Last and not least, we are ready to dedicate our time and love to a special guy!

Thanks agian for everyones input!
 

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I think you just have to be very diligent, and watch for the puppy to not be injured, although it's a lot easier to introduce a German Shepherd puppy to a small breed than vice versa! I have a 7lb Cairn Terrier puppy and a small Jack Russell terrier that live with my 4 German Shepherds, they all get along fantastic, but right from the start the Shepherds have been trained to be very careful with their little pack members, all I have to say is CAREFULL!! if they are getting too rough, and they know immediately to calm down, they love to play with their little pepper pot friends and really the little terrorists can take a lot, but it's just a safety factor, the Shepherds are just much bigger, but as far as getting along, they all adore each other and it's a joy to watch them play and interact together, some hilarious stuff goes on every day!
 
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