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Discussion Starter #1
I have a lot of questions that I can't seem to find good answers to online. They're all different, so I didn't know where to put it.

1. What sized dog crate would be good for an adult German shepherd?

2. When is the best time to get a male neutered? I have no intentions of breeding. I also don't want hormone triggered behavioral issues to rise, but I also don't want to stunt his growth or anything by neutering too soon.

3. When would it be okay to do more rigorous exercise for a pup? I'd like to take him to the dog park and let him swim and use their agility course. (Also see the next question.)

4. I was Watching "It's Me or the Dog" once, and a punk-style family had a bull terrier named Chaos that they had to exercise a lot, so they got a pole type thing that attached to the bike's handlebars. Where could I get one of those? I used to take one of our smaller dogs on walks while I rode my bike, but she'd stop in front of me or something and I'd run her over, so I stopped doing that.

5. Will our other dogs' behavior issues rub off on a new puppy if he's given training, a lot of exercise, etc.? (I've been working with our other 5, but I still want to know JIC.)

6. How can I train him with distractions? All of the kids in my neighborhood go nuts when they see our dogs, and most of the adults are afraid of our lab, so I take it they'd be afraid of a German shepherd as well. Any suggestions?

7. How much do puppy classes normally run at Petsmart? I want to do them there because I'm guessing they're fairly cheap there, and also to get him socialized with other dogs at an early age. Plus I'm sure I'll learn more training techniques and such.

8. How do I train for agility competitions, and then get involved in them?
 

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1. I like this one
Life Stages-Double Door 48"
2. Depends on dog, but I'd wait at least 2 years if you are able to.
3. Swimming as early as you like, wouldn't let a young pup do jumps.
4. Never used one, but http://www.thedogoutdoors.com/walkydog-dog-bike-leash.html?gclid=CMzGxJ-JqJ8CFQUhnAod1Q7KVw
5. Yes, if you foster/allow it , so train your dog so the other dogs won't
6. Let them fall in love with your puppy so they'll be comfortable with the adult.
7. Don't know, and fine for socialization, but sort of cookie cutter and be aware that not all trainers really know what they're doing - especially with German Shepherds.
 

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The Italian One
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1. I use a large size dog crate.
2. You’ll probably get many different answers to this question but I would recommend once he has matured which is usually around 2 years of age. However, I would also caution that if you are even remotely unsure if you can control the dog if he senses a female in heat - do it now.
3. Swimming should be ok at any age but you may want to wait until your pup is done with puppy shots if you’re bringing him around other puppies. Jumping I’d wait for a little
5. You have 5 other dogs? Sorry, I know that’s not an answer but I’m going to agree with Anne. If you allow their habits to rub off they will.
7. I don’t recommend Petsmart puppy training classes.
8. See the agility section down toward the lower portion of the board.
 

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1. What sized dog crate would be good for an adult German shepherd? Usually a size 42 offers enough space for an adult GSD.

2. When is the best time to get a male neutered? I have no intentions of breeding. I also don't want hormone triggered behavioral issues to rise, but I also don't want to stunt his growth or anything by neutering too soon. You'll get lots of answers on this question, but my opinion would be somewhere between 8 months and 1 year.

3. When would it be okay to do more rigorous exercise for a pup? I'd like to take him to the dog park and let him swim and use their agility course. (Also see the next question.) No jumping for a young pup, but around 6 months you can start doing some small jumps, as pup grows, amount of exercise can be more. Having the pup jump or do rigorous exercise while they're still growing can do irreversible damage to the growth plates and joints.

4. I was Watching "It's Me or the Dog" once, and a punk-style family had a bull terrier named Chaos that they had to exercise a lot, so they got a pole type thing that attached to the bike's handlebars. Where could I get one of those? I used to take one of our smaller dogs on walks while I rode my bike, but she'd stop in front of me or something and I'd run her over, so I stopped doing that. The Springer is a nice one, you can do a search online or purchase from a catalog. Again though, you shouldn't do this kind of exercise until the pup is older. You can do short trips slowly down the street so pup can get used to going next to the bike, but I'd wait until pup was older.

5. Will our other dogs' behavior issues rub off on a new puppy if he's given training, a lot of exercise, etc.? (I've been working with our other 5, but I still want to know JIC.) Dogs definately learn from other dogs in the household, the good and the bad.

6. How can I train him with distractions? All of the kids in my neighborhood go nuts when they see our dogs, and most of the adults are afraid of our lab, so I take it they'd be afraid of a German shepherd as well. Any suggestions? Find a good training class, or two even! Working at training class offers lots of distractions as well as many opportunities to socialize with all kinds of other people.

7. How much do puppy classes normally run at Petsmart? I want to do them there because I'm guessing they're fairly cheap there, and also to get him socialized with other dogs at an early age. Plus I'm sure I'll learn more training techniques and such. If Petsmart classes are all that's available near you, then any training class is better than none. I've heard more negative reviews than good ones of their classes, so you may want to see if there are any other training classes or clubs in your area. I think they run about $120 for their classes, but I'm not sure.

8. How do I train for agility competitions, and then get involved in them? Find a training facility that offers agility classes. There are many organizations that offer agility. Most classes want your pup to be at least 6 months old to start training, and you can't enter competitions until at least 15 months (AKC). Here are some links to the agility organizations:
NADAC
AKC
UKC
USDAA
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The rules at the dog park is that each dog has to be at least 4 months old. Is that alright to stick with, or should I wait until he's older?

What would he do if he can smell a female in heat? All of our dogs are spayed/neutered, so I'm not sure how hard they'll try to escape to breed.

Thanks for the answers so far!
 

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The Italian One
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Originally Posted By: KonotashiWhat would he do if he can smell a female in heat? All of our dogs are spayed/neutered, so I'm not sure how hard they'll try to escape to breed.
I have been awaken in the middle of the night to a male dog trying to brake through my screened in window just to "get with" my female. They will do almost anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll try to wait until two years unless some serious problems arise, like him running away. (Oh, I don't have one yet. I'm just VERY SET on getting a male, so I use the pronouns for it.)

Another question I meant to ask earlier: When should I switch from puppy food to adult formula?
 

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3. When would it be okay to do more rigorous exercise for a pup? I'd like to take him to the dog park and let him swim and use their agility course. (Also see the next question.)


For the dog park - 2 weeks after last set of shots for immunization to be complete.

What is more rigorous? I have a series of terraces in my back yard. My pup's been clambering down the hillside pell mell, rolly polly ever since she came home. She started jumping the 12 to 18" drop as soon as she was able. She's been on one short trail ride and goes up and down stairs to get outside several times a day. She plays tug quite vigorously and chases toys with great enthusiasm.
 

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By more rigorous, I was mostly referring to running along side me on a bicycle. Not going full speed, obviously, but fairly fast, since I'm sure walking is nowhere near enough to satisfy their energy. Riding my bike is something I'd be able to do every day.
 

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Quote:1. What sized dog crate would be good for an adult German shepherd?
I use a 42 x 30 x 31 for females, and a 48 x 32 x 36 for males.

Quote:2. When is the best time to get a male neutered? I have no intentions of breeding. I also don't want hormone triggered behavioral issues to rise, but I also don't want to stunt his growth or anything by neutering too soon.
I think it is wise to neuter if you have a pack, otherwise the hormone triggered behavior issues are more training issues in my opinion. In order to ensure proper developement of secondary sex characteristics, and size etc., you want for the growth plates to be closed and the dog to have filled out. GSD males usually take two to three years to completely fill out, but you will probably be ok, if you neuter at 24 months.

Quote:4. I was Watching "It's Me or the Dog" once, and a punk-style family had a bull terrier named Chaos that they had to exercise a lot, so they got a pole type thing that attached to the bike's handlebars. Where could I get one of those? I used to take one of our smaller dogs on walks while I rode my bike, but she'd stop in front of me or something and I'd run her over, so I stopped doing that.
I think you can get these from JB wholesale or Drs. Foster and Smith; however, I would not road work a puppy. I would wait for the pup to be at the least a year.

Quote:6. How can I train him with distractions? All of the kids in my neighborhood go nuts when they see our dogs, and most of the adults are afraid of our lab, so I take it they'd be afraid of a German shepherd as well. Any suggestions?
Training classes

Quote:7. How much do puppy classes normally run at Petsmart? I want to do them there because I'm guessing they're fairly cheap there, and also to get him socialized with other dogs at an early age. Plus I'm sure I'll learn more training techniques and such.
In my neck of the woods, training classes at petsmart run about $118. for a set of classes. My local trainer who is an obedience judge and offers CGC and TDI testing costs about 70 - 75 dollars for a set of classes.

I have taken two separate classes/instructors at PetsMart and have witnessed a few others. One had a pretty good instructor. The other (a puppy class), the guy's complete exposure to dogs and training was that he owned a two year old blood hound. There were no other puppies, until three weeks into the class and the guy knew a lot less than I did. Frankly, I would not recommend them. They suggest only positive training. I saw one supposed trainer with a can of pennies in one hand a clicker in the other, shaking and clicking and trying to give treats to this poor confused puppy while her confused owners sat on the floor.

As for more training techniques and such, I think you will get a much more informed and open trainer outside of petsmart. For example, while petsmart sells prongs, they will not use them in their classes. For me, that is no problem for puppies, but I think a trainer who is experienced with the tools has a better overall chance of providing the most informed class.

Quote:8. How do I train for agility competitions, and then get involved in them?
Get involved in a training club. They usually have names like Cleveland All Breed Training Club. After basic obedience, you will find people there who will be able to steer you toward the best trainers for agility, especially puppy agility which stays away from serious jumping, is very positive, and gets the pups used to the equipment, but does nothing damaging to the joints, etc. They will often have agility run throughs. You can build some of your own equipment or buy it.

It sounds like you are planning a really cool future for your pup. Good luck with him/her.
 
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