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Hello, my name is John and I'm a husband and father of 5 daughters and a newborn son, born 10/1/10. Not only am I a husband and father, but I'm also an owner of a newly adopted German Shepherd mix. I realize that I'm at a GSD web forum and most every one of you own pure bred GSD's, but I plan to seek your help and advise regardless.

Our new/furry member of the family is, currently believed (by the vet) to be an 8 week old GSD mix with strong physical characteristics of a GSD. The rescuing officer noted that the adult dogs at the residence were GSD and Lab, so it's believed the puppy comes from those two breeds. As much as I'd love to own a pure bred GSD from a reliable and quality breeder, the price of such a pup is far out of our budget, especially with the new baby in the family. So, I opted to adopt this furry and cute little puppy after visiting him with the whole family. As I said, he has strong physical features of a GSD and it's hard to believe he's a mix breed.

Why a GSD? Well, I'm an ex-active duty member of our country's armed forces and my wife was very comfortable and felt secure living on-base. Now that I'm a current civilian and reservist, we live in a civilian neighborhood and my wife no longer feels that security and comfort when I'm away for training, duty or possible deployments. My wife never grew up with pets and never cared much for dogs in people's houses. I grew up with Boxers, but haven't lived with a dog in the house in 20 years. However, my wife's recent demand was for me to "..get a dog who's #1 mission is protection of the family and home and #2 to be a loving pet and friend for the family, especially the kids." My immediate thought for a pet fitting such a description was a German Shepherd. Shortly after her statement and while I was away on my annual tour, two of our screens were removed from downstairs windows from the outside, but thankfully all the windows were locked. No wind was noted and the kids hadn't been playing in the vicinity. This prompted me to get off my rear and follow through for my family's safety.

Even though I keep guns in the home and secured, I'd much rather not have to defend my home by such means. Although, if such extreme circumstances would arise, I wouldn't hesitate. Rather, I'd like for deterrence and the alertness of a dog to be the factor in home protection and what better, all-around dog then a GSD fits the bill? The natural instincts of this breed would be great for protection and I hope and pray that we raise this puppy to not just be loving with the kids, but extremely tolerant.

I hope that you guys wouldn't mind in helping our family with suggestions, advice and generous answers as we raise this little guy. Thanks for your time and thanks for this forum!

(BTW, who the HECK adopts a puppy within a couple days of having a newborn?!... lol. I figure if my wife is going to spend somewhat sleepless nights with the baby, that I can spend somewhat sleepless nights with the puppy... so far, both my wife and I are getting more sleep than we initially thought ;) )
 

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well welcome first off. second, i think you guys have it backwards. The dog should be a family pet first and foremost. Especially since not all dogs, regardless of breed mixture, will have the instinct to protect. I understand the desire to have that secure feeling. Even living on base now, i dont feel safe. But who would when you've been locked on base while they were searching HOUSING for the guy who escaped his guard and had been originally locked up for killing two people? i've always been distrustful of people in general. we've definitely had our fair share of upsetting experiences and my dogs helped me feel a little safer. No intelligent person is going to risk coming into a home where two GSDs live, one of which who will happily rip a person to shreds if they mean harm and try to enter uninvited. My concern is the fact your wife was never thrilled with people who had dogs in the house. What is her intentions with the puppy? Yard dog? House dog meant solely for guarding as long as the dog gets along with the kids? I ask because i'm sure someone else will ask the same questions. What kind of training will the pup go through? If the pup is a GSD/lab mix.... you're aware that just because the pup LOOKS like a GSD doesnt mean he'll have the personality right? He could very well have the happy go lucky lab personality. AND if he does show to have more GSD personality, there are some GSDs that never develope the protective instinct. I have one of those GSDs. She's rather run and hide than deal with anything remotely close to confrontation. I do wish you the best of luck in your puppy raising and we do look forward to pictures. I guess i'm just concerned with the order in which the pup would be a part of the household.


and i have to ask.... what part of Colorado?
 

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Welcome to the forum and THANK YOU for your service to our Great Country. This forum is not just for pure breeds, you'll find several folk here have mixed and non-GSD's but hang out here. Why ? Because there is a wealth of information and just a great bunch of people here. Once again, Welcome ! :)
 

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I think you'll be surprised at how smart your pup is! You'll find a lot of useful help and I agree- let the pup be the family pet, take it to puppy and obedience class and let the protection aspect emerge naturally as the pup ages rather than run of the risk of creating fear and/or aggression problems at an early age. First of all, enjoy your puppy- and congratulations on your newborn!
 

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Welcome to the forum and THANK YOU for your service to our Great Country. This forum is not just for pure breeds, you'll find several folk here have mixed and non-GSD's but hang out here. Why ? Because there is a wealth of information and just a great bunch of people here. Once again, Welcome ! :)
Yes, thank you for your service!

I have a GSD and a GSD/Husky mix. :)

I think you'll be surprised at how smart your pup is! You'll find a lot of useful help and I agree- let the pup be the family pet, take it to puppy and obedience class and let the protection aspect emerge naturally as the pup ages rather than run of the risk of creating fear and/or aggression problems at an early age. First of all, enjoy your puppy- and congratulations on your newborn!

I agree with this!

Congrats on your baby and your puppy!
 

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Hello, my name is John and I'm a husband and father of 5 daughters and a newborn son, born 10/1/10. Not only am I a husband and father, but I'm also an owner of a newly adopted German Shepherd mix. I realize that I'm at a GSD web forum and most every one of you own pure bred GSD's, but I plan to seek your help and advise regardless.
There's a ton of people on this board with mixed breeds and no dogs at all! So you are more than welcome just cause you love your dog.

The #1 thing you want to do is first make sure your puppy is the best socialized and friendly thing. Outside the home as well as in. Vital you have a FAMILY dog that will dog well with your kids and their friends as well as the adults and their friends. Socialization is key with this. Meeting hundreds of great people in the first year OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE/YARD as well as in the home.

Puppy and dog classes if you can find any in your area are a huge help.

A happy, socialized and well adjusted puppy will make the aloof and threatening appearing LOUD barking GSD type adult dog you are looking for. Shouldn't happen until your pup is closer to 2 years old when they then are gaining the mental maturity to figure out they need to keep and eye on things from a calm and thinking place. Rather than a fearful unsocialized place where it's best to bite first and then find out is was your mother-in-law (oops, let me take you to the emergency room with that bite....)

Socialization, tons of exercise (I mean tons) and PLAY PLAY PLAY is the best thing you could do with your puppy!

Von Stroman German Shepherd Puppy Primer, Part I

Von Falconer K-9 Training - Articles / Puppiest 1st Night to 1st Year
 

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I don't really have much advice, but I wanted to say welcome! You and your wife certainly have your hands full. Congratulations on both new additions to your family. And more than anything a BIG THANK YOU for serving our country and working hard to be sure we stay safe and free!!!!

One of the things I've learned here is that it's extremely important to socialize your pup with as many people as you can, other animals, children (which won't be a problem in your case :)) everyone. You want a dog that will be ok around people and not drive everyone away. I've also learned that as they get older, their protective instinct will start to kick in. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
well welcome first off. second, i think you guys have it backwards. The dog should be a family pet first and foremost. Especially since not all dogs, regardless of breed mixture, will have the instinct to protect. I understand the desire to have that secure feeling. Even living on base now, i dont feel safe. But who would when you've been locked on base while they were searching HOUSING for the guy who escaped his guard and had been originally locked up for killing two people? i've always been distrustful of people in general. we've definitely had our fair share of upsetting experiences and my dogs helped me feel a little safer. No intelligent person is going to risk coming into a home where two GSDs live, one of which who will happily rip a person to shreds if they mean harm and try to enter uninvited. My concern is the fact your wife was never thrilled with people who had dogs in the house. What is her intentions with the puppy? Yard dog? House dog meant solely for guarding as long as the dog gets along with the kids? I ask because i'm sure someone else will ask the same questions. What kind of training will the pup go through? If the pup is a GSD/lab mix.... you're aware that just because the pup LOOKS like a GSD doesnt mean he'll have the personality right? He could very well have the happy go lucky lab personality. AND if he does show to have more GSD personality, there are some GSDs that never develope the protective instinct. I have one of those GSDs. She's rather run and hide than deal with anything remotely close to confrontation. I do wish you the best of luck in your puppy raising and we do look forward to pictures. I guess i'm just concerned with the order in which the pup would be a part of the household.


and i have to ask.... what part of Colorado?
Yeah, I wasn't too happy with having a mixed breed and if he isn't the protective dog my wife wanted, that's fine too because if the dog can at least bark to alert my wife and kids at night, my wife will feel much better. My wife has really did a 180 degree turn with the is dog and he's a house dog for sure now. Of course, we love to play with him outside a lot. As far as protector as mission #1, I knew that the opposite would be true. I just have to entertain the wife because, like I said, she never had a dog ;). How can the dog NOT be the family pet as purpose in life? lol.
 

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welcome to the forum, and of course we want to see pics of that puppy!!
 

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Welcome! And congrads on both your new additions! :)
We need photos :)

-jess
 

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Welcome!! And thank you for serving our country... I can offer no better advice than you have already received. Everyone is correct with the socializing, it is a must!

One thing you could do is teach your dog to speak on command in another language. I am teaching Max the German word for speak. Look at it this way, if the dog grows up looking like a GSD and your wife is in an uncomfortable situation she can command the dog to bark in German and the person in question will never know (unless they speak German) what command she just gave. But they will see a barking GSD and think twice about misbehaving.

And we do require pictures as we LOVE puppies!
 
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