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WOW, what a forum! So much information here! This is great.

For the longest time I wanted a dog. I never had one. :( After doing some research, I decided that GS is the one I want. I like bigger dogs that can keep me company and are loyal.

I have so many questions to ask, I don't know where to start.

I am single guy, 35 years old living alone in a condo. Although I do not have back yard, we do have lots and lots of grounds here including big pond and fields on the property. I do see couple people in my neighborhood that have GS which leads me to believe, if I got one he/she would be fine.

I know puppies are a lot of work, but I am willing to do it. I would not have it any other way. If I get one, it would be a puppy that I can raise.

One thing that worries me is my schedule while the dog is a puppy. I leave home at about 8am and come back at 5-6pm. I would take the dog out in the morning of course, maybe for a run, and then, obviously, first thing when I get home. With that said, dog would have his own room while I am away. I have entire room I could dedicate to him while I am not home. This way, i wouldn't have to put him in a cage. There is also possibility down the road, that I could come home for lunch and take him out. But that is down the road. Right now, I am just doing research and learning as much as I can before I pull the trigger. I am talking mid year 2012.

I live in Ohio and I been looking possibly to maybe adopt a dog. I really don't mind adopting as long as the dog is GS (which is really hard to find for me in shelters). I would also be open to purchasing one. My budget is at maximum $500-800.

Any suggestions? Where should I look? I keep reading up stuff on here which will take me a while lol...lots of info on here!
 

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It is really hard to raise a puppy without a yard. They have to go out really often day and night for a couple of months and then just often for several more months. Without a yard it's also very hard to give them safe regular off-leash exercise. Also, you would have to find someone willing to come over and let him out several times a day, every day, while you are at work for several months.

A better bet, especially as you've never had a dog before, is to go through a rescue and get a well behaved adult dog. They can handle your work schedule and a lower drive dog can do well without a yard. This way you can also learn about living with a dog before you make the huge leap to puppyhood.
 

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you can look at breed specific rescues. The likelihood of you finding a GSD in a shelter is slim if you're looking for one without issues or old age being a factor but dont let it discourage you. Also, if you adopt from a rescue (they foster the dogs so can give personality profiles on specific dogs) that opens up another space for the rescue to pull a GSD from a shelter who might be on their way to death row because of space constrictions.

As far as the dog having their own room, personally thats not a good idea. Especially a puppy. Dogs are den animals so the 'cage' i assume you refer to is a crate/kennel and would actually be a good idea to go that route. Crate trained dogs do MUCH better in vet situations if they have to stay over night because they're already used to a small area for sleeping and such. Also crate training is an excellent tool for potty training because puppies and adult dogs generally wont go potty where they sleep. Den animals such as dogs like the den like feeling and closeness a crate provides. Its kind of like a security blanket.

Its good you're asking questions and gathering as much information as you can now. The more you know the better. I'm sure someone or several people can direct you to a reputable GSD rescue in your area and get you started on your way.

One suggestion i have for you is maybe seeing about fostering for a GSD rescue so you can get a feel for what you're getting into. And you would also be helping the rescue in turn to save another GSD with another foster home available. Just an idea.
 

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If your budget is only 500-800 that pretty much leaves a rescue as your only option. Unfortunately, you will not find a reputable breeder with those prices. An "average" GSD puppy price from a reputable breeder is about 1200-1800.

I think an adult dog is a great idea for your lifestyle. 8 week old puppies have small bladders and need to go out every few hours. A potty trained adult with a nice, strong bladder will be more more condusive for your schedule.
 

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I agree with Elaine.
So far today I've taken Kopper (8 weeks old) outside at:

12:30am
5:30am
8:00am
noon
3:30pm

It's now 3:45 and I'll probably take him out another 5 or 6 times. The little guy has a bladder the size of a walnut and an upset tummy besides. I can't imagine doing this without a yard.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
:( well that's a bummer :(

I knew all along that my schedule would be a problem. I really really really want to stay away from adopting grown dog. I know it might be lame to say, but I really would love to live through the puppy phase, if that makes any sense.

The thinking I got about not having a yard is that my friend had, well still has her, a Rottweiler while he was living in an apartment. It really wansn't a big problem at all. Also, as I mentioned, there are couple people here in my condo development that have GSDs. Nobody here has a yard, but like I mentioned, we have parks and lots of green area around here in the development.

Like I said, my schedule gives me problems with any type of puppy dog really. That's why I want to do some research.

I screwed up so bad....I was working from home for 2 years about 3 years ago. I should of got one then :(

As far as budget goes, I COULD go 1000 and above if I find one that I really like. I was just throwing numbers out there to get the feel of things. I could probably spend TOPS 1500 bucks. But that would be my absolute top price.

I am in Concord Ohio btw. About 30 miles from Cleveland.
 

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If you are set on buying a puppyfrom a breeder (but there are great PB GSD puppies in rescue too), then do it the right way and save up each month until you have enough to purchase from a good breeder (as well as make sure you have saved up a nice emergency fund for the dog).
 

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msxxym, don't rule out a puppy IF you can find a good breeder.... (READ THE SITES I POSTED ABOVE), if they keep the puppy and extra week or so AND you crate train... you can still get a puppy.

In a perfect world we would all be home for our entire puppies life so we could take it out all the time. But I also live alone and have a full time job, but have gotten a puppy and things worked out just fine.

Difference is I have to KNOW, really know, that when I do get that puppy my life is really changed for the first 6 months/year. Cause I HAVE to get off work on time and have to come straight home. I must then spend alot of quality time with that puppy when I am home (crate training at night and when I'm at work is a must). Puppy classes and dedicated my weekends to fun times to train and socialize are also vital.

Not like getting a tank of fish or a new plant (though I'm sure you knew that :) ). The younger the pup them more of a huge time commitment and life change for the human in the house to get the housebreaking, socialization, exercise and puppy classes in.

Heck, this is what I have to plan on my days off!



 

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I live in Ohio and I been looking possibly to maybe adopt a dog. I really don't mind adopting as long as the dog is GS (which is really hard to find for me in shelters). I would also be open to purchasing one. My budget is at maximum $500-800.
You'd be surprised how many GSDs turn up in shelters because folks didn't do their homework.

There are several German Shepherd Rescues in Ohio. Did you google for them?

Glad you're here to ask and learn.

Your budget is a bit limited for a dog from most quality breeders. Not because they inflate the price but because of costs incurred - legitimate costs, mostly insuring proper breeding practices and medical expenses.

Believe me, you don't want a breeder that has no knowledge or experience and who skips medical care for his/her dogs. What you save up front will likely come back to bite you later.

In your spot I would monitor shelters and rescues while learning more about the breed.

Best of luck
 

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didn't see you'd gone up to $1000 - $1500. That's in the ballpark, but you need to have a healthy amount to cover initial vet charges and a little fund for possible health problems.

You need to look into crates and other equipment too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Maggie! OMG that second video is AWESOME! Look at the lil pup turn around and wait for you! That is AWESOME!

See, that's what I want to do :( Go out with my dog, play with it...go for a run..

I know it's a life changing experience and I am willing to do it. I am home every day after work anyways, so that woudn't be a problem. I also workout at home every morning in my gym in a basement, so it would be nice to go out with a dog after my workout :) I am active person and my dog would go with me everywhere. I am not into just sitting home on a couch and being lazy. I play basketball over here in a summer...and do lots of things that I could involve my dog in.
 

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I am willing to spend money for the right one of course. I have about year and a half to learn about GSDs. My schedule might change, who knows. I also understand that are expenses involved. Food, toys, medical bills, etc. It's just like with humans. You need EF to cover yourself in case you lose your job or whatever...
 

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You should read up on all the stuff in the puppy section specifically the biting, chewing, barking while crate training, before you even think of getting a puppy. Puppies bite A LOT and they do a lot of barking the first few weeks while crate training that your neighbors might not appreciate.

I do rescue and can't tell you how many people glorify puppyhood and are shocked at how hard it really is to raise up a well behaved little devil and dump them in rescue when they can't control them anymore between 6-12 months of age. Getting an adult can be a wonderful thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi guys..it's me again.

I made a decision of rescuing GSD. After looking into it further, I was BLOWN away how many awesome young purebred GSDs are out there. WOW. Some of them are perfect age 7 months...already trained...amazing.

This one for example is what I would be looking for

Petfinder Adoptable Dog | German Shepherd Dog | Bethel Park, PA | Sophie

I was really thinking hard about it and as much as I would love to get a puppy and have it from the "begining", with my schedule and countless hours spending on reading puppy section, it would be really tough for me and a dog. Simple fact is, that I would be away for work everyday too long to have a puppy :( It sucks but really it doesn't at the same time. I will have a chance to rescue a dog that I want.

I was pumping gas one time and there was this one guy next to me with this beautiful GSD just sitting on the passenger seat. She was awesome. I was talking to him and he said he rescued her. WOW...I really didn't expect all those rescue dogs to be so nice.
 

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Hello,
It is possible to get a puppy for $600 or so. Remember, a lot of the posters here are also breeders. So dont be discouraged if they try to push you to spend more.

I spent a lot on my pup, and one man at Beverly hills actually called me silly for doing so. Evidently, he had grown up with GSD's all his life, and even now he had 2. And he showed me pictures of healthy young dogs, and he had purchased them for the $600 to $800 range as you specified.

Ultimately find a good breeder, some one your guts and research tells you to trust. Do some research. Dont think spending more is going to give your quality.

Just check if the parents of the pup are AKC registered, and if the parents have OFA certification, and if the breeder is guaranteeing your pup against hip dysplasia and other diseases for a year or two. I encourage you to do some more research in this matter.

Your major expenses apart from buying the dog it self :

1) Crate - one time - $100 (buy the biggest plastic one u can find, which is IATA certified).
2) registering with AKC one time- $20
3) Microchip one time $45
4) Food $20 to $40 a month
5) Treats $10 a month
6) Bed, toys, bowls, - one time $30 to $50


You will probably want a young pup, I purchased mine at 8 weeks, and as some people said, they do need to poo/pee a lot. At 4.5 months my pup needs to poo / pee 4 times a day.

If you get a 5 to 6 month old pup, they could potentially go 3 times a day. So in the morning before going to work you can take him out, have a dog walker take him out at lunch time, and when you come back in the evening you can take him out again, and if you want, one more time around mid night before going to bed. (Hmmm, thats actually 4 times, so you could have a pup younger which needs to go 4 times.).

Some people prefer a older more docile dog, whose temperament is known. But then you miss out on the joy of raising your puppy.

Its scooping out the poo off the kitchen floor, with a young excited pup running circles around you, which really makes the bond between you and your dog. As you let go of your inhibitions about not touching icky stuff, and have this love in your heart which fills with warmth for your puppy child, thats when the bond develops.

Its hard to describe.

But suffice to say, I love Manfred (my pup) a lot more (and he loves me a lot more), because we went through all the phases together.

Ultimately its your choice, some people do have sage advise here. Consider your options.

And remember, more money is not always the best.

How do you, after-all, put a price tag on love?

Good luck.

And lastly, remember this : raising a GSD is not all fun. They are very intelligent, and their intelligence is what gets them in to trouble more often than other dogs.
 

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One major reason I decided to purchase instead of adopting, because I wanted to know the parents, the history, the known statistics of the dog and its immediate family vis a vis temperament. My fiancee and I plan to have children in the next year or so. And we wanted a dog, we could trust implicitly.

Manfred used to get compliments for his temperament even when 8 weeks old and we went to high traffic tourist spots. One retired police dog handler actually tried getting a rise out of him, and when he couldn't, showered him with praises about what a wonderful temperament he had.

And besides, if you "like" an available pet for adoption, there will be a thousand others who will also like it. So you gotta move fast, have the connections in place, get the review of your place done in advance.

Besides many of these shelters aren't exactly fast in responding to you.

From what you wrote, the fact you are researching before even getting the dog, shows you are a conscientious person and would be a superlative "daddy".

I applaud your decision to get a dog. I am sure you will provide a good home to the best animal on the planet.
 

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maxxym - Wonderful news!!! Adopting a pup that is a little bit older is perfect for you. Can't think of a better win-win situation. Very happy to hear that you took your time looking into things and took the advice given here into serious consideration.

Just to clarify a comment made above - not one of the previous responders are breeders, so not sure where the "pushing to spend more" comment came from.

Getting a puppy from a good breeder is one way to stack the deck in your favour that you will end up with what you want, but adopting a dog that is a little older is also a great way to have some insight into the temperament, health and personality of the pup that one is bringing home.

I can feel your excitement, good luck in finding that perfect match. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone! Yeah, after looking into things, adopting is better way for me. I mean think about it. I would still be able to get a very nice GSD for a fraction of a cost, possibly already potty trained, little older so I could have peace of mind when he is alone...and not to mention, I would save one!:D Just can't beat that route for me. Perfect.

I was totally surprised when I started doing more research about rescue GSD. I find that there is TONS of them out there because people simply bought them, spend bunch of money and found out that the dog wasn't for them. How sad.:(

In any rate, I just have to look around, check some places out....get my ducks in a row :D

I am wondering if it would be better to go for one during winter or during summer. I think closer to summer when weather is nicer would be better because then it would be easier to take the lil guy out to a park.

I can't wait! I can picture myself with one already...driving with me.. going for a morning walk/jog... going to the beach.. playing fetch with him and making him super tired hehehehe...and not to mention, just the companion every day. I sit at home sometimes and think how awesome it would be to have a dog walking around...
 
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