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Hello my wife and I are really wanting to get a GSD. But I want to research and be as informed as possible about the GSD. Here is what we are looking for in a GSD. A nice dog for our home we are not interested in showing or competing the dog. It will have to get along with our cat!! We want a GSD to go for long walks play at the beach joggin and general family activities, we have no children. So wich is best male or female? working lines or show lines. Please help an guide us through this process thank you
 

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It's all the individual dog - I've had wonderful males and terrific females. For your needs (a dog without many 'formal' activities0 I'd think you'd find a more laid-back dog the ideal.
 

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Hello! Just browse around here for a few days and you will see tons of threads on male/female show/working ect. There is alot of good advice too!

best of luck on your search for your pup/dog.

There is also the rescue section..so many great dogs there that are looking for homes
Many rescues can often tell you specifics about dogs if they are in foster care..such as being good with cats!!
 

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Hi, Randy - Welcome!
I personally have only been around male GSD's (we grew up w/intact males out in the country as kids, and now I have my own 8 month old male GSD pup). All the dogs we've had in my family (we are GSD lovers!) were wonderful. All of our males were intact outdoor dogs - great w/us (as kids). My male GSD pup is great w/my kids (3 kids 6 years old and under). I know you don't have kids, but if you plan to, it's nice to know that GSD's can be great kid-dogs.

Anyway, when I researched getting my own pup, here is what I heard pretty much from everywhere that stated that there was even a difference between males and females (some people who've owned both said no difference between the sexes). From what I've read - males are more "territorial" - protect their home, their territory (inside their car, yard, etc). Females are supposedly more "family protective" - they focus their protective instincts on their "people" vs. their "territory." I have no idea if this is true or not. Our males were always protective of us (very protective of us kids) AND our home. Never aggressive, but would warn strangers "don't get out of your car until my people say it's ok" type of thing. They always would stand between us kids and visitors - even if they were smiling and happy, they would stand between us and people who weren't part of our family pack. We always had about a dozen cats (our cats kept the barns cleared of mice, or at least, that was the idea - lol.) Our dogs and cats co-existed (outdoors and with no intervention from us) just fine.

Don't know if this helps or not, but this is what I've heard...one thing I'd suggest w/a GSD - is they were developed to be herding dogs, and they are one breed who do better with some type of "job." It doesn't have to be a formal job, or competitive sports, but even if you just incorporate obedience training into his everyday life (my dog has to sit to get his dinner, or before I let him go outdoors with me, for example) - obeying your commands could be his/her "job". My dog is training to be a therapy dog, and so I do more obedience/socialization that the average pet owner, probably, but I would still incorporate obedience into everything we do, even if he wasn't going to be a therapy dog.

If you use the NILIF philosophy (Nothing in Life is Free) with your dog, you'll be fine with either male or female, IMO. Sorry this is so long, but this question was one that I had when I looked at getting my pup...hope this helps! Good luck!

Oh, and as far as the cat - if you get a fairly young pup, you probably would be able to get the dog used to accepting the cat. Like I said, GSD's are a herding breed - they are not bred to "attack" or fight with other animals - your dog may even end up protective of your cat! Maybe start out by exposing your potential dog to a cat who's in a carrier (nice and safe), with the dog on a leash, and see how the dog reacts. I'd be willing to bet that the cat will be the one who doesn't like the dog, not vice versa.
 

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formal activities is another word for "job" as in agility, SAR, schH, tracking, herding, etc.
 

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If you're looking for an active dog that you have the option of doing things with, you should be able to find that in any of the lines. Remember, you don't have to work your dog or show it BUT if you go to a breeder that works their dogs and is very concerned about temperament, nerve, intelligence (show or work lines), then you're going to have a wonderful companion. I firmly believe that the same genetics that makes a dog able to take the pressures of quality schutzhund, rigorous SAR, and arduous police work where the dogs are still able to be part of the family are the same genetics that can make an absolutely stellar family dog. Whatever line you choose, choose from a breeder who works their dogs as much as possible themselves or knows the lines behind the dogs so the breeder can make the best match for your needs and wants.

If you get a puppy, it will be up to you to teach the dog and cat to get along. It helps if your cat has claws- if the pup gets overzealous, a claw swipe at a young age can instill a great deal of respect on an impressionable mind! A cat can also be more of an instigator than a puppy so you'll be training both of them.
 

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I think you should look for a gsd from a rescue. That way you know the dogs personality. They can tell you if the dog is friendly towards cats. What it enjoys and doesnt.
There are so many beutiful shepherds out there that need a home.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
WOW I got up this morning to read all of these wonderful responses. What a helpful bunch of posts I appreciate everyone who has taken time to reply. Kodeegirl the obedience training is something that I am very intrested in doing as far as a activity thank you.
 

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You have had some wonderful advise. Just wanted to add my welcome and say good luck with your search.
 
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