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If you spend most of the time with the dog you should get what you want, if your wife is doing all the work you should get what she wants in my opinion. Labs are usually super nice and cuddly but often not very bright especially in comparison to German Shepherds. Our German Shepherd doesn't like to cuddle unfortunately on the other hand he doesn't go to every freaking person that comes along for cuddles and attention, I love that. We live in the city and we have to go to dog parks to let him loose. In the dog park or on the way there we see a lot of other dogs and when the dogs don't get along the German Shepherd is a lot to handle and if the other dogs owner fails to react you may have to handle 2 dogs going at each other. I've got nipped at and bitten quite a bit by our own and other dogs when they got mad at each other. Your wife and 6 year old would not be able to handle those situations. But if you live in a house with a big yard and you can get him running and exercise there you don't have the issues I'm dealing with. I grew up with a German Shepherd and it's the only breed I ever want.
Labs are incredibly intelligent in general. The very best bomb dog I've ever seen was a lab. He was also the easiest bomb dog to train I've ever seen. He was also the only single purpose (not bite trained) dog in Special Operations at one point because he was such an amazing dog.

Most service dogs are labs.

Here's a pic of Marshall, the most amazing bomb dog I've known. I could run him with a radio on his harness, a laser, hand signals at 150m away, and with pulses on a vibration collar (as in 1 for go out, 2 for right, 3 for left, 4 for back and long press for recall).
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Bedrock Recreation
 

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Labs are incredibly intelligent in general. The very best bomb dog I've ever seen was a lab. He was also the easiest bomb dog to train I've ever seen. He was also the only single purpose (not bite trained) dog in Special Operations at one point because he was such an amazing dog.

Most service dogs are labs.

Here's a pic of Marshall, the most amazing bomb dog I've known. I could run him with a radio on his harness, a laser, hand signals at 150m away, and with pulses on a vibration collar (as in 1 for go out, 2 for right, 3 for left, 4 for back and long press for recall).
View attachment 578380
Agreed...I owned a chocolate lab, and lived him dearly. We both got hit by a car, and he took the brunt of the impact. Unfortunately, he wasn't the same afterwards and needed a different environment than I could provide. Yes, they're smart, loyal, great family dogs.
 

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Wonder what OP chose.
I've had several discussions with my wife on what we should do. She did open up that she is still totally devastated with the loss of our last dog and still cries over him often and that she's been back and forth on whether or not she's even ready for a dog regardless of breed. He died unexpectedly and she blames herself and wonders if she could have done more. However, she realizes at night when it's all quiet or if we go to sleep before her and she's alone she totally misses a buddy being around. She also admitted that she was concerned that if she didn't choose a Shepherd I would hold a grudge and constantly be mad. I explained she shouldn't worry about that and my focus was on the best choice for the family and I'd love any dog regardless, plus I feel like I'll eventually someday get a Shepherd so no huge deal.

I also asked her again if she would be scared of a Shepherd or would be worried about handling one, and she kind of changed her stance on that and said she'd never be scared of her own dog. Plus our lab was 80lbs and very difficult to handle, he wasn't an aggressive dog but was just excited about life and was always in a hurry to go nowhere.

The breeder that we have been in contact with is actually looking to let go of some of her adult dogs to the right homes, so that is something we are considering as well. We are actually going to visit again on Friday (in laws included) to talk and take two of her adults for a walk. The one is a younger male and gorgeous, but he's rather pricey. Another stipulation to getting that male is that since we are local, the breeder wouldn't want us to neuter him so that she can use him to stud. The other is a female that the breeder thinks would be a good fit for us. I don't know if any stipulations would come along with her. I know some people here thought this might be a good idea for us while some others didn't. It's just something we're exploring.

I even shared some of the information that @David Winners and @K9SHOUSE told me about the mentality of dogs during stressful combat situations with my wife to relay to her father and he was thankful for it.

Man, this has been some deep marriage counseling stuff on here....good thing we're mostly anonymous 🙂. Anyway, right now it looks like my wife is perfectly ok with getting a Shepherd and seems to think that my in laws will warm to it as well.

I know most comments seemed to indicate that getting a lab first, then a Shepherd was ideal, but I'm hoping that if we do go Shepherd first and still decided on another dog eventually he/she would be ok.

Nothing is concrete in plans yet, but I'm glad we've discussed it more and this thread turned out to be a lot more positive and informative than I expected. I'll let everyone know what's decided when we finally do make a decision/ do come to an agreement. I haven't even began to look into lab breeders in my area, so it might be a little while off.
 

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The breeder that we have been in contact with is actually looking to let go of some of her adult dogs to the right homes, so that is something we are considering as well. We are actually going to visit again on Friday (in laws included) to talk and take two of her adults for a walk. The one is a younger male and gorgeous, but he's rather pricey. Another stipulation to getting that male is that since we are local, the breeder wouldn't want us to neuter him so that she can use him to stud. The other is a female that the breeder thinks would be a good fit for us. I don't know if any stipulations would come along with her. I know some people here thought this might be a good idea for us while some others didn't. It's just something we're exploring.
I think this may be a fabulous idea! All dogs deserve great homes and with an adult you see what you get immediately.
 

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Typically the Lab and the GSD are very different dogs with different purposes and probably suited for different people. However it appears that the decision is based on fear by the wife of GSD's. In my opinion unless the person is extremely impacted or traumatized by some past experience fear of any breed including the GSD is quickly overcome when the person meets the dog as a puppy.
I got my first Doberman as soon as I graduated from college and my parents were horrified when they found out. They even told me to not bring the dog with me wen I visited. Then they saw some pictures I sent them of the puppy (he was 8 weeks at the time) and their attitude changed immediately. This would not have been the case if I had gotten a full grown dog even if he was the sweetest dog in the world (which by the way he really was).
 

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Just wanted to remind the OP that Marley the lab was a real dog. Okay, the owners had no clue how to train him, but still, he was very far from being a laid back dog!

If you do go with a lab, make sure the breeder is knowledgeable enough to pick the pup with the right temperament for you.
 

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Well, apparently, I've completely blocked from my memory everything about the puppy phase from the last go-round. It's brutal. At least once each day I think about giving her back to the breeder (some days, that's all I think about). The teeth, the nipping, the chewing, the nonstop energy, etc. Having a GSD puppy is no joke and if you had them growing up or earlier in your life, you might very well be forgetting some of this or maybe you were shielded from some of it.

When I read this comment from earlier, it sounded like something I had typed myself. Our last GSD was a low demand sort of dog that passed 4 years ago. Right now,"Journey" is 13 weeks. No one in the family remembers things being like they are right now. At about 10 weeks, we regularly had family melt downs over the Journey being a bad decision. A night or two, I would retire to our bedroom to be alone and escape the stress. I think being 52 instead of 35 is making a difference for me.

Today, we are seeing things change for the better. But...as this other poster stated, it is BRUTAL sometimes. If you don't have the fortitude to keep moving forward, it can be too much. Go in prepared.
 

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I'm really going to think about that ..... when I get my last GSD and I'm around 80 years old :sneaky:
 

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Nora is 13 months old now, and I pretty much want to murder her on a daily basis. She’s gorgeous, and sweet, but holy moly she’s a lot of dog.

I haven’t had a puppy in 5 years (Scarlet), and I’m pretty sure that Nora is the last puppy I’ll have, lol. I’ll be 66 next month. If at some point we decide to breed Nora, I’m not taking a puppy (remind me of this if there is a black puppy). I would take an adult dog at least 3 years old though.
 

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Nora is 13 months old now, and I pretty much want to murder her on a daily basis. She’s gorgeous, and sweet, but holy moly she’s a lot of dog.

I haven’t had a puppy in 5 years (Scarlet), and I’m pretty sure that Nora is the last puppy I’ll have, lol. I’ll be 66 next month. If at some point we decide to breed Nora, I’m not taking a puppy (remind me of this if there is a black puppy). I would take an adult dog at least 3 years old though.
The nerd refused a recall this morning to go play with the neighbor dog who was barking at him. 17 months. Good times :)

ETA: he jumped a 4' fence, in the neighbors yard, into their dog run, to play with the dog. Then jumped out, raced over to me all proud and went inside.
 

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Puppies are wonderful and terrible. My son’s girlfriend frequently says “Nora is… A LOT”. Even Russell avoids her, lol. She does everything with such abandon. How that moose of a girl can move so fast and be so agile is a mystery.

Back to the OP, I went with my GSD breeder looking for a lab for her daughter-in-law who had always wanted one. We talked with show breeders, and visited a few. She ended up with a lovely lab. Not my breed of choice by any means, but they were happy with her. They had lots of kids, and she fit right in. The rest of the kids in my breeder’s family all have GSDs (and kids). Now they’ve added a border collie into the mix!
 

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ETA: he jumped a 4' fence, in the neighbors yard, into their dog run, to play with the dog. Then jumped out, raced over to me all proud and went inside.
Dogs are just very bouncy toddlers, haha
 
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