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Discussion Starter #21
Young dogs do best with short and frequent training. So think in terms of 5-10 minutes at a time.
Crate training is necessary and yes puppy goes to crate when alone.
Also know that any forced exercise should be minimal for the first year or so. That means anything puppy does on its own is good, anything you make it do is limited.
Numerous articles have mentioned limited exercise with puppies, would love to get your thoughts on this. I read an article explaining that puppies should walk 1 hour for every month they're old. No real jumping, hiking, strenuous activity.. mostly playing and chew toys. Concrete walking not preferred over grass walking, but I do live in the city so will avoid where I can but not completely.

Thoughts? Appreciate the responsiveness :)
 

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Actually, it is 5 minutes per month of age. One hour of walking for a 3 month old pup is way to much....I wouldn't consider a mile until close to a year old....
 

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I keep puppy walks to minimum. So a block here, a few blocks there. Mostly to work on leash manners or exposure to the world. Once shots are complete hanging out in parks and open areas, watching kids play, traffic go by. Construction areas and road crews are awesome to watch. Chasing balls on a long line climbing on rocks and concrete walls, always safely. Splashing and playing in water, etc.
 

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My pups are working lines, primarily Czech. My girl will be a year old next week. You could not try to limit that girls exercising and jumping if you made it your full time job. At 8 and 9 weeks old she would launch herself across the room from the couch to the loveseat. It happens so fast you cant stop her. At her age now when shes excited she can jump over me and I'm 5'10". That's not a running jump either, that's from just standing next to me. If I take her for a 5 minute walk in the woods she probably runs 3 miles, back and forth and around. I'm telling you this because you really want to work with a breeder that will make sure you get the type of dog you are looking for or will tell you no, their pups are not suitable. My girl would die of boredom if she was not out playing ball, protecting her area, practicing 1/2 mile to 1 mile tracks, etc, all day, every day. Rain, shine or cold. My boy that has a very similar pedigree is much more "people" focused and would honestly be happy doing anything I'm doing at whatever pace I wanted to do it!

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@BKGSD do you know or have you spoken to anyone that’s raised a GSD in the city (The City)... it’s not the easiest environment and simple things like going for a walk or to the park can be a lot more challenging than one would expect. The dog culture here can be very frustrating....and you’re generally one frenchie or doodle away from a behavioral problem. See if you can connect with one of the trainers at Koru... just a neutral recommendation, as I know many of their trainers and clientele have GSD. Last I knew they held group classes at Lands End.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
My pups are working lines, primarily Czech. My girl will be a year old next week. You could not try to limit that girls exercising and jumping if you made it your full time job. At 8 and 9 weeks old she would launch herself across the room from the couch to the loveseat. It happens so fast you cant stop her. At her age now when shes excited she can jump over me and I'm 5'10". That's not a running jump either, that's from just standing next to me. If I take her for a 5 minute walk in the woods she probably runs 3 miles, back and forth and around. I'm telling you this because you really want to work with a breeder that will make sure you get the type of dog you are looking for or will tell you no, their pups are not suitable. My girl would die of boredom if she was not out playing ball, protecting her area, practicing 1/2 mile to 1 mile tracks, etc, all day, every day. Rain, shine or cold. My boy that has a very similar pedigree is much more "people" focused and would honestly be happy doing anything I'm doing at whatever pace I wanted to do it!

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Can you send me your breeder information so I ensure I don't proceed forward? Also, your buddys breeder since it sounds like it would be a better match?

I appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter #29
@BKGSD do you know or have you spoken to anyone that’s raised a GSD in the city (The City)... it’s not the easiest environment and simple things like going for a walk or to the park can be a lot more challenging than one would expect. The dog culture here can be very frustrating....and you’re generally one frenchie or doodle away from a behavioral problem. See if you can connect with one of the trainers at Koru... just a neutral recommendation, as I know many of their trainers and clientele have GSD. Last I knew they held group classes at Lands End.

Just left them a VM, no answer. I plan on socializing it as much as possible and consider training a lifelong endeavor. Frankly, I won't tolerate anything less than perfect social behavior and would outline the time necessary to achieve it.

Do you live in SF as well?
 

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Just left them a VM, no answer. I plan on socializing it as much as possible and consider training a lifelong endeavor. Frankly, I won't tolerate anything less than perfect social behavior and would outline the time necessary to achieve it.
Please define "perfect social behavior" as you think it pertains to the German Shepherd breed.

I would like to point out to you that you can not change genetics no matter what time and training you put in. You can shape it and you can manage it, but you can not change it. It appears you are a little militant in your thought processes and that will lead to nothing but conflict with a German Shepherd. These are living, breathing, thinking creatures and statements such as "I won't tolerate anything less than perfect" are worrisome to say the least with a mindset that will do nothing but set the dog up for failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
@mycobraracr isn’t this near you? You might have some inputs. Is there a dog club he can work with nearby? That could be a solution to the exercise and mental stimulation problem.
I spoke with the GSD clubs in Sac, San Jose, and Diablo Valley yesterday - they're forwarding me a list of breeders to check out. @mycobraracr if you're in SF as well, would love to hear your tips and tricks for city-life with a GSD!
 

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Just left them a VM, no answer. I plan on socializing it as much as possible and consider training a lifelong endeavor. Frankly, I won't tolerate anything less than perfect social behavior and would outline the time necessary to achieve it.

Do you live in SF as well?
I get it... but it’s far from a perfect or linear experience, and the one step forward two steps back can be trying, especially when it seems like the rest of the world is there to complicate things further. I got my first GSD of my own while living in Hollywood... for example, when dealing with things like excitement around other dogs it’ll often be mentioned to redirect, turn the other way, create distance, etc. That’s not always possible.... at times you’ll encounter more dogs in 1 block than some ppl encounter with their dog in weeks.

...to be clear, not discouraging at all, it’s just some things to think about and plan around.

I live in the east bay, but work frequently in SF.
 

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Hi GSD Fans!

I'm looking for a lighter Gold/Tan slash Silver/Light short-haired Male Sable GSD (preferably show line?) I don't need a dog of military/bomb-squad caliber that's constantly searching for squirrels rather a loyal companion that'll accompany me on endless adventures

I'll add context, please don't try and dissuade my search as I'm here for help on breeder info!
  • I'm a 31-year old working male that's single, living out of SF (small apartment, yes)
  • Don't worry about pet-friendly apts/SF restricted breeds (ESA papers)
  • No kids, no other pets. Had a house chow chow in college and a family-raised White GSD back in high school. (not my first GSD)
  • Am able to spend at minimum 1.5 hours walking it around the city, daily.. on average 2-2.5/day on weekdays
  • Weekends, i'll run a few errands and then spend the majority of the afternoon exploring, lounging, venturing
  • I believe in discipline and rigor, training will be lifelong, and I plan to train off & on-leash
I've scoured the internet for the past month, compiling a prescriptive list of breeders contact information. I have multiple threads running with them and have been reading up on everything GSD

It's a lot to manage and there's an endless supply of information. Ideally, I'd like to pick one up in August/Sept. Stole two pictures off of the internet, first is a lighter/silver sable.. second a darker gold/tan sable.

Two perfect pictures! Please help, thank you in advance!
First blue, not sure why you think those dogs are squirrel crazy. It has been years since I saw my oldest dog fuss about a squirrel up a tree and it was with my encouragement. I have yet to see my other dogs chase a squirrel and we do a lot of off leash hiking.

Second blue, since you want a more mellow, less energetic, softer dog, why do you feel the need to beat it down with discipline and obedience for its lifetime? It's a sentient living animal, not a machine. Without further information, if I were a breeder, I wouldn't even sell you a puppy.

The one thing that I think you should be worried about in the city is your dog barking. A lot of GSDs like to bark... a lot. It is self rewarding and can be difficult to break and neighbors don't tend to like nuisance barking especially when the dog has a loud bark.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I get it... but it’s far from a perfect or linear experience, and the one step forward two steps back can be trying, especially when it seems like the rest of the world is there to complicate things further. I got my first GSD of my own while living in Hollywood... for example, when dealing with things like excitement around other dogs it’ll often be mentioned to redirect, turn the other way, create distance, etc. That’s not always possible.... at times you’ll encounter more dogs in 1 block than some ppl encounter with their dog in weeks.

...to be clear, not discouraging at all, it’s just some things to think about and plan around.

I live in the east bay, but work frequently in SF.

Interesting, I plan on heavy socialization in the beginning to ensure behavior is up to par. There are a handful of beautiful GSD's that roam the neighborhoods, I always see them when I'm driving and often times within a 1-2 block radius of my apartment. I always try to flag them down to chat but they're involved in side conversations.

I'll get em eventually! I also plan on moving next month, likely to the dogpatch as there's no real need to be in the city anytime soon (thanks COVID!)
 

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Interesting, I plan on heavy socialization in the beginning to ensure behavior is up to par. There are a handful of beautiful GSD's that roam the neighborhoods, I always see them when I'm driving and often times within a 1-2 block radius of my apartment. I always try to flag them down to chat but they're involved in side conversations.

I'll get em eventually! I also plan on moving next month, likely to the dogpatch as there's no real need to be in the city anytime soon (thanks COVID!)
“heavy socialization” can backfire, depending on your understanding of it. There is a thread somewhere here - rethinking popular socialization. I’ll look for it if no one else beats me to it.
Found it...
 

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Discussion Starter #39
“heavy socialization” can backfire, depending on your understanding of it. There is a thread somewhere here - rethinking popular socialization. I’ll look for it if no one else beats me to it.
Found it...
Super interesting... Thanks so much!

Seems like the takeaway's are:
  • Puppies at dog-parks aren't recommended, rather a variety of experiences (sights, sounds, brief interactions)
  • Socialization to occur with adult, behaved dogs
Would the later be running into other adult dogs on walks, verbal confirmation that they're okay, then proceed to let them sniff it out for a few seconds?
 

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Would the later be running into other adult dogs on walks, verbal confirmation that they're okay, then proceed to let them sniff it out for a few seconds?
Ha, no... thats the reason I made it a point to reference sf dog culture. I don’t trust the majority of other people’s assessments of their own dogs unfortunately. As a general rule, I don’t allow my dog to interact with any dog I’m not familiar with.... the exception is off leash hikes but those interactions are brief because I call him and keep things moving (we’re able to keep things moving because he has a foundation in me being more interesting and rewarding than other dogs). Fortunately Keystone is a very tolerant and relatively neutral dog - his tolerance and neutrality didn’t come from play dates or dog parks or greeting strange dogs on walks.

But you got the first part right! I think it helps if people replace the word socialization with exposure or acclimate.... because the idea is teaching a dog to be confident and behave appropriately in a social setting. Basically meaning society. For example, I don’t have be outgoing and friendly in order to know that I shouldn’t scream at, spit on, inappropriately touch or run towards/away from others people (normal circumstances). I can also confidently walk down the street unfazed by children at play, cars driving by, lawns being mowed or uneven surfaces. I sit in chairs at restaurants, I don’t stand on tables. And so on and so one. You’re basically introducing your puppy to various real life situations but also remaining age appropriate and understanding early signs of stress. There is valuing in being able to just watch the world and not always feel like you have to engage in it.

Edit: as far as dog parks - it can be a highly debated topic, but what I will say is that I’ve never taken a dog into a park that a) isn’t big enough to defend itself, b) doesn’t have a solid recall.....of my “dog park dogs” (meaning a young inexperienced me throwing a ball or just hanging out watching dogs play), they outgrew dog parks by the age of 2 or 3yrs. Either because of negative experiences or maturity, or the combo - they just became less tolerant. The park that I’ll take my current dog to albeit rarely (think: crissy field, pt Isabel).... it works because of the design/layout of these rather untraditional dog parks and because his introduction to these parks were for specific training /engagement exercises so he never saw it as a free for all to blow off his owner to hang with friends.
 
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