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Hello Everyone,

I am a college student looking at getting a GSD puppy. This puppy would likely be quite young (7-8 weeks) when I pick it up and I would start socialization immediately. I have heard plenty from other people about GSDs being "aloof" or not interested in interacting with new people. However, as a college student, I meet new people everyday (and so too would my dog). I'm afraid that this could lead to issues (i.e. people try to pet the pup who responds aggressively or fearfully). Does anyone have any tips for how to socialize the puppy so that he/she is friendly when meeting new people?


Thanks ahead.
 

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Give her/him time to adjust to you first. I take mine out to stores and places where dogs are allowed. I don't let everyone pet her. If people ask I would say yes, but only if she wants to meet you. I'd tell her to say hi. As a young pup she had no desire to, wouldn't walk over to them. I didn't let them walk up and lean down over her to pet her. I'd tell the people not today, maybe another time she'll be interested in meeting you. When she hit four months she started walking up to people and letting them pet her. She's five months old now and still will walk over to most people. There's no reason for your puppy to have to like other people, she/he just needs to be civil and ignore them if he/she doesn't want to be petted. If you force it you could create the very problems you're trying to avoid.
 

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^ All the things Deb said. Take your dog to lots of different places and situations. I like to enroll my puppies in obedience classes. That way they are exposed to many different dogs and people in controlled circumstances. I would keep the pup in classes for his first year or two. I don't like dog parks for socialization. It's too easy for a puppy to have a bad experience with other dogs.

GSDs are supposed to be reserved. You can expect a well-bred, well-trained GSD to be neutral around non-threatening strangers. I don't necessarily think you can expect a typical GSD to enjoy meeting new people the same way that, say, a lab or a golden retriever may enjoy meeting new people. That is not to say you won't find a social and friendly GSD. One of my GSDs is very friendly and loves getting attention from new people. The other one is aloof--not aggressive, but you can tell he tolerates but does not enjoy the attention.
 

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I like aloof German Shepherds. It is in the breed standard. Frankly, I do not see how a college student would have time to keep and properly train a GSD. Maybe you should wait until after you have your degree.
 

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Frankly, I do not see how a college student would have time to keep and properly train a GSD. Maybe you should wait until after you have your degree.
As a fairly recent college student, I think it's very possible for someone to have the time to keep and properly train a GSD while also a full time student.

I've had many friends who successfully raised, trained, and showed GSDs while in college. That said- it only works if the owner is willing to make that dog their life outside of classes. Definitely not the dog if you have parties at your house or apartment, love going out frequently and not coming home till bar close, don't have a steady income to pay for the pup, and aren't willing to sacrifice some social time with friends (or study time, depending on who you are lol). Dorm dogs they are not! It is for sure a different way of life than the typical college student, but for some of us it's exponentially better.

OP sounds like they're thinking it through and asking some good questions. Hopefully they'll take the socialization tips offered, along with the reality that GSDs as a breed are intended to be more aloof, and decide whether they can make that commitment and if a GSD is actually what they want based on where they're at in life right now.

As an added bonus, if they get a pup they'll never have to worry about sleeping through an 8am again
 

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You can't say that about every college student... I am one and both my dogs are well taken care of, get plenty of exercise and training. My family even compliments on how well I take care of them and how behaved they are. And I also work. It's all about time management and how much it really means to you to have them. But I do hope OP does understand that it does take a lot of work. I've seen many amongst my age of people that don't give their dogs the time they deserve.
 

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I work two jobs and go to college. I have a 2 year old cattle dog and a 6 month old gsd. It's possible! But you really have to be willing to put in the time. My dogs are my life and I don't party or any of that. They get tons of excersize and my gsd gets at least a hour of solid training in public every day. Walks multiple times a week. Luckily my gsd is extremely calm and honestly a very easy puppy. If you live in a apartment it's very important that you curve separation anxiety ASAP
 
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