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Discussion Starter #1
Our puppy Elliott is nearly 5 weeks old now and we are picking her up in around 3 weeks time....but im having major panics about it!!! People keep telling me that she will be really hyper and will eat our house and that we shouldnt have a shep with other dogs because they like to have all your attention. I know that its not all bad when you have a large powerfull breed but i am having a big wobble about it now. I already love Elliott to pieces and we have visited her twice a week since she was 2 weeks old. Is it normal to have a panic before getting your puppy? I already have a labrador and a cocker- wil Elliott really be jealous? My cocker is very attatched to me as she was abused in her last home. Please help me as i am going mad worrying!!!!!!!
 

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if you are serious and you are truly having a "panic" before getting your puppy, and if you are really "going mad" worrying, i definitely think you should step back, take a breath, and ask yourself why. perhaps your feelings are trying to tell you something.

also, why would you put any stock in "people" telling you all these things, are they people whose opinions you respect on other subjects? do you believe they're clairvoiant, how do they know what your puppy will be or do, and why would you put any faith in what they say?

it sounds as tho you have some serious thinking to do. getting a shepherd puppy is a big responsibility, any puppy is really...but a large and intelligent breed sometimes even moreso.
 

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If you give your pup the proper exercise and mental stimulation your house and belongings will be just fine. From my experience I don't see any problem with having a shepherd with any other dog, there are plenty of ppl here on this board that have different breeds along with shepherds. If you want my opinion I think you should stop listening to the negative stuff that people have to say, this should be an exciting time for you and your family not a stressful one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am a born worrier so its not hard to get me thinking im afraid and i think waiting for Elliott has given me a bit too much time to think!! My lab is reaonably well trained- hes not a loony and he listens to me and walks well on leadand always comes back when off lead, my cocker is a bit mad (as they are!!) but walks well on lead and doesnt leave my side off lead. Im home all day and love going for long walks, my kids will both be in school by the end of the year so i will have even more time soon. My landlord lives next door and hes quite happy for us to have her as he knows we look after the house and my dogs are so good.
 

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Don't panic, we are here to help you through this!
True, Elliot will be a whole different ballgame than your Lab and Cocker. Elliot will need you to think more. She'll be loving, funny, sweet-- and you will need to think much. much more about her training. This can be FUN. GSDs need more involvement from an owner than many breeds. This means, to balance out that wonderful loyalty that they give, we much give back-- with training, training, training. Remember: training is FUN for you both.

This is more than going to a puppy class. This also means doing obedience at home with her a few minutes in the morning. Then also before you head out the door, you make her learn to sit and wait. You teach her to sit and focus for her foodbowl twice a day. When you go out, you have her do some sits and downs (yes, even as a baby puppy-- food lure and clicker) on soft grass, rough woodchips, the hard sidewalk, all kinds of surfaces. This works her brain, tires her out mentally. Never had to do this stuff with your other dogs, huh?


The perks: Interweaving training stuff throughout your day deepens the wonderful, warm bond between you two. Not doing the fun training stuff means a frustrated GSD who may become bored, hyper, etc. The simple sits, downs, focus excersises, the learning to wait at doorways and for her foodbowl with focus, etc is FUN. yes, it takes more involvement from you.. but think of having that bond deepen. Think of being amazed how quiet and happy and calm she will be. Think of how proud you will be when she behaves well, because she had MENTAL stimulation.

Okay! So, we know Elliot will need more mental stimulation. Physically, tha same thing. Intended to her sheep all day, Elliot will need more than being let out into the yard with the other dogs to go potty, and more than a walk on leash. Put the other dogs in the house, and throw the ball for Elliot! Let her bring it back, and really RUN, and get tired. (be sure she has not eaten or drank anything an hour or two before, and not right after, either)

Yes, a GSD is more involvement from you. But this can be FUN for you both! We start when we bring baby puppies home. We let GSD puppies meet, meet, and meet more people and dogs, so they will not become worried in meeting new people and dogs. This too is FUN.. Once she has been vaccinated, she can go to class and meet lots of puppies. In the meantime, she can meet lots of people who are loving and friendly to her! Aim for her meeting 4 new people per week. Take her to an outdoor shopping plaza with some treats. Stay calm. People will pet her.


Don't worry! If this sounds like lots of work, it is! But it's lots of FUN, too.. and the bond gets ever deeper with a GSD.

I suggest "My Smart Puppy" by Brian Killcommons and Sarah Wilson. It helps with a new puppy!
 

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I will admit to having second thoughts after committing to a pup a couple of times .. it's a big step, bringing in a new family member, and it can be challenging at times.

But with the proper maintenance and handling, there shouldn't be many problems. I've NEVER had a dog chew up my house and only on rare occasions have they chewed on something they shouldn't have (like a book or a pad of paper). I just make sure I've supplied them with proper chew items, make sure they understand that those ARE the items to chew, and confine them when I'm not around to make sure they're staying out of trouble (like when I'm in the shower, or busy on the computer).

I also have lived with multiple dogs/multiple breeds for the last 20 years and don't have any problems with jealousy or anything like that. The dogs accept each other pretty well, especially as I provide a strong, fair leadership and they know that I have the last (and first, really) word on everything. I don't let puppies harass the older dogs past the point that they can handle. I don't let older dogs pick on younger ones, or bigger dogs pick on smaller ones, etc. I make sure they're exercised and trained, provide lots of love and treats, and they all do fine together.

Currently I have four dogs - all female - two GSDs and two chows. We were just out in the shop playing together. The oldest - 13 year old Trick (GSD) tends to just go lay down and watch. Dora - 12 year old chow - spends her time searching for any cookies that may have been missed. The other two - Khana, 4 year old chow and Tazer, 2 year old GSD - spend their time playing together or interacting with me. I don't have fights or even much in the way of little squabbles. They each have their favorite activities and I allow that as long as they're not pestering each other. We do several group activities a day, like a group down or a group sit, and they all know to wait for their own name to be called before they get a treat. That way I can reach out with a treat and only the dog whose name I say tries to take it. It takes a little while for them to associate their own name with being allowed to take a treat, or go through a doorway, etc. but it's well worth teaching when you have multiple dogs.

It sounds like you'll have a lot of time to spend with the dogs, and each dog will be able to have group time and individual time. I think it's important that each dog get one-on-one time with the humans, so you'll want to spend a little time each day with each dog separately. That way they still get their own special lovings.

Enjoy your new pup, and try not to worry too much! Make sure you have ways to confine her so that she can easily be housebroken and also to separate her from the other dogs when she's driving them crazy. If you've got a good breeder, they will already have started housebreaking, started kennel training, started leash training and have been putting her on different surfaces, exposing her to new noises, taking her for car rides in a kennel, etc. A pup should come to you confident and ready to join your household.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your replies! I love all the training so thats not a problem- my dogs all have manners and dont shove past me at doors etc and my lab is brilliant when training him to do down stays and stuff like that when we are out. My cocker isnt as well trained because she gets nervous because of her abused past but shes not really naughty either- she acts like an old girl!!! I used to play ball with my lab loads but hes now got either ED or OCD in his shoulder and elbow so sadly cant do that now- we both loved it so i would love to have another dog to play ball with! Weve got wooden floors all through downstairs so housetraining will be easier and her breeder has said she is trying to paper train the pups before they leave so hopefully we will have a head start. How much exercise would you think is enough while they are still young? I know to be carefull because of joints etc...what age would you think its best to allow chasing around after a ball?
 

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Don't worry, easier said than done right, but we have had less trouble with our GSD as a puppy than we have had with our other 2 as puppies. The key is to wear her out physically and mentally. Not exhaust her but keep her active. The more time she has to think about what to get into the more that she will get into, at least that what we found with CJ.

She will be a blast and yes she will probably chew up something and have an accident or 2 but if you are supportive of her she will respond with good behaviors. Think of her as a baby, a baby with a keen sense of smell, and baby proof the house. Sounds silly but she will want to explore everything and it is more for her safety than anything else.

The last thing is use this site as much as possible. No question is stupid even if you think it is. I have asked some questions that I thought would get sarcastic comments but that doesn't happen at this site. You may get some LOL comments only because we have done the same thing or asked the same questions but please ask!!

GOOD LUCK!!!
 

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FWIW I always go thru panic mode when adding a new Hooligan to the pack. It doesn't matter if it's a baby or adult, I just get all "ify" and nervous and wonder if I'm making a mistake.

You've already gotten a lot of good tips. And keep in mind, there are a lot of people on this board who can give you excellent advice when you need help or have questions about your new baby!!!
 

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These "people" who are telling you this, do they have GSD? Do they also think they eat children and rip the heads off kittens??


A puppy, any puppy, is a lot of work, but well worth it. Don't worry about little Elliott, she'll be fine and you'll love her. She'll learn the boundries and it will all be okay!
 

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I'll bet these people probably know very little about dogs. You'll get that a lot. Kind of like the people who say feeding raw will make your dog blood thirsty and stuff like that. You have kids, so you've probably already learned how to ignore bad advice when it comes to parenting... use that power of ignoring for dog advice too, unless the person giving advice is actually worth getting advice from (like an obedience trainer, a reputable GSD breeder, or even a GSD owner who is very active with their dogs and has obvious knowledge of the breed).

I had 2 cats when I brought in my first GSD puppy. My cats were not eaten, because I trained my puppy. My house was not eaten because I used a crate when I could not watch my puppy. My puppy had wonderful behavior because we did obedience training regularly and also did regular walks. My puppy could be taken anywhere because I socialized him to everyone and everything. I even once played trombone in an outdoor band concert with my dog laying down next to me in the middle of the band.


GSDs are *wonderful* dogs. They are very smart, and they are a more dominant breed than the lab. That was one thing I had to get used to, as I hadn't had a dominant breed before. And I'll tell you, the adolescent teenage brat stage around 10-11 months was horrible. But we got to the other side, and my puppy grew into a very wonderful adult dog.

You'll do great. Just don't be afraid to ask questions here when you need help, or to talk to your breeder if you need help (I called my breeder for advice about puppy biting and was glad I did!). Train your puppy, use a crate, and exercise exercise exercise. You'll do fine!
 

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Having just been through this myself like many others on the board, I think it's normal to be a "little" nervous as taking on a pup is a commitment for hopefully many years. If you are really "freaking out" about it and don't feel ready for the challenges and fun of having a pup, you may want to wait a bit and see how you feel in a few months. It's so easy to get attached to a cute puppy, but it's just as easy to get overwhelmed and give up on it too. If you do go through with Elliott, all the above advice about crates, exercise and training is great.Good luck!
 

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don't buy into the stuff people tell you unless they actually have a GSD. Your pup will naturally take the cues from your older dogs. by the time I got to my fourth dog I swear he learned everything from the girls. he was potty trained in 24 hrs at 6 weeks old, he just followed them,lol.
a puppy is a lot of work, we all know-but it will grow into a dog and it will be well worth it. you will never have a break-in.
 

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PS at what age to start throwing the ball? uh...start whatever age you want to keep throwing the ball from that day forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Originally Posted By: SuzyEPS at what age to start throwing the ball? uh...start whatever age you want to keep throwing the ball from that day forward.
I meant because of their joints is it a good idea to not encourage them to hooley around untill they are more developed.
 

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I don't know, paige was always a nut case and was fetching from 6 weeks on. she has lived a very strenous life from all the fetching but you could never tell that now.they are a pretty tough dog, I guess my problem was always wearing her out, it wasn't until later yrs I worried about joint problems.
 
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