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I'm going to toss in my agreement in getting an older rescue instead of a puppy.

I'm in your same situation - apartment living and long hours at work. However, the only reason I got a dog at all was because I was planning on both getting an older dog, and bringing the dog into work with me every day (actually, the driving reason for getting a dog was to bring her to work to reduce my anxiety/phobia issues).

While researching, the issue came up: Puppy or older rescue? I settled on getting a middle age to senior dog. I got a 6 year old.

I think long hours at work and a puppy would be a bad combination. Housebreaking is only the first step - the rest is at least a year of high energy, curiosity and shorter attention span. Even bringing a puppy into work would probably be too much hassle and impact your work too much.

An older dog will be more calm with a longer attention span and less curiosity to get into everything (the world and existence is much less new and exciting
). They'll also have much better bladder and bowel control and be able to handle the day without too much discomfort. They will be more capable to calm down and hang out for hours at a time without boredom eating away at them (either at home, or at your feet at work).

Also, try to think realistically about your life and your patterns. Bringing in someone who needs you will certainly help altering your life a bit, but it won't eliminate your previous patterns completely. If you have days or weeks where your time is completely eaten up, you'll continue to have them after getting the dog.

Thusly, long hours and a few days in a row where the dog only goes out to go potty would get boring pretty quick. Even though I take my dog with me everywhere I go, if we don't walk and exercise for two days, she's difficult to manage on that third day and it takes about two days before she's back to her mellow self.

So, for an apartment dweller with long work days, my suggestions would be:

A) A senior rescue (around 10 years old) and get a regular scheduled dog walker for days you won't be back by 6pm. Leave interesting stuff, like a stuffed kong, puzzle toys and/or marrow bones

B) A young to middle age rescue (around 3-8 years old) and take them to work

C) A adolescent to middle age rescue (around 1-8 years old) and take them to doggie day care at least two or three times a week (but beware not all dogs are accepted, and GSDs tend to not be good in doggie day care - a lab would be better for this)

In all cases, wake up early for a nice loooong walk and play.
 

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I think a rescue is the way to go. A dog who's older than say 3 or 4 is going to be a lot less demanding of your schedule than a puppy. There are few perfect dogs in rescue but the ones who've been through foster care will have a good amount of re-training. I've had 3 rescues and the loyalty of a rescue is amazing.

Good luck, hope you find your perfect dog!
 

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One more apartment dweller chiming in here! It is doable!

I heartily agree with those who have recommended that you skip the idea of a puppy. Puppies are a <u>lot</u> of work; they are adorable, almost irresistible, but just <u>too time-consuming</u> for the schedule that you described.

I've had three dogs in my adult life: the first two have passed away; the third currently shares my life. The first two were street rescues as puppies; I adopted my current dog 4 years ago from an all-breed rescue when she was 3 years old. I consider a dog to be a lifelong commitment: my first dog lived to be 17 years old; my second dog lived to be almost 12 years old.

So I have had experience raising two puppies and caring for them their entire lives. That's why I insisted on adopting an <u>adult</u> dog!


There is no problem with "bonding" with an adult adoption. I adopted my current dog when she was 3 years old. We are now at advanced-level of obedence training; we got applause during yesterday's class!


I sincerely recommend the rescues that were listed further upthread. Please get your application on file with those rescues and please tell them absolutely everything about yourself!

This will be a great help to the rescue groups; they want to place the right dog with the right family.

The rescue groups that were listed are <u>really</u> nice folks. They will be very glad to help you find the absolute best dog. Why? They are all volunteers, who are working for the benefit of the dogs. They want to place each dog only once!


They (and this GSD forum!) will always be ready as a source of information.

Good luck! I'm sure that you will give some very lucky dog a really great home!
 

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Discussion Starter #24
You all make me want to run out this weekend!

My time line is to get a dog around December/February. I have a lot to think about now and plenty of time to read up. I am glad it can be done. I really have no issues with the morning/mid/afternoon walks and exercise. I hope to get out to the Virginia Rescue sometime soon in June.

Thanks for all the help, I will defiantly be lurking around until I can start posting about my dog
 

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I have to say my 4 year old is a delight! He still has tons of energy, is still very playful (RAPs nightly - Random Acts of Playfullness) yet is out of the crate, can hold the bladder for my work hours and well....is just delightful
 

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My input.. We lived in an apt for the first year we had Blitz.. and it worked fine. I did take off a few weeks when we first got him for training and bonding... but knowing what I know now.. I would go for a rescue (although puppies are fun!)

Regarding the crate issue.. Blitz has spend the last 2 1/2 years with the laundry room as his "dog room" with his crate there and a dog door.. where is he most of the time? passed out in his crate. I am currently staying with relatives and I bought him a 4' by 5' small dog kennel that makes a great HUGE "crate" so my moms chihuahua doesn't bug him... I just keep him supplied with lots of squeekie balls, kongs full of treats, and chewies..and he is a happy pup. (well almost 5 yr old "pup")

Not all GSD's are high energy.. mine is laid back and always has been. He wants you to throw the ball about a dozen times and he's ready to lay down (although he will keep chasing as long as you throw, he lets you know he'd rather just chill out)

You just have to find a GSD with a personality to fit yours
 

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Just wanted to let the OP know that VGSR is holding an adoption day at the Petco in Herndon VA on Sunday from 12 until 3. Please consider dropping by to say hello and meet a bunch of fellow GSD lovers!

Hope to see you there!
 

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good luck with your new GSD puppy. i lived in an apartment with 2 children, 1 Shep and 2 cats. it was a big apartment but still an apartment. we just made sure our Shep got plenty of exercise. lots of walks and i threw the ball for him to retrieve alot. i also use to hide things in the woods and have him find them. that i thought was good exercise because sometimes it took him a 1/2 hour of searching to find something. your long hours of work don't seem to be in the way because you can come home to take care of him/her. if need be bring in a sitter. that's what we do and things are working out just fine. also the house i live in now is much smaller than the apartment i lived in. my house is only 2 bedrooms, bath, a hole in the wall for a kitchen and a living room. our dog is very calm in the house untill i play ball with him in the house or hide things and have him find them. i always hear about this high energy stuff. mine have always been calm in the house and active outside. i have a buddy who lived in a small one bedroom with his Shep and they were just fine. he even taught his dog not to walk across the rug which i thought was great but why? the dog actually walked the perimeter of the rug when in the living room and it was only the living room, bedroom and bath. some one once said to me "a big dog can live in a small house because they're in there to eat and sleep", meaning you can train them outside and you exercise them outside. you're going to be a good human for your GSD. being able to work from home those weeks is a big plus. so, let's find you a breeder. good luck, the farm sounds great.
 

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i have never owned a Shep that was under foot. we live in a small house with 2 dogs. i have a Shep and a Grey hound and neither are in the way. they don't follow us everywhere we go. at times the Shep will come and lay at my feet or sit beside me and give me his paw but it's not enough to be annoying or in the way. like now, the Shep is on 1 of the beds in the living room(12ft. away) the Grey Hound is in the bed room on 1 of the beds (35ft. away, putting one foot in front of the other touching heel to toe). my Grey Hound likes the bed room. she goes from her bed to our bed to the sofa to one of the 4 dog beds. i know one person who had a Shep that stuck by their side. now i would fine that annoying. this dog would follow this person every step she made. if she moved from one end of the sofa to other the dog would follow. i just called my neighbor to ask them is their Shep like velcro and she said "no, i wouldn't like that". i don't think they have to be or want to be within 2ft. of you at all times. they're strong minded. as all dogs depend on us they can be some what independent. when we're out in the woods and he takes off to check things out sometimes i have to call him back because he's to far away for my comfort zone. after 30 or 40 yards away i start to keep a watchfull eye on him. after 50 yards i might call him back if i don't know the area. i think sometimes as a dogs human you want them to be under foot because of some emotional attachment but they love us just as much from 2ft away or a bedroom away or when he's out searching a 100 yards away.
 

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Originally Posted By: ROYAL_RUGERI don't believe in crate-owning, period. People on here will disagree because they do it, plain and simple.
If you want a pet that you can keep caged all day, take out and play with in the eveing, get a hampster or guinea pig.
Some people justify day crating by saying they love their pet and are insuring their safety by locking them in a cage, all day, 5 days a week. Play with them in the eveing if you have the time, and then off to bed. Great life!
And the funny thing is these are the same people that see a dog tied to a leash all day in someones back yard and say, " poor dog, how cruel, at least my dog is safe at home in his crate???"


WOWweee! Where did that come from?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Originally Posted By: RemoJust wanted to let the OP know that VGSR is holding an adoption day at the Petco in Herndon VA on Sunday from 12 until 3. Please consider dropping by to say hello and meet a bunch of fellow GSD lovers!

Hope to see you there!
Remo, I hope I can make it! I have no plans and Herdon is a stones throw away.
 

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