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But anyhow, if anybody on this thread is not a Lab person, this is a tribute by a friend's friend, both who train and compete, after his Lab passed.

@David Winners

 

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Discussion Starter #42
Thanks for all the posts. I read them all.

Full disclosure I was hoping the general consensus would be that a GSD makes sense for us. However--and particularly given that this is a GSD forum--the fact that the general guidance (with some notable exceptions of course) recommends a lab, has us leaning strongly in that direction. Moreover, I'm going to do something rare which is ask for advice online and probably take it :) I know GSDs can make great family pets, but it does sound like a lab would be a better match.
 

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Labs are great dogs!
 
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Unless people are ****-bent on a GSD for all the right reasons, I'd say don't. They take a TON of work to make the great dogs you see on TV or in the movies. All dogs are work but the mistakes aren't as potentially disastrous. A ton of people with GSD never should have got them imo judging by the results.

And yes, labs can be great dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Unless people are ****-bent on a GSD for all the right reasons, I'd say don't. They take a TON of work to make the great dogs you see on TV or in the movies. All dogs are work but the mistakes aren't as potentially disastrous. A ton of people with GSD never should have got them imo judging by the results.

And yes, labs can be great dogs.
This is kind of where I'm at. I had a lab growing up (she was great, of course). I've been around them a bit and other than our neighbor who somehow was such a terrible person they had a nasty labrador (I'm positive it was her fault and the dog could have been fine under different ownership), the things are much hard to "mess up".

If it was just me I'd be all over the GSD because I really believe I could have a good one, but with kids' friends over, kids possibly walking the dog, it seems a bit riskier. Wife is less on board with one.
 

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A lab would bore me to tears.
GSDs are not boring.

If you get a lab, please do something more than "family dog" with it.

If you get a GSD you will have to do something more than "family dog" - really. Yes, they are more demanding.

I cannot guarantee that your kids will "bond" with any pup or dog you have. Nor that any dog comes without health issues.

First dog lived to be 16 yo - 14 of those with me. He was going strong up until maybe 2 weeks before he died. GSD elkhound X.. One seizure that was controlled well ever after. That was the extent of his health problems until he got throat cancer which is what he died from. Another had several health issues but lived to 14.

I'd guess your kids didn't come with any guarantees so far as behavior or health goes either.

A pup is a living being - good luck which ever dog gets the good fortune to join your family.
 

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However, he completely walks all over the mom and kids. By the sounds of it the mom has just totally had it with this dog. So don't think just because YOUR personality is strong enough for a strong dog that everything will be peachy.
^ THIS. My working line GSD was the first dog my husband has been involved in the raising of. I have had working breeds my whole life but this GSD's mindset was not the same. I got a balance trainer to learn how to communicate with him. I made hubby do the drills with the trainer - I wanted hubby to understand consistency and methodology and hubby hearing it from a third party took any argument out of it. 😅

Yes, they are a bonded pair and inseparable. Butttt consistency at home is out the window now and the dog looks at ME to see if he needs to comply with what hubby is asking him. But hubby loves his boy so he is fine with him being a brat (and he is still an angel in public). Adding children into the mix and a spouse that maybe is less than enchanted with the dog is stress I wouldn't want.

I like that you are leaning lab. Happy wife = happy life
 

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OP, get a lab from a really good breeder. Do a good job raising it and keeping it fit and well behaved. Teach it to walk nicely on a flat collar on a 6' leash. Get a CGC. When that dog is mature (or has crossed the bridge if you don't want 2) and your kids are older you'll be much better prepared for a GSD.

English labs are air plants. You have to make sure they don't turn into blimps.

There are as many crummy breeders of labs as GSDs so take your time to find a really good breeder. Look for someone who is showing their dogs and titling in other venues. Someone respected in the breed club.

Even a poorly raised lab shouldn't be aggressive. I'd blame that more on a faulty temperament.
 

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OP- this sounds like a good plan to me. I don't think labs are boring, they can be wonderful, fun, family dogs. Make sure to find a good quality breeder who health tests!

I think you are making the right decision. I love GSD, but given what you are looking for, a lab is the best choice.
 

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If you are in the NY area and looking for a Labrador breeder I can p.m. a number of one I highly recommend. I met many dogs and pups from this breeder through out the years who are really solid physically and mentally stable labs.
 

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Hope you return and tell us what you decided.
 

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Thanks for all the posts. I read them all.

Full disclosure I was hoping the general consensus would be that a GSD makes sense for us. However--and particularly given that this is a GSD forum--the fact that the general guidance (with some notable exceptions of course) recommends a lab, has us leaning strongly in that direction. Moreover, I'm going to do something rare which is ask for advice online and probably take it :) I know GSDs can make great family pets, but it does sound like a lab would be a better match.
Based on this highly unusual response alone, I say get a GSD! No one ever actually takes advice. This proves you are intelligent and willing to learn. :)

Unless people are ****-bent on a GSD for all the right reasons, I'd say don't. They take a TON of work to make the great dogs you see on TV or in the movies. All dogs are work but the mistakes aren't as potentially disastrous. A ton of people with GSD never should have got them imo judging by the results.

And yes, labs can be great dogs.
I never consider my dogs work, and actually find that they are a pretty easy breed. The bitey goes away if you just show consistency and give outlets, they are ridiculously easy to train and they are so forgiving of mistakes. My Dane was a nightmare puppy, good thing she was cute. My Coonie was also highly problematic as a pup. Not a good apartment dog, lol. Every Lab and cross that I have had was an excavator, one dug a series of tunnels that would have made the military envious and they were all garbage hounds on top of that. Terrier in all it's forms is correctly spelled Terror, lol.
Give me a GSD any day!
 

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I certainly wouldn't consider a good Lab boring. They are a do anything go anywhere kind of dog!
 

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I certainly wouldn't consider a good Lab boring. They are a do anything go anywhere kind of dog!
I never considered them boring but my retriever loving friends and acquaintances always told me to stick to my Shepherds because my Shepherds have me spoiled.
 
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