German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings GSD community! I'm hoping you might help a long-time fancier and potential owner of White GSDs determine if she ought to "take the leap"!
To start-I have been researching and searching for a dog for well over a year now. My husband and & I just built a home on 22 acres out in the boonies and since we finished construction, we've been thinking of a larger dog. We presently have two neutered male french bulldogs and although they are funny little companions, I am seeking a more devoted/loyal/one-person dog for companionship and protection. I also take a daily 4-8 mile walk and would enjoy a companion along. I have no children, so our dogs are really like our kids and I'd really like a dog that I can have a close bond with...one who wants to please and be with me (whereas my frenchies are more focused on their own wants & having fun!). We take our dogs everywhere with us and even keep differing shifts so that they aren't ever alone. Dogs are our life!
In any event, I'd narrowed my breed choices down to the White GSD and the Doberman. About 8 months ago I narrowed it even further to the Doberman, HOWEVER after months of looking at dogs & pups and talking with breeders, I found the temperament quality of the dogs really lacking. It didn't seem to adhere to the standard at all! I was then directed towards European lines and but found a much more high drive dog, which turned me off. Combine that with a forecast of male-on-male aggression down the road with my frenchies and I gave up the ghost.
I am now once again considering a white GSD. I intially discounted them because I did not want to deal with the heavy/shedding coat BUT I have seen several whose temperament I preferred greatly over that of the dobe and to me, temperament is a bigger issue than coat.
I am presently looking at some pups but want to get some perspective from the GSD community before I "take the leap".
So one of the major questions is--does anyone see an issue with adding a male white GSD (to be neutered) pup into a home with two male neutered frenchies? When I posed this question to the Doberman community the immediate answer was --OH NO, DON'T DO IT!! I was taken aback by this because when I'd interacted/spoken with numerous breeders, only one had expressed concern. Several dobe owners surmised that I wasn't dealing with the most ethical of breeders and while I now agree, it makes me even more keen on getting perspective from folks who actually live with the breed (this time with the white GSD).

And while I've got your ear...what are the GSD community's view on the whites? Much of my reading has indicated that the white GSD is typically more mellow than its black & tan counterpart, due largely to the fact that it was not bred in a targeted manner to show and work. That (and the look) is what drew me specifically to the white. My sister-in-law actually breeds black & tans and I find their demeanor too sharp for me. I am accustomed to low-drive dogs so a GSD would be a change from what I'm used to and I want to make sure I can supply the kind of home & interaction that will fullfill the dog. I would expect that after a long walk, my dog will be content just to be in the house by my side.

I have heard others say that its a fallicy that white GSDs have any different pace than the black & tan variety but it's difficult to know which thread is right.

Please help! I feel I can give a good home and am eager to bring a pup home and make him my 24/7 companion but I want to make sure I set myself up for success by choosing the most well suited breed. Loyalty, desire to please & devotion to its primary master are my priorities!

Thank you in advance for reading my post!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,497 Posts
I think as long as you find a good reputable breeder and discuss exactly what you're looking for in a dog, you will be matched properly. Even within litters, there are dogs of varying drives so I think you can find what you're looking for.

They do shed a lot but regular brushing and grooming visits do help.

I think GSDs are amazing and such loyal companions. I think you have a great situation for a dog too with the space you have and your long walks. My dogs would love to live with you :).

I'll let someone more knowledgeable comment on bringing in a male as well as differences in drive and temperament related to colour. I didn't think there was a difference but I'm not an expert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
In all fairness, I 'spose I should mention that I don't let my dogs roam at large. I only really believe in "house dogs" so my GSD would not be tromping through the 22 acres all day, getting tons of exercise. I do have a fenced yard which would be availalbe at any time (and with hubby & I keeping opposite shifts, he can be a doorman for the first half of the day when I'm at work...though I only work part-time 7am-2pm). I just thought I ought to mention this, so that folks estimating if I can provide an adequate amount of exercise don't factor in a 24 day of roaming 22 acres! ;) We do take the dogs outside on nice days when we work the property, but only under supervison!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,497 Posts
In all fairness, I 'spose I should mention that I don't let my dogs roam at large. I only really believe in "house dogs" so my GSD would not be tromping through the 22 acres all day, getting tons of exercise. I do have a fenced yard which would be availalbe at any time (and with hubby & I keeping opposite shifts, he can be a doorman for the first half of the day when I'm at work...though I only work part-time 7am-2pm). I just thought I ought to mention this, so that folks estimating if I can provide an adequate amount of exercise don't factor in a 24 day of roaming 22 acres! ;) We do take the dogs outside on nice days when we work the property, but only under supervison!
That's fine. It's still an great situation and sounds like whatever new dog you get with be exercised sufficiently. I'm in an apartment building with 2 dogs so it can be challenging at times ;). I'm fortunate in that there is a field behind me where I can let them off-leash. I also take my more energetic guy running with me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks AGAIN fuzzybunny. I just wanted to give full disclosure. After all, if my dog is unhappy, I'm the one who will have to live with it! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,435 Posts
I can't really answer your questions about white GSDs, since I have never owned one. I have fostered a couple of young whites, and they seemed to be pretty similar to the other GSDs I have been around. I have noticed that people tend to find them less intimidating than other colors, and are more likely to approach and interact with the dog when we were out and about in the community.

How much training are you willing to put into the dog? Daily walks are great, and required, which you mentioned. But they need more than just exercise. They really do need training. Not just at the beginning, but throughout their lives to maintain and reinforce what they know. You mention that your new home is in the boonies. Would you be willing to drive your puppy and young adult into town a lot, to expose them to new people and environments? Socializing is very, very important with this breed. Do you have access to a trainer, even if you have to drive a distance to get to class?

How old are your Frenchies? They can be scrappy little dogs. Sometimes bringing in a third dog can upset the balance. What training have you done with the Frenchies? I ask only because if there is an issue later, after bringing in a third dog, solid training on the Frenchies would make dealing with any problem less complicated.

I do think there are reputable breeders of white dogs out there.
Sheilah
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
972 Posts
I have a white and i admit i saved him for a horrible BYB and he has really high anxiety and is hyper ALL the time, no matter how much i run or swim him. THat being said he is my fav dog and such a cuddler. I dont think it matters white or colored, make sure you see the parents and its a good breeder
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
I have a mix that is half White GSD and she sheds alot. There is white hair on everything I wear, in everything I eat and makes the carpet look like it has snow on it. I figured I would even in out and now have a black/red to add to my hair collection! Shedding and all I wouldn't trade either for the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the feedback Seilah! I truly am willing to do training with my shepherd. All the dogs I've owned over the years have been through a number of obedience classes; my frenchies included. I actually teach Animal Assisted Therapy as a licensed instructor for Pet Partners at the small community college where I work. My older (3 yr old) frenchie, Tully, was the pilot dog for that program and had his CGC at 4 months! I grew up training dogs (age 8-18 yrs in dog 4-H) so I feel pretty confident there, but always go to classes to enforce socialization.
There is also a good liklihood that if I get a white GSD, he would become the pilot dog for a "Train Your Own Service Dog" class I've recently been contracted to teach. This course would be the first of its kind and as a pilot dog, he'd be trained to demonstrate a number of assistance-related commands.
The thing of it is, after living the past 3 years with my frenchie and having him become essentially the College mascot (petted and coveted campus-wide), I'm really in the frame of mind that I want a dog just for ME. That is why I speak of the one-person loyalty. This go around my intent was actually to go a slightly different route with socialization and enforce an aloof disposition around strangers with my new dog. The area I walk in is 1/2 public, 1/2 private, so we'd be encountering a lot of different people and dogs there daily, as well as in basic/puppy (and possibly advanced) obedience class but my intent had been to take more the route that they do to train police dogs and discourage my pup from interacting too much with other people other than to see them as acceptable entities to be ignored and passed by.
My frenchies (ages 2 1/2 & 3) CAN be scrappy but they peter out pretty quick. I anticipate that bringing in a pup would upset the household a bit but hoped that with my training experience and desire to make this happen, I'd make it work. Do you think I'm being naive or that the white GSD is the wrong match for me?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,435 Posts
KristineK, I can just imagine how popular your Frenchie would be on a campus. Mascot, indeed!

If you want to train for specific, service dog-type tasks, you might want to ask some questions in the service dog forum here on this BB. There are many knowledgeable people posting there, and they might be able to help point you in the right direction. You'll be looking for a very specific type of puppy, if you want to use puppy as a demo for your contracted class. Puppy won't be of much use if puppy doesn't have an aptitude for the work. I knew a local professional trainer who spent months looking at 4-6 month old pups at the shelter I was affiliated with. He wanted a demo dog for his group classes. In fact, once he found the right dog, that is what her named her, "Demo".

I can't speak to the white dogs, since I know so very little about their breeding. But for "other" GSDs, the aloofness with strangers is just something that seems to come naturally to most of the mature dogs I know. I never specifically trained or managed my GSDs early socializing in a way to promote it. It just came with maturity.

Anyway, I would urge you to find the service dog forum here and talk with those folks. They really are a wealth of information.

Good luck!
Sheilah
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,117 Posts
I think the most difficult part will be finding an ethical breeder of white GSDs. I am sure they must exist, but every website I have come across is of the BYB variety.

White GSDs are a controversy amongst the GSD community. Some say they should not be bred at all, and consequently, any breeder of whites is categorically unethical. Some view them as a separate breed that has little or nothing to do with "real" GSDs, and so don't care whether they are bred as long as health and temperament checks are in place, as any ethical breeder of any breed should do. Most people frown on mixing white GSDs with standard colors. Some breeders of whites will do this to "improve" their line, but no reputable breeder of standard GSDs would allow their dogs to be used in this way, so where are the white breeders getting standard color dogs to breed with?

Anyway, my concern with white GSDs is as any breeder that breeds for color. When you breed primarily for color, your priorities are totally out of whack, IMO. The white GSDs are not known for proper GSD temperament and working ability, but if you are looking for a softer, low-drive dog, it may be a good match for you. Not all of them are calm, stable pets, however. I have known a few that have nervous, hyperactive temperaments, so that is something you'll need to look out for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,334 Posts
Lakota is my first white, she came from a couple that were told they should not breed their female mainly because of weak nerves, but they wanted puppies. So with that said, I still wouldn't trade her for anything. She sheds more than my plush/long coat dogs. For the most part she's pretty mellow but does need to do zoomies around the yard or at least a daily run with me & the bicycle.
She was added to our pack when my other dogs were around 6 & 7 years old. It did upset peace and harmony in our home for a short time. Lakota & my female became bff's but her and my male butt heads on occassion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
I will try and help

I am no expert, but I will share with you what our experience has been.

We have both a lush red and black, and a white GSD. Both female. We choose female. We prefer their temperment. Our white is an outstanding dog. Alert, playfull, medium drive, watchful and generaly very well behaved. The shedding was a problem until we started a little fish oil and a grain free food. Now she hardly sheds at all except when she blows her coat in the Summer and after groomings.

I don't get involved in the "is she a GSD or not." We did not choose our girls for coat or color, always temperment.

I commend you for seeking advice and believe you will be a great companion for a GSD.

One word of warning. Prepare to commit yourself to always having a GSD, because if you get a good one, you will never, ever want to be without one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thank you too Freestep, that's helpful insight and I truly do see where you are coming from. I appreciate you reading and replying to my post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I like what you have to say Philip. It makes me think this IS right for me! :) Oh, and thanks for the fish oil tip! I do fred grain free food and I pop fish oil every day myself. Do you just use the human grade for your pooch, or would there be something special I ought to buy? Also, what dose do you give?
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top