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Hello all,

I am starting to research German Sheepherds in the hope that in about 6 months to a years time, I will be able to get one for my 2.5 year old son. I am a divorced Mom, and my son and I live alone with our miniature schnauzer, Jimmy. My son is a very loving little guy and loves animals, is never rough with them and always wants to pet and gently hug. Jimmy is also a wonderful four legged son, who is friendly and very sociable with other dogs, big and small, and loves to play. I would like to get a German Shepherd for my son as "his dog"...one that can grow up with him. I would also like to have one to serve as a guardian for our little family since we are on our own for the time being. We are an active family - outside alot with room to run at our house, and also have a farm to go to for the dogs to play on. This would be our first German Shepherd so I'm really doing alot of research about what it takes to own one, what I need to be on the lookout for and antything else that might help me. Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!
 

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Lots and lots of time and pretty assertive owner. by 3-3.5 your son is not going to be able to handle him, unless an adult is very good at training a big dog that is a hand full. Also, Miniature Scnauzers tend to be very nervous and can upset a GSD. Just giving you the cautionary side.
 

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you get a pup it's your dog. your son can grow up with the dog
but that's about it. your son is to young to handle a dog/pup.

you can say it's your sons dog but that's as far as it goes.

because you have a Shep that doesn't mean it's going
to be protective. if you want a protective dog find a professional
PPD trainer.

good luck with the new pup.
 

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I personally think GSD pups take WAY more time to train and socialize than other breeds. What makes them the best police dogs, attack dogs, bomb dogs, herding dogs, agility dogs, obedience dogs....... is a ton of intelligence and high energy.

Which is, in my experience, WAY more than most 'normal' people with real busy lives are prepared for. Cost of dog classes and making time for them, along with the socialization time is a big commitment.

Other really big problem I've found is these GSD pups LOVE to play play play and they use those needle sharp puppy teeth. With a young son at just about the level of those sharp puppy teeth, and any new puppy thinking a small person is the perfect playmate, I'd be VERY concerned about that issue.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/85888-teaching-bite-inhibition.html

These dogs have to be house dogs, can't rely on the backyard to raise them. Need tons of exercise, can't rely on the backyard to exercise them. Also lots of training, which needs a human in the mix.

So while I love the breed and hopefully will continue to have one, I do not recommend them to people I know, really. Hardly ever. Too hard.
 

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I got my now 11 month old GSD girl for my almost 3 yr old daughter. Of course I do all the training and caring for the dog but Bianca feels Ursa is her dog. As it should be. Ursa is great with her and Bianca loves her - except for when Ursa steals her toys but that just teaches her to keep them put away when she's done with them! Ursa has the perfect temperament and is not high drive. I can see these two growing up together and having a special relationship.

Worked out well for me.
 

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I'm going to step in here and first off say welcome, and secondly applaud you on doing research before you get a new dog. The mere fact you came on this board to inquire about the breed from experienced owners tells me you are already ahead of the average impulse buyer. The German Shepherd is a fantastic dog that is not only beautiful but intelligent and loyal, but like all intelligent breeds needs to be trained and socialized, if you are willing to make this commitment to the dog than you and your son will be rewarded with a fantastic companion, I have lived most of my ( several) years with this breed and feel it is absolutely a great breed to have, if you plan to be as devoted to him as he will be to you. If you think a puppy will be too much, there are lots of wonderful young German Shepherds in rescue ready to join a great home like yours, just be sure of your willingness and ability to train and nurture another dog with your young sons needs as well.
 

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I agree a GSD will become your son's best friend and it is great that you are willing to ask for help/ opinions as you will get that here. There is more work and perhaps common sense needed to raise a GSD puppy the work you put in will give you everything you are looking for. Yes puppies go through a nipping vase they are just trying to interact and play the best way they know how but you just have to teach it what you expect from him and that will be your job not your sons. good luck and feel free to ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for your replies!! This is great. I want to put in the time and research now before we choose to move forward not only for myself and my son's sake, but for the dog's sake as well. You all have given more lots more insight, and I know where to come if I have any more questions. Thanks again!
 
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