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Discussion Starter #1
Okay I am looking for my new companion for fishing along the river up in the woods on hikes and also my wife is battling cancer and heart disease along with diabetes so when he is in the house or with her he needs to dial the drive down I'm not sure if that would be possible with either breed but I don't want a couch patatoe so I would like all the input you guys can give me thanks
 

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Honestly it doesn’t sound like the best time to add a puppy of either breed to the household. Are you or have you considered an older dog - from either a breeder or rescue... where their temperament and energy levels are already known? If you’re new to the breed(s) and in an area with a breed specific rescue nearby, volunteering or fostering may give you some insight as to what breed is a better fit.
 

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Ya I have considered that as well but she wants a puppy we bred Wolf Hybrids for 17 years untill it was to much to handle with her sicknesses. I have been around large dogs all my life so it won't be a problem for me I will defanantly look into a older trained dog there are two good breeders I have chosen in my area I just want to hear others opinions thanks I am set on either of the two breeds, I guess it comes down to which one of them picks me
 

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Yeah, I have to agree with Fodder. I don't think it's the right time for a pup. You've got enough on your plate to deal with....cancer, heart disease, and diabetes...all at the same time. If you're determined to get a dog, an older dog can fit right into your lives right now. A puppy would complicate it and disrupt the calm especially an active one like a GSD or even more active one like a Mal. Btw, if you think wolf hybrids are too much to handle, what makes you think you can handle a GSD or Mal right now? I don't know. I just think the timing's all wrong for a dog, especially one that active.
 

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Tell the breeder about your life, and make sure they understand a good off switch is desired. Then be willing to endure a long stretch of puppyhood before you can enjoy a good off switch.

I've made quite a few new friends with both working line GSDs and Malis. In both breeds there are livable at home specimens and not so livable in the livingroom specimens.

What aspect of the ownership of WDs got too difficult to deal with? Describing what you can't handle would be just as helpful as what you think you can handle, when it comes to asking people for recommendations :)
 

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Yes I'm sure you are right I think I was just looking for a 4 lagged best friend don't get me wrong all my thought and concerns are for my wife but all my life my dog is who got me through hard times it's hard to explain I rely on God first but you guys know how it is with your bet animal friend
 

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I think a dog is a great idea for someone in your situation! They are amazing at calming and comforting. Puppies are time consuming and naughty :smile2:. Love them, but my entire day is dedicated to watching my pup. I don't have any extra time. I doubt that would be ideal for your situation. An adult dog would already be trained and ready to jump into the roll of the dog you're looking for. It would take years to train the puppy to act exactly how you want. Look into adopting a young dog, one who has the basic training, but is still moldable for your life.


Edit: Last month you mentioned having no room for an adult dog. Has something major changed in that would allow you to not only house a dog, but a puppy?
 

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What experience do you have with both breeds? What research have you done on both breeds if you have no personal experience? These breeds can be a lot to deal with, especially with health issues. Trust me, I have personal experience with that.

If you really want a dog, I would suggest a calmer breed, honestly. Or, even better, go adopt a dog from a shelter. You can find some great older dogs with temperaments already set. And you would be saving a life! You may not get a purebred dog, but if you just want the companionship, it could be a great compromise. I would really, really urge you to rethink a puppy at this time. They are insanely time-consuming and can be overwhelming for an adult without health issues! Either way, good luck with whatever you decide. Please stick around and ask questions. We love to help.
 

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Thank you for your advise it helps a great deal and as for the no room thing I probably would have been more correct in saying not ready yet I am making my fence and property more secure for a dog that can jump by the end of summer/ fall is my goal. To answer the other Q I am leaning towards a older dog and yes I have trained Austrailian shepherds and my Hybrids so I am comfortable with either breed
 

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If your wife wants to get a pup get her a puppy. Get her what she wants any breed make sure it’s the right fit. Gsd pups I think would be a good fit. Dogs are very healing and will do her a world of good. If you are able to do most of the raising of the pup, care for the pup train the pup and put to much work into the pup then why not? I can’t think of one reason makes no sense to ask this question. All of pups of any breed are a lot of work. Make sure you get a balanced pup from a recommended breeder as said before explain your situation to the breeder. I do think you are best with a gsd pup unless you get a older malinois. I would not be concerned about getting a couch potato gsd I believe those to be rare. A dog with a off switch is suppose to lay around the house and be active when it’s time to be active. Go visit the dogs visit the breeders ,visit some shows, training clubs and sport clubs and rescues heck even the beach that’s where many gsds are and talk to the owners! See what fits. Visit the land shark puppy page on this forum. My family were in shock at first when I brought home my Max as a pup he was much different and fully charged in what they were used to and I did all the work. Luna a real easy pup they are all different. Any person who wakes up in the morning does not know how their day will end up when they wake up in the morning and anyone can be incapacitated at any given moment. Do they have to give up their dogs or pups? - I sure hope not. Don’t live your life like that though. For a first time gsd owner I would get a pup who is very bideable. I have just recovered from cancer and cancer free - my dogs and my kids helped me get through this. My male - Max actually alerted to my cancer prior to my biopsy as I already knew the lump was there. I actually wanted to try to train him how to alert to cancer if this comes back. I wish I though of it then.

My brother is going through some kidney problems he is a gym teacher and there is a teacher there who works with a therapy dog. The therapy dog jumped in his lap twice and really watched him like a hawk. The owner of the dog said her dog never does that and the dog was alerting to something on him she advised my brother to go to the doctor to get checked- unknowing to her he is going through some health issues. The owner of the dog was seemingly in shock and kept staring at my brother and telling him to go get checked out over and over again. My brother told me max always smells at his leg through his pants - his swollen legs. Dogs are amazing pups or older dogs one should never be without one. Getting a pup and training a dog to be a medical alert dog in the house with someone with an illness can be worth it.
 

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Thanks Jenny the puppy or adult would be home while I am at work and I just don't think my wife would be up for it I don't know maybe I am just being selfish maybe it's for me more than anything I don't know there's just not much to be happy about anymore lots to do and think about
 

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Thanks Jenny the puppy or adult would be home while I am at work and I just don't think my wife would be up for it I don't know maybe I am just being selfish maybe it's for me more than anything I don't know there's just not much to be happy about anymore lots to do and think about
In this case then a younger dog sounds like it will be best. Some breeders have older puppies that are house trained and passed the land shark phase. Some times they have adults that they decided they do not want to use in their breeding program or retired. So many breed rescues. I think a older pup a young adult will bring much happiness to you and your wife. Fix your fence, start searching it is exciting and will bring some positive energy. You are in for an adventure!
 

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In this case then a younger dog sounds like it will be best. Some breeders have older puppies that are house trained and passed the land shark phase. Some times they have adults that they decided they do not want to use in their breeding program or retired. So many breed rescues. I think a older pup a young adult will bring much happiness to you and your wife. Fix your fence, start searching it is exciting and will bring some positive energy. You are in for an adventure!
Wait... The OP just said that he will be gone all day and the wife, the SICK wife, will be taking care of the dog during that time. You think that a young adult or older puppy is the best fit?? You've lost me on that one. That little bit of extra detail from the OP makes me immediately jump to an older dog, at least 3-4 years old, that has completely calmed down and needs way less work.

Yes, dogs are great for therapy and cheering people up. But take it from someone that has serious health issues, sometimes having a dog just adds stress. When I'm feeling like crap, I sit there and worry about my dog and how I'm going to exercise her. I feel bad asking my family to help out on the day or two that I can't do it. I love her, and she loves me. She makes me happy when I feel down. But sometimes I feel guilty and sad. Adding more to have to take care of can be a bad thing. An older dog can handle little attention and little exercise for a day or two way better than a puppy can.
 

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In this case then a younger dog sounds like it will be best. Some breeders have older puppies that are house trained and passed the land shark phase. Some times they have adults that they decided they do not want to use in their breeding program or retired. So many breed rescues. I think a older pup a young adult will bring much happiness to you and your wife. Fix your fence, start searching it is exciting and will bring some positive energy. You are in for an adventure!
Wait... The OP just said that he will be gone all day and the wife, the SICK wife, will be taking care of the dog during that time. You think that a young adult or older puppy is the best fit?? You've lost me on that one. That little bit of extra detail from the OP makes me immediately jump to an older dog, at least 3-4 years old, that has completely calmed down and needs way less work.

Yes, dogs are great for therapy and cheering people up. But take it from someone that has serious health issues, sometimes having a dog just adds stress. When I'm feeling like crap, I sit there and worry about my dog and how I'm going to exercise her. I feel bad asking my family to help out on the day or two that I can't do it. I love her, and she loves me. She makes me happy when I feel down. But sometimes I feel guilty and sad. Adding more to have to take care of can be a bad thing. An older dog can handle little attention and little exercise for a day or two way better than a puppy can.
I think an older pup or younger dog would be best or “better” then a younger pup as the wife wanted a puppy and her husband worked. I did not say it would be better then an older dog. That would all depend on the dog. A bad fit is a bad fit whether that be a older pup ,young dog or older adult. A bad fit would make one miserable and constantly stressed. It is important to know what that fit is. 3-4 year old dog can have a lot of behavioral and unknown health issues and can be a nightmare or a dream come true. Most people who have older pups(6 months plus) and they are crated all day long when owners are working. I know a friend who underwent chemo and actually went out and bought 8 week old pup it was the only light in there day during those times. Motivating and erased the fear of death and yes removed the stress , she was busy with the puppy and it helped her get out of her own way. Of course she was not the sole caretaker of the pup and the husband took care of the pup when he came home from which I can’t even imagine the amount of difference that makes. Not that I’m suggesting a 8 week old pup just to be clear.
 

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Thanks Jenny the puppy or adult would be home while I am at work and I just don't think my wife would be up for it I don't know maybe I am just being selfish maybe it's for me more than anything I don't know there's just not much to be happy about anymore lots to do and think about
This struck me. In a personal way. I have 2 profoundly disabled kids and sometimes you just need/want hope and joy. A challenge that you can stare down and conquer as opposed to the ones that sit on your chest in the middle of the night so you can't breathe. Everyone told me to get a Lab. I didnt want a Lab.

I don't like " I can't" I prefer "how can I". Everyone would tell me (and plenty did) working line GSDs? What? You with all you have on your plate, 2 little boys that can't speak to varying degrees, one that can walk but not run? Full time career, single mom (with a good supportive other parent, but I am still alone with them 50% of the time and it is all consuming- when I am not with them I have to work extra to make up for the flexibility I get when i do have them). It is working for us. I have 2 year old and 17 week old GSDs. Both working lines.

I dont want to lead anyone into "it will work regardless" mentality. It will work if you map out the "how can I" part. I don't know what your support network is like, or your finances but this was stuff I mapped out for myself for my own situation.

Do I have backup? Yes. If something got worse and or stuff didn't work out people would argue over who cares for my dogs either temporarily or permanently(though that would be only because something catastrophic happened lol)

Can I afford help? No became Yes. I stopped eating out unless traveling. Saved 300 per month. Stopped buying coffee, made it in travel mug instead. Bought in bulk. Started making the credit card points work for daily needs, not extra purchases. I actually bothered to enroll in my solar panel credits. Whoah! Coupons, use those things. I stopped using sitter for going out once a week for like 4 or 5 hours for an expensive meal and a few drinks. I easily found the money to spend on training, a trainer, and I use the sitter an extra hour here and there to train after work rather than having a few pinots and an avocado salad at the restaurant across the street lol Can someone help your wife during the day with a puppy? Because you can't leave her with a new puppy.

As for her wanting a puppy. It's amazing how they can heal, but so can an older established dog that has been fostered and has a known temperament. Don't rule out either.

I think a dog is a wonderful idea for a sick person, or a sick child, as long as you can make reasonable accommodations. Have a plan , and when someone tells you that you can't, tell them HOW you can.

One of my favorite sayings. Saw it posted the other day. Always chokes me up.

Dog watched his human cry, concerned.
Where was human's smile?
Probably lost somewhere, the dog thought.
That was OK. Dog knew how to fetch.
 

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I have no medical background but I do have to question the wisdom of chemotherapy, a weakened immune system, dog germs, cleaning lots and lots of puppy pee and poo, handling packaged or raw dog food......
 

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I have no medical background but I do have to question the wisdom of chemotherapy, a weakened immune system, dog germs, cleaning lots and lots of puppy pee and poo, handling packaged or raw dog food......
Responsible details to include in a decision, for sure. When my dad was getting serious radiation, not only was his immune system compromised..but he was also radioactive and not supposed to be hugging my small kids, pregnant women, small pets..
 

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The doctors should always be asked these questions foremost. One needs not to get permission on the internet. Oncologists are always checking your blood and will let you know if your immune system is dangerously low. Any raw feeding I would imagine can be post poned even if you just have immune system issues in general. Doctors say stay away from unknown stray animals where health is unknown. If you have someone in the house have them clean up after the dog or where a mask and gloves. Again though the doctor will let you know if your immune system is dangerously low. I had really heavy duty chemo and my friend my made me worry about my pets and going down and to the horse barn. I asked the doctor prior to my treatment and the doctor said it was very important in the healing process to enjoy the things you love and I did. I did incredibly well. My animals helped me and I can not stress that enough and what makes it easier is that the op is there to help.

That is not true about most radiation treatment. I have a friend who went through chemo and radiation got a puppy and has young kids and was not segregated from them at any given time and she is doing awesome.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mskcc.org/blog/answers-common-questions-about-radiation-safety?amp

https://www.webmd.com/cancer/therapy-dogs-cancer

https://www.nfcr.org/blog/blog7-ways-dogs-help-people-cancer/
 

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There is a 7 year old neutered male gsd that I came across on fb last week. He is more on the mellow side and upstate Ny. He was not raised with children . He was given back to the breeder and is now at the northern Chautauqua canine rescue. His name is Dexter. Not sure what he op is deciding on younger or older. He is a bit older but worth checking out if in the area.
 

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Puppies are cute and cuddly for a minute, and then they're powerful adolescents for a long while. Adolescence is a far harder phase to get through than puppyhood.

The reality of an older adolescent mal: after his person comes home from working all day, he goes for a 4 mile run, and then is ready to tear around the yard and can bounce over a 6' privacy fence. My best friend has one in foster care, and he's exhausting compared to her 2 older GSDs.

The reality of an adolescent GSD: the same, just less. They don't jump as high or run as fast, but they're still very active, energetic, and in need of stimulation. They'll still need a lot of time after work. They still can be absolute buttheads while testing boundaries and learning what they can get away with.

We just adopted out an adolescent GSD who was fostered with us for 4 months to turn her issues around. Her prior owner surrendered her to my vet, as the lady was exhausted and miserable owning this dog. That last home didn't have time to exercise her brain or body, gave her inadequate structure because they were busy, and often dumped her in play care/boarding to get a break. She's a "busy" dog that's into everything (ripping up rugs, pillows, whatever) -- take your eye off her, and she's found something in the house to get into. She's a well-bred, biddable, smart dog -- but she's A LOT of dog -- and she was poorly matched to whoever bought her as a puppy. She is a great dog with good leadership, and a very naughty one without it.

We made her a better dog in those months, but she needed a home with breed experience to give her clear leadership, physical activity, and ongoing obedience training. She needed an active home, where she will be walking several miles twice a day. Seriously -- two to three miles, twice a day, preferably with some hills, was the difference between an easy-to-live-with dog and one bouncing off the walls looking for something to do. We taught her to chill in the house over many months -- sitting on the leash -- but she was far more mentally capable of it when she'd already gotten out her ya-yas. She also needed somebody who understood that obedience training has to be integrated into daily life not just be a place you go once a week -- it took a while to find that home, but we did, and both dog and person are delighted with the match.

Ask yourself whether you're likely to be that kind of home, or the kind that failed her and didn't have time or energy for what she needed.

FWIW, I've been around wolves. I wouldn't count on your experience with hybrids to translate well to GSDs. Wolves don't train. They negotiate -- if you're lucky. They're independent. They're not protective of humans. GSDs are in many ways are the opposite: they're in your business ALL the time. They want a job, and find one for themselves if you don't give them one. Many of them are velcro dogs. They can become overly protective if not taught good judgment (check out the recent thread about the guy whose dog bit the garbage man and a delivery person all in the same week). They will test boundaries to see who's boss during adolescence, they need daily exercise (not just playing in a yard, but structured exercise with their person!)--walking on-leash is bonding time.

Raising a GSD is not all cuddles and kisses. In fact, it's probably 10% cuddles and kisses, and 90% hard work. If your wife is the one home with the dog most of the time, this work will fall on her -- and if she's ill that's likely to be a heavy burden.

If you were to come to our rescue, I'd recommend an easy-going, "bomb-proof," handler-focused adult dog with basic obedience already, that was a candidate for therapy dog training (meaning, the dog had already been evaluated by a trainer and found to have potential for therapy or service work). Those dogs are actually pretty rare. I wouldn't want one that's highly protective, as your wife likely doesn't have the strength to fool with that when someone comes to the door. I'd want a dog that's really in tune with people, who will be attentive to being a good companion. And I'd put you in touch with a trainer who did therapy dog work, so that you could have a conversation about what it takes to get a dog there -- so the dog could eventually possibly even go to appointments with her, or visit her when hospitalized, or at least do therapy work for her at home by practicing the same calm and gentleness that they do when working. (The hospital-certified therapy dogs I've known get bathed in chlorhex shampoo frequently, and always before they go on visits to facilities. During chemo, you might need to follow that 1x or even 2x weekly antimicrobial bathing protocol at home too -- again, more work!)

If you are determined to raw feed the dog while your wife is ill, look into commercial, frozen raw diets that are labeled "HPP" (high-pressure processed). They're a bit more expensive, but theyr'e supposed to be free of pathogens.
 
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