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This might seem strange but it was encouraged by a message in a different thread about having an "elderly parent" look after someone's GSD. Elderly being mid-60s.

I was a bit astonished, but then I realised that this is an important issue. If/when we think about getting a dog, we think about lots of stuff about the puppy... what breed, what colour, what training etc, but we don't think much about us.

When would you think you were too old to get a GSD? Or other breed?

At what age would you think it was irresponsible to bring a new puppy home?
 

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As long as the person knows what they are getting into, I don't think any age is too old. That said, puppies are DIFFICULT and sometimes I think people forget this....until they have another puppy in the house.



This might seem strange but it was encouraged by a message in a different thread about having an "elderly parent" look after someone's GSD. Elderly being mid-60s.

I was a bit astonished, but then I realised that this is an important issue. If/when we think about getting a dog, we think about lots of stuff about the puppy... what breed, what colour, what training etc, but we don't think much about us.

When would you think you were too old to get a GSD? Or other breed?

At what age would you think it was irresponsible to bring a new puppy home?
 

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Depends on the person. I am way more fit and active then most people half my age. That said I think anyone getting a pup at any age has a responsibility to ensure that they have a plan in place.
Someday having a big, active hairball in the house may be to much for me. That day is not today.
 

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I'm 55 and my husband is 60. We have a 1 year old and a 6 month old. We also have a deposit on another puppy for the end of the year. These are all high energy working lines. We deliberately waited until my husband retired so that someone is with these dogs 24/7. I only have few years until retirement and plan on dog sports as my retirement hobby. It keeps you young!

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One of the foster volunteers with the rescue I'm involved with is in his mid-70s. He lives alone, but fostering gives him something to do that he really enjoys.

I think senior shepherds can be FABULOUS companions for older folks. My elderly father adopted a senior GSD in his mid-80s. He was still pretty active at that time. That dog just passed away a few months ago, and he's not getting another in his 90s, but she was a great match for him -- she snoozed on the couch with her head in his lap while he watched TV, and she sat out on the porch with him watching the birds in the feeder. They were great company for one another -- it was the best home she ever had (he's had shepherds his entire life), and she was great for lifting his spirit after he lost his last wife. She had lingered unwanted in a public shelter a long time in his city because most adopters aren't interested in old dogs. As soon as I found out about her, he went and met her, and she left with him that day. I think they kind of saved each other that day, to be honest.

When he got her, there was no worry about "what would happen to the dog" -- she'd have been moved to my house. My number was on her chip as an alternate contact, and all the emergency contacts knew I would be responsible for her. I do think that sort of planning needs to happen with seniors and pets, but that's not unique to this breed.
 

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I would imagine it depends in your health and fitness level. I can see how some dogs may seem more challenging when older. I know people who do some serious riding of horses at 70 or older. Life can go boom at any age of life so alwAys good to have some kind of plan where the dogs will go and be happy and well taken care of. My kids would be able to have their dogs in their life and I made sure the dogs are well trained so family members if need be can care for them.
 

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I am 57, my wife is 58. We have had working line German Shepherds for the last 10 years. Against better judgment, we have two who are technically "puppies," although one is a year old this week, has been through a heat cycle, and is maturing nicely. That said, they can be a handful at times. They play rough, and they play a lot. A LOT. But they are showing an off switch, even when both are uncrated. Last night my oldest child and her husband came over to eat a late supper. I thought the pups would go ape, and have to be crated, but they chilled after some initial excitement. As they grow up, I expect more moments like that, although working line, moderate-to-high drive dogs are never exactly couch potatoes. But they can develop the kind of off switch, where, if you said "let's go," they'd jump up and be at the door before you got your shoes on, but at the same time, they could lie quietly until you gave them that signal.

I have grown, responsible children who live in the area. One has a house with a fenced yard. I believe they could step up if something unexpected happened. Here's hoping it doesn't.

If I slow down more than I expect as I get older (assuming I get older, nothing is promised in these times), I might be inclined toward a showline if more working lines seemed too much for me.
But I've lived a pretty active life, 3/4ths of my grandparents lived into their 90s pretty active and living in their own homes.We'll play it as it lays and see what happens.

Also, my first GSD and my wife's first as an adult was a rescue. At 1.5 years old, she had beautiful house manners, did not chew destructively, did not have accidents, and could be left alone, uncrated, for hours on end. So it's not impossible we might get another rescue further down the line, as charming as puppies can be, they are a lot of work.

Right now I am just hoping the current pups live long, healthy lives.
 

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Hubby and I are in our 60s and our dogs are middle aged for GSDs. It is sad to think that there are no more puppies in our future. Not so much because we can't handle that craziness but because we have to consider what happens if our dogs outlive us. Our current thought is that when our buddies have passed on, if we are still healthy we can adopt a breeder's retired gal or retired MWD if they allow it. But the world is so weird right now anything could happen.
 

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I am in my mid 60's and have a 6 month old English Shepherd pup. While visiting his breeder to play with a sibling, I lost my puppy leash in her field, never to be found again besides the collar it was attached to. I consider this an omen (??) as that has been my puppy leash for more than 30 years. I planned on not getting anymore puppies, ever, but I couldn't find a nice adult dog so I got this pup. I am not strong enough for a WL GSD (male) anymore but this one works. I am not sure about the future. I hope Deja (6) and Bo live for a long time. I hope to stick with good breeders so I know they will be going back when I can no longer do it. I hope that's the day I leave this earth as well.
 

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On the one hand, older folks maybe (not always!) don't have the energy to keep up with younger GSDs, but on the other hand, they have more time!! I feel bad sometimes thinking about how much happier Willow would be if I didn't have to do this dang job thing 40+ hours per week...

I just remember seeing this episode of some animal rescue show on Disney + where a German shepherd's owner died and he sat in the house with the corpse for days before someone rescued him. The dog was super traumatized from that. Of course, that could happen to any of us who live alone, regardless of our age, but...I'll never forget that.

My best guess is it depends on the person and depends on the dog. And I hope when I'm 75 I can still get out and hike some, and at the very least, throw a chuck-it around the yard. Maybe a GSD would be the very thing to keep us fit as we age, and certainly keep our spirits up. :)
 

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On the one hand, older folks maybe (not always!) don't have the energy to keep up with younger GSDs, but on the other hand, they have more time!! I feel bad sometimes thinking about how much happier Willow would be if I didn't have to do this dang job thing 40+ hours per week...

I just remember seeing this episode of some animal rescue show on Disney + where a German shepherd's owner died and he sat in the house with the corpse for days before someone rescued him. The dog was super traumatized from that. Of course, that could happen to any of us who live alone, regardless of our age, but...I'll never forget that.

My best guess is it depends on the person and depends on the dog. And I hope when I'm 75 I can still get out and hike some, and at the very least, throw a chuck-it around the yard. Maybe a GSD would be the very thing to keep us fit as we age, and certainly keep our spirits up. :)
I probably should say that I'm in my early 60s and I got a puppy in March without really thinking about the age issue. I still hillwalk and do loads of stuff with my 5 year old GSD and it never occurred to me that I wasn't fit enough to have a puppy. We're having a great time and are hopefully going to do Schutzhund training over the next few years. But I'm the age I am (though husband is 8 years younger) and we don't have adult kids who could take on the dogs. Possibly my brother with his four kids and a Springer would be willing, but it would be hard even for my husband to continue working AND look after the dogs, so now I'm really worried about what happens if something happens to me.
 

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It really depends on the temperament of the gsd you want. If it’s a calm gsd any age can own one, but if you want a highly aggressive dog obviously over 50 Or 60 it would be hard
 

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I probably should say that I'm in my early 60s and I got a puppy in March without really thinking about the age issue. I still hillwalk and do loads of stuff with my 5 year old GSD and it never occurred to me that I wasn't fit enough to have a puppy. We're having a great time and are hopefully going to do Schutzhund training over the next few years. But I'm the age I am (though husband is 8 years younger) and we don't have adult kids who could take on the dogs. Possibly my brother with his four kids and a Springer would be willing, but it would be hard even for my husband to continue working AND look after the dogs, so now I'm really worried about what happens if something happens to me.
I thought about this long and hard as well. I'm 55 and my husband is 60. My oldest pup is one, then I have a 6 month old and hopefully another pup this winter. Our 2 kids live 8 hours away and I dont believe either one would be equipped for 3 GSD's. I maintain a very good relationship with my oldest's breeder. At one point I asked her if I could add her as the emergency contact on the dogs microchips. She was honored and considers herself their godmomma. I know if something happened to us she would be able to take the dogs in until she could make sure the dogs were going to fantastic homes. I'm glad that worry is no longer in the back of my mind.

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I thought about this long and hard as well. I'm 55 and my husband is 60. My oldest pup is one, then I have a 6 month old and hopefully another pup this winter. Our 2 kids live 8 hours away and I dont believe either one would be equipped for 3 GSD's. I maintain a very good relationship with my oldest's breeder. At one point I asked her if I could add her as the emergency contact on the dogs microchips. She was honored and considers herself their godmomma. I know if something happened to us she would be able to take the dogs in until she could make sure the dogs were going to fantastic homes. I'm glad that worry is no longer in the back of my mind.

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That's a really good point. My breeder is a friend and has already rehomed one pup from the litter when the home was shown to be unsuitable. Though she's my age, so I guess we have to make sure we don't both pop our clogs any time soon! ;-)
 
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I got my older dog (6) in exactly that situation. A older couple (70s) bought him at 8 weeks and brought him back 2 weeks later. They had GSD in the past but they forgot how much work a young pup can be and the Dad had a touch of Alzheimers and had alwayy assumed the bulk of the work.

My oldest dog is 6 so perhaps another pup in 6-7years. My youngest GSD is 7 months so assuming I get 12 years out of him, I'll be 67 and have 1 more in me (I hope). 2 dogs now, 2 more before I quit!
 

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I'll be 67 and have 1 more in me (I hope). 2 dogs now, 2 more before I quit!
I saw a meme about old age once that said something to the effect of you know you're old when you start measuring life in how many dogs you have left! Lol!

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