German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Well I want to be as honest and upfront as can be about what my husband and I would like to happen here. We currently have a boston terrier and a mini-dach that are strictly indoor dogs. We would like two GSD's that we can show and take camping and boating and have dogs with the stamina to be outdoors with us. Our Boston has a slipped knee and can no longer be as active and our mini-dach has separation anxiety from the Boston. So clearly we cant go one without the other on long extended trips.

My dilemma here is that our Boston terrier is 6 and highly aggressive toward any dog but our weenie dog. We have tried to socialize her and do anything any dog owner would do with dog experience and its all to no avail. She loves people all people but not dogs. We have a very large fenced yard and a large home so it is entirely possible for us to have our GSD's out during the day (with tons of work and walks) and in at night without any conflicts from the Boston.

The second dilemma is that we want 2 GSD's. Will they bond to each other if we get them as puppies together? Should we wait to a certain time in one pups life to get the other?

Our goals are to show and do protection and really spend a lot of working outdoor time with our GSD's. Do you think a semi-outside life is acceptable? We plan to build a mega-nice outdoor kennel for them w/ run as well as give them the half acre fenced to run around in and build a new fence in the front for our little dogs.

Before we do any of this I just want a second opinion because I want to make sure we give these dogs the best possible options. Thanks in advance for your opinions!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,392 Posts
I can't comment on how things would work out with your dog-agressive Boston.

But I do have an opinion on trying to raise two puppies (especially littermates) at the same time--Don't. It will be waaay more than twice the work of one. And in order to make it work, you'll have to keep the pups separated for much of the time, and work them separately.

We've had several members here try it, and after a month they took one of the pups back.

I strongly suggest that you get one GSD pup and put a couple years full attention into training and socialization of that dog. Once he's mature enough that you feel like you can settle down with him a bit, then think about adding another GSD.

If your experience is with Bostons and Daschunds, I have to tell you that a GSD is going to be much more work. They are TOTALLY worth the extra effort---but they do take a greater level of commitment to training, understanding how to be a good leader to a dog, etc. Because they are so smart and focused, they require dog owners who are just as focused.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
Yes, I think a semi-outside life is fine since it's sounds as though you plan on daily exercise and mental stimulation activity, not just leaving the dogs to entertain themselves. Many members here have extensive outdoor runs. My ideal setup would be indoor runs in the garage with a dog-door to an outdoor run. I think it is important that the runs are secure so people cannot steal the dogs and mean wild animals cannot get in. I don't think dogs should have to sleep outside though (maybe crates indoors), especially not a puppy. Actually, I think a puppy should always be under your supervision, but since most people use crating, tethering, and/or ex pens, it's not like the pup would have the run of the house right away (that would be bad, even without the aggressive Boston).

Personally I would not get two puppies of ANY breed. If you want two GSDs right away, get a pup and an adult, or sometimes you can find rescues that have pairs of dogs who came in together.

Do you have to have a puppy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well those are the dogs I have now. I had a wolf hybrid for many years who was the best trained dog I have ever had. It was an easy task to train him and be alpha. I have a lot of training experience with large breeds but at the present time I just have the two small dogs.
Thanks for your imput. I wouldn't even consider the two dogs if I didnt have so much free time with working at home and no children. Mostly I am concerned that my husband will spoil them rotten and they will only listen to him. I will take your comment into consideration though. Thanks a ton!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
I got two dogs relatively close together and have no regrets, but they are 2 years apart in age and are not littermates. Even with plenty of space and time, I'd still get them at least different ages.

Your DH might spoil them rotten, but don't worry, it doesn't always mean they will like him better. Right now we are having a few training issues with my younger dog. DH has been really busy, but we've had some long talks about this and worked with the dog together. DH keeps telling me that the dog listens to me and does way better with me. Funny, since DH is the one that spoils him, plays with him like he's another dog, and lets him get away with a lot more. I think many dogs, especially a dog like a GSD, value leadership. My younger dog listens to me and responds better/faster to me because I am more of a leader figure and I've worked a lot harder at communication (via his training), whereas he sees DH more as his playmate.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
if i were in your situation i would buy one Shep and let it get some training to alot of training before i brought in another one. the aggressive Boston, i wonder if it would be aggressive towards the pup? i would take the chance to find out. you want the Boston to be friendly towards the Shep even though you can seperate them. you know something is going to happen that they become face to face. when we brought our puppy home he was 9 weeks old. we already had a Grey Hound that wasn't friendly towards small dogs. so i was worried about two things. i was worried about the Grey Hound hurting the puppy and i was worried about them bonding. well the Grey Hound ignored the puppy for weeks possiblely months. i think through training and feeding the pup will bond with you. i don't think i would keep the pup outdoors because you want it to be near you so it can bond with you besides i want the pup to be near you so you can experience the nipping stage up close. if your dog/dogs are in a nice kennel they won't be able to tear stuff up in your house and you'll miss out on what all of us went through and sometimes still go through. i think our Sheps should be close to us and not left in a kennel. now you breeders out there don't be upset because i said our Sheps should be close to us and not left in a kennel. i'm talking about those of us that have a couple of dogs as pets or a couple of working dogs. it sounds like you and your dogs are going to have a great life together. good luck to you and your dogs.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
i've always had good luck with the Sheps. i think it's so easy to train them. it didn't seem like it was anything hard to do. the Sheps i've had were easy to train. i don't see it as hard work training a Shep. Sheps are so smart. i call it push button training because it's so easy. maybe it seems so easy to me because i've never had a problem dog or a dog that was hard to train. keep in mind i'm talking about having one dog at a time. this was the first time i had a Shep puppy come in while having another dog and it worked out just fine. i was worried in the beggining how things would turn out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,348 Posts
GSDs are too much work and involvement, needing so much MENTAL work and stimulation, that I would not reccomend getting one at all if you:
1.Already have two dogs with behavioral issues
2.Would expect them to mainly live outside, away from the pack, craving being with YOU.
3.Have the idea of showing and protection work both in mind. These are not necessarily wholly incompatible, but for so many reasons, not likely to do both successfully with the same dog(s).
4.Showing, doing protection aside-- just owning a GSD is such a huge challenge, intensive involvement, because their minds crave desperately the work, the jobs, the total involvement, that having two pet breeds, and even other large breeds in the past, will in no way prepare you for the mental demands of a GSD.

My suggestions might be: Get professional help in dealing with the issues of both dogs you currently do have. After all the work to resolve the dog-aggression issues with the Boston is more successful, THEN I may consider bringing in ONE GSD. You will have had a taste of what a GSD can require, as the rehab of the Boston will be intensive, long, involved. That's a good hint re GSDs and what they can need, if they are not given enough attention. And, even if they are given enough attention.
This is not a pet breed, and not a breed for a casual owner-- regardless of how good intentions are.

If you decide to go ahead and do this anyway, keeping the dogs mainly outdoors, not getting professional help to further work with the Boston, trying to manage these GSDs-- I wish you and your hubby good success. These dogs need so much more involvement than most other breeds. In any case, wish you the very best!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Just to clarify here.

1. Ive only got one dog with behavioral issues. Her issues are not uncommon with her breed either. Our weenie loves all other dogs and does well in all circumstances with other dogs in different environments.

2. They woudl'nt live mainly outside but there would be times of the day when they would be outside for a few hours at a time. We will be setting aside several times of the day for them to be in the house with us.

3. I do not want one dog to show and to do protection I want one dog to do one and the other dog to do the other. Whichever dog shows the most potential for protection will do that.

4. I certainly got your emphasis on mental stimulation thus the working and training and walks, camping trips and so on that I mentioned so they would not be simply left in the back yard to rot and go insane. I am in no way a fan of dogs being chained up and forgotten in their yards.

You also said they are not for the casual owner as pets but that is what our little dogs are for. Hope this isn't coming off as rude but I just wanted to clarify because I think you may have gotten the wrong idea about what we would like to accomplish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,451 Posts
Thanks for clarification. I think you would be a fine owner, but I would still not recommend two pups at once. I do not know of any good breeders that would sell two pups at once (or sell a pup knowing the family already had another) unless the buyer was an experienced person they trusted. I would maybe get a good working line puppy for the SchH/protection, and then get an older pup or young adult from a show line kennel. Many good kennels will keep pups back from their litters as show prospects and if the pups aren't exactly what they want as they mature, they will offer them to new homes. Most are still fine dogs and can be good for show, they just might not be *exactly* what that breeder/kennel is looking for in their own specific program.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
Even with the clarification I would consider Patti's "second opinion" golden.

It certainly will not hurt to work with the Boston so that you can have an integrated pack (safely contained while you are not supervised). I don't know if you have ever done rotations but they are a pain in the butt. There are GSDs who live well with smaller dogs and smaller dogs who live well with GSDs and when you can have a cohesive unit it is so much better! I do have a dog aggressive dog who is great with puppies and fine when they grow up-the way I introduced her to a puppy made all the difference, I think. Plus the puppy was opposite sex.

My dogs do not want to be outside if I am not. If I try to leave them out alone while I run in to the bathroom, they are at the back door when I get back a minute later. That's how they are-they are not going to wait for me to set aside time for them-nor would I make them do so. In fact, I find it odd to walk in full stride when I go to the store because I am used to walking in the middle of a pack of dogs.


I am not sure but would think you would almost have to know in advance and buy two dogs of totally different type to have one to show with and one for protection?

I would still get one puppy at a time anyway. To properly socialize separately two GSD's, go to double training separately, vet appointments separately, walks separately is something that people start out doing and end up doing not separately but together and then the dogs become so bonded to each other they can't function on their own.

So those are some things I am thinking based on your posts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Yeah I think we will just get one to start after this post. Which isnt disappointing to me at all because it is worth the wait. Our Boston has already bitten the ear of an 8 week old puppy that was visiting so she cant be with a puppy and it was the opposite sex. Ive talked with several trainers and they all suggest things we are already doing or have done in the past. I wish I could find one who would understand this is a special needs case not just the norm. So far none of them get that. A walk isn't going to beat this streak out of her. Plus with the knee issue any strenuous activity is out of the question. Ill keep looking for trainers there has to be someone around here who can help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
There may be some posts in the behavior section to help with the Boston. It's tough when it's a terrier! You can also start a thread there and get some ideas from other people whose dogs are DA.

http://www.flyingdogpress.com go to articles-she has some great ones that might help.

I know-a walk is nice...but...doesn't change her temperament so much.

I had surgery for a luxating patella done on my one dog (35# mix) and it helped a lot. Maybe she'd be nicer if she had it done.
Like the Bumble in Rudolph when Herbie pulled his tooth?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Well her attitude started long before this knee injury. However I would like to get her surgery done before taking on any more dogs. Its hard to put her through that though since she isn't in any pain at the moment. What is most heart breaking is that she loves to jump and play and she is not going to be easy to contain after surgery. Thanks for the link!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
Sheps are so easy to train. i've never had one with any kind of problem. i've only had 4 Sheps.
1. if you have two dogs with behavioral issues i don't think i would get a 3rd dog.
2. no i think the dog should live inside so it's close to you.
3. showing and protection work, you can definitely do both successfully depending on what show ring.
4. i call it push botton training. because Sheps are so smart that's why it's easy to train them. all of this mental involvement and hard work, well i found it to be a piece of cake. what are you talking about, a Shep isn't a pet breed, what, they're wonderfull pets. you're so far off base about Sheps untill i think you've never owned one.
Originally Posted By: BrightelfGSDs are too much work and involvement, needing so much MENTAL work and stimulation, that I would not reccomend getting one at all if you:
1.Already have two dogs with behavioral issues
2.Would expect them to mainly live outside, away from the pack, craving being with YOU.
3.Have the idea of showing and protection work both in mind. These are not necessarily wholly incompatible, but for so many reasons, not likely to do both successfully with the same dog(s).
4.Showing, doing protection aside-- just owning a GSD is such a huge challenge, intensive involvement, because their minds crave desperately the work, the jobs, the total involvement, that having two pet breeds, and even other large breeds in the past, will in no way prepare you for the mental demands of a GSD.

My suggestions might be: Get professional help in dealing with the issues of both dogs you currently do have. After all the work to resolve the dog-aggression issues with the Boston is more successful, THEN I may consider bringing in ONE GSD. You will have had a taste of what a GSD can require, as the rehab of the Boston will be intensive, long, involved. That's a good hint re GSDs and what they can need, if they are not given enough attention. And, even if they are given enough attention.
This is not a pet breed, and not a breed for a casual owner-- regardless of how good intentions are.

If you decide to go ahead and do this anyway, keeping the dogs mainly outdoors, not getting professional help to further work with the Boston, trying to manage these GSDs-- I wish you and your hubby good success. These dogs need so much more involvement than most other breeds. In any case, wish you the very best!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,301 Posts
Originally Posted By: salinasamWell her attitude started long before this knee injury. However I would like to get her surgery done before taking on any more dogs. Its hard to put her through that though since she isn't in any pain at the moment. What is most heart breaking is that she loves to jump and play and she is not going to be easy to contain after surgery. Thanks for the link!
Hey, one stop shopping here!
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=707203&page=5#Post707203

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Ok so after all this fantastic advice I started doing some research the first thing I was told after contacting a breeder with my issues in honesty and letting her know what I would like she recommended "The art of raising a puppy" which is by some monks (forgive me I dont remember which) I met it with mixed reviews on amazon.
I did however find this website http://leerburg.com/dog-agg.htm which has given me a ton of insight on how to rehab my BT which is top priority. I realize I cannot bring a pup into an unstable house and as it seems I and my husband are not pack leaders so this week new regime has taken place. BT is now sitting before eating learning obediance over and so is Weenie dog.
I plan to get Mila back into shape no more being on our furniture or beds just where they belong. It made me very sad to see how we deprived our dogs of a normal life without even knowing it but I am trying to make it right now. Thanks to all of you with your good posts. We have a lot of work to do but I am not going to cancel my GSD plans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,829 Posts
Monks of New Skete. They also wrote a book called How to be your dog's best friend - which I've found is much better for dealing with an adult dog with issues. As with anything, you can't believe 100% of what you read but I've found the monks offer solid advice for the old school basics. Now I'm going to read the reviews on Amazon... and maybe write my own !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,571 Posts
Originally Posted By: doggiedadSheps are so easy to train. i've never had one with any kind of problem. i've only had 4 Sheps.
1. if you have two dogs with behavioral issues i don't think i would get a 3rd dog.
2. no i think the dog should live inside so it's close to you.
3. showing and protection work, you can definitely do both successfully depending on what show ring.
4. i call it push botton training. because Sheps are so smart that's why it's easy to train them. all of this mental involvement and hard work, well i found it to be a piece of cake. what are you talking about, a Shep isn't a pet breed, what, they're wonderfull pets. you're so far off base about Sheps untill i think you've never owned one
German Shepherds LEARN FAST. That's a far cry from being "easy to train." They are a challenging breed to own, and depending on their breeding, the challenge can be beyond the casual owner. Go to Petfinder.com and enter "german shepherd." THEN tell me that they're "push button" dogs. They're smart, driven, high energy, and they need to have a job, or they'll create one for themselves.

The OP should know this (and it sounds like she does) before she gets herself a GSD.

To the OP, my advice is that I personally like to have my pack as stable as possible before I bring in another member. I'm not saying that you shouldn't get another dog. But perhaps a solid obedience class (at a reputable training academy) for you and your Boston might be nice. Why? Because you are going to have your hands full when that GSD puppy comes barging unceremoniously through the door and demands attention and his rightful place in the pack. I like to brush up on MY skills before I bring in a new recruit; this way, I can be the best leader possible when the kids start to squabble.

And they WILL squabble, one way or another. They ALWAYS do. (My younger two are currently waging wars over stuffed toys. They adore each other, and love to play, and wrestle over toys. Except she weighs about 7 pounds and he weighs 80 lbs.) Your pup will outweigh your Boston very soon. You need to make sure you have the skills to shut down squabbles, in whatever form they take place, the very second they start. So taking a class where your Boston is reminded that you are most definitely still the boss, where you learn a few skills on how to keep your leadership position, and this handy tiny book: Patricia McConnell: How to be the Leader of the Pack would be extremely helpful.

Then, I would say, go get yourself a snuggly loving little puppy. And happy housebreaking!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
An update on my situation. Well after reading a lot of things in this forum and after all of the wonderful advice I was given I immediately started re-training my dogs. My alpha BT has now become a different girl. Now we are Alpha! She gets regular exercise on the treadmill at a pace she can handle. She does not go through doors before me or up the stairs, she no longer jumps on people or is a pushy licker. My husband and I have done serious transitions with both dogs. I cannot believe after all of these years how quickly she bounced back. I have not introduced her to any new dogs and to be honest I do not plan to.
She is finally becoming more stable and I'm so thankful that we started this new regime. My mom actually came over and after being in the house for a while she said "something is different... where is Mila?" I told her that she had been going through new training and my mom was amazed with the sudden difference.
I still don't plan on getting my 1 GSD for a while but feel a lot more confident that when we do we will be better dog owners for taking the time to deal with the little ones we have first. For anyone out there who has an old dog and thinks that re-training is out of the question or too expensive think again. We have a lot more work to do but we are well on our way. Thanks to everyone for the advice!
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top