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Discussion Starter #1
DH and I are talking about getting a dog we have found on this board.

I just spoke to the owner and I am really uncertain how to proceed from here. The information in the ad/Rescue and the information from the owner is conflicting.

I have left a message for the rescue person to get her opinion on this.

The dog definitely has a problem with strangers, and possibly other dogs. The owner is not sure, I was told that she is protective of the family, but very good with children. He said that if someone knocks on the door she will bark and lay down blocking the door if she does not want this person in the house. He also said that she requires a very firm hand. If dogs were being dogs and wrestling, would it escalate into a full blown fight with one or both dogs being seriously hurt?

The information I got from rescue was different.

How do I know the true temperment of this dog? I would love to rescue her, but not at a risk to Rocky, my boys, or even DH or I. Anyone have any advice on this situation? I understand that there would be a adjustment period for all of us, but I am kind of hesitant. I also don't want to take her and then have to rehome her if these issues are worse than I have been told.

I am not sure I am getting the whole story! Also I would like more info on the rescue but would prefer to do that through PM if anyone can help!
 

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Is there an independent person nearby who would be prepared to temp test the dog, perferably on neutral territory? An experienced tranier would be good. Is the dog in rescue now, or being placed by the owner? How is the rescue involved?

dd
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The owner still has the dog. Not sure how involved the rescue is. I am really new to this and don't know where to begin and I am not sure how much time the dog has left.
 

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I would see if you could talk directly with the owners of the dog. That way you could explain your questions and concerns and hear answers straight from the person who knows the dog best.
 

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I would go visit the dog, first out in a public area not familiar with the dog and see how she enteracts with you. Then once she is more confortable with you then visit her in her home and see how she acts. Some times owners let GSDs get away with everything but in the right hands these dog are great pets. If you don't feel confortable doing this, see if the rescue can send an experienced person to evaluate the dog for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Should this be done in the same day? Do I take Rocky with me? I know there is a time issue here but I really need to make sure this situation will work out for everyone.
 

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From my experience with rescue and particularly when an owner is giving up a dog, a lot of the dog's existing issues are due to the way the owner is dealing with the dog. Of course the dog may have some real issues, genetic or otherwise. What is the reason they are giving up the dog?

I would go meet him on my own at first and you could bring your dog IF you think after spending time alone the potential new dog that it may work out but I would not introduce them on the dogs home turf.

Do you have someone that is an experienced GSD person that could accompany you?
 

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I definitely agree with trying to get someone to help you evaluate. I don't put much stock in what people who are getting rid of a dog have to say about it, especially if it's being given up for a behavioral issue. If they understood the dog, they'd probably be keeping it. I listen, and I file the info away, but I suspend judgement until I've seen the dog myself. This forum is littered with threads about dogs who were labeled "aggressive" or "hyper" or "impossible to train" by their previous owners that did absolutely great once they were in a more experienced and understanding home. I hate this "firm hand" stuff. It just means the people couldn't train the dog and thought more force might help.

Reading between the lines of what you were told by the owners, the dog sounds like a typical GSD who is a little wary of strangers and strange dogs but very good with her family. Beyond that, you're going to need someone who can help you meet her and give a more objective assessment unless you feel able to evaluate her yourself.

I would not bring your own dog to evaluate her unless you have help from someone who is not the owners to help you handle the dogs.
 

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Another option if time is a constraint: you can meet the owner on neutral territory first and see how comfortable you feel with the dog and the situation. You can leave your dog in the car and decide on the spot whether you want to try to introduce dogs to each other. I would also try to meet the dog in the home if the owners agree - it is useful to bserve how the dog behaves on home turf. It is always a good idea to have a second person along to help, but sometimes it is hard to coordinate three people getting together, especially if time is tight. A third person evaluation is great if you can get it, but ultimately this dog will be living in your home so you have to be happy with the dog.

I usually take statements of the owners dumping a dog with a bucket of salt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dog is being given up due to divorce. The owner has told me that this dog was trained by a Police Officer and that they wanted to make her an "attack" dog. He said he did not want that for her. Could this be the problem if she is agressive and is there anyway to fix it?

No I don't know of any experienced GSD people except the ones on here. The only experience I have is from Rocky and things I have learned on here.
 

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Originally Posted By: DSuddMy understanding is this owner is only getting rid of her because he absolutely has to.

....as in unfortunate life situation and not a problem with the dog?

So the dog is with the owner still??
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The dog is currently with the ex wife or will be until he can find a home for her. (The ex is now giving a couple of weeks) I gotta wonder why the ex will not keep the dog. I have been told that the dog sleeps with the ex wife.

OK I have talked to the rescue again, and I was informed that the reason this guy says his dog is agressive is because the used to have two dogs, GSD and Yorkie, and apparently he was feeding them together, and the Yorkie bit the GSD on the nose and the GSD killed the Yorkie. (Not giving me really warm fuzzy feeling) Then in the next breath she says this GSD has GSD dogs down the street that she will play with, walks up to, sniffs, and lays down next to.

I feel guilty because I would love to save her, but at the same time, I have to worry about my boys, and Rocky (my first obligation is to him) not to mention all of the small children that come over to our house. Anywhere from 2 - 15 and some of them are learning disabled. I have to be able to trust a dog around them and I don't know if I could ever 100% trust her. Was it her fault or was she set up to fail?

The other disturbing thing is the owner told me that this dog was trained to attack by a police dept. Exactly what does that mean? Sorry for all the questions, but I am so new to this and I figured going through a rescue might help but I think this might be an all breed rescue. (Not saying there is anything wrong with that, but I think GSD rescues are better at evaluating GSDs)
 

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Well feeding two dogs together is just plain stupid but certainly, test the dog for food aggression towards people. Not that ANY of my dogs will ever have to deal with a human putting their hand in their food bowls while they are eating seperately, in the real world, especially with little kids coming in and out you should check.

Trained as an attack dog....hmmmm......I dont know what to say about that. I think the most important thing is to get a really good read on the dogs nerves, temperament, etc.....

Any experienced GSD people you could have assist you?

Is there any chance you could foster him (if it seems like it will work out but you are still concerned) for a time before actually taking ownership of him? Not sure at this point why there is a rescue involved unless they are just doing a courtesy posting?
 

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So much of this is confusing. Rarely is a female shepherd trained for Police work.

My suggestion is look for another rescue dog, based the type of pet you want. There are hundreds of family friendly German Shepherd dogs in rescue groups that would make good pets.

As an aside I am fostering one know, her name is Sheba.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Timber I know I am leaning towards saying no. I am waiting for a response back though on possibly getting her evaluated but even then I am 100% sure because, she could do good on the evaluation and still have issues.
 

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Danielle,

Just an opinion from a first time GSD owner, Wolf was adopted from a fabulous rescue. There are a lot of advantages to many rescue groups as you know: they can tell you a lot about your particular dog, they are commited to the dog and if the adoption doesn't work out-the dog still has a safe home.

I am reading too many qualifiers in your posts. Since you have so many people to consider in your home, as well as Rocky, I think you can find a marvelous family friendly dog from a rescue with no risk to your loved ones.

I know you want to help the dog that you are posting about, but there are so many other deserving dogs out there.

good luck,
Mary Jane
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Mary Jane - I know there are alot of things to consider when getting a second dog. This one was supposed to be through a rescue but it a courtesy, not exactly a placement situation.

DH and I were just discussing this. I think he is leaning more towards puppy, but we are not 100% sure yet.

I know there are alot of deserving dogs and she could be one of them also, but I will not risk our safety, but at the same time I don't want to make a rash decision. I love this board for that reason, there are so many people with so much information and they are so helpful and don't mind answering stupid questions LOL
 

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Danielle- if she is not too far away what do you have to lose as far as going to see her. At least you would know.
 
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