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Hello everyone :) I am new here so I apologise if I've put this in the wrong section. Me and my boyfriend have both decided that we are ready for a dog. We both love GSD's but are unsure on some stuff. Could someone please answer our questions:

-How much exercise does a working line GSD need?

-How much exercise does a show line GSD need?

-Are they good with other dogs?

-Do they have special food requirements?

-Is there a difference between long haired and short haired GSD's temperament wise?

-Difference between boys and girls?

-How much do they shed?

-Are they obedient?

Sorry for so many questions!

Have a good day/night :)

~Willow and Rayne
 

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I don't mean to make light of your concerns, but my answer to ALL of your questions, having had American showlines, German showlines, and a working line shepherd, stock coats and long stock coats, females and a male, is......it depends. :)

Their exercise needs have varied, their sociability with other dogs has varied (from extremely dog reactive - Cassidy, American showlines, to not a reactive bone in her body - Dena, German showlines, to Halo, West German working line - can be snarky on leash but is overall fairly neutral to other dogs), some have been able to eat anything, others have had food issues, two of the longcoats have shed less than the two stock coats but Halo is a coatie who sheds like a stock coat, etc.

Temperament is more specific to lines, obedience can be both genetic and also based on how much training time and effort you've put in, and on and on. We've had females who have been total velcro dogs, and a female who is more independent - affectionate, but also does her own thing, and our sole male is about as sweet and bonded as you can possibly imagine, following me from room to room and keeping me in sight at all times. :wub:

It's really hard to make generalizations!
 

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Hello everyone :) I am new here so I apologise if I've put this in the wrong section. Me and my boyfriend have both decided that we are ready for a dog. We both love GSD's but are unsure on some stuff. Could someone please answer our questions:

-How much exercise does a working line GSD need?

Depends on the individual dog, but they are not couch potatoes and you need to be prepared to get active. Hanging out in the yard is not going to work and a tired dog is a good dog.

-How much exercise does a show line GSD need?

See above. Don't buy the line that show lines are less active. Many working lines "settle" better.

-Are they good with other dogs?

Again depends on the individual, but they tend to not be social butterflies in general and some are just not good with other dogs at all. Train for neutral and don't expect to hang out at the dog park.

-Do they have special food requirements?

No but as a breed they are prone to sensitive stomachs, so you need to be ready to spend some time, and money, selecting a good food. This should go for any dog, but with an active working breed you need to pay attention. Food allergies are not uncommon.

-Is there a difference between long haired and short haired GSD's temperament wise?

No

-Difference between boys and girls?

IMO girls mature faster and boys are more clingy. Everyone has their own opinion.

-How much do they shed?

Good diet will reduce shedding but they are not called german shedders for nothing:smile2:. Be prepared for fur on and in everything you own, eat or wear.

-Are they obedient?

Only if you train them. What they are is smart, stubborn and creative so if you don't put the effort into them you will end up with a problem.

Sorry for so many questions!

Have a good day/night :)

~Willow and Rayne
Spend the time now learning and talking to owners. Go to shows and talk to breeders. Health issues are rampant in poorly bred German Shepherds and bad breeders are everywhere. Doing your homework ahead of time will save money and heartache down the road.
 

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Regardless of breed, make sure you have the time, energy, and commitment to be good dog owners. Many people just go and buy a dog & think that's it. Nope. Early on, you'll especially need to spend time training and socializing your dog, regardless of breed. And training continues for forever. Throughout its life, it should be given daily exercise. Be prepared to give an hour a day, every day, as a minimum. Expect 2+ hours when young. A walk is not exercise to pretty much any breed (our 3.5 lb chichuau mix has to pretty much jog to keep up with a normal walking pace and that doesn't deplete even a drop of her energy).

Figure out where you can take your potential dog to run around & stuff before you get one. Try and figure out what your daily schedule will become when you would have a dog. A dog can be more work than a child...at least those little buggers eventually speak the same language as you.

Temperament & personality of dogs within a breed can vary wildly. Some gsds love a trip to dog parks to play with other dogs. Others will have no interest in other dogs. I've seen huskies (known to be mega social butterflies) who aren't very interested in other dogs.

Personally, I don't think choosing a breed is the biggest problem facing potential dog owners. But rather, dog owners actually having the time & commitment to train & raise the dog is the bigger issue. If you have the willingness to research & learn things in advance, the time, energy, and commitment for training, exercise, socializing, and bonding...then the breed isn't going to be that big of a deal (assuming we aren't comparing a super high end working line herding or gun dogs to dogs bred specifically to be lazy, boring, potatoes meant to do nothing). Breed will at point help you have an idea of what its personality and likes will be (ie: a gsd will likely want to stand right beside you while walking in the woods, while a pointer will likely be comfortable staying 50 feet away to "find that bird, that you TOTALLY want"), along with what activities it may accel at (tracking, agility, water sports, etc.).
If you don't have the time for a real dog, then breed can come into play, as you can then just be one of those crappy people who buys a tiny breed of dog, give it 10 minutes of affection each day and 3 whapping 10 minute outside sessions to go potty, keep it cramped up inside all day, and dread bringing it to anywhere because it'll be bark & snap at people & dogs alike, while always saying, "it's so tiny! It can't actually do any harm to anyone or anything."

When we go to a dog park that has a big dog & small dog section...we often end up having the chichuau with us in the big dog area, as the small dogs are pretty much always 100% untrained & never met other dogs/people, while the larger dogs have at least some effort & rules put into them.

What I'm trying to get at in all this rambling is: if you have the time, money (and not just the upfront buying costs), and commitment for a dog...get the breed you like. Just do research in advance and find a quality breeder who can match a pup to your needs. A gsd can make for a terrific companion, if that's what you're seeking out of a dog.
 

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All GSDs should have good energy that would not be satisfied with a small yard and on leash walking. An hour of off leash walking in the woods full of running, jumping, hunting, stalking and swimming will reap many benefits and exercise the mind.

All of my dogs are good around dogs except for my most dominant male and he does better without interaction with other dominant males.

I have never had any of my German Shepherds require special food or have food allergies.

There are some that say that long haired dogs can have milder temperaments than short coated dogs. However, there are certainly a lot of tough dogs out there with long coats.

I find the females milder and more clingy while the males are more rough and tumble and independent.

I found the long coat was next to non shedding while my short coats were terrible, seasonal shedders.

I have a working line female now who is the most obedient dog I have ever encountered. Alternatively, I have a working line male who is independent and stubborn.

Most dog breeds are purpose bred to exhibit specific behavioral traits so it is a good idea to read breed standards especially the sections on temperament. There is a reason that some breeds such as Mals and GSDs are used in protection/police work, Labs for hunting, and other breeds are used in a fighting pit, they are BRED for it. If you read the GSD standard, you will see it calls for a dog that will protect and guard and they do this with aggression directed at humans. Is this a quality you seek in a dog?

Dogs benefits from exposure to many new things. GSDs, by nature, are usually aloof and reserved, don't expect a social butterfly at maturity. Socialization, allowing of strangers to interact with your dog, can be detrimental and a bad encounter can create problems that are hard to fix.

A breed standard is a blueprint of a dog, delineating not only appearance, but behavior. When you choose to purchase a dog from a reputable breeder, the qualities in the standard are what you can expect. There will be some variations, but when you utilize a reputable breeder, there should be a consistency in the litter that conforms not only to the standard, but to the breeder's goal for the litter.

It is very important to choose a breed of dog whose temperament meshes with your own and will be a good fit for your life style for the next 10-15 years. Some breeds tend to human aggression, some breeds tend to be dog aggression, others are independent, others herd, etc. Choose your next best friend carefully. A dog is not just another dog. Breed matters.

If you still like the breed, but aren't sure if the temperament is what you want, maybe adopting an older dog is for you, one that exhibits the type of behavior you prefer. There are many GSDs in rescue who may be just what you want.
 

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Have you considered fostering a dog from a local shelter? It's a good way to get dog ownership experience, without a permanent commitment.
 

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Alot of exercise. For example on a typical workday. He gets about 15min of outside play time then I head to work. Trainer comes for 30min to an hour Monday-Friday. Then when I get home it's at least an hour of play. Great with other animals. Food requirements depend on the dog. My boy can't have red meat. Temperament is based on the dog not his hair. No real difference between boys and girls. They shed ALOT invest in a furminator. If trained properly they are the most obedient dogs on the planet. Hope this helps. Feel free to message me with any questions.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G925A using Tapatalk
 

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-How much exercise does a working line GSD need?

About 1 - 3 hours of Physical Exercise, and always throw in 10 minutes of mental exercise as well on a daily basis. (10 minutes of mental exercise 2 - 3 times a day at random hours.)

-How much exercise does a show line GSD need?

Every shepherd needs loads of exercise whether it's a showline shepherd or working line, the showline shepherds are by far more laid back so their energy levels aren't insane, but depending on the the dog, some showlines can have the same amount of energy as any working line shepherd, either way, again, 1 - 3 hours of physical exercise (anything in that range) with more than 10 minutes of mental exercise.

-Are they good with other dogs?

Shepherds are good with other dogs, but this mostly depends on how well you socialize your dog to other dogs. Some Shepherds though, just like people don't get along with other people (dogs), this is why socialization is very important throughout your shepherd's puppy stage. But always pay attention, because as your dog gets older, and you are noticing your shepherd isn't getting along with small dogs, but gets along with big dogs and or gets along with small dogs but not big dogs, than you need to work with that. I know several dogs who have jealousy over new dogs being introduced in a household yet never had problems with dogs beforehand, and or bully's small dogs when playing. Again, socialization is the big key, good socialization and you'll have no problems, but still, just LIKE people, they might not get along with other dogs.

-Do they have special food requirements?
- Every dog must meet a high-quality diet, no matter what breed. If you're feeding everything according to that high-quality diet, your puppy will have no needs. Some puppies though, might be born with issues, a friend of mine owns 4 Shiloh Shepherds, one of the pups requires a special diet because she cannot digest food properly, so beware of breeders, a healthy puppy shouldn't have issues. Also avoid commerical foods and corn and other stuff like that..

-Is there a difference between long haired and short haired GSD's temperament wise?
Long haired German Shepherds have the same temperament as a short haired German shepherd. It honestly depends on how well the breeder did with her pups, and the parents temperament.. Basically, that's like saying does the coat colour of a pup affect it's temperament and or make it a better dog. The length of the coat has nothing to do with temperament, it's just a fault in the show ring and people have said there has been less shedding with their long haired shepherd over their short hair, I never noticed the difference in the shedding really though.

-Difference between boys and girls?
Girls are more attached to male owners, and more protective over the family, while males are more attached to female owners, yet are a lot more goofier and more so territorial of the house and everything (not aggressively). This isn't always the case though, it completely varies on the pup, the biggest difference you'll see though, females are smaller, males are bigger, obviously.

-How much do they shed?
They shed as if you're shaving a sheep!

-Are they obedient?
Yes, German Shepherds are very obedient dogs and just wanna impress you, they enjoy obedience training, making them easy to train.
 

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the very best dog out there and indisputedly the most versatile. Have had an loved them forever.

they all need exercise.. especially as puppies. I think my less energetic dogs were probably backyard breeder pups - I got lucky back in the day.

That was a long time ago.

Wouldn't take that chance today because of health and temperament issues.

And, yes, I think the price for a well bred dog is worth the $$

The shed, they shed a lot!

They are obedient if you train them. Training takes time and repetition. Rin Tin Tin didn't come that way.

Expect puppy stage to last longer than you expect. Even when the look like big girl/boy they are not mature.

They are loyal and trustworthy.

Not waggy bouncy 'here I am' dogs. More sedate and selective but velcro to those they love.

my best advice would be to find a responsible.. (double check that) breeder and tell them your lifestyle, your living situatation, your experience with dogs and what you want from a pup - don't hold back and be honest. We all started with the first pup.

If he/she is a good experienced breeder he/she will pick a pup for you or recommend a breeder that might be closer to what you want.

Good luck
 
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