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On Monday I lost my 9 yr old English bulldog unexpectantly and right now I am considering a 13 week German Shepherd puppy. We currently have 2 English Bulldogs who are 6 and 1 and a half. I think my biggest question is how my wife and I lifestyles are with our jobs and if the new pup would be ok the days we both work? I work 7a-7p and my wife 8-4. I come home at lunch to let our current dogs out for about 12-14 min. Also we know the gsd will needs walks and if there are days we can’t take him for his walk because of our work schedule will he be ok? Just wanted to see what you all think or if we should just stick to maybe an another bulldog pup and if there are any suggestions we might get. Thanks again
 

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I'd stick to bulldogs or a lower energy breed. A GSD pup and adult is going to need a lot more than just a walk, they are a whole different ball game as far as energy levels go. You're looking at a lot more energy and so a lot of training and exercising.

The GSD at my dad's house is a lower key GSD, but even still she will get destructive when she starts getting bored because she hasn't gotten played with or gotten to go let out steam.

Also keep in mind with a puppy you have potty training and it's probably doable but a lot easier to potty train when you're there more often to let the puppy out regularly at first.
 

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Different dogs, different needs. I cannot see a GSD being ok with that schedule.
I worked 12-15 hours a day but dedicated much of my supposed sleep time to my dogs. Even my current one with activity restricted to accommodate a weak heart needs at least a couple of hours a day of exercise. Since running her is a bit risky I switch up short bouts of fetch with miles of walking and we do some type of training daily. If walks were her only outlet I can easily foresee 15kms a day or more.
 

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5 days a week for both? Your wife working 8s is similar to many here. If she could ensure his needs are met before/after work consistently I'd say it's possible, but it won't be easy unless she is fully on board with the idea. Depending on your commitments before after/work the 12 hr days will leave little time for you to contribute leaving your wife to bear much of the work load. Are you both familar with gsds? Done research? They can be a pita for some folks, even when mature they can still be pretty time consuming.
 

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Most people work and do not have open availability to cater to their dogs. GSDs are athletic and energetic types, with you working 12 hour days much of the care would be up to your wife. What does she think? I believe as long as she is 100% on board it’s very doable.
 

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Very few people are in a position where they are home all day to cater to puppies.

Your puppy will be fine if you make the effort to work his little mind and train him. I leave my house at 7am and don't get home to 6:45 most days. The winter was long and dark. My dogs don't get walked. They get trained after dinner. We are out on the weekends training. now that spring is here and days are longer, we'll be outside in the evenings training, tracking and playing.

The key is that you need to dedicate time in the evenings to keeping their mind busy or playing with them. To be frank, a "walk" isn't enough for a German Shepherd anyways unless the dog has very little drive.

Letting them out at lunch will be fine. That's what we did. Your wife works 8-4 so she can let the puppy out just before she leaves. You come home midday and let him out and then she's home by 5?

So, if you are committed to the puppy, exercise regularly and work his little mind so he's not bored and destructive, then you will be fine.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your English bulldog. That is always difficult.

I work 7p-7a on weekends and my husband works full time during the regular work week. We have two GSDs. It works for us, partly because we don't work the same days so someone is almost always home, and partly because we live on a few acres with a large fenced area for the dogs to run and play on days when we can't take them out.

What attracts you to a GSD? I think much of your success with a GSD may depend on your desire to own one and your willingness to devote some (or a lot) of your free time to a puppy. Typical German Shepherd puppies require more than just food, some play or an occasional walk, and potty training. I don't think they're the hardest breed to own, but you do have to be intentional with training (basic obedience and manners), provide structure, consistency, and boundaries, as well as exercise. I think it's a good idea for new or inexperienced owners to take young GSDs through a series of obedience classes (look for a trainer experienced with working breeds). I've found these classes help with socialization with other dogs and people (in a relatively controlled setting as opposed to dog parks, which I don't like). Classes also help to proof obedience in a distracting environment, and as your pup enters its adolescent period it can be helpful to have access to an experienced trainer who can offer advice if problems pop up.

How many 12 hour days do you work per week? Is your wife invested in the idea of a GSD, and is she good/experienced with dogs? Do you have a fence and/or yard? (People raise GSDs in apartments and places without a fenced yard, but I personally wouldn't want to do it). Do you have a plan for training and exercise? Do you have young kids or other obligations? Do you know that GSDs shed A LOT and that German Shepherd puppies can be land-sharks? (most grow out of it in a few months, but they LOVE to play bite).

There can be health and temperament problems in the breed. I would recommend getting a GSD from a experienced breeder who does something with their dogs and is active/knowledgeable about the breed (trains/works/shows), and who health tests their dogs (hips/elbows/DM). It doesn't guarantee there won't be problems but it minimizes the risk as much as possible.

Spend some time perusing the forum to get a feel for the kinds of issues that people encounter if their lifestyles/personalities are poorly matched with a GSD or they haven't trained their dog or under-exercise them mentally or physically.

If you're still interested in GSDs, research the different lines of GSDs (working, American show line, West German Show line) and determine which might be a better fit for you. It is never a bad idea to attend some IPO/Schutzhund events or dog shows to meet different GSDs, their owners, and breeders in person.

Do you enjoy training and spending time intentionally with your dogs?--if so, I think a GSD is a great breed to own. If you get home mentally and physically exhausted and just want a dog to lie by your side and get some belly-rubs then a GSD pup may drive you nuts.

Keep us updated. Let us know what you decide!
 

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Sorry for your loss of your Bulldog <3

Totally doable as long as you and your wife are on board with your down time being dog engagement time. Majority of people work. I work full time and have 3 little kids which I share custody with their dad. I do work from home usually 2 days a week, sometimes 3 ..but I close myself in because I cant have clients hearing a barking dog. He has a quiet command but he doesn't check in BEFORE the initial bark lol

On kid weeks I keep the sitter for an extra hour and a half each day. That is dog time. On kid weekends we get 10 minutes several times a day of engagement in throughout each day. That is it. I can't do my runs/walks with him when I am alone with the kids. When the weather is nice we will all hang out in the yard though and I'll throw the ball for him. But on kid weekends in general he often gets no real exercise from Friday 6:30 pm to Monday 5pm. He is fine. As long as you are willing to devote your free time to your dogs, I see no reason why a typical working family cant have dogs. With your wife's schedule combined with yours, you will be able to let out a 13 week old enough to suit his needs.

Good luck!
 
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