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Hey everyone,

I've been doing alot of reading lately and trying to understanding just about everything about getting the right dog for us. Just until recently, I had no idea about breeding/bloodlines or anything similar. I thought, you try to get a purebred breed and you're done. Come to find out it's not that simple.

My wife and I are looking for a GSD that will go along well with my family. I prefer a working line (I want to do protection/obedience training with enough experience). Wife doesn't care. She just wants a beautiful GSD that will protect her when she goes on her runs, or walks with the kids...

Current situation -
  • 2 kids, one 2 and one 3. Both curious about animals. They play with the cats and my parent's dog (sometimes rough until I catch them and correct it)
  • 2 cats in the household. One isn't around much, and other is like a very chill dog. lol
  • fenced in small yard in the back (2,500 sq ft 2 story house)
What I'm looking for out of the GSD
  • Well tempered with kids and cats
  • Medium drive/activity. I want to do protection work (barking/defending owners), and I won't be able to run the dog every single day, so can't have an overly hyper dog.
  • Good family pet/loyal
  • Able to train obedience and protection for my family
  • Want a local breeder in FL so we can see them and make the best choice in person
  • Price... This is the tough one. I see some pups go for 3K+... I can't swing that. over $1500 would be really pushing it
  • Not in the biggest rush, but probably within 30 days or so, we'd like to bring one home
If there are any other questions, please feel free to ask to help me narrow down what we're looking for and where to find one. I've done some research and found few breeders from here. Just no wording on price yet as I just sent our inquires via facebook, or phone calls tomorrow.

I found some breeders from AKC marketplace, and that's when I started realizing about breed types etc. There was a very nice lady who has been breeding for a very long time and has some american showline breeds for ~$1200... I was ready to get one until I realized it might not be exactly what I'm looking for since american show lines don't do protection well and prone to hip problems in the future (correct me if I'm wrong, because her prices were very good with champion bloodline lol)

The most important thing to me is the safety of my family from aggression of dog standpoint. I can't afford to get my kid's hand bit off (or worse, face or some other limb lol) because dog fears kids or something like that. I will be there to train both the dog and the kids (however I think it will be easier to train the dog lol)
 

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Are you 100% sure you want a GSD? I ask because your description of priorities may lend itself more appropriately to other breeds. GSDs are bred to have aggression. If you're primary concern is a dog that's going to be good with kids and cats, get a lab, or a golden retriever. I'm not saying for one second that a GSD can't be great with both. But, if you can't give your new dog daily exercise....get a gerbil, or a goldfish.

Seriously, most people who end up with GSDs that are aggressive toward them or their kids are people who don't invest the requisite time and effort into their pup. They think the puppy should just come prewired...doesn't happen that way. It takes time and effort. So be honest with yourself, and make sure you're committed to spending your next 8 months to your puppy...otherwise, look for goldfish or gerbils.

Not to pick on you more, but you should spend more than 30 days just looking at the various types of GSDs that are available (with your wife), it's a HUGE spectrum. See them all, talk to people, watch their dogs, find one that really fit and feels right...it's well worth the wait!
 

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Just want to clear up a misconception. American showlines are not anymore prone to hip problems than the other lines. Angulation has nothing to do with hips.
100% true.

OP, some of your wishlist may be a little unrealistic, including your time frame. The best breeders don't have puppies available all the time and have waiting lists when they do. It is worth waiting for a great breeder if need be.

You say you can't run the dog every day. What CAN you and your family do every day because of daily exercise and mental stimulation isn't possible, I would say a GSD may not be right for you.

Your price limit may be unrealistic to get a dog from a better breeder.

Read the threads on here about land shark puppies. Are you and your wife prepares to deal with that and a toddler together?

I wish someone else would chime in on the protection training...but... a dog can be taught to bark on command as a trick and it looks impressive without having to deal with actual protection training which I think is not something you really want to do if you knew what it entails, costs, and the type of dog that would be good at it.

Many shepherds will bark if something threatening or unusual is going on or if a stranger comes around. I have never had to train one to do that. There are threads on whether your dog would actually protect you or not...i think the consensus is most would not, as it has to be the right kind of dog to begin with and then taught how to get in the fight.
 

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Whether or not a dog is prone to hip or other health problems is going to be related to how much health screening the breeder does. Look for OF A or pennhip ratings on parents if they are American dogs

You might not want an American showline to be a real personal protection dog but OP I think you need to learn more about that because I doubt you really want a personal protection dog.

GSDs often have high prey drive. Have you had dogs before? Read on here about what it can be like with a puppy and small kids and a GSD and cats.
 

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I’ve been meaning to comment on “responsible breeder” prices for some time now. The vast majority of dogs here on the forum, that are purchased from responsible breeders, are working line or German show line, and I can’t speak to their prices. But in the American show line world, you absolutely can get a good dog for $1200 - $1500. All day long. That’s pretty much the going price among my dog show friends. Now I’m sure if you were to snag one of Rumor’s puppies from Kent, you’re going to pay more than that, lol. So repeatedly telling new people that you can’t get a good dog for that price is false.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are you 100% sure you want a GSD? I ask because your description of priorities may lend itself more appropriately to other breeds. GSDs are bred to have aggression. If you're primary concern is a dog that's going to be good with kids and cats, get a lab, or a golden retriever. I'm not saying for one second that a GSD can't be great with both. But, if you can't give your new dog daily exercise....get a gerbil, or a goldfish.

Seriously, most people who end up with GSDs that are aggressive toward them or their kids are people who don't invest the requisite time and effort into their pup. They think the puppy should just come prewired...doesn't happen that way. It takes time and effort. So be honest with yourself, and make sure you're committed to spending your next 8 months to your puppy...otherwise, look for goldfish or gerbils.

Not to pick on you more, but you should spend more than 30 days just looking at the various types of GSDs that are available (with your wife), it's a HUGE spectrum. See them all, talk to people, watch their dogs, find one that really fit and feels right...it's well worth the wait!
Yes this is the dog we want. I don't want a golden retriever or a lab. I wrote a much longer response to you, but I'm not going to reply because I respect other member's opinions.

I've done much more research (and still continuing) than many people who just go get one of these dogs and have absolutely no idea how to properly raise it. I also don't believe these dogs are were bred to be aggressive towards kids or aother animals and they can be trained. I do understand one may differ from one another, and that's what I was asking here.

Thank you for your kind input.
 

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100% true.

OP, some of your wishlist may be a little unrealistic, including your time frame. The best breeders don't have puppies available all the time and have waiting lists when they do. It is worth waiting for a great breeder if need be.

You say you can't run the dog every day. What CAN you and your family do every day because of daily exercise and mental stimulation isn't possible, I would say a GSD may not be right for you.

Your price limit may be unrealistic to get a dog from a better breeder.

Read the threads on here about land shark puppies. Are you and your wife prepares to deal with that and a toddler together?

I wish someone else would chime in on the protection training...but... a dog can be taught to bark on command as a trick and it looks impressive without having to deal with actual protection training which I think is not something you really want to do if you knew what it entails, costs, and the type of dog that would be good at it.

Many shepherds will bark if something threatening or unusual is going on or if a stranger comes around. I have never had to train one to do that. There are threads on whether your dog would actually protect you or not...i think the consensus is most would not, as it has to be the right kind of dog to begin with and then taught how to get in the fight.
I understand... I know I can't get everything from my wishlist. I guess that's why it's a wishlist and not a needlist :)

When I posted this thread, I had less knowledge. I research alot and fairly quick. I've learned more since I posted and realized that a puppy can be trained well to work with other animals and kids and training/teaching is key.

Unfortunetly that is the budget I have, so if I can't get a top breeder, then I will get one notch less. I just don't have the 3 to 4 thousand to put down on a dog, but I do believe ones that charge less do exist, and I'm here to find out who.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Whether or not a dog is prone to hip or other health problems is going to be related to how much health screening the breeder does. Look for OF A or pennhip ratings on parents if they are American dogs

You might not want an American showline to be a real personal protection dog but OP I think you need to learn more about that because I doubt you really want a personal protection dog.

GSDs often have high prey drive. Have you had dogs before? Read on here about what it can be like with a puppy and small kids and a GSD and cats.
I have not had a dog before.

I have also read what it's like to have a GSD and kids/cats... from what I see, I haven't seen a single thread (or outside of here) where there were bad incidents with a properly trained dog.

There is a first for everything

I don't want an american showline. That's for sure and has already been decided by me.
 

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I understand... I know I can't get everything from my wishlist. I guess that's why it's a wishlist and not a needlist :)

When I posted this thread, I had less knowledge. I research alot and fairly quick. I've learned more since I posted and realized that a puppy can be trained well to work with other animals and kids and training/teaching is key.

Unfortunetly that is the budget I have, so if I can't get a top breeder, then I will get one notch less. I just don't have the 3 to 4 thousand to put down on a dog, but I do believe ones that charge less do exist, and I'm here to find out who.
I understand... I know I can't get everything from my wishlist. I guess that's why it's a wishlist and not a needlist :)

When I posted this thread, I had less knowledge. I research alot and fairly quick. I've learned more since I posted and realized that a puppy can be trained well to work with other animals and kids and training/teaching is key.

Unfortunetly that is the budget I have, so if I can't get a top breeder, then I will get one notch less. I just don't have the 3 to 4 thousand to put down on a dog, but I do believe ones that charge less do exist, and I'm here to find out who.
For the range of 1500-2000 you can definitely get a well bred working line puppy. But this can be one of those "pay now or pay later" kind of things. You think it might not be that big of a deal to get a shepherd puppy for 1000 from wherever, but down the line you are going to pay in back in spades in vet and trainer bills. If you find a good breeder with the right pup for 1800 or 2000, you should pay it.

Which by the way, if I were you, having never had a dog before and wanting a GSD to start with to raise with young children and cats--I wouldn't do that period without a good trainer on board even with a well bred dog.

Research is not the same as experience. Where is your wife on all this? Does she stay home with the kids? Is she prepared to have a little landshark in their midst every day? Can she handle potty training pup and the small kids at the same time?

PLease do enough research to realize that a fair amount of trainers who offer personal protection training...and that whole genre as a whole, is full of con artists who will and I quote someone else and I'm sorry I can't remember who "take your money and ruin your dog"

If you can't exercise this pup every day who will?
 

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I have not had a dog before.

I have also read what it's like to have a GSD and kids/cats... from what I see, I haven't seen a single thread (or outside of here) where there were bad incidents with a properly trained dog.

There is a first for everything

I don't want an american showline. That's for sure and has already been decided by me.
Let's see. It can go great or not so great. You are not bringing home a "properly trained dog", you are bringing home a baby with very sharp teeth that instinctively wants to bite stuff, which will turn into a rambunctious, strong teenager with bigger sharper teeth and still instinctively wants to bark at and bite stuff.

Your hormonal doggy teenager may bark at something it shouldn't, like the neighbor, or the cat, or whatever, and it may be a big booming scary bark now from a strong dog who if it happens to be under exercised and under utilized may have enough energy to intimidate you or your wife and now it's not acting like a properly trained dog at all. Nothing fundamentally wrong with it---just a GSD going thru teenage phase that needs guidance.

Your properly trained dog arrives somewhere after 2 years after you've been working hard all along going through less awesome stuff
 

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Hey everyone,

I've been doing alot of reading lately and trying to understanding just about everything about getting the right dog for us. Just until recently, I had no idea about breeding/bloodlines or anything similar. I thought, you try to get a purebred breed and you're done. Come to find out it's not that simple.

My wife and I are looking for a GSD that will go along well with my family. I prefer a working line (I want to do protection/obedience training with enough experience). Wife doesn't care. She just wants a beautiful GSD that will protect her when she goes on her runs, or walks with the kids...

Current situation -
  • 2 kids, one 2 and one 3. Both curious about animals. They play with the cats and my parent's dog (sometimes rough until I catch them and correct it)
  • 2 cats in the household. One isn't around much, and other is like a very chill dog. lol
  • fenced in small yard in the back (2,500 sq ft 2 story house)
What I'm looking for out of the GSD
  • Well tempered with kids and cats
  • Medium drive/activity. I want to do protection work (barking/defending owners), and I won't be able to run the dog every single day, so can't have an overly hyper dog.
  • Good family pet/loyal
  • Able to train obedience and protection for my family
  • Want a local breeder in FL so we can see them and make the best choice in person
  • Price... This is the tough one. I see some pups go for 3K+... I can't swing that. over $1500 would be really pushing it
  • Not in the biggest rush, but probably within 30 days or so, we'd like to bring one home
If there are any other questions, please feel free to ask to help me narrow down what we're looking for and where to find one. I've done some research and found few breeders from here. Just no wording on price yet as I just sent our inquires via facebook, or phone calls tomorrow.

I found some breeders from AKC marketplace, and that's when I started realizing about breed types etc. There was a very nice lady who has been breeding for a very long time and has some american showline breeds for ~$1200... I was ready to get one until I realized it might not be exactly what I'm looking for since american show lines don't do protection well and prone to hip problems in the future (correct me if I'm wrong, because her prices were very good with champion bloodline lol)

The most important thing to me is the safety of my family from aggression of dog standpoint. I can't afford to get my kid's hand bit off (or worse, face or some other limb lol) because dog fears kids or something like that. I will be there to train both the dog and the kids (however I think it will be easier to train the dog lol)

Hey there fellow Floridian! Unfortunately our selection here is slim, which part of FL are you from? I can definitely recommend some great trainers at least to you. Not to dissuade you but these dogs are not for the faint of heart, especially for a family with young children and kitties. You will want to pick out the perfect puppy that will fit into your family. A couple things from your original post I noticed that you may have issues with (maybe you've learned this info already on your own but here it is either way), these dogs need exercise every single day. Not just once a day usually. Expect 2 hours minimum of walking (once they are older), on top of that training every single day. And that is usually not enough for a medium drive dog. Have you heard the phrase land shark yet? GSD puppies have a reputation of chewing on their new owners for months causing scars and lots of bleeding. There are certainly ways to redirect this mouthiness but young children may take the brunt of the teething phase. Also expect for the first few weeks sometimes longer to take the puppy outside potty every 15 minutes. These dogs also get big really QUICK! At only a couple months old my puppy was already 50 pounds but they still act like a tiny puppy jumping all over people and kids with teeth and claws. These are not dogs content to just sit in a backyard all day, they need to be socialized and learn about the world around them. A lot of people also struggle with the cat thing, even though GSD make great herding dogs they can be a bit obsessive sometimes over other animals.. just check out the recent threads this week discussing peoples problems with their puppies and cats. I understand not wanting to pay more than $1500 for a puppy, heck we didn't either! But we got what we paid for (and sometimes life just happens) and we had to spend over $5,000 in medical bills on our sick puppy... dogs are SO expensive so set aside some money or look into pet insurance (healthy paws is highly recommended) so in case if something happens you don't have to make a hard decision. There is a reason these dogs are not recommended for first time dog owners, they can be a handful and sometimes challenge their owners but the reward once they have matured and if they are handled properly is worth it.

Here are some threads posted this week about when things go very wrong just so you can get an idea...
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/741097-euthanizing-aggressive-dog.html
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/741113-hi-guys-im-asking-some-really-good-input-not-good-day.html

Make sure everyone in the family is on board, get everyone involved in training including the kids! A good trainer can make a world of difference especially if you start out right away.

What Cowboysgirl said is spot on , expect two years of **** (I had a working line that took 4 years to mature) and a ton of training and exercise until you get that noble, majestic family dog you are thinking of. If you do decide to go the GSD route I encourage you to come back here and get some tips on training and health, theres a lot of people on here with a wealth of great information. I completely understand why you want a GSD, they are the best breed in the world :) .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For the range of 1500-2000 you can definitely get a well bred working line puppy. But this can be one of those "pay now or pay later" kind of things. You think it might not be that big of a deal to get a shepherd puppy for 1000 from wherever, but down the line you are going to pay in back in spades in vet and trainer bills. If you find a good breeder with the right pup for 1800 or 2000, you should pay it.

Which by the way, if I were you, having never had a dog before and wanting a GSD to start with to raise with young children and cats--I wouldn't do that period without a good trainer on board even with a well bred dog.

Research is not the same as experience. Where is your wife on all this? Does she stay home with the kids? Is she prepared to have a little landshark in their midst every day? Can she handle potty training pup and the small kids at the same time?

PLease do enough research to realize that a fair amount of trainers who offer personal protection training...and that whole genre as a whole, is full of con artists who will and I quote someone else and I'm sorry I can't remember who "take your money and ruin your dog"

If you can't exercise this pup every day who will?
Wife is on board. I didn't raise a dog before, but we have raised cats and do know they don't come cheap.

I also understand it's not a walk in the park. We both work.

I mean again, this was my wishlist. I might not be able to to protection work, but they are wishes. I found a schutz club in my area that I will go to, I doubt they are the con artists.

And how do you guys exercise your dog everyday? I mean like today... I had yard work, and soon after it has been pouring rain all day. Does everyone here take every single one of their dogs out for a mile run? I guess what is "exercise" it's very subjective. Are we talking about running a certain distance? or are we saying go outside and get some running around and playing in the field? I just don't believe everyone exercises every single dog they have here lol.

I am researching cowboysgirl. I am not the type to half ass anything :)
 

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Hey there fellow Floridian! Unfortunately our selection here is slim, which part of FL are you from? I can definitely recommend some great trainers at least to you. Not to dissuade you but these dogs are not for the faint of heart, especially for a family with young children and kitties. You will want to pick out the perfect puppy that will fit into your family. A couple things from your original post I noticed that you may have issues with (maybe you've learned this info already on your own but here it is either way), these dogs need exercise every single day. Not just once a day usually. Expect 2 hours minimum of walking (once they are older), on top of that training every single day. And that is usually not enough for a medium drive dog. Have you heard the phrase land shark yet? GSD puppies have a reputation of chewing on their new owners for months causing scars and lots of bleeding. There are certainly ways to redirect this mouthiness but young children may take the brunt of the teething phase. Also expect for the first few weeks sometimes longer to take the puppy outside potty every 15 minutes. These dogs also get big really QUICK! At only a couple months old my puppy was already 50 pounds but they still act like a tiny puppy jumping all over people and kids with teeth and claws. These are not dogs content to just sit in a backyard all day, they need to be socialized and learn about the world around them. A lot of people also struggle with the cat thing, even though GSD make great herding dogs they can be a bit obsessive sometimes over other animals.. just check out the recent threads this week discussing peoples problems with their puppies and cats. I understand not wanting to pay more than $1500 for a puppy, heck we didn't either! But we got what we paid for (and sometimes life just happens) and we had to spend over $5,000 in medical bills on our sick puppy... dogs are SO expensive so set aside some money or look into pet insurance (healthy paws is highly recommended) so in case if something happens you don't have to make a hard decision. There is a reason these dogs are not recommended for first time dog owners, they can be a handful and sometimes challenge their owners but the reward once they have matured and if they are handled properly is worth it.

Here are some threads posted this week about when things go very wrong just so you can get an idea...
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/741097-euthanizing-aggressive-dog.html
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/741113-hi-guys-im-asking-some-really-good-input-not-good-day.html

Make sure everyone in the family is on board, get everyone involved in training including the kids! A good trainer can make a world of difference especially if you start out right away.

What Cowboysgirl said is spot on , expect two years of **** (I had a working line that took 4 years to mature) and a ton of training and exercise until you get that noble, majestic family dog you are thinking of. If you do decide to go the GSD route I encourage you to come back here and get some tips on training and health, theres a lot of people on here with a wealth of great information. I completely understand why you want a GSD, they are the best breed in the world :) .
Hey there, I'm in Palm Beach County. Thanks for the reply.

I did hear the landshark term in this post. It just sounds so crazy compared to what I've been reading other than here and some people.

We have a K9 at work (import from Holland, assume it's a west german breed) that the dept paid 9,000 for. I wanna say it was about 9 months maybe when they got it? I see the dog enough that I can tell these things are not a sit around type dogs. He's still in K9 academy with handler waiting to be FDLE certified. He's hyper, but chill... Compare that to a Malinois we had last year. Thing was a beast, if you got near the vehicle, he'd go off. This guy is chill unless from what I can tell. He's still a pup and loves playing around etc. I've already gotten nibbed couple times from him. lol

What I'm trying to get at is this.... I know they can get VERY expensive... I also believe they can be had for a little less when a puppy lol. I spoke with couple breeders and they told me that these pups grow up around their grandkids etc and I will be fine as long as the kids socialize with the pup and pup knows this is part of family. I also understand the K9 we got gets trained for 700 hours for basic training every day almost. I understand training will be part of the experience, and I look forward to it. I plan on getting with the police k9 trainers that do civilian stuff as well (at least that's the plan)

I know bills can add up too. We had some kind of mega-colon on our cat and it sure wasn't cheap... and surgery before that. I learned my lesson and got insurance. Same will happen with this GSD lol.

What, you guys don't want me to join the GSD community? jeez LOL (kidding)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey there fellow Floridian! Unfortunately our selection here is slim, which part of FL are you from? I can definitely recommend some great trainers at least to you. Not to dissuade you but these dogs are not for the faint of heart, especially for a family with young children and kitties. You will want to pick out the perfect puppy that will fit into your family. A couple things from your original post I noticed that you may have issues with (maybe you've learned this info already on your own but here it is either way), these dogs need exercise every single day. Not just once a day usually. Expect 2 hours minimum of walking (once they are older), on top of that training every single day. And that is usually not enough for a medium drive dog. Have you heard the phrase land shark yet? GSD puppies have a reputation of chewing on their new owners for months causing scars and lots of bleeding. There are certainly ways to redirect this mouthiness but young children may take the brunt of the teething phase. Also expect for the first few weeks sometimes longer to take the puppy outside potty every 15 minutes. These dogs also get big really QUICK! At only a couple months old my puppy was already 50 pounds but they still act like a tiny puppy jumping all over people and kids with teeth and claws. These are not dogs content to just sit in a backyard all day, they need to be socialized and learn about the world around them. A lot of people also struggle with the cat thing, even though GSD make great herding dogs they can be a bit obsessive sometimes over other animals.. just check out the recent threads this week discussing peoples problems with their puppies and cats. I understand not wanting to pay more than $1500 for a puppy, heck we didn't either! But we got what we paid for (and sometimes life just happens) and we had to spend over $5,000 in medical bills on our sick puppy... dogs are SO expensive so set aside some money or look into pet insurance (healthy paws is highly recommended) so in case if something happens you don't have to make a hard decision. There is a reason these dogs are not recommended for first time dog owners, they can be a handful and sometimes challenge their owners but the reward once they have matured and if they are handled properly is worth it.

Here are some threads posted this week about when things go very wrong just so you can get an idea...
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/741097-euthanizing-aggressive-dog.html
http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/aggression-good-bad-ugly/741113-hi-guys-im-asking-some-really-good-input-not-good-day.html

Make sure everyone in the family is on board, get everyone involved in training including the kids! A good trainer can make a world of difference especially if you start out right away.

What Cowboysgirl said is spot on , expect two years of **** (I had a working line that took 4 years to mature) and a ton of training and exercise until you get that noble, majestic family dog you are thinking of. If you do decide to go the GSD route I encourage you to come back here and get some tips on training and health, theres a lot of people on here with a wealth of great information. I completely understand why you want a GSD, they are the best breed in the world :) .
Forgot to mention I'm in Palm Beach County. There is a K9 police trainer (they did FAU dogs and few others I think) that I'm going to get in touch with. There is also the Coral Springs PD trainers that do some civilian work I think that I'm going to get in touch with as well. I would love some recommendations you have for me though! Feel free to PM me.
 

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Do you work from home or during the day, will it be your wife, kids and puppy? I only ask as a wife who has been in that situation, it is hard work. You are basically taking on another baby but one with very sharp teeth who unfortunately doesn't wear nappies. And small children are very exciting to puppies. my son was 4 when we got our last puppy and I went through a stage where they couldn't be outside together because son would squeal and run and my land shark puppy would think that was the best game ever.

A GSD in your situation is doable but you have to be extra careful with the pup you go for so I do think your 30 day timeline is unrealistic. Reputable breeders will have a good idea where their puppies are going to go before they are born. And temperament is especially important, there is no way I could have managed my current girl with young children.
 

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Hey everyone,

I've been doing alot of reading lately and trying to understanding just about everything about getting the right dog for us. Just until recently, I had no idea about breeding/bloodlines or anything similar. I thought, you try to get a purebred breed and you're done. Come to find out it's not that simple.

My wife and I are looking for a GSD that will go along well with my family. I prefer a working line (I want to do protection/obedience training with enough experience). Wife doesn't care. She just wants a beautiful GSD that will protect her when she goes on her runs, or walks with the kids...

Current situation -
  • 2 kids, one 2 and one 3. Both curious about animals. They play with the cats and my parent's dog (sometimes rough until I catch them and correct it)
  • 2 cats in the household. One isn't around much, and other is like a very chill dog. lol
  • fenced in small yard in the back (2,500 sq ft 2 story house)
What I'm looking for out of the GSD
  • Well tempered with kids and cats
  • Medium drive/activity. I want to do protection work (barking/defending owners), and I won't be able to run the dog every single day, so can't have an overly hyper dog.
  • Good family pet/loyal
  • Able to train obedience and protection for my family
  • Want a local breeder in FL so we can see them and make the best choice in person
  • Price... This is the tough one. I see some pups go for 3K+... I can't swing that. over $1500 would be really pushing it
  • Not in the biggest rush, but probably within 30 days or so, we'd like to bring one home
If there are any other questions, please feel free to ask to help me narrow down what we're looking for and where to find one. I've done some research and found few breeders from here. Just no wording on price yet as I just sent our inquires via facebook, or phone calls tomorrow.

I found some breeders from AKC marketplace, and that's when I started realizing about breed types etc. There was a very nice lady who has been breeding for a very long time and has some american showline breeds for ~$1200... I was ready to get one until I realized it might not be exactly what I'm looking for since american show lines don't do protection well and prone to hip problems in the future (correct me if I'm wrong, because her prices were very good with champion bloodline lol)

The most important thing to me is the safety of my family from aggression of dog standpoint. I can't afford to get my kid's hand bit off (or worse, face or some other limb lol) because dog fears kids or something like that. I will be there to train both the dog and the kids (however I think it will be easier to train the dog lol)
I have some thoughts that may work for you or may not.
You have two young children and cats, a puppy is going to drive them CRAZY! There is a fairly active GSD rescue close to you I do believe @Magwart can maybe chime in here?
My opinion is that you may be better served with a young adult rescue, and I am not trying to be offensive I am just thinking about your situation, and your budget. Most of my personal dogs have been foster fails and my last patrol dog, and my best one, was of unknown lineage.
Alternately breeders often have young adults who were returned, or kept back for breeding and then proven unsuitable.
If you have your heart set on a breeder pup, and most especially because you have small children, do yourself a favor and wait to find a good one.
Don't get caught up to much in lines, ASL's are still GSD's and I have seen some good ones.
 

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I don't think a lot of rescues will adopt to a home with such small children, especially when the owner admits they are "rough" with dogs.

But I did have the thought an adult rescue might be a better option than a puppy. However, see above.
 
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