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Discussion Starter #1
I have noticed lately that I rarely see any German Shepherds at pet events, or in public places in general really. I was wondering why.
For example the playgroup I took Bianca to last week had about 50 people there and more than 50 dogs but Bianca was the only Shepherd. I even saw some less common breed dogs there but no other GSDs.
I often go to pet events such as dog parties and fundraisers, walkathons, pet fairs/shows, contests, pet parades, plus city festivals and things like that where I see a lot of dogs but not many German Shepherds.

I was wondering if anyone here takes their dogs to events and things of that sort and if anyone else has noticed this? I mean considering German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds in general and supposedly the second most popular breed here in Chicago, I'd expect to see more of them!
 

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They are all at the SchH clubs! JK, I agree, for the AKC most popular, they aren't commonly spotted. Though I know where over 20 live in my day to day travels. And 99% are showlines...
I don't take my dogs to events, other than an annual dog walk for the humane society. Weekends are taken up w/ training usually when the weather breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Also wanted to add I almost never see them on public streets either (as in out on a walk) or at training classes I've been to. Well except of course when I took a class at a GSD club in the suburbs.
I have only seen one or two Shepherds walking around in my neighborhood and although I generally see a lot of dogs in the houses and yards when I'm out walking my dogs (or when I'm biking or rollerblading) I have never seen any GSDs in any.
 

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I see quite a few shepherds out and about. Especially in my neighborhood.

At dog events, not so much so. Maybe it's becuase people feel like I do, my dogs have friends and they're all german shepherds!
 

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I see a lady walking two with one leash and a harness thing around her waist a few blocks away. We have one on the next street over and we had two the other direction, but they moved. There is one more around the corner. But at events? Nope. Even in my CGC class at the GSD club we only had 4 out of 8 dogs at the end.
 

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Hello there


I have also been to many events and don't see many GSD's at them. Other than responsible dog ownership day when we trained at a busy dog park with our training facility. There were 2 GSD's and 3 Malinois (sorry if I spelled that wrong) working in our event. And at the park its self there were maybe 1 or 2. But like you said probably 50 other dogs.

I previously had a Great Dane, he was my bestist friend in the whole world, he would never hurt ANYONE. We were asked to leave an event once at a park because people were scared of my dog. But there was a pit bull walking around with no muzzle on and that was ok. (laws here require pitbulls or any pit bull mix to wear a muzzle, I personally have no problem with pit bulls, its the owners who need proper training and shouldn't own dogs they can't control) GSD's are intimadating dogs maybe people just don't want to be bothered. I guess it depends on the type of people owning the dog... If they are show dogs SOME of them have no life other than showing. Dogs outside on chains, and dogs of people who are just to busy to attend things like that, people who just don't do things with there dogs and I'm sure there are many people that are just out being busy with there do doing things...

This was actually a good post tho.... Thinking about it I know where many live but many of those are never off there chains or out of there yards.
 

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We didn't see too many here, either, until recently. When I started a few years ago at the dog daycare, we'd have maybe 1 regular GSD client coming in on a weekly basis, but only a handful of others, mostly boarders over holiday weekends. At one point, like someone mentioned, we saw more rare breeds (presa canario, buhunds, central asian ovcharkas, a petit basset griffon von deen, etc) than GSDs.

One of the staff when I joined had an adult GSD and puppy and I think she started a shepherd craze. Within the next 2 years, among 7 staff members we had 8 GSDs, 1 Shiloh, 2 mali's, 1 terv, and a gsd/malamute! We have our own informal "apc shepherd club" complete with 2 certified police k9 trainers


I think that really perked up the customers towards GSDs because we got several new clients with GSDs (adults and pups). I think once they heard we were extremely shepherd-friendly they all came in droves. We have plenty of GSD clients now!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wonder, if people saw more well behaved German Shepherds out in public maybe they would be less scared of them or have a better opinion of them?
When I take Bianca places I always get comments about how nice she is and a lot of the time the people seem surprised that she is so well behaved. Actually when we were leaving the playgroup last weekend, we were on the way out of the building when someone else with a dog commented something like "Wow, she's really calm for a German Shepherd!" I've also had people comment that they thought German Shepherds were 'supposed to be mean' and similar things...

Not to say that I am not busy with other things and with training, but I also like to go to pet shows, festivals and other events once in a while and I find that taking my dogs to public places also helps with their socialization and provides a great opportunity to practice their training with distractions and around other people/dogs.
 

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It is just the opposite here lately. I am seeing more and more GSDs around. Almost everywhere I go now. They can be seen everywhere which I think is awesome
 

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Originally Posted By: ChicagocanineI wonder, if people saw more well behaved German Shepherds out in public maybe they would be less scared of them or have a better opinion of them?
When I take Bianca places I always get comments about how nice she is and a lot of the time the people seem surprised that she is so well behaved. Actually when we were leaving the playgroup last weekend, we were on the way out of the building when someone else with a dog commented something like "Wow, she's really calm for a German Shepherd!" I've also had people comment that they thought German Shepherds were 'supposed to be mean' and similar things...
I get the same thing all the time, "Your dogs are SO wel behaved," in an almost shocked sort of tone. It's like, what do you expect?? I almost get offended by these people, because I wouldn't be caught dead in public with an ill-behaved animal. I believe 99% of all hyper, disobedient, or aggressive dogs are merely a reflection of poor ownership, not a result of the breed and I hold myself to the same standard. I think poorly of the person on the other end of the leash rather than the dog.

I quickly correct people and let them know the dogs ARE very well behaved, polite (if not overtly friendly), as are typical members of the breed(s) when correctly raised.

It sometimes backfires, though, because then you get all the people that suddenly want a GSD because they saw the awesome one doing tricks at the store. When I had my foster Ruger (GSD), I'd frequently take all 3 dogs to the Petsmart I worked at to get him some more practice with distractions.

One busy Saturday I had them all practice down-stays off to the side of the registers while I left and walked down a couple aisles (I had a coworker watching them from a distance just in case), called them to a heel, and walked around shopping with them with their leashes draped over their backs. They knew to sit when I stopped to look at something more closely, and one day I noticed a man following us watching me work with them. He kept his distance (as most people did
) but said, "Cool dogs, I always wanted one of them and seeing that just confirmed it."

I was about to start recommending good resources and breeders when he noticed Sasha was a female and asked if I'd be willing to breed her because he wanted a dog "just like that." I told him they were all altered and that there was a lot of work ahead of him if he expected dogs like these. I don't know if he took me seriously though, so I guess we just can't win
 

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I used to take Kenya *everywhere* and really made a point of getting her out and showing her off, especially being a working line (read: vicious attack dog) GSD. But I've had so many experiences where other people do stupid things to my dogs or with their own dogs, to be honest, it's hardly worth the risk anymore.
 

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I do not take my dogs to dog parks, they are far away, and well, I have enough dogs, that I do not have to take them out to play with dogs.

I do take them to PetsMart if I am getting anyone groomed (when I do not have the mobile groomer come to the house). If I need to do the group, I have the mobile groomer come, if I am doing a couple for a show, etc., I take them to Petsmart.

I take them to dog classes and I have taken them out on the bike trail. I have taken them to parades and street fairs.

And I see a lot of them around too. But I do not go to pet-events, and there is a reason, well a couple:

The only pet events that I have heard of is the bow wow walk for halloween. As I am not a fan of dressing my dogs up or of halloween, I do not do this.

The other thing is being afraid of contracting something and bringing it back to my pack. When I go to shows, this is always a concern, but I figure that I am at least doing something worthwhile for the risk. Having a sick dog and taking it to the vets is no fun. Having six or eight sick dogs and vet bills and possibly a litter of sick puppies is something I want no part of. My dogs are vaccinated, but there are only so many things that vaccinations cover.

I am currently enrolled in four dog classes. Both of the saturday classes have shepherds besides mine in them. The wednesday puppy class has one of my pup's half sister's in it and another GSD pup in it. The later class has a skinny eight month old male GSD besides mine.

I almost think that "pet events" like parties etc, are geared toward the same type of people who have dogs whose main function in life is being a pet, toys, and terriers. People who have larger, intelligent, energetic, athletic herding and working breeds are out there in schutzhund clubs, obedience/rally classes, agility, herding and the like. Our dogs excel at learning, thinking, and doing a full body workout, just hanging out and socializing is not necessarily their thing.

Another reason I do not do these things with my dogs is that I intend to show, and the last thing I want my dogs doing at a show is striking up a play date while we are waiting to go in the ring. That really does not go over well at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Originally Posted By: selzer
I almost think that "pet events" like parties etc, are geared toward the same type of people who have dogs whose main function in life is being a pet, toys, and terriers. People who have larger, intelligent, energetic, athletic herding and working breeds are out there in schutzhund clubs, obedience/rally classes, agility, herding and the like. Our dogs excel at learning, thinking, and doing a full body workout, just hanging out and socializing is not necessarily their thing.
I do those things too, but I also enjoy going to shows, festivals, contests and things like that. My previous dogs did agility, obedience and AAT but we also enjoyed going to pet events in addition and I often volunteered with my dogs at events (such as to do demos or to man an information booth for one of the organizations we belonged to.)
Bianca is an "only dog" and she had issues with reactivity in the past (although she lived with several other dogs for the first 4.5 years of her life) so I try to bring her places where we see other dogs as much as possible to keep up her training and socialization, as well as to give her an outlet to interact and play.
 

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I surely don't see many of them in NYC. The pitties are a dime a dozen, but the sheps are few & far between.
I would conclude that they're just not terribly popular here. Since few people have outdoor space you'd see them out walking or in the parks.
In 4.5 yrs in my neighborhood I've only seen 3. Near work I've seen 1.
(This doesn't include shep mixes.)
Maybe people don't consider them good apartment dogs? Also it's very popular to adopt rescues and the shelters are FULL of pit bulls. There's millions of them.
I only became aware of widespread fear or caution over the breed here on this board. I've not experienced that.
 

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Quote:When I take Bianca places I always get comments about how nice she is and a lot of the time the people seem surprised that she is so well behaved. Actually when we were leaving the playgroup last weekend, we were on the way out of the building when someone else with a dog commented something like "Wow, she's really calm for a German Shepherd!"
Wow, I new other shepherd owners had people saying this but I didn't fully think other people got this, lol. I'm always getting those comments, like how "calm" my dogs are or how "nice" they are. Of course they are, my two adults have a load of obedience under there belts. Akbar acts like a puppy every now and then in public but it's expected, he's a baby but even then he's better behaved then most pet dogs.

Quote:I almost think that "pet events" like parties etc, are geared toward the same type of people who have dogs whose main function in life is being a pet, toys, and terriers. People who have larger, intelligent, energetic, athletic herding and working breeds are out there in schutzhund clubs, obedience/rally classes, agility, herding and the like. Our dogs excel at learning, thinking, and doing a full body workout, just hanging out and socializing is not necessarily their thing
Not picking apart your reply but this I had to comment on.
I do many dog sports, from schutzhund to herding to AKC work to weight pulling and I take them seriously. But, I LOVE going to "pet" events. I love the excitement I get from showing off my dogs, it's like a high I guess, I just love seeing people ooo and awww over my dogs and it makes me feel great. Sure I do dog sports but I also love to go to pet events, they aren't just for "pet owners". My dogs are my pets, first. Second they are my working partner. They sleep in bed with me, we go for walks, they stay out of there crates all day and night except for Akbar at night time, they go to pet events with me, we go to petsmart, we do "pet" stuff too. My dogs look good and I want the public to see that. I get almost a high from hearing awesome comments about how good my dogs look, or how calm they are, or how well behaved they are, etc, I love it! Sure there are those few idiots that feel the need to say they are viscious dogs but I don't let them ruin my party, I just move on or educate them. Isa always wins them over. hehehe

About the whole seeing other GSDs, I rarely see other GSD owners at pet events or even walking around. Maybe because they're afraid of what the public might say, or maybe there dog is too old, or sick, or they just aren't into the whole bringing there dogs to events, I wish I saw more GSD owners, that would be awesome. I know a lot of people around my area who own shepherds but I never see them walking them.
 

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I always see a a couple. as of late Paige was the only GSD around here. I have seen three new pups lately.
 

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Yep, I notice all the time. I take Ozzy to pet expos, walk a thons, our dog friendly mall, our botanical garden, outdoor craft fairs, anything I can get him to.

We hardly ever see another Shepherd. And when we do, it's like we're seeing some rare dog or something, we immediately gravitate toward eachother.

I don't understand why I don't see more shepherds out and about, I just don't get it.
 

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I have to agree. I don't take mine group to dog events often either, but I don't notice too many other folks with GSD's either.

I do take the kids camping though, and within the 1st day at the campground:
1) everyone has somehow spread the word that some lady has a "SHEPHERD" at her campsite and actually walks "THE SHEPHERD" around the campground like its a normal dog!
2) everyone has figured out what site "THE SHEPHERD" is camping in and
3) everyone has had to stop by where "THE SHEPHERD" is camping and visit!

Also I continually get stopped while out walking/hiking for people to visit with "THE SHEPHERD". "THE SHEPHERD" is a magnet for meeting different people and is a great ambassador for "doggie" conversation topics.

By the end of my camping trip everyone seems sad to see "THE SHEPHERD" leave!
 

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There are actually quite a few shepherds out here, lots of people like larger dogs here. But, they are out numbered by far by labs and goldens, and lab/golden mixes!! Then of course all the pits and their mixes, little lap dogs, and cattle dogs and border collies. I see GSDs at the dog parks fairly often and just out walking, but I haven't been to many pet events to notice there.
 

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Availability is also an issue. Around here, there's not many options. Dogs are allowed in pet stores and on the patio at a pet-friendly bar downtown. That's it as far as I know, unless you have a service animal. I DO go to tons of shows (in 2009 I had dogs at 10 shows/trials and is was a slower year for me) and often take 2 or 3 dogs, but around here we just don't have dog events or dog friendly places. This year I already have six things planned (in multiple states). We had a dog beach and it was shut down last summer because of people not using leashes and not cleaning up poo. There an Animal Festival every September. The first time I went, I had to help out at a booth for my club so there was no time to show off my dogs. I did have Coke and Kenya along (Kenya was backup for a Rally demo). Nikon was only 4 weeks old at the time.



I did find out that the rescue where Coke is from walked in their local parade, so hopefully we can join them and walk Coke this summer.
 
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