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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

All information on here seems informative. However we are at the point were we have decided as a family that we would like to get a puppy. However we are a bit confused over a major issue which is keeping us from deciding if this breed is for us. We are away during the day for about 8 hours each day during the week. Will this type of breed suffer and have negative effects on our dog by not having somone home during the 8 hours periods during the week. Thanks for you help!!
 

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Can someone come home or come to your house to let your puppy outside to go potty one or two times while you are gone for the first three weeks, then just a noon until your pup is over six months old.

Being gone for long periods of time is a big hurddle for house breaking your pup.

Crate training involves letting the pup out to go potty at the right times. If the pup messes in the crate while you are gone then trying to stop the pup from messing in the crate will be difficult.

Now when you are home do you have time to play and train the pup. When my hubby and I bring a pup into the house then our life changes. We make time for puppy play, we make time for puppy training and then there are the potty times when we are home.

So can it be done yes. But you can't just give a puppy 15 or 20 mins of your time when you are home.

Val
 

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No puppy is going to be able to "hold it" all day until they are 6-8 months old. So you'll need to either come home at lunchtime, or enlist the help of a neighbor, or hire a dogwalker to let any pup out at least once during the day.

Many of us work full time jobs, and still manage to have well-behaved, well-adjusted GSDs. So you can too. But it takes some doing.

Crate-training any puppy, regardless of breed, is the only way to go if you aren't at home.

The trade off is that before you go to work, and/or when you come home at night, you'll have to PLAN to spend considerable time with a GSD pup burning off pent up energy. They are not a breed that can just lie in the corner. Even when they are older, most GSDs will require mental and physical exercise every day in order to be happy (meaning not chewing your stuff or otherwise misbehaving.)

All puppies take a LOT of work. Rather than focusing on the puppyhood, which is always challenging, do some soul-searching to determine exactly what kind of dog would be perfect for your family...what do you want to do with the dog? How much time and energy do you have to devote to a dog? What kind of personality do you want in a dog? What is your experience with raising dogs? What's the living situation like? Yard? How about hair? (That's a BIG issue with this breed.)


So once you decide all those things as a family, you can decide if this is the breed for you. GSDs will require considerably more time and training than an easier breed, like a lab or golden. They are mostly high-energy, super-high-intelligent dogs that require consistent leadership. They are also a breed that is prone to many health issues--so finding a good breeder is particularly important when choosing a GSD.

One way to avoid the puppy-rearing is to adopt an adult dog. They will bond with you just as quickly as a puppy, and will likely come to you already housetrained and perhaps with some obedience training too. There's an active GSD rescue group here if you're interested in that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your response. I just want to clarify one thing. I understand during the puppy days we will need someone to be home and arrangements will be made. My main concern is afterwards, will there be any negative effect on the dog by somone not being home during the day.

With regard to playing with the dog and giving it attention, when we are home the dog will have our full attention from myself and my wife as well as our to sons who are 10 and 12.
 

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You then just need to be sure that you (all of you) have the energy and responsibility (I remember being your sons age and LOVING my dog but not REALLY taking it out for a walk when I was supposed to).

There are plenty of people who work full time and successfully have well balanced/well mannered (after obedience) dogs.
 

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All of my dogs were crated during the day while I was at work. One of mine still is as he would like to eat everything in sight!! And he is almost two.

Mine seem no worse for wear having been crated for the length of time it took them to be safe in the house without me
And my one who is crated during the day will go into his crate on his own for a rest in the evenings.

I do exercise my dogs A LOT, at least 2 hours a day. 1/2 in the morning and a hour walk at night. Plus one of us is always available to throw the ball in the yard or for a game of tug.

It is important to exercise in the morning, either a walk or game of fetch in the yard. But do something.

As for the kids, give out responsibilities before you get the pup and make sure everyone sticks to it..

And to answer your question, I think that my dogs are better behaved and have better manners in the house because they were crated. You have much more control over their actions.
All of mine are wonderful with our family and if I thought crating would have a negative effect on my dogs I would never do it.

When you get your pup, please make sure to post pictures....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the crating information. We have not yet purchased a puppy but we are narrowing down some breeders. I need some advice with regard to a breeder. I have found some very impressive information however it is overwhelming. Is there any source that provides information about possible breeders. Not so much a list but information about the breeder both positive and negative. Any help once again would be appreciated. Perhaps I am making to much out of this however I just want to make sure I get a great puppy that is a good fit for our family.

I have heard that this breed can be over protective. My concern is that I have 2 sons thats are 10 and 12 and they are always rough housing. When my sons have friends over, and they are rough playing, (tackle football, tag etc) how do you ensure that the dog does not mistake this rough play as aggression against my sons by their friends. Is this something that can be easily taught as a pup. Also we have allot of other dogs in our neighbourhood as well as lots of small children. Is early socialization as a pup they key. Any feed back would be greatly appreciated once again.
 

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If your dog grows up with your sons and friends, I doubt over protection will be an issue. Your pup will see their activity as normal.

Just make sure your sons are understand how to treat a puppy. GSDs grow quickly, but they are still puppies until they are 18mos to 24 mos.

A well behaved GSD doesn't just happen. There is a lot of training and socialization involved.

Not trying to discourage you at all. I raised my three children with GSDs and am still head over heels for the breed.
 

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Many years ago my uncle had a GSD, and while in my teens I got in a fight with a friend. The GSD literally stood between us and broke up the fight. I have never again seen anything like that.

As for your kids, if they treat the dog corectly he will be protective. Unfortunately, toward frineds he could be overly-protective of your kids.
 

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Most people, regardless of breed, do not put the work needed into a dog. I think the fact you are asking the questions and researching puts you a step above the average dog owner.
The affects will depend on what you do once you are home. If you are the type that arrives home exhausted, wants a hot shower and the remote then I would get a cat or fish.

If you see yourself grabbing the car keys after 8 hrs of work and heading off to puppy kindergarden or Petsmart for socializing then I think you will be happy

This is my first GSD puppy but after a lifetime of Boxers I can say I will now always have shepherds. My 13 week old pup is a complete and total joy.

I love boxers but they are HIGH HIGH energy.

The very best of luck to you.

After all the research and opinions it is a leap of faith. That and a good breeder.
 

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Quote:The affects will depend on what you do once you are home. If you are the type that arrives home exhausted, wants a hot shower and the remote then I would get a cat or fish.

If you see yourself grabbing the car keys after 8 hrs of work and heading off to puppy kindergarden or Petsmart for socializing then I think you will be happy
THAT is how I look at getting a GSD pup is! Life changing, just like adding a human baby to the home. For me, who also has to work and leave my dogs alone for 8 plus hours a day, it's not about those hours at all.

It's what I PLAN to do with the puppy when I get home! And I mean plan. Toss on my 'play clothes' and get into the car with the puppy to visit my friends. Go to socialize. Hike for a few hours. Go to puppy classes.

If I have a really busy life already, and so did my significant other. And the kids were extremely busy with scouts, sports, school, etc. I would pass on getting a GSD puppy for now. But if there was enough of a break in all of that so I could mentally add the 'time' of another HUMAN baby to the mix, that's about the time commitment I see a GSD puppy is to a household. Losing the night sleeps for a bit. Lots of clean up and messing. Not being able to leave the puppy unattended in a room for a long time. On and on and on.
 

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FYI,

With one of my first dobie pups years ago, my breeder mentioned that another customer had built a puppy playpen using a sheet of plywood and 2x4s around the sides, linoleum down on the interior and surrounded the whole thing with 6' puppy fencing secured w/clips. I did the same while I was at work as I have a view fence and did not want to come home to a missing puppy. I put newspapers on one end for piddling and a crate, water and toys on the other for playing - worked out great. I had mine inside - if outside of course you'd have to allow for sufficient shade, etc. I also had neighbors drop by and check for awhile just to make sure she was staying put.

In terms of beyond the puppy stage, I am a single working woman with two GSDs and a Dobie, if my experience is any indicator, don't sweat not being home during the day. When I come home, they are thrilled to see me and are let right in the house, where they also snooze at night. No one has ever seemed any worse for the experience, nor have I ever had any boredeom related destruction. Hey, you may have to get two puppies!!
 

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Originally Posted By: LynnemdHey, you may have to get two puppies!!
I concur w/what everyone has said so far. But I do hope that Lynnemd was just joking :)
No way would I advise anyone to get 2 puppies for many reasons that have been discussed in this forum!
Puppies will do fine alone throughout the working day of their owner as long as they can potty. Puppies and dogs just sleep most of the day when their owners are not around. In fact, they just sleep even when there are other dogs around to play with.

In terms of the GSD becoming overprotective of your sons when they are with their friends - this shouldn't be a problem. However, I would suggest you look for a GSD puppy that is medium drive and has relatively low to medium prey drive. There are GSDs with very high prey drive due to their breeding and they will get overstimulated by children and teenagers running around. You also will not want to get the dominant puppy in the litter. The dominant puppy will grow up to be a dog that basically decides when people can and can not play.
 
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