German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum but I have been reading posts for the past couple weeks while researching the GSD breed.
I'm about to go visit a breeder that has a puppy available and although I love the breed from afar, I'm not sure if I'm the right type of person for a GSD. So before I commit, I'd like like some advice on whether people think I'm the type of person who is right for a GSD.

So I've had dogs before, but only golden retrievers. I love how friendly they are and how affectionate they can be. I like dogs that love to be with you and cuddle with you. I've done obedience training with my goldens but the experience was very easy. I never really had to be stern with them, they just did want I wanted them to do because they are very food motivated. I've never had to deal with any type of "aggressive" or dominant behaviour, no resource guarding, no biting other than the puppy nips, and I was wondering how common these issues come up in GSDs.
I'm not worried about how much exercise GSDs need since I am a fairly active person and I love being outdoors. The puppy wouldn't have to stay home alone for too long either, since I work mostly from home nowadays.

However, what I am worried about is how a GSD would be with strangers. There are a lot of kids (A LOT) in my neighbourhood, and some of them are very out-going. I am worried at how a GSD would react to a bunch of kids running up to him when we're out for a walk.
I also live in a house with a basement apartment that is rented out to tenants, and the other tenants and I share a yard. I was able to let my goldens hang out in the yard by themselves because even when the other tenants walk across the yard, they never bothered them much. Would a GSD be territorial and be aggressive toward other people in "his" backyard?


Thanks to anyone who replies, I really appreciate your insights!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
A GSD and a Golden are entirely different. That's a serious switch IMO. Yes, the majority of GSDs can be protective and territorial of THEIR property. Leaving them outside unsupervised is generally not a welcome idea to begin with. Too much can happen.

Proper and positive socialization is necessary for a well rounded dog. This means a pretty extensive time commitment from you on a daily basis just getting the pup out of the house and people watching and meeting kids. Personally, I don't care if my pup meets adults but kids are a big one. You want to expose them to as much as possible as well as expose them to thousands of different sounds. Even with all the socialization in the world and proper handling, trespassers should be aware. Even if you have people living in the apartment downstairs and the dog has met them, it's not wise to leave him out in the yard without your supervision.

As for the puppy nips, goldens have NOTHING on a landshark GSD. I honestly don't think you've experienced a mouthy chomping puppy until you've had a GSD in the house. Most are heavy chewers. They can and WILL get themselves into trouble given the chance, especially when they're bored. They're brilliant dogs which can be challenging. If you aren't able to step up and be in control, this is not the breed for you. They are a strong minded breed and powerful. If they feel you are weak, many will take advantage of the situation. The first year with a new GSD pup can be a very trying time.

My 3 year old female was very easy to train and crate train. Two- three nights in her crate and she no longer screamed. She went in and went to sleep/settled down with no problems.

My 10 week old male.... I call him Sir. Grumbles because he grumbles and groans and just generally makes a lot of noise. His latest nickname that holds true very well is Banshee Devil Dog because he just SCREAMS in his crate. I've literally never had a pup/dog be so difficult about crate training. He bites EVERYTHING. He's very mouthy. You are not allowed to pet him unless you want to get bit.

These dogs can be very easy or very stubborn and difficult. It depends on the lines the dog is from but most importantly, it depends on the individual dog and their temperament. My current constant headache aside, IF you can handle this breed, you won't regret it. They're amazing and I can't imagine my life without them.

They do need to be with their people. Being shunned to the backyard is not for this breed. Some are cuddlers. Others are not. Some are clingy. Others are not. Its best to make a list of desirable traits you want and speak with the breeder about the pup. Don't fall in love right there. You're making a 10+ year commitment. You want it to be right. The wrong fit, you'll both be miserable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,723 Posts
Welcome!

Just curious, what is it about the GSD that prompted you to do research about them, and consider owning one?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
KZoppa: thanks for all the information! I feel like I've only heard good things about the breed since I've been talking mostly to people who wants to sell me a puppy, but it's refreshing to hear the challenges a GSD owner faces.

Sunflowers: my best friend owned 2 GSDs years back and they were amazing dogs. I think I'm attracted to their intelligence and loyalty. Her dogs were always "her dogs" no matter who was around, whereas I feel like sometimes my goldens preferred the company more than me because I'm old news.

I do want to make sure I know everything there is to know regarding behavioural problems that can come up because I don't want to be surprised and feel overwhelmed. Mostly, I hear a lot of about GSD puppies being land sharks, can someone tell me what that is like? Or what age it starts happening? Would I be able to experience it when I go visit 7 week old puppies?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,912 Posts
There are a lot of poorly bred GSD's out there. Make sure you're very particular about the breeder you get your puppy from. If they have a website or pedigree for the litter, don't be afraid to post it and ask for feedback.

There's also a lot of good information about what to look for in a particular breeder.

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/choosing-breeder/137533-things-look-responsible-breeder.html

Do you have any specific lines your looking at?

Shawlein Fine Art & Purebred German Shepherd Dogs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The litter is from Loretto Kennels, and the sire is Fury:
Loretto Kennels - Stud Dog Alley

I believe this is a mix of working and show lines, and to be honest I'm not sure what the difference is other than the angle of their back and hind legs. There is not a lot of information on the breeder's website about what health clearances are done, but I've been told that they check hips, elbows, eyes, and conduct DNA testing.

If anyone's had experiences with this breeder or can distill more from his website than I can, I'd love the feedback!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,912 Posts
Fury is an american/canadian show and west german show line mix. No working lines on his side. He does have his hips and elbows ofa'd which is good.

CH Madeb's Fury

Any idea who the dam of the litter is and her pedigree?

I've never heard of her, but it seems this breeder mostly deals with American/Canadian lines. Very different temperaments than the working lines. To be honest, if you like the temperaments of Goldens, you'd probably like the American lines. Still different, but they don't have the edge that you see more commonly with the german lines. Just generalizing though.

Go meet their dogs and see if it's what you like. Come with a list of questions and don't be afraid to walk away without putting a deposit on a dog. There's no shortage of puppies and breeders out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
The litter is from Loretto Kennels, and the sire is Fury:
Loretto Kennels - Stud Dog Alley

I believe this is a mix of working and show lines, and to be honest I'm not sure what the difference is other than the angle of their back and hind legs. There is not a lot of information on the breeder's website about what health clearances are done, but I've been told that they check hips, elbows, eyes, and conduct DNA testing.

If anyone's had experiences with this breeder or can distill more from his website than I can, I'd love the feedback!

I cant say anything regarding the kennel. I can let you know that the difference you're referring to isn't really a difference. it's just what's called a stack. Its for show. Ask for proof on the health checks. Don't just take their word on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
Fury is an american/canadian show and west german show line mix. No working lines on his side. He does have his hips and elbows ofa'd which is good.

CH Madeb's Fury

Any idea who the dam of the litter is and her pedigree?

I've never heard of her, but it seems this breeder mostly deals with American/Canadian lines. Very different temperaments than the working lines. To be honest, if you like the temperaments of Goldens, you'd probably like the American lines. Still different, but they don't have the edge that you see more commonly with the german lines. Just generalizing though.

Go meet their dogs and see if it's what you like. Come with a list of questions and don't be afraid to walk away without putting a deposit on a dog. There's no shortage of puppies and breeders out there.

excellent advice. My little guy is from working lines. I wouldn't recommend a working line pup to a first time GSD owner for anything. not even sure I'd go so far as to recommend and WL/SL cross but it would depend on the dogs there. Personally though, if I were going with a SL, I'd go with German SL.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,369 Posts
I have a golden and a GSD and I can say that they are VERY different. But I will say that my GSD is a lover, he loves EVERYBODY and he's fantastic with children even though my husband and I do not have any and he has not spent a great deal of time around them.

I spent a lot of time socializing my GSD from the time I got him at 2 months old, I took him anywhere I could and he met a lot of people. He has gotten a little more aloof with strangers as he's gotten older, he doesn't seek their attention anymore BUT if they pay him any attention he is all about that and soaks it up. A well bred GSD with a solid temperament should NOT be aggressive. Though I would have the dog get to know your tenants if possible, strange people walking into a GSD's yard is not a good idea and he shouldn't really be left out unsupervised anyways.

Compared to my golden my GSD is quite a handful and has been just as easy to train as my golden. They are definitely not a dog you can slack off with or a dog that you can let walk all over you, they need a strong leader and clear boundaries. Look up nothing in life is free, I do this with all my dogs and it has given me amazing results. You will also want to do obedience classes and a GSD might need more as their teenage stage can be rough but like goldens they are very smart and they really love to work.

I would second making sure you find a reputable breeder... Health and temperament problems abound with this breed, being impulsive with this breed is not a good idea.

GSD's are wonderful dogs... They are really in tune with their person and their pack, their compansionship and loyalty cannot be beat. My GSD runs to me when I sneeze to check on me even, our bond is nothing like I've ever had before with any other breed. If you get one you'll be hooked(after you get through the first year that is :D)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I'll let the experts on the board give you all the information. I'm a first time GSD owner, I'll just say, they can be challenging! haha. I had a mix GSD/la/huskie, before this, never had to be firm with Timba. With Kaiser, my current dog, i have to be calm ( i don;t raise my voice he gets more out of control if i do, like he can tell I'm losing control of the situation), firm yet fair with him and make him understand I'm the leader not him. I think its a mutual respect you both have to have.

KZoppa- my dog mumbles a lot as well, especially when told " no".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,913 Posts
I am from Kitchener, ON and have first hand knowledge of the kennel talked about and the dogs produced by said kennel. Please PM me as we are not allowed to discuss negatives via the forum board.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I definitely don't want to rush into any decisions, I'm willing to wait for the right breeder/pup. I'm even willing to wait until I can find a house where I don't want to share a yard. I'm wiling to put in the work, and I believe it will be rewarding. Thanks for all the information!

elisabeth_00117: I've sent you a PM, I'm anxious to hear about your experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,912 Posts
I definitely don't want to rush into any decisions, I'm willing to wait for the right breeder/pup. I'm even willing to wait until I can find a house where I don't want to share a yard. I'm wiling to put in the work, and I believe it will be rewarding. Thanks for all the information!

elisabeth_00117: I've sent you a PM, I'm anxious to hear about your experience.
Great attitude and don't be afraid to wait and ask questions along the way. I'm getting a puppy in about a month from a litter that I had a deposit on almost a year before he was born. It takes time and will be worth it in the end.

And listen to whatever Elisabeth has to say. She knows what she's talking about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,157 Posts
Great attitude and don't be afraid to wait and ask questions along the way. I'm getting a puppy in about a month from a litter that I had a deposit on almost a year before he was born. It takes time and will be worth it in the end.

And listen to whatever Elisabeth has to say. She knows what she's talking about.

I second this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,913 Posts
Thanks guys for your posts, that means a lot.

I do a lot of stuff with my dogs in the area and have come to know quite a few breeders out this way and can honestly say that most are excellent representations of what we all preach about.

I am very grateful to have some of the relationships I have with them as well and feel comfortable recommending them to others.

I always say to do your OWN research though on top of the recommendations you receive - even if those recommendations are from people you trust.

What one may like, another won't. So meet the dogs, talk to the owners, watch the dogs work and show and also just "be dogs".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
from my experience, i own a german line puppy. she's stubborn, totally alpha. she doesn't like to cuddle that much., sometimes she would lick my hands or my feet but it's not so common. she is extremely friendly with people, loves children, plays awesome with other dogs, she perfectly understands when to be submissive or dominant. really inquisitive. she's teething now, so, she is a total shark. those fangs are awfully sharp! and she bites really hard. she hates being alone, gsd's seem to find pleasure only where their owner is.

they're incredibly smart. i never underestimate my girl, sometimes i think she's totally capable of opening the counter doors :). you have to be in total control all the time, because they will test their boundaries and will push limits frequently. the most important thing is to be strong with them. discipline is a must. don't give your puppy full love and trust from the beginning. they appreciate working to earn privileges.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
"I believe this is a mix of working and show lines, and to be honest I'm not sure what the difference is other than the angle of their back and hind legs."

Firstly , no working lines in that pedigree.

Quoting KZoppa " I can let you know that the difference you're referring to isn't really a difference. it's just what's called a stack. Its for show. "

no , there really really is a huge difference in these dogs referenced - American show lines and working dogs.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top