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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

Been lurking around these forums for a little while now, figured I'd ask this question before I go any farther...

I think GSD's are amazing animals, and have been spending time researching and looking at the process involved with ownership. There are a number of life choices that need to be made, so I know a GSD is something that will not happen for quite a while yet, but my dilemma is this:

My girlfriend and I will both be working full time. There will be family/friends that will be around to help take care of the puppy if need be during the day, but will that be enough? If we both were to take a week off (or at least one of us) in the very beginning, would that work?

The last thing I want to do is bring a beautiful animal into the home and not be able to give it the proper amount of love and attention...is the GSD not for me?
 

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I have always had to work full time with all of my critters. It's always a good idea to have some time off when you bring puppy home. Just remember you have to juggle your time around to do all the things you need to do with a puppy, which usually means your social life gets interupted.
 

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As long as you're willing to devote most of your time home to exercise, training, and play then it should be ok. A puppy will need a potty break every 2-3 hours with some time to play and run their energy out before another nap. As they get older a single midday break will suffice
 

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The full time job isn't the problem, its what you want to do afterwards. Most people that own dogs have 9-5 jobs and deal with dogs, but in order for the dog to get the attention he/she needs you have to give it that attention after work.

My boy gets a good 30 minute walk in the morning, and a good 30 minute walk in the evening. When its nice out, I try to take him to parks/beaches/forests so that he has a chance to run around and have some fun. I also train 3 times a week (twice on the weekends) so that gives him the mental stimulation he needs.

We tend to have only one day a week where we leave him at home and go out as well. I don't like knowing that he's been home all day and then I'll come home, walk him, and leave again until its time for bed. Just not fair to the dog.

There are a lot of other things to consider...like travel. If you like to travel, you'll probably have to change that. We're lucky to have family that takes care of the dog when we go (and we don't go often) but if we didn't...its a good $20 a day to board (and in a questionable facility).

But like you've said, its a lifestyle change, instead of going to the bar for happy hour with your friends, you'll end up going to a park with the dog. Instead of flying/visiting a big city, you might decide to take a vacation that involves more nature and where you can take your dog with.

I've made my dog my "hobby," we train, show, life is kind of revolved around him. I have two recreational activities...dog and golf and I'll even end up taking my dog to the driving range with me.
 

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That is very true. The dog becomes your lifestyle. I have other minor hobbies but they can all be worked on at home without having to travel.

If you have a lot of extra-curricular activities then a GSD is not for you. In all matters, unless you have children still living at home, the dog take priority over everything except work.

And even then I will turn down overtime if it interferes with the well-being of my dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate everyone's response, and I guess reassurance that this won't make me a "bad owner" (my worst fear!)

With regard to having to rearrange my social calendar, I doubt that will be a problem HAHA (cries in corner)

The general consensus thus far seems to be that as long as I can devote most, if not all, of my "out-of-work" time to socializing with my GSD, I should be okay.

Thank's everyone!
 

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I've been lucky, I usually work from home and if I do have to go to the office I can take the dog. My husband is my employer!

Many of my neighbors work full time and have dogs. They get up very early. Some jog and some walk their dogs at 6am. Some come home for lunch to take their dogs out and my friend hires a dog walker for a 30 minute mid day walk. Before we had a dog, we used to walk our neighbor's Rottweiler while they were at work.

I have to agree with MichaelE that the dog becomes your lifestyle. We joined a GSD meetup group. We search for dog-friendly restaurants and outdoor places. We travel less but have found so many local outdoor treasures to explore looking for day hikes with the dog. Having a dog can lead to a healthy lifestyle.
 

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That is a very good point.

I used to walk or ride a little over 2.5 miles a day to and from work. Now, that distance is doubled on many days returning from work during lunch to take care of Lisl.

Walking her and playing with her also adds another couple of miles a day to my physical well being.

I'm off today and we've already been about three miles and will do it again this afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not to restart this thread, but I notice that a lot of the breeders suggest or outright demand that my backyard be fenced in. The house I am potentially moving to (again, a puppy is much farther in the future) does not have a fenced in yard. However, it is far off from the road and is a more "rural" type setting.

I was planning on using long (20') leashes as well as shorter leashes for training...have people had success with this, and therefore I should find a breeder that does not require a fence? Or am I better finding a home with a fenced in yard?

Again, I really appreciate everyone's insight, its nice to come to a forum with members that are willing to help/guide those that are beginning their GSD journey haha....
 

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I don't know, we did not have these silly rules because in some communities you cant get a fenced back yard, deed restrictions.

As for your earlier post, we are doing just fine while working full time and the pup is amazing. The shark phase was the hardest for us, it was awful.
 

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i work a 9ish-5ish and my wife works 12hr 7P to 7A randomly throughout the week. you just have to try and find a good balance. in the beginning it was tough to figure out when we could do what with bailey, but we ended up figuring out a routine. on my wifes days off she is home with bailey all day long and can take her on a couple walks throughout the day, play and train her, or pretty much just be around so shes not in her cage (active day). other days when she works my wife will be sleeping from 7A to 4P so bailey has been sleeping all night then i have an hour or so to play with her before work and shes in her cage until my wife gets up or i get home (inactive day). on these inactive days we wont go out that night and spend the evening giving her plenty of run around time and attention. if you want to make it work you can. german shepherds (or maybe just mine) are much more active than i initially thought, but it gets my butt off the couch at the same time :D. after having a GSD i dont think i would want a less active dog, bailey keeps me on my toes.
 

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Same with some rescues, must have fenced yard. I think they are trying to avoid having the dog tied/chained out all day.

A reasonable breeder should be able to consider different locations and lifestyles, such as living in a rural setting as they get to know the puppy buyer.

Having said that a sturdy T post fence enclosing a portion of your soon to be back yard isn't that expensive and can be helpful to you in monitoring/training/exercising your dog. :)

Not to restart this thread, but I notice that a lot of the breeders suggest or outright demand that my backyard be fenced in. The house I am potentially moving to (again, a puppy is much farther in the future) does not have a fenced in yard. However, it is far off from the road and is a more "rural" type setting.

I was planning on using long (20') leashes as well as shorter leashes for training...have people had success with this, and therefore I should find a breeder that does not require a fence? Or am I better finding a home with a fenced in yard?

Again, I really appreciate everyone's insight, its nice to come to a forum with members that are willing to help/guide those that are beginning their GSD journey haha....
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Same with some rescues, must have fenced yard. I think they are trying to avoid having the dog tied/chained out all day.

A reasonable breeder should be able to consider different locations and lifestyles, such as living in a rural setting as they get to know the puppy buyer.

Having said that a sturdy T post fence enclosing a portion of your soon to be back yard isn't that expensive and can be helpful to you in monitoring/training/exercising your dog. :)
...Soo, for some reason I was envisioning needing to erect a super sturdy, 8ft palisade...

Thank you for pointing out the relative simplicity of the T post fence, I will definitely go in that direction HAHA
 

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...Soo, for some reason I was envisioning needing to erect a super sturdy, 8ft palisade...

Thank you for pointing out the relative simplicity of the T post fence, I will definitely go in that direction HAHA
I live in a 2 bedroom apartment and the breeder I'm talking to has no problem with it because the dog can go to work with me everyday and there are several dog parks around (including one in the apartment complex). You just have to talk to the breeder about your situation.
 

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like other people are saying that it depends are you willing to spend time
with your dog after work??...

german shepherds are high energy type of dogs if this is your first time
you should consider a diffrent breed..
 

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Just make sure it is at least 5' tall and don't leave the dog out for long periods unsupervised. Since you won't be living close into neighbors with lots of unsupervised kids running around, a *well* constructed T post should do it for you. :)


...Soo, for some reason I was envisioning needing to erect a super sturdy, 8ft palisade...

Thank you for pointing out the relative simplicity of the T post fence, I will definitely go in that direction HAHA
 

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THey have ready built kennels with built in fenced area. I also have 2 dogs. So they have plenty of play time when i am not around.
 

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german shepherds are high energy type of dogs if this is your first time
you should consider a diffrent breed..
I disagree with that.

Fritz is my first dog. My family had pets as a kid, but I put off getting a dog my entire adult life until I could get a GSD. It's true that they can be high energy, and that you need to prepare for having an animal as intelligent and physically capable as they are, but it's not true that they are a poor choice for a first time dog owner - IF said owner has done their research, is knowledgeable, and is dedicated to the well-being of their dog. I have a lot to learn, but try my best to be all of those things.

Actually, now that I think about it this goes for any breed. I have a family member who just got her first dog - a Yorkie. It's completely out of control, because she got it on a whim outside Costco one day and knows nothing about the breed or about training or about dogs in general. Her dog is a wreck, and while I admit that the situation would be worse if she had a GSD due to their size, it would still be the same situation.
 

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german shepherds are high energy type of dogs if this is your first time
you should consider a diffrent breed..
What a first timer should consider is reading this forum for months and thoroughly familiarizing himself with GSD characteristics, behavior and care.

Even an owner who has had other dog breeds would be a bad GSD owner if he or she did not understand GSDs. I have seen many a former lab owner coming here, completely overwhelmed with his new GSD puppy.
Do your research, have a plan, understand what you're getting and what the dog will need, be willing to provide that, and you'll be just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What a first timer should consider is reading this forum for months and thoroughly familiarizing himself with GSD characteristics, behavior and care.

Even an owner who has had other dog breeds would be a bad GSD owner if he or she did not understand GSDs. I have seen many a former lab owner coming here, completely overwhelmed with his new GSD puppy.
Do your research, have a plan, understand what you're getting and what the dog will need, be willing to provide that, and you'll be just fine.
Totally agree! The decision to actually get a dog is still a ways in the future. I registered on this forum after reading through forum post after forum post for a few weeks. I figured hopefully at some point I could give back to the forum community... But I've been watching video's, reading up on training advice, and just generally learning everything I can about GSDs.

The questions I am asking here are simply my way of ensuring that I would be a good owner, the last thing I want to do is get an animal and not being able to provide it with the life it deserves...

Again, thank you everyone for your help and responses, they are very informative and helpful!
 
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