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I've read a lot of topics on this forum bug figured I'd register and make a new topic tailored to my situation as this is not a decision to take lightly.
I'm a student and go to college in England and am away 8-3 sometimes longer sometimes not as long. I can leave during my free periods as I live 5 minutes from the college and he will never be home alone. Another problem I have is that we're moving into an apartment next week, but we have a massive dog park right across the road, literally. I consider my self an active person, I go biking a lot and also some other sports so I could take him with me. I have already researched all their requirements and have contacted a breeder to view and be around her dogs and puppies to see how they are. Anything I should look for? Given the circumstances I have given, is the German shepherd right for me?

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If you can make a commitment for the life of the GSD, then why not. Others live in apartments and work around school/work schedules.
 

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it's not a matter whether a GSD is right for you but more so
whether you and your situation is right for a dog no matter
what breed. as long as you have the time and money for a
long term commitment you should be fine.
 

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GSDs can be suited for apartment life. They fit in happily with people and small pets. They're a versatile, all-around dog.
 

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For me, I say NO to a dog while you are in school.

I think it's better for you to spend your time and effort getting great grades, so you can get a wonderful job, to later find and afford a place that allows dogs close to your job so you don't have a long commute!

When I was in school I had no idea where I would work when I graduated (and ended up in school in CA but my 1st job was in the New York area) so moving my stuff AND a German Shepherd would have been a crazy mess. Then I had 3 roommates (all liking a big dog? maybe not) because that's all I could afford PLUS a hour commute on both sides and sometimes had to work 10 or more hours a day with mandatory overtime.

In my opinion, if I had gotten a dog in college it would have been a selfish thing for ME. I want a dog. I love dogs. I am getting a dog. The fact that later my poor dog would have been in a situation that would not be ideal for any dog should have been considered. Dogs are around for 12 plus years and the difference between what I THOUGHT I'd be doing in 12 years (if I even really planned it at all) and what actually DID happen the following 12 years .... ACK!

I think we need to do our best to provide stability for any pet we add to our life. A large dog like a GSD has many more considerations during it's lifetime than other pets.

If you really love dogs and think you need to be around them, why not save on the bills/time/responsibilty and instead volunteer locally at a shelter or find a GSD breeder in your area that may need help? That way when you do later get a dog you'll be so much better an owner because of the new knowledge you gain.
 

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I think it depends on what you're going to do after college and how your parents feel about caring for the dog if you cannot. Your schedule sounds fine now, but how much traveling will you have to do for professional development in the future before you settle down? What happens if you get a nine-month contract somewhere and suddenly your dog is in a new city being left alone for 8-9 hours straight?

Be brutally honest with yourself. One of the top reasons dogs are surrendered to shelters is that the owner's life circumstances changed.


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