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Good afternoon to all. I am new to the forum and interested in adding a GSD to our family. I’m a novice on the breed and have not owned a dog in over 15 years. Our previous pet was from the animal shelter and lived with us for 8+ years until he became ill. All members of the family have wanted another puppy since then; however, there were many things going on in the family and I would not make the jump until I knew I had the time to dedicate to raising a companion and new family member.

From what I have learned during research, I am interested in a working line assertive male puppy to become the next member of our growing family. I have three grown children, with 4 grandchildren to date, with more to come. All my children live within 10 miles of my house, which is the family’s gathering place most of the time. My grandchildren also spend numerous weekends with me and will have frequent interaction with the puppy.

The entire family super excited about the new addition and can’t wait until I find a suitable puppy to join the family.

The main part in finding the right puppy, for me, is first finding the right breeder. I have been doing a lot of research on my own for the past several months and believe to have found that person. My grown children wanted me to get second opinions and possibly contact other breeders as well. I have discussed this with the breeder I contacted, she is on board with the additional research. The more I interact with her, the more I like her!

We anticipate taking obedience classes with the puppy so we can learn how to train him properly, he learns to socialize with other dogs and get additional exercise. I would also appreciate recommendations for a puppy kindergarten class in Miami, Florida.

I am looking for a companion and family dog that my children and grandchildren will enjoy as much as I do. I am not looking for a protection dog, but protecting the family will be among the dog’s duty. While I am not interested in formal competition, we do wish to have the puppy attend CGC training and test. Minor class competition related to the training, that are fun for the GSD and us may be contemplated as well.

Is there additional information you would need to recommend breeders that breed the right puppy for our family? I am willing to take a few vacation days to go pick up the puppy so it doesn’t travel as cargo or suffers during the trip, so distance is not a deal breaker.

For the puppy kindergarten class I do need someone local in Miami as I will attend every training class the GSD attends so I can properly reinforce at home what was learned in class.

Thank you in advance for your feedback.
 

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, I am interested in a working line assertive male puppy

I am looking for a companion and family dog that my children and grandchildren will enjoy as much as I do.
Why? I'm not sure your description of "assertive male working line" fits with your dog experience and your wants you listed in a dog. Could you please further explain your thinking?

Can I ask what breeder you are talking to? We can't really give a 2nd opinion if we don't know that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why? I'm not sure your description of "assertive male working line" fits with your dog experience and your wants you listed in a dog. Could you please further explain your thinking?

Can I ask what breeder you are talking to? We can't really give a 2nd opinion if we don't know that.
Thank you for your response, Jax08. From seeing how you broke it down, I see I should have probably used obedient in lieu of assertive.

For several months now I have been doing research on the breed and breeders. For me, one stood above others reviewed thus far, Celhaus German Shepherds. I have been talking and corresponding with Cel Hope. I feel extremely comfortable with her, the material on her site, materials she has provided and feedback from others that have worked with her. My grown children are also impressed with the research results, but still asked that I did a tad more research. She doesn’t have a puppy available at the moment for me (us) and additional research wouldn’t hurt. I did tell her what I was going to do, she too thought it was a good idea (which impressed me even more than I was already). Logically, we both want the same thing, she wants her puppies to go to homes they will fit in and we want a puppy that will fit in our home and with our family as well.

So far we have discussed getting a low/medium drive puppy that will be able to keep up with the family.
 

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Just to piggyback on what Jax said, working lines want to work, hence the name. Do you want to work the dog? I wouldn’t call the training you’re looking to do work. I’d say you want a low drive dog, wouldn’t focus so much on “working lines”. But finding that low drive.


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Just to piggyback on what Jax said, working lines want to work, hence the name. Do you want to work the dog? I wouldn’t call the training you’re looking to do work. I’d say you want a low drive dog, wouldn’t focus so much on “working lines”. But finding that low drive.


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I agree, Nscullin. The mention of the work line is mostly because I’m not interested in a show dog bread for looks. I’m interested in health and temperament and maintaining the original appearance. There will be some participation in competitions related to the obedience and training classes we may attend.
 

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Your in Florida and the breeder is in Wyoming? You haven't met or seen her dogs? Who have you met face to face? Have you had a chance to see anyone's dogs?
Hi Steve. You are correct. I have not personally met or seen her dogs. I have read from and seen pictures from others that have gotten their dogs from her. I’m going exclusively by recommendations, my conversations with her and other information gathered. I have not visited local breeders, and will gladly explore further recommendations received.
 

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I’m sorry but a GSD should not have low drive. Maybe you should consider a different breed.
I am learning about the “drive”. Based on the activities my family will participate in with the GSD, she mentioned medium drive. I added the “low” in the low/medium comment. My son knows a Belgian Malinois breeder, while he does have nice dogs, I considered the breed’s drive to far exceed what would be a good fit for my family.
 

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An Assertive male dog is a dog I would not recommend to a inexperienced dog home of any breed. I am assuming your term assertive refers to dominant. The breed has a strong personal type to begin with. You will need to speak to breeders and ask if they have a pup in mind and or a breeding in mind that fits your needs. Drives do vary in one litter and there may be a pup for you. It important to relay to the breeder what you are seeking and meet the different dogs and breeders. German Shepherds in general are not low drive dogs and need mental and physical stimulation and can increase the amount of young dogs dumped in shelters- if that is what people believe.
 

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How did you find this breeder? Good for them for doing health testing, therapy dog certifications, nose work and agility titles are not breed worthy titles for me. There is very little about this breeder I like. Well, there's nothing about this breeder I like.

I think you can do much better for the same price.

You need a medium drive, well balanced dog, from dogs proven to be exactly that. My suggestion to you is to go visit some clubs and breeders in your area. I can suggest breeders that I know produce nice pets
(Sitz von der Hose in Marion NY, - I have a von der Hose dog. He's incredible. Two of his sisters are being bred. One is bred. An 11 yr old is training this dog in Schutzhund. The other will be bred when she comes in heat.
Wolfstraum in PA - I know many Wolfstraum dogs. Lee can be contacted thru this page.
I feel safe recommending those two and know they will back their puppies 100% as well as being good at placing the right puppy in home.)

but it's a good idea to find clubs and go watch the dogs. Find what you like and what you don't like. You can tell a lot about temperament at training and you will make contact to help you find a good breeder.

 

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An Assertive male dog is a dog I would not recommend to a inexperienced dog home of any breed. I am assuming your term assertive refers to dominant. The breed has a strong personal type to begin with. You will need to speak to breeders and ask if they have a pup in mind and or a breeding in mind that fits your needs. Drives do vary in one litter and there may be a pup for you. It important to relay to the breeder what you are seeking and meet the different dogs and breeders. German Shepherds in general are not low drive dogs and need mental and physical stimulation and can increase the amount of young dogs dumped in shelters- if that is what people believe.
Hi Jenny. I used the incorrect term in the original post and later corrected it. I should have used “good temperament” and obedient.

I am not in a rush and am willing to wait for the right fit. I have waited many years to commit to another dog because I know it is a lifetime commitment. I am also flexible with location of the breeder and willing to travel to pick up the new family addition to minimize trauma and discomfort for the puppy.

Our family dog will have continuous mental and physical stimulation from me and other family members, some of which are a lot more athletic than others.

I will not claim to be able to go, see a litter of puppies and from sight understand which will be the best puppy for my family. I trust a good breeder will be able to either make the recommendation or be frank and let me know there was no puppy in this litter that fit our home, it would be best to wait for the next. The right fit and a healthy puppy is more important.

I have three children, all raised under the same roof, by the same parents with the same rules; and only 2 years apart from the one younger to them; they couldn’t be more different if they tried. Each of them is wonderful in their own special way, but different from their siblings. Depending on what is needed, I know which of the three is best suited for the task at hand. No doubt something similar exist in the animal kingdom, I anticipate a good breeder will be able to guide us in the selection of the right puppy for our family. It may not necessarily be the right puppy for others, but we would be a better fit for that specific puppy.
 

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I’m sorry but a GSD should not have low drive. Maybe you should consider a different breed.
My apologies, I missed your comment. Different people will be looking for different qualities in their puppy. Would all puppies in a litter have the same drive? What happens to the puppies that have a slight lower drive than what many others are looking for in the breed? Would they be completely undesirable or good enough for the right family?

Asking honestly as the drive level for each individual puppy seems to be addressed by various breeders.
 

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How did you find this breeder? Good for them for doing health testing, therapy dog certifications, nose work and agility titles are not breed worthy titles for me. There is very little about this breeder I like. Well, there's nothing about this breeder I like.

I think you can do much better for the same price.

You need a medium drive, well balanced dog, from dogs proven to be exactly that. My suggestion to you is to go visit some clubs and breeders in your area. I can suggest breeders that I know produce nice pets
(Sitz von der Hose in Marion NY, - I have a von der Hose dog. He's incredible. Two of his sisters are being bred. One is bred. An 11 yr old is training this dog in Schutzhund. The other will be bred when she comes in heat.
Wolfstraum in PA - I know many Wolfstraum dogs. Lee can be contacted thru this page.
I feel safe recommending those two and know they will back their puppies 100% as well as being good at placing the right puppy in home.)

but it's a good idea to find clubs and go watch the dogs. Find what you like and what you don't like. You can tell a lot about temperament at training and you will make contact to help you find a good breeder.

Thank you Jax08. I will do some research and reach out to both this weekend, time permitting.
 

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My apologies, I missed your comment. Different people will be looking for different qualities in their puppy. Would all puppies in a litter have the same drive? What happens to the puppies that have a slight lower drive than what many others are looking for in the breed? Would they be completely undesirable or good enough for the right family?

Asking honestly as the drive level for each individual puppy seems to be addressed by various breeders.
Yes some pups may not have the desired drive that are required for work or sport that the breeder strives for but they will still have drive that may be too much for a first time GSD owner. Heck, some of these lower drive pups may wake up at 6- 12 mo of age and become too much for the average pet home.

GSD were bred to herd all day long, have the drive to do this job is important. Sadly, you don’t see many herd anymore.
 

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My apologies, I missed your comment. Different people will be looking for different qualities in their puppy. Would all puppies in a litter have the same drive? What happens to the puppies that have a slight lower drive than what many others are looking for in the breed? Would they be completely undesirable or good enough for the right family?

Asking honestly as the drive level for each individual puppy seems to be addressed by various breeders.
Not everyone is looking for a sport dog in a litter. The ones with lower drives might the right ones for an active family. Maybe one has stellar hunt drive and it goes to SAR. No puppy is "undesirable". they all have qualities that make them the right dog for someone. To be frank - most breeders I know would rather their dogs go to pet homes. Sport homes wash puppies out and rehome them. Pet homes keep them. You can absolutely get a medium drive, balanced, dog. You've put in a lot of thought, have committed to training. There is no reason you can't be successful.
 

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I hope you understand why most of us are a little hesitant in your desire for a working line GSD. We don't want to discourage you. We've just seen way too many people asking for help here in rehoming their dogs. So we want you to be sure what you are getting in terms of a working line shepherd. They're not easy dogs, at all. Just because GSDs are the 3rd most intelligent breed, doesn't mean they are easy dogs to raise. You mentioned Malinois...while working line GSDs are no Malinois, they are pretty close. GSD puppies, generally speaking, are very bitey. Are you prepared when your puppy bites your grandchildren and draws blood? These are strong powerful dogs. I'll be turning 50yo in a month and my dog will turn 2yo next week...he's so strong he's almost pulled me down a couple of times when deer have crossed our path. GSDs are in the herding group. Herding group dogs can work all day. Are you prepared to drain your dog's energy every day? These are a few questions you must think about. And by the way, show lines aren't easy dogs either. Anyway, I wish you luck and I hope you listen with an open mind to all the good advice given in here. We're not here to criticize your decision. We just want you to be aware of what you're getting with a working line GSD. Cheers!
 

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Yes some pups may not have the desired drive that are required for work or sport that the breeder strives for but they will still have drive that may be too much for a first time GSD owner. Heck, some of these lower drive pups may wake up at 6- 12 mo of age and become too much for the average pet home.

GSD were bred to herd all day long, have the drive to do this job is important. Sadly, you don’t see many herd anymore.
How does one get to be a second time GSD owner without ever being a first time owner?

My daughter in-law grew up with GSDs, 2 of them at one time. Their home life had a much lower pace than ours and there fewer family members to do things with the dog.

I’m not saying I have the perfect conditions for the GSC, but it’s definitely not the worse either.
 

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How does one get to be a second time GSD owner without ever being a first
BOOM.

If you have the right breeder and are committed to training, you'll be fine.

Many of us start off with rescues and shelter dogs or back yard bred dogs who have poor nerves. Starting with a good breeder will make it so much easier for you.
 

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As far as the breeder you choose, many on this forum would hope for better titles. The schutzhund sport was invented as a breed test for GSDs so many would want at least an IGP1 on the breeding pair. I would think for your wishes, there would at least be obedience titles like BH or CD.

As far as drive is concerned, it is just as you believe. Even very sporty breeders don’t produce 100% sport dogs. Several of the dogs go to strictly pet homes.

That being said, the pet home dog will be no couch potato. My puppy was slated for the pet/service category. He is from one of these more sporty breeders and he was even called the calmest puppy she ever produced. He still requires a job (which he has at home). He is worked several times a day and we do classes and schutzhund club together. He’s my first GSD and I love him.

I think low/medium drive (for a GSD) is totally possible. One thing I don’t think you mentioned was threshold. My puppy has a very high threshold which basically means it takes a bit to get a rise out of him. So when my five year old acts like a nut, screaming and running through the house for some unknown reason, he’s relatively unaffected.

Good luck!
 
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