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Hey everyone!

Im new to these forums as well as new to GS dogs. Ive grown up with spaniels my whole life and have since moved out to California to start my career and am looking for a larger dog (specifically a GS) that would be very loyal with me and have a great friendship with.

Recently I came across a local German Shepherd rescue and decided to go take a look. Among all the dogs there, most all of them would not stop barking and jumping on the cage. The walk way was about 3 feet wide, very narrow, and was surrounded by tall cages...I was sort of turned off by this and almost left - but I noticed a white german shepherd, 7-9 months old, just sitting calmly on the ground. I went up to the cage and he got up and gave me a timid lick on the hand, and then backed up behind his little hut thingy. He seemed very nervous and unsure of me. Curious...I wanted to explore him further because he was a beautiful looking dog, and felt like maybe I can help him - he also stood out to me because out of all the dogs there, he wasnt barking. Since then ive spent several hours with him, walking him on a leash by the shelter to see how he would do on a leash; which concluded that he would need some training as he does tend to pull and get distracted. He gets nervous sometimes and is very sound oriented; always looking around. At first he did not take to me, but I have come back twice since then to see if his behavior would improve with me, and it has. Today I went up to his cage and he didnt try to hide, instead he leaned up against the cage wanted me to pet him and rub his belly - I take this as a good sign.

Im coming here because im wondering if it would be a good idea to adopt this dog from a shelter. Im unsure if its a full GS, and I am aware of the potential health problems - but not sure if he has any. Ive spoken with the shelter volunteers and workers and they tell me he is up to date on all of his shots and has been neutered (please forgive me if I have neutered and spade mixed up, he is a male). He seems healthy and active, but id like to have him checked out by a vet to see if he might have potential hip dysplasia.

What do you guys think? :rolleyes:

Ps: They tell me he is dog aggressive... :(
Pss: Here is a picture of his sister, they look pretty much identical:
Lisbeth - German Shepherd Rescue of Los Angeles
 

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Hi and welcome. I am new here as well. I just adopted a Shepherd Mix today and so far, a match made in Heaven. I had originally gone there for another Shepherd but it didn't work out. You can read about what all transpired today with me under General Forum topics..called Update with adopting Nick from WV. It is something like that LOL.
After seeing all the dogs in that shelter, my next one will also be adopted.
 

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Lisbeth appears to be full German Shepherd, so there's a good chance that the dog you're interested in is as well.

He's young enough that he probably won't have any real issues besides the normal puppy ones (chewing, mouthiness, possibly needs to be housebroken). Adopting a dog from a shelter can be a wonderful experience; unfortunately none of us can tell you if this is the right dog for you.

If you want to have him checked out by your vet it will probably be at your expense, whether you end up taking him or not.
 

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Boy, if he looks like his sister, then he's a beauty. I currently am on my second white GSD. First one came from a shelter and he was the best dog I've ever had. Crazy good dog and gone much too soon. He's as missed now as when he passed away. Second white GSD is from a back yard breeder. Good dog but he has a few issues. Nothing to do with his color, so I think if you like the look and he seems a good fit, go for it. Having said that, both of my white dogs had/have some skin issues. Not terrible, but they seem to have seasonal allergies and I think it might be a "white dog" thing. My regular GSDs have not had the problem. Also, you said he's dog aggressive, but he's still just a puppy, right? I have to wonder if that could be trained out of him so to speak. If you get him, I'd do some serious socializing out and about and go to tons of obedience classes. White shepherds are real head turners. Hope he finds a rewarding home with you and that you have many happy years together. Oh, and will a shelter let you take a dog to the vet before adopting?
 

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I agree with what has been said. Only you can decide if it is the right dog for you.

I adopted a 5 year old female black & tan GSD from a shelter last July. Since then she has been wonderful. Very obedient, loyal, and trusting of me. It did take a little bit of time for her to warm up to me. (A couple of weeks). But now we are best friends.

If you really like the dog and can see a future with him and yourself then do it. You will have rescued a dog in need and found a new friend.
 

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I also got the best dog I've ever had from a shelter, kind of the same circumstances. Rocky was the only dog in the place that wasn't barking when I went in there. They say you don't pick the dog, they pick you.

You're starting out on the right foot. Ask questions, do your homework. Lots of good advice here and a lot information in the forums section.
I agree, socialize and get as much training and take the classes you can take.
Germans Shepherds are great dogs, but they don't just end up that way. If you put the time and effort into them, you'll get it back tenfold.

Good Luck and thanks for considering a shelter dog.
 

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Good luck with your decision. For me having a GSD has been a huge amount of work and has completely changed my life. And I don't regret one minute of it.
 

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Hmmmmm – I have to be honest, having been around GSDs for many, many decades I would have been leery of a dog that didn’t get excited about seeing me as I walked along the kennel aisle; especially since you are talking about a puppy. Some of the things that you have said concern me a little. “He gets nervous sometimes” “always looking around”
I’m also concerned by your lack of experience – I’d hate to see this guy end up back in the rescue. What about his sister, does she behave in a similar manner? Maybe there was some abuse here.
I’m not trying to be negative or discouraging but I think this dog will be a challenge for someone as inexperienced as you are. On the other hand experience comes from doing so should you decide to adopt him, make sure to get him into a basic obedience class as soon as possible – you will both learn. Lots of socialization – take him with everyplace you go and introduce him to as many people as possible. If he is dog aggressive you will need to be very careful – training in a group should help this.
Judging from his sister I would say that they are full GSD.
Good luck - please keep us up to date.
:welcome: aboard!!:)
 

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Welcome from another Southern Californian! I think it is great you are considering a rescue, is there someone you know who is knowledgable with dogs? I would suggest maybe even asking a trainer to help you evaluate him, someone who could also help the two of you down the line, at 8 mos old he should be able to overcome a lot of problems with the right training, good luck with whatever you decide. :)
 

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Welcome! Good for you for thinking of adopting/rescuing. There's a lot of animals already out there that need homes too.
 

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Go for it! But make sure YOU are ready for the responsibility of possibly almost 15 years with basically a child. Don't let it be an impulse decision! Make sure you can give him enough exercise, training (especially if you say he's agressive), socialization, and proper food! Good luck! I'm hoping to be adopting my own GSD soon!
 

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Hi. I just wanted to throw in there that you can't judge a dog's behaviour - especially GSDs - by how they are in a shelter environment. I've heard around here that GSDs, moreso than other breeds, are so pack-oriented that they are all basically head-cases in the shelter, and how they would behave in a home is totally different. I'm not discouraging you from going after the puppy, just mentioning that the other dogs might have great potential, too. :) Don't go just by how a dog reacts to you when you visit; see if you can get more in-depth info on each dog.

Thanks for rescuing, and the fact that you're here looking for information means you're already 100 times more prepared than most people adopting. All the best. <3
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!!! I definitley understand that there is alot of responsibility that comes with owning a GSD - but im actually looking forward to it. I have grown up with dogs my whole life and in September of 2009 (about 6 months after I graduated) I moved out from my home in Florida and I got a job out in Southern California. I have left behind my best friend, who is a 4 year old Springer Spaniel - who I love dearly. She's with my parents of course - we got it for my mother for Christmas after our previous spaniel of 16 years passed away.

So being out here for awhile now, and without a dog around the house - it gets lonely and boring!

About the GS - If I adopt this dog, there's no way he'd end up back in the shelter. Im going to commit to him and work with him - just have to find a good trainer! A friend of mine has a greyhound and she's pretty good at training, so she will give me some advice as well. I have a question for you guys regarding food brands - what do you recommend? Ive looked into Royal Canine, Candiae, and Purina One. I would like to get whats best for my dog (as im sure everyone here feels the same way).

The only problem with being where I am is that not alot of apartment complexes accept dogs over 20lbs, and have breed restrictions... I decided im going to move out of my current place, because they wont accept him, and start searching for one that does. Its taken a really long time, but a place just popped up nearby that doesnt have any breed restrictions - im going to look at it tomorrow; hopefully it will pull through!! I will keep everyone updated with what happens :)
 

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The only problem with being where I am is that not alot of apartment complexes accept dogs over 20lbs, and have breed restrictions... I decided im going to move out of my current place, because they wont accept him, and start searching for one that does. Its taken a really long time, but a place just popped up nearby that doesnt have any breed restrictions - im going to look at it tomorrow; hopefully it will pull through!! I will keep everyone updated with what happens :)
We'll look forward to hearing from you again - good luck!!:):greet:
 

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Hi I am a new member but not new to
gsds. I have over 20 years of living with and training Shepherds. this pup is still young enough to learn even if he is dog aggressive. If you decide to adopt him your best bet is to find a good trainer who knows shepherds and work with them. the most important thing is Shepherds need a lot of socialization. A good trainer can help you to understand your dog. Good luck . Life with a GSD is the best. I have 9 at this time.
 

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Greetings from one forum newbie to another.
Watch that your caring spirit doesn't create problems . Having to find another place to live is a pretty major impact.
I don't know about the dog. Of course he deserves a good home , just know all that you might have to deal with.
He gave you that tentative little lick of submission and then got nervous and hid.
When you had him out on the leash he still did not "get in to you" and seemed pretty nervous.
As a young person , while still marching off to work , the "girls" in the office would eat our lunches quickly and then go to the local humane society and take dogs in the shelter out into the parking lot scrubby grass area to stretch their legs, get socialization and get a potty break. Some dogs were so clean they just would not pee, they held on till their bladders could not any more.
Saw lots of types of dogs.
Often the behaviour you see in the shelter is inhibited. The quiet little guy can become a whirlwind of activity after two or three weeks at home. Shepherds get depressed in isolation .
I am concerned about all the distractability and sound issues .
On the other hand sometimes the dog needs to really amp up his nutrition , feed the nerves as it were , to feel wholesome and well .

Food - I would recommend Orijen.

Tough decision because you are not doing it from your head only.

Good luck .
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Hey guys! Well its been quite a while. But I just brought home Bolt! The same 1 year old white shepherd I was trying to adopt from before. I have a live webcam setup at home so I can keep an eye on him while I am at work. He is currently being crate trained... He has gone pee in the apartment several times now and I had to go out and buy a carpet cleaner. I take him out about 5 times a day but he still prefers to go inside the house (but not while he's in the crate) He did however go poop outside this morning. After coming back inside however - he peed like a horse x_x I cleaned it all up but there is still that pee smell... Any advice on getting rid of it and any other advice on the best way to potty train these guys?

Heres the link to the webcam. Enjoy :)



Note: At the shelter they were feeding him a mix of Trader Joe's Canned dog food and dry dog food and rice...all mixed together. I disagree with their choice but I know its cheap for them. So now I have him on Blue Buffalo's Chicken and Rice Large Breed for puppies (dry food). But I mixed it with some of his old food - but dry only.
 

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...
After coming back inside however - he peed like a horse x_x I cleaned it all up but there is still that pee smell... Any advice on getting rid of it and any other advice on the best way to potty train these guys?

Heres the link to the webcam. Enjoy :)

...
CONGRATS!!! Sounds like you've got a lot of work ahead of you for housebreaking Bolt ... GOOD LUCK!!!

I've used Odo-Ban for years and found it quite effective on numerous odors including pee.
OdoBan - Odor Eliminator - Home
 
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