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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello

Brand new member to the forum and have never owned a gsd or a dog before, although i've grown up with med-large sized dogs all my life. So this is the current situation: we own a 3000+sq foot house, have a mid sized fenced in backyard (6 foot high fence), there are a couple of trails within walking distance and hiking is available with a short (~1hr) drive, dog parks are within walking/driving distance. We are willing to walk our future GSD twice a day for about 3-5 miles, my brother is on the cross country team and in the summer, my friends and I go hiking fairly often. We're willing to join an obedience class and we have a bunch of dog friendly family friends nearby and pet stores so socialization shouldn't be a problem.

But our neighbour who currently has a GSD mix and whose parents own a european line GSD has been telling us that we shouldn't get a GSD, that a GSD is too much for us to handle. So i'm here asking for advice, if what they say is really true, then we'll switch our breed choice but right now, we really believe it's a doable situation. Also, we're looking at a 1 year old male, haven't met the dog yet, but the neighbour is warning us away from it already.

Please advice.
 

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Sounds great!! I son't see why your neighbour can handle and his parents can handle a GSD, but you can't? Especially since you are active and will be exercising the dog well?

Why specifically does he thing a GSD will be too much to handle for you?

Adopting an older male is perfect. A one year old is still a puppy though, so lots of energy, lots of wanting to play with you. In addition to planning on walks and socialization, line up some good training classes. Even if the dog already had the basic puppy classes, taking classes with you will strengthen your bond, teach you all about dog training, get him out for socialization, and because it is fun!

Do you know what type of GSD the one year old is, and anything about his background?

Some are very mellow and easy to live with, others are more high energy and a bit more challenging, but if you are comitted, neither should be a problem.
 

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Hello

Brand new member to the forum and have never owned a gsd or a dog before, although i've grown up with med-large sized dogs all my life. So this is the current situation: we own a 3000+sq foot house, have a mid sized fenced in backyard (6 foot high fence), there are a couple of trails within walking distance and hiking is available with a short (~1hr) drive, dog parks are within walking/driving distance. We are willing to walk our future GSD twice a day for about 3-5 miles, my brother is on the cross country team and in the summer, my friends and I go hiking fairly often. We're willing to join an obedience class and we have a bunch of dog friendly family friends nearby and pet stores so socialization shouldn't be a problem.

But our neighbour who currently has a GSD mix and whose parents own a european line GSD has been telling us that we shouldn't get a GSD, that a GSD is too much for us to handle. So i'm here asking for advice, if what they say is really true, then we'll switch our breed choice but right now, we really believe it's a doable situation. Also, we're looking at a 1 year old male, haven't met the dog yet, but the neighbour is warning us away from it already.

Please advice.

GSD's have different drives. Some are laid back and have low energy, some require and hour or 2 of exercise a day and have medium energy and some need alot of exercise and are always on the go with high energy.

Since this would be the first dog that you own on your own then I would adopt a calm, laidback GSD from a shelter that is 2 years old or older.
 

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I think you sound like a great adoptive home. Is the dog in a foster home? A good foster family will be able to match you with their foster dog. They'll tell you if the dog is too much for a first-time GSD owner, but many are not. We all have to start somewhere!
 

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My first real dog is an adopted adult GSD. We do not have the fencing that you do and my dear Wolf spends most of the day supervising traffic on our block from his second floor window. He is by no means a "normal" GSD. He is not the perfect GSD, but he is perfect for us. This is the critical part:


A good foster family will be able to match you with their foster dog. They'll tell you if the dog is too much for a first-time GSD owner
The rescue and gifted foster really understood Wolf, what he needed, and what should be avoided. If you can receive this kind of detailed information about a dog, you sound like you have a great home for the right dog.

Good luck.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Why would your neighbor tell you the you could not handle a GSD?? I believe anybody can handle a GSD IF they are willing to put forth the effort required. That means exercising, training and socializing the dog on a regular basis. And it seems you are willing to do this. Plus you apparently have more than enough space.

Going through a rescue is a great place to start. They can match you with the type of dog you are looking for and they have lots of great dogs that need homes. Good Luck with your search!
 

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Since you're ready & willing to adopt a GSD, I sure as heck wouldn't listen to anything a neighbor says!:rolleyes: IMO, the GSD is about the best breed there is, but they certainly take a lot of time & energy.

We adopted our Ziva 4 months ago from a local Rescue. (I wouldn't go to a pound). Be aware that all Rescues are not necessarily honest about the dogs they place. Understand they get a LOT of dogs & some are pushed thru the system. The Rescue here told us Ziva was 2 yrs old; but, since she has continued to grow, we think they were off. & that's OK. They also said she was semi-trained on a leash & she was great with cats. Well, those were outright mistruths. They'd been giving her Benadryl (to calm her). Once she was off that, her true personality came thru. She's very high-energy & had no manners. Obedience training is fun with her & she learns quickly - she's just very stubborn! She thinks cats are chew toys, so that's gonna take more time & training (we have 4 housecats). We wouldn't trade her for the world.

I don't even think the size of your house & yard are as important as your dedication to having the best, happiest dog ever. And it appears you have that desire. We have a small house & yard, but have found ways to exercise her legs off until she lies down for a nice nap!

Tell your neighbor to mind his/her own business. Best of Luck with your new Baby Boy!

Becky
 

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We adopted our Ziva 4 months ago from a local Rescue. (I wouldn't go to a pound). Be aware that all Rescues are not necessarily honest about the dogs they place. Understand they get a LOT of dogs & some are pushed thru the system. The Rescue here told us Ziva was 2 yrs old; but, since she has continued to grow, we think they were off. & that's OK. They also said she was semi-trained on a leash & she was great with cats. Well, those were outright mistruths. They'd been giving her Benadryl (to calm her).
Just an FYI to the OP and to Oliver's mama (and everyone else reading this thread). A good reputable rescue does not just push dogs through or place them without being completely honest and knowing their true personality. It is just as important to research the rescue you are working with as it is to research a breeder.
 

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To the OP
Since you are researching this topic before you get the dog you are on the right track for being "ready" for a GSD. It looks like you are considering the right things.
 

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Hello

Brand new member to the forum and have never owned a gsd or a dog before, although i've grown up with med-large sized dogs all my life. So this is the current situation: we own a 3000+sq foot house, have a mid sized fenced in backyard (6 foot high fence), there are a couple of trails within walking distance and hiking is available with a short (~1hr) drive, dog parks are within walking/driving distance. We are willing to walk our future GSD twice a day for about 3-5 miles, my brother is on the cross country team and in the summer, my friends and I go hiking fairly often. We're willing to join an obedience class and we have a bunch of dog friendly family friends nearby and pet stores so socialization shouldn't be a problem.

But our neighbour who currently has a GSD mix and whose parents own a european line GSD has been telling us that we shouldn't get a GSD, that a GSD is too much for us to handle. So i'm here asking for advice, if what they say is really true, then we'll switch our breed choice but right now, we really believe it's a doable situation. Also, we're looking at a 1 year old male, haven't met the dog yet, but the neighbour is warning us away from it already.

Please advice.
Listen, I'm a first time dog owner and I started with a GSD. And it was the best decision we ever made. There have been struggles and lifestyle changes on our part, but the joy he's brought to our lives outweighs the "work" :). And, you sound much more informed and prepared than we were. I say go for it.
 

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Considering most first-time dog owners don't know what socialization means you are way ahead of most.
 

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I have to make another comment...with all of the GSD's in shelters & rescues needing good homes...I'm really annoyed that someone (the neighbor) would discourage a loving family from adopting one. The OP talks about their fenced in yard, dog parks, hiking...willingness to properly exercise...what more could a GSD ask for!
 

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Considering most first-time dog owners don't know what socialization means you are way ahead of most.
agreed...another thing the OP has already considered. Perfect owner/parent in my opinion.
 

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If a neighbor told me they were thinking about getting a GSD I would tell them the quirks and then tell them how wonderful GSDs are. (unless the neighbor was talking about chaining the dog)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the responses...i guess at this stage, we should at least meet the prospective dog and his foster family before making any decisions, i'm pretty sure i'll be back here soon enough asking for more advice :)
 

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Thanks for all the responses...i guess at this stage, we should at least meet the prospective dog and his foster family before making any decisions, i'm pretty sure i'll be back here soon enough asking for more advice :)

Meeting the dog is important under any circumstances. Again you're proving to be a good dog parent/owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
sorry to reupdate the thread, but i didn't want to start a new one and have to give all the info again...so, we've made it to the home visit and live interview round with the rescue, just wanted to ask if there is anything in particular that they look for in a home visit, other thn a fenced-in yard and ample space etc, i know we have loose wiring from the tvs and computers but those are easy fixers...just looking for tips on how to prepare...so nervous and excited at the same time :)

thanks again you guys
 

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Fenced yard, usually prefer 6 foot or higher, good shelter, clean water source and food. Other then that pretty much like kid proofing. No such thing really. But you do your best. Just look at your house from a dogs point of view. Get down on the floor and look around and think if you were a toddler could you reach that thing hanging off the counter, table, etc. They will let you know if anything needs to be corrected. Most are very resonable. You will do fine. You have gone further then most do before adopting and found one of the best resources on the web.
 

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When I do a home visit I try to keep my eyes and ears open. Really all I'm looking for on the checklist are: what kind of repair is the fence in? Is the place dog-friendly? Does it look very neat and precise and fussy with lots of little priceless collectibles placed at tail-level? I don't have a problem with people who are obsessive about keeping a clean home, but they don't tend to keep GSDs for very long. I wouldn't necessarily reject them but I would talk long and hard about shedding, mud, accidents, etc.

On our home visit form, the last question is really the only one that counts. "Would you feel comfortable leaving your own dog with this applicant?"
 

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The important thing would be...."If the rescue found something wrong during the home visit, would you be willing to correct it?" I agree with Emoore. I'd rather see a house with that lived in look. You put up the good stuff and dog proof. You restrict the dog to an area, or crate. The dog earns his freedom as he can be trusted. The rescue will want to see where you will be keeping the dog, indoors, while you are not home. To me, the home visit is the last hurdle and usually a formality. Unless there were red flags all over the place that a dog should not go into your home, you aren't going to have any problems. I haven't personally done a lot of home visits, but on those I've done - I did not encounter homes where I was uncomfortable leaving the dog.

BTW, I am not a first time dog owner, but am a first time GSD owner. I adopted a 2 year old GSD from the shelter. She is now 13 years old. She has been a very easy dog - probably the best dog I have ever had. It sounds like another GSD will be getting a great home. Best of luck to you and please keep us updated.

Jan
 
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