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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I am looking for a breeder or importer that could provide me with a world record sized, purebred (show, working, or hybrid quality) perfectly colored (zero white) black/tan or black/red GSD with all close to excellent X-Rays and in perfect health with at least a five year health guarantee in the contract. The meaner looking he is, the better. I have had a GSD in the past so I am very experienced but unfortunately he's no longer with us. My first mistake was purchasing him from a backyard breeder. The first year and a half of his life was spent at the vet racking up over 3 thousand large. Even after many arguments with the breeder on his so called "satisfaction guarantee" nothing was done. I am looking to avoid this at all cost. The pain of loosing him has been unbearable. This GSD would be trained extensively to become my service dog as I am a military veteran who suffers from PTSD. I would like everyone's opinion on who the best of the best of the best is for my specific needs. thank you all so much.
 

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Since the GSD standard calls for a middle-sized dog (up to about 90 lb for males), you're unlikely to find a reputable breeder who breeds "world record sized" dogs. You will find lots of "oversized" breeders but I don't know of any who can provide OFA excellent xrays and a five year health guarantee. Are you looking for a personal protection dog, or just a dog that *looks* mean, as a deterrent? What specific tasks would you need your service dog to perform?

Generally speaking, extra-large sized dogs do not live as long as their middle-sized brethren. Seeing as you just experienced a terrible heartbreak in losing your last dog, I expect you would want your future dog to be around as long as possible. I'm very sorry for your loss, I just lost my GSD as well so I can empathize. :(
 

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There are some organizations breeding and training specifically for service dogs for PTSD soldiers.

Most of the dogs are goldens or labs though.

However, if you are looking for a service partner specifically to help you with that perhaps it would be worth contacting one of those organizations?

If you need links I'll pull them up for you.

If the German Shepherd is the way you want to go I agree with Freestep, longevity and health will come from breeders who breed to the standard and do all the health checks prior to breeding.

I've been around some malinois and smaller GSDs (60 - 70 pounds) in sport and some for LE and trust me, they can still be VERY intimidating.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe I need to stop buying into the idea of "the bigger, the better." Is it possible to get a midsized GSD and bulk him up with proper exercise?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Since the GSD standard calls for a middle-sized dog (up to about 90 lb for males), you're unlikely to find a reputable breeder who breeds "world record sized" dogs. You will find lots of "oversized" breeders but I don't know of any who can provide OFA excellent xrays and a five year health guarantee. Are you looking for a personal protection dog, or just a dog that *looks* mean, as a deterrent? What specific tasks would you need your service dog to perform?

Generally speaking, extra-large sized dogs do not live as long as their middle-sized brethren. Seeing as you just experienced a terrible heartbreak in losing your last dog, I expect you would want your future dog to be around as long as possible. I'm very sorry for your loss, I just lost my GSD as well so I can empathize. :(
I'm not looking per say for a protection dog, i just really know what i want. To be honest, I like to mean look. This dog would be traveling with me to construction sites where i work so he needs to be fearless and able to be trained to be in hazardous environments.
 

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Maybe I need to stop buying into the idea of "the bigger, the better." Is it possible to get a midsized GSD and bulk him up with proper exercise?
These are not supposed to be giant dogs. Go to a local training club, and you'll see some formidable looking males that LOOK much bigger than they are and are no more than 80-90 lbs. People tend to have a greatly distorted idea of size. I get told frequently that my male "must be over 100 lbs", but he's only 75. A 90 lb GSD is HUGE.

Size should be pretty low on the totem pole of priorities. No reputable breeder will be breeding "extra large" dogs, and it is that sort of shady breeder who will put owners in the sort of position you described. It's a GSD... they'll be formidable looking no matter what the size. Focus instead on what you want for temperament. Finding a dog with suitable temperament for a service dog is not an easy task, and that should be priority number one. What are you looking for in terms of drive, activity level, etc?

Edit: What do you mean by a "mean" look? Not sure how one would breed for that :p Do you mean dogs with larger, boxy heads, etc?
 

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jeryswan- If you're looking for a GSD to be a PTSD dog, then first and foremost I would look for a breeder that produces solid nerves. If you're set on black and tan, then I don't have any recommendations for you. Size has nothing to do with the "mean look". It's all about how the dog carries itself. To me it sounds like you need a strong nerved confident GSD.
 

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I am not sure if a 5 year health guarantee is realistic, but I do suggest you look into pet health insurance for those things that might just happen (like your puppy swallows a big chunk of toy and gets an obstruction). With Petplan, congenital problems are covered if you sign up early (so, not pre-existing).

Knowledgeable people might want to know what temperament you are looking for, and what level of activity (beyond training) you will provide, what sport you intend to pursue with your dog (or not), and perhaps where in the country you are located.

I look forward to hearing where you decide to buy and most importantly, seeing lots of pictures of the puppy as it grows and fits him/herself into your life. No doubt you will be enriched.

Thanks for your service and I wish you the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I will say, you dudes are all very persuasive. My mind is changed on size. I don't really know how to describe "the mean look" i guess i just know it when i see it.
 

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I will say, you dudes are all very persuasive. My mind is changed on size. I don't really know how to describe "the mean look" i guess i just know it when i see it.
Some lines produce blockier, more masculine heads... I think that's what you're getting after.

What are you looking for personality-wise? What's your activity level? Do you plan on doing any sports (IPO, etc) with the dog? That can help narrow down your best match in terms of lines and what "flavor" of GSD would mesh the best with you.
 

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To be honest, most people look at my dog (83 pounds, 13 months, 26ish" tall) as a giant scary beast, just standing there ignoring them. I wouldn't be worried about looking scary, most people see what they expect to see. And a confident stable GSD will convey all the attitude required. Maybe you would like a male, though- for the masculine head?
 

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Respect your concession on the size issue. What you really want is a well muscled, highly worked, super obedient dog. And that's up to you.

A well trained dog is waaay more formidable than any other dog, size and coloring aside. And the Black and Tan deal is handsome. I own one! But in my experience, it only makes them more attractive to children, lol, because children love to be able to recognize a breed.

Just a couple weeks past a *tiny* little girl came to visit, because her cousins had met "Jack, Jack" in the yard :) she just wanted to pet him. It was the sweetest interaction I have ever seen. He rolled over and gave up his belly at her 40-lb feet.

Consistently, my neighbors try to convince me that my GSD (80-lb Jack) is barking crazily inside my house... When in fact it is my 60-lb Weimeraner bitch they are hearing. Waay more scary a bark, those hound dog let go, lol!! My GSD is Not my scariest dog ;)

If I wanted a deterrent, I would be shopping for a potentially 70-80 lb sable GSD from lines exemplifying a proven temperament, and I would work and train the heck outta that pup. No dog is more formidable than a dog on command, IMO. But you gotta start with the right dog, and then put in the training time :)

A dog who obeys his owner's every move... That's a freakin intimidating dog!! You can scare away all kinda of bad guys with a simple "Down, Stay.... Good boy.... Watch!" When those ears perk up, well, hello ;)


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Discussion Starter #14
Some lines produce blockier, more masculine heads... I think that's what you're getting after.

What are you looking for personality-wise? What's your activity level? Do you plan on doing any sports (IPO, etc) with the dog? That can help narrow down your best match in terms of lines and what "flavor" of GSD would mesh the best with you.
Personality-wise, i would prefer my dog to be extremely focused and confident. He needs to be truely fearless. I don't know if i'd be able to take him along but i do a decent bit trail bike riding. I consider myself a very active person. Also, i need a shepherd that can ride in a car cause once he's service dog certified, he literally wont leave my side. also, i would love him to be able to be very affectionate. that's not a must but would be a definite plus.
 

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Stud Dogs

I know this breeder is on this website. Look at her dogs and they aren't huge, but look verry impressive. If you want a dog to be very active, you'd probably want a properly sized gsd.
 

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Could you expand on that?
A breeder that puts temperament above size and color. One that works their dogs and truly knows how their dogs perform under all situations. Not only can say their dogs have good temperaments, but can back it up with actual working titles to prove it.
 

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It sounds like you need good strong lines more then anything. You need a dog you can throw into any situation and the dog will be fine with it. Solid nerves and a good drive because you want to train to be a service dog. I can upload a few pics if you'd like of mine to show you a decent (but average) size plus that more "serious" side and then the cuddly side at home. It's possible to have it all with this breed they can be rather intimidating especially when heeling next to you under perfect control. They can be extremely goofy and loving at home. My husband is a soldier and has PTSD and adjustment disorder with severe anger issues as a result. My GSD is AMAZING at calming him down and not letting him escalate his mood. It's rather amazing to watch. He takes her to the motor pool with him, has her do the obstacle courses on base, go up ramps and into super tight spaces in trucks etc... Solid nerves allows you to ask anything of them and they take it in stride like its nothing. She's on base with artillery going off all the time shaking the house and she doesn't even blink. We have taken her to firework shows where they were so close the paper was falling on us and not only did she take it in stride she actually did obedience routines through out it and kept a clear head through it all which is what you need. Not only a dog who can tolerate the insanity of a construction site but still be able to keep his head and work through it all.


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Sir, all I can say is I have seen a lot of huge GSDs with average to low quality nerve and temperment. Also, have seen some medium ones that had so much presence you automatically adjust your behavior around them.
Your in the army, you know size and presence are not necessarily congruent. I can remember plenty of NCOs that were mean mofos that were no more then average sized yet seemed like giants. Its the same in the dog world. Also, if I where you I wouldnt get stuck on color, check out some of the sable or bi color males out there. They look plenty mean and have the whole wolf thing going for them too. Meanest dog at my club is a 60lb mal, this dog scares me more then any GSD I have seen take the field.
Theres a reason the SEALs and SF runs mals and Im fairely certain it isnt looks.
 

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Hello everyone. I am looking for a breeder or importer that could provide me with a world record sized, purebred (show, working, or hybrid quality) perfectly colored (zero white) black/tan or black/red GSD with all close to excellent X-Rays and in perfect health with at least a five year health guarantee in the contract. The meaner looking he is, the better. I have had a GSD in the past so I am very experienced but unfortunately he's no longer with us. My first mistake was purchasing him from a backyard breeder. The first year and a half of his life was spent at the vet racking up over 3 thousand large. Even after many arguments with the breeder on his so called "satisfaction guarantee" nothing was done. I am looking to avoid this at all cost. The pain of loosing him has been unbearable. This GSD would be trained extensively to become my service dog as I am a military veteran who suffers from PTSD. I would like everyone's opinion on who the best of the best of the best is for my specific needs. thank you all so much.
For a service dog, nerves and temperament are EVERYTHING. Please research the qualities of a service dog. I have puppy raised for a service dog and know a bit about that. Go talk to a service dog trainer to help refine your goals.

You want a mean looking dog? Why? And why does color prevent service dog training? And why so large?

Good luck. I don't think you focus is on target for success at all. Please re-think your goals.
 

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I appreciate that the OP is open to the advice given here, he has already reconsidered the size aspect!

I'd just like to toss in that *most* people respect German Shepherds right off the bat. I have people asking me if my dog is a 'mean' dog just because of the breed. So I wouldn't worry too much about the dog looking mean.

The breed usually commands respect from the get-go, especially (I know the sable owners aren't going to like this) but the black/tan dogs are the more easily recognized coat color of a German Shepherd by the general public.

However, depending on your goals, if you want the dog to do actual protection work that will up the ante on the quality of the dog's temperament and the quantity of training you are willing to put forth to that goal.

The PTSD dogs I've heard and read about tend to be more for stability and emotional support not for protection. I'm sure you could find a dog to do both protection and respond to help support the PTSD aspect but I think clarification or prioritizing what is more important to you and your needs at this time will help you sort through breeders and lines that will serve you best.
 
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