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well, 10 days now after I got my pair of 7 week old GSD pups, i read an article of what a bad idea it is to have two...so now I'm faced with a tough choice of selling one or not. I'm not complaining here, I just want the best answer,

Here is our situation:
- Property is in the forest surrounded by woods, no neighbors, highway on one side, electrical fence for the future available, closest police station 40 minutes away

- One of two buildings on the property is to become bar/restaurant (where we live), the other one 300ft away is workshop warehouse

- My wife is short and not big enough to defend herself against a grown dog or a bear (that's the most important I guess)

- We may not have much time to spend with them in some parts of the year, other then regular feeding of course

- Kernels can be separated 400 ft appart if suggested so...

- Plenty of bears around, and Kayotes, so If I go walking in the woods sometimes I get short of breath due to fear, hehe
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Anyway, I guess I have about a week to make a tough decision, hope I can get some help
 

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Yes, it is a bad idea to try to raise 2 pups together.

Are these pups going to be companions, or is your plan just to have them roam the property to provide defense?

If the later, this is NOT a suitable situation for a GSD. They do not do well outdoors, isolated from their families, and they need training, companionship and constant time interacting with their people. There are other breeds that would be more temperamentally suited to an outdoor, guardian lifestyle.

If that is what you want, I'd recommend getting rid of both pups, and getting a dog from a breed more suited to your purposes. Or better yet, forget the dog and if you feel you need protection against wildlife or evil doers, get a gun and learn how to use it.
 

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I know this sounds harsh, but if you aren't going to be able to spend time with the dog(s) "certain parts of the year", I would rehome BOTH of them. No dog, but especially a breed like a GSD should only be fed and not have time spent with it. Dogs that don't have people spend time with them are the WORST about doing ALL KINDS of "bad things, from barking to chasing wildlife. I don't know where you are, but around here, if a dog is seen harassing wildlife, it will be a "goner" because someone will shoot it.

If you are worried about criminals, bears and coyotes, get a GUN. It doesn't matter WHAT size your wife is, NO ONE is going to "defend themselves" against a bear if it want's to do them bodily harm.
 

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Does not sound like a GSD is a good choice for you. They are dogs that crave interaction with their family and people. They can do well in kennels but only if you spend quality time with them daily.

Providing food and shelter is not quality time. In fact, only providing food and shepter and little or no interaction, play, trainig, exercising etc, is actually inhumane and cruel.

Not trying to criticize but you would not do well in social isolation either and if you did that to kids social services would be all over you. So my recommendation is to rehome both or rethink your plan for your pups.

Hope you re-think your plan, make them a part of your every day life in your home or your work if you can. And stick around here!

Welcome to you.
 

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Bears? Try cougars. (also known as mountain lions, pumas or panthers, depending where you live.) THOSE are truly dangerous animals, and having encountered one up-close, scare me more than any of the bears I've met.

A young dog wouldn't even necessarily win a fight against a coyote, especially a hungry one if for example, they've both come upon the same kill. If there's a couple coyotes (and I've seen them run together sometimes, like during breeding season), chances for your dog surviving a scrap without being seriously injured are bad. Then again, badgers are really bad news. Have you ever seen a fully grown raccoon? These can get up to about 30 lbs, with healthy claws and teeth, and when cornered, they'll fight like mad. So even many of those sweet fluffy critters can be dangerous under the right (wrong?) circumstances.

Moose, deer, elk, bison when cornered, they'll bite, kick, fight back and can do severe damage. Domestic dogs with no wilderness savvy simply can NOT be allowed to roam in forested areas. And no fence will keep all wildlife out.

Dogs can be socialized to exist in wilderness areas --with constant supervision when they're adults. High prey drive dogs like GSD need supervision further into their adulthoods. Some (many) never learn to not give chase and to stand down when suddenly faced with an animal they didn't' expect to see. Ask any serious hunter or someone that spends a TON of time in the back woods. This isn't a skill a dog picks up in a few months. It's a lifelong process that has to be trained, reinforced, and socialized as way of life.

Finally, add to that the fact that poorly socialized German Shepherds can become pretty dangerous animals themselves. You're not going to interact with them much at all? That is a recipe for an animal that will be unpredictable -- at best.

I completely agree with Chris. Buy a gun. Buy several. Hire your own militia. You don't need a dog. A protection dog should only be considered an "alert" system (to go with your own wilderness savvy), and you need to have a back-up defense or reasonable plan of retreat. It doesn't matter if your wife is short, most humans aren't going to be very good at "defending" themselves against a bear attack. She needs to learn how to avoid bears, signal to them if she does see signs of them so that she's not surprising them, give them lots of room to avoid HER, learn to anticipate true attacks vs. reading them as bluffs, and take steps to avoid injury if a bear does attack her. And no matter how big you are, you do too. There are a few different steps to take with mountain lions, so these need to be learned as well. (You can learn some of these through subscriptions to outdoors magazines and books, and your local ranger station might be able to direct you toward wilderness safety classes. I strongly recommend a class, or at least, a brief tutorial with a ranger). I don't ever carry a gun when I'm in the forest, but I've spent decades out there. And I'm not walking around afraid. Fear has a way of filtering what we see. AND it makes our dogs hypervigilant, which makes the situation worse if/when we do encounter a critter.

As you outline your plans now, the dog may even attract more problems than you think he'll ever solve. For one, if he's not perfectly trained to stay quietly by your side and obey your commands instantly, he might antagonize an angry bear and make the situation worse.

Honestly, you need to educate yourself, become aware, and do some serious research of what you're doing out there. This isn't just about your dogs. From what you've said, it sounds like your dogs aren't the only ones that you could be putting in danger.
 

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Place those two pups into the caring hands of a rescue organization if at all possible. Purchase a wonderful, spiffy closed-circuit TV system for your protection instead on the property. Any GSD that you do not invest VERY MUCH of your free time with, will turn into a disaster of a dog. Ignored dogs bark helplessly, chew ragged open holes in themselves, dig escape holes right UNDER the fence, and NEVER would defend you against anything or anyone.

If the dog is not a loved priority that you devote much time to training, bonding with, etc, he will know this. He will not bond to you if ignored in a kennel outdoors. In a kennel, he can protect nobody. Without a bond to you from lots of interaction, he would not protect you. Worse would be if he does bond to you, and then to be ignored, would be torture for him. Dogs suffer in isolation. They are social animals. They need to live WITH you, indoors.

Just having those warning signs, and cams up, can help protect the property.
 

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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom

Moose, deer, elk, bison when cornered, they'll bite, kick, fight back and can do severe damage. Domestic dogs with no wilderness savvy simply can NOT be allowed to roam in forested areas. And no fence will keep all wildlife out.
And an underground e-fence won't keep ANY wildlife out. Heck, I have a "regular" electric fence for the horses. Not only do the deer jump over, they CRAWL under too.(The coyotes crawl under too.) All of the above listed animals could KILL a human let alone a dog. There are people killed my Moose every year.
 

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Quote:10 days now after I got my pair of 7 week old GSD pups, i read an article of what a bad idea it is to have two...so now I'm faced with a tough choice of selling one or not. I'm not complaining here, I just want the best answer.
I second what everyone else said. Not only was getting two puppies a bad idea, but getting two young puppies (and seven weeks is young, considering that many states require them to be at least 8 weeks old before they're sold - by law!) in your situation, where you won't have time to properly care for them, was not a good move.

Quote:My wife is short and not big enough to defend herself against a grown dog or a bear (that's the most important I guess)
7 week old puppies won't defend your wife, either. As a matter of fact, don't expect even a grown, trained GSD to go up against a bear and win. You'll be lucky if the dog doesn't run off or get killed in that encounter.

There's no such thing as being "not big enough" to defend yourself. That's what we have firearms for. As the saying goes, "God created man. Colt made them equal." The best defense in the wilderness for your wife is to own a firearm, know how to use it, and carry it when she is outside. That will keep her safe.

Sell the puppies to someone who can take care of them in a way that is appropriate to their breed, and use the money to purchase a firearm for your wife.
 

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If you'd rather perimeter defense/alert dogs, go with flock guardians, a pair of them. It'd also be best to consider getting them a flock of something, even if it is just a couple of goats.
They will chill out during the day and nap and pay attention, but at night they will really get to work. Komondorok, Pyrenees, Anatolians, Maremmas, Estrelas, you have plenty of choices of dogs bred to be outside to defend flock and farmer.

German shepherds are true velcro dogs, not at all like the flock guards. Whereas the flock guards were bred to think independently and make decisions on their own away from their master, the GSD and its owner are a true team. If you want a dog as a friend, family member, to have in your life as a buddy, this breed is it. If you want a dog to just have around to guard the property, well there are few breeds available to you but flock guards would be the closest. They have their own needs, so research carefully. Get one with the coat and ancestry suited to your region (Anatolian for hotter areas, Ovcharka for colder regions, etc) and yes, do consider having SOMEthing for them to guard. The flock is their family, you'd just be "that neat guy and that nice lady who feed us and scritch us," but they will still need to be socialized and leash trained. Again, research carefully.

And please consider rehoming both puppies if you cannot make them members of the family. There is no point for all of you to be unhappy and it's always the dogs that suffer most. And get guns that will stop wild animals and learn to use them!
 

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In 1999, my husband and I brought home 9-week old litter mates, a male and female GSD. Up until February of this year when our female passed away unexpectedly from bloat, they were the BEST <u>two</u> dogs we'd ever owned.

We did not have any issues with the dogs bonding with each other more than with us. It was a breeze to potty train and crate train. There were never any separation anxiety concerns because other than when one went to the vet for a visit, they were always together. They trained together, ate together, slept together and became a part of our family together.

ANYTHING is possible if you want it badly enough. However, if all you want is something to protect your property, I agree with other post-ers here who contend NO DOG will thrive in the sitation your post describes.

Dogs should be part of the family, not part of the landscape....
 

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"Dogs should be part of the family, not part of the landscape...."

Never heard it put better!!!!!!!!!
 

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Ditto! Greeat comment on the landscape.

I have 3 GSD"s and although they are not littermates they all live together, walk together and I generally always take 2 at a time to training. They are very bonded to each other. But they are more bonded to me.

You can raise 2 pups together, it is a bit more difficult. If you have to keep them in a run keep them in a nice roomy one together or separeted by a chain link fence where they can still interact.

Make them part of your family or as someone else said get a gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, after 7 months I'm back and... wow... I don't know how to start this without insulting any of you, so I will start with my own quote first...
Originally Posted By: ryt- We may not have much time to spend with them in some parts of the year, other then regular feeding of course
Perhaps this is what threw you off, in that case it's understandable. there was always someone (my dad) to socialize with them at least few minutes a day here and there, but... read on...
Originally Posted By: Chris WildYes, it is a bad idea to try to raise 2 pups together.

Are these pups going to be companions, or is your plan just to have them roam the property to provide defense?

If the later, this is NOT a suitable situation for a GSD. They do not do well outdoors
<span style="color: #FF0000">WRONG.</span> it was more successful then you can imagine. these dogs are in love with each other, they even check each other for bugs or whatever... no two dogs can be happier.
Originally Posted By: BrightelfPlace those two pups into the caring hands of a rescue organization if at all possible.
Yes, we keep talking about how miserable other dogs from same batch as ours probably ended up and how lucky our dogs ended up in our hands ....Keeping dogs in the city is animal cruelty, but because it is a big business it is widely acceptable, I lived in the city all my life (Philadelphia) never had a dog there but I saw how miserable all other dogs are: stay on the couch all day and go for 10 minute walks among cars and buildings, yeah, that's what GSD life is/was always about. watching concrete.
Originally Posted By: BlackGSDAnd an underground e-fence won't keep ANY wildlife out.
<span style="color: #FF0000">WRONG.</span> last year there were no apples in the spring on our property, this year there are plenty, because deer/bear didn't pick them, while on the property next to ours there is an abandoned apple farm where last fall you couldn't walk without stepping on the apples. theyre all gone now instead its all deer poo. if a mice walks by our property it usually ends up in dogs mouth.... all animals are next door, it's like they know the invisible fense line, i just saw a fox yesterday right outside our property, nothing inside other then the birds and chicks they guard.

Originally Posted By: HistorianI second what everyone else said. Not only was getting two puppies a bad idea, but getting two young puppies (and seven weeks is young, considering that many states require them to be at least 8 weeks old before they're sold - by law!) in your situation, where you won't have time to properly care for them, was not a good move.
Getting two GSD was the best idea we could make, and very good that I didn't listen to your advice last fall. these dogs are such a team, they do everything together, they slept in the same dog house during the very cold winter to keep warmer, only time they're seperated is when it's raining and not too cold, then they go inside each house. they get the stick together, they jump thru the creek holding the same stick together, they stop, sit together etc. so glad we got them so young, theyre so attached to us. I was out of the country for over 4 months during the winter and my dad was taking care of them, but when i came back, the next day they knew me like I was never gone.

My dad never liked dogs in his life... he admitted, these dogs changed it all. could not have been possible in the city. Final note for all the GSD people in the city: please do not breed GSD dogs and if you don't have one, don't get one, GSD's need to be outside, they love to run, explore, socialize with the owner, eat grass, apples, vegetables (and some meat of course), swim... they need these things, watching tv with you is not what they have been doing for thousands of years so I hope you understand and not torture these dogs by trying to make them adopt to your city life
 

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Originally Posted By: ryt
Originally Posted By: ryt- We may not have much time to spend with them in some parts of the year, other then regular feeding of course
Perhaps this is what threw you off, in that case it's understandable. there was always someone (my dad) to socialize with them at least few minutes a day here and there, but... read on...
Originally Posted By: Chris WildYes, it is a bad idea to try to raise 2 pups together.

Are these pups going to be companions, or is your plan just to have them roam the property to provide defense?

If the later, this is NOT a suitable situation for a GSD. They do not do well outdoors
<span style="color: #FF0000">WRONG.</span> it was more successful then you can imagine. these dogs are in love with each other, they even check each other for bugs or whatever... no two dogs can be happier.


WRONG, the dogs love EACH OTHER??!!! That's the problem. The dogs should be bonded to you NOT to each other.


Originally Posted By: BlackGSDAnd an underground e-fence won't keep ANY wildlife out.
Originally Posted By: ryt<span style="color: #FF0000">WRONG.</span> last year there were no apples in the spring on our property, this year there are plenty, because deer/bear didn't pick them, while on the property next to ours there is an abandoned apple farm where last fall you couldn't walk without stepping on the apples. theyre all gone now instead its all deer poo. if a mice walks by our property it usually ends up in dogs mouth.... all animals are next door, it's like they know the invisible fense line, i just saw a fox yesterday right outside our property, nothing inside other then the birds and chicks they guard.


Um, unless you stick a collar on the wildlife, you just got lucky. Without something on the animal it's not going to get correct or know it's there without the collar. Now if it's regular electric fence where it zaps anything that touches it, that's different.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The only time I don't see them either waiting outside for me or running towards me when I come out is when they're sleeping, other then that, they always come running and bring the stick so that I would throw it. it's like drivers lisense, they don't go anywhere without it
 

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Anyway, here's what made this successful IMO:
1. cold winters and allowing them to sleep together to stay warmer. this made them appreciate each others company and warmth.
2. never allowing them inside their house, now they won't even go in if you try to pull them in (don't know why)
3. always treat them equaly: equaly fed in same seperate spots, equal amount, time, equal hugging, do everything together.
4. always discourage growling, disciplining not to get angry with each other,
5. more vegetables, less meat in the diet. definetely noticed more meat brings out the growling/rage...
 

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1. No, just caused them not to freeze to death
2. whatever
3 pack behavior, has nothing to do with you.
4. whatever
5. Def. whatever. feeding meat has nothing to do with it.


Mod's....troll alert? There is so much wrong with this, that at least I hope I can clarify for others that may come along and read this post.
 

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WOW....Certainly hope it's a troll...or I really feel sorry for his dogs....very sorry
 

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Originally Posted By: rytAnyway, here's what made this successful IMO:
1. cold winters and allowing them to sleep together to stay warmer. this made them appreciate each others company and warmth.
After reading this and #2 I assume you mean sleeping together outside. If that's the case then it's pure survival - sleep together = stay warm = live through bad winter.

Quote:2. never allowing them inside their house, now they won't even go in if you try to pull them in (don't know why)


Why do people bother having dogs if they never let them come in the house? Get a frickin' lawn ornament!

Quote:5. more vegetables, less meat in the diet. definetely noticed more meat brings out the growling/rage...
What total horsesh*t. My dogs have been fed RAW meat with NO veggies or grains for their whole lives and I've NEVER had a problem with "rage".
 
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