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My sister is looking at a 4 month old f GSD who is being rehomed. She asked her favorite dog trainer for her thoughts and this is her email reply:

"I will tell you that a GSD would not be my first choice. We have more GSD's enrolled in Growl classes than any other breed. So many of them are skittish, hyper reactive... But you did have a good one so they are out there. Can't you just get a cockapoo? ;-)"

The good one she refers to is in reference to mine. I can't say these adjectives should ever apply to a GSD. But I am aware that American lines are trending this direction. Isn't it more likely that a GSD is too much dog for someone not prepared for putting in the time? They are too smart and active to be without mental stimulation and exercise. And perhaps this trainer is seeing the problems that develop when the dog lacks good leadership? People haven't done the work and now seek help to correct bad behaviors?

Please comment, I'm curious.
 

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Growl classes are for reactive dogs.

Do you know anything about this pup - pedigree or what lines, why it's being rehomed? Can you find out what kind of socialization it's had?
 

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my first guess is that the majority of the GSDs are BYB dogs. So they are skittish and fearful. Plus, most dogs in those classes don't go until they are already a problem.

so, guess that I agree with you. :)
 

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When I told the trainer I work with I was looking into getting a GSD, she told me to be very careful where I went to get one and to really look into the breeder because she saw alot of skittish, fearful, hyper GSD's in her classes and at shows.
She didnt' say a good one couldnt' be found just to be very careful where I went to get mine.
 

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I have advised to find out and research the breeder. The dog was purchased by a family who have 3 kids, the youngest a baby. They are overwhelmed with raising a puppy and keeping the baby from getting knocked down and such. They admit they took on too much and now wish to rehome the dog. They said they drove 6 hours to get it because they were impressed with the breeder. They claim they paid much more than what they now ask, which is $350. She is AKC, vaccinated and spayed. Dog has been exposed to cats, other dogs, and kids. She is 30 lbs and very sweet looking. My sister asked to meet her at a hectic pet supply store before exercise so she could witness it at it's worst. Lots of distractions and pent up energy. Puppy was reasonably wild, but has earnest eyes and is. of course... adorable.
I've seen pics of the parents, and they look like fine examples, in my non professional opinion.
I can post the pics for input I suppose.

But more, I was just surprised to hear the trainer use this description regarding GSDs. It bothers me. I just don't think the trainers comments should ever apply to the breed.
 

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"I will tell you that a GSD would not be my first choice. We have more GSD's enrolled in Growl classes than any other breed. So many of them are skittish, hyper reactive.
Sadly, that has also been my experience with rehomes showing up in obedience class.
 

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ANY lines where the breeder does not know good temperament, does not test good temperament, does not have others give input on what they are seeing with the dogs' temperament, who does not understand genetics, the lines, the history and purpose of the breed, etc. can result in these types of GSDs.

And all people who are just puppy producers do this too, but sometimes are breeding two nice (perhaps not of type - more Goldenish) pets and luck out.

That's why either going with a breeder who is a student of the breed, or going with a rescue that lets you work with them to find your match is a great way to get a German Shepherd.
 

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Here's dame, sire, and puppy. Of course temperament can not be judged by a photo.
Another litter she was going to look into I nixed right away. The "breeder" saws she has an ACA papered female and her neighbor has an unpapered purebred and the dogs liked each other so they decided to have a litter. UGH! 9 puppies. I think this would be a terrible idea and also I couldn't support this breeding "program"
 

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People looking to breed GSD's for things like long hair is what will ruin this breed as both a working dog and as a family companion.

When I worked at a major pet store there were a few different breeds that people that worked at the store stayed on different aisles from. Chows, Dalmations (look what happens when you breed just for spots), and GSD's. Skittish, nervy fear biters.
 

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Is the puppy free and needing a good home?

I'd at least go and see it! May be a great pup and 4 months is a great age to really raise it to be a good dog unless there are huge issues.
 

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Cute puppy, nice looking parents..I think first, I would wonder if the family that has this puppy has some type of contract with the breeder. Most breeders want first rights of refusal on their puppies.

It doesn't surprise me what her trainer said, alot of dog trainers and vets say the same thing, why? because they are most likely seeing the dogs at their worst, and there are alot of nervy/skittish gsd's out there, plus alot of people GET these dogs and think they train themselves and behave like rin tin tin.

Good example, the family trying to rehome their puppy, If I were your sister, and the breeder isn't interested in return of the puppy, maybe she could take her on a trial basis and see if she can handle her:)
 

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She's a really cute pup. The sire looks like a Czech dog with his structure. If the pup is from a breeder and AKC registered, you should be able to get her pedigree to take a look.

The description that trainer gave of GSDs is not typical for the breed and I think is wrong of them to tell people. That's a result of genetics and bad breeding, lack of training and socialization, or bad experiences the pup has gone through in the past.

Any issue a dog has can be worked out with knowledge, dedication, and commitment. Just depends on if that person is willing to put in the time.

I'd advise getting the pedigree of the dog from the person/breeder and then spending some time with the pup. She's too cute not to get! And at 4 months old, she's the perfect age to be trained and become a wonderful dog.
 

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I have yet to visit a groomer, boarding facility, vet, pet dog trainer that thought GSDs were excellent dogs (unless they themselves owned one).

To be honest I really don't think many people know what to do with them when they get them. As mentioned before...people think they're so smart they train themselves. Additionally I also don't think many pet professionals really have a clue on how to deal with them. I remember puppy play groups with Argos and thinking he was an awful aggressive puppy who was entirely too rough. No one ever mentioned prey drive to me as the cause of his behavior with the teacup Chihuahua.

Pet Professionals are intimidated by them the way many members of the public can be and don't know what to do. They are not labs or goldens and many people do not understand how to work with a dog that can have so much Oomph to them. I also think that GSDs- in general- are a sensitive breed. Take a reasonably sound puppy with too much energy, don't socialize it, leave it in a crate for your workday and only take it out long enough to pee, inadvertantly create problems because you're really not sure what you're doing, and then only take it to training when it's 90lbs at 9 months old and has become sucha monster that you can't handle it anymore. GSDs are also terrible in shelters. Many come in pleasant as can be, but if they remain in that environment for too long will stress and often turn into SA problems or start to show some kind of aggression. These are dogs that I think need to be handled with care as puppies to fulfill their potential. We don't really see this in OUR dogs and wonder where this misconception came from because we are involved in the training and socializing of our animals. Too many people are not.

I always think it's a little funny when the groomer comes back and says how well behaved everone was...or the vet remarks on how pleasant or brave the dogs are during their exams and shots. I really don't think Shepherds are a breed for the casual dog owner.
 

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Thanks for your comments. Pretty much what I thought myself.
The owner said she only recently sent in the paperwork to akc and doesn't have that back yet. She claims she emailed the breeder for pedigree information, but hasn't got a reply yet. (2 days). I advised my sis to just get the kennel name and we can figure out from there.
I just realized I entered the wrong $ for the pup, they are actually asking $250. That seems reasonable to me. I also thought the breeder may want her back if they found out.
I actually respect this family's choice to rehome asap before they create problems. The puppy is young enough to still be socialized and trained. I would love her as a neice, but also don't want to ultimately make my sister's decision. If she turns out to be the odd case screwball and I encouraged it, I would feel pretty crummy. The pup was not the result of byb. I think it's a safe - esp. due her age.
thanks again. Appreciated
 

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my first guess is that the majority of the GSDs are BYB dogs. So they are skittish and fearful. Plus, most dogs in those classes don't go until they are already a problem.

so, guess that I agree with you. :)

This, for my reply
 

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My sister is looking at a 4 month old f GSD who is being rehomed. She asked her favorite dog trainer for her thoughts and this is her email reply:

"I will tell you that a GSD would not be my first choice. We have more GSD's enrolled in Growl classes than any other breed. So many of them are skittish, hyper reactive... But you did have a good one so they are out there. Can't you just get a cockapoo? ;-)"

The good one she refers to is in reference to mine. I can't say these adjectives should ever apply to a GSD. But I am aware that American lines are trending this direction. Isn't it more likely that a GSD is too much dog for someone not prepared for putting in the time? They are too smart and active to be without mental stimulation and exercise. And perhaps this trainer is seeing the problems that develop when the dog lacks good leadership? People haven't done the work and now seek help to correct bad behaviors?

Please comment, I'm curious.
I am constantly getting comments from people I know (knowledgeable dog people) along the same lines. The sad fact is, there are a lot of GSDs out there with poor temperaments and many more who are poorly socialized/managed/trained. The breed, even if well bred with a proper temperament tend to have a guard-y nature, to be suspicious (not necessarily fearful) of things out of the ordinary and have a tendency towards dog aggression. If you combine this with an owner who isn't prepared or capable of providing the proper socialization and training from a young age, those tendencies easily lead to problem behaviors. And that is with well bred GSDs who have a proper temperament. GSDs who are genetically predisposed to temperament faults, especially in the hands of owners who can't or won't provide proper training, socialization and management from a young age don't have a chance.

GSDs are not for everyone. A mature GSD with a proper temperament is unlikely to exuberantly greet strangers or to want to romp at the dog park with strange dogs. Often people end up with problems because they repeatedly put their GSD into situations which are not appropriate for the dog. It never surprises me that an untrained GSD with free roam of the property will threaten or bite friendly strangers coming onto the property. Or that someone's GSD didn't welcome unknown relatives visiting from out of town into the home when the owners weren't around. The breed is supposed to be territorial and to want to protect their home and property. It is up to the dog's responsible owner not to put them to be in situations where it appears to the dog that they have to do so. It never surprises me to hear that GSDs have been involved in fights at daycare or dog parks, after having "always been fine". Enjoying group play with random groups of strange dogs is not really characteristic of the breed. It is up to responsible owners to understand that putting them in such situations may trigger behavior issues such as becoming reactive to other dogs. It seems many people want a dog who looks like a GSD but acts like a Golden.
 

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I hear it too, from my vet to trainers...they say GSD's are nervy and timid.
Too bad it is the BYB's who'll sell to anyone that is making it worse.
Many people want a GSD because they are intimidating and then don't know how to handle one. So they go overboard with the compulsion or just let the dog take charge-neither which we all know is right.
Right now I know of two locally that have been found as strays, both look from working lines and no-one has claimed them. Makes me wonder if someone didn't just abandon them?
 

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To be honest I really don't think many people know what to do with them when they get them. As mentioned before...people think they're so smart they train themselves....snip...
I always think it's a little funny when the groomer comes back and says how well behaved everone was...or the vet remarks on how pleasant or brave the dogs are during their exams and shots. I really don't think Shepherds are a breed for the casual dog owner.


This entire post was great. :thumbup:

I know there are some GSD's with not so great temperaments, but honestly, it's not that hard to take a good dog and turn it into a maniac. I think dog owners are probably more responsible for bad shepherds than the breeders...or at least equally responsible.
 
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