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If I had received this response from the trainer, I think I would be quite annoyed by it. It is obvious that the person asked the trainer to receive advice - not just on whether a GSD would be a good choice but on what they should ask or look for if considering adopting a puppy. IMHO the trainer has provided absolutely no help or suggestions at all, they just pointed out that they see a lot more GSDs in growl classes than other breeds. Okay. That's not very helpful and doesn't tell a potential adopter what they should look for or ask for. As for the suggestion to get a Cockapoo, maybe it's an inside joke, but I would be annoyed with any dog professional who recommends a designer breed.
 

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First of all, I find it quite concerning that this trainer would recommend a designer dog breed, which is actually quite contradictory to her initial warning against GSDs, as designer dogs are often extreme BYB dogs of the puppy mill variety bred with little to no regard to anything but their cuteness factor. Does she by any chance breed cockapoos, I wonder?

Instead of making a blanket statement about all GSDs, she should have instead suggested you research the living heck outa the breed first, read up on them like crazy, research and interview breeders and pedigrees, etc. She could have warned that some dogs of certain breeding or background can end up as she described, but definitely not all if one does their homework.

I'd steer clear of this "trainer," personally.
 

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First of all, I find it quite concerning that this trainer would recommend a designer dog breed, which is actually quite contradictory to her initial warning against GSDs, as designer dogs are often extreme BYB dogs of the puppy mill variety bred with little to no regard to anything but their cuteness factor. Does she by any chance breed cockapoos, I wonder?
I thought it was pretty obviously a joke, not an actual recommendation to get a Cockapoo.

Instead of making a blanket statement about all GSDs, she should have instead suggested you research the living heck outa the breed first, read up on them like crazy, research and interview breeders and pedigrees, etc. She could have warned that some dogs of certain breeding or background can end up as she described, but definitely not all if one does their homework.

I'd steer clear of this "trainer," personally.
I don't think we know enough about the trainer to advise that she isn't good at what she does. It sounds like she sees a lot of GSDs. If asked for an opinion concerning getting a GSD, I see nothing wrong with her cautioning that she sees a lot of them and many have temperament and/or behavior problems. Sometimes I feel like people love their breed so much that they can't admit there are any negative points to them. It's even been debated here about GSDs being heavy shedders! :help:
 

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First of all, I find it quite concerning that this trainer would recommend a designer dog breed, which is actually quite contradictory to her initial warning against GSDs, as designer dogs are often extreme BYB dogs of the puppy mill variety bred with little to no regard to anything but their cuteness factor. Does she by any chance breed cockapoos, I wonder?

Instead of making a blanket statement about all GSDs, she should have instead suggested you research the living heck outa the breed first, read up on them like crazy, research and interview breeders and pedigrees, etc. She could have warned that some dogs of certain breeding or background can end up as she described, but definitely not all if one does their homework.

I'd steer clear of this "trainer," personally.
I agree!
 

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Looks like the dam is a long-hair B&T and the sire is a 'normal' sable. The pup doesn't look like a long-hair and is really cute. Very appealing.
 

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Well, you asked what I thought, and I told you. I don't think someone who made a career out of dogs should generalize an entire breed based on the bad apples she's seen. People are bringing their problem shepherds to her because they have issues - she's not seeing anyone's good, well behaved GSD. So she's assuming they're all like the ones she's seen, and that's not true. When people generalize pit bulls as being bad dogs, people are up in arms over it, quick to defend them. Well, I'm defending GSDs in this case, there's just dogs behind bad people.
 

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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.
Bianca is not a BYB dog and she took a growl class (for leash reactivity). She's not skittish or fearful though.

I'm not surprised really, I hear about a LOT of GSDs who are reactive and I've had trainers, groomers etc comment on what a great dog Bianca is and that they don't see many "good" GSDs (of course they never saw Bianca flip out on leash towards another dog in the distance when I first got her...)
 

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Well, you asked what I thought, and I told you. I don't think someone who made a career out of dogs should generalize an entire breed based on the bad apples she's seen. People are bringing their problem shepherds to her because they have issues - she's not seeing anyone's good, well behaved GSD. So she's assuming they're all like the ones she's seen, and that's not true. When people generalize pit bulls as being bad dogs, people are up in arms over it, quick to defend them. Well, I'm defending GSDs in this case, there's just dogs behind bad people.
Should trainers only say positive things about a breed? I read it as the trainer giving her experience with the possible issues the owner may face getting a rehomed GSD.

A quick visit to the behavior related sections of this forum show that leash reactivity, territorial aggression and dog aggression are not terribly uncommon, even in other wise nice dogs. Are you saying that only "bad people" experience these issues with their GSDs?
 

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I agree with JKlastsky. I've pretty much given up on Elsa going to "normal" OB training clubs for classes. I've only met one trainer that thinks GSD's are the bees' knees (surprise! Her first dog was a GSD and did agility with a Mal). Most make snide comments to me about "wow...she has a good temperament for a GSD" or throw nasty glances when she acts reactive towards an obnoxious, barking dog. I haven't been around the breed for as long as some...but I've fostered everything from a Amish puppy mill fearful thing to getting to see world-level SchH dogs in action. They are not for everyone and I don't think they belong at the #2 slot in popularity. Most people want a big mean looking GSD...but a lab personality.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Well... a week later and the seller hasn't provided the kennel name yet. She said sure no problem and then disappeared.
My sis takes that to mean the puppy either never came from a real breeder to begin with, or that there's something in the pedigree she thinks we wouldn't like.
I tend to believe the breeder has a contract for 1st rights and the seller doesn't want to risk the breeding kennel finding out she's selling.
She likely has another interested buyer who doesn't request the information about the breeder.
So that cute lil pupster will not be my new niece after all. Back to looking. Darn. I was pretty excited about this one. Let's see what she finds next.
 

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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.
This is such a great post - covers everything I wanted to say, only better! I'd go and see the pup - just don't feel pressured into committing right there and then if you have any doubts about it.
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Anja SchH3 GSD
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