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what can I expect?

843 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  bethd
Hi everyone... another post about the new puppy that's joining our family. He is my first GSD, vet estimates btw 5-6 months, and I am curious about how much his temperament will change as he gets older. I've been reading a lot of threads here about young GSDs who seem way more intense, energetic, trouble making, etc, than Cyrus does at this point. I didn't realize til I read it here recently that they can go through a difficult adolescent period and I'm wondering if I should be waiting for the other shoe to drop with him, or if this quiet temperament will stick.

So far, he's very easy. He's only been here a week, and will usually respond to a simple "ah, ah" if he's doing something I don't approve of (setting foot in the bedroom, looking like he wants to chase a cat, heading to the street if he's off lead). He'll run and play on our walks, but in the house is mostly very quiet, will lay and snooze, or cuddle with one of us, or play quietly with a toy. I have left the dogs alone in the house for 2-3 hours and nothing is destroyed or chewed when I come home.

All this is great, I've just been reading stories about GSDs who are much more work, and wondering if you all think he will maintain this chilled out personality as he gets older or if they really tend to change a lot once hormones kick in.

We are going to get him neutered, and I understand that there are different schools of thought about when to do it. I'm thinking to try to keep him intact as long as he remains manageable, and not marking, territorial, etc, and maybe neuter at 11-12 months.

One other question--I've never had a male dog before, so this is new to me! When he gets excited about anything, he gets an erection... I've trained him to sit and wait to go out the door for his walk, and he'll sit there with a big boner! Is this normal? Is there anything I should to about it--try to get him to relax, etc? Or just ignore?

Thanks, everyone, from a GSD newbie trying to learn.
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I don't think I'd worry about a massive personality shift. There will be days when he seems like a real pain in the butt. He won't come, when he's always come before. He'll get a little stupid with a dog he's always been friends with before, you might find a pair of shoes chewed one time when you come home...etc. But if on the whole he's an easy going, happy dog, as long as you maintain training he should pretty much stay that way. I don't think over night he'll become an ax-murderer.

As far as neutering goes, from what I've read Intact males are rarely unmanageable as long as training has been put in place. My guy is 14 months old and does not mark in the house and really only marks on walks if I let him (If I'm moving he has to keep moving and there is no time for smelling and peeing). Haven't seen any real territoriality out of him either. When maintenance people come in, he only ever looks at them and wags his tail. We live on a golf course and he just watches the people walk through our backyard. I've sent him through a carwash before, and he just calmly observes the people vacuuming around his crate. Not much of a barker. I think the only thing I would worry about is pack structure with the other dog, but that too can probably be handled through training. Waiting to neuter is better if you can. Personally though, I don't think behavior problems go away with an operation unless the problem's about a female.

And as for the last thing, it's normal. And I've found it usually is more about lack of control than arousement when they're that young. Argos used to pop out every time he sat down. And sometimes it can indicate relaxation, rather than excitement. And it won't go away. Some dogs do it more than others, but they all do it sometimes. I know my dog was my first intact male and initially I was almost embarassed, with the testicles and everything hanging out there. I thought I would have to put pants on him to keep him decent. Truly as time goes on, you won't even notice it anymore.
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