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I'm getting my third GSD (a puppy just born last week!) hopefully after Christmas. My first was a rescue, she was a GSD-mix and was already an adult when I rescued her. No one knew her background, but she was a definite learning experience for me! She was my first 'big dog', and my first dog on my own - I'd grown up with dogs under 10 inches tall. *grin* I tried to keep her in an apartment, with little exercise and little mental stimulation. She was wonderfully patient with me ... she tried her best to train me ... but I eventually ended up rehoming her to a family on a farm, with another dog and kids to play with, and room to run. She stayed with them until she passed away last year (we stayed in touch).
Several years later, after I'd bought my own house on a fenced-in acre and done some more growing up of my own, become active with training and rescuing, I got my second GSD - my most recent experience - was the White GSD in my avatar. She was 8 weeks old exactly when I brought her home, and she was pretty much sick from day 1. We experienced life and needs of a 'special needs' dog for 8 years, but those needs were met in every way possible. I was prepared the second time around - to meet her physical and mental needs. She had limitations due to her health.
I had her put to sleep in May.
Now I'm preparing for my third GSD ... I'm lining up training classes, socialization sessions, games, things to do, places to go ... researching what type of food to use ... and the puppy is only a week old. *grin*
You have to be prepared for a GSD. They are big dogs with strong personalities. You can't know exactly what your next experience will hold ... you could turn out to have a 'special needs' fur kid on your hands, you need to prepare yourself to handle it. You can do everything perfectly, and like someone mentioned - the dog could still develop a phobia instantly that you'll have to work through. GSD's are working dogs, so be prepared to work! ;)

Just realized I rambled on a bit much ... probably too much coffee this morning ... and been a bit too excited about the birth of my new puppy last week ... *bounce* *chases her tail* *wait, I dont have one*

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