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Before getting the GSD my son did most of the research and I started doing some the week we got rid of the husky. I spoke with the usual people that are good to go to (Vets, Shelters, Breeders) and they all said it was a hard breed but with proper training it's not hard to see why they are best dogs in the world, but they also told me of the bad stuff (land sharks, powerful, dog agression, high prey drive, become obsessive or destructive when bored, become one man dogs, play rough, shed year round and blow out coats). The thing that shocked me was when I spoke with actual GSD owners, they never said they ever had any of these problems except for the shedding and they all said they trained their dogs themselves and got them as puppies and when I asked from where, most of the said shelters or newspaper ads.

So right now I am just going in circles, why is there such a large disconnect? Is there something these people know that I don't?
 

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I don't think there was a disconnect. You appeared to be looking for a different personality and, IMO, and unrealistic period of time for the dog to become accustomed to you while expecting a dog with perfect manners. My dog is a high drive dog and the things she does doesn't phase me in the least and I suspect it was the same with the people you got this dog from. The dog you just returned probably wouldn't have phased me either.
 

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Hard to say how their training differs from yours but every GSD I knew as a puppy was a land shark that was hyper and while easy to train basics harder to settle unless your in for a ton of exercise and yes training.

Training doesn't have to be professional but when you don't have extensive dog handling skills it kinda should be. This last dog seemed like a normal untrained dog to me which is why I recommend professional training for you. You thought this behavior was aggressive...it wasn't:( You also gave a dog back after a day because of behaviors that could have easily been worked on. The eating issue- you just put down the food and don't worry about whether they eat- they ALL do eventually. Thunderstorms not a big deal, and jumping and concentrating on kids again normal you just teach leave it and down while supervising:)

You need some basic training if this is the breed you want. You need to learn what is normal for the breed and how to deal with it which can be done here. I just worry because you seem to want a perfect dog overnight and no one here can teach you that- no dog is perfect overnight. The first year in fact is a nightmare kinda like having a baby. They chew on everything, potty in the house, chase, pull, whine, yip, bark, and a slue of other no fun behaviors you have to deal with and modify. Go observe some training classes for awhile before getting your next dog- that in itself will be a good start:)
 

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I think many GSD owners have a certain personality to choose the breed in the first place. I had a border/golden mix and she was boring. I wanted a dog that was a challenge, and had enthusiasm.
Clover was a great dog to raise my kids with but wasn't like my previous GSD Stomper.

Though I have a bit of ADD in my personality so need a companion that has some energy but contained and focused(not like a husky).

A GSD is the perfect breed for me, I thought a golden(border collie was not the dominant personality in the mix-her structure was the only thing that was border collie) would be but found it wasn't the case after already having the GSD.
 

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Like with any dog it depends on the breeding. Most GSD owners will tell you they are land sharks, some worse than others. Some are shy, some not, some aggressive some not. See where I am going here? My vet loves my GSD can not believe the temperment. Seems most he sees are a bit aggressive.

What are you looking for? A pup from a breeder or a doge from a rescue? What do you want from your GSD?
 

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Hard to say how their training differs from yours but every GSD I knew as a puppy was a land shark that was hyper and while easy to train basics harder to settle unless your in for a ton of exercise and yes training.

Training doesn't have to be professional but when you don't have extensive dog handling skills it kinda should be. This last dog seemed like a normal untrained dog to me which is why I recommend professional training for you. You thought this behavior was aggressive...it wasn't:( You also gave a dog back after a day because of behaviors that could have easily been worked on. The eating issue- you just put down the food and don't worry about whether they eat- they ALL do eventually. Thunderstorms not a big deal, and jumping and concentrating on kids again normal you just teach leave it and down while supervising:)

You need some basic training if this is the breed you want. You need to learn what is normal for the breed and how to deal with it which can be done here. I just worry because you seem to want a perfect dog overnight and no one here can teach you that- no dog is perfect overnight. The first year in fact is a nightmare kinda like having a baby. They chew on everything, potty in the house, chase, pull, whine, yip, bark, and a slue of other no fun behaviors you have to deal with and modify. Go observe some training classes for awhile before getting your next dog- that in itself will be a good start:)
*this is the new user account I made because I can't retrieve the password for my first account or the email password, it's only saved in my computer's memory on my desktop. Once that resets I will not be able to access it anymore so this is what I will post from. Mods please close that account?

Yes you are right, I do want a perfect but I am just being extra cautious after that husky experience where he mouthed us and he was only ~48 lbs, this gsd was 75lbs of muscle.

You guys are right though, no dogs for a while. I just wish I had a way of seeing what an example of a well behaved GSD is. I don't think I've ever seen one that was completely perfect but I've seen good ones albeit that had some dangerous faults (overly protective is the one that comes to mind).
 

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If you think you want a GSD, then you need to be around some before making that decision. Find a local GSD club and hang out with these people and their dogs. There will be all ages and sizes and drives going on, and you can have a better idea of how they really are.

I also have Italian Greyhounds and I ALWAYS tell anyone that expresses an interest in having one, to come to my house. Watch how they act. They are a weird, quirky breed that drives alot of people crazy. My best friend says she could never live with one. I can see that. They are like having tiny little mountain goats, or itty bitty flying gazelles in your house. You MUST have a sense of humor to own one. But you wouldn't really know any of that if you didn't go to someone's house and see how they really are.

So, my recommendation is to spend some time with other people's baby "land sharks", someone's obnoxious 8 month old puppy, someone's young adult, someone's sweet old dog. You might decide the GSD isn't the breed for you.
 

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I also have Italian Greyhounds and I ALWAYS tell anyone that expresses an interest in having one, to come to my house. Watch how they act. They are a weird, quirky breed that drives alot of people crazy. My best friend says she could never live with one. I can see that. They are like having tiny little mountain goats, or itty bitty flying gazelles in your house. You MUST have a sense of humor to own one. But you wouldn't really know any of that if you didn't go to someone's house and see how they really are.
OH yea. lol. I always brought one of my fosters with when I did home visits for the IG rescue. On one occasion the couple wanted to adopt my foster that I had brougt... The rescue coordinators response was "Simon? You want to adopt Simon? And you're sure? You did meet Simon, right?" LOL. Poor Simon, he had excessive energy for an IG even. In his first foster home there was a dog with epilepsy, and he started getting seizures from Simon bugging him and bouncing off the walls. At my place he would tire out my GSD Tessa, tire out my GSD Logan, then tire out my other foster (rat terrier mix) Lance, and then go back to Tessa...
 

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*this is the new user account I made because I can't retrieve the password for my first account or the email password, it's only saved in my computer's memory on my desktop. Once that resets I will not be able to access it anymore so this is what I will post from. Mods please close that account?
GSDwetkissies92 - I merged the 2 accounts into one. Hope that helps.

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I agree with what everyone is saying...definitely find a GSD club and go and watch, listen, and learn. Ask a lot of questions. My current GSD is so different from my first GSD. First GSD was actually a very calm puppy, only went through a very short period of time chewing, jumping. mouthing. I was able to leave her out of her crate at about 7 months old with free run of the house and yard via a doggie door and she was perfect. Great manners as she matured and was never aggressive to people or other dogs. And she was a dream to train. Then I got this new GSD as a 8 week old puppy. Talk about night and day. This puppy was defiant, loved to chew (and sometimes still does. ;) ), stubborn, is just a maniac and I certainly can't leave her out of her crate when I'm not home. LOL But there isn't a thing I would change about her. I still will go up to a GSD owner if I come across one and ask questions about their dog. I know as a GSD owner I enjoy answering questions about the breed. Learn all you can so you will know if the breed is right for you. And remember, no matter what kind of dog you get...they do need consistent training, boundaries, lots of patience and a lot of love.
 

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I would agree with everyone else. Right now I am dog sitting a friend's English bulldog. Ahead of time, she was telling me how he can get a little crazy and she was worried that he'd misbehave. :) Then she saw my dogs and she stopped worrying. He's got nothing on my dogs in terms of crazy.

When you are used to a particular type of dog, what they do doesn't seem like any big deal. It's when you're NOT used to that's can overwhelm you. In my house I can pull out 4 pretty well behaved obedient dogs. And then I could show you my puppy...:) All the GSD puppies I've known have been sharks. But in a year or so they do grow up. And if you've put the time in they're excellent dogs. Personally, I advocate a young adult rescue for first time GSD owners.
 

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My female GSD that passed was a truly perfect dog. She was a vicious guard dog but sweet, affectionate, and totally gentle with me. Never even mouthed me as a puppy. She did shed but that was controlled as long as I brushed and groomed her regularly--she had the most gorgeous coat. She did tear things apart as a puppy but only when she was left alone for a while, but she stopped that after her puppy stage. At first she was also defiant and non-responsive to training, but as I kept at it she picked up commands so well that with mere hand signals she did everything I asked.

However, I knew when I had her that she was a one in a million dog, and that a GSD of such perfect qualities would probably never again come along for me. I would also let people know that she didn't get perfect overnight.

No matter what dog you are dealing with, you must exercise patience and more patience, perseverance and then more perseverance. And train and train and train. My advice is that with many breeds, besides GSD's, if you are not willing to put a lot into the dog, then don't get a dog.
 

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We have had German Shepherd Dogs in our lives for over 35 years. We tell people over & over & over that this is a challenging but an absolutely loving, faithful and supremely protective breed. They are NOT a hands off breed. They need training – right from the beginning – they need socialization, socialization and more socialization. They have high prey drive, high play drive; they can be down right bratty. You cannot be a lazy, absentee owner. If you do your homework, train properly you WILL end up with a perfect dog. But, it does not happen by accident you will have to work for it.

In over 35 years we have never had any thing that even comes close to a “bad” GSD. Our two youngest are TDI therapy dogs but not in the ordinary sense. We specialize (if there is such a thing) in visitations to psychiatric centers (presently three to be exact). It takes a dog with a bulletproof temperament and lots of training and affection do this kind of work three times a week.
My whole point is that the GSD is special, they stand alone. You name it they will do it. But you have to be there with them.
:):)
 

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After reading through the multiple threads you have started it seems to me that you think a dog is going to walk into your house and be perfect from the moment it crosses the threshold. You also seem convinced that getting a puppy is the way to achieve this. Puppies are a HUGE amount of work, 24/7, 360 days out of that first year. GSD puppies are adorable no question, but their teething stage is horrendous. I walked around for months with so many bruises on my arm that I was worried people would think I was a junkie.

And talk about hyper, they are furious balls of energy that is really cute when they only weigh 15 lbs or so but when they hit 6 months or so and now weigh 60lbs...well look out. They have to be properly socialized and trained from day 1. If you don't you can end up with a dog that will bite someone and that causes a world of trouble for you and possibly cost the dog his life. They also need LOTS of exercise and mental stimulation or they can cause serious damage to everything around you. I still haven't fixed the spot in my wall where Dharma chewed into the drywall. And that happened in just minutes.
If you couldn't live with a husky for 5 days or spend even 2 with the adult GSD then I think you should reconsider this breed altogether. Yes, they are smart. Yes, they are loyal. Yes, they (IMHO) are the best breed out there but that doesn't mean they are the best breed for you and your family. And certainly not if you aren't ready and willing to put forth a HUGE time commitment and a whole lot of effort.
 

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I agree with all the posts, and probably the ones you are hearing about, have been TRAINED and are with people that are dog savvy for one, and for two may be quite familiar with the breed.

As one said in another topic, you can not gain experience from reading, Great to read up , but you have to gain EXPERIENCE in order to see what your getting into.

As I and probably others, suggested to your son, way back, VOLUNTEER at a shelter, a kennel, go to dog shows, get some HANDS ON experience before bringing a dog especially, a GSD into your home.

They do not train themselves, and it takes alot of dedication. I truly hope you will be taking your own advice and WAIT, until your kids are older and/or can learn to respect a puppy/dog and you gain more experience.
 

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I didn't know you returned that dog after one day. At our dog club, we often get people with rescued GSDs who got in over their head. They come in wild and crazy but improve every week.

Like I said earlier, training an adult dog is much easier than going through puppyhood and dealing with all that comes with a puppy. I have a neighbor with a poodle-mix and she is still asking me when her dog is going calm down. It's only 22 months old and still very much a puppy.

I don't have a GSD right now, but my first dog was part GSD part Dutch Shepherd. I opted for a dog with some obedience training. He did cost me more than a shelter dog, he was $2,000 (plus shipping), and he was high energy. It took about 2 months before I really felt he was bonding to me. When I got my next dog, a working line puppy, I was way over my head. I really wish I had germanshepherds.com when I got that puppy. Happily, I've come a long way since then.

I have a puppy right now, a 9 month old Dutch Shepherd. He's a handful and I need to watch him constantly. I also have a 15 foot leash on him when he's outside so I can get him quickly when there's a problem. I can't wait until he's 3 years old and perfect! LOL!
 

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I'm reading your posts and wasn't entirely sure if you already have the GSD or are about to get one... So if the following is off the mark, my advanced apologies!

If you talk to a pro shooter what it's like to use a gun, I doubt anyone will tell you right off the bat how hard it was to get this good. They'd probably make it seem easy. Of course it's "easy" - it only took years of practice, perseverance and dedication to get this good! Experienced dog handlers are used to - and know how to appropriately respond to - behaviors that might scare the crap out of a novice.

So to balance the advice a little, here's my experience as a newbie. :)

I've been around dogs all my life, worked at shelters, walked dogs, bathed dogs, cleaned their kennels, even did basic obedience training for dogs at the shelters. BUT OMG WAS I NAIVE TO THINK A GSD WAS GOING TO BE JUST LIKE THE DOGS I'D BEEN AROUND. True, I deliberately sought a out a working line breeder who breeds super dogs and yes, she grilled me, and I was surprised she was willing to sell me a puppy who was sweet, balanced and just a ball of love.

What I didn't know was the POWER inside this little pup - and you don't really see the full personality until they're older.

Combined with excellent nerves (not scared of anything), protectiveness, drive and huge bones, now at 6 months old, I realize my little bundle of sweetness is really a missile. I have a huge responsibility to become good enough a handler for this dog.

Not all GSDs are like this but if you're getting a puppy, you just don't know until they're at least 4 months. So many GSDs end up in the shelter because owners hoped theirs would be an easy dog. If you can't be prepared for a serious GSD, get a different breed that's less demanding.

Mine is a lot of work. The list of things he's destroyed is impressive. But I'm ok with it. Ask yourself honestly, would you be? GSDs are such regal dogs...it's tempting to get one because maybe you've seen or heard about some "perfect" GSDs. I may be new to this but I'm certain they didn't become that way 'out of the box' - usually the result of blood, sweat and tears.
 

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Before you get any working breed dog, you should be the type of person who likes a project. Most people I know with GSD, border collies, etc want a project, like to work with the dogs. Once they are all trained up and the perfect dog, they add to the herd! More fun that way. If you are not that kind of person, or maybe just don't have the knowledge yet...start with an easier breed. Research a type of breed that is trainable, but yet a bit softer than a GSD..to get you started. I am thinking goldens, labs (need lots of excercise), springers, collie. Then move up and try something more difficult. Just remember, they dont come trained..they don't know the commands to follow your directions..It all takes time and has to work out sequentially. Good luck!
 
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