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I am planning on getting a GSD. One thing I keep seeing is that if I don't have my dog in some sort of competition it won't every be truly happy. So I'm curious, if I were to buy a GSD and his job was to be a family pet, would he still be happy? Of course he is going to get trained and exercised daily. But is this enough to keep my future GSD happy?
 

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I have had both, pets and one that I used for competition. There was no difference in them. All you need to do is love them.
 

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I think as long as you spend a lot of quality time with em, they will be happy. Now, you might have to be creative so your dog doesn't become BORED, but that's different from actually being unhappy.

Going to training classes, out socializing (not necessarily interacting, but seeing lots of new things), hiking as it gets older, hide and seek games, fetch, tugging (flirt pole and other tugs), nosework, tricks, manners ... lots of things you can do that's not competitive.
 

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I am planning on getting a GSD. One thing I keep seeing is that if I don't have my dog in some sort of competition it won't every be truly happy. So I'm curious, if I were to buy a GSD and his job was to be a family pet, would he still be happy? Of course he is going to get trained and exercised daily. But is this enough to keep my future GSD happy?
Where do you "keep seeing" this>>>"if I don't have my dog in some sort of competition..."
 

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Let me put all this into perspective for you...

Dogs do not get up one day and say "I just don't feel fulfilled. I would like to go jump over things and bite people's sleeves"

Your dog can be perfectly happy as an active companion. You'll want to make sure they are mentally stimulated and have plenty of physical activity. But they do not NEED to do sports.

You don't even need to ask for a "lower" drive puppy. Ask for one with balanced drives! One that is stable and sound of temperament. Explain to your breeder what you want. They should be able to match a puppy to you!
 

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If he is safe, loved and exercised i dont think he will complain, i dont do "sports" with my dogs and i have a pretty intense BC, he gets his daily runs in and has functioned just fine as a family dog for 2.5 years now :)
 

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Jax, I agree.

My boy is my active companion. We are active with him but do not participate in any sport, he's not a working dog. The first 2 years we did obedience, rally & agility. Nothing official but it was fun. He will be 4 this Spring. He comes with us camping & hiking. We do this all year. He loves it & gets so excited when the gear comes out. He knows he's an important member of the pack.

I believe he's a "happy"dog. I nourish his doggie spirit:cool:and allow him to be a dog. Splash in mud puddles, roll in dirt, watch & chase squirrels...even bark at the neighbors cat occasionally, he can sniff & lift his leg.
 

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while I had aspirations for my girl, life gets in the way, and things change.

I have a pretty high energy czech/ddr 5 year old, and I don't participate in sports with her.

She is my constant companion, we hike alot, exercise, walk, classes at times, fun tracking.

As she's matured she's developed an off switch, and tho she does need everyday exercise in one form or another, she can do well with a day or two of me working long hours.

I love this dog, but only "love" wouldn't cut it. THey do not need to compete in anything, but these dogs are not couch potatoes, and do like an active lifestyle.

I'm sure there are much lower energy gsd's out there , I really have never had one, nor do I really want one:)

Being active doesn't mean you have to compete in anything with the dog.

Finding a breeder who can match a puppy to your wants/don't wants/lifestyle/expectations is key .
 

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I am planning on getting a GSD. One thing I keep seeing is that if I don't have my dog in some sort of competition it won't every be truly happy. So I'm curious, if I were to buy a GSD and his job was to be a family pet, would he still be happy? Of course he is going to get trained and exercised daily. But is this enough to keep my future GSD happy?

Once again....heck yeah....

How about your soon to be GSD competes in the best family dog ever competition?

The training and plenty of exercise is a great start. You can devise your own "competitions" if you so desire. Watching my shepherds over the decades shag frisbees, tennis balls, logs, go swimming and retrieve, perform obedience exercises etc. has always made me feel the dog was happy. They love to exercise and they love to make their humans happy.

As far as the performance competitions go, I'm sure there is some merit to that but as far as confirmation competitions, I don't really see that as a task oriented event...although it is amazing how well behaved all the dogs are at a dog show, really impressive. I'm more impressed with the dogs at a confirmation show when they are all out of the ring...no barking at all...just so well behaved.

My goal with my new shep is to get her go with me anywhere I am allowed to have a dog. This seems like a task for me at times but she is figuring it out....as well as myself.

GSD's make the greatest companion dogs and I want to take my buddy everywhere I go.

SuperG
 

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My 2 year old is laying beside the computer right now competing in the "best snoring by a neutered male" category. He came out to the shelter to see me today and we ran and played a little Frisbee toss for about 30 minutes with him and his sister Jocassee. Other than that he was in the house laying on the couch all day. He is happy.
 

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Absolutely! You will be surprised how happy he/she will be. Make sure you stick to your plan with exercise and playtime outside. They will think they are the king/Queen of the house. :)
 

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I think the thing to remember is that even though GSDs are exceptional family dogs, they have been bred to work. And they are natural athletes. Without those outlets, they can develop behavioral issues. I don't compete with my dog, because I'm just not that committed. But I do try to keep up with our training, and when I slack, I can clearly see that I'm letting my boy down :( I think maybe people get into competition, because it requires a commitment on the owner's part that really is in the dog's best interest. Not that home training and a daily run aren't enough, but it keeps us humans from slacking and thinking "oh, I took my GSD for a half hour walk today, so he's cool." A half hour walk doesn't cut it. But once we invest in some regimented expectations for our dog, we are just more likely to meet its needs :)


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I think the thing to remember is that even though GSDs are exceptional family dogs, they have been bred to work. And they are natural athletes. Without those outlets, they can develop behavioral issues. I don't compete with my dog, because I'm just not that committed. But I do try to keep up with our training, and when I slack, I can clearly see that I'm letting my boy down :( I think maybe people get into competition, because it requires a commitment on the owner's part that really is in the dog's best interest. Not that home training and a daily run aren't enough, but it keeps us humans from slacking and thinking "oh, I took my GSD for a half hour walk today, so he's cool." A half hour walk doesn't cut it. But once we invest in some regimented expectations for our dog, we are just more likely to meet its needs :)




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Very well said.

SuperG
 

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at work and don't have time to read the the thread, but be careful of the lines you pick. a high drive gsd may not be for you. do your research and let breeders know what your life style will entail and and find a gsd that fits in.
 

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its individual you can get a dog that will be unhappy without competing or you could get one that would be unhappy competing i bet (though i never met one lol)

just depends on the breeder if you go to a good breeder they find the right dog, they know their lines and their dogs. Some dogs need to work some don't.


they usually love to run, so walking around the block doesn't do much for a lot of them. Ball play, or frisbee can be enough tho.

Chuck it is the best invention ever
 
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