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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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german shepherd question

i have had dogs all my life and will have a shepherd someday...maybe soon? i saw this little guy and really want him. with a 2 year old in the house...really great kid...i know these dogs need the training and attention, but i know they are also severely loyal, especially to little people. each dog is different and although i'm sure it is ok, as they will be growing up together...thoughts on the situation. i'm aware of the hind legs issue later in years and was curious...how bad is the shedding as well?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

I have a 1 1/2 year old German Shepherd. Shedding is BAD, especially in the summer. One thing to look for is get one that seems on the calm, submissive side. Mine is stubborn as all hell, and very strong willed. He is a really good dog, hes just alittle difficult to deal with sometimes, especially when hes full of energy.

Oh yea, and Mine is alittle timid of kids, but its becasue hes hardly ever around any. If he was I'm sure it would be fine. He loves most people.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 04:54 PM
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Re: german shepherd question

Very intelligent dogs - usually very easy to train. I would hold off until the child is 5 because bigger dogs can knock over kids very easily when they're excited. Otherwise, they are great dogs. Get one from a shelter if you can
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: german shepherd question

thanks guys. looking at a shelter one, a no kill shelter. it's rough because i want them all. i have 2 dogs now... 2 cairn terriers. those are my babies, aside from my son...you know what i mean. so many shelters and it breaks my heart. aside from surfing around, not sure where to look
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-14-2010, 05:19 PM
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Re: german shepherd question

i wouldn't want (or allow) a GS in the house with a young kid. No chance. Allergies, safety, etc. concerns... glen
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

When I was really young, I had two German Shepards, quite expensive ones at that. I remember we called them Marshall and Polo. My parents both had dogs throughout their life.

Even with hundreds of dollars of training, dozens of toys, daily walks, and lots of attention from the five of us in our family, they were so rowdy that we had to get rid of one of them. We kept the dumber one who wasn't as active, and he was still the worst dog I've owned. He never learned how to bark, he was scared of strangers, we had a hard time keeping up with his coat in our humid climate, he was quite destructive, and his obedience training made him overly excited to perform among other problems. At least he never developed health problems. Still loved him so much though.

Unless you are super prepared to potentially recieve a puppy that would grow up like mine did, and there is always that chance, I'd steer clear of GS. GS are gorgeous, but too costly and risky IMO.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 03:26 AM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

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Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
i wouldn't want (or allow) a GS in the house with a young kid. No chance. Allergies, safety, etc. concerns... glen
I kind of agree with Glen on this.

I had a girlfriend who had a german shepherd with young kids. It was fine and a very good family dog. However if someone came to the house and he hadn't greeted them at the door as they entered he assumed they were on intruder and got very aggressive. This ended up with the baby sitter (who was a famaily friend) getting bitten through the cheek. The girl was fine, but needless to say the dog was destroyed.

We had some german shepherds as yard dogs when I worked for a tree surgeon. Again, they were lovely until you had to come in at night to switch off the burglar alarm. You had to make very sure that they knew who they were.

You cannot legislate against a dog biting, any breed will do that. I do think that as family dogs you really have to try to avoid the very territorial breeds. There have been several stories in the UK in the last year with kids being mauled and even killed by Pit Bulls that were kept as family pets (by idiots obviously). The bottom line for me is this: if this dog was to bite, would it by nature nip (like a terrier) or try and take a chunk out of you, and have these dogs been bred to fight or kill.

Saying that, we always had 2 dogs as I was growing up (one was always a Labrador) and apart from the occasional nip we never had a problem.

I think that the key with dogs is to remember that you are not a family to the dog, you are a pack. If the dog feels superior to someone (a child for example) and it is aggressive by nature, you are going to have a problem. If it is a gentle dog then it is usually fine.

Also I would steer clear of a GS (or any other aggressive breed) from a shelter. Dogs that come from shelters can have behavioural issues that whilst they are not the dogs fault are not ideal in a family home. At least with a puppy you dictate the upbringing and can train the dog to your standards. When we were teenagers we got a dog from a friend of a friend that had come from a shelter. It had been beaten as a younger dog, with a stick by a man with a beard apparently. Not a major problem, but my brother and I were fooling around with toy lightsabers in the same room as the dog and he got a nasty bite on the backside (which was actually quite amusing actually). Our next door neighbour had a beard and he got a bite a month later, fortunately he was a policeman (not!).
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 05:19 AM
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Re: german shepherd question

puppys crap n pizz all over the place,so you would have to watch your son like a hawk,other than that cant see any onther problems.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 07:43 AM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

Some good points already made by the previous posters here. It all boils down to how the dog is raised which means that it is important to buy a young puppy from a reputable breeder. Try and stay clear of buying from puppy farms as well.

Any dog/breed has the potential to bite so it's important to show the dog from a young age who is boss. There are strict protocol rules you should observe particularly when dealing with the larger breeds. I've owned 6 Japanese Akita's in my time, not the Akita Inu's but the larger American strain of the breed. Those are very big dogs and need a firm hand when raising them but I followed the rules implicitly and never had any problems.

German Sheperds I think do have a tendency to suffer from hip dysplasia I think but if you buy from a good breeder I think you will be able to check if the parents have been hip scored which will not necessarily prevent problems in late life but it will lengthen the odds.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-15-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

If you are willing to put the time into raising your dog, all the negative points above can be avoided.. But you have to work at it and be consistant..then he will be the best dog you can ever get.

Socialization: big issue for gsd's start taking them out around people and dogs as early as you can, and dont stop, have everyone that comes over pet him. always.

training:start him in obedience training at 5 months. you will learn how to teach your dog to listen to you and your family.

exercise: plenty of exercise is necassary for gsd's they are herding dogs.. but if you have a decent size yard and other dogs for him to play with, this sorts itself out


I have a 6 month old black and silver, and a 3 year year old daughter. they are best friends!
my pup can sit, down, stay until recalled, heel, sit stay, down stay, stand, recall 50 feet (still working on recalls)
is socialized well with other humans and NEVER goes through a doorway until after i have gone through. and when we go for walks my 3 year old daughter can walk him and he stays even with her on her left side..
It just takes dedication. gsd's are working dogs and want to work for you. you just have to guide them.


It will be like raising another kid for a while, and you will have to keep an open eye on him always.

I guess it is also tru that you can get a bad apple gsd, making all my points invalid too lol

but with dedication he can be the best dog you can teach him to be.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: german shepherd question

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Originally Posted by IbanezDaemon View Post
Some good points already made by the previous posters here. It all boils down to how the dog is raised which means that it is important to buy a young puppy from a reputable breeder. Try and stay clear of buying from puppy farms as well.

Any dog/breed has the potential to bite so it's important to show the dog from a young age who is boss. There are strict protocol rules you should observe particularly when dealing with the larger breeds. I've owned 6 Japanese Akita's in my time, not the Akita Inu's but the larger American strain of the breed. Those are very big dogs and need a firm hand when raising them but I followed the rules implicitly and never had any problems.

German Sheperds I think do have a tendency to suffer from hip dysplasia I think but if you buy from a good breeder I think you will be able to check if the parents have been hip scored which will not necessarily prevent problems in late life but it will lengthen the odds.
All good points....i agree with ibanez here... i have had dogs all my life and it does boil down to how you raise them. of course, there can be exceptions to this rule. how you act around them (it does rub off), plus what is just inborn, will determine the behavior, just like in kids. in general, yeah, GSs have the hip displacia. my cousin has 2....one is 6 years old with terrible hind legs, the other is 10, who still frolicks like a puppy...no hind issues and they are both pure breds. a friend of mine has a GS who is about 5, and had a baby last year. the dog loves the baby and is always around it. dogs do want direction and they do want to belong. out of the 2 i have now...the female is dominant over the male, but they both know i'm the alpha. no one gets out of line.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-09-2010, 11:50 AM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

Great dogs....the best IMO. Mine is 11 years old now. TRAIN the dog is the best recommendation I can make. Also socialize him/her as much as possible. I've always had dogs and G.Sheps have always been the easiest to train and have made the best companions. Just from my prior experience, females have been quicker to adapt to training. I do not need a leash with mine. She can lay on the front lawn and someone can come walking by with a Beagle screaming its head off at the end of its leash and my Shepherd will just lay there and pay no attention. All the shepherds I've had have been great around kids...any knock down type scenario's with kids were clumsiness so supervise around kids...hell, an ankle biter dog could nip a kid and do damage. My girlfriend owns a dog grooming business. 99% of incidents are with the small breeds. The one trait I've noticed with them though is OCD. My current GS is obsessed with her football. We also have two Akita's. They all get along well but the Akita's are definitely the more aggressive breed and one of them is dog aggressive and we've never been able to break that in him no matter what training methods we have tried, although he is much better with other dogs now than he used to be.


I can not begin to say how great this dog has been. Just an amazing animal and so smart it's almost scary.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

That pic on the lake is awesome.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

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Originally Posted by nickcoumbe View Post
I kind of agree with Glen on this.

I had a girlfriend who had a german shepherd with young kids. It was fine and a very good family dog. However if someone came to the house and he hadn't greeted them at the door as they entered he assumed they were on intruder and got very aggressive. This ended up with the baby sitter (who was a famaily friend) getting bitten through the cheek. The girl was fine, but needless to say the dog was destroyed.

We had some german shepherds as yard dogs when I worked for a tree surgeon. Again, they were lovely until you had to come in at night to switch off the burglar alarm. You had to make very sure that they knew who they were.

You cannot legislate against a dog biting, any breed will do that. I do think that as family dogs you really have to try to avoid the very territorial breeds. There have been several stories in the UK in the last year with kids being mauled and even killed by Pit Bulls that were kept as family pets (by idiots obviously). The bottom line for me is this: if this dog was to bite, would it by nature nip (like a terrier) or try and take a chunk out of you, and have these dogs been bred to fight or kill.

Saying that, we always had 2 dogs as I was growing up (one was always a Labrador) and apart from the occasional nip we never had a problem.

I think that the key with dogs is to remember that you are not a family to the dog, you are a pack. If the dog feels superior to someone (a child for example) and it is aggressive by nature, you are going to have a problem. If it is a gentle dog then it is usually fine.

Also I would steer clear of a GS (or any other aggressive breed) from a shelter. Dogs that come from shelters can have behavioural issues that whilst they are not the dogs fault are not ideal in a family home. At least with a puppy you dictate the upbringing and can train the dog to your standards. When we were teenagers we got a dog from a friend of a friend that had come from a shelter. It had been beaten as a younger dog, with a stick by a man with a beard apparently. Not a major problem, but my brother and I were fooling around with toy lightsabers in the same room as the dog and he got a nasty bite on the backside (which was actually quite amusing actually). Our next door neighbour had a beard and he got a bite a month later, fortunately he was a policeman (not!).

My Mother Bred and still Breeds German Shepards, If you Get one with a Good Temperament, Its all Clear Sailing, and Generally the Best are German Bred ones, they look the best and to me are the Cream of the Crop, But I agree with you on the Shelter, Always get one from a respected breeder, You Really Get what You pay for,
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 11:57 PM
 
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Re: german shepherd question

OK, I'll wade into this. I owned two GSDs in the early 90s. I picked up my female from a backyard breeder and just plain lucked out. She ended up topping at 90 pounds which is huge for a female. The perfect dog; smart, alert, playful, well-mannered, great with kids, fantastic watch dog, great guard dog. I was really into dog training back then I and I put her through guard/police/military-type training. All off leash and hand commands. Everything was spoken in German. Its sounds so cliche to teach a GSD in German but you can train a dog in Martian or Chinese to the same effect. The reason to train a working dog in a foreign language is so that an intruder or threat can't shout "stop" or "heel" and the dog (possibly) listens and obeys. So you teach a working dog in a foreign language and it doesn't learn English and won't stop for anything. Now with a working guard dog you can't keep these animals in high-alert mode at all times. So 99% of the time the dog would remain a faithful kid-loving companion who just wants her stomach rubbed. However on the few times you actually need the dog in "alert" or "protect" mode then one or two key commands turns the dog into a guarding animal. The dog thinks its just work but you want this dog to do its job and deter or stop a threat.

She progressed beautifully. However it was plenty of work; three walks a day, tons of exercise, rough housing, vets, training, class, high dollar dog food, etc. Remember GSDs are working dogs and they need exercise, drills, games, etc. Especially the smart ones. She could climb a ten foot wall and take on a 200 pound man with a leap to the chest and hold on despite repeated blows to the head or body. However once you turned her off, she would lick ice cream from my three year old niece's ice cream cone.

If you put in the serious time with a GSD then you will be rewarded in spades with the best possible canine companion. I read a few books on canine intelligence and the consensus is that the most intelligent GSDs have the mental capacity of a 5-6 year old child. Pretty amazing.

However my second companion GSD was a rescued male. He was a beautiful animal; well boned and topped out at 110 pounds. Probably in the 97% percentile in size. However he was dumb as a box of rocks and would not take to guard or protection work. He was just a big lovable teddy bear. He looked like he would tear you limb from limb but he was the worst guarding GSD I've ever seen. He never barked, never went into alert mode and loved kids. He would fetch a ball all day but to protect myself or my wife from a threat, forget it.

To summarize GSDs are the best of all possible combinations for a large working dog. But it takes serious time and commitment and fortitude to train them properly. For the mental health of the dog, a pair of them works best. They hang out with each other and don't become bored, listless or tear stuff up when left alone.

If you are serious about a GSD then spend the money and time and do it right. Get a pup from a qualified breeder with proven blood lines. Expect to pay upwards of a $1000 or more. You get what you pay for, just like anything in life.

In regards to hip displayxia. Yes, the GSD (and most large dogs) are genetically prone to develop it. Usually develops at 5-6 years and basically one or both hips disconnect from the pelvis. Bad news, painful and fatal. The risk can be reduced by having good bloodlines but its a regressive gene so it sometimes still rears its ugly head.

I wouldn't own any other type of dog. In fact now that I have moved back to the USA after fifteen years in Asia and already having my car broken into, I'm thinking hard about getting another pair of GSDs again.

Hope this helps.
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