Talk to me about German Sheppards

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by BerryBye, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. BerryBye

    BerryBye New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi everyone,
    I’m new to the site so I wanted to thank you in advance for your help.

    I’ve come across an opportunity to adopt a German Sheppard from a loving family who is moving away and unfortunately can’t bring their dog with them.
    They have told me she has a great temperament and is extremely well trained.

    My issue is that I have no experience with this breed and when I started to read up on them a lot of books/articles caution against them because they can be aggressive. Could those of you with extensive Sheppard experience give me the “real story�

    What type of person makes a good match for a Sheppard, and are there any quirks or warnings I should know? Is the shedding really bad?
    I grew up with midsized terrier types, so there is something about the “look†of the Sheppard that makes me nervous, although I am always open to new things as long as I feel that I have done my homework :).
    What are your thoughts? Thank you!
     
  2. step one:

    German ShepHERD dog. Often abbreviated GSD. Herding breeds that have shepHERD in the name are always spelled ShepHERD.

    From your post if you do not know this dog personally, I would advise you to do more research and not make a hasty decision.

    Often the way people who own the dog describe it can be misleading.
     
  3. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    12,546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Boston
    Hi :) I have a german SHEPHERD :) lol i used to get the spelling wrong all the time 2

    the shedding is REALLY bad. but if you brush him/her once a day and sweep around then its managable.

    they need A LOT of exercise! a long walk every day, mine get one twice a day! if you dont walk them, they will drive you nuts! and find their own way to deal with their energy (digging, barking ect..)

    they are so worth it. they are fearless, protective, very smart, and loving. of course, every german shepherd is different.

    these are some good places to start:
    Home of the German Shepherd Dog
    they have information and a forum full of GSD owners

    and this is a good read:
    Dog Owner's Guide Profile : The German Shepherd

    GSDs are not typically aggresive, what gets them in trouble in their INTENSE protectiveness of their families. they will put their lives on the line for you if they feel your in trouble

    German shepherds, contrary to popular beleif, come in lots of colors, my kenya is a bi color (all black with brown paws)
     
  4. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    4 dogs
    Location:
    here
    They are high energy, high drive and very intelligent. They need training, they need exercise and they will spend all day dropping a ball at your feet.

    They are very bound to their owner - one of the more loyal breeds.

    They're not aggressive any more than any other breed, but they can be protective. They'll protect their people and their property. Some GSDs are more protective than others. Ensure that you have obedience control over them to be able to control this natural drive.

    Shedding is seasonal - twice a year and can be heavy as they do have a lot of undercoat. Brushing a couple times a week - daily during shedding season - helps a lot. You'll want a good vacuum.

    A GSD owner needs to be ready to provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation as well as taking them places so they are adequately socialized.
     
  5. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    12,546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Boston
    talk to the owners more, meet the dog and RESEARCH! they are a special breed and no matter how well trained she/he is, you need to continue training

    If you have any questions, please do ask :)
     
  6. corgipower

    corgipower Tweleve Enthusiest

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    4 dogs
    Location:
    here
    I wouldn't advise getting a GSD if you're nervous of them. If you want one in the future, start learning now and start spending enough time with the breed to overcome the nervousness. A GSD - and pretty much any dog of any breed - is very tuned into the owner's emotions and will most definitely sense your nervousness.
     
  7. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    12,546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Boston
    This is Kenya:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you would notice all the diffrent places and things we are doing. thats what it takes to really TIRE her. since she doesnt have a job, i gave her one. her job is adventures and fetching and running, and all that stuff and lots and lots of obedience! Even fun stuff like trick training.. just gotta keep their brains busy

    NILIF is a WAY OF LIFE! sit for your dinner, wait to be invited on the bed, down when i leash you up or they will walk all over you

    You CANNOT be scared of this dog.. she will walk all over you.
     
  8. Fran101

    Fran101 Resident fainting goat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    12,546
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Boston
    another thing to mention, kenya is a TINY german shepherd, at only 55 pounds
     
  9. BerryBye

    BerryBye New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thank you so much for the quick replies about the ShepHERD ;)

    Fransheska101, Kenya is adorable! She looks so happy!! Thank you for the links.

    The dog I'm interested in is about the size of an average sized golden retriever, to give you an idea – so not too big. I guess I shouldn't say I'm nervous around them...more curious and intrigued yet ignorant – which is why I would like to hear from owners.

    I guess what I would like is advice on incorporating an adult into my life. Any rescuers out there? How do you trust a new adult dog in new situations?
    Should I take her to get her personality assessed by a trainer, do some obedience classes, spend lots of time exploring…?
     
  10. AGonzalez

    AGonzalez Not a lurker

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,702
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I think they take a "special" kind of owner in the idea that you need to know what to expect from them. They make excellent dogs for me to be honest.

    Mine is extremely protective of me and my children. She needs a LOT of exercise and sheds excessively. A good vacuum is a must (I have an upright vac and I have to empty it at least 5-6 times while vacuuming a 3 bedroom house that is wall to wall carpet if that gives you an idea, and it's ALL dog hair - I also vacuum every other day and sometimes daily to keep the fur to a minimum due to allergies)

    I've only had her since January, and she's taken the role of family protector. She will bark and growl at anyone that hasn't been welcomed into the house and I'd imagine if someone just walked in she'd bite them. She barks at everyone coming in the house and it takes her a few to settle down. She's very attached (a very 1 person dog) to me and if I leave her in the house without being crated while I"m gone, I will come home to destruction and mayhem. Not all are like this however.
    She even tore my curtains down trying to watch me while I retrieved the mail - I now bring her with me to get the mail just to keep my curtains up. She is great and very tolerant of my kids (ages 5, 2, and 7 months)

    I appreciate her drive though, I spend a lot of time alone with the kids due to DH being in the Army and it's nice to know when people are at my door. She "patrols" my house at night since he left.

    Temperaments do vary by breeding though. I think your best shot would be to visit the dog first and see what kind of temperament it has toward you in it's own environment. Lacey is fine with everyone outside of my house or car, she even let my mailman pet her yesterday and nuzzled his hand when we went to check the mail...but if he walked into the house unannounced she'd have a mailman meal. You can really learn a lot by how the dog will act toward you on it's own "turf" and that can be a good indication as to what kind of mentality it has.

    ETA: As for size, Lacey is 11 months old (almost a year actually) and right at 65 lbs, and still growing.
     
  11. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    94,266
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    3, Bimmer, GSDX (m); Kharma, Fila Brasileiro (f);
    Location:
    Where the selas blooms
    Home Page:
    I've had GSDs in some sort of pure breed or dominant mix since I was 12. :) Every single GSD is different. There should be some basic similarities, but you can't count on it as the breeding is just all over the place, so you take each dog as an individual.

    I'd advise you to meet the dog and spend some time with her and try to have as few preconceived notions as possible. Typically they aren't difficult as far as being rescued goes, and most are intelligent enough to know what is happening. There may be some grieving for their old families if they've been close, so if you take her and she's somewhat unresponsive and acts sad for awhile, don't worry too much. Just give her time to grieve and let her know you are there when she's ready.

    I would also suggest that if you take her, you have them bring her to your house and leave her with you, rather than you taking her from theirs.
     
  12. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 + fish
    Location:
    CT
    One way to find out how the dog is temperamentally, is speak to their vet. WHile alot of dogs can be nervous nellies with a vet, it may give you some insight on her.

    I would also want to know, how she is with kids, other dogs, cats, strangers? If you know these people well, then you should hopefully get straight answers out of them. I'd also ask if she had any health issues. GSd's can be prone to sensitive stomaches, epi, things of this nature.

    I have had GSD's my entire life, grew up with them, I will always have a gsd in my house. The one poster was right, they are ALL different but share some basics. as in shedding,,they don't call them german shedders for nothing LOL..They don't require alot of bathing, but do require alot of brushing.

    They can be an easy dog to live with or a pain to live with :)) I would ask the family more info on her, also where did THEY get her? and I would also see if you could take her on a trial basis, say for a few days to see if she is a dog you think you could live with:))

    Good luck
    diane
     
  13. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Messages:
    64,812
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I personally love the breed , but agree each personality is different . The best thing is to meet and check out .
     
  14. Amstaffer

    Amstaffer New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    germanshepherds.com: Viewing list of forums

    That website is home to a lot of great people who know tons about GSDs.

    Personally I don't have one but I love them from what I know. But they vary a lot. There are very different lines that have developed in the breed.
     
  15. mikzmae

    mikzmae Guest

    wow German sheppards is very expensive dog but love to have it,dog is a good pet,its a friend that gets our stress sometime,actually i love dogs.nice post.
     
  16. chanda

    chanda New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,980
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think the temperament of a dog really depends it is raised. My friend has one and her dog is one of the most friendliest dog i ever encountered.
     
  17. Amstaffer

    Amstaffer New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    Expensive? If you go with working lines you can get a really nice do for around 1000. If you take care of them and with a little luck you can have them for 12+ years. That is less that $7 dollars a day (not including food and health care which you would have with any dog). That is pretty cheap considering you will have a companion who will love you unconditionally and risk their life for you. They also lower your blood pressure. ;)

    Dogs in general are IMHO big bargains.
     
  18. RagstoRiches

    RagstoRiches New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm no expert but since you mentioned being nervous I'd go with the first gut instinct. You have no experience with these dogs,thus I'm thinking you'd have a hard time being the leader. You might suggest the owners locate a good rescue group. This breed isn't for everyone.
     
  19. Jynx

    Jynx New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 + fish
    Location:
    CT
    I agree with amstaffer,,re: expensive,,dogs in general are expensive, If I had all the money I've spent on my dogs in the last ten years, I probably could have paid my mortgage off and then some (that's including vet bills not initial cost)

    I paid 1500$ for my working line girl, I paid 900$ for my aussie ..Initial cost is nothing compared to the lifetime of cost/committment..

    I also wanted to agree with Rags,,IF you are nervous about owning a GSD,,then honestly you shouldn't do it. These dogs aren't for everyone, but again, if you know the dog, know the owner, that is a plus.
     
  20. 4dogs3cats

    4dogs3cats Aroooooo!

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,617
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Glendale Arizona
    I can tell you from the other side of things.

    I DID get a GSD when I shouldnt have. I was over my head. Did not have a stable situation for the puppy.

    He was undersocialized which led to him not being able to go to the dog park.

    He was undertrained which led to my couches and numerous electronics being eaten.

    He was not disciplined which led to him killing 2 of my cats.

    I did my research, I enforced NILIF, and I got to work.

    The only problem I have with him now is him still not being able to go to the dog park, but I have realized he only has issues when Bailey, my beagle is with us. He is very protective of her.

    My point is that you need to make sure YOU are ready for a german shepherd or as it has been said the dog will walk all over you. As mine did. lol

    But here is Chance now.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    He is also small at 65 pounds
     

Share This Page