Need help in choosing a dog - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by sansayer on 18 May 2019 - 03:05


I am new here, I am a Mom of 2 elementary school age kids, I run a small business and have a warehouse.
I would like to get a German Shepherd for Family dog and protection dog.
I can bring him( her) to work and would also love to have the dog for some daily activities.

Should I choose a male or female? I know nothing about training dogs ( I had only small dogs )
Should I get a puppy or an adult?

Willing to pay up to $1500, please help with my questions.



by Hundmutter on 18 May 2019 - 07:05

Busy mum, young family, no experience of training large working breeds - why are you thinking GSD in the first place ?
Would you not do better to consider advice that is about, on the internet and elsewhere, on how to choose the right breed for your particular circumstances ? I doubt any such q'aire, ap, or expert would recommend a GSD as the right choice - sounds more like an accident waiting to happen, IMO.

Trouble is, when people make these choices despite advice against, it is usually the dog which ends up suffering most. Really not recommended, and that is NO reflection on either a wonderful dog breed, or on you as a person. If you could only see the huge number of GSDs in welfare shelters, having been given up because buyers in precisely your circumstances have given up on them, finding them unmanageable, you would weep. Better yet, if you are determined, and really think you could cope and give a GSD all it needs, save yourself a little money and ADOPT one from a shelter.

by astrovan2487 on 18 May 2019 - 13:05

What hundmutter said 100%. An inexperienced, busy owner with small children is a recipie for disaster if you get a cheap protection dog.
That price range will not get you what you are asking for unless you are willing to put in endless hours of training, working with a good trainer. That and the luck of finding the right dog for the job

When you have a dog trained in bitework you need to be 100% committed to keeping up on the dogs training. Its a huge lifestyle change.
Sad part is there is an endless number of greedy breeders who will sell to people in this situation for that price or less and say the dog is already completely trained and ready to go.

by Germanshpherdsetc on 18 May 2019 - 14:05

Welcome sansayer to PDB!

More questions should be asked of before answering her since we do not know what type of “protection” dog you are wanting. I know by sansayer saying she wondered what is best a puppy or a grown dog leads me to believe she isn’t necessarily looking for a protection trained dog or pup for $1500.00.

There are different types of protection dogs including “site” dogs where just the appearance of a large dog is enough of a deterrent and all that is needed or could the OP be looking for an “alert” dog which is one who barks and alerts of a potential problem among others. She could be looking for one like mine which is a family dog that would make a good deterrent? We don’t know since she didn’t say and we didn’t ask.

Most German shepherds just need time and attention with their “pack” or family and do not necessarily need to be “protection” trained to be a good protection dog or deterrent and make a wonderful family member even for those with small children
I own a GSD and he is a natural protector of his “pack” and when we go on walks people are VERY respectful of his size and look when in fact he is a big baby teddy bear.

At one time or another we were all “inexperienced” with gsd’s (German shepherds) or any dog for that matter and had to start somewhere.
Maybe this is all the OP needs as well?

Based on the small amount of information I would recommend she get a puppy and let it “grow up” with the children. Let the puppy her and her children all bond and grow together. Chances are the pup will be a natural protector of his/her family or at the very least a good deterrent just by its looks. I would also highly recommend the OP get guidance from a good breeder having the traits she is looking for

As far as a male or female pup? There are pros and cons to owning each. I would talk to a breeder you are considering buying from what might be best suited for your needs and wants.

I hope you get many points of view and choose what you feel is most right for you and your family

German shepherds are well known for being intelligent dogs and can adapt and be very happy in a variety of situations including the one she has described.

Best of Luck!

by astrovan2487 on 18 May 2019 - 16:05

I was assuming as protection dog she meant an actual working dog trained in bitework, should have asked more questions. If OP just wants a dog to bark at people who come on the property then thats a whole other ball game, just about any dog can do that and doesnt need to be trained.

We all do start off somewhere. my first GSD was a middle aged rescue, perfect dog for a beginner. Maybe if OP just wants deterrent dog and dosent have tons of time to train a well behaved older rescue would be a good fit for a first dog?


by Hundmutter on 18 May 2019 - 21:05

'Well behaved' doesn't necessarily mean heel-trained; I still think she ought to be considering something smaller, if she has only ever lived with 'small' dogs so far. Why run before you can walk, why not get a medium sized breed and learn training skills on that first ?

Q Man

by Q Man on 18 May 2019 - 22:05

I don't discourage someone who wants to do something...But the answer is always do your homework first...
By doing your homework I mean "really"...Take your time...and find out what you are asking for...
As ALWAYS I whole heartedly recommend that you find a working dog club by you...Visit...Meet the owners and ask questions...Be around these dogs and even handle some of these dogs and see exactly what you're asking for...
A Working Dog is something totally different from anything you've ever had before...A lot stronger with more desire to do things...These dogs need attention and upkeep...They basically need a job to do...I mean a physical job...
As others have explained...with kids...a job...a sounds like you have a very full life already...
As I said I never discourage anyone from wanting to do anything...Just PLEASE take your time and go and check out what you're talking about...
As I said...Find a working dog club...Maybe if you let us know where you're located someone can help you find a club or something that can help you with what you want and need to know...


by sansayer on 18 May 2019 - 23:05

I could not believe I got so many good suggestions, I read all of the post here and I really appreciate.

Hundmutter , astrovan2487 and some others suggest not getting a GSD, Q Man said they are really stronger than I could handle.
I think I really need to re-consider and do some research before I make a decision. Thanks!!

That actually bring more questions:

I know there is a "show line" . Will those dogs be smaller and good for a family dog?

Also thank Germanshpherdsetc for bring the question of " Protection dog"
Well, I have to admit that I am not the expert, a lot of the words talked in this forum, I do not even know the meaning.
"Protection dog" for me is actually a “alert” dog, who will jump in front of me when sth happen.

I had some very bad experience that some one break in mid-night when only me and kids are home.
I was lucky my phone was with me,and I was able to call 911 but I really wish there was a big dog there.

Any suggestions will be appreciate.

Also, I have to admit I am busy, I could spend maybe 20-30 minutes doing some running with dog. But I have a big fenced yard and I prefer to bring dog to work( warehouse) everyday.

Thanks @

by sansayer on 19 May 2019 - 00:05

I did some more research and I have to admit that sadly,,, maybe I should get a dog when kids are bigger.

by astrovan2487 on 19 May 2019 - 02:05

show lines are usually bigger than working lines. Show lines are also generally less drivey/active than working lines but there are always exceptions.
GSDs need a lot of attention, my experience with them has been that they crave interaction with their owner more than anything and like having direction and structure. Left on their own without much stimulation they can become destructive.

If you found an adult dog that was already trained, low drive, and good with kids you could make it work. There are a lot of older rescue dogs out there that would just be happy to have a nice family to live with. That kind of dog could still be a good alert dog but most likely not dependable to actually intervene in a physical altercation.

As for protection if you are not comfortable with a gun in the house pepper spray and/or a small stun gun are both easy to use and legal to carry almost anywhere in the US.


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