What’s so special about the GSD? - Page 1

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by Smokin Joe on 23 February 2020 - 01:02

I’ve been obsessed with the breed for as long as I can remember. Great memories watching my father train our dogs when I was a kid. If it were up to my wife, she would have gone for a Doberman. Apparently, my dad was not only good in raising dogs, because he taught me well when it comes to maintaining a good relationship with a wife. He said “you have to pick your battles”. So, I’m easy going with her, until the subject of what kind of dog we will always have. I’m a lucky man. Anyway, would like to hear how your GSD obsession started.

by GSCat on 23 February 2020 - 04:02

You could always get BOTH a Doberman AND a GSD :-) Walks and/or runs together with each you having your own dog of your own favorite breed... hard to beat. Each training your own puppy into a great adult... also hard to beat (and avoids conflict over whose dog he/she is and training/discipline/treats/attention/etc.). Two dogs get more exercise than one, especially if they grow up playing together. Without knowing more, getting one of each would be my initial recommendation because it worked well in my personal experience.

I like both breeds. Both are very versatile. There are many similarities, although important differences. One thing is the difference in shedding and the amount of dirt/mud/water than can be carried/spread/sprayed by a shaking Dobie or GSD. This may be a big consideration to your wife if she does most of the cleaning. How cold or hot your climate is might be a factor in choosing between the breeds if you decide to go with only one.

If you only get one dog, which breed is better for your family will depend on why you want him/her, and what you want him/her to do.

If you decide to get a German Shepherd Dog, your needs and desires will also dictate the gender and type of GSD... American/Canadian show line, West German show line (WGSL), West German working line (WGWL), DDR (working line), Czech (working line) or maybe a cross between two or three of these. The biggest thing is do your homework so you know what you're getting, the breeder is reputable and stands behind a good (health) guarantee, the breeder will take back the dog for any reason (usually without compensation/refund), and the health/genetics of the dog.

My current GSD is a Czech working line... energywise, like having a Siberian Husky in a German Shepherd body, to include being a cunning escape artist, a marvelous clown, and never quits/slows down. She's more serious than a Sibe, and not as clean. She's intelligent, fearless, loyal, protective, and civil. She's also a great looking dog :-) I especially like her big pointy ears, expressive brown eyes, and beautiful coloring, especially the pattern on her head/face.

Good luck, and have fun :-)

by Rik on 23 February 2020 - 07:02

I started out showing/owning Dobes. had always liked GSD's as a neighbor had them when I was growing up.

to be honest, I grew weary of all the trimming that had to be done on the dobe, take them in at 3 days for tails/dew claw removal. finding a vet who could actually do a good ear trim was costly and often involved a lot of travel and then having to care for, get the ears up correctly and the discomfort the pup went through.

also, it was becoming quite diffulcult to find a show Dobe with good character. sounds kind of familiar, huh.

met a guy at work with show GSD and it just seemed unreal to me that here was a breed that all you had to do was raise them up, give them a bath and hit the ring. my first GSD/ show, we were in a class of 17 and placed dead last, but I was hooked on the breed.

Still think it is one of the best ever and my favorite. although as anyone will find out over time, it is a breed that can come with it's own set of issues.


by Andosmom on 23 February 2020 - 08:02

Their loyalty, protective nature, and their high intelligence. They are great companions, goofy, playful, smart, energetic, optimistic, vivacious and full of life and happiness.

There really isn't anything about this breed that I don't like.


by Hundmutter on 27 February 2020 - 04:02

I like all dogs; I used to admire friends' Dobes, I always thought they had a great sense of humour ! But it never occurred to me to want to actually live with anything except a GSD.

From the first time I got 'emotionally involved' as a 9 year old (bearing in mind my Dad still lived with us until I was 11 and he was "Alsatianphobic") with Shepherds belonging to other people, I was hooked - and have stayed that way for 55 years now.

And yet I don't know exactly what it is that is special. All of the things other posters have mentioned, of course; their intelligence, their trainability, their ability to empathise with my moods - all of that is true, but all is said of other breeds & none.

Perhaps its also partly the superficial resemblence to the ancestral Wolf -  I was always someone who was 'pro-Wolf' right from childhood, never fell for the popular 'ravening beast' image that wolves unfairly have.

by Gsdjackson on 27 February 2020 - 08:02

Love the topic. My parents had 5 GSD's while I was growing up. In my teenage years,there was never an evening that I did not have one or two out for a long walk. Makes me happy to just remember the days.
My first dog as an adult with my own family was a boxer named Ray. My wife was not interested in a German shedder(pick your battles)! Ray was a wonderful example of the breed,except he had an off switch the minute he came indoors. Broke my heart when he passed at eight. My wife and kids felt they could not have another boxer,so it gave me the opportunity to have my GSD. After much research,I decided on a WGSL who was bred in Germany. Jackson is now almost four,and has been an absolute delight. Everything you would expect and more. Two things that I love about the breed:1)they make you earn their respect,love and devotion and 2)there is something regal about a good GSD. At times you will look at your GSD,and think they are sitting for a portrait!
I will own a GSD for the rest of my days.


by emoryg on 27 February 2020 - 10:02

The overall character of the German shepherd is what I find to be most special.  Among other things, the absolute confidence, the hardness and the desire to please attitude really stands out.  Not always having to have a toy or food to motivate the dog is priceless.  I am also impressed with their instinctive behaviors.  Their endurance and ability to operate in any environment is well noted. 

I appreciate the toggle switch that allows them to go from happy-go-lucky to badass.   It never ceased to amaze me how I could have them with a group of kids, watching as they fought for the dog’s attention, while the dogs tried to make sure everyone received an equal face cleaning.  Then hours later see that same mouth clamped on some car jacker’s thigh, and in matter of seconds convince the thug how at that point in time, going to prison was a better place to be. 

They also made great house pets when we returned home the following morning. 


by GK1 on 27 February 2020 - 12:02

There is an aura of nobility and sense of duty in the GSD I don’t think is quite the same in the other working breeds imo. I have a couple nice Malis since they were small pups. They are fun to work, driven and affectionate with family…yet protective. Took a chance on a young adult JINOPO import re-homed to me last summer on short notice. I really didn’t need another dog, yet somehow I expected he would be the best dog I ever owned and I was right for him. I was correct. He has it all.  He may also be the best dog I will ever own.


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