German Shepherd Dog > New Here....German Shepherd Questions..... (50 replies)
by Emoore on 10 April 2012 - 01:47
|I think that the odds of your new German Shepherd NOT getting along with at least one of your 8 existing dogs are so high as to make it a near certainty.|
by ggturner on 10 April 2012 - 02:20
|We live on 1 1/2 acres (one acre which is completely fenced in) with 3 gsds, 2 cats, and 2 kids (in college and not at home from August to May) and believe me, that's more than enough for us. I think with so many dogs, there will be fights even if you get the gsds as puppies. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear, but I wonder how much time you could devote to them (gsds) since they require more time than other breeds. You seem to already have your hands full.|
by myjordash on 10 April 2012 - 05:35
|I see myself as having 5 dogs, since they are the only one in my house, the others are in a separate house. But I don't want anything to happen to my existing dogs, so I guess I will pass. I never had a problem getting a dog as a puppy, my animals always got along great. But I have never owned a german shepherd. My neighbor had awful problems with her Jack Russels when she got a German shepherd. The breeder I was going to get the gsd did not think there would be an issue with her temperament gsd. She said she has several along with other breeds and has never had an issue.|
by Maxleia on 10 April 2012 - 07:23
| "My question is whether or not German Shepherds will get along well with my other dogs, if I brought them in as a puppy."|
-Maybe, maybe not. Slightly dominant/insecure/unfulfilled GSD or yorkie and you could have a dead yorkie imo.
I would ask myself whether I could give these pups what they need, myself, in your position, could not.
by Stumpywop on 10 April 2012 - 11:59
|Personally I doubt this would work for you. Where would you find the time to continue giving the right amount of attention firstly to your children, then to your current dogs whilst trying to raise, house train and title 2 pups who would most likely focus upon each other as opposed to you or anyone else in the picture?|
I have one Son who is 7 years old and 3 GSDs, ranging from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 years old. My Son is involved in all aspects of animal care (aside from the nasty jobs of scooping poop etc). He comes first and foremost in my life. The dogs come second but they do get individual training, playtimes, walks, mentally stimulating games and collectively too. Then there's the time they spend with my Son. This takes up almost all of my time so I really cannot see how you can dedicate yourself or your time appropriately to new pups and their needs.
In addition, all 3 of my dogs "work". Zane is an assistance dog and they all are used to work with me when I attend primary schools to teach young children how to remain safe around dogs.
Without a specific amount of stimulation for a GSD, you will definitely run into many problems that can include aggression (not only towards each otehr but possibly towards outsiders' dogs, you, your children etc) and destructive tendencies.
How would you supervise that many kids and dogs being involved together? 24 hours in a day just isn't enough to provide properly for as many as you have AND another 2 pups on top. I think you'd be doing your family, your corrent dogs, any new dogs and the breed itself a disservice by taking on any more.
You've already said you have some larger breed dogs. Why not train them for protection work if that's what you're into or get them titled?
If your current dogs are old then why not wait until they are no longer with you before changing breeds or taking on more dogs.
by Rass on 10 April 2012 - 13:46
|Glad to see you have decided to pass on this.|
Now, someday in the future, you will be looking at this breed again I am sure. When you do, look very carefully at the breeder... are they breeding American Show Line dogs and titling them in the AKC or UKC ring? are they breeding German Showline dogs and titling them in IPO 1 and in the conformation ring? Are they breeding German or Czech Working lines and titling them to IPO 3 or selling them to become successful working K9s, Guide dogs and so forth? If not, then find a different breeder.
Do your homework. The lines I mentioned above are very very different in temperament, working drives, stamina and looks! KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.
One of the responses you recieved mentioned German Shepherds possibly viewing the small dogs as prey and treating them as such (probably killing them). I can tell you that this is a very real possibility. I had a German Shepherd in my past who was not well socialized with any dogs other than the other mix breed dog I had. She would have killed a puppy or small dog (she was obedient and never did).
Currently I have a 3/4trs American Show Line spay and a West German Show Line Spay. The American dog is bigger and sometimes when they play, she will suddenly go over into prey drive toward the German Show Line dog. I have to be careful with these two dogs.. and watch for the American Show Line dog's pupils to dilate.. and this "look" to come over her (I think sometimes she has a screw loose..). I don't allow the two to be together a lot where they can run loose (like the back yard.. I have an acre) because of this.. and these are two dogs, similar in size and the same breed and spayed!
I work both dogs in Obedience and other things... this breed of dog needs a JOB.. and it is a LOT of work and there are just two of them. I have a FT job, no kids, no husband/SO.. and it is a LOT of work to keep them occupied with training (obedience and so forth) and work/things to do!
If you do not give this breed of dog a job to do, they will find one on their own that more often than not is what you DON'T want them to do!!!
by myjordash on 10 April 2012 - 13:50
|Pretty sure you guys have scared me away from ever getting a German Shepherd....I don't think I will ever be able to devote 100% of my day to one dog. Its weird, because I have allot of neighbors that have German Shepherds, they have multiple dogs, and kids, both adults work outside of the home, the kids are in school all day, then activities, and the dogs seem to be doing just fine. Other than the one neighbor that had issues when her GS was a puppy.....but now her dogs all get along just fine, despite being left in the house all day while both parents work and the kids are in school. I am not going to debate this, and it is not a chance I will ever want to take to have a dog come in and destroy my other family members. :-( Not a chance I will ever want to take and if German Shepherds are that tempermental than it will never be a right fit for my family. I guess a German Shepherd should NEVER be in a household where adults work? I guess that should be a warning plastered some where.... I know that I have time for my dogs (and kids), so again, no reason to debate. The kids help out with the dogs, feeding, bathing, walking, running, and playing with them. They are a part of our family, and they are the focus of allot of our day. We all go on walks/runs together, and the dogs are by our side we are all here 95% of the day, and together on the weekends.....I wouldn't bring in another dog if I felt that I was overwhelmed or didn't have enough time for it....but apparently with all the time and love we have.....German Shepherds will never be a good fit. I just find it weird because we spend 1,000,000% more time with our animals than our neighbors and their GSDs seem to be just fine and happy.|
by brynjulf on 10 April 2012 - 14:23
|myjordash, the sheer number of purebred registered GSD sitting in shelters waiting for homes, is the result of the breeds need for work. Sadly many people do not research the breed or understand just how strong this need is. I am glad you took the time to research.|
by VeroHera on 10 April 2012 - 15:12
|I won't make friends here but I don't think GSD are the best choice for young kids, especially if you already have an extra busy life with 5 young kids and 8 dogs. |
I have 3 kids (12, 11 and 2) and my dogs are great with kids but my 1yo GSD have a lot of energy. She loves the 2yo baby but she is big and moves fast so I have to pay extra extra attention when the dog is free running and my baby is around. She is super safe with the older kids but I am always around and never let the kids alone with the dogs even if I think my dogs are 99.99% safe with kids, we never know.
by aceofspades on 10 April 2012 - 15:20
|myjordash....honestly, in my personal opinion, no a GSD is not a good choice for a family where someone is not home most of the day. I've owned GSD for 15 years now and even before we had kids my husband and I did not work the same shift. He worked 8am-4pm and I worked 7:30am-10m and 4:30pm-10pm and he and I both worked less than 2 miles from home so no commute time. I also had the flexibility in my job to stop home and check on the dogs as often as needed when needed. For the last 9 years I have been a stay at home parent and we have 3 GSD and a little dog and I never leave the GSDs and the little dog home together. If little dog is left home she is crated in a rom with a closed door. They get along great, but it only takes one second for one of them to flip in to "drive mode" and I would have a dead little dog, and they will act as a team.......we lost all of our rabbits because i literally turned away for a moment, the rabbits were in a hutch.....a solid hutch, and the dogs and rabbits had been together and around each other for MONTHS. If a rabbit got out one of the GSDs alerted us to where it was and would mouth it softly until we got there to pick it up. Then one day I was out with everyone, like usual and I turned away for just a momet and turned back and the entire side of the hutch was destroyed and the rabbits dead, it all happened in a split second, that is all it takes for the to switch into drive and once they are in drive mode they will kill anything little, even if it is off limits, like the family yorkie.....sad ending, dog will end up destroyed or in a shelter because it reacted to a natural instinct. |
They are a very strong breed, that generally need a strong experienced handler. They are fiercly loyal and eager to please and ALWAYS looking for a job to do. If they are bored they get destructive, and two puppies together will almost always be destructive.
Sure there are many GSDs who live in homes where their family works all day, but As brynjulf said, the sheer number of purebred, registered GSD in shelters and rescues is an indication of how powerful the breed is and an indication of how often it does NOT work out. they ARE a magnificent breed, they love their people, they are an amazing family dog but they really require a lot from their pack leader (YOU), and they NEED a job to do. With a lot of little dogs i think it isn't a matter of if, it is when, something tragic happens. If you ever do decide to get GSD (they really are a rewarding breed) I would make sure you have a fort knox secure enclosure for the little dogs to be in if you can not supervise them all together. Most GSD can hop over a 6 foot fence like is is 18" high and it takes them just a few minutes to get under a fence as well.
i am very glad that you had the good sense to ask qustions. Will you find breeders who will tell you they don't see it as a problem.....of course, they want to sell their dogs. just because they have champoion bloodlines doesn't mean they have morals, they want to make money off of you. ay breeder worth their weight in high end kibble would not sell you puppy right now. I would not rule out owning a GSD all together, just for now, they are a breed that is very rewarding and GSD people spead of their dogs with a different fondness than owners of any other breed I've ever known.
Thank you for taking the time to ask questions.
by Rass on 10 April 2012 - 15:27
|I work, and I have two German Shepherds. I would LOVE to get a third dog.. but I cannot. |
Here is an example of my dog day..... LOL
Get up at 4:30AM and get ready for work. Get both dogs out.. and go out with them (even though the yard is fenced). Make sure poop and pee goes well and dogs are fine. Bring dogs back in and put them in sit (stay). Feed the cats (yup.. they watch this). Get dog dishes and prepare dog food and put one dog's food in separate room in her crate and the other dog's food in another room in a corner. Mind you.. both dogs are still "working" and sitting though the older dog is leaking a bit wanting her food. Release each dog individually to go and eat. Shut crate door for the one dog. I separate them not because there has been a problem but because prevention is 9/10ths of the cure.
I eat.. briefly.. then go out with the dogs for a little walk. Put dogs in separate outdoor kennels and then put the one cat out in HIS kennel. Lock house, go to work (shut gates).
Get home at 4-5PM. Let dogs out of kennels and go with them to be sure they both pee/poop and all is well. Put dogs back in kennels (there kennels are 10'X10' out door runs with dog houses). Go in and clean cat boxes, feed cats, bring in the cat from his kennel for feeding.
Go and get the dogs, load them in the truck and drive 2 miles to the park. Work each dog in Obedience while the other dog is in a down (stay) watching. Throw the Frisbee for each dog individually while other dog is in a down. Walk both dogs 2 miles (at least) and climb up the hill and throw the frisbee down the hill so the dogs run back UP to me. Do this 20 minutes for one dog, 10 minutes for the other (lower energy) dog.
By now it is 6:30PM or later. Go home and bring dogs in, clean up after the cat feeding, and I get to eat (dogs only eat 1X a day). Clean/pick up house. Do dishes. Make my lunch for the next day. Read and catch up on the News (on line). Dogs are usually working on chew toys while this is happening and then they segue off to sleep. I Groom both dogs (brush and comb). Go out with dogs one last time.. then put dogs up for the night and go to sleep my self.. to start it over again the next day.
Some nights I go to training (get home late) and one weekend day I go to training. Sometimes I trial or show on the weekend. I want to get one dog's AKC CDX. The other dog will be going for her BH this spring and then we start working towards IPO 1. Sometimes on a Saturday we go hiking.
Going for groceries, dog food and the like happens on the weekends...
I do not have time for TV (so I don't have TV).
And this is just two dogs and I work. You can have dogs and go to work, it is just a LOT to do.
by Conspicuous on 10 April 2012 - 15:44
|Rass, that idea of throwing the frisbee down the hill is genius. :D|
by aceofspades on 10 April 2012 - 16:22
|Rass.....your explanation of your day hits home for me for two reasons.|
1) I depserately want a 4th dog, and what your day is like is the reason I do not....add three kids into the mess, two of whom are highly dedicated to TaeKwon Do and realistically I can't even make the time if i wanted to.
2) I have a beautiful 2 year old WL/SL cross who I bought 2 years ago specifically for Sch/IPO who hasn't even done a basic OB class yet because I can't squeeze it in, and I didn't want to take her to group classes because I don't want to have to undo anything that is started incorrectly. We have just done basic manners at home. I also have Ace (avatar dog over there --->) who we bought for my DD to train for agility, who we have done OB with but havne't squeezed in agility.
And I haven't had a job outside my home in nine years. I told the husband that this is the year though, Janna is going to get started on her Sch if it kills me.
I have been looking at dogs again, but have made the commitment not to commit to a 4th GSD until a few things are done around the property....1) fence is finished 2) we have four 10x10 kennels 3) Janna has her Sch1 and DD handles her in at least one conformation show, even though I doubt she would win anything, the DD has been asking to do it for fun and her dog Ace, there is no chance of him ever winning conformation, he is WL to the core and oversize. My Sister has a Frenchie that she shows that she said my DD could use as well for fun for junior handling. I just feel like before i add another one I need to do better by the ones we have.
This is my life as a stay at home parent, with a husband works a reasonably easy 40 hour work week, mon-fri home by 5pm and he helps a ton with the kids....he loves the dogs but they are MY thing, not his. I can't imagine having more kids and more dogs and even thinking that there was any possibiliy that I could give them all of the attention needed. Just putting everyone to bed at night takes longer for the dogs than the kids. LOL
by macrowe1 on 11 April 2012 - 00:57
|Sorry if we scare you away from the breed, and I'm sure you're neighbors have nice dogs and all, and no not all GSDs are dog aggressive and many get along just fine in multiple dogs homes. But we are steering you away because there is no way that you can devote enough time to your kids, work if you have a job, the "5" dogs you have and the random "3" you don't claim, then these two pups, who I'm sure will be two more that you don't claim. They need attention and jobs. Yorkies don't need jobs, but German Shepherds are herding dogs, and need a job to keep their minds busy, otherwise you're going to have some destruction. It doesn't matter if you bring home a GSD or another Yorkie, or a Dane, or whatever, you're going to have regular pecking match fights that go on. But I highly advise you against getting one, let alone two, pups right now with your current state of many dogs and kids. Just because your neighbors have a nice GSD, doesn't mean you need to add two to your bunch of dogs.|
by macrowe1 on 11 April 2012 - 01:03
|The issue is that you have so many dogs. And I have a GSD who is 16 months, and both me and my boyfriend work, and I am a fulltime college student. But I guarentee that she gets all of my free time that I can give her, and she still will occasionally get bored and destructive. And she does great with kids, that's not the issue. And she does good with other dogs, that's not the issue. The issue is that you're bringing home two GSD pups, who will bond together instead of bonding to you, which will cause an issue with any training. And these pups need training, need attention, need like hard running, and need a job. They can't just be tossed out to another house, is anyone in that house or is it just the discarded dogs? I mean, you have 8 dogs, but consider only having 5, that's a serious issue there. Why don't you claim the other dogs? Are they not as important? Where will these dogs be? Whose job is it to train them everyday? What will you do with these dogs besides maybe breed them in the future, even though you know little about the breed? I suggest that although your neighbor has a GSD, and I'm sure it's a great dog, wait until you have less, like 3 dogs instead of 8 before you go adding more.|
by myjordash on 11 April 2012 - 13:43
|wow, you guys really assume the worst about people. If I was not clear on the other 3 dogs, you could've nicely asked instead of assuming I just disregard them. My Mom owns a house on my property and she owns the other 3 dogs. We keep them separate from my dogs. She cares for them, she plays with them, she cuddles with them at night. It would be equivalent to having a parent live next door with 3 dogs. I don't consider them mine, because they aren't....but I love to go to my Mom's house and play with them daily as do my kids. SHE wanted to purchase one of the German Shepherd puppies, so one of them would be hers, living in her separate home, and one would be here in my home. The puppies would not be together all the time nor living in the same home, but maybe occasionally in the yard together. I consider myself having 5 dogs because in my home, there are 5 dogs, in my Mom's home next door (but on my property) she owns 3 dogs, we WERE both considering getting a German Shepherd. |
by Conspicuous on 11 April 2012 - 14:59
|People aren't assuming the worst, you've told them about your lifestyle, asked for their opinions and they gave them to you. Nobody is being mean, they are being honest.|
They are not saying you are a bad person, only that this breed is probably not the best choice for you at this point in your life. They are a high maintenance animal. I think once the kids are a bit older, and maybe in a few years if you have fewer animals (and hopefully more room) it might be doable. I don't recommend getting two pups at the same time. Been there, done that. They bond with each other, and training is much more difficult.
by myjordash on 11 April 2012 - 15:28
|well assuming that I have just disregarded the other 3 dogs, or that my dogs are left in kennels, IMO is assuming the worst of me. |
I kinda wanted to know, yes they should get along fine with my other dogs....or no, they don't usually get along with other dogs even when brought in as a puppy is what I was looking for....not all of these judgements and assumptions. :-(
by macrowe1 on 11 April 2012 - 20:38
|I'm sorry that you think it's an attack on you, but to our defense this is how you opened the forum: "I am considering purchasing 2 German Shepherds (male & female) from a breeder (possibly breeding in the future). I currently have to 2 male Yorkies (intact, which I am thinking of getting fixed), two Golden Retrievers (fixed), a Sheltie (fixed) and 3 female Yorkies (intact)." To me, that sounds like, hey, I've got 8 dogs, most of which aren't fixed, all different sizes and breeds, and I want to add two GSD pups. Then you add "live on 1 1/2 acres " , which to me is way to smal for so many dogs, regardless of breeds. You add that you have 2 houses on the premises, but not that your mom is wanting one and has the larger dogs and you want one and have the smaller. Then you go into thinking about "breeding", which on this forum is a hugely debated topic because most who say "hey I want to breed" have no clue about the breed, no clue about their pedigree, or what goes into breeding, or OFA or Penn Hips or any genetic diseases, or titling, so you're going to get a lot of negative opinions on here about that. Not to mention having multiple different breeds of dogs, then gaining these two pups. Then you back it up and say that the Yorkies are inside and the other dogs are in the other house, then say that one GSD will be there and one GSD will be in your house, so I'm not sure the plans there. Then you say that you have "five young children...so they will have plenty of love and attention." While I'm sure that your kids will love and play with the pups while their young, what happens when they get big? How old are the kids? Whose job is it to train these pups? Where will these pups be sleeping? Are you going to claim these pups, cause in the beginning you claimed 8 dogs, now you claim 5? If you view these questions as an attack, I'm sorry, but I've worked in shelters and see the same situations and people get a pup cause their friend as one and it's cute and fluffy, and then it gets big, and then the kids don't care cause they have basketball or whatever, and this adolescent GSD gets destructive because he's bored, and then it just keeps progressing until it winds up in a shelter. I'm not saying this is what will happen to you, but this is what I want to prevent. And if these questions I ask bother you, maybe you don't need any more dogs until you can figure out beforehand who's job is what, where this dog will be, who is going to train it, when are you going to spay and neuter. As far as breeding goes, no. As far as getting along with other dogs, usually it's not a problem. But that's usually, with one or two other dogs, not a large pack. There's always going to be dogs trying to be the alpha, and so there's always a chance of fights. However, most GSDs are great with other dogs and people. But, think of adding up all puppy shots, heartworm preventative, flea and tick prevention, spay and neuter costs, food (it's expensive), toys, and emergency cash, and then decide if you can afford this for your new dog. Then think of all the 5 or 8 or whatever dogs and think about it for them.|
by myjordash on 12 April 2012 - 00:29
|I completely understand your concern with my original post, and I appreciate your questions....because really in the end, I am just trying to make the best decision for my family. So here it is, we have 1 1/2 acres, my parents live on the property and have their own house. In their home they own 3 female Yorkies and are were thinking of getting a female GSD. In my home I have 5 children, between the ages of 1 and 12, we have 2 male Yorkies, 2 Golden Retrievers (one who is older) and a Sheltie. We are dog lovers. Our dogs sleep in our rooms with us, they are not ever in cages or kennels (except the Yorkies for their own safety if we are not home). They are a part of our family. I want to feel safe when my kids are in the yard and thought a German Shepherd would be a good dog to offer a sense of security. My neighbors do not have cute fluffy puppies, they have fully grown German Shepherds. One seemed to have a bad experience when her's was a pup and it attacked her other two dogs multiple times and they had to have several surgeries and tubes. This scares me, and makes me second guess whether this is the right breed for me. I am not sure if that is the "norm" with this breed or not. I was looking for answers and doing my research. It honestly might be years before I know for sure whether a GSD is the right breed for me. I spoke to a German Shepherd Rescue today and got allot of my questions answered, but have allot more questions that I will need to research on my own. I have ruled out allot of breeders so far, have not found one that I feel is a honest or a good fit. I am checking petfinder as well and looking at rescues. I know I need to bring in a dog as a puppy, if I am going to bring a dog in at all. I have been through the puppy phase....recently as one of my Golden's is only 3 yrs old.....I love her and she is an awesome dog. Again the only thing I feel I am lacking in my pups is one that can protect us if need be. I am not looking for an agressive dog....maybe just the look of the dog will be enough to deter someone coming into my yard or my home for the wrong reasons. I am not set on getting 2, I am not even set on getting 1. I just wanted to know if what my neighbor went through with her's is the "norm" or the "exception". I would be heartbroken (to say the least) if anything happened to my dogs....so I need to take my time, research, and go into this with both eyes open. I am not looking for just another "cute puppy". I know very well how hard the puppy years are. My husband and I are very active with our children and our animals. We would be either training them or hiring someone to come in and train them. My children love to play with our dogs, and my husband likes to take them on runs through the park and around the lake while the kids ride their bikes. We often visit the parks and other places outside that we love to take our dogs. I homeschool my children so we are together all the time with our animals, and live in Florida, so we are able to spend allot of time outdoor all year round. I hope that this give you a glimpse into our intentions and why we are researching getting a GSD now, or maybe years in our future.|