German Shepherd Dog > New Here....German Shepherd Questions..... (50 replies)
by Rass on 12 April 2012 - 00:57
|I like that you are thinking this through. |
The experience your neighbor had could be yours as well. This breed can have a LOT of drive and when they have drive (especially prey drive), small dogs and fast moving things (including kids on bikes and cars driving by) can become objects of prey and trouble will ensue. The working line dogs often have a lot of drive. Show lines dogs can also have a lot of drive.. especially prey drive. A dog that has unbalanced drives and weak nerve can be a nightmare too.. and they are out there a lot more often than you would think. You really want a dog with balanced drives and that is harder to find than you might think.. and that dog may not be a good pet either.
This breed, especially those of the breed that are less balanced in drives, needs a LOT of socialization when young. This means rides in the car, out at the park, alone without the other dogs with you. They need lots of different experiences at a young age.. but not during fear periods.. so they can be calm and confident in most situations. Just living with a family and in a back yard is not a good plan.
A couple of times you have mentioned protection. You really do not want to get a dog and expect it to be protective. Really unfair to the dog and unfair to you. Protection dogs are an entity unto themselves and require specialized training. If you get a dog with unbalanced drives and weak nerve the dog may protect in defense (fight or flight) and this sort of protection is very unstable. These are the dogs that charge the fence with hackles on end and they will bite... and they are largely unreliable.. and a liability. You are better off with your Golden Retriever than a dog that protects out of defense and weak nerve. If any of the dogs you have bark when a stranger approaches you are good to go with the dogs you have.
I am glad you are doing research. It is a great place to start. Do not get into this quickly.. and if you want to keep an eye on the kids, instead of dogs for protection, get a good fence and video surveillance hooked into the computer.
by Hundmutter on 13 April 2012 - 22:22
|Probably does not matter terribly much how much space you have on your property - its what you|
have got spare in TIME and MONEY and COMMITMENT that really counts. I'm with all those who have posted; you need to be aware of the work involved in raising one GSD pup in these cirumstances, let alone two. Please be satisfied with the 'family' you've already got ...
by fawndallas on 13 April 2012 - 23:16
|I am by no way any expert, but here is my 2 cents.|
For your parents, I would recommend not getting a GSD. Setting aside the number of dogs, my concern is the fact that they are small dogs. As stated before, GSD are high prey driven dogs. I think that environement would be looking for trouble.
As for your home, the dogs you have are known to be fairly calm and gentle dogs. As a general rule, GSDs are not hyper, just full of a lot of engery, far more than what your current breds will have. I recommend that you look into your area for working shows with GSDs. Go visit the shows for 3 or 4 weekends. Talk to the owners. Not about if you should get one, but about what it took to get their dogs to the level you see.
This will give you a general idea on the GSD temperment as a general breed. Then you need to ask yourself, what you are expecting out of the new addition to your family.
If it is a general pet....GSD is probably not what you are looking for. Your Goldens are the best for that.
If it is for protection...GSDs are good for that, but you will then need to think about your Yorkies. a GSD that is bred and trained for protection usually has a high prey drive. It takes daily hours of work to control that drive. Once a GSD has learned a lesson, they will rarly forget it, but they will get lazy and will question if you really mean a command. Questioning your command while they are chasing your small dogs is a really bad time. There are other breds out there that will do this and will be better for your environement with the small dogs and children.
If it is for breeding, as someone already stated..breeding dogs is not an income idea. I have bred my female. This will be her only litter, as I am not going into the breeding business. This was a planned breeding with a clear plan for all of the pups. To date, I have spent around $2000 just on the vet alone. This is for the testing to make sure she is fit and for the testing during the pregancy. My girl has had no major illness and no complications. Add to that the stud fee and all of the prep for the pups, I have probably spent another $1000. All of this I spent, knowing I am not going into the breed business. This also does not include what I spent on the purchase of my female.
If I am lucky, I will get back 1/2 of what I put in for this litter. Breeding dogs is not a 1/2 way effort; whether you are planning for 1 or multiple litters.
There are some great breeders out there. More than enough for this breed of dog to be well established for the future. When you breed dogs, you really need to think about the "why." If it is for the money, trust us all in saying it is not there. Any breeder who tells you otherwise is pulling your leg. Personally, I would recommend letting them do the breeding and you purchase the pups as you "need" them. If you have friends or family that want them, show them this site and have them go directly to the breeders.
If it is for showing, talking with the show owners will give you the best idea on the time and money it takes for that.
All of us here are very greatful you are doing your home work before the purchase and not afterwards. We dearly love this breed and will defend them to the end.
Once you have a clear expectation for the new dog, along with a clear understanding of this breed, bring all your questions and we will gladly help.
by myjordash on 13 April 2012 - 23:58
I have the TIME, MONEY, and COMMITMENT....thanks for your opinion.
by myjordash on 14 April 2012 - 00:29
Thank your Fawndallas for your opinion and great advice, and you are right, I would LOVE to go to a GSD show and see them in person, so I know what I am looking for. I think my children (whom I homeschool) would LOVE to go and learn as well. From my research so far, I have come to the conclusion that I am not going to breed at all, IF I get one, now or in the future, I will be getting ONE, not two GSD pups. I have come to the conclusion my parents are not going to have the time or energy to properly train it, and with 5 kids, and 5 dogs, and the GSD Pups need to be trained separtely I am not going to have time time to properly devote to either of them if I try to train both of them at the same time yet seprately. I have concluded that since my Yorkies are all intact, IF I get one, it will be getting a female for my home and I will have her her fixed. I decided it would not be a good idea to get a male, and then have the Yorkies in heat and have to deal with a GSD and Yorkies possibly getting jealous of each other. I have also decided that I do not want a "work-line" pup, but a "show-line pup". I want the GSD to be friendly, and I am sure just her bark would be enough to keep unwanted people out of my yard/home. She doesn't actually have to BE fierce. When I say I want protection....I do not mean that I want a dog that attacks....I just want a dog that looks scary enough to keep bad people away. :-)
by magdalenasins on 14 April 2012 - 12:29
|My two cents. If you're looking for a dog that has less of a chance at eating your other dogs I wouldn't go with showlines but with working lines with stable nerves but low prey drive-a reputable breeder will be able to pick out a puppy that would be best in a pet home even if their litters are usually high drive they can get a low drive pet pup. That said if you are looking for a visual deterrent try a GSD rescue and an older dog you can meet with your current dogs and not a puppy. Still expect the possibility of fights and change your mind about never crating because you may need to crate and rotate for the rest of one or more of the dogs' lives (it could just as viably be one of your Yorkies or Golden's that doesn't take to the energy level of a new dog). GSDs are not bad dogs but every person that has commented on this thread has given you sound advice. If you have the time like you said and I assume are at home if you are home schooling then expect to add an hour or two of extra walking time for a GSD and not just in the yard time and you could have less of a problem. On the other hand you never can predict what will happen with any dog or breed. Good luck!|
by myjordash on 14 April 2012 - 13:33
|I was asking questions to my neighbor (the one who has a GSD that got into it with her Jack Russels multiple times), and I asked her if having the dogs fixed alleviated the problems she was having with the dogs fighting (her (2) Jack Russels needed to have surgery multiple times). She said the dogs are best friends, however after being fixed, recently the dogs got into it after seeing a squirrel run through the yard, and both the GSD and the Jack Russel (2 females) needed stitches. Does this mean that she got more of a "high prey agressive dog"? Or would even a "show-line non-agressive dog" do this if a squirrel comes running through the yard. Is this the norm for a GSD breed?|
by dantes on 14 April 2012 - 13:43
|BYB nothing more to say...|
by melba on 14 April 2012 - 14:52
|GSD, like people (hate to humanize) have many different personalities, as do all dogs. A dog that might be a great fit for one family, may not be for another|
due to a whole plethora of reasons. I have 5 GSD, and knowing their personalities is key. My male gets along with all of the females, some males if he doesn't
find them too pushy or annoying OR if I tell him he has to get along. One female only gets along with the male and one other female, but they ARE NOT allowed
to play together. Once I put one in drive, all hell breaks loose. These 2 females think the cats are puppies and mother them as such. One female will eat any
animal it can catch, gets along with the male and no other females, period. The other female will chase small prey, though I don't "think" she would kill it. Does
not get along with any other females and adores the male. The male that I recently donated to a police department got along with ALL other dogs and is bff
with his handler's lab, beagle and shit-zu. He hates cats, will eat them but does fine with the smaller dogs.
This is just my pack, and you can see that they are all different, just the same as each puppy will have a different personality. Your best bet, whether working line
(my personal preference) or show line is to find a breeder that absolutely knows the lines they are breeding, and produce the kind of dog that you like. Look at
their past buyers and the type of living situation the dogs are in. A dog that gets along with all the others but has major health problems is not the dog you want
either, so make sure to find a breeder that health tests their stock, and works the dogs they have.
I have 3 children, 10, 9 and 9, stay at home Mom and am actively training and trialing 3 GSD, plus have 2 long term boarding dogs (both owners are deploying)
for the next year. It's a hell of a lot of work. My children have been raised with working dogs so know how to appropriately act around them. They know not to
stick their faces in the dogs' faces, pull tails, hit, or horseplay around them.
All dogs have teeth and the worst possible scenario is your GSD gets into it with one of your other dogs and a child is caught in the middle, or tries to break them
up. A dog, in the heat of a fight WILL bite hands, legs etc... of someone trying to break it up, whether it is you or a child.
Go to shows, go to trials and ask questions. Email breeders you are interested in and ask questions too. Not if you should get a GSD, but about their dogs, lines,
health, and anything else you can think of.
by myjordash on 14 April 2012 - 15:50
|Can I ask you why you recommend working line vs. show line? Is show line gentler and less aggressive?|
by melba on 14 April 2012 - 20:48
|I'm not necessarily reccomending either show or working. I'm quite happy with my working line dogs, though if a nice show|
line came along that had all of the qualities I was looking for, then I would add them to our pack. I reccomend you go to
SV type shows and working dog trials to see the different types of dogs and talk to the people that own them. If thier family
is structured closely to yours, I would then inquire about lines and what breeder they obtained their dog from.
I'm a working line girl, but I have no problems with a strong, high drive show line.
Dogs from either line can be tough and dogs from either line can be gentle. It all depends on the genetics behind the dog. Some
dogs (even within the same litter) can vary personality wise between high drive hanging from your pant legs to the more service
dog type, quiet yet inquisitive. We all can hope that the litters produced will be uniform in looks and temperament, but that's not
usually the case.