Author Topic: New to owning GSD  (Read 7243 times)

Offline bobin

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New to owning GSD
« on: January 05, 2007, 10:28:11 am »
Hi all,
We have had our 18month GSD for 4 months.  She is incredible but I feel unqualified to be her owner.  I know nothing about this breed.  Most people coming to our house are very leary of her even though she does nothing to fear.  It seems to me a GSD has to be so much better behaved than any other dog because public perseption is negetive.  Have anyone else felt this?  Is there anything I need to be aware of with being a new GSD owner?  Robin is a beautiful dog we have not done professional training with her but she had learned most common commands easily, she has learned to skijor (and loves it)and has also learned many tricks.  I am interested in search and rescue but do not know much about it, any tips?
Thanks so much.

Offline schelmischekitty

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Re: New to owning GSD
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2007, 10:37:39 am »
i don't have a GSD, but we have an akita, akita chow, pitbull, and two double mint twin (as julie calls them) great danes, you can see them all in our pawprints by my name.  they're huge, and everybody knows there here, and they typically avoid us.  there is definately a bigger expectation as far as behavior goes when a breed has bad publicity.  we get it ALL the time, trust me!  you get used to  it after a while, and you will probably find out who your best friends, and family are, because they'll come to your house even when your dog is going through a "stage" ha ha.  i took my first dog to professional training, and it REALLY helped a lot, with everything.  after that i did it myself.  the biggest thing is socialization.  with it, you can show people how not all dogs are like the stereotypes they hear about.  search and rescue is great!  i have a friend who works with the south east search and rescue group, and i've worked with them.  it's really an awesome thing to get involved in, and gives the dogs a real sense of accomplishment!  congrads on your new baby!
steffanie in atlanta

aiden (4), tristan (2), & maya (born sept. 17th)
axle-140ish-lb akita (4)
peanut-5lb, 11 months chihuahua
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Offline zanie

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Re: New to owning GSD
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2007, 06:51:21 pm »
We have a GSD mix and I have to say that he is the most loyal, loving, attentive dog I have ever had.  He's also the most work, too.  Because they are soooooo smart, they need to be trained.  They also need a job, something to keep them occupied, or they will become destructive.  Dell doesn't like Kongs, what the trainer suggested, so we've had to find other ways. 

If you're interested in Search and Rescue, google "search and rescue" and add your region or hometown.  It will bring up places where you can get training as well as clubs.  You might also check into agility training.  High energy dogs do well here.

Good luck and make sure she gets enough exercise.
"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive." - Gilda Radner

Seattle, WA

Offline Ma-Is-Pa

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Re: New to owning GSD
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2007, 12:30:48 am »
My family has owned German Shepherds my whole life, and eventually this love has grown into an adventure in Breeding.  I can say that while I love and have loved dogs of all breeds...I will never allow myself to bring home another big dog of another breed.  Off the so-called aggressive breeds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Pitbulls,
Chow Chows, and German Shepherds, all have a hard time being put into the critical spotlight.  I feel however, that the german shepherd does a beautiful job of balancing the aggression with passive love for family.  They arn't a pushbutton breed though. A few critical factors determine how easy your training will go:

1. Genetics - luck of the draw vs. selecting a well bred dog
Some of the best German Shepherds I have met were rescue dogs...but if you go to a breeder, make sure you do your homework.  If you choose to rescue, just make sure you are ready to devote plenty of time to acclimation.
2. Socialization - It is PARAMOUNT that these dogs recieve early exposure to every challenge they may have to face later in life, if you can provide it.  Kids...other dogs...cats..o n and on.
3. A Job! - These guys were bred to work.  While they make outstanding family pets, they do get bored.  They have a tendency towards developing emotional/behavioral problems from neglect rather than outward "bad puppy" behaviors such as chewing, barking, etc.  This makes it twice as difficult to "FIX" a problem later on.  They thrive on feeling they have served their purpose.  Throw the ball a few times a day..go on walks...or integrate them into your daily routine around the house. 
4.  Easy on the Compulsion Training.  This is debatable and everyone has their own opinion on this, but I don't touch my dogs in a negative manner either with a leash, training collar, or any commands aside from sit or down for treats until they hit about a year.  I take the first year of the puppies life to allow them to bond to me, and learn by experience.  This isn't to say that you should not set boundaries.  With these dogs it is important to remember that less is more. Never use another method when your voice will work as well.  The same goes for shouting...nev er shout if a normal tone gets the job done.  While German Shepherds are tough dogs, people mistake them as being "hard" when in fact they are really quite soft.  You allow them to become hard by conditioning them and giving them confidence.  If you push them into it you get a fear biter..or a nervous wreck. 
German Shepherds act aloof towards all others outside their family because you are their WORLD, remember this, and adjust your mindset to that understanding.  Once you have owned one, and been around them for a's like it all just clicks.  They really are a whole new ball of wax..but really very simple.  They have an amazing ability to reason out situations...s o while you fret and disect the situation, they do the same thing. Two heads are better than one..!  If they can figure out a way to fix something that isn't right, a German Shepherd will always do it.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2007, 12:32:12 am by Ma-Is-Pa »
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Offline Jet

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Re: New to owning GSD
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2008, 08:21:00 am »
great video, schel!
We love GSD'S