experiences with german shepherds please

(154 Posts)
ThatVikRinA22 Tue 27-Aug-13 00:28:19

thinking of getting a german shepherd pup. This would be my first "big" dog , i work in the police and have already enlisted potential help in training from a bobby who is a dog handler and does dog training as a second job.

i have thought about getting one for a while - met quite a few through work, and love them. DD met one while staying with a relative last week and is smitten with them.
i would get a dog rather than a bitch and a long haired GSD. House is not huge but garden is of a good size and the park is just 2 mins walk away.

i do have an aging cavalier king charles. totally going for a change here....(and to soften the blow when my beloved girl goes....she is knocking on)
so. GSD owners.....what do i need to know before i get one.
i have the name and number of a reputable breeder and am prepared to go on a waiting list. not in a huge rush.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:56:25

thanks - i may be back for some google assistance!
at least i know i dont want the show lines....just the pet lines minefield to get through now then....
if anyone ever calls me back.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 16-Sep-13 22:57:53

oh and my DH made me laugh tonight
i asked him if he was still on board with the idea of getting a GSD pup
his reply?
"i dont know - have you told me im on board? if so yes."

i have him well trained so a dog will be a doddle!

goodasitgets Mon 16-Sep-13 23:04:43

Our GSD was the most amazing dog we've ever had
She jumped off a balcony when she heard me screaming as a child, broke her leg and still dragged herself to me to bite the person who was next to me (sorry grandad!) grin
She never had any aggression except if you were in danger and would literally have given her own life for you. Followed you everywhere and was generally just an amazing family dog, great to walk and handle and fantastic with children
Comedy moment was her trying to follow me through a swinging door and face planting as the door swung back on her grin

chrissiegsd Tue 17-Sep-13 10:21:53

Oh that was so funny about your hubby!

I have sent you a PM with some further info on - hope it helps.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 17-Sep-13 15:49:49

thanks chrissie....youre a diamond.

Yonididnaedaethat Tue 17-Sep-13 16:18:53

I've got 2 GSD, it's so funny when my 16 month old is doing something he shouldn't as they give me a look that says 'mum......he's being naughty!' smile

Booboostoo Wed 18-Sep-13 07:21:03

Just a little point but for puppies you need the hip scores of the mother and the father (the addition of the two hip numbers for each dog should be under 10, so the dog you mention at 7:7 is a 14 and not particularly good). Puppies cannot get hip scored before 12 months old so beware of anyone who gives you numbers for a young pup.

basildonbond Wed 18-Sep-13 08:37:22

Good grief - I've just looked at the gallery of the breeder you linked to vicar and I can't believe that people would choose dogs with backs like that over straight backs - surely it can't be good for the dogs' health? They look like they're permanently trying to sit down...

German shepherds aren't really on my radar but I can't remember the ones I knew as a child looking like that

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 18-Sep-13 16:41:07

well, i think the way they are stood makes it look worse - they pull on leg forward and one back to exagerate the slope - and spoke to some really good people today through word of mouth.

a good healthy backed GSD should not have a poker straight back, nor a very sloped back - there should however be a slight and gentle slope, its that shape that enables them as a working dog apparently.

found some diamonds in the rough today. hurrah!

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 20-Sep-13 13:33:25

went to visit beinhard GSD today - lovely lovely lady and very responsible breeder. Unfortunately no pups until next year.

Chrissie ill pm you....

Booboostoo Fri 20-Sep-13 14:01:13

I know it's tough to wait, I am making myself wait until spring 2014 or spring 2015, but maybe it's a blessing in disguise. Imagine toilet training in the middle of the winter!

LadyTurmoil Fri 20-Sep-13 16:22:01

How about a GSD cross like Boo Boo

LadyTurmoil Sat 21-Sep-13 22:51:01
ThatVikRinA22 Sun 22-Sep-13 00:06:51

well - this being my first GSD i think for a first go id like a puppy so i can get it used to all my other furries,
but if i get another to buddy up i would definitely consider a rescue - just think its more sensible for a first time GSD owner to get a pup, that way i know that if i start training early doors i more or less no what im going to get.
this will be a learning curve for me - i have a house full of rescues so not averse to rescue dogs at all - but would do that when im a bit more experienced with the breed.
hope that makes sense.

GladitsnotJustMe Mon 23-Sep-13 15:19:08

I have nothing to add to the great advice you've had here, but just wanted to say that my 8 yr old GSD is the love of my life. Had him since he was a pup, he's the easiest dog ever, he just seems to know what to do before I tell him.

I did socialize him really well when he was young and I do think that helped a lot - so he's not fussed about any new situations, just takes it in his stride.

I would recommend dealing with puppy biting by 'yelping' loudly whenever they bite (basically mimicking how they themselves would communicate with other dogs if they were hurt). I did this whenever my dog nipped me when he was little, and as soon as I 'yelped' he would back off immediately.

He also got to the 'adolescent' stage where he tried to push the boundaries and become more dominant with me (I was a single woman, alone with him). Again, I would mimic how dogs play and wrestle with him, but always make sure I won. It really worked.

Things to look out for - well my dog recently had GDV, which GSDs are prone to. Frightened the hell out of me. He also now has weak joints, partly as a result of loss of fitness from the GDV episode.

Other things to look out for - being asked "Is that a German Shepherd or an Alsatian?" all the time, and also being told "Oh my dog hates Alsatians, he was attached by one once, he doesn't like the big ears.." usually by small terrier owners, who's dogs invariably attack my GSD while he looks at them and wonders whether he should bother squashing them with one paw or just walk away in an aloof manner....

GSDs, when brought up well, are the easiest, calmest, most wonderful dogs in the world. Beware you'll never want another breed.....

GladitsnotJustMe Mon 23-Sep-13 15:20:21

By the way Vicar I think you sound really sensible and will make a wonderful GSD owner, good luck in finding a pup and please share pics when you do so we can all go gooey over him smile

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 24-Sep-13 00:48:20

i will and thanks glad - i found a brilliant breeder up in newcastle - just waiting to see if she has a pup for me but we spent a good hour on the phone and she has been breeding for over 35 years - sadly she has just got her last litter....im praying for one of hers! She said she would be happy for me to have one of hers and we talked for ages - she said i was the sort of person she would happily let have a dog - all of my animals and all of my rescues have a forever home with me, ive done my research and arent getting a GSD on a whim - and im quite prepared to wait for the right breeder, but i do have my heart set on a long coated dog or bitch, so just waiting to hear back to see if she has a l/coat in her litter.....my fingers are crossed.

GladitsnotJustMe Tue 24-Sep-13 10:56:32

I would say, if you like the breeder so much, take one of her litter whether it's long haired or not.

I had my heart set on a Black & Tan dog, because our previous GSD was like that. It's hard to tell when they're pups what colour they'll turn into, so when my pup started turning gold/sable dare I say I was a little disappointed....

He is of course, now the most handsome GSD I've ever seen and I wouldn't have him any other way grin

The breeder sounds great, I like it when they say they'll let you have one of their dogs, makes you feel like they really do care who takes on their pups.

When will the litter be ready?? Excited for you!!!

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 24-Sep-13 12:38:08

im just waiting for her to get back to me and then she said she would invite us up to meet her and the dogs,
she doesnt advertise, but chrissie helped me do the research and it looks like no problem lines in her dogs.

they are only about 2 weeks old so just waiting to hear back - i really liked her, but i really do have my heart set on a l/coat - i want a big fluffy bear. not bothered about colour, or sex.

When she gets back to me i will decide whether or not a l/coat is still important to me.

happily she was very picky about who got a dog of hers, and we did click, so will just wait!

im manically checking emails daily!

LadyTurmoil Tue 24-Sep-13 12:59:49

And apologies for bombarding you with links! Just thought you might like a slightly older dog who knew the basics rather than a puppy... very good luck with your search smile

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:06:14

ive got one!!!! not passing this one by! excellent breeding and no problem lines -
i could burst with excitement!

he is a long coat boy.
names suggestions please!

BoreOfWhabylon Thu 26-Sep-13 23:10:10

Oh, have been following this thread and am so pleased for you Vicar

Will have a think re names ...

BoreOfWhabylon Thu 26-Sep-13 23:16:36

Am thinking 'bear' names. So

Bjorn
Orso
Ursus
Bear
Teddy
Arthur

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:24:31

quite liking Teddy.....

im planning on going up to see him and the breeder on monday.....i am so excited!

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:26:43

to give you an idea of the sort of names i like
my boy rats are Dudley, Barney and Harvey. got to be cute boy names....liking Teddy at the mo....he will be my big teddy bear! oh god i am so excited!

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