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Can a small dog Mum turn into a large dog Mum?

(14 Posts)
LimeJellyHead Thu 02-Feb-17 13:31:42

Me and hubby just went to the rescue to look for a pal for Spadge. It's time smile But there were no small dogs suitable. They did show us a German Shepherd Dog tripawd who has the most sweet, adorable nature.... but I have never had a big dog, ever. All my dogs have been small/medium terrier types. We are really taken with her lovely nature but have come home unsure as I don't know anything about big dogs.

Shoud I stick with what I know or should I give this big sweet girl a chance? Am I just afraid of the unknown? Has anyone else been big dog converted?

Blackfellpony Thu 02-Feb-17 15:28:30

We've had both and have GSD now.

I much prefer big dogs if I'm honest. A good natured shepherd is a fantastic dog. All of ours (bar one but that's a long story!) have been loyal and gentle. They require a fair amount of excersise and like to be with you all the time. Mine are currently sprawled out on the sofa and don't need as much entertainment as you might think but they are very different temperament wise to say a terrier. Really easy to train and they live to please you.

Be prepared for the hair though. Mine are vocal and love to patrol and bark at any intruders/postmen who may be wandering- possibly a good or bad thing!

LimeJellyHead Thu 02-Feb-17 16:34:31

Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.

My terriers have always woofed at passers by, so I can cope with that. I call it free entertainment for them, lol.

I am a little worried about the exercise side of things. My terrier loves a good 45 min walk with his ball on a rope. Running and fetch is his thing. But the rescue say I can only give this GSD girl 30 mins cos of her missing leg, saying too much walkies may be a strain on her. But what if she is left feeling unfulfilled? I am used to running my terriers into the ground (lol) and then coming home and everyone sleeping and dreaming after a mad cap run around.

I work from home so being with me all the time is no probs at all... but I am busy and rather boring as I am at my desk for hours, working. Is she going to be bored rigid?

Can you tell I have never done this big dog thing before, lol. I really am terrier woman. But I am drawn to this GSD girl. I never expected this. I am also worried for her... what if she never finds a home.

It's all feeling a bit like new territory for me, which is an odd feeling after years of dog ownership... to feel like a rookie again, lol. My hubby is ready to meet her again with our dog but I am feeling unsure.

Blackfellpony Thu 02-Feb-17 16:42:56

I would go for it- I promise you will be converted! grin

I don't think they need as much running as you think, it's more mental stimulation. They love to be doing something- following you, watching at the window, patrolling the garden...anything! I use kongs, brain games and obedience training alongside regular walks and they are always tired.
Even so, some days we do have a lazy sofa day and they are more than happy to snuggle up with us. I think as long as they are involved in what you are doing they are happy! A typical day goes walk, toys or something, sleep for rest of day, walk, bed!

I've known lots of 3 legged dogs and they have all done really well and I wouldn't worry too much, obviously being prone to joint problems it's risky anyway but I think you would be hard pushed to stop a GSD ball chasing 3 legs or not blush

LimeJellyHead Thu 02-Feb-17 17:00:56

Thank you.

My terrier sounds harder work than that, lol. I am certainly not short of toys and games, so that's OK.

Do you have to worry about over exercising larger dogs? Terriers are not prone to issues. They can run and run and I have never had to worry about it. I know with a large dog I have to consider bloat but I have always been aware of that anyway.

Oh my gosh... I can't work out if I feel excited or nervous, lol.

I have to admit, I am also worried about the life span issue. With my little dogs, I am used to knowing that they generally make it to 15 years old or more with no problems.

Sorry if I sound like a worry wart but for some reason this feels like a big change for me yet I feel so drawn to her.

I am wondering if more than anything I should be worrying about our slippery floors and stairs. Our little dogs just run and slide and roll about but a large tripawd.... it doesn't sound like a good idea :-(

Blackfellpony Thu 02-Feb-17 17:16:06

We have laminate, tiles and wood. They have fallen when running like idiots through the house but no injuries as yet. My old boy lasted until 14 but I think the lifespan typically is anything from about 10-12.

I don't worry about over exercising at all. Some days they do some high intensity or agility and some days a slow walk with pram. They are happy with either! Bloat is a worry but we soak food and are very aware and touch wood haven't had any problems.

Some can be wary of strangers and they do tend to become a bit protective of their families. Sounds like she is a sweety though so hopefully you wouldn't have any problems with this.

They really are a different kettle of fish to a terrier but in my opinion give so much more back. My other breeds have been traitors, happy to go with anyone and couldn't really care less where I was whereas the GSD are stuck to me like Velcro!

BagelGoesWalking Thu 02-Feb-17 17:31:41

Could you ask the rescue if you could have her home for the weekend? Or short term foster? If they don't have any applications for her, I can't see why they wouldn't agree. It would also be a chance to see if she and your dog get on OK and a trial walk to see how that works out... worth asking?

LimeJellyHead Thu 02-Feb-17 17:47:34

Thanks Black - that has reassured me. I am soooo tempted now to give her a try. She is such a sweetie.

Bagel - yes, we can take her home and see how she goes. They were trying to get us to do that today but I wasn't ready.... had to think it through. Even for a trail, I don't want to mess her about too much.

AuntNancy Fri 03-Feb-17 09:03:16

I think dogs find you, rather than the other way around. Op, if you can make the logistics work, it sounds like you and the German lady are meant to be.

And I say that as someone who wasn't a dog person at all until a big hairy hound dropped into my life.

EverythingEverywhere1234 Fri 03-Feb-17 09:11:41

Of course you can. In my family in my whole life, we've had a combination of the below;
Jack Russells aplenty
Patterdale
Yorkshire Terrier
Chihuahua
Lurchers
Spaniels
Crossbreeds
Collies
Norwich Terrier
Old English Sheepdog
Kelpie

It's the dog, not the breed. Plus the lurchers and the kelpie were the laziest bastards you'd ever meet, whereas the JRTs have been a mix of mental through to dead on legs, you just can't tell. Your GSD sounds lovely smile

LimeJellyHead Fri 03-Feb-17 12:11:03

Thanks everyone. We just went back to see her again. Taking Spadge to meet her next week smile

DannyOD Fri 03-Feb-17 12:14:32

Oh - how lovely. Let us know the outcome.

GinIsIn Fri 03-Feb-17 12:17:26

I have had dogs all my life. Big, working breed type dogs. So has DH. We went to get a rescue dog and accidentally came out with a ridiculous fluffy lap dog terrier cross, who is about the size of a rabbit.

What I have discovered is the smaller the dog, the more work they are! grin

LimeJellyHead Fri 03-Feb-17 13:32:39

lol, thanks everyone smile

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