Thinking about a German Shepherd

Tleilaxu

Arachnoprince
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Anyways I am looking for experiences that you have had with them, especially Pitbullady.

Anyways I will fill you in on background. I am currently keeping a senior GSD, since his pack is leaving and the poor thing does not fare well with the kennels. Luckily for myself and the family, one of the owners is staying with us to help us get him established and show us how to work with his special needs. Anyways I found that dog to be very aloof and "whiny" However over the week he has grown on me and apparently I am growing on him as well since he seems to view me and the rest of my family as a friend. Also what was whining to me I have now realized is actually him trying to talk back to us as in like a conversation, its the coolest thing, he even has different tones and vocals, its rapidly becoming hilarious to hear him "tell you about his day." And I am getting hooked on this breed. However I realize that a senior dog behaves very differently than one in the prime of youth so I want to do research to see if later on I want to get a GSD pup or rescue one from a shelter(Both are equally viable for me)

Anyways I want your opinions on this dog breed, (not the actual dog we have currently). I have recently purchased two books that I also want opinions on and recommendations to do further research. I am WELL aware that a dog like this is nothing to jump into and its a blessing that one of his owners is with us to help us understand this dog.(You can tell this dog is loved and well trained)

Anyways my books that I have purchased are German Shepherd Dog which is published by Dog fancy and seems to be certifed by the ACK. And the other book is German Shepherds for Dummies.

I would also love other books and information for me to look at.

One last thing whats the difference between the "German" German shepherds and their American counterparts? Is it behavior, physical looks or both?? And what makes one better than the other. I have talked to a few other GSD owners and they say to get the actual German ones for some odd reason. BTW I want the GSD(When and if I get a younger one down the line) to be a companion.

Thanks for your time and input.
 
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bugmankeith

Arachnoking
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I've never owned any, but my cousins have had them all their life and so I've been around them. They are very family oriented dogs, but do seem to want to protect their family from strangers. Each time I was over I could not be alone with the dogs, but if my cousins were around the dogs were fine around me and loved to fetch stuffed animal squirrels! Be warned though they will catch and kill squirrels and slow moving birds! They do have a good amount of energy so if you don't properly excersise or play with them they will chew everything in sight. Overall they are fairly healthy, though one dog they got from a breeder came down with cancer at age 2 and had to be PTS. As they age they sometimes get arthritis and watch out for dental issues there's a reason the police use them they have strong jaws and powerful bodies. But if well trained make great pets. My cousins dogs usually lived around 15 years. They have long and short haired, and I've seen them in black and silver with black.
 

pitbulllady

Arachnoking
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Anyways I am looking for experiences that you have had with them, especially Pitbullady.

Anyways I will fill you in on background. I am currently keeping a senior GSD, since his pack is leaving and the poor thing does not fare well with the kennels. Luckily for myself and the family, one of the owners is staying with us to help us get him established and show us how to work with his special needs. Anyways I found that dog to be very aloof and "whiny" However over the week he has grown on me and apparently I am growing on him as well since he seems to view me and the rest of my family as a friend. Also what was whining to me I have now realized is actually him trying to talk back to us as in like a conversation, its the coolest thing, he even has different tones and vocals, its rapidly becoming hilarious to hear him "tell you about his day." And I am getting hooked on this breed. However I realize that a senior dog behaves very differently than one in the prime of youth so I want to do research to see if later on I want to get a GSD pup or rescue one from a shelter(Both are equally viable for me)

Anyways I want your opinions on this dog breed, (not the actual dog we have currently). I have recently purchased two books that I also want opinions on and recommendations to do further research. I am WELL aware that a dog like this is nothing to jump into and its a blessing that one of his owners is with us to help us understand this dog.(You can tell this dog is loved and well trained)

Anyways my books that I have purchased are German Shepherd Dog which is published by Dog fancy and seems to be certifed by the ACK. And the other book is German Shepherds for Dummies.

I would also love other books and information for me to look at.

One last thing whats the difference between the "German" German shepherds and their American counterparts? Is it behavior, physical looks or both?? And what makes one better than the other. I have talked to a few other GSD owners and they say to get the actual German ones for some odd reason. BTW I want the GSD(When and if I get a younger one down the line) to be a companion.

Thanks for your time and input.
There are basically three types of German Shepherd in this country; the European working Shepherd, the American show-type Shepherd, and the increasingly rare type that I call the "old-style farm Shepherd". If you are not familiar with serious working dogs, I would NOT suggest getting one of the first type. Like Catahoulas, working European GSD's are bred almost exclusively to be serious working dogs-Schutzhund, police, military, Ring Sport, etc. They are very intense, high-energy dogs, highly intelligent, and in need of almost contant mental stimulation. They MUST have a job to do. My aunt, who has had GSD's for most of her life, recently got a female pup from all-German working lines, and she can't do anything with this dog. The dog isn't even a year old and just runs all over her. If you have experience working with dogs like this and have something for the dog to do, then I'd say go for it, but I'd really recommend these for real working dog enthusiasts.

I'm not a fan of the American show ring GSD. These are the dogs with the extreme rear leg angulation, tend to be rather narrow and fine-boned, with narrow heads. Most of the ones I've met personally have been very nervous, high-strung dogs, easily startled. They would be largely incapable of performing any work whatsoever, both from a temperamental and physical standpoint. They look very dramatic running around the show ring with that "flying trot", but that's about it.

The old-style GSD is the one that most people became familiar with in "Rin Tin Tin", Roy Rogers' dog "Bullet", "Strongheart", etc. They have a very basic look, no exaggerations in physique, easy to train, fairly laid back until they are required to show energy. Unfortunately, this type of dog is getting harder and harder to find. When I was growing up, every farm had a GSD and at least one APBT or American Bulldog. My father bred this type of Shepherd, so I grew up with them.

You have to REALLY watch out for hip dysplasia in this breed, and it's in all lines. Insist on getting a pup from parents that have been OFA'd or PennHip Certified, and on a pup with a guarantee, if you choose to get a puppy.

There are some "designer" breeds that are Shepherd wannabes or have been derived from the GSD. Shiloh Shepherds have been around for years, bred supposedly from oversized long-coated GSD's, which are disqualified in the AKC show ring, but it's been a common bit of knowledge that many have recent wolf crosses in their background and they do tend to look more "wolfy" than most GSD's. "King" Shepherds are huge, oversized dogs, tend to be short-coated, and probably have an infusion of Great Dane back there. Most I've seen are very "lippy", which would be expected from a dog with Mastiff in its recent background.

pitbulllady
 

pwilson5

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hey PBL, what would you suggest to do for "work" for sheps? i have a shep mix, and am looking for stuff for him to do to keep him happy. lol if you dont want to clutter this thread you could just PM me
 

mitchrobot

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i owned a liver and tan one for 8 years, was a family dog. he was working line but not sure from what or which (his hips werent goofy looking at all btw).
very active dog, always doing something (he was big on fetching his kong toy or wrestling down a rolling tire or tug of war). also loved to run. at the time we had a 40 acre goat ranch too, so he was always running around there. we never really went through the training of teaching him to herd or anything like that, but they are no doubt very sharp dogs. he learned many commands with not too much effort. he wasnt *too* bad with other animals, he did kill a chicken or two, but quickly learned to leave them alone. he also loved to swim. all in all a very active dog, as said, always had to be doing something. he did fine with other dogs for the most part.
as far as temperament towards people go, he was very well mannered. i had a few friends that would take him for walks every now and then, he was very obedient with them. i never got any sass from him either. he would bark when people were at the door, but besides being loud he was never what i would consider dangerous or untrustworthy. very good dog, if it wasnt for the bad joints/hips i would own one again.

by the age of 8 his joints were in bad shape unfortunately and we ended up losing him and 2 other dogs to what the neighbors thought was a rogue F&W worker (a few other people who lived near by had their dogs disappear the same time ours did). at that age he also was definitely a lot more relaxed and much less active.

all in all, a great breed IMO.
 

pitbulllady

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hey PBL, what would you suggest to do for "work" for sheps? i have a shep mix, and am looking for stuff for him to do to keep him happy. lol if you dont want to clutter this thread you could just PM me
Personal protection, tracking(ever thought about getting SAR certified?), herding-those are ideal tasks for GSD types, and if you're really dedicated, there's the "ring sports" that simulate real police and military situations. It depends on your dog's temperament, though. The term "shep mix" can mean many things, since there are many very different breeds with the word "shepherd" in their names, and many dogs that are labeled "shepherd mixes" that have none of those breeds in their genetics.

pitbulllady
 

Blonc

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Sorry about the potential derailment but what is a "rogue F&W worker"? Sounds lilke there should be an interesting story behind that.
 

mitchrobot

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not too interesting, just a theory :eek:
when we got the property we were told that there was a F&W worker that lived up there that hated dogs, or atleast considered any dog not on a leash or indoors a dog at large, whether it was behind a fence or not. we had 3 dogs disappear, as well as a few neighbor dogs over the same weekend.
i assumed it was a mountain lion or coyotes, but when a couple other people mentioned their dogs also were missing, a few people said it was that guy as he was known for shooting peoples dogs and what not (we had just gotten the property, so had no prior history or issues with him, didnt really live that close to the property we had). whether or not thats actually what happened, im not sure, everyone else thought so though.

[/]end derailment[/]
 

pitbulllady

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Sorry about the potential derailment but what is a "rogue F&W worker"? Sounds lilke there should be an interesting story behind that.
"Fish and Wildlife" worker. California is known nation-wide for having some pretty crazy DNR people who have a tendency to take the law into their own hands. I've heard first-hand accounts from ferret owners who actually had DNR people back in the '80s, when illegal ferrets were being hunted down like witches in CA, take their pets and kill them in front of the owner by smashing their heads against a wall or other object, to make a point. One CA DNR worker stated in a press release that accompanied this HUGE book they wrote on why ferrets should be illegal that he considered them a greater health threat than HIV! This publication sorta set the stage for later pseudo-scientific "reports" passed off as "science", to back up a political agenda.

pitbulllady
 

JColt

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take their pets and kill them in front of the owner by smashing their heads against a wall or other object, to make a point.
pitbulllady
I would be so in prison if that happened in my home. :mad:
 

Blonc

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Guess California isn't called the granola state for nothing then^^ Thanks for clearing that up for me, I was just thrown a bit by the "rogue" part of it all.
 

Tleilaxu

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So pitbullady what do you think this shepherd is? And going by his appearance is he the sloped backed shepherd you generally dont like?





 

pitbulllady

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I can't tell if he's slope-backed or not while he's lying down. He's got more bone and substance than most show-ring Shepherds, but there are many dogs out there that have combinations of American and European bloodlines.

pitbulllady
 
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