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I'm getting a German shepherd
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Tiresias
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Dec 11, 2011, 12:45 AM
 
Or am I?

My unfulfilled childhood dream was to have my own dog. This became a reality in 2009.

Sadly, the dog was a border collie—that is, the smartest, most energetic, and craziest dog in the world.

I had been warned they were high maintenance, but oh my god.

He needed at least two hours of aerobic exercise a day, which I gave him. But he was still incapable of settling down at home.

I mean, we'd come home from a 90 minute bike ride—yes, a 90 minute bike ride—and he'd proceed to shred the rug and swallow it piece by piece.

I mean he literally ate, and then shat out, an entire rug.

Even with supervision, he was unstoppable. I had to spend my evening saying, "No! No! No!" or put him in his crate. Leaving him alone, even for five minutes, was unthinkable.

In the end I had to crate him at home. Sometimes he'd tear out his own fur or chew his paw or gnaw at the mental bars until his teeth bled.

I think he has some neurological problems.

Anyway, rehoming him was one of the hardest things I ever did. I was emotionally bankrupt and couldn't even think about getting a new dog for two years.

My first choice would have been a GS but I was basically paranoid about the possibility of it biting my daughter who, at the time, was around five. BCs on the other hand have very low levels of aggression.

My daughter is now seven and I think that is old enough to treat a large animal with respect. She is also tall enough to not be at eye-level with a GS which can sometimes cause problems.

Basically, I want an athletic, long-snouted dog (collie, shepherd, husky etc) that can handle cycling to the top of a mountain but is also cool enough to hang out at home after a moderate walk if I'm not up to it.

I know when you put kids and dogs together there is always a risk. But I'd like to minimize it. I've heard huskies can be quite snappish, for example.

Any suggestions or advice? I'm open to selecting a different breed if it seems advisable—especially after what happened last time I followed my heart and ignored my head.
     
Doofy
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Dec 11, 2011, 01:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
Basically, I want an athletic, long-snouted dog (collie, shepherd, husky etc) that can handle cycling to the top of a mountain but is also cool enough to hang out at home after a moderate walk if I'm not up to it.
Pick one:

1) A dog that will handle cycling to the top of a mountain.
2) A dog that will laze about when you laze about.

But if you insist, try a Doberman.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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Athens
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Dec 11, 2011, 01:19 AM
 
be prepared to lose all ownership of your bed.

Mines a Collie German Shepherd cross, she is to dam smart, and very willful and the absolute best dog you could ever have.
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
Tiresias  (op)
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Dec 11, 2011, 03:42 AM
 
^ I'd like to see some pics. Sounds like an interesting mix.

I'm into getting a rescue dog. Problem is, I'm in South Korea. How much is that doggy on the menu? Ten thousand won, with complementary kimchi.

There are actually plenty of dogs in shelters but they're either the native breed ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Jindo_Dog ) which I'm not really into or one of the smaller breeds that Koreans usually keep as pets—maltese poodles, for example—which I am really, really not into.
     
ghporter
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Dec 11, 2011, 07:13 AM
 
Your Border Collie experience points out that you need to do plenty of research before you get another dog. German Shepherd Dogs are very smart and very able to do what you train them to do, but as you noted in your previous experience, a smart dog can be problematic. Border Collies are so smart that if you give them their choice, they'll find something to do that's interesting to them, like eating a rug, or rewriting your house to bring it up to code... GSDs are smart enough that they need a job or they'll find something to do on their own, but their breeding is such that they're easier to direct than Border Collies. Both are working dogs, so that says something - find them a job! But your strategies are different because of the differences between these two breeds.

The first thing to do is read everything you possibly can about the breed from as many different sources as possible. Start with this web forum to get some background and resources.. You need to learn how to train your dog, too. Not "get your dog trained," because that doesn't help with the critical development of the relationship between you and the dog that takes care of the situations where the formal training doessn't cover. A good read is The Art of Raising a Puppy by the monks of New Skete (they're an actual monastery that specializes in German Shepherd breeding and training), which covers almost all of the big areas involved in getting and training a dog.

GSDs are great dogs, and once you get yourself settled with one, you'll find that they are fantastic companions.

And now I have to dig up some pictures of mine, so I can brag on them...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Waragainstsleep
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Dec 11, 2011, 09:12 AM
 
My boss has a border collie and a springer spaniel. The springer is by far the more energetic of the two. She never stops. Ever. Neither of them are destructive though.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Jawbone54
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Dec 11, 2011, 11:53 AM
 
German Shepherds certainly have to be in anyone's list of the top-5 most beautiful dogs. I can't attest to their behavior since I've never owned one myself, but I've always admired them from a distance.

My west highland white terrier is the best-behaved and most loving dog I've ever seen, but I know that's not what you're looking for. I just wanted to brag on her a bit.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Dec 11, 2011, 12:04 PM
 
If you can, try finding a GS that is actually German bred rather than American Bred.

The American bred lines have an issue with hip displacia, and their look has been bred a bit so they don't look as rigid.
     
Doofy
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Dec 11, 2011, 12:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
If you can, try finding a GS that is actually German bred rather than American Bred.
As I understand it, the fat german shepherds are way less aggressive than the Euro ones. A Euro one would rip his daughter's face off if it got bored - hence my suggestion of a doberman, which are much more chilled out.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Dec 11, 2011, 12:24 PM
 
As with all dogs, it takes the right training. The GGS that I've worked with all have been calm, and protective of their "pack" if need be after training. The American ones, eh, for the most part they don't pick things up as quickly, and can be spazzy.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Dec 11, 2011, 12:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by brassplayersrock² View Post
As with all dogs, it takes the right training. The GGS that I've worked with all have been calm, and protective of their "pack" if need be after training. The American ones, eh, for the most part they don't pick things up as quickly, and can be spazzy.
Waiting with baited breath for Doofy's response to this post...

I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Doofy
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Dec 11, 2011, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Waiting with baited bated breath for Doofy's response to this post...

I don't think I need to respond, do I?
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
seanc
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Dec 11, 2011, 02:19 PM
 
I have an 8 year old Springer Spaniel, the show kind rather than the working kind. He's a big dog, and yes, he is still a *dog*.
Very energetic, but usually only gets hyper when visitors come over, otherwise he's quite placid and very cuddly. Very smart dog, but will also get up to mischief if he's bored.
Eating the empty toilet roll tubes out of the bathroom bin is his favorite past time. He finds tissues and socks (clean or dirty) quite palatable too.
     
Athens
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Dec 11, 2011, 04:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Tiresias View Post
^ I'd like to see some pics. Sounds like an interesting mix.

I'm into getting a rescue dog. Problem is, I'm in South Korea. How much is that doggy on the menu? Ten thousand won, with complementary kimchi.

There are actually plenty of dogs in shelters but they're either the native breed ( Korean Jindo Dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) which I'm not really into or one of the smaller breeds that Koreans usually keep as pets—maltese poodles, for example—which I am really, really not into.
Dunno if it will show up since my FB is pretty locked down

Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
jmiddel
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Dec 11, 2011, 05:20 PM
 
If you want the smarts and independence of a BC, without the hyperactivity (of course that's from our point of view, the dog find it totally normal), how about a Standard Poodle? Thy are big, very smart, loving and calm. They don't tear around the house if the even have a backyard to frolic in. They do need quite some attention in the form of petting.
     
Athens
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Dec 11, 2011, 05:41 PM
 
Here I took this video 40 minutes ago on our morning walk

Roxy - Morning Play on Vimeo
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
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Jawbone54
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Dec 11, 2011, 06:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
Dunno if it will show up since my FB is pretty locked down

Beautiful.
     
ctt1wbw
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Dec 11, 2011, 07:57 PM
 
If you don't want a smart dog, I'll give you my Greyhound, Ezra. He is dumber than a box of broken auto parts for a rusted out Edsel.
     
imitchellg5
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Dec 11, 2011, 08:30 PM
 
Not really a long snouted dog, but what about a Boxer? They're amazing with kids, athletic, and yet generally calm in the home.
     
Tiresias  (op)
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Dec 11, 2011, 09:55 PM
 
Very handsome dog, Athens. I envy you.

Regarding boxers and standard poodles, I'm sure they're lovely dogs, but they just don't appeal to me aesthetically.

With dogs, as with women, every man has his "type."

Basically, the more a dog's appearance strays from that of a wolf, the less I like it.
     
Athens
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Dec 12, 2011, 05:53 AM
 


Another image of Roxy and one of the cats being bed hogs. I was trapped under them both. I have other pictures some place of Roxy with the rats. She was raised from a pup around other animals. The only animals to be afraid of her are ducks and squirrels. I don't know why but when she catches a squirrel she tries to send them into orbit

Otherwise she is great with other animals, and pretty good with kids. She gets excited like a 4 year old kid and because of her size can be a bit much for a little kid. But in a playful way, nothing mean in her entire body. She greets intruders with toys....
Blandine Bureau 1940 - 2011
Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
design219
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Dec 12, 2011, 01:41 PM
 
I've got a GS and she is a fantastic dog. But it took work. My son was 5 when we got our dog and we all (family) worked as a team on training. The first and most important thing was to not encourage jumping up on us, and second not jumping up on the furniture. It seems cute when they are puppies to have them jump up on you, but our's is now 104 pounds, and I'm sooooo glad we taught her that first.

Also be warned that German Shepherds are puppies for about three years, to it takes a commitment. I got the book by Cesar Millan on his dog training methods, and that was a big help. Cesar Millan's Official Website. Achieving balance between people and dogs. | CesarsWay.com

Good luck!
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Doc HM
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Dec 12, 2011, 04:41 PM
 
German Shepherds can be quite high maintenance. As noted before they are smart enough to get themselves into trouble and confident enough not to worry if they do.

Have you thought about something crossed. They often have fantastic even temperaments and can be more robust.

Of course OUR dog is the perfect dog so I would recommend her to anyone. No one we know has heard of a whippet/labrador cross before but it certainly works. You get the size and speed of a whippet with the softyness of the lab (and the black coat.

Like this:









She's 8. And sort enough to be fun but not too smart that she gets to be a handful. If she over eats on the lab side, her whippet side just runs it off. She was a rescue dog.
This space for Hire! Reasonable rates. Reach an audience of literally dozens!
     
andi*pandi
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Dec 12, 2011, 04:53 PM
 
She's lovely. Maybe this will be the year we get a dog. I say that every year.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Dec 12, 2011, 07:44 PM
 
I know someone who has a doberman/lab cross. Looks like a Rottweiler but has the soppy temperament of the lab. Mostly.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Athens
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Dec 12, 2011, 11:21 PM
 
I think GS's stay puppies for ever lol, mine is.
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Missed 2012 by 3 days, RIP Grandma :-(
     
el chupacabra
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Dec 13, 2011, 01:14 AM
 
Ive been checking out the long haired shepherd lately; like this one...
Black and Red longcoat German Shepherds

I had shepherd husky mix once and he was the perfect pet, not snappy or anything.
the largest problem for Americans today is they eat too much food and dont have enough work to do to keep their heart healthy
     
ghporter
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Dec 13, 2011, 07:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by Athens View Post
I think GS's stay puppies for ever lol, mine is.
In my experience, they don't get their brains until they get to be about 3 years old. More puppy fun, but really big puppies can be a big challenge.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Tiresias  (op)
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Dec 13, 2011, 10:45 AM
 
How about shedding?
     
ghporter
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Dec 13, 2011, 08:55 PM
 
GSDs are only somewhat attached to their fur. Fortunately it is not the fine stuff that binds together and turns into "tumbleweeds," but there will be plenty to sweep up.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Athens
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Dec 14, 2011, 02:09 PM
 
Between the 2 cats and the dog I can make a new Animal for ever 10 feet I vacuum. This summer near the end we tried something new, shaving the dog. She looked STUPID but it did help but I don't think im going to do that again. As much as I hate the shedding, I would never want anything else. She is the best dog a dog owner could have. With any dog though and probably cats too get pet insurance. I've spent $2000 this year having breast cancer removed from her. I regret not getting insurance for the Animals.

If you get a puppy introduce it to other animals early on and children.

Think to know about German Shepard's is they are a one person dog. They pick one master and are absolutely totally devoted to that master. Its rare for GS to treat 2 people as a master with the same devotion to both. Fortunately our dog sees both me and my roommate as masters and equally devoted to both of us. They are also very protective of the family unit, they will see the family as its pack. Our dog is so socialised she is useless as any kind of protector or guard dog at least against people. She still has her instincts to protect from bears as we found out last summer.

The most important thing to release for ANY pet is every animal has its own personality. My dog is great but I have no illusions that if I got another GS it would be the same. So while mine is very safe around other animals and children you can't assume every dog of the breed is. So getting a dog from a proper place which has a full disposition history of the parents and other pups goes a long way in given you a idea what the disposition of a new puppy will be like. Puppy mills, stores are a bad idea because you don't really get a family history. And I put way more value on having that family history information over type of dog any day. Because all dogs make great pets as long as the disposition of the line you get is good. Each breed has its own challenges related to the breed but that's trivial to the lines personality and up bringing.
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Athens
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Dec 14, 2011, 02:13 PM
 
Oh my GS has webbed feet. I don't know if that is a GS trait or the collie in her but she is a pure water dog. Seriously when near the water or near a big puddle she will always look over for permission to dive on in. And once she is in the water she has a ball in it. She splashes around, dives, swims out its just absolute total fun for her. I take her up to Buntzen lake every summer because the off leash area includes a section that goes into the lake, she can spend hours fetching stuff from the water. Its great to because we can be really active in a hot summer day and she stays cool. So getting your dog comfortable around water young is a good thing. That said when I was a kid we had a part husky part wolf grown up that didn't understand the concept of water. When it went into the pool he would sink to the bottom and try walking around under water as if he was on land. Very heavy dog to fish out lol.
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design219
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Dec 15, 2011, 07:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
GSDs are only somewhat attached to their fur. Fortunately it is not the fine stuff that binds together and turns into "tumbleweeds," but there will be plenty to sweep up.
True, but the fur is another good thing about German Shepherds. Mine is a pure white, and when she gets muddy, as soon as she is dried, dirt just falls right off. It's the coarse hair, she almost always looks fresh washed. That may not be true of the sable coat variety, but the stiff fur ones are very clean.
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ghporter
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Dec 16, 2011, 06:41 AM
 
Yeah, GSDs have a really wonderful coat; fairly coarse "guard hair" outer coat with a lighter, finer undercoat. The coarse stuff is what they shed easily, and it is great at protecting their skin from crud, mud, and abrasion. It sweeps up easily too (he said from experience). But just remember, that "fresh washed" look is just a look-they'll still smell like a dog that needs a bath when they need a bath!

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
   
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