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TrillumHunter

Any German Shepherd Owners?

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I had one as a kid and I loved him to pieces. We lived in the woods and he was our constant companion. He could spot snake faster than anything.

I'm looking for advice on finding a breeder and the hip issue. I won't show or breed the dog. He or she will just be for loving and hiking in the mountains. I've got three kids and I feel a bit sketchy about hiking alone because of weirdos and bears.

Thanks for any help!

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take your time finding a good breeder. if there are any good training facilities in the area, go there and talk to the owner for recommendations. interview the potential breeders you get recommendations for. I know that GSDs can make great pets, with a lot of training! good luck!

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Oh, I LOVE German Shepherds :wub: How exciting!

There is a book I read about 15 years ago, when I had gotten my (now deceased) shepherd-mix dog, who was 10 weeks old. It's called "The Art of Raising a Puppy" and it's written by The Monks of New Skete. They raise prized German Shepherds, and ONLY Shepherds, the last I knew.

It's an excellent book for anyone thinking of choosing and raising a puppy....in fact the first 2 or 3 chapters have to do with dog selection, things to look for, etc. The training instructions were excellent, my dog was potty-trained in three days.

It seems to me they had some good breeder advice, as I recall? You could probably pick this book up on half.com quite cheaply. Here is a page from their website:

http://www.newsketemonks.com/dogs.htm

Good luck, let us know how it goes! :)

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dog training is a fascinating thing to me. I've learned so much in the past five months that I now am confident that I know very little. (not that Neo isn't well trained, he gets compliments from just about everyone we meet. it's a lot of training to do for a 7-month old, confident and very social puppy to be well trained - hopefully for a CGC, Canine Good Citizen, within the next five months.)

the whole point of my rambling is that what I've learned is that there is no substitute for working with professional trainers (who regularly title their dog, not just teach) who can regularly observe the your interaction with the dog. my teachers have told me I'm a good handler, but also that I need work on clarifying my non-verbal communication with my dog - and when they point it out, it's obvious, but it's HARD to see it in yourself when you're doing it.

that being said, the two books that have helped me make the most out of the classes we're taking, and our work around the house have been: Don't Shoot the Dog, by Karen Pryor (just a basic primer on behavior modification, but getting into that mindset really helps) and On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas. I haven't read the Monks books yet. from what I hear, I'm probably going to find them a little meh, and fair amount of good. but really, it seems that bringing things together from multiple sources gives you the widest range of skills from which to work with your dog as he/she grows, or to work with other dogs.

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I bought two puppies in Nov.2007. A male named Luca and a female named Jasmine. Best breed I've ever had. Easy to train. They listen very well and respond to voice tone for discipline. They hate to get chewed out! Our pups are very sensitive and react strongly if they are in trouble. It's almost like their feelings get hurt. They love to play and really need to run every day. Both are great watch dogs, but are really just great big babies.

Here are the things that you need to pay attention to: Know your breeder. When we bought our pups, we were told that they were wormed and had their first shots. The breeder purchased her own vaccines from the local Farm and Fleet store. When we got them home, both pups began to act very strangely. I took them to the vet and found that the pups had been wormed only once and their bodies were full of worms. Both were 8 pounds under weight. The vet was furious about this. both pups were extremely ill. I kept them, because I didn't want to return them to the breeder. The female pup was the runt and continues to be so. I do think that had she been healthy, she probably would not be so small. Luca is huge and healthy now. Make sure also that you can handle alot of shedding. Shepards shed alot!!!!!!! They need to be brushed daily. Good luck and have fun.

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I don't know much about the breeders except you want a reputable one and I think good ones will offer a statement of some kind about the hips. We are new owners of a wonderful german shepherd. We adopted him from our local animal rescue about eight months ago. He is about 2 years old and had been recently neutered when we got him. My husband's mother raised the white german shepherds so he was familure with the breed. Our dog Marshall has been a great addition to the family. We have two boys age 4 and 8 and the dog is so patient and loving towards them. We even have taught him a few tricks. I think he had been worked with before, but I believe that the breed is fairly intelligent and they learn quickly. He listens well and if he does something naughty and is scolded he actually pouts and gets his feelings hurt. I was initally concerned about adopting an adult dog because you never know what it's past was like and if it would be good with kids. However, my husband convinced me and it has been wonderful. Raising a dog from a puppy is no guarantee that the dog will be well adjusted.

We had a chow/sharpai mix that we unfortunatly had to have put down due to him getting too aggressive. He had bit two people and was a great risk in our neighborhood with all the small children. I was also afraid he would turn on our own kids. We had him since he was 10 wks old and he passed at age 9yrs. It was one of the hardest things I have experienced. The sad thing was that the dog had never been mistreated and was very much in love and loyal to me. We waited a year before deciding on getting another dog to give our family some time to deal with the loss.

I don't know if adoption is for you but it has been a wonderful experience for us and Marshall now has a loving home! :)

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My girl is named Jessie. She's an 'Old American' type - large and large boned. She's 85lbs and beautiful. I would not recommend her breeder, though. She nearly died of hook worm she was so infested when she was a puppy - no excuse for that at all. Grrrr. Her mother was a grand champion, her father was gorgeous, but we brought her home to get her out of that aweful kennel.

But something I would give some heads up on. German Shepherds are horrible teenagers. Once they 'click' (literally happens over night between 12 and 14 months of age.) they are wonderful WONDERFUL dogs - but the first year is . . .wow. Make sure you have good training in line - from a professional trainer. You can do the training yourself, but you really have to be experienced in it and REALLY KNOW how to give a CORRECT hard correction if necessary and when to give one. German Shepherds are moderate dominance and can be 'hard' in training (meaning: takes a hard correction). They are powerful dogs - a nine month old puppy that decides to through a tempertantrum can really cause some damage.

They go through a brief 'crazy period' - all shepherd dogs do - where they are afraid of everything that moves. This happes between nine and 12 months. Pet the objects your puppy is afraid of, never the puppy - and reintroduce the object, and your puppy will be fine.

I gave this warning to my husband with the hope of that 'click' that happens (suddenly they just 'get it' and fall right into pack lead.) He really thought I was nuts the first year (that she would actually 'click') but he was there when she clicked and he was amazed.

We made it through the first year, but for six of those months I looked like a dalmation I was so bruised up. She's wonderfu wonderful, NOW. **laughs** She's my baby. She'll be two in May - she actually sat quietly in the foyer when I took her to be boarded today - she was sooooo good! :) Neal is still so amazed at that 'click' moment!

Good luck!! We must see pictures!!

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PS - looking for a reputable breeder: GSD breeders very rarely give a guarentee against hip dyspasia due to the overbreeding - or they may word the guarantee so that it isn't really effective. The xrays aren't usable for breeding before the second year. Most guarantees will only be in the first year. You want to stay AWAY from contracts that require shared ownership. Those can be a nightmare. If you want to breed your dog, there may be a buyer's option to breed without showing. . .if not, ask. GSD dogs have less requirements than other breeds - you may be required to get your puppy placed in some venue, however. (Tracking, Obedience etc)

Other gentetic problems should be guarenteed - for life. . .not for a few years. . . like most contracts seem to have.

Standing ears should be a guarentee. If the ears have to go through a process first of being taped, then you don't have a good guarentee. . .soft ears are genetic.

Most breeders will sell you a 'pet quality' puppy - these are fine dogs - and should not sway you from getting an excellent puppy. Most pet quality puppies are not sold with guarentees against ears, nowever. Genetic disease SHOULD be guarneteed. The pet quality puppy should not be as highly priced as the show quality. Show quality means that they will stand and place in conformation - meaning they are as close as possible to the AKC standard.

What you want MOST out of a breeder is committment FOR LIFE to the puppy. Will the breeder take the puppy back in a heartbeat if you have a family emergency where you must rehome the puppy? If not, then this isn't the breeder for you. Will they be there any time you need to call for questions? Will they stand by their breeding? I had a breeder who guarenteed my golden retriever, when she came up severely displastic, I found that they would take the dog back, but introduce them back in to pack to breed puppies. Not.

If you want to show - then you will have to prove your worth to the breeder. Showing is expensive, time consuming, and a GSD is a hard breed to start off with.

The pet quality puppy will contract you to an agreement to spay or neurter your dog within the first year. If puppies are born, you will usually have to reimburse the breeder the sale price of the whole litter. They are very serious about this. It can ruin the breeders reputation for the line to be dismembered by breeding the pet quality puppies. Not to mention, it further introduces undesirable traits into the breed.

It's a complicated affair, and a lot of work. The breeder, if you are buying from a reputable breeder will pick the puppy for you. Let them. They know the puppy's temperament and what will fit into your family the best. Oh! That reminds me. . .we wanted a puppy from here: http://www.newsketemonks.com/dogs.htm - they sell to FAMILIES and have a wonderful line of dogs. You might want to check them out. Their dogs are not cheap, but worth every penny.

You will have to apply for a puppy from ANY reputable breeder. It will feel like a complicated adoption - and it really is. Do some research on how to prepare your home for the puppy - you should have no problems in finding a breeder that will sell to you. Some people are turned down flat. . .expect a home inspection. . .have your vet set up already, your trainer, or training. . .etc. The last bit is patience. . .a reputable breeder will not sell you a dog that won't fit. You may have to wait for the next litter.

Hope this helps. :)

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I just wanted to note that some of these things may vary by breeder - even among reputable ones - because there are controversies in many things. The neuter/spay thing, for instance, caught my attention. I probably, myself, would NOT go with a breeder who *REQUIRED* spay/neuter by 1 year, because - though I do not want to breed - I do not want to spay/neuter until the dog's growth plates have completely closed, and with larger breed dogs, that's often between 12 and 18 months old. (This is all the more true if I'm going to compete the dog in something like agility.)

This is one place where there is a lot of controversy and heated debate, and you just have to do your research and make up your mind. Good breeders are likely to help you figure this stuff out, regardless of whether you go with them or not.

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Just wanted to add another comment about German Shepards. My male has had ongoing problems with anal glands. His glands need to be emptied every two months. His vet is not sure of the reason why his glands are filling up so frequently. The fluid has been clear, so there has not been an infection so far. Pay attention to your shepard if he is licking his rectum alot. There could be a problem and it should be checked out by the vet. Their hip shape does not allow for them to sit in a way to empty the glands on their own.

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