Looking for German Sherperd Dog Info

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have an opportunity to adopt a 1 yr old German Sherperd Dog who's owner, an 80 yr old woman recently died. I've always owned Doberman's so this would be a new experience for me. Anyone with experience with the German Shepherd breed? I'm looking for whatever information anyone can offer. My criteria for a canine companion is intelligence, protection, agility.
  2. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Re: Looking for German Shepperd Dog Info

    I have had a few Shep's and the only problem you might run into is the age of the dog . If that 80 YO lady let the dog do as it pleased retraining it could be a problem .

    Shep's are in my opinion very strong willed animals . If raised to your expectations from a pup I think they are the best you can get . They are loyal and protective to a fault . They are also very confident animals mine would just ignore new people in the home unlike some dogs that bark or snarl at strangers , yet they all had the occasion to show just how protective they could be when it was necessary .

    None of mine had any formal training they were simply corrected as a pup when needed and that wasn't very often .
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: Looking for German Shepperd Dog Info

    I had that concern also Big001. I don't know how much training the pup received. Dobies are also a breed that need to recognize their people as pack leaders. I've always gotten my pups very young, the youngest 8 wks, the oldest 12 weeks. I do spend a lot of time training. Have you has any experience with re-training?
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I've had only two exposures to Sheps, one was one of the smaller size. In under 15 minutes, I had him holding a dog biskit on his nose until released to snap it up. I'd say based on that, that the intelligent criteria is met. That one had never seen me before, and it was all in the presence of his owner, so I do not know how he might have behaved had I come up to the door uninvited. Under the circumstances, a very friendly dog.

    The other was one of the very LARGE varieties. One of my school friends had him, Atlas was (I think) his name. Was always careful around that one, he was possessive of my buddy. No sudden moves. He wouldn't bite without provocation, but if he leaned on you, you were down. Must have been 150 lbs or more, and pushing him out of the way to get at "his" doughnuts was out of the question. Friendly with the family around, again what might transpire had they not been, I'm not certain.

    Both were well behaved.
  5. Conagher

    Conagher Dark Custom Rider Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    A 1 yr old is still a pup. I have a 2.5 yr old male German Shepard that I found almost starved to death during bowhunting for elk two hunting seasons ago. His name is Second Chance and he's a great dog. Shepards on the norm don't fully mature until they are 3-4 yrs of age, so you'll definitely be able to retrain a 1 yr old dog to your liking. You would be giving the dog a good loving home as well[winkthumb]
  6. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    All that and a bag of chips!!

    Have had some experience with sheps, my childhood best friend was a shep/collie mix. Ranked as one of the ten smartest dogs (those things are controversial though), loyal, protective and obedient would be the cornerstones of their personality. Wonderful, loving, affectionate dogs.

    Somewhat prone to hip dysplasia, it's worth keeping an eye on.

    If not excercised enough, they can get destructive.

    All around just a great companion animal...... (unless it was a puppymill dog from bad lines).
  7. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    I've had German Sheperds my entire life. Not to say I haven't had other breeds as well; but Sheperds have been an (almost constant) companion of choice.

    They are easy to train (and re-train). They love to please. They have a memory that won't quit and, if you talk to your animals, can aquire quite a vocabulary and handle more commands than other breeds I've owned. They are a "talking" breed, which some don't care for. For instance; when mine catches her ball, she comes back to you and will "groan/whine/whatever you call it" to show how pleased she is with herself and to get you to acknowledge her job well done. She also does that when we come home.

    I've only had one that was a "shy" type (have her right now) - but she was severly beaten by a previous owner (a man) - and she's still a great protector and wonderful with women and children, just more watchful around men.

    They are very social, with both people and other animals. This doesn't diminish their ability to protect and serve their family. They love to work and love to play. They will go anywhere you go. I've had them as farm dogs, country dogs and city dogs.

    Unlike dobies, they shed. They live into early teens. As old-age sets in, you need to watch them for hip dysplasia, as Blackjack said. I've had only one succomb to it - and he was an old man at the time. If you don't keep them as a full-time outside animal, I think the chances of hip problems goes down. I've always had mine as indoor/outdoor dogs.

    Do you have specific questions about the breed's behavior that might be addressed? I fear I've already rambled on too long, but want to make sure that your questions are answered.
  8. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Just a little more food for he dust bunnies. Dobies do shed, it's just shorter hair.

    The intelligence is important to me because I really enjoy the training. I like to work with my dogs so they are fully responsive to hand commands.

    Their protect nature is very critical. I see my pups as part of my first defense.

    In addition to general enthusiam for outdoor adventures, I like agility courses. I've always felt my pups enjoy the "work" as much as I do and it creates a closer bond between pup and handler.

    My pups have to be social enough to accept my grandchildren - 9, 11, and 13 - not babies. I don't want to worry that if one of the kids heads for the bathroom in the middle of the night, the pup will view they as intruders. I realize it will be my responsibility to see that the pup views the children as extentions of me and will not only accept them but protect them in the same way the pup will protect me.

    I have an elderly female dobie, my younger male died a few weeks ago, who is very well socialized with other dogs so I expect she can do well with whatever dog I bring into our home. If it isn't this pup, it will be another. I've been looking for another Dobie but haven't yet found one from the breeding stock of my liking. Breeding is very important with Dobermans as I believe it probably is with German Shepherds.

    Thanks for the input and testimonials. It's helping me with the decision. I'll let you know what happens.
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have had a little experiencewith them but I would say that the jobs the fill would speak well to the things you mentioned. They are the most popular breed to be trained as a police dog so have to be intelegent and VERY trainable and have great agility, they are common to be trained as seeing eye dogs where they have to be HIGHLY intelegent, very trainable, loyal and social enouph to be able to function in all suroundings and while I may be mistaken its been my understanding that they generaly dont start training them for either of these jobs untill they are about a year old or more.

    I would say that as long as the individual dogs temperment is good then at least as a breed you couldnt hardly go wrong with a german sheapherd.
  10. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My mother bred Shepherds ...AKC puppies...
    We kept 3 in the house, and the rest out in the kennels or they had the run of a very large yard....

    Wonderful, Intelligent dogs...I'd get one again in a second...I have never been afraid of shepherds, and love them , as a breed!

    One, a beautiful male w/russett saddle, was going to be put down as he had attacked other dogs in the neighborhood....and Mom adopted him as he was a beautiful dog..(and of course had great bloodlines...) She was trying to raise 3 kids on her own with no help....Commanche was pretty scary at first, but after I gave him a turkey leg, he was my friend for the rest of his life....... He was 3 when we got him....and became a "family" dog...He was great with us...but let a stranger come over? Different story...All 3 of the "house" dogs had to be introduced to anyone new coming in the house....and let strangers know who was in charge....

    And at 1, he is still a puppy...and adaptable...They are incredibley intelligent, as everyone has said...and protective...

    My sister and I used to grab the leashes and take 3 or 4 of them for walks downtown....and there wasn't an area of town we couldn't go it..Amazing how the sidewalk clears when you're walking 4 Shepherds..

    They're well suited to obedience, and extremely agile....

    Good Luck ...I'd own one again in a heartbeat...
  11. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    I had one several years ago it was the easiest dog that I have ever trained. Very protective, and loyal.

  12. Shadowman

    Shadowman Monkey+++

    The important thing to remember with Shepherds is that they are INCREDIBLY intelligent. Spend time with this dog, bond with it and you will never find a better companion. They can be/are very protective of their pack. Be firm but gentle and very rewarding with lots of praise. That are truly one of the more intelligent breeds. GOOD LUCK
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