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Adopting a 3yr old German Shepherd.. Good idea?

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  • Adopting a 3yr old German Shepherd.. Good idea?

    I've been looking for a shepherd and was just informed of one that's available at an animal shelter. All I know at this point is the it's a 3yr old male that is good with people. I keep reading that a good sheperd needs to come from a good breeder. I'm sure there is some truth to that, but how true?

    I already have a St. Bernard/Mix female who is quite lonely during the weekdays. In the winter months I leave for work when the sun comes up and get home as the sun sets behind the tree line. I try to take her for a walk when the weather is decent, but it's a short walk.

    Is this a bad idea waiting to happen?

  • #2
    is there any way you can introduce the dogs at a neutral location? And I'd check how well trained the GS is first, too. And are both or either one of these dogs neutered/spayed?
    "Be Excellent to Each Other"

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    • #3
      The bad part about this deal is that the animal shelter the dog is at is about 2 hours away. The GS rescue shelter that told me about the dog said they would take it if things don't work out.

      Training, I have to assume there was none. Why would a well GS be at a shelter. I do know a good trainer who owns several GSs himself, my St. B and wife went to some of his classes. Is the dog too old though?

      My St. Bernard is not neutered but the animal shelter will not release a dog until this has been done.

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      • #4
        Coming from experience I've raised around 9 GSD's, 8 of them from pups, and my current one was actually a shelter rescue. Absolutely the best dogs you can own, as long as you can keep their brains thinking, and keep them physically active.

        They are high energy dogs, that along with high intelligence, prey/herd instinct, and physical strength can make them too much for some dog owners. They can tend to tear things up if kept bored but there are some problem solving toys they make for high intelligence dogs to play with like the buster cube. They are 20 bucks and will keep that dog busy for hours. It has adjustable levels of difficulty, and you will be surprised how quickly they memorize how to solve the puzzle to get the treats out, but it’s still the best thing on the planet when I get the cube out for our girl. I run our girl on a treadmill for about 20 mins a day, if I'm not already taking her running with me. I also take her swimming for about an hour each week, GSD’s are prone to hip/joint problems stuff like swimming is low impact, but still requires lots of exertion on their part. I would recommend finding a trainer that has experience specifically with GSD’s and going through a basic obedience course, nothing fancy but it will help with their energy/strength around others

        On the physical part, if he hasn’t already get his hips x-rayed for Hip Dysplasia, due to high amounts of crappy breeders, and puppy mills. The blood line of GSD’s have been really tainted but low quality Dysplasia prone dogs, it’s terrible to see a beautiful, loyal, and intelligent animal crippled well before it’s prime is over due to poor control on the breeders part.
        Shedding is also another big part, if the dog is going to be inside any they require almost daily brushing if you don’t want tons of small reminders around the house that you own a GSD. I don’t know if you’ve ever owned a dog that has ‘blown’ its coat, well if you have imagine that constantly and you have a GSD. If you feed them a small amount of olive oil, and mix a raw egg once daily into their food this helps their coat tremendously.

        I’ve found from experience that males do well with females, and vice versa, so the compatibility should be good in your case. Females especially are very ‘Nurse’ dogs and will become not necessarily dominant but very watchful of other members of the pack, and with other females if there isn’t a good structure in the pack there could be some nasty fights.

        If you have the time and patience, I would say yes go for it and you will never regret it. I keep a BOB for my GSD’s and she pulls the weight literally for all of our other dogs. Best dog in my opinion bar-none
        Last edited by KY_Longrifle; 11-26-2009, 01:24 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tony View Post
          I do know a good trainer who owns several GSs himself, my St. B and wife went to some of his classes. Is the dog too old though?
          With a good trainer, no this won't be an issue at all. Our GSD was around 1.5-2 y/o when I got her, and she went through 3 seperate training classes with no problems.

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          • #6
            Abandoned dogs often have issues and baggage, just like people.
            One of my 6 dogs (3 dumps, 1 walmart parking lot special) is a
            shepherd mix. She has a lot of anxiety, even after 3 years in
            my care.

            She was beaten, severely, and often. I found her when she
            was less than a year old.

            Dogs speak volumes with their body language. She cowers by
            and starts to shake by doorways. Some (insert colorful language here)
            must have held her down on her way in/out and beat her
            severely.

            She never forgot it.

            Good luck with the dog, watch the nonverbal cues.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KY_Longrifle View Post
              Coming from experience I've raised around 9 GSD's, 8 of them from pups, and my current one was actually a shelter rescue. Absolutely the best dogs you can own, as long as you can keep their brains thinking, and keep them physically active.

              I'm looking for a GS pup myself. Do you have any, KY or know who does? I think I'd do better with a female, since I'm a single female. Males tend to go Alpha and forget who's holding the leash...

              Lo~
              Classic Southern defense: "But your Honor, he just NEEDED killin!

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              • #8
                According to the shelter, this dog got out of it's yard/fence/whatever and was picked up by animal control. The owner was informed but could/would not pay the fee to get the dog back. I have talking to someone from a rescue center who has spent time with the dog and she says he is very friendly and loving. He has been in a cage at the shelter with one medium and one small dog and he does not bark or show any aggression.





                Does he look mixed or just light colored?
                Last edited by tony; 02-11-2009, 09:17 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Loshali View Post
                  I'm looking for a GS pup myself. Do you have any, KY or know who does? I think I'd do better with a female, since I'm a single female. Males tend to go Alpha and forget who's holding the leash...

                  Lo~
                  Sent you a PM

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                  • #10
                    I have a 7 1/2 year old GSD that I adopted when he was just over two years old. He was probably neglected somewhat before I got him, so he has some fear-aggression behaviors which have gotten better over time. Otherwise, he is a great dog. The only major concern I would have with adopting another GSD would be health issues like dysplasia. Fortunately, mine was pedigreed, and I could see the results of hip x-rays for his ancestors. My personal opinion is that the owner is more of an issue than the dog. If you are willing to do whatever is needed to keep your dog safe and happy, then any dog can be a good dog. If you want a dog that is low maintenance and that you don't have to worry about, then you probably should not have a dog at all. Of course, I am speaking generally, not about anyone here on Xcolony.

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                    • #11
                      I would agree with most on here. My .02 cents is that my experience with shelter dogs, has been nothing but rewarding. I have four dogs total, one GSD, one GSD mix, and two purbread labs. GSD, and GSD mix where both shelter dogs, purebred was an owner surrender, and he was 4 years old when we got him..... This dog had NO manners around other dogs, but was a very quick learner. The GSD mix was a shelter dog as well(3 years old), and he had issues with abuse. It took him a while to get completely comfortable with me and the wife, and then we slowly resocialized him into the world. We took a trip down to wilmington a couple weeks ago, and they both had a ball on the beach. The gsd mix was apparently completely over any of his social issues with people, because anyone he saw on the beach he HAD to go so hi too. He loved everyone there. Both my shelter dogs have been Great dogs.
                      All that is necessary for the triumph of evil....

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                      • #12
                        He will be delivered to me on Friday at noon. I hope it goes well.

                        Plenty of treats and a ride in my pickup should win him over. My other dog loves her weekly ride in the truck. Everytime she sees the truck she gets excited.
                        Last edited by tony; 02-12-2009, 10:04 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tony View Post
                          He will be delivered to me on Friday at noon. I hope it goes well.

                          Plenty of treats and a ride in my pickup should win him over. My other dog loves her weekly ride in the truck. Everytime she sees the truck she gets excited.
                          Good to hear!, I know you won't be dissapointed. We will have to see some pictures.

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                          • #14
                            !

                            oh good I'm glad you are rescuing the dog... I hope all works out congrats
                            :D If you weren't prepared, then doom on you. (doom on you, doom on you) - Ice Age

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KY_Longrifle View Post
                              snip


                              I almost accused you of using one of my pics there KY! This here is my Dante. He's about 5 y/o. We've had GSDs exclusively since 1999.



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