Going to see a gsd pup tomorrow what should i know ?

Gingerwitch

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Okay o.h wants a dog. He has a friend who has a litter of gsd. Pick of litter. They will be with mum til they are 9 to 10 weeks old. Both parents available to see. Not registered which is a flag to me
I have never liked or had gsd...... dont really want one but I have horses he wants to walk it. plenty of doggie daycare around when life is normal and step daughter close by for midday walks and toilet break (she has own dog to walk)
What should I ask are gsd,s good with horses. When can they be walked etc ?
 

MurphysMinder

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You are right to be suspicious of lack of KC registration. It’s probably unlikely the parents will have been health tested , so you need to ask about hip and elbow scores as a minimum . If those aren’t available then I would walk away.
Edited to add that a decent breeder would be unlikely to sell to someone whose OH doesn’t like the breed , nothing personal Gingerwitch but for me all members of a family must want the puppy equally.
 

Equi

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The biggest issue with them is mostly the hips/back if they are bred a certain way. It can cause a lot of issues. As a breed standard they are a guarding animal so won't have a major prey drive but will be quite loyal to you/yours..given the right training and socialization they can be nice dogs but if they don't get that you really can end up with a dog you need to be on watch for. I have known many/worked with many in kennels/have many of them next to me and know a few close people with them and i have never personally had an issue with them but i know a few people who have been bitten by them cause they have not approached them correctly. ( i guess this is where my kennel training came in! lol) I would see how mum and dad react to new people. Ask the owner how they have gotten them like that.
 

AdorableAlice

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A dear friend of ours who is a retired Met dog handler bought himself a KC registered GSD and did a huge amount of research, all health checks done etc. Lost the dog at 3 to anal furunculossis and hip displasia, he was absolutely devastated. He did say the breed has changed over the years and not for the better.
 

CorvusCorax

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Several generations of low hip/elbow scored parents. Ideally show and working qualifications on at least some ancestors to prove they can do a job of work/aren't stuck together.

I don't do anything high impact with mine until at least 12 months/until I've seen x-rays. My six month old does training, environmental exposure and light muscle building, has visited the forest and beach etc but has yet to go for a 'proper walk'.
Conservative managenent and good health in the lines has meant I have an extremely fit 8.5 and 10 year old, but you can't take them out for a yomp to tire them out or throw a ball over and over or let them hoon about with other dogs for hours when they are very young. Unless you want to break them.

Prey drive/behavior around horses is innate/genetic and depends on breeding. Unlike Equi, every one I've owned, show or working, has had high prey/hunt/chase drive. Even the one raised with horses will chase them if they run. Genetics trumps all.

Just a final word of warning...my biggest issue right now in terms of owners having problems is GSDs from generations of farm/suburban house dogs. They've never been anywhere or seen anything and now in pet homes they lose their minds at the most normal things as genetically/mentally, they can't cope with it. Plus poor hips.
Working and showing isn't the be all or end all but it means the breeding animal has been exposed to lots of different things/has to be have good health/stamina.

Most numerically popular breeds have health issues. We've had one 'unhealthy' dog since the early 70s (spine and AF) but you really need to know what you're looking for.

But on this occasion I'd walk away. It might sound cheap and easy now but if you don't know what's behind the pup, you could be storing up problems for later.
 
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CorvusCorax

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In terms of actually viewing the pup...I personally want a pup who is very into people. Not cowering or hiding or going off doing it's own thing. Happy to be held off the ground/on an elevated/unstable surface (like a chair you can wobble). Happy to be restricted (held in place briefly). Not bothered by sudden loud noises. Quick recovery from any sort of stress. Very into food. Fine being isolated from siblings for a short period. If you want a livestock steady dog, while it's not a failsafe, not the one who goes mental chasing and grabbing a prey item like a moving ball or rag.
 
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TPO

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I dont know much about this breed but a friend bought a non KC reg GSD pup during first lockdown. I told her not to and when I found out the seller flat out told her to avoid (she has very dodgy rep in the horse world).

Pup wasnt even a year old and has hip dysplasia. Vet is quoting 10k for surgery and their insurance only covers 3k vet bills. He is now being medicated and having regular physio, again not even a year old...

As CC said if buying GSD I'd do so from.an established and successful breeder who can show generations of good hip scores. It's not worth the heartbreak
 

paddy555

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I have never liked or had gsd...... dont really want one ?
my GSD is 3. He has been hard work as many are. However I do like GSD's. If I didn't I would have seen him as a nightmare. It is a breed of pup you really have to want. The pups are cute and even if you don't like them they will melt your heart but that very soon goes and then they become teenagers. Some are very late maturing. Mine has improved around age 3 but that is a long time to tolerate a GSD is you are not that keen on them.
We stuck by the rules and I think the walks were 5 mins for each month of age. So it takes a long time before you can go for a long walk. So you have to work their brain to tire them out.

If your OH wants a dog to walk could I suggest some other breed that will be able to go for longer walks much sooner.
Don''t forget you will also need a very well fenced garden. They are not a breed you can risk any chance of them getting out. People cross the road to avoid them so whatever they do if they get loose (or even on a lead) will be totally their fault.

If this is his first your OH will need training classes. It will be hard without them.
Also make sure you have the max. insurance possible. None of my horses are insured. The GSD is insured for the max. Not needed it yet but it will be expensive if anything goes wrong.

As Amyway said doggie day care may not be an option. I have rarely seen GSD's being walked out in a group by the numerous dog walkers we meet. If step daughter walks her own dog the GSD may not walk with it, it may be a handful.

I have had some lovely shepherds but they are very protective. My current one is extremely protective which is hard work always looking out to make sure everything is kept safe for him.
Sorry but I think both of you will have to be prepared to devote everything necessary to this breed.
My first bitch went out with my horse and I led her off the horse. She was great with the horses. The current one doesn't like them, in fact he is scared of them despite being around them since a pup. He is a not a good combination with a horse. He doesn't do anything just doesn't want to be with the horse.
Please don't take any of that the wrong way, possibly better to be aware before you end up with one. :)
 

GSD Woman

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Like CC and paddy have said you have to be very careful about the background of the pup. The breed can go through some weird fear phases too. Freddie got weird about loud noises and thunderstorms for a while. She's over it now but if I had coddled her she could have turned into a real mess.

Also this breed needs a job. It can be as simply as agility or as complicated as what CC does. When they're too young brain work keeps them busy. Mine all learn puppy manners, baby tracking, stepping on different surfaces, going different places so that they aren't worried when they're adults. Mine also help me work in the garden.
 

Smitty

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I know nothing about this breed, although my mother bred them just after the II World War and as a very young child my grandparents had an aged offspring of Mum's bitch who we adored.

However, if you holiday in the UK and intend to take the dog with you, there are camp sites and other types of accommodation that do not allow guarding breeds.
 

Gingerwitch

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I know nothing about this breed, although my mother bred them just after the II World War and as a very young child my grandparents had an aged offspring of Mum's bitch who we adored.

However, if you holiday in the UK and intend to take the dog with you, there are camp sites and other types of accommodation that do not allow guarding breeds.
Again thanks for the heads up
 

Gingerwitch

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my GSD is 3. He has been hard work as many are. However I do like GSD's. If I didn't I would have seen him as a nightmare. It is a breed of pup you really have to want. The pups are cute and even if you don't like them they will melt your heart but that very soon goes and then they become teenagers. Some are very late maturing. Mine has improved around age 3 but that is a long time to tolerate a GSD is you are not that keen on them.
We stuck by the rules and I think the walks were 5 mins for each month of age. So it takes a long time before you can go for a long walk. So you have to work their brain to tire them out.

If your OH wants a dog to walk could I suggest some other breed that will be able to go for longer walks much sooner.
Don''t forget you will also need a very well fenced garden. They are not a breed you can risk any chance of them getting out. People cross the road to avoid them so whatever they do if they get loose (or even on a lead) will be totally their fault.

If this is his first your OH will need training classes. It will be hard without them.
Also make sure you have the max. insurance possible. None of my horses are insured. The GSD is insured for the max. Not needed it yet but it will be expensive if anything goes wrong.

As Amyway said doggie day care may not be an option. I have rarely seen GSD's being walked out in a group by the numerous dog walkers we meet. If step daughter walks her own dog the GSD may not walk with it, it may be a handful.

I have had some lovely shepherds but they are very protective. My current one is extremely protective which is hard work always looking out to make sure everything is kept safe for him.
Sorry but I think both of you will have to be prepared to devote everything necessary to this breed.
My first bitch went out with my horse and I led her off the horse. She was great with the horses. The current one doesn't like them, in fact he is scared of them despite being around them since a pup. He is a not a good combination with a horse. He doesn't do anything just doesn't want to be with the horse.
Please don't take any of that the wrong way, possibly better to be aware before you end up with one. :)
All good advice much appreciated x
 

Gingerwitch

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As you can possibly see from my 4am post I have been turning this over all night. Have told oh I dont want to go and I dont like gsd dogs. That daycare and walkers may not be a viable option as well.
But sulky but has agreed.
He still wants a dog but we will wait till life us normal and we can get an older dog. I have always wanted to go to battersea and say what ever dog you have not rehomed for the longest is coming home with me. Even if he or she is 14 with no teeth and bad breath xx
 

Sandstone1

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I love Gsds and have had several, lost my last one last year, they are not a breed for everyone. Also they can have many health problems. You really need to go to a breeder who has done all the health checks or you could be in for a lot of vet bills and heartache.
They also need a lot of mental stimulation and physical work once old enough. They are not a breed for a couch potato. They can be one person dogs too. On the other side of it they are very loyal dogs.
They can have a very high prey drive and are not always good around livestock.
In short great dogs if you are willing and able to put in the time and effort to train them properly BUT watch out for health problems. I wouldnt have one whos parents have not had all the tests before breeding.
They are very cute puppies but can quickly turn in to a nightmare if not properly brought up.
 

paddy555

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. I have always wanted to go to battersea and say what ever dog you have not rehomed for the longest is coming home with me. Even if he or she is 14 with no teeth and bad breath xx
that's a great idea. I did exactly that with a cat from a shelter. All the cuddly, fluffy house cats were easy to get homes so I just said I would take their biggest problem. Only the shelter manager was allowed to deal with that cat, it was obviously on death row, it had put one member of staff in A & E, it had been rescued from very nasty treatment and was extremely agressive. They could not find a home that was going to cope. He was a great little cat and spent the next 8 years killing my rats and became very cuddly so it is a very worthwhile thing to do.
 

Amymay

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that's a great idea. I did exactly that with a cat from a shelter. All the cuddly, fluffy house cats were easy to get homes so I just said I would take their biggest problem. Only the shelter manager was allowed to deal with that cat, it was obviously on death row, it had put one member of staff in A & E, it had been rescued from very nasty treatment and was extremely agressive. They could not find a home that was going to cope. He was a great little cat and spent the next 8 years killing my rats and became very cuddly so it is a very worthwhile thing to do.
That’s exactly how I got my little Tinks. Two years at the CPS. Having been told I’d have to wait up to two weeks for a home check initially, the moment I said I wanted her everything was rushed through. Home checked that afternoon, collected the next morning. She turned in to the most wonderful and loving companion 💕
 

windand rain

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Hmm none of these GSD descriptions fit any of the ones I owned and only one of the ones I have known and he was a rescue. We bred them for a while, Trained them to obedience work haphazardly they were bright but absolutely as soft as butter the kids took them to school. They loved kids, loved the cats and to be honest weren't much different to the golden retriever and Newfoundland they lived with. My mates big dog is wonderful always has been. Only issue is the yappy littleones have taught him to bark a lot which is very noisy. I do get that the health issues and bad breeding has played its part in destroying what was a beautiful and perfect family pet. Maybe it has changed in 30years
 

BBP

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As you can possibly see from my 4am post I have been turning this over all night. Have told oh I dont want to go and I dont like gsd dogs. That daycare and walkers may not be a viable option as well.
But sulky but has agreed.
He still wants a dog but we will wait till life us normal and we can get an older dog. I have always wanted to go to battersea and say what ever dog you have not rehomed for the longest is coming home with me. Even if he or she is 14 with no teeth and bad breath xx
I think that seems really wise to me. It’s really tough when you are faced with adorable puppies to then say no. And I think getting all the right training and experiences for a puppy will be hard until restrictions on people meeting are lifted. Not impossible but harder.

It definitely needs to be a team decision. We got our collie thinking he would be my OHs dog to walk and run with whilst I’m off with the horses and that the dog would go to work with him. But for the last 18months I’ve essentially been a single ‘parent’ to the dog and had to make it work, so bare that possibility in mind as well.
 

paddy555

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That’s exactly how I got my little Tinks. Two years at the CPS. Having been told I’d have to wait up to two weeks for a home check initially, the moment I said I wanted her everything was rushed through. Home checked that afternoon, collected the next morning. She turned in to the most wonderful and loving companion 💕
yes, our lot were out for the home check the following morning. Passed us (we had had cats from them in the past) and BTW we have brought the cat with us to save you a journey. :D
 

Moobli

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I think you have made the right decision. GSDs are a lifestyle and while there is no mystique to owning one, they do require a lot of dedication and input. I would never recommend them unless everyone in the family is on board. They need careful socialisation, ongoing training and plenty of physical and mental exercise as adults. They are fantastic dogs in the right hands (no better breed imo) but a nightmare in the wrong.
 

GSD Woman

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I think that seems really wise to me. It’s really tough when you are faced with adorable puppies to then say no. And I think getting all the right training and experiences for a puppy will be hard until restrictions on people meeting are lifted. Not impossible but harder.
This, so much this. It is hard enough to raise a solid GSD without a pandemic.
 

Moobli

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Hmm none of these GSD descriptions fit any of the ones I owned and only one of the ones I have known and he was a rescue. We bred them for a while, Trained them to obedience work haphazardly they were bright but absolutely as soft as butter the kids took them to school. They loved kids, loved the cats and to be honest weren't much different to the golden retriever and Newfoundland they lived with. My mates big dog is wonderful always has been. Only issue is the yappy littleones have taught him to bark a lot which is very noisy. I do get that the health issues and bad breeding has played its part in destroying what was a beautiful and perfect family pet. Maybe it has changed in 30years
What lines were your shepherds from? My last three shepherds have been from working lines, the one before that was West German show lines and previous to him I had mixed lines. I walked English show lines from a local breeding kennel when I was a young teen. They have all come with their different traits and pros/cons. If yours were soft as butter I would imagine they were either pet lines or English show lines as they are the type who would fit that description from my experience. And while lovely, it isn't really the temperament of the working dog as the breed should be imo.
 

CorvusCorax

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We've had two 'dope on a rope' types, one was old English show lines (hip score of 12 and no epilepsy despite her breeding!!!) and the other was full German showlines, mother born in quarantine, her father was an import. Wonderful girl, so laid back, always one step away from being asleep, you could give her to anyone, but not exactly breed typical and I doubt we'll find one like that again. We went to get her brother and the owner told him to 'sit'.
He didn't, she did, so we took her instead lol.
As Moobli says, the things that make them a good working breed also make them a pain in the bum at times.
But personally speaking, breeding those traits out to suit pet homes hasn't done the breed any favours.
One of my working line dogs has an excellent 'off' switch and would do fine in an active pet home, but his former owner did a lot of research and discounted a lot of litters before selecting him.
 
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This thread is very interesting re a couple wanting different breeds. The only reason I didn’t get my childhood breed of a Keeshond was the grooming/impractical at a yard issue. We got my OH’s childhood breed instead, worked out well, turns out I like a busy breed.

Have any of you compromised on breed/type? How did you decide?
 
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