are german shepherd a good choice for a first time owner

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Re: are german shepherd a good choice for a first time owner

Post by shepherdlover » Fri Sep 26, 2014 12:13 pm

hi everyone

I have decided to wait until I have more experience before I get a shepherd as the most important thing to me is that I make the right choice of breed for me.

I would like to know what you would advise someone like me to get. I would prefer a large breed like a shepherd and no smaller than a springer I am very active and go for a run every morning and evening everyday.

what are your thoughts?

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Re: are german shepherd a good choice for a first time owner

Post by WufWuf » Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:41 pm

Argh I know I might get shot for saying this but.... there are lot's of adult sheps in rescues in the U.K that are mature and sensible dogs without the frog legs, I know this because some of them come from Ireland and I saw some truly wonderful dogs going from the rescue I worked at to the breed specific rescues in the U.K. Be prepared to wait for the RIGHT dog for you though.

The advantages of an adult rescue is that you can get a mature dog so you don't have to go through the terrible teens with a possibly high energy dog as a first time owner. They are some of the cleanest dogs I've met as adults so most will hopefully be housetrained. You can see the "finished product" so you know the temperment.

If you did decide to go down this route I would suggest volunteering if at all possible and then you can spend some time getting to know the dogs and see who you gravitate to. If not try to go for dogs in foster homes rather than kennels as the foster carers will have a better idea of temperment.
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Re: are german shepherd a good choice for a first time owner

Post by Nettle » Sat Sep 27, 2014 4:15 am

If you go for a rescue take someone with you who knows their stuff or you may end up with quite the wrong dog for you. Breed (i.e. GSD only) rescue might be a better option, but though some breed rescues are good, others are not. My own work with rescue organisations has made me very cynical of them, possibly too cynical, but most haven't a clue what they are dealing with, or are much too concerned with box-ticking rather than placing the right dog in the right home. Pick a rescue that gives back-up help with training and behaviour, and where the dogs have had a proper veterinary examination not just a prod here and there. GSDs commonly have a variety of illnesses that I recommend you research before you ever go near one.
Consider the Cinnamon Trust, which takes on dogs that have been given up when owners go into care or have died. But it's all about individuals, so be very careful and don't take anybody you don't know at face value. It's far worse than buying a second-hand car, believe me :lol:
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


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Re: are german shepherd a good choice for a first time owner

Post by emmabeth » Sat Nov 01, 2014 10:29 pm

I would go to a breed specific Shepherd rescue, and talk to them - I know someone who runs a shepherd rescue but she is in the North East of the uk - pm me if you want details though.

Pick a rescue that keeps their dogs with foster carers rather than in kennels, as this is likely to give you a better idea of how the dog is in a home environment - a good rescue will talk you through your needs, your abilities and the home you can offer and should then be able to advise you on which dog in their care is suitable (if there is one).

I definitely wouldn't go for the Belgian Shepherd, well not the Malinois which is probably the most shepherdy looking of the four varieties... they aren't called Maligators by their fans, for nothing!
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

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