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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes, I have another oh-so-philosophical question.

This one came about after spending 2 hours on IM this morning helping a friend in Germany who has just acquired a GSD. "Thor" is about 14 months old, red sable, and comes from Poland! She emailed me and sent me a picture of him asking for help b/c he's "always getting in trouble."

Her description of this boy: goes after everything that moves, loves to play on playground equipment (ladders, slides, even swings), always has a ball in his mouth. Apparently he was purchased, IN POLAND, by a couple who are both in the military. They kept him crated 10+ hours a day adn said he was a menace (and were witnessed hitting and screaming at the dog). The first offered to sell him to the lady who now has him but she said no...then 2 months later they showed up at her door and begged her to take him. They can't find most of his papers, so I have no clue on his lines other than the breeder told them he's "police lines." He has had no OB, is obviously crate trained, and works well with her kids.

So I gave her tons of links to help her get this boy under control, suggested ob training and either SchH or agility, and that she switch his food (poor thing's on Purina One YUCK). And I told her that if she ever decides she doesn't want him, SEND HIM MY WAY lolol!

Now that I've written a book: just made me wonder if the "average" pet owner ought to have a shepherd (and I don't mean just a pet home, I mean the average Purina-feeding-no-obedience-training-want-a-pooch-who-will-sleep-all-day owners). It just seems to me that 80% of people are clueless when it comes to raising a GSD...and it's the dogs who are paying for that.
 

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Stacia Porter said:
Yes, I have another oh-so-philosophical question.

This one came about after spending 2 hours on IM this morning helping a friend in Germany who has just acquired a GSD. "Thor" is about 14 months old, red sable, and comes from Poland! She emailed me and sent me a picture of him asking for help b/c he's "always getting in trouble."

Her description of this boy: goes after everything that moves, loves to play on playground equipment (ladders, slides, even swings), always has a ball in his mouth. Apparently he was purchased, IN POLAND, by a couple who are both in the military. They kept him crated 10+ hours a day adn said he was a menace (and were witnessed hitting and screaming at the dog). The first offered to sell him to the lady who now has him but she said no...then 2 months later they showed up at her door and begged her to take him. They can't find most of his papers, so I have no clue on his lines other than the breeder told them he's "police lines." He has had no OB, is obviously crate trained, and works well with her kids.

So I gave her tons of links to help her get this boy under control, suggested ob training and either SchH or agility, and that she switch his food (poor thing's on Purina One YUCK). And I told her that if she ever decides she doesn't want him, SEND HIM MY WAY lolol!

Now that I've written a book: just made me wonder if the "average" pet owner ought to have a shepherd (and I don't mean just a pet home, I mean the average Purina-feeding-no-obedience-training-want-a-pooch-who-will-sleep-all-day owners). It just seems to me that 80% of people are clueless when it comes to raising a GSD...and it's the dogs who are paying for that.
By your definition of "average", these people should get a gold fish.
 

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The average pet owner shouldn't own a pet, IMHO lol, let alone any dog with drive. Theres nice american line pets out there who are good at laying on the couch, those are the GSD's people want when they think of GSD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike Schoonbrood said:
The average pet owner shouldn't own a pet, IMHO lol, let alone any dog with drive. Theres nice american line pets out there who are good at laying on the couch, those are the GSD's people want when they think of GSD.
Even the bat-eared, obviously AmBred lady I have in teh house goes after anything that moves and has tons of energy. Her favorite past-time is chewing on my hands and kicking Achilles's butt. She's nowhere near my German boy -- don't get me wrong -- but I just keep thinking about all of these "menace" sheps changing hands every day (even the AmBred ones) and it makes me sick. And this is not the first person with a REALLY nice dog who has contacted me for "help" with all of its problems...

Bob -- you're right, but not even goldfish should have to suffer the lives most "pet owners" resign them to :cry:
 

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I don't believe the average person can honestly handle an intelligent dog, let alone a drivey dog. For the dogs on the upper part of the intelligence rating, a simple walk a day isn't going to do much good. They need BOTH physical AND mental stimulation to be happy. Hence why any of my dogs (I've only owned a Border Collie, a few GSDs, and a Border Collie/GSD cross -fostered a pitbull for a few weeks-) have stupid (in some people's eyes) little chores that they do to keep their mind busy. I've seen what can happen when a dog gets bored (hence why I have a new couch). :roll:
This is why Labs are so popular. The average pet lab (not from hunting/retrieving lines) needs far less mental stimulation than your average GSD. Sad, but true, this sometimes translates into lack of owner responsibility for exercising the dog, hence why 90% of pet labs are obese.
 

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Hey, I'm one of these idiots! :lol: Finally, a topic I'm an expert on...sorry in advance for the wordiness

I guess this would be my advice to someone dumb and new like me...

.5. Telling an idiot they can't deal with it is fraught with consequences, so tread carefully, even though I totally agree with you.

1. if they are going to get a GSD, do a ton of research, and while what I'm about to say will probably cause some of you some grief...buy from established lines bred for size/temperment/health predictability (while realizing there's a lot of variation and this could mean jack). That's why I went with a very German line with a pedigree I could trace back because I needed that predictability. I would not buy an American line GSD, that's not a knock, I just think there is less risk there for a n00b like me. Having Troll and Fero lines is cool (to about five people in the US) but mostly I just like knowing the histories. Gives me more appreciation for the dog's capabilities and my responsibilities even though I know that may sound weird.

1.5 Let experienced dog people suggest a breeder for you that seems to mesh with your own research. Only buy from a breeder that must qualify you as an owner before you can buy their dog Only buy from a breeder who understands the differences between working dogs and family dogs.

2. Let the breeder pick the dog for you based on an objective understanding of your home environment and your ability to invest time and energy in the dog. Make them intrepret their selection according to Volhard selection criteria if they don't do the specific test. Don't get a "1" dog although my dog leans towards that. Buy from a breeder who will refuse to tell you particular pups from the litter because of their screened dispositions.

3. Talk with reasonable owners of like animals and ask them their opinion as to whether you can handle it.

4. Don't buy one if you don't want the house dirtier, your clothes messier, and every other neighbor really irritated that you now have a "mean dog" on their block. Plan on spending 5x more than what anyone tells you you'll spend on a dog.

5. Don't buy one if you think they (i.e., dogs from working lines) can train like dolphins with halters on.

6. Go to leerburg and other sites and read the horror stories about idiots like me who buy them and then tie them out the backyard for a few years. Read as much as you can about the training philosophies on that site and others, even if you are like me and don't agree with some of them. Cesar Milan is great but he does not teach people how to properly handle working dogs. There's some middle ground in between the two.

7. Ask yourself where you will get the 2-3 hours of "high quality and stimulating" interaction time a day to spend with the dog. For the next 15 years. Try to live that schedule for a few weeks (e.g., go for long walks, etc. but take that time AWAY from your current life).

7.5 Don't kid yourself about personal protection training if you are a n00b and you do not have a house where you could not keep a loaded gun on the kitchen floor. Read carefully all the comments from LEOs and MWD handlers about how few dogs can actually do this. Like, twice.

8. If you don't like asking for directions because of pride, don't get a working dog.

9. Be honest with your wife about shedding, it will save you trouble later. :lol:

And tell them their lives will change just as much as they did when they had a baby! Except dogs housebreak quicker.

Now for the more controversial stuff, I guess: first-time dog owners should not own GSDs. Beyond GSDs, I would not recommend a working Mal or Dutch or molosser/pit breed to anyone who did not spend >50% of their work and play lives in dog-related activities (kennel ownership, training, etc.) and had previously owned dominant dogs (successfully). I think there should be a breeder code of ethics keyed to these types of things that would restrict to whom breeders could sell animals. I think serious breeders should be given preferential tax incentives to pre-qualify potential dog owners. (I am not talking about BSL, I'm talking about incentizing, because good sales mean less harm to society down the road in many ways). I think there should be tax incentives for spaying/neutering.

Sorry for the length, this question causes me to think a lot. Some days more than others!!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Woody, you are NOT an idiot! And I consider you far above the "average" dog owner simply b/c you are here on this board asking questions. The average pet owner doesn't care. Discussions about obedience, all natural dog food, being the pack leader, etc., fall on deaf ears...

Most good breeders are pretty discriminate about who owns their dogs but dude in POland (in this case) apparently was not (and again, I do not know the exact history of this pup, I can only surmise from the discussion that we're talking about a nice Polish DDR/Czech dog, especially based on his look, size, and color).

ETA: I totally agree about buying a dog from well established lines/good breeding. I bought a German show boy who can be traced back to Horand. I just RESCUE the AmBred babies :wink:
 

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Stacia Porter said:
Discussions about obedience, all natural dog food, being the pack leader, etc., fall on deaf ears...
In a way that was one nice thing about having a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old in the house. Assuming you are an invested parent, the dog has to learn "my way or the highway" pretty darn quick and is limited in goo-goo time it gets from you. The alternative is something you may regret for the rest of your life. And little stuff like making my dog watch us interact with each other (from its crate), I think, did wonders for establishing hierarchy.

Again, this assumes you are not an idiot parent. I'm against BSL for the most part but I'm pretty much all for licensed parenting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Woody Taylor said:
Again, this assumes you are not an idiot parent. I'm against BSL for the most part but I'm pretty much all for licensed parenting.
AMEN to that!!!!

Here's the dog in question:



Pupper is 28.5 inches at the withers and 80 lbs (born 25 Feb 2005). BIG BOY. Too bad about his ear...I would call that neglect and possibly poor nutrition? I just love his color...
 

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Stacia Porter said:
Woody Taylor said:
Pupper is 28.5 inches at the withers and 80 lbs (born 25 Feb 2005). BIG BOY. Too bad about his ear...I would call that neglect and possibly poor nutrition? I just love his color...
Cute dog! Sheesh I have been in these forums too long (all of five months) when I see that pic and that story and go..."maybe I should talk to the wife about picking up another one???" :roll: This would be reason #257 for the divorce papers to get drawn up, right after switching to raw. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Woody Taylor said:
Cute dog! Sheesh I have been in these forums too long (all of five months) when I see that pic and that story and go..."maybe I should talk to the wife about picking up another one???" :roll: This would be reason #257 for the divorce papers to get drawn up, right after switching to raw. :wink:
I'll help!!!!!!!! Nothing better than finding a displaced GSD a home!

However the rescue would be worried considering your marital upheaval afterwards :!:

2 sheps are better than 1.
 

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Stacia Porter said:
2 sheps are better than 1.
But three sheps would make good rain cover for me out on the curb. Send the big ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Woody Taylor said:
Stacia Porter said:
2 sheps are better than 1.
But three sheps would make good rain cover for me out on the curb. Send the big ones.
Think video of my two tearing up the house will convince her? The war sounds are enough to make anyone happy :lol: . Who can't feel at peace with life while watching shepherds chase, wrestle, bark, and bite on each other all day long???????? I mean, honestly!

There are "big" GSD's in rescue. Won't be nice German lines, but you won't care as long as you have a fur coat to protect from the elements on there on your curb...
 

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Stacia Porter said:
Too bad about his ear...I would call that neglect and possibly poor nutrition?
It's probably poor nutrition (purina one isn't famous for it's calcium levels), also could be from getting smacked in the head and having the ear cartilage broken.
He is beautiful..
thinking to self---no more dogs no more dogs-
(yes I know, I've only got one, but I've got him and a 9 month old baby to chase after!!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sarah Hall said:
It's probably poor nutrition (purina one isn't famous for it's calcium levels), also could be from getting smacked in the head and having the ear cartilage broken.
He is beautiful..
thinking to self---no more dogs no more dogs-
(yes I know, I've only got one, but I've got him and a 9 month old baby to chase after!!)
I didn't think about him being smacked in teh head :cry: . Poor baby. His owner says he isn't for sale: and she sounds like she wants to be serious about getting him under control. Her hubby already enrolled him in training with a German SV trainer and they start next week :D . That made me very, very, very happy. She takes him on walks all of the time, lets him play on the plaground equipment, and she has 7 kids who play with him all of the time. He also has a chow brother! She's owned rotts in the past -- it's just that GSD's are a whole diff ball game and her hubby took the dog w/o talking to her. It's just that things she considered "problems" with him sure the heck aren't, and the things she doesnt' consider issues (showing signs of dog aggression) really are!

Just got me thinking about the average pet owner and how that equals a lot of dogs in shelters (and not just gsd's: many large breed, high drive, energetic dogs get dumped).

A 9 mth old baby is enough work not to need another dog :wink: . BTW when do we get to see more pictures of Shane? His smile is just too adorable!!
 

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I want to know how her husband made out after taking the dog without talking to her. If that's the way for me to get another dog then I hope that curb is large. Maybe even a bench close by, concrete gets hard.
I bought her a mood ring so that I could keep up with her moods. It turns green when she's in a good mood and it turns my forehead red when she's in a bad mood. Go figure. :wink:
 

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Jerry Lyda said:
I want to know how her husband made out after taking the dog without talking to her. If that's the way for me to get another dog then I hope that curb is large. Maybe even a bench close by, concrete gets hard.
I bought her a mood ring so that I could keep up with her moods. It turns green when she's in a good mood and it turns my forehead red when she's in a bad mood. Go figure. :wink:
Oh, DUH on me! :oops: :oops: I didn't get Woody's post about the shelter at the curb until I read this reply! LOL!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Jerry Lyda said:
I want to know how her husband made out after taking the dog without talking to her. If that's the way for me to get another dog then I hope that curb is large. Maybe even a bench close by, concrete gets hard.
I bought her a mood ring so that I could keep up with her moods. It turns green when she's in a good mood and it turns my forehead red when she's in a bad mood. Go figure. :wink:
Well he's alive and taking teh dog to training???

I'm still alive after driving 2 1/2 hours to get a dog w/o asking hubby first LOLOL. He did narrow his eyes at her and ask WTH she was...but then I caught him snuggling wiht her 30 min later.

Maybe I should convince hubby to get ME a mood ring. My cast iron skillets need oiling...
 

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Connie Sutherland said:
Jerry Lyda said:
I want to know how her husband made out after taking the dog without talking to her. If that's the way for me to get another dog then I hope that curb is large. Maybe even a bench close by, concrete gets hard.
I bought her a mood ring so that I could keep up with her moods. It turns green when she's in a good mood and it turns my forehead red when she's in a bad mood. Go figure. :wink:
Oh, DUH on me! :oops: :oops: I didn't get Woody's post about the shelter at the curb until I read this reply! LOL!!
You all keep the lactation/LLL thread and we'll keep the obscure references to getting kicked around by our spouses for our stupidity. :wink:
 

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Woody Taylor said:
.....Oh, DUH on me! :oops: :oops: I didn't get Woody's post about the shelter at the curb until I read this reply! LOL!!
You all keep the lactation/LLL thread and we'll keep the obscure references to getting kicked around by our spouses for our stupidity. :wink:[/quote]

That seems fair. :lol:
 
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