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Current Replies for New Puppy
12/12/2008 4:51:32 PM
Posts: 3
I'm new to the forum and new to havin aa dog.
I'm thinking of getting a German Shepherd. If you guy have any other suggestions for a first time dog owner, I will appreciate it.
Also could you tell me what would expect to pay for a new puppy and what will be the best puppy food brand for him.

Thank you so much,

12/13/2008 11:32:08 AM
Posts: 2
i just got 5 shepherd husky mix...and they will get big, so make sure that if you get one that your not one of thoes owners who get a dog as a puppie and then when it get older and bigger you lock it outside in a cage...make sure you have the room to host one of these dogs =]
12/13/2008 2:28:41 PM
Posts: 1904
So punkgirl, tell me this. YOu just posted about you had these puppies and you had no idea how big they would get....and now your telling someone else that they will get big? So what is the real story?

Serena Galloway
IGCA rescue Colorado

No Part of this msg may be forwarded without the author's permission
12/13/2008 3:52:47 PM
Posts: 253
Hello Ricardo-

German Shepherds are a wonderful family dog and very loyal to their families. There are a lot of websites out there with great information on the German Shepherd, beginning with the German Shepherd Club of America website you can find here:

There are more than just a few things to think about before getting a GSD puppy, but I will address a few that I have learned through experience:

1. If this is indeed your first experience with dog ownership, be ready to take some classes with your new pup from a young age. GSDs will want to be alpha in their relationships with humans, especially the males. GSDs are intelligent, athletic, big, and powerful. You need to establish yourself as alpha from the get-go, and there are good and bad ways to do this. Dog training classes that teach positive reinforcement will be very helpful to you.

2. Be absolutely sure to get your new puppy from a quality breeder. GSDs as a breed have a plethora of problems: both physical and psychological. You want to make sure your dogs parents have a sound temperament as there is a propensity towards aggression in poorly bred dogs. Timidity is another psychological problem that can cause fearful behavior which ultimately can lead to aggression.

We have owned three German Shepherds over the past few years. Big dogs have a tendency to break down physically faster than smaller dogs. Hip and elboy dysplasia were the demise of our first shepherd at the age of 7. He was a fantastic dog but he started to break down at the age of 4 or 5. We learned a lot from that experience. We got two other dogs from a reputable breeder after that. Our male lived to be 11 wherein he developed Degenerative Myelopathy, another health issue with GSDs. This disease causes the autoimmune system to attack the nervous system and it is a really terrible thing to watch progress. Our female is still kicking it at the age of 13. She's going deaf and blind, but she still looks great. You wouldn't look at her and know she was that old.

Repuable breeders should have their dogs extensively tested before breeding them. The website I showed you lists a bunch of the tests that are necessary to help ensure your dog has a few problems as possible.

3. Finally I will end with the fact that exercise and mental stimulation are an absolute necessity for the GSD. They are athletic and intelligent. Left to their own, they can use their energies and brains for evil rather than good. A fenced in yard and daily walks are a important. Training obedience, fly ball, and or agility stimulate and exercise your dog and will keep him or her happy.

I love the GSD breed. I know growing up that my babysitter when I was outside playing was our big black GSD, Jake. There aren't many dogs more loyal and intelligent than this breed.

Good luck!

12/13/2008 6:11:21 PM
Posts: 253
I forgot to talk about price:

At least in my area, a quality, well-bred German Shepherd tends to be one of the more expensive breeds. I'm not really sure I understand it, but prices easily run from $750-$2500 for a pet quality dog. I think one of the reasons they are so expensive is because they are such a popular breed and price is a filter. I'm just guessing.

Price has honestly been the huge deterrent for me getting a German Shepherd again in the near future. I absolutely will not chance getting a dog that is going to have problems (because the problems can be so huge), but I also can not justify spending $1200 on a pet.

All I can say is that you get what you pay for. If you find someone selling for $200, based on the prevalence of problems with the breed, your dogs life span is likely to be significantly shorter and likely more painful in the last years.

12/15/2008 5:07:52 PM
Posts: 3
Thank you so much for your info.