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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
Me and my partner are considering getting a dog, and while we've done a lot of research on the matter, there are still many questions we have unanswered. I'd really appreciate it if you could perhaps help answer one or two of them?

Well first I think it'd help if you knew our situation. I grew up around dogs, my parents loved them, especially German Sheps, but they had a small house, and my dad was disabled. They rarely had time to walk them and even though they loved dogs very much, they weren't really in a situation to keep them and sometimes had to re-home them. As a kid, I found it distressing, and now that I'm long since moved out and 27 years old, I want a dog of my own, but am scared of repeating my parents mistakes.

I live in a small, semi detached house down a pleasant cul-de-sac. There's a big park literally at the end of our street. We have small/medium sized garden, but half of it is paved over. Me and my boyfriend have lived here for about 5 years and have been thinking about a dog on and off for a while. He's never had a dog before and is a touch nervous about taking the first step. I am confident about handling and training dogs, but worried about repeating my parents mistakes as an owner. After spending 5 years talking about it but never making the doggie commitment, we've started making preparations at last and hope to take in a dog this summer. Why summer? My partner is a teacher, and we feel it'll be easier on both us and the dog if we do it while both of us are around.
I don't go to work and am in the house all day to take care of our new woofer, and in 5 years we've only gone on one holiday, and that was a self catering cottage here in England that allowed pets.

So, now you know the gist of things, onto some questions!
1- Me and my boyfriend both love German Shepherds especially. Given our relatively small house, do you think it would be unfair to take one on? The dog would get plenty of exercise in our local park, I enjoy a good walk or jog.

2- When I was little, I don't think there were any laws in place about keeping dogs on leashes, but times change *sigh*. Does anyone know the specifics of the dog leash rule? Can I let my dog off the leash at the park to play Frisbee and such?

3- We plan on getting our dog neutered/spayed. If we get a female dog, will she still bleed in season after being spayed? If we get a male (our preference), will he be any less aggressive towards other male dogs?

4- We both love the idea of getting a puppy. We're aware of the amount time and effort involved in training and caring for one. However, given it's our first time getting our own dog, we're considering two other options. Either taking on an older dog from a rescue home, or offering to foster a dog at a rescue home. We are concerned that an older dog will not bond with us, or that our inexperience will make taking on foster dogs from a rescue background too difficult for us and unfair on the dog. I would appreciate hearing your opinions on this, perhaps it will help us decide.

Thank you for taking the time to read this long post!
 

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Hello, Aola and welcome.

Size of house does not matter one bit if you are providing the dog with plenty of time outside. Dogs are happy to curl up in a small bed to sleep and will not comlain it doesn't have it's own space.

If you are considering getting a German Shep then you will have no problem with the dog not bonding with you as that is their primary genetic programme.

Can't comment on spaying but neutering a dog has never resulted in unwanted behaviour. It won't make major changes in the dog's behaviour but it is by no means a solution to behavioural problems. That comes through training.

There aren't any enforced laws by me, don't know if it's a region thing, but if you know your dog's got a bit of a temper or behaviour issue it's always best to have it under control. Just use common sense i.e. no recall - no off leash.

The only worry I woul dhave about living in a small house would be house training. The smell does carry very well indeed so it is entirely up to you. Pups are everywhere but rescuecentres are full to bursting with dogs that just want their chance their shine.

Have a look on here if it is a GSD that you are after:

urgent dogs for adoption

Good luck and hope you have fun on here.
 

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Hi
You have definitely given this alot of thought which is fantastic. Some answers to your questions:
* Size of house......... doesn't matter . The fact that you have a small garden in which he/she can sit out & relieve self is great........coupled with your wish to exercise the pet then that's perfect.

* If you rescue a dog, you are giving it a second chance at a happy & loved life. For this when you have gained the dog's trust, he/she will be grateful & return that love in spades!

* A bitch will not bleed after she has been spayed.

* Just use common sense re letting dog off lead in open places. Some places don't allow this but usually have signs up saying so.

Good luck. x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm relieved both of you say the size of the house isn't too important so long as they get ample exercise, we love German Sheps so much. As far as small dog breeds go, my partner doesn't really like them. I like corgis and collies (the lassie kind, not the boarder collie. I adore border collies but understand we can't meet the needs of the breed), but I don't want to get a dog that we don't both love.

I'm really surprised about the leash matters. We were both under the impression that British law insisted dogs be kept on a leash now when off of private property. I'm very glad to hear that isn't the case! I understand that it depends on the behaviour and temprement of the dog, but I'm pleased to know that it will be an option if the circumstances are right.

I've already taken a look at German Shepherd Rescue, and when the time comes to take on our dog, that's one of the places we'll be considering. A concern of mine regarding Rescue dogs is if we'll be able to manage a potentially 'problem' dog. I realise not all Rescue dogs are problem dogs, but it's still something I have to bare in mind when choosing.
My older sister, like me, wanted a dog when she moved out. She was a touch less cautious, and got one as soon as she moved out. She took a rescue dog called Brook who was billed as 'nervous around people'. She thought Brook would become more friendly with the right love and attention, but he never stopped snapping, biting and growling and in the end, despite her best efforts, he had to be put down. I realise that problem dogs can change, but I don't feel I have enough experience to take the chance.

Thank you both for the speedy responses! They really helped^^
 

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most rescues will not rehome 'problem dogs' unless they are 100% sure that the new owners can handle it and sometimes not even then.. they do not want to see the dog back at the rescue so they will do their best to match you to your perfect dog and if they dont then maybe look at a different rescue.

wendy
 

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Hi - I got a rescued hound (he's lurcher greyhound x saluki). The rescue charity were brilliant. after the initial home check they took me to meet the dogs. Sid was the first dog to come up to me and has not left my side since - 3 years ago now! I will always recommend to people to take a rescued dog. The love they give is unconditional and the charity is always only a phone call away if you need any help with anything! For a resonable donation they neuture/spay the dog provide a lead and muzzle and all the support you could possible want. Also you can get involved with events and walks - they are good days out where you can chat to others and learn a lot.

Best of luck with what ever you decide but hnestly try to give a rescue dog a second chance - you won't regret it:D
 

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Hello!

It's great that you've taken the time to do research and think about it before hand, alas so many people don't.

German Shepherds are a great breed, however I would say that as with many herding breeds they need more exercise and mental stimulation than a non-herding breed. So daily romps at a park might not be sufficient, these dogs need to have purpose in their lives, so you would do well to get involved in some type of pursuit suitable to the breed.

As you will know from your research the GSD is also a guarding breed, and unless you specifically want this trait, then if you get a puppy you need to behave in such a way right from day one so as to prevent nurturing this instinct inadvertently.

You might find the following helpful:


Hope this helps
 
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