Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

GSD puppy- getting prepared

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by The Wild Bunch, Feb 13, 2019.


  1. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    We are currently on the waiting list for a long-haired German Shepherd puppy. The breeder has two bitches due to come into season soon so we are hopeful that both will be successful matings and we will end up with a lovely, chunky boy.

    I have grown up with GSD so they are not a new breed to me but I have never owned one myself. We are involved in a few GSD groups and have read up a lot about them. As they are a strong breed, I am keen to buy a lead that I can use for training and for holding the dog close to me. Is a long line a good idea or are there better alternatives? I’m keen to hear any tips anybody is willing to offer especially around training as I know shepherds like to have guidance and I want to make sure that we don’t set ourselves up to fail with training
     
  2. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    3,494
    Likes Received:
    9,856
    Congratulations, exciting times :)
    I'm guessing your breeder has done all the relevant health tests on their bitches and will select studs that are also thoroughly health checked with published results that you can look up and verify for yourself? GSDs are a breed with many congenital health issues that can be mostly avoided with responsible breeding.

    What are you looking for in your GSD? Any particular activities you would like to do? How do you see the dog fitting in to your lifestyle?

    As for a leash, your comment is kind of funny :) Yes, they are a strong breed, but they're also a very biddable breed, the strength of your relationship will always be more valuable than the strength of your leash :)

    Suzanne Clothier is a GSD breeder and wonderful trainer. She writes about this idea of "big, strong" dogs. You may enjoy this short article of hers.
    https://suzanneclothier.com/article/much-dogs-cooperation-weigh/

    We have several GSD owners on here who will be a great source of information and support to you. @Cleo38 @Sairy and several others are a wealth of information :)
     
  3. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    2,919
    Likes Received:
    7,160
    I don’t have any experience with GSDs but we have a couple of members who do so hopefully they’ll be along to help.

    I was commenting to advise, while you’re waiting, you could look into enrolling into a good puppy class. Make sure that the trainer only uses positive based training methods and that it’s not a puppy ‘free for all’ (as these can teach puppies bad habits) but has a structure of training and socialising. You could go and observe some classes to see whether they seem a good fit. That should set you on a good path for training your pup :)

    Longlines are normally used to give a dog a bit more freedom when their recall isn’t the best or in places where having dog offlead isn’t appropriate. When young, puppies tend to want to stick by their owners so you may not need a longline...
     
    Sairy likes this.
  4. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    Thank you :)
    All of her dogs are A stamped for hips and elbows and her studs are tested for haemophilia. I have arranged to go and see her for a brew and a chat and to meet her dogs before puppies arrive so that we can ask her some questions and she can get to know us a little better as well. As far as what we want from our dog, we’re a very active family so plenty of walks once pup is older and once his joints can cope with longer periods of walking and then we may venture into agility. I know they are a biddable breed and very clever. I think it’s the fact that some owners don’t build the relationship that problems start and why so many become “difficult to handle”
     
    Jazzy likes this.
  5. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    We did the KC good citizen puppy scheme with Olive. We were going to carry on and do the bronze but the classes were over subscribed so we never got chance. It’s something I will definitely do again. My vet also runs “puppy parties” for pups to get to know each other in a controlled environment. I’m hoping that pup will be quite happy to stay close. Olive was and still is a bit of a Velcro dog when out walking. Our breeder has also asked about our family and has said she will observe personalities and give us an idea of which boy will be the best fit which we’re really grateful for.
     
  6. NFC slave

    NFC slave PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    1,015
    Although I have owned long haired GSD in the past it was many years ago and I am certainly no expert on the breed, but just have to mention that my beloved boy developed epilepsy, and died as a result at around 8 years old. Please make sure epilepsy is not anywhere in the bloodlines. Enjoy your pup, must admit to being a tiny bit jealous x
     
    The Wild Bunch likes this.
  7. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    Thank you. So sorry for the loss of your boy :( I will discuss this with the breeder x
     
  8. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    3,494
    Likes Received:
    9,856
    Be very cautious about puppy parties.
    IME very few are well run. Ideally there would be a lot of knowledgeable adults there intervening often so puppies avoid getting OTT and avoid practicing inappropriate behaviors.
    Honestly, puppies generally don't teach each other the best play practices. Ideally you would have a stable, competent adult dog to teach the puppy how to behave with a lot of input from you also.
     
    Torin., Teddy-dog and The Wild Bunch like this.
  9. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    I didn’t take Olive to puppy parties as it clashed with puppy classes so not a problem if we miss them. I’m sure Olive will be fine with telling pup when he’s overstepped the mark, she’s not backward in voicing her disgust
     
  10. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    4,501
    Likes Received:
    13,467
    Hi there. Exciting times for you with a new pup on the horizon. I have a GSD and have known and loved many over the years. I have a particular soft spot for long coats - my girl has a long coat.

    I'm terms of tips, well it depends what you want to know really. I would definitely get your pup used to being groomed early on as you will be spending a fair amount of time grooming your dog's coat when it matures and gets to its full length. You will also get to play the game of "what items of shrubbery did you bring home in your coat today?" after every walk. If you haven't already then get yourself a decent hoover as you will be using it a lot too!

    @O2.0 is absolutely right about health concerns so please make sure you have checked out all the records thoroughly, not just for both parents but also grandparents and great grandparents etc. Also pay close attention to the temperament of the bitch (you may well not get to see the dog, but do some research on him). A good GSD is an absolute diamond, but there are some dodgy temperaments in some of the lines which you want to avoid. You can expect a GSD to be fairly uninterested in strangers, suspicious of people entering the properly initially, but not aggressive. Any signs of aggression in the bitch and I would walk away.

    Take care not to over-exercise your puppy. Free-running at its own pace over level ground is good exercise, along with swimming if you have somewhere suitable.

    A long line is a useful training aid for any dog so I would recommend getting one - make sure it is attached to a well-fitting harness. You don't need a lead any stronger than one you would use for any large breed. Teach your dog to walk nicely on a loose lead and your arms will thank you!

    As for training, there is a misconception among some people that GSDs need a "firm hand" and to be "shown who's boss". This couldn't be further from the truth. They are actually very sensitive dogs and respond well to reward-based training which involves plenty of play and encouragement.

    Agility sounds like a great idea. I originally intended to do agility with mine, but ended up getting into competitive obedience instead, which I really enjoy.

    I hope there is something useful in all this, but feel free to ask any questions.

    IMG-20180812-WA0004.jpg
     
  11. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    Thank you for the useful information @Sairy your girl is beautiful :Kiss. The breeder we are seeing owns three or four bitches and one lad who is dad to all the pups she breeds. From what I’ve seen and what she’s told me, they are all big softies and really easy going dogs so I am hopeful that pups will be the same. We have a shark hoover which is pretty good at sucking up pet hair. How it will fair with a blown coat is anyone’s guess :Joyful
    How did you get into competitive obedience, did it follow on from training classes? I have never had to use a firm hand with a dog yet and all of them have been pretty well behaved with good manners. I’m hoping a new, rather more intelligent pup will be just as easy :)
     
  12. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    Thank you for the useful information @Sairy your girl is beautiful :Kiss. The breeder we are seeing owns three or four bitches and one lad who is dad to all the pups she breeds. From what I’ve seen and what she’s told me, they are all big softies and really easy going dogs so I am hopeful that pups will be the same. We have a shark hoover which is pretty good at sucking up pet hair. How it will fair with a blown coat is anyone’s guess :Joyful
    How did you get into competitive obedience, did it follow on from training classes? I have never had to use a firm hand with a dog yet and all of them have been pretty well behaved with good manners. I’m hoping a new, rather more intelligent pup will be just as easy :)
     
  13. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    4,501
    Likes Received:
    13,467
    I went through the bronze, silver and gold good citizens with her and knew I wanted to do something else. I was on the waiting list for agility, but there was no waiting list for competitive obedience so I thought I'd give it a go. We soon got hooked and I never bothered doing agility, although we do have a go sometimes at one of the pet handling classes to get our fix. Holly is indeed a beautiful girl, thank you, and just the right amount of drive for me - high enough drive to want to work, but not manic drive.

    If I'm completely honest it would concern me that your breeder uses the same dog on all her bitches, which happens to be the one that she owns. The reason for this is that breeders who are responsible and passionate about furthering the breed will strive to produce the best pups possible. This involves knowing their bitch's strengths and weaknesses and choosing a dog to complement them. An example could be the bitch might be structurally very good and in good health, but perhaps isn't quite as drivey as the breeder would like so they will pick a dog with more drive with the aim to produce healthy pups with more drive. The chances of a breeder owning a dog who just happens to be the best fit for their bitch (let alone three separate bitches who will no doubt have different strengths and weaknesses) is very unlikely.

    What type of shepherds is she breeding? Does she work them in any sports? What is she aiming for in her breeding? This information will help you decide whether she is the right breeder for you. Has she shared the results of the hip and elbow scores with you as well?
     
  14. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    3,494
    Likes Received:
    9,856
    Yes, yes, yes, to all of this!!
     
    JoanneF, The Wild Bunch and Sairy like this.
  15. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    She breeds for showing and shows herself. All of her dogs appear to be from two kennels so wondering if she bought them specifically for type? She has shared hip and elbow scores with me. Most of her girls are A stamped but I have individual scores as well. As she has two girls waiting to come into season, I am unsure as yet who will be mum for our prospective pup. I have also spoken to another breeder today who is up in Coldstream she has three girls but uses different boys depending on what she’s wanting for herself. She has working and show lines so wondering if this might be a better fit. She also has a seven year old son (my son is 8). Lots to think about
     
  16. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    13,565
    Likes Received:
    19,953

    This I find a little strange.

    If this lady always uses her own dog on her bitches, she is never going to improve upon the pups she's breeding now.

    Assuming she isn't breeding from the same bitches all the time, does she keep a bitch pup from a litter, with a view to breeding from her down the line? If so, she cannot be mating them to their own Father.

    For someone who shows, this would not be normal practise. Linebreeding, done correctly, is fine, but that is not using the same dog over and over again.
     
    O2.0 and Sairy like this.
  17. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    4,501
    Likes Received:
    13,467
    Are you looking for a working line or show line?
     
  18. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    For drive, confidence and energy working would be my preference but I know that this isn’t guaranteed regardless of the lines.

    Had a little snoop at her dogs and litters. Looks like she used a different stud in 2017 and kept a girl back from one of the litters.
     
  19. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    13,565
    Likes Received:
    19,953

    Yes, but has she then mated that bitch pup back to her own dog?
     
  20. The Wild Bunch

    The Wild Bunch Owner of dogs and referee of children

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Messages:
    3,684
    Likes Received:
    5,101
    She hasn’t had a litter yet so i don’t know what her plans are
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice