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I met a lovely GSD...

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 7:35am PST 
And had never considered them as a possible breed choice. The one I met was relatively small, I think. Maybe about 65 lbs.

Was that uncommonly small? She also had a very gentle temperament and was working as a therapy dog.

Of course, I have long admired their beauty, but (given some of the conversations on Dogster) never considered them a breed that I could handle.

But in truth, if I listened to all the conversations on here, I would probably guess I could not handle a Labrador, either.

What about it? Can a GSD be a pet for an active individual? Or do they always need a task or special purpose?
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 9:57am PST 
Mulder is 75lbs ideal weight (he's put on a couple, I think at 78 right now, oops shh)
Ridley at 1 year is about 61 lbs, maybe 70-75 final weight.
My female growing up was about 55lbs.

Smaller dogs ARE out there, and are technically more correct to standard. 100lb+ dogs are NOT correct for the breed, despite the alarmingly large number of them. Personally, I see more over-sided dogs in the showlines (both American and European) than in other pedigrees. At the OB trial last weekend, I was absolutely floored by the size of some of the GSDs there... there was a 10 month old FEMALE that was nearly an inch taller and probably about 10 lbs larger than Mulder... 10 MONTHS! FEMALE! And she wasn't alone, several other females probably had about 1/2 inch on Mulder (who is between 25-26 inches, which is the HIGH end of the standard). Most of them were nice enough dogs, and the female puppy was actually very charming, but still... wow.

Perhaps not the most popular opinion, but I do truly believe that there is a GSD out there for everyone. If you (general you) have any brains at all and are willing to put in the early leg work that the breed requires, you CAN find a dog to match your lifestyle.

Even in the working lines, so long as you aren't looking at ultra-hard, balls-to-the-wall, spit in your eye piss on your grave Boban-type pedigrees, you can find a nice dog who is drivey yet stable, and who isn't specifically looking to push any boundaries.

Though for people who aren't specifically looking for a working or sport dog, a nice, MODERATE showline is a fine option and one that is worthy of some consideration.

They need an outlet, but not all of them NEED a job. So long as you keep them exercised, give them some mental challenge and keep up with their training (even if its just basic stuff), you can have a very happy, well adjusted dog.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 10:18am PST 
Thanks, Mulder. They seem like some kind of "uber dogs" (Well, YOU do) but the one I met was so gentle and sweet. And compared to Savvy she was petite.

I don't mind the drive or even a good bit of energy (hence Labbies) but really need something downscale next time. At least as far as size goes.

It is probably quite a few years off, but I was really taken with that dog. Will inquire about it's breeder next time I see it. (they do a program here at work with the dogs...)
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 11:50am PST 
Lol, if Mulder is an Uber dog, it would probably only be for his extremely stable temperament! I'm sure there are better working dogs than him, and he is not what I consider "hard" for a GSD... hardER than your average dog, sure, and perhaps harder than most would want to deal with, but he's not a terminator dog by any means (haha!). But that's ok... I don't need anything to that level. Stability and dependability are what I value most, and in that respect he is the perfect fit for me!

Plus, even the "hard" lines can throw soft dogs... Ridley is an example of this. He has many half siblings who are active duty K9s, but he is so NOT on that level! A great dog, but just not that... and I never needed or wanted him to be that, so that suits me just fine!

I think you could find a nice female to fall within your size range. I would do as you're doing, keep an eye out for this guy and find out where he got his dog, see if those dogs do anything for you. If the breeder is breeding for therapy dogs, you have a good chance of finding a nice, stable dog with maybe a bit more of a mellow temperament.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 12:05pm PST 
I look forward to seeing it again. It was a classic tan and black in coloration, but the tan was more buff than gold. Not so pale as to be silver, but almost.

Very pretty, graceful and intelligent looking.
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UCH Onyx TT,- CGC

Do you even- lift?
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 4:12pm PST 
German Shepherds are definitely one those breeds that's been subject to the "bigger is better" mentality, so you do see a lot of very tall and/or very heavy ones. But it's still not too hard to find more moderately sized dogs. Onyx was 72 lbs when I last weighed him a couple weeks ago, and while he may still have a bit of filling out to do, I don't expect him to get much larger. I've been asked if he's a "miniature German Shepherd" silenced but he's actually a correct height, people are just used to seeing much larger GSDs.

Totally agree with Mulder that it shouldn't be hard to find a GSD that fits the active companion bill. Good breeders in most lines should be able to match you with a dog like that, and there are thousands of gorgeous GSDs in need of homes that would make excellent athletic pets, especially if you go through a good rescue that knows their dogs.
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Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
 
 
Barked: Tue Nov 20, '12 9:32pm PST 
I was going to echo the same as Mulder and Onyx. Miyu was at last weigh in, between 67-68 lbs. Right there for a GSD, probably right about the size of the girl you met. Not sure how tall she is at the shoulder though. We see a lot of dogs bigger (most tubbier, unfortunately) but also find it very common to run into daintier shepherds as well.

If you're worried about too much dog whites are softer, more mellow than their black and tan counterparts usually are. Miyu is perfect for me. She loves working, she has good drive and is athletic enough to go on forEVER, but has a great off switch. Right now she's passed out on her bed, and really, we get about an hour of exercise in a day, honestly. So very moderate, not bad at all. I have been told by multiple people that she is a black and tan in a white body though! laugh out loud She's still a GSD, still tests you, needs structure and firm leadership, but she isn't ever what I'll call stubborn. Just bratty. party

Now I did adopt her as an adult, but like Onyx said... so much variation that you could go to a good rescue, be very specific about what you want and be able to get what you need from them. I can tell you that looking about at the other rescue dogs from the local GSD rescue... most are just sweet companion animals. They don't do any work of any sort, really.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 8:53am PST 
Shadow is only 60 lbs. Sabi is way over size for a female at just shy of 27 inches and 80 lbs or so ideally. But an active home would have suited her just fine. She has an strongly protective nature which was why I took her in for assessment and training in the first place, I wanted to get a handle on it before she did, but she isn't a drivey dog. I joke that she is part Golden all the time because she has that gentle, sweet, happy nature. I place most of the dogs I get in active homes as family pets.
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Charlie Pete

G-day mate! - Wanna Play?
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 22, '12 5:56pm PST 
My Sweet Hannah was a lovely, gorgeous gentle shepherd. She was a bit huge. But was, in personality, quiet and unassuming, very gentle. Loved me and everyone else very quietly and gracefully. BUT....one the one or two occasions she perceived that I was threatened she became very much a protective shepherd. Hair up made her look even more huge and a hard sharp stare and deep growth. I would never have wanted to mess wiht her. Threat gone: back to a gentle sweet quiet girl. She made it to 16 years then died peacefully in her sleep. That was 10 years ago and I still miss her.
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Savannah- Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
 
 
Barked: Sat Nov 24, '12 7:48am PST 
She sounds wonderful. My old Lab, Dixie (looked Lab, but half husky or something) was like that. She was "on" at any threat, but a love bug otherwise. And the thing I really liked was the "on" switch was not loud or trying to "get at" whatever was the threat. She would just freeze and swell up and look ready for a fight...but stand down as soon as I gave the order. And she came like that...no special training.
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