|Barked: Sat Nov 30, '13 9:18pm PST |
|We adopted a male 1.5yr old a few years back (2). He was a wreck when we got him - nervous, didn't know what do to with himself in the house, terrified in the car, nervous of many (not all) men. Coming and off-leash were out of the question. He was already gentle though nervous with kids and good with all dogs including small ones. He was very thin because he refused to eat kibble beyond what was necessary for survival.
I am an experienced horse and dog person and have raised many litters of GSDs, so not a novice. It took work, but 2 years later, he is wonderful. He goes off-leash anywhere, runs with me, doesn't chase wild-life, and is OK with cats (though he'll chase if one runs - doesn't do anything, but will chase). He has also completely adjusted to vehicles, and we drove BC to Nova Scotia to Florida to LA to BC last year and are about to do so again.
He is fantastic, but like all large and energetic dogs, it took patients and gentleness to bring him around. He is very bright and cautious - you need to respect that. No idea on the hypoalergetic thing as we don't have allergies, but he sheds about the same as a GSD - all the time with a big shed of the undercoat spring and fall.
If you have a pup, get it out and about immediately and every day. Take them on every kind of surface and take them to every kind of environment. Introduce them to every kind of animal and person you can. Give them lots of opportunity to play with other dogs, be gently petted by children of all ages, and expose them to everything you can think of. And LOTS of exercise, even if your dog doesn't seem to need it - all dogs need activity, both physical and mental, every day. If you don't give it to them, they may be destructive, nervous, or bounce off the walls. A tired dog is a good dog
All of the above applies to all dogs, and getting one is a commitment to the next 20 years, so plan accordingly.
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