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The neverending GSD advice thread

Maister

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#1
Aren't German Shepherds great dogs? Of course they are. Such a stately, loyal, and intelligent breed.

But dayamn, they shed a ton. What do other GSD owners do to care for their pet's (double) coat?
 

gtpeach

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#2
Invest in a Furminator brush. They're pricey, but they do work really well. Invest time in brushing them on a regular basis. Just accept that you're going to have to sweep/vacuum daily if you want to keep the house somewhat clean of pet fur. Do not let them on the couch if you're unwilling to be covered in pet fur when you stand up.

GSD's are my favorite dog breed. They have this reputation of being super smart work dogs, and they really can be. But mine is just a big goof ball that makes me laugh every day.
 

luckless pedestrian

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#3
we just got a miniature Australian shepherd and it's adorable

a German shepherd bit my brother once when we were kids - it was a mean dog so now I have an unreasonable but explainable aversion to them
 

Maister

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#5
Invest in a Furminator brush. They're pricey, but they do work really well. Invest time in brushing them on a regular basis. Just accept that you're going to have to sweep/vacuum daily if you want to keep the house somewhat clean of pet fur. Do not let them on the couch if you're unwilling to be covered in pet fur when you stand up.

GSD's are my favorite dog breed. They have this reputation of being super smart work dogs, and they really can be. But mine is just a big goof ball that makes me laugh every day.
I'm looking at Fruminators online right now. I see they have a short hair and long hair variety brush. Which should I get for a GSD?

Mine is a 'short hair' type but you know how long even short hair GSD fur is.
 

Big Owl

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#6
We use a double sided shedding blade. Our dog loves it but the truth of the matter is that she loves any activity where she's center of attention... even baths. We used to have an issue with our dog eating too fast and vomiting. I don't know if it's an issue with all GSD but I know several people that experienced it. They make special bowls with dividers to slow them down but we just put a tennis ball in the center of the bowl so she has to eat around it. I keep waiting for her to figure out that but she hasn't yet. I guess she is to focused on eating.
 

Gedunker

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#7
We had a shepherd that managed to find and consume a nearly-full bottle of One-A-Day vitamins. She apparently crunched the glass bottle in her teeth and proceeded to consume all the contents. Let's just say, when she went to the door, which was her way of letting us know she needed to go for a walk, we all ran like crazy to let her out, because she was EXPLOSIVE.

Congratulations on your new pup and good on you and the family for getting a rescue.:w:
 

gtpeach

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#8
I'm looking at Fruminators online right now. I see they have a short hair and long hair variety brush. Which should I get for a GSD?

Mine is a 'short hair' type but you know how long even short hair GSD fur is.
The pet store people told me to go ahead and get the long hair version for a GSD and it works very well on mine. Mine is also "short haired."
 

Maister

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#9
Our 1 yr old rescue hund has been experiencing some regression since we got her and has gone potty inside several times. I understand this is not uncommon for dogs that have experienced significant turmoil and/or transition, which she clearly has. This dog was owned by a 92 year old man and the reason she was given up was that she was simply too much dog for a feeble old man to handle. She was clearly completely in charge of the house where she previously lived. We noted early on the only one of the basic commands she knows is 'sit', so we knew we were going to have to get her into training sooner instead of later. The problem, however, has been that for some reason all the local dog training places/organizations seem to have already filled up and started their training sessions and the next round of available courses aren't scheduled to start until the first week in April. That's a little too long for us to endure having an unruly mutt in our household, so we made arrangements to have a professional dog trainer come to our house to help us work on some of the most pressing behavior problems she's having. So the trainer came over on Saturday and I have to confess I found somewhat disappointing. Don't get me wrong, the lady was incredibly good at getting our dog to follow whatever commands she gave but what she wasn't particularly adept at was training humans on how to train their dogs. Maybe that's good from a 'well, you'll just have to pay me $$$ to train your dog for you' perspective, but is otherwise kind of a drawback in my book. So now we're $150 poorer but wiser. I've been watching youtube videos and episodes of 'Lucky Dog' to learn how to train our dog, but part of the problem here is that frequently different trainers give different or even conflicting advice.
 
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#10
I had a GSD for 15 years and she passed a little over a year ago, and I rescued another shepherd pup from the pound about two weeks ago. She looks to be either dutch shepherd or a GSD mixed with something brindle colored, but she’s definitely a shepherd and reminds me so much of the personality and will of my last GSD. Anyways, she is nuts and strong willed just like my old GSD. We have had good success so far just by being persistent with treat exercises. For instance she is jumping on the couch and we get her attention with a treat and say off and have her follow the treat until she is off the couch and she is learning to stay off and look for rewards because of it. She started chewing shoes and we gave her a treat to encourage her to drop it and basically trade the shoe for a treat, then gave her a toy to chew on. We had to do it a few dozen times and make sure we were on top of it immediately when she grabbed a shoe but she is now avoiding them. You got to get them to associate the behavior you want with something they want. So any corrective behavior you want to teach them requires you to trade a reward for stopping the bad behavior. The reward system really works well for shepherds I think. It worked well for my older one and it’s working good for the new one, but any little lack of consistency or lack of instant response to the behavior can set you back. Shepherds will test you for a very long time after you think they have a command or behavior down, so you have to be dilligent. I guess what I am saying is that I have barely relaxed at all during the last two weeks. I’m also not a professional trainer and it sounds like you might want to see about hiring another trainer that is more personable. I absolutely love shepherds though. They can be such amazing dogs.

Also- furminator brush is critical.
 
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#12
Congrats on the puppers!

We had a GSD/Husky mix. My advice for fur is to vacuum daily. Other than that you just adjust to it. Nothing like a little dog hair to add to the nutritional content of dinner!
 

Maister

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#13
We've made arrangements for another trainer to come to our house this weekend. I have a much better feeling about this one. The guy trains k9 units for the police. He also coincidently lives two blocks away, and charges 1/3 what the other outfit did. Oh yeah, and I found out his son and Junior are friends.
 

Maister

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#15
The trainer was a complete rock star! Was great at teaching Junior what he needed to do to get the dog to respond to HIS commands and junior acquired considerable self-confidence by the end of the 2.5 hour session (he only charged for one hour). Junior ended up taking the dog for three walks on Saturday and three on Sunday. I think he's finally found his way of engaging with the dog. We just need to consistently stay on target with the training every day. One of the things this trainer did a much better job of doing was managing Junior's expectations and reinforcing the idea that training is an ongoing process throughout the dog's life, not something you do one time on an afternoon.
 

Maister

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#16
That danged dog is driving me nuts. Her newest thing now is to start barking as soon as she wakes up. The past three days she's started barking while the family is trying to sleep and it's getting progressively earlier each morning. Today it started at 5:wow:2 a.m.:-{ The first time she did this I went downstairs to let her out of her crate figuring she needed to go to the bathroom. She didn't need to go and apparently just wanted company. We've made a point NOT to reward her (with a visit or let her out) since then, but I wonder how long it will take before she figures out we aren't going to play that game? I hope soon, as I have enough problems getting enough sleep already without her assistance.:-@
 

gtpeach

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#17
That danged dog is driving me nuts. Her newest thing now is to start barking as soon as she wakes up. The past three days she's started barking while the family is trying to sleep and it's getting progressively earlier each morning. Today it started at 5:wow:2 a.m.:-{ The first time she did this I went downstairs to let her out of her crate figuring she needed to go to the bathroom. She didn't need to go and apparently just wanted company. We've made a point NOT to reward her (with a visit or let her out) since then, but I wonder how long it will take before she figures out we aren't going to play that game? I hope soon, as I have enough problems getting enough sleep already without her assistance.:-@
Just let her sleep with you guys at night and it'll resolve itself. ;) Although, my GSD does that and has figured out a really good trick to get me up in the morning. When she's ready to wake up, she'll get up and sit on my bladder. Usually that does the trick...
 
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