Are German Shepherds...

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by BarredCometLaced, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. BarredCometLaced

    BarredCometLaced Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Northern NH
    Are German Shepherds good all around dogs? Are they good around livestock?

    What is your favorite part of a German shepherd?

    *** Show pics of your German Shepherds!
  2. WhiteCochinLover

    WhiteCochinLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2011
    Mine is a mix with lab chow and german and I love him he is great with my chickies
  3. dainerra

    dainerra Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2011
    The German Shepherd was made to be a "jack of all trades" They are guide dogs for the blind, herds, babysitters, police dogs, Search & Rescue, I could go on and on.

    They are a lot of work, requiring a willing trainer. The first and most important thing is to go with a responsible breeder or rescue. A good rescue will have the dogs in foster homes and will match a dog to fit your needs. They can tell you if the dog is good with cats, kids, etc etc

    Here are my babies. Rayden is 8, Singe is 11 months.



    ETA: Rayden is excellent with the birds. Singe is still a pup and a work in progress. He is good with them as long as I am there to keep an eye on him, so he never gets the chance to be alone with them.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  4. CrestedGirl

    CrestedGirl Polish Obsessed

    Mar 7, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    My german shepherds are great around livestock, but they tend to go after anything that moves if you don't train them. Here are both of mine
  5. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    German shepherds were intended to be a good general farm dog with an emphasis on herding. So yes, they often are good all around dogs. However, they do require a firm, consistent owner or they will walk all over you (unless they have an undesirably [for the breed] soft temperament). They need to know that you're in charge. They also need mental stimulation or they will make up their own games, which will not amuse you nearly as much as them.

    If properly trained and introduced, german shepherds can be very good around livestock. But it's not at all uncommon for an untrained german shepherd to kill livestock. Some individual dogs have higher prey drives and may never be fully trustworthy around livestock unsupervised. My dogs are great when I'm there to supervise, and even though I've seen my younger dog stalk wild birds when we were out for a walk (really Tatsu, it's a bird, it'll fly away before you get anywhere near it!) they have been excellent with the chickens. I have on a few occasions seen them run through the chickens just to watch them scatter, and if they run sometimes the dogs can't help but chase them. But at the same time, I let the dogs out last weekend before I went to work and forgot to bring them back in the house. My younger dog spent 4 hours with the chickens free ranging in the backyard and didn't bother them at all. I guess now I know that I can trust him with the chickens unsupervised!

    My favorite part of a german shepherd is the ears. So big and velvety soft! Of course, both my dogs seem to think my favorite part of a german shepherd should be the butt! [​IMG] They love butt scratches so much.

    Aina, the old girl, in front; Tatsu, my younger dog, in back
  6. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    AinaWGSD gave a great overveiw. Just as with any bree, they are great dogs for the right owner. If you are willing to put in the time and effort that a bright and active dog needs, they might be a good dog for you. It also is going to vary upon the genes. GSDs have some serious health and temperamant issues from being popular. I have know dogs with superb temperaments and horrid health, vice versa, and dogs who were terrible in both departments. Don't buy a pup bc you want one now. A good GSD is hard to find and worth the wait.
  7. dainerra

    dainerra Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2011
    agree with Watchdog. I spent 2 years interviewing breeders the last time and then another year waiting for the time to be right - a breeding that I wanted and a pup that was a good fit.
  8. carolinagirl58

    carolinagirl58 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Lugoff, SC
    There is a woman who I see at the farmer's market on Saturdays that has long coated GSDs. The male is 6 and is protection and obediance trained and she is training the pup now. They came from show breeder that has bloodlines from Belgium. Her dogs carry the gene for long coats and she ends up with a couple a year. She has a long waiting list for the long coated pups. That male I see at the market is STUNNING!!! His coat is very long and he has no undercoat (typical of long coated dogs). I know the long coat is considered a defect but if I ever had a GSD, I'd get one like that. They shed less (because of the lack of undercoat) and look incredible.
  9. dainerra

    dainerra Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2011
    There are actually 2 types of long coat GSDs - long coat with no undercoat and long stockcoat which had undercoat.

    The longstock coat is now allowed under the SV standard. My long stockcoat sheds a TON more than my regular stock coat.

    There are so many types of GSDs that you can be amazed that they are related.
    Showlines? American or West German?
    Working lines? DDR or Czech?
    "Old fashioned"?
    Stock coat or long stock? Long coat?
    Sable or solid black? white? Black & tan? Black & red? Bi-color? Blanket back?

    Then once you have decided that, you can start shopping for a breeder.
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:You must have been reading my mind. There's a big difference between an american german shepherd and a DDR one.
    I'm not even sure how an american one can work with that awful sloping back; looks like their butt is going to drag the ground IMO. Wouldn't own one if you gave it to me; no offense to american GSD owners.

    To me, the biggest challenge to owning a (DDR) GSD is learning to stay one step ahead of them in the intelligence department. As AinaWGSD stated, they will walk all over you if you ever let them get the upper hand. They put their minds to learning something new and they will learn it and you had best be ready for it when they do. An example: Us getting in the habit of using the deadbolt when we realized that Kane was figuring out how to open doors.

    Both my boys are from west and east german lines and yes, one (Kane) is a long stockcoat. Wouldn't have it any other way. Just one word of caution, they don't call them german shedders for nothing.

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