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Page name: Who Should Own A GSD? [Logged in view] [RSS]
2009-07-09 02:09:54
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Who Should Own A GSD?



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As I have already mentioned, a GSD needs an experienced owner. These dogs are much too headstrong for a new owner. They train well but you need to keep at it, and when they go through their 'teenage stage' their recall drops dramatically so during this period please keep them on a lead.

It's obvious, but GSDs should not be allowed to roam off the lead in public or around strange dogs - that's just asking for trouble. Kimmy might be the sweetest dog ever but what happens when she's startled by a screaming child or a Jack Russell becomes overly playful?

When you are not with your dog make sure it is kept in a secure area. Also make sure it has shelter, food and water, especially in the summer.

If your dog will be out your back garden unsupervised please use a tie out cable:

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This seems like another no brainer too but please make sure you have a fence that is 6 foot or higher. GSDs are good jumpers and if not properly trained, will escape if they want to.

Like I've mentioned, GSDs need stimulation. They want to be involved in things. If you are getting a GSD simply to put in your garden so it will guard your house, don't bother. A GSD and any dog must be part of the family - otherwise your dog will be miserable!

If you are house proud - don't bother. GSDs shed, they bring things in from outside, they dig, they slobber, they drool water from the water bowl all over the floor.

Be careful if you have small animals or cats. Sky is perfect with all animals but some do have problems because of their herding instinct. Always get one from a pup if you have other small animals and cats or rescue a dog you know lives well with them.

A GSD does not come to your house fully trained. You have to train, house train, battle through the teething stage and seasons (if you have a girl). You need to be committed if you want the best from your GSD.

If you do not have experience of breeding and do not intend to show, please get your GSDs spayed. Males can become aggressive, hard to manage and will be predisposed to some cancers. Unspayed females can become moody, difficult and predisposed to urine problems and cancers. Personally I am letting my GSD have a few seasons so she can mature before I spay her but it varies from owner to owner. Note: Your vet will tell you to spay as soon as possible but they do not know anything about breed dogs. Please get advice from a professional.

ALWAYS HAVE PET INSURANCE. I cannot stress this enough. Pet insurance will be a life saver if anything ever happens to your GSD. Also, make sure you have lifetime cover instead of annual cover.

Socialise your pup as soon as possible. If you know that no strange dogs go in your garden, house train straight away. There is no harm to them in your garden. When socialising, always carry them until they've had their injections.

Most owners get the injections done at weeks 8 and 10. Some people say that the injections are a rip off. But what will you do when your pup gets parvo, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis or kennel cough? Two jabs do not equal life time cover. You need annual boosters.

If your dog has symptoms of depression, appetite loss and a high temperature go to your vet immediately. It could be any one of the above mentioned diseases (excluding kennel cough).

Children should never be left alone with a new dog. They don't know how to act and risk getting hurt or hurting your GSD.

Brushing daily is essential to get rid of loose fur and to check for fleas/ticks/parasites at the same time. Also massage its skin. Please keep up with worming. If you don't they lose their appetite and lose weight. Every three months or so their claws should be trimmed (I haven't had to do this with Sky because hers grind down by themselves). Because a GSD has such a thick coat you need to keep on top of the daily grooming or you won't notice that he/she has fleas until they are completely infested.

In the summer keep a block of sulphur rock in its water bowl, it will cool your GSD right down.

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Don't leave your dog alone for long periods of time: 4 hours maximum. He/She may become bored, distressed and most likely destructive. If you know you will be out for longer periods of time then find a dog walker or pet sitter to stay with them, or ask family or friends to pop round and check on your GSD. You should provide him/her with plenty of water, food, and toys to help distract him/her.



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