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  #1  
Old 12/03/12, 04:00 PM
 
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German Shepherd expert dog advice needed...

Let me give you a quick history. We bought a german shepherd dog less than 3 years ago. Saturday morning he woke us up around 5 am having a grand mal seizure....a very severe one at that. It was so bad that when he came out, he did not recognize me and became aggressive. This dog was a pure GS. He was a male and an outstanding guard and protective dog. By the way, he was an inside dog. He was very protective of my daughters. However, the vet said they would only get worse and basically suggested that he be put down. This is the risk of back yard breeders he said. The dog cost a little over 200 bucks.

We are looking at another one where the breeder follows a bloodline and there a guarantees. I'm looking at around 800.

Here is my question, are the females as protective as the males? I will likely have a few follow-ups with this.

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  #2  
Old 12/03/12, 04:07 PM
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FWIW, guarantees mean nothing without being backed up by a proven track record of healthy, well-balanced, stable dogs.

As a former dog breeder and trainer with over 4 decades of experience with working, herding and sporting breeds, IMHO, protective temperaments occur in both sexes.

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  #3  
Old 12/03/12, 04:22 PM
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I own and operate a dog boarding kennel. We used to breed and groom but old age prevents. We keep as many as 200 + dogs on a holiday weeks. 1/2 that on regular weeks.That being said, This kennel has been here and in the family
since 1940. I know dogs and most any dog can develope seizures , They just do. If the dog became aggressive while in one please put it down. Being a BIG breed It might get a hold of you or a child and do harm or kill them. go to animal control and find a nice animal that NEEDS a home
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  #4  
Old 12/03/12, 05:12 PM
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You don't just want a health guarantee. You want copies of the parent's health testing results.

For GSD, you want to see OFA Hips, Elbows, and Eyes at a minimum for both parents. If they have Penn Hip instead of OFA hips, that's fine

There is a lot of good info here: The GSDCA provides Information and resources for owners of German Shepherd Dogs and German Shepherd Puppies

Buying a pup from someone who is a member of the National Breed Club means that they have to meet certain ethical standards. There are plenty of excellent breeders who are NOT members, of course, but it's a good place to start.

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  #5  
Old 12/03/12, 05:28 PM
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I am so sorry your dog is ill! It is often said that our dogs are unable to express their pain in a way that we can understand. A seizure is painful and waking up not knowing your family is terrifying. Please, if you can, do the loving thing and put the dog down. sis

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  #6  
Old 12/03/12, 05:35 PM
 
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You are using the word "was" very casually and not referring to the dog by name or discussing possible treatment so I am wondering if there was not much attachment there and he has already been destroyed. Poor dog.

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  #7  
Old 12/03/12, 05:40 PM
 
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One of my DD friends breeds GSD for Police, Search and Rescue, Schuetzen work, and other high achieving things. They are tested for every possible health problem, All breeding dogs are titled working dogs, she works with local as well as national law enforcement in Search and Rescue as well. She starts socializing puppies at birth,raises them mostly as house dogs and is careful where they go. Her puppies start at 1500. and go up from there. She has a waiting list for puppies. She guarantees disposition as well. I doubt that she makes much money raising the dogs, but they are great dogs, and do a lot of good.

It is expensive to buy a well bred, tested puppy. Unless you need it to fulfill some regulation, there are so many wonderful dogs in pounds and rescue that need help. Why not save one?

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  #8  
Old 12/03/12, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emdeengee View Post
You are using the word "was" very casually and not referring to the dog by name or discussing possible treatment so I am wondering if there was not much attachment there and he has already been destroyed. Poor dog.
I read it differently. Just because he doesn't use the dog's name doesn't mean he didn't love & have attachment. The Vet said the best thing would be to put him down; so it sounded to me like he followed the Vet's advice and is now on the lookout to fill the hole in their family.

We just lost our 15 year old this spring. I still don't talk about him much just because I can't yet. Doesn't mean I didn't love him.

Just my 2 cents.
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  #9  
Old 12/03/12, 05:50 PM
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To the OP:

My family has been raising GSD for many years. Both males and females develop very, very strong bonds to their person or people. I don't think you will go wrong with either gender.

Good luck to you and hope you and your family heal from this. This sounds like it was one tough situation.

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  #10  
Old 12/03/12, 05:55 PM
 
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First I am no expert, far from it but I can say GS seem to have a strong attachment to one person. I remember one I meant as a child and she was super attached to her master. One word from him and she was trained to attack and she just was waiting for the word. He kept her at his business. From your posting it sounds like you took the vet's advice and put him down.

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  #11  
Old 12/03/12, 06:06 PM
 
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emdeengee, Just becaue I did not mention his name

does not mean he was not close. I am asking as a favor if you would step away from this conversation. Your assumptions are very uncalled for. Your poor dog comment shows me your ignorance of dogs.

His name was Rocky and I have shed way too many tears since Saturday. The vet made it clear that due to his size, 80 pounds, meds would not eliminate but might lessen the seizures he would have. But, guaranteed they will happen again and soon. That was expert advice. I have a 17 and 13 year old daughters. There was the possibility he could turn on the kids after the next seizure. He was an inside dog but liked to sleep in his cage at night, door open of course. Fortunately, I was able to lock it when he turned aggressive.

Back the the original thread. They are OFA certified as well as a health guarantee. The bloodline is very protected according to their sight. Apparently, St. Louis area police actually purchase their dogs from them.

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  #12  
Old 12/03/12, 06:10 PM
 
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Ours was very protective of my wife, me, and my two girls. In the living room he laid on the couch with us and laid on the bed when we were going to bed and hopped up early in the morning on our bed as well. I would leave my 13 year old girl at home with Rocky and I had no worry about safety.

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  #13  
Old 12/03/12, 06:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illinoisguy View Post
does not mean he was not close. I am asking as a favor if you would step away from this conversation. Your assumptions are very uncalled for. Your poor dog comment shows me your ignorance of dogs.

His name was Rocky and I have shed way too many tears since Saturday. The vet made it clear that due to his size, 80 pounds, meds would not eliminate but might lessen the seizures he would have. But, guaranteed they will happen again and soon. That was expert advice. I have a 17 and 13 year old daughters. There was the possibility he could turn on the kids after the next seizure. He was an inside dog but liked to sleep in his cage at night, door open of course. Fortunately, I was able to lock it when he turned aggressive.

Back the the original thread. They are OFA certified as well as a health guarantee. The bloodline is very protected according to their sight. Apparently, St. Louis area police actually purchase their dogs from them.
My assumptions were based on the coldness of your post. I have 37 years of experience with dogs - mostly Shepherds - and was shocked by the casual air of your post. Perhaps if you had been as open as in this last post I would not have felt so offended for the dog, Rocky.
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  #14  
Old 12/03/12, 06:40 PM
 
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My heart goes out to you and your family. We are shepard lovers too, and have had to have one put down at age 15 due to health issues. It is very hard. They are very loving and loyal dogs.

We had an Irish Setter with epilapsy, and he was on Dilantin. He was never aggressive when he seized, and once onn the meds, he was ok. It was scarey seeing the seizures though.

We do what we have to do, to proctect the ones we love, and to relieve the suffering of our dear pets, but it is never easy.

Good luck in your new search.

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  #15  
Old 12/03/12, 06:45 PM
 
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Have you ever thought that this is a message board where voice inflections and body language is absent? My goal was not to express my feelings to you but get information. I find it striking that because I do not mention his name, I am somehow cold. That is truly dumbfounding. Either contribute or move on.

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  #16  
Old 12/03/12, 06:50 PM
 
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Tinker, the vet we talked to basically stated the bloodlines are so messed up. We bought ours from a local and both parents were present. They looked fine. I kind of feel that if I bought one from a newspaper ad or from a rescue, they'll have hip issues or have seizures.

Frankly, my wife and kids cannot go through what happened on saturday. I am thankful my youngest was not there to witness it. Even now I am in shock. So normal and healthy and loving up to that point.

The ones I see in our local paper are around 400.

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  #17  
Old 12/03/12, 07:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illinoisguy View Post
Have you ever thought that this is a message board where voice inflections and body language is absent? My goal was not to express my feelings to you but get information. I find it striking that because I do not mention his name, I am somehow cold. That is truly dumbfounding. Either contribute or move on.
You asked me to step away because you did not like my comment about what you wrote. It was not inflection but content that I commented on. I made an assumption and it was incorrect but it was based on what you wrote - words being the only thing that can be used to interpret on a message board.

I am perfectly willing to do as you requested but then I suggest that you also stop addressing comments to or about me.
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  #18  
Old 12/03/12, 09:16 PM
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emdeengee, you messed up in an assumption, you assumed wrong. Since you were already at the "judgmental" phase, even though you know different people communicate in different ways with the written word, and since you did not contribute anything but said assumption and judgement, you were asked to back away from the conversation...and yet your still replied again.

And you have yet to apologize for your wrong assumptions.

So, instead of rubbing salt into the wounds of the OP with more of the same, do you and your 37 years of experience with Shepherds have anything to say about the protective instincts in female GSDs?

******************

illinoisguy, I am sorry for your loss. Sometimes seizures such as your Rocky experienced are individual...as in it just happens. Sometimes, it is a trait that shows up in lines.

As for the females, my experience has been that the bitches tend to be more protective, and territorial, than the dogs.

My advice, though, for you and your family, is to wait a few months (I suggest 6) before looking for a new dog. You are still in shock, all of you, and in the first stages of grief. It is natural to immediately want to go right out and fill that hole...but it will be unhealthy for both you and your family to do so.

You may find, a few months down the road, that the *perfect* dog for you and your family comes along...at just the right point where you and your family are ready to allow a new, individual, who may not be much like Rocky, into your hearts.

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  #19  
Old 12/03/12, 11:01 PM
 
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[QUOTE=CaliannG;6299802]emdeengee, you messed up in an assumption, you assumed wrong. Since you were already at the "judgmental" phase, even though you know different people communicate in different ways with the written word, and since you did not contribute anything but said assumption and judgement, you were asked to back away from the conversation...and yet your still replied again.

And you have yet to apologize for your wrong assumptions.

So, instead of rubbing salt into the wounds of the OP with more of the same, do you and your 37 years of experience with Shepherds have anything to say about the protective instincts in female GSDs?

******************

I replied to the post addressed to me. As I am doing now. I would not have replied again if the OP had not continued with his comments. I do not intend to apologize as my comments were made in regards to the original post and there was nothing wrong with what I assumed. My understanding was based on what was written. Apparently I am not the only one who read it the same way.

To answer your question - and if you have regard for the OP then you will not address me again or start another thread - all of my females were very protective (attentive, curious about, careful with and situationally aware) of all family members - particularly the kids but also including the other dogs.

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  #20  
Old 12/03/12, 11:13 PM
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Illinoisguy, I agree with Cali on waiting. I lost a puppy love in 08 and it took me a year.

One thing I want to point out on the GSD that come from lines strong in schutzhund or police work: they have a very strong prey drive and high energy. My current GSD is from a line of schutzhund champs and working police dogs. She is incredibly smart, protective and loving. But that prey drive is something to consider. She drives the cats and chickens bonkers. She knows that killing them is not allowed but she keeps the chickens in good cardio fitness pushing them around the yard at a jog. And the cats? Poor things now reside on the roofs or under the sheds.

Belle

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  #21  
Old 12/03/12, 11:25 PM
 
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Elipsy medicines are not good for dogs as a general rule because basically the medicines ARE sedatives in a low form and in some dogs, you have to increase the dosages to the point that the dog can't stop having seizures and the vet will recommend putting the dog down because once you have increased the dosage to the point you're still putting the dog to sleep yourself. Been there done that. Had to put down two dogs two years ago due to that.

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  #22  
Old 12/04/12, 05:40 AM
 
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I'm sorry for your loss. We lost our family gsd in October to cancer, so I know it is hard.
Growing up we had a pointer that started with seizures at 8 years old. She became aggressive after seizures as well,and it is definitely not something to handle around children. My parents had to put her to sleep due to the aggressiveness.
We've had shepherds for over 30 years now, and we've never had a male, but females can be very protective, and mine always had a nice loud bark. Other than our first pup that we got from a breeder, we have always adopted from a German Shep rescue.

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  #23  
Old 12/04/12, 05:42 AM
 
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BTDT with one of my GS. BUT she did not start having seizures until 4 hours after a Provo booster shot! That really was not aggression being demonstrated, but what is knon as a post ictal state - the dog was hallucinating and had not a clue where he was or who you were. First time it happened to my GS when she stopped seizing I tried to comfort her and she took a chunk out of my arm! She could feel the seizures coming on and would literally try to outrun them, poor gal, finally did put her down as the seizures got so strong even with medication they were causing nerve damage.

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  #24  
Old 12/04/12, 07:59 AM
 
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Thanks all for responding....

It has been a very hard few days. It could be I'm grasping at anything at this point. Maybe waiting is good.

I have never suffered this much grief over an animal.

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  #25  
Old 12/04/12, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emdeengee View Post
You asked me to step away because you did not like my comment about what you wrote. It was not inflection but content that I commented on. I made an assumption and it was incorrect but it was based on what you wrote - words being the only thing that can be used to interpret on a message board.

I am perfectly willing to do as you requested but then I suggest that you also stop addressing comments to or about me.
For goodness sake, will you stop? He lost a family member in that dog and its HARD to talk about someone or something you just lost. Being berated for not making his OP all sentimental and flowery, or grief stricken and tragic so you would feel better, is a bunch of garbage.
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  #26  
Old 12/04/12, 08:13 AM
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Illinoisguy, I can only give you my experience. My dog Joe was hit by a car in 2008, it was terrible, I loved that dog so much I took the advice of everyone I talked to, and got a puppy right away (within 6 weeks or so). I never really bonded with that puppy because it wasnt Joe. The dog was fine, it was a golden retriever, it was loving and friendly and happy, and I just could not feel anything for that dog.

I gave it to a family that had been looking for a golden for their farm and he now lives in VT and has the run of acres of land and little kids to play with, and is a wonderful dog

I did get my current golden in 2010, and we have bonded very well, even though he is a goofball So yes there is such a thing as too soon, you will know when its right.

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  #27  
Old 12/04/12, 08:35 AM
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Illinoisguy,

I had a female GS for about 12 years. I know what your going through. I still cant bond to another dog, and Ive tried. Its been about 4 years.

I may not have experience with a large amount of dogs, she was as protective as any dog Ive ever seen or known.

I did a little research before I got her. I got a female because I was read/was told that females are generally more protective, cause they are the ones with pups.
She never disappointed.

Bless you!

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  #28  
Old 12/04/12, 08:37 AM
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At this point, the best thing for all of us to do is simply AVOID responding to emdeengee. Let it be!

Illinoisguy, $800 is a good price to pay for a German Shephard with healthy familial genetics. As for the females, we always let them have one litter before we spade them as that helps bring out their protective characteristics. (I have had females that were not bred and still were very protective; so it all depends on the individual animal.) This picture shows our alpha female (about 2 yrs old at the time) who would not let herself be bred. As you can see, she was very protective of young goats. (The 2 she is protecting here were bottled fed and kept in the house with her as babies; so I'm sure this helped the shephard bond with the goats.)

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  #29  
Old 12/04/12, 08:50 AM
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I know it's not the focus of the thread, but how soon is too soon has been discussed.

I think it depends on the family, when my beloved Wilson died 3 1/2 years ago we got Nigel 3 months later, that was just right for us, but everyone is different...I've had friends fill the void almost immediately and It was very healing for them and some who needed to wait a long time.

Only you knows what's right for you.

I'm so sorry for your loss, the sudden nature of it must be very difficult.

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  #30  
Old 12/04/12, 01:41 PM
 
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What has worked best fo me is to have more then 1 dog at a time, sort of stggered. I started with 1 GS many, many years ago. When She was about 3 I them got a puppy GS to be her companion and for the older GS to help "train" in the expected action patterns. When the older GS finally passed on, I then got another GS pup for the remaining, now older, GS to carry on the tradition. That pattern helps me get through the losses over the years while maintaining continuity and companionship in the household.

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