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German vs. Australian Shepherds

This is a discussion on German vs. Australian Shepherds within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; @ Artdog Thank you for going into such a depth, that was definitely what I was looking for. In terms of the different lines, if ...

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Old 11-01-2016, 03:31 PM
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@Artdog Thank you for going into such a depth, that was definitely what I was looking for. In terms of the different lines, if I got a GSD, it would have to be a WL. I owned a silver American show line (back before I knew not all GSD'S were created equal) and it was certainly not even close to what I wanted. A newspaper puppy. He snuck out and killed the neighbors cat, despite my best to socialize him w/ cats, so I had to give him away to a friend.

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Old 11-01-2016, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by AmoraAndCounting View Post
@Artdog Thank you for going into such a depth, that was definitely what I was looking for. In terms of the different lines, if I got a GSD, it would have to be a WL. I owned a silver American show line (back before I knew not all GSD'S were created equal) and it was certainly not even close to what I wanted. A newspaper puppy. He snuck out and killed the neighbors cat, despite my best to socialize him w/ cats, so I had to give him away to a friend.

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My 1st shepherd was a silver, but she was awesome, from Hoofprints line (still around). She had tons of drive but VERY outgoing with people. Ive seen some messed up whites nowadays.
As for cats, I would never have trusted either dog with cats. Definitely high killer prey drive--thats where training and control become paramount. My last gsd was beautiful with MY cats but that was after training her that cats arent meat. She went bananas if she saw a cat through the window. She had a special word (and it wasnt nice) for cats. I made sure there were no cats outside before I let her out in our yard, also made sure she had a solid recall, just in case.
Expect that kind of prey drive, its a wonderful thing when they tag a tug or frisbee.
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:00 PM
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@jclark343 ... Yikes. I guess it's down to a who fits better then. With both a shepherd and a aussie owners on here, tell me if you think your breed has it or not, or if I should just look at another breed entirely 😂

1( Fido HAS to be able to adapt. I cannot stress this enough. With my SO in the Navy, he'll deploy, we'll move all over the world, etc, and Fido has to be able to handle that. (Obviously they'll have an upset reaction at first but dogs who won't eat until Gary comes back are a big nono.) I'll be primary caregiver so I expect them to be bonded to me more as well. On top of moving, we do plan on having children (It's just us atm.) So child-intolerant dogs are a nono.

2( Versatility. A dog who likes, or at least tolerate all types of activities is a big one, too If we get stationed in Florida, I definitely plan to go to the beach/get into water sports. However, Germany isn't warm, sunny Florida, so it'll be back to tricktraining/obedience/agility.

3( Flexibility. I will do my absolute best to give Fido a strong schedule, but obviously the day before PCS (Permanent change of station) will be more hectic than any other regular ol' day and I may not have all hours of the day to devote to Fido.

4( Affectionate. Amora is not the most affectionate dog, she's pretty reserved, likes her own company. However, with me being a SAHW, bundles of affection and velcro dogs are very much so welcomed. A dog that can go to town with me and not go crazy at cats or birds, as @Artdog mentioned. Yikes.

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Old 11-01-2016, 04:10 PM
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So one thing to keep in mind is that German Shepherds can sometimes be difficult to find housing with. I noticed when I use to rent they use to be a breed that would pop up on the restricted list. So if you think moving is a highly likely thing I would probably stray away from breeds that may be on the restricted list.

Have you thought of a stable, steady eddie type dog like a lab or a golden? I know they don't have the protective look (although I've seen a few labs that I wouldn't want to screw with), would probably handle a relocation easy, are versatile (just might need to buy a coat in Germany) And are extremely smart.
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:42 PM
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I've looked into the Navy's current breed restrictions and thus far, the GSD isn't on the list. However, I can definitely see your concern and that the restrictions list could change. However, for the right dog, off-base housing is always in option.

I did check into those breeds briefly and I didn't necessarily find them ultra-attractive. A few other breeds that did pike my interest were the Dalmatian, Standard Poodle, and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

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Old 11-01-2016, 05:09 PM
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Off-base housing can be where you have a problem. Most landlords and apartments do not allow German Shepherds because their insurance would go up to have an 'aggressive' breed in their home.
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:15 PM
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I can agree with that. But hey! That's what the research stage is for. The Mali is less likely to be on any restrictions (Yet. The 101 dalmatian effect is sure to hit with the movie Max out.) But from what I've heard about the Mali thus far, that's just TOO much dog for me.

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Old 11-01-2016, 09:42 PM
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I like Artdog's synopsis of the GSD breed especially the willfulness and the testing of their human. I also agree that the GSD breed is wide and varied, there are exceptions but there are higher odds of getting what one is looking for by investigating the specific variations. My experience dictates that they are all wonderful to work and train with but one needs to be up to the task of maintaining an adequate position especially if they opt for a higher drive variety. No doubt, they are " They want to be with their people, and they want all their people in one place" as Artdog so appropriately cited. They are as vigilant as the day is long, if not longer. They also will see right through you if you are not walking your true walk. IMO, a hard working GSD with tons of drive needs an evenhanded taskmaster as its human, one who is confident with high expectations but yet understanding of their commitment to the overall relationship. Mine have been incredibly smart, smart enough to outwit me many a time. If one does their research of the breed and performs their due diligence of the line and pedigree, they should be able to get what they bargain for but too many get more than what they bargained for.

Agility? I could think of better dogs than a GSD, not that a GSD isn't capable of the task but I could think of better dogs based solely on agility competition standards. If I had to make a compromise with agility as a factor, I'd opt for a Malinois, more compact and higher muscle to weight ratio. But, odds are with a Mal, you best be on your game and know what you are signing on to.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:54 PM
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A Mali is definitely out of the question. I haven't met one person who ENJOYED a mal who wasn't in some SERIOUS sports. Don't get me wrong, I'd love a sporting dog, but not top competitor. Also, the mouthiness and tendency to bite when frustrated... the whole Maligator nature just isn't going to sit well with me.

NOW, as much as I am a GSD fanatic, I'm beginning to think that what I want of my dog might not be in the GSD.

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Old 11-02-2016, 08:25 AM
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Regarding protection, my girl is a lab x BC - about 40 lbs - and LOVES everyone! One night, she and I were home alone. We were sleeping in my bed and my SO came home about 1 am. He was in the kitchen for a while and she heard the noise before me (obviously). I woke up and she was standing on the edge of my bed, hackles up and the scariest growl I'd ever heard. I was almost afraid to touch her. She was totally focused on the door. As he started walking towards the bedroom, she started barking- loud and deep. It was a side of her I'd never seen, she normally NEVER barks. When she saw that it was him, she wagged her tail and settled immediately. There isn't a doubt in my mind that she would have gone after whatever stranger opened that door. It was the only time I'd ever seen her react that way and I was thankful for it. My point is that when the chips are down, I think most well bonded dogs will protect their family.

Also, I do agree that based on your past dogs, you would be fine with either. Personally, I'm partial to Aussies over GSD's.

Please keep us posted with which one you choose... and that means pictures!!

EDIT: If you are interested in seeing an AMAZING Mal, check out some of the video's that @San posts!
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