Pack of Two

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This is a discussion on Pack of Two within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hello! I am bringing home my 8 week old GSD on January 8th and he'll be my first dog that I am solely responsible for ...

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Old 12-19-2012, 12:20 AM
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Pack of Two

Hello! I am bringing home my 8 week old GSD on January 8th and he'll be my first dog that I am solely responsible for raising. Nervous!

My question is...am I enough for him? Already I am more than devoted to him, but dogs are social/pack animals and I wonder if he will miss extra people to call his pack. I have two roommates but we do our own things so they won't (and I don't want them to) be his family. One of my close friends will be involved but more or less I will be all he has. Is that enough to give him a sense of pack and family?

I am mainly concerned about his bond with me. If he doesn't like me or gets sick of me I don't want him to feel like he's stuck with me because there is no one else. At least if I lived with family he could choose "his person".

I know that there's not much I can do if that is the case, since I'm not going to just go get another dog or person so he has more of a sense of pack and family, but I do worry and just think I need a little reassurance from those who are raising their puppies alone in their homes. Of course my friends will be in and out because, "oh my gosh, puppy", but it'll be just us otherwise.

I've also been warned that with the breed and with him being a male and me being female, there is a chance that he might become extremely protective of me and our space. Any way to counter that?

Thanks for any insight. I would love stories from single dog owners!
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:29 AM
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Oh No a Pack Theory comment duck quick!!!! That is asking to be flamed on here
Welcome and have no fear, I am single and the center of my puppies world, for that matter when I get a puppy I actually seclude them from everyone and everything else so I become that. For a short time obviously.
Sign up for Puppy Kindergarten so she learns to socialise properly, research "Building Engagement" with your puppy and just spend lots and lots of time productively playing with your puppy and you'll be fine. Check the Puppy section on here there are a ton of links on "Clicker"/Marker Training those will get you off to a great start. And please no matter what anyone tells your GSD is a Puppy, she is not tougher then any other puppy, she does not need more discipline then any other puppy, and she does not need a "Slip Collar"/ Choker Collar or Prong Collar. This ridiculous advice is always prevalent in the GSD Rottie world and it is absolutely wrong.
Did you do any research into your puppies lineage, with GSD's there is a major difference between "Working and Show" lines if you know I can add to this advice, so you can be better prepared for what's coming.
I would also advise, either way in investing in a crate or/and an Ex Pen, if nothing else your roomates will thank me for this advice.
Theres plenty of great people on here with great advice, but a word of warning, Pack, Alpha Roll, Alpha, Dominance and Cesar are all bad words on here
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:51 AM
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No, I certainly don't need any of those things and I fully intend to train my puppy with positive and reward based training only. While I feel it's important that he respects me, I would rather earn it than force it by being the best I can for him so he feels the need to do likewise.

But I digress! I did say pack/social...and whether or not pack animals, they tend to be social. Which is where my worry arises.

I would love any advice at all, thank you so much. Like I said, he's my very first on my own puppy, and so I want to do everything right while being aware that I can't do everything right. Conflicting feeling.

He's a German Sieger Line? He hails from the Fleischerheim breeders, and I thought I did my research on breeder choice fairly well...I eventually plan to see if I can train him for Schutzhund but that's down the line as well. And I've done about all the research I can handle on clicker training and the like. But thanks. ^^
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:06 AM
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Well sounds like you're off to the right start, I will advise you though, if Schutzhund is your goal, then that is a decision you have to make pretty near the start, not sometime in the future. Work/Sport puppies are raised differently. Not in a harsh way, I am training my 4 month old with marker training, but it is different.
I'm curious, did they sell you this puppy as a Working/Sports dog?
I'll wait for a reply before I go on, but there are some things you definitely need to know
And if you can send me a link to the breeder so I can take a quick look at the lineage
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:19 AM
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It's late here and Zocha will be up in 4 hours so I'll take a look for a reply tomorrow and get back to you
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:27 AM
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No, actually! I found him. After seeing too many poorly bred and backyard German Shepherds, I decided I wanted a dog that was bred for the qualities that I value in the breed. German Shepherds have always been my favorite breed, even as a child.

This is the link to his breeder's website. If you go to the puppy page, his father is Ken and his mother is Yatze. German Shepherd Puppies For Sale | German Shepherd Breeders | Trained Protection Dogs

Yes, I've never really been interested in Schutzhund before I knew I was going to have him, but I don't want him to become bored. I didn't know that working dogs were raised that much differently though.

There is a lot I don't know, so you're being tremendously helpful.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:26 PM
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Hey, those are 2 beautiful dogs. I just got in and someone is looking a bit penned up so off to wreck another tug, will respond in more detail later, but just in case you are worried about my training comment, it's not so much training philosophy, I just meant that dog sports all have their own little quirks so if you want to do one, you should take those quirks into consideration from the start. A quick example off the top of my head would be teaching "Stand from a Sit" position, general dog trainers will have you lure the dog forward from the sit to the stand so the dogs front legs move forward, fine right? Now your dog is a year old and that's what stand means, but you decide you want to do French Ring , and your dog's shoulder has to be aligned with you leg, and the dog literally needs to kick his back legs out to stand, so now you have to retrain the whole command, a nightmare, plus when your dog is stressed, like competing,9 times out of 10 in a panic he will go back to the original way you taught him It's so much easier to train it right once. I'll leave you with that, and hopefully if my young pup and I don't drown on my back lawn I get back to you later
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:21 PM
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Haha, you've completely distracted me from my original worry. Thank you.

As it were, I looked more into Schutz training and from what I can see, I have to promote confidence and not train away from mouthing and jumping, and do confidence building exercises. It also seems to require a bit stricter training than I might be ready for given that he's going to be my first puppy.

I only picked Schutz because as you saw from his lineage, his family has a history of performing well in it and I worry that keeping him fulfilled will be difficult with just basic obedience training.

Anyway...those are details that I have the rest of the month to worry over. I hope to hear back from you, or anyone else for that matter with some insight!
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:36 PM
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You'll do fine...You have about 20 days to study as much as you can. Fair warning and I say this to ALL new puppy owners:

You will be overwhelmed, exhausted and second guessing yourself. It will pass. He doesn't need anyone but you, good food, love, training, and exercise. Dogs love unconditionally and you will be his world. He won't get tired of you. I can't say the same about you though. JUST KIDDING.

This forum is great for questions. Feel free to ask anytime.

Good luck!
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:08 PM
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I really hate to be the rain on the parade.

This is a large commercial breeder. You are about to bring home a working line dog. This is not a good first-timer choice. At all.

You NEED to do a google search on this kennel. I hope you have not put down a deposit. Visit the most popular German Shepherd forums and search this kennel. Read.

The whole tiered pricing thing is stupid, IMHO. Their prices are nothing short of totally insane.

I urge you to rethink this. A working line GSD is not an easy dog to raise and SCH is not something to do just to keep the dog from being bored. I admire your ambition, but honestly, I am very worried you are getting in far over your head and paying a ridiculous amount of money to a breeder that does not have the most stellar reputation.

Please consider starting out with an easier dog. I am a big GSD afficianado and I get my heart broken all the time when ill-equipped people with good intentions get these dogs, cannot handle them, and they end up in a shelter for no fault of their own. This is not a judgment on you, OP.... but my most heartfelt advice is to slow down, not get a dog from this kennel and do a lot more research on what you really can do, what you can devote time and energy-wise. A working line GSD will require copious amounts of exercise, massive socialization and tons of training. Are you SURE you are ready for that? Are you SURE you can do what you must when your GSD displays guarding, territorial type behaviors? (Because most every GSD will.) Can you afford the training and perhaps calling in help with training if you are not sure about how to deal with whatever issues? Are ... you... SURE ???
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