I'm looking into getting a dog. I'm a huge fan of German Shepherds. However with my family's scheduel, i'm not sure if it's the right dog.
Our House and neighborhood: We have a two story 4 bed, 2 bath home in Seattle, WA. Our yard to be honest isn't that big, however we live right next to big park, and the dog would be walked/ran every day. The nearest dog park is about a mile away.
Family Life: My family consists of a mom, a dad, and two teenagers. Me (14) and my 17 year old brother. Both of my parents work every day for most of the day. (6 AM - 6 PM) My brother and I will be going back to school pretty soon so for about 7 hours a day the dog will be alone.
Is any of this a problem with German Shepherds? Is there a better dog for our situation? All help is appreciated -Joe
Hey Joe, I'm in Seattle as well. Seattle really is a great place to own a dog, there's so many places to take them.
One thing to really think about is your future. Dogs can live upwards of 12 years or so. In about 4 years, you'll be graduating from high school. Then what? Will you be going off to college? The service? Working? If the dog is primarily for you, you need to sit down with the rest of your family and discuss what will happen with the dog if you move away. If you are going away to college, many universities have a mandatory residency clause that requires you to live in student housing for at least your first year....dogs are not allowed. Even if you plan on moving out of your parents house in the next decade or two...if you rent, good luck finding a place that will allow a large dog. Many apartments have breed restrictions that include GSDs. Its not impossible, but difficult enough. I was close to becoming homeless because I was having such a hard time finding a place to allow my two SMALL dogs (the house I lived in was being sold, I had to move). You should also think about what type of activities you plan on being involved in with school...sports? band? Will you have time to spend with a dog now? in two years? four?
Its really hard to find any place in Seattle with a nice sized yard...I think the only area that has yards is Broadview (very north Seattle), but thats far from everything. I live in Eastlake - my "yard" is about 5'x5', but I also live across from a park, which works for my two. BUT, you HAVE to be committed to walking, rain or shine! I have a Lhasa Apso and a Shih Tzu who went crazy insane when I broke my foot and wasn't able to walk them for two days last week. Its no fun walking in the rain, but you gotta do it. I love walking mine around Greenlake. What park do you live near?
I hope I don't sound like I'm being harsh on you. I think you are on the right track. As far as what breed? I'm no good at that...I love Mastiffs, Boxers, Lhasas, Pugs and Shih Tzu. I'd suggest spending a few hours at Barnes and Noble, flip through a dog breed encyclopedia and find a few breeds that you like. Then check out books from the library and research online those breeds. Make a list of what you want in a dog (ie, energy level, size, temperament, grooming requirements, etc), then compare and contrast how each breed meets your needs and wants. Next, find a reputable breeder for which dog you choose, and ask questions to make sure that that breed will be a good match.
Good luck to you! Let us know what you decide!
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there. (Will Rogers)
Hey! I have a German Shepherd in a 3 bedroom house! If no one in your family is under 6, then it's safe for everyone, and you will have to think about excersize- they love to run! If you are willing to run them everyday, then you won't have any troubles with them being bored. Also, a German Shepherd is easy to train, so don't worry. I think your fine with a German shepherd!
Dogs are my pride and my joy, and I can't wait to show you all the cool things I have ready to get you closer to your dog!