Don’t judge me – I’m a nice German Shepherd
Leia, our 3 month old german shepherd sweetheart, joined our family May 28, 2017 as a 10 week old baby. I surfed all over the web for German Shepherd puppies, while also looking to shelters to adopt. In the end, I found a family who had 8 puppies available. By the time I contacted them, they had 3 puppies to choose from, all female, which is good because I wanted a female. The family adopting them out have both the mom and dad at their home. This was great. We got to see how the temperament of the parents was. The mom came right out towards my 5-year-old son and kissed his face. Such a loving girl.
They didn’t intend to have puppies but nature happens. The lady and her husband brought all 3 out on the lawn for us to play with. How to choose?
An hour later, I still had no idea. I had them put one back in the house because she was a bit of a screamer, while the other two were a little more calm. I understand they were away from their mom and there were strangers present…us and another couple who just pulled up to look at them. After a few minutes, the little one in the house started pawing at the glass door as she watched us hold the other two. I didn’t want separation anxiety in a dog, which is why I had her put back, but I felt bad and asked if I could see her again. She greeted me with kisses, while the other two didn’t give much affection. The choice was obvious. She chose us.
The family was picky on who they let take the puppies / their babies, and I don’t blame them. One condition was for us to text photos and videos of her. All 8 families agreed with no hesitation. A few times a week, I send photos or video clips of Leia.
First video of Leia, minutes after getting her. She’s 10 weeks old. We stopped at a petsmart on the way home to purchase her name tag and puppy food. She’s very tired.
German shepherds grow very fast. 40 days later she’s ordering food at the table:
Leia is very sweet and gives everyone kisses when greeted. When I get home, she stands to give me a hug, ears pinned back with tail wagging. We love her very much. In the 2 months we’ve had her, the bond is very strong.
Twice a day Leia is walked around the park, one mile in the morning and one mile in the evening. There aren’t many people on the sidewalk that circles the park. Most are playing at the basketball or tennis courts or the park with their kids.
The few people I’ve encountered on the sidewalk, turn the other way, casually taking a sidewalk that T’s off the main walk we’re on. It’s happened a few times this week, all people with small dogs. The small dogs bark and yap and Leia couldn’t care less. She walks by my side, leashed, and I’m proud to have her there. I brought it up to a friend at work who used to have a Shepherd. He said, “dude, you have a german shepherd! People are nervous or think their little dogs will be eaten.”
I get it. German Shepherds are associated with attack and K9 units. The working line shepherds, especially, (all black) can be intimidating to some. To me, they’re gorgeous.
German shepherds and border collies are ranked highest in intelligence. All dogs are smart but it’s unreal at times how intelligent the German Shepherd is. Believe it or not, Leia was house trained to go to the bathroom in the backyard in one day. At 10 weeks of age, we showed her and she just remembered. 3 days after being with us, she was sitting at the back door crying to let us know she had to go. One week later she was jumping to take the door handle in her mouth, saying I HAVE TO GO! All this at 12 weeks of age. My brother has a Maltese dog who is 7 months old and still pees all over the house. Nothing against the maltese, I’m just saying, there is a huge difference in intelligence in breeds.
Although german shepherd dogs (GSD) are pictured as aggressive attack or defense dogs, they are very smart, compassionate, fiercely loyal and very loving. We refer to them as shadows, as they really never leave your side, ever. As puppies they are commonly referred to as “land sharks.” Their baby teeth and claws are very sharp.
Some people have had bad experiences with big dogs as kids, or dogs in general. Leia is currently 27 pounds and will reach around 75 pounds when fully grown. She was never given the chance to say hi or prove herself to these strangers. She’s misunderstood haha.
For me, on the other hand, I have always been like a kid on Christmas morning when it came to german shepherds in particular. I love them. I always ask to pet them. They are beautiful. Have you ever seen one walk? They appear to glide over the ground. So fluid. Just beautiful.
We aren’t going to train Leia for high-end tournaments. We aren’t going to make her a show dog. We aren’t going to breed her. We’re teaching the basics and making sure she has manners, which, she already does. It’s important to train your german shepherd (or any dog for that matter) or they will get bored. They need to be walked and given a job. A job can be training. If they are bored, like most dogs, they will find something to do. You don’t want that something to be your couch.
Here’s our 5-year-old training Leia (10 weeks old.)
I hope you enjoyed this writing. I wanted to share one of the things I have been doing lately…spending as much time with Leia as I can. We still have Jack, our cairn terrier, who is doing well despite his blindness from diabetes. He is given insulin shots twice a day for the rest of his life. I’m working to cure his blindness without surgery. Updates on that later. Check out my blog post on that here.
Jack and Leia playing one week before Jack went blind. Leia is 9 weeks old here.
Hope you’re all well. If you enjoy what you read here at www.steverotter.com subscribe to my blogs. I write about technology, the arts, photography, video production, random life thoughts…everything that is me.
For an incredible read on german shepherds, check out this article. Very informative and very true!