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Hi! First off, I apologize if this is the wrong forum for this type of question, but it looked the most relevant one.

I am looking to get a german shepherd, preferably a young puppy, and was wondering if it would fit with my current life structure.

Basically, I:

>Have a full time job
>Can take dog out in the early morning for a walk, lunch for potty break ONLY, and play with it anytime after 4pm
>Am planning to take 2 weeks off work to cage train and do other necessities with it.

Based on this criteria, am I ready to get a dog of my own?
 

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You're not going to housetrain a young puppy of any breed in two weeks.

Beyond that, GSDs are large, drivey, high energy dogs. Do you have time to exercise one 2 hours a day or more? Can you train them, consistently and kindly, for life? Can you provide the dog a job (drivey dogs need jobs. there is a reason there are so many young GSDs in shelters and rescues), such as scentwork, agility or schutzhund? Can you manage a smart, large, driven dog so it doesn't hurt itself getting into the medicine cabinet or chewing on power cables?

What attracts you to the GSD? Why do you want a puppy? Like I said, there are so, so many GSDs in need of homes, many of them between 1 and 2 years of age (the age at which GSDs look pretty awkward and act fairly annoying). You could easily find a gorgeous example of the breed, already housebroken if you went the rescue route.

If you do decide to buy, find a reputable breeder! GSDs are bred by the thousand by BYBs and puppy mills and you don't want to support that. And you don't want the sort of health and temperament issues that a likely to arise from such breeding.
 

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Are you financially prepared for vet bills, puppy classes, and continued classes? Will you be able to handle an emergency vet trip?

Do you have the time and energy after work to meet a GSDs needs? You said play time which is kind of vague. Most GSDs need real training and exercise well into adulthood.

These are things to seriously consider. Many people love to look at a GSD but can't provide a good home for one because they can be very demanding dogs.

You can start your search for a puppy here: http://gsdca.org/join-the-gsdca/breeders-code

Notice that they mention x-rays of hips and elbows as the very minimum of health testing. When you look at a breeder, you'll want the OFA numbers of the dam and sire to enter into the OFA database. This lets you verify that they aren't breeding dysplastic dogs. More health testing is even better!
Do NOT settle for a breeder that says,"Well the vet gave him a clean bill of health." A vet check is all fine and well but simply looking at a dog cannot tell you what's going on inside of a dog.
 

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I agree with Amaryllis.

Consider your decision carefully. In my experience, GSDs are extremely smart, loyal and wonderful dogs if you have the wherewithal to train and exercise them both mentally and physically. Every single day. Please know that "smart" doesn't just mean "easy to train" it also means "needs a job." Because if you don't give it one, it'll find one. And you probably won't like it. As far as potty training goes, it's a huge endeavor and no one you're going to overcome in 2 weeks. You can begin conditioning, but I don't consider a dog to be completely potty trained until they've gone at least 2 months without an accident in the house.

I'd also be interested to read your reasoning behind choosing the breed. Hopefully it's more than "they are da cutest puppiez evarrr."
 

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I suggest that you look at shelters and rescues for an older GSD which is already used to the type of environment you'll provide.
 

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Ditto to looking at rescues, an adult dog would be ideal for your lifestyle.

If you do go for a puppy, you need to socialize the heck out of it. Look for a breeder who does more than showing in conformation and has outgoing, stable dogs.

I see a lot of them as being very spooky, one was sold by a breeder here, hopped the six foot fence and was on the run for a few days before being caught - she wouldn't go near strangers and bolted instead. Not a good tempered dog if you ask me!

There is one at the kennel where I work and he's awesome temperment wise. Does not bark or act spooky about anything, is calm and responsive. Ask him to come and he trots along, comes up to say hello without issues. I doubt anyone would mess with him simply because he's a big guy, but even the first time I met him he was just easy going.
 

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Taking a couple weeks off to start is a good idea, but as others have said, you won't get a pup completely trained (potty or crate) in two weeks. Its also a good idea because potty training is like having a baby - they don't just need to go every 2-3 hours during the day, you'll be getting up throughout the night, too!!

GSD's are incredibly high-energy dogs - my pup is a GSD cross, and at 3 months, is being walked about 4 hours a day. Just to give you an idea...

You could, theoretically, fit in a GSD pup with your lifestyle, but I would see it happening something like this:

Morning - walk for at LEAST 1 hour before work.
Lunchtime - you would need to take a least a little walk - 20 mins at minimum, and do some high-energy stuff - 20 mins of park time romping and play.
After 4pm - training, indoor play, and a LOOOOOONG walk as soon as you get home. Probably another short walk before bed, too.

Bear in mind that depending on how long you are at work between morning and "lunch", your pup may not be able to hold it's bladder, so you would be needing to pen it in a small, puppy-proofed area (kitchens are great) and be prepared to clean up after accidents.

And if you are just looking at a companion, and have no plans for showing, look at shelters, and consider an older dog or a mix. You can still get a pup at a shelter (I did!) if you want to be able to train "from scratch" so to speak, and there are lots of GSD mixes looking for a good home.
 

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I too owned a GSD and no one has mentioned the shedding !! Be prepared to add dog hair to yoru list of condiments !!
 

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I have a 9 month old female GSD and I want 10 more of her:) I rescued her when she was 3 months and completely backwards(she was living outside) By 4 months she was out of her crate at night and within a couple months the crate was completely gone. When she was 12 weeks she started school and finished 3 classes. Technically if you follow a very strict routine you can potty train a dog in one week, but its not realistic, because of how little they are and as humans we make errors that can set a pup's potty training back. Mine does not require lots of physical exercise, but mental exercise is a must...I try to do some training every day. Mine never chewed anything in the house and is 100% trustworthy(she does rearrange the pillows on the couch every day), but I think she's an exception. From what I read, I got lucky and didn't have any issues when she was smaller. They have different drive levels, so going to a breeder could be best because they can match a pup to you. The worst thing I have found with GSD's is the shedding, fur everywhere all the time..I walk around with the broom.
 
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