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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and hoping to get some helpful advice.

I'm looking at getting my first puppy and having a tough time deciding which breed to go with. I've narrowed it down between the Rottweiler and german shepherd dog, but just cant decide. If you have any experience with either I'm trying to find out the pros and cons of each.

Thanks to everyone in advance.
 

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Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum and hoping to get some helpful advice.

I'm looking at getting my first puppy and having a tough time deciding which breed to go with. I've narrowed it down between the Rottweiler and german shepherd dog, but just cant decide. If you have any experience with either I'm trying to find out the pros and cons of each.

Thanks to everyone in advance.
Many people are going to ask you what type of lifestyle do you have before considering on getting a breed. Rottweilers and German Shepherds need a LOT of training. You'll have to get used to people being afraid of you because of the dogs you own.

If you have a lot of time on your hands, then go for it, but I suggest you to really research on certain breeds before getting it.

I did research on some breeds, but I ended up with some sort of Terrier/BC mix (I have no idea what she is, but she looks like a mini BC) from a shelter. She's a great dog for MY situation. So, you really have to take a look at your lifestyle first.

Do you want a very active dog?
Do you want a mellow dog, lap dog?
Do you want a large dog? (GSD and Rotties require a lot of food, and toys, which in turn requires a lot of money)
Do your household accept Rottis and GSD? (My old apartments do not allow certain breeds)

There's many questions that people will ask you...but the main question bears asking - why do you have your heart set on a Rotti and GSD? If it was me, I would recommend that you find another breed simply because this will be your first dog. I rather Rottis/GSD/Pits to be given to more experienced owners because they know how to handle them better then I ever would if it was my first dog. Stardust is my first dog. That's JMO. If you want a "tough" looking dog, get a bulldog. They're so cute when they're pups, yet they're tough looking when they're older and they are wonderful dogs (I never had experience, but it was one of the breeds that I was considering). If you want an active dog that will run with you, go on walks etc...get a Border Collie or Golden Retrievers or Labs.

I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, what you choose is your choice, but just keep a lot of considerations in mind that's all. If you're ready to take the bit of a challenge, then go for it!
 

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What are you looking for in a dog? How much exercise do you want to provide? Grooming/shedding? How much time do you spend at home, and how much time will be spent with the dog?
 

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I have done a decent amount of reasearch and have tried to best prepare myself about what to expect from a bigger dog, without actually having one.

I'm a college student right now and wont be working during the school semesters so I will have plenty of time for a dog. I want a very active dog with somewhat of a guardog capability. I'll be living with my sister and fiance so someone will almost always be there with it. And I have a fairly good size yard that is fenced in.
 

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I have done a decent amount of reasearch and have tried to best prepare myself about what to expect from a bigger dog, without actually having one.

I'm a college student right now and wont be working during the school semesters so I will have plenty of time for a dog. I want a very active dog with somewhat of a guardog capability. I'll be living with my sister and fiance so someone will almost always be there with it. And I have a fairly good size yard that is fenced in.
Make sure your sis and fiance are ok with a big dog too then...
 

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Honestly, I'd be careful about getting a dog right now if you're still in school. Eventually, you're going to graduate, and you won't know what kind of hours you'll work, where you'll live, or who will be around. If you do get one, I'd look for one that's much lower maintenance; you need to be sure your dog will fit the lifestyle you have four years from now, not just the one you have today. If your dog gets used to always having people around and being able to run free 3 hours a day, a sudden change later on will be that much more difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input.

Can anyone with experience with these dogs share with me the pros and cons to them?
 

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Honestly, I'd be careful about getting a dog right now if you're still in school. Eventually, you're going to graduate, and you won't know what kind of hours you'll work, where you'll live, or who will be around. If you do get one, I'd look for one that's much lower maintenance; you need to be sure your dog will fit the lifestyle you have four years from now, not just the one you have today. If your dog gets used to always having people around and being able to run free 3 hours a day, a sudden change later on will be that much more difficult.
I second everything in this post.

Both the GSD and the Rottweiler are ACTIVE. They often need to walk/jog for up to three hours, especially during their adult years. They have very high working drives and because of this, need a lot of mental stimulation in the form of obedience training and dog sports. If these dogs are not mentally or physically stimulated, they get bored... and when they get bored, they chew stuff up, bark, or try to escape. A GSD or Rottie that has not been given his daily hour-long walk, or his daily training sessions, will not just lie down with you quietly and wait for the next day. He'll more likely tear your sofa apart.

If you want to get into either of these breeds I would also caution you to be VERY careful about which breeder you get your puppy from. There are thousands of breeders who exploit the popularity of these breeds and churn out puppies that are rife with health problems, which can get extremely expensive. You want both parents of your puppy to be titled as champions in the show ring; you want proof of extensive genetic testing from recognised institutions like OFA, CERF and so on.
 

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I'll add when I was younger I was a lot better off with a smaller dog of 40lbs or so than a larger dog.

You can go more places easier with them, they fit in a car easier, people don't get all afraid of them as easy... Just easier all around and awesome if you train them really well.

My dog went with me everywhere when I was your age, but it would have been tougher with a GSD or Rottie because they are large and the breeds have a reputation for being scary. People cross the street to walk on the other side when you go by.

And a 40lb dog will scare off people almost as well as a bigger dog, mine have never had any problems doing it.

A border collie or mix, or aussie shepherd or mix or something similar and medium sized would be a very smart very active and trainable dog, and in my experience easier to take wherever you go.
 

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It's important that your sister check her homeowner's insurance as, unfortunately, many companies will cancel the insurance if they discover you have either of those breeds. And, what will you do in a few years when you finish school and move out on your own. Finding a rental with either of those breeds (or most large dogs) is going to be extremely difficult.

As someone already mentioned it'simperative to find an excellent breeder not only for the possible health problems mentioned but also because a Rottie or GSD with a poor temperament is a disaster waiting to happen.

If you're determined to get one or the other get to know some good breeders and let them get to know you well. Many responsible GSD and Rottie breeders will not sell pups to inexperienced dog owners unless they have good reason to believe the person is willing and able to properly train and raise one of their pups. You might want to check out the Leerburg forums as many of those people are GSD owners, generally working line dogs, but they could probably give you some of the pros and cons of a GSD (and possibly a Rottie) as a first dog.
 

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I disagree about getting a puppy whos parents are both conformation Champions, thats shouldn't be a requirement. In fact Many show dogs only have 1 parent who is a conformation Champion.

you should go to a breeder that does OFA Hip tests on their dogs. that is the only way to prove the breeding dogs have good hips. some people might claim their dogs are healthy but if you don't know the person, they could easily be lying and so you want the proof in paperwork.

Hip dyplasia is VERY common in both of those breeds, and you can't always see if a puppy has hip dysplatia till they get older and by that time you have to fork out a LOT of extra money for vet bills to get your dogs hip replaced.

Check your insurance company, many companies wont allow a GSD or Rottie.

YOu also want to make sure you meet the parents of the puppy, because in dogs temperment is herditary. and if mom and dad were aggressive scardy cats more than likly your puppy will grow up to be an aggressive scardy cat.

here are the official health statistics for each breed

(breed) (Percentage of affected animals)
GSD
Hip Dysplasia 22%

Rottie
Hip Dysplasia 23%
 

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I disagree about getting a puppy whos parents are both conformation Champions, thats shouldn't be a requirement. In fact Many show dogs only have 1 parent who is a conformation Champion.
With a breed as common as the GSD or Rottie, I'd be extra picky.
 

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maybe if both parents were SAR dogs that would be better than CH. they had the structure to do demanding work, and the temperment to not eat the person on the other end.
 

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Oh, no question that if both parents were SAR dogs, my concerns would be equally assuaged. My main point is that both parents need to have proven themselves in some way.
 

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I have to admit, I don't understand the emphasis on 'champion' dogs. I understand meeting conformation standards, but as long as both the sire & dam are proven healthy, how much does a champion lineage really matter if you just want a pet?
 

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You'ev already heard this, but I'm going to say it again, with the benefit of personal experience.

If I could go back in time two years and give myself advice, I would tell myself to wait until I'd moved out of my parents' house to get Alvin and Clifford. I in no way regret either dog, but they have been an unnecessary hassle as I've been trying to get myself settled in the "real world." It's 100% more difficult to fit existing dogs into a new life than it is to add new dogs to a life you're already settled into.

While your dog may be a great companion during college, you have no idea what's going to happen to you once you graduate. Even if you think you've got it planned, nothing ever works the way you thought it would. You don't know what your job will be, how long you will be away from home each day, or even where you will have to live in order to find work. You don't know what your salary will be like or what the housing market will have to offer. You don't know who you will have to live with or how they will feel about dogs. You could work all this out around whatever dog you obtain...or you could wait until it's already worked out and then get a dog that fits your situation.

If you want a dog, you can't wait forever. Your life will constantly be evolving, so that's not a reason NOT to get a dog. Still, if you can wait until a typically turbulant part of your life is passed, you and your dog might be better off.

If you just can't wait, I'd say get a smaller dog that poses less of a threat to non-dog-savvy people. It will be easier to fit into whatever your new circumstances are after college.
 

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May I make a suggestion that you take FB's advice on breed?

If you really love the personality of the GSD? look at the corgis, both Cardigan and Pembroke. They're similar, in a smaller package that is MUCH easier to rent with (and you are not going to be buying a house the day after graduation.) They're under almost all size limits for apartment living, people aren't scared of them, and they're typically just MUCH easier to own as a renter, while still allowing you to do pretty much all the same stuff sports-wise as a GSD. (Yes, there have been Schutzhund corgis!)
 

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Honestly, I'd be careful about getting a dog right now if you're still in school. Eventually, you're going to graduate, and you won't know what kind of hours you'll work, where you'll live, or who will be around. If you do get one, I'd look for one that's much lower maintenance; you need to be sure your dog will fit the lifestyle you have four years from now, not just the one you have today. If your dog gets used to always having people around and being able to run free 3 hours a day, a sudden change later on will be that much more difficult.
Great post, you've said everything I would have said. Chances are, if you're in college, you're young and you *may* say you will do what it takes to have a dog but reality bites us in the butt alot of the times. This is the time for you to concentrate on school. After you graduate and have a job, that is the time for a dog. What happens if you get a dog now and after graduation, you have a hard time finding a place that allows dogs, not to mention that both rotties and GSD's could make finding a rent even harder.
Just my two cents worth...
 
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