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Old 10-15-2012, 03:07 PM   #1
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Default Greetings from Colorado

Hi all! So glad I found this place.

I am a dad in a family of four (kids 6 and 8) finally ready to get a dog looking for any and all advice. The last dog I had was a collie mix we got as a puppy in 1985 when I was a teenager. Since then I moved on to cats and lots of living arrangements that were not conducive for dogs. However, I have always been a "dog" person and always looked forward to getting a dog again someday.

The reasons we can now "get" a dog are not very pleasant but I need to share them as joining this forum is cathartic for me. First, we recently lost a cat that had been in our family for 14 years. We still have an independent long hair Siamese mix young-ish cat. We certainly want to get this dog for companionship as a permanent family pet; however, we also want to get this dog for protection. Something absolutely horrible has happened in our community (probably sharing a little to much here sorry, but search Westminster CO child abduction name "Jessica"... I don't want to talk much about it though). My fatherly/husbandly reaction is to run off to buy a gun; I feel/know a nice dog would be far healthier for all of us.

Our wish list includes: young, female, German Shepherd (mix is fine)

We have a pretty large fenced in yard that backs to a golf course and loads of open space around our neighborhood. I am somewhat familiar (yet no experience) with some less forceful methods of training than my father used. I was planning to crate train but honestly need to read up on it more; I have about ten books on hold @ library. I am a stay-at-home dad so would have lots of time and energy to devote. We were thinking of filling out applications and spending some time getting "prepared" before getting the dog anytime after January-probably from a shelter.

I have a few specific questions and a few sites below I would love any feedback about - in addition, feel free to offer any advice or suggestions.
  1. I feel like we should get a rather young dog because I really want to be a crucial part of her thorough training. Is this "hogwash" or is there an age where a dog really cannot "learn new tricks" as easily?
  2. Something is drawing me towards a female as a better fit for a "family" dog.... more "hogwash"?
  3. I like the traits published of a German Shepherd's temperament. Would these traits transfer to a mix breed?

any thoughts on these sites?
A Puppy's Voice rescue
German Shepherd Rescue of Central Colorado
German Shepherd Rescue of the Rockies

thanks in advance all
Sam

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Old 10-15-2012, 03:30 PM   #2
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Sam, Wecome to the Forum! A rescue is a great place to find a nice dog. If the rescue is near by, you may want to visit, if possible. Have you tried calling any of the rescues you listed?
I think the decision of a male or female is just a preference. I perfer male dogs myself.
Any dog can be trained. Age doesn't matter much. Sometimes a young adult is much easier than a puppy.
As far as training goes, you may want to look into positive training. The old school methods are just that... old school. I'm sure some of the trainers on this Forum will comment on some excellent books to read or some great videos to watch.
Again, welcome!

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Old 10-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #3
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Welcome to df! This is a great place to be.
I would suggest you take some classes if you can. More for you than the dog.
Positive reinforcement is the way most trainers go these days.
Sorry about the awful stuff happening there now.
techie
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:41 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. Hope you find the right dog.
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Thanx sheplovr & JGLI

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:25 AM   #5
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8Samson8 Welcome to Df

If your looking to get a dog for a companion or a pet thats great. But if you are looking for protection for you and your family then you need a firearm.

Dogs make great alarms and some protection but a rendered useless really fast by a bad guy with a firearm.

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