Exercise needs of German Shepherds... - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Exercise needs of German Shepherds...

I used to have a wonderful Shepherd mix/"lookalike" who had a low activity level. Her age was listed at 10+ years when I adopted her, and her idea of exercise involved running a few laps around the yard and playing fetch for maybe five minutes.

I'm thinking of adopting another Shepherd or Shepherd cross within the next year or two. While my heart will always belong to senior animals, I'd hate to pass up a slightly younger dog (meaning five or six years old) who would otherwise be a good match. But it's been years since I've had a dog who wasn't a senior, and I know Shepherds are an active, athletic breed overall.

What I want to know is, how much exercise in general does a middle-aged or younger senior (under ten) GSD need? I'm looking for a walking buddy who enjoys spending time outdoors, not a dog to go jogging or running with. Or is sticking with seniors a better idea? I'd love to hear from people with Shepherd experience and/or large dog experience.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 03:56 PM
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I haven't owned one, but I would say either stick with a senior or just go on a dog-by-dog case. Because GSD's are seriously energetic and needs lots of stimulation (physically and mentally). They are commonly used as police dogs, if that helps you.

Maybe a different shepard breed that is a senior?

I'm sure someone else with more experience will come along soon.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-20-2008, 08:07 PM
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Some GSDs can be quite high energy, as they're herding, working dogs. I think your best bet would be to meet adult dogs and find one that meshes well with your lifestyle.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 08:36 AM
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Most GSDs, even as adults, can be very high energy. Not like Border Collie high energy for most, but every dog is different. The best you can do is meet different potential GSDs and see which one fits the best into your lifestyle.

My last GSD wasn't much more then a pup when I had to rehome her, but she was pretty high energy. It helped her to give her little jobs, things for her to expect daily, like sitting before being fed, letting me go out the door first, (which are small things but make quite a difference) and of course regular tennis ball sessions. lol

I hope you find who you're looking for. GSD's are an amazing breed.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2008, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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I think a senior would be my best bet, but I'll evaluate slightly younger dogs individually if they otherwise seem like a good match.

The other option, of course, is choosing a different breed entirely. But, after living with a Shepherd, I really miss having one around.

Thanks to everyone who replied!
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