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German Shepherd VS Golden Retreiver
A follow on from our previous thread...

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#1 Joza

Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:35 AM

Ok, so we are due to pay our non-refundable $200 deposit today fro our German Shepherd puppy. I have asked a couple of times to go out to the breeder and see their other dogs (the pups are too young) but they keep coming up with reasons why we cant (which makes me nervous as we dont want to pay the money, then get there and the dogs are not what we expected and we lose $200) They are very good breeders though, have won alot of awards for breeding etc, but there is no feedback from people who have brought their puppies on their webste which I'm also querying...
I am also nervous though as I have had a fair bit of negative feedback from friends about having a Shepherd around my baby (and any future babies).
Our original thought was a GR, but we want it to be inside and I am worried that a GRwill be just WAY too boisturous for us in the early years?? We also loved the look of Labs, but I KNOW they will be too full on...
So I am asking, for a loving family pet, who will live mostly inside, and at times I will have to leave the room so it will be with my child alone (obviously I cant make baby or puppy follow me everywhere...) We want ease of training, loyalty and obedience....
So, should we get a German Shepherd OR a Golden Retriever???
Thanks so much, all feedback is very appreciated!!

#2 LittleWhiteDove

Posted 15 July 2010 - 08:53 AM

We have one of each! Ours are outside dogs though. If I had to choose, I'd go the German Shepard - much smarter laughing2.gif and the "puppy" stage didn't seem to be as long. He was also much easier to train.

I think there is a lot of negative feelings about German Shepards, but the vast majority is unfounded. I used to feel the same, but would never be without a GS now, and if something happens to our GR, we'd probably replace him with a GS instead. They are very loyal to the family, and I know ours would never intentional hurt our boys.

We did, however, ensure we bought our GS from a reputable breeder, and my one stipulation was that he had to be a purebred, not for the pedigree (though he does have papers), but for temprement. My two boys often play outside with the dogs without me there, and Master Two, especially, loves to rumble the dogs!

I can understand your reluctance to pay a deposit though, I'd be leery to pay sight-unseen. We first met our
puppy at 5 or 6 weeks, and then could take him home at 10 weeks. I'd be more concerned about the breeder's reluctance to show you the pups than your friends negativity.

Good luck choosing your new family member!

#3 Joza

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:08 AM

Thankyou! I was hoping I would find someone with one of each biggrin.gif
The breeder has sent us pictures, and we are able to go and meet her in about 2 weeks (the pups are just too young apparently). I was just nervous that they didn't want us going out and seeing their other dogs... They said we will meet the puppies soon enough!
Especially as our deposit is non-refundable...
You have put my mind at ease a bit now though, so thankyou!

#4 cabbagepatch

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:10 AM

We have a lab - he is two now.  We got him before we have children so that he is out of the puppy stage and not as "boistrous" for when non-fur babies come along.

He lays inside with us, walks everywhere with us and just loves being around people.  Now the only time he gets too boistrous is when he's playing with other dogs - almost like he forgets people are around.  But wave a toy and whistle and hes sitting at your feet waiting for you to throw it.

I've never had a German Shepherd so I can't really comment on the breed.  

But i grew up with labs, and I wouldn't have a different dog now, they're easy to train as they are very food oriented, and by no means stupid.  But if you get a puppy they are alot of work (can't walk them more than 10 mins or let them use stairs for the first year).  I would probably look at buying an older dog that has finished showing/breeding from a breeder if I had small children already.  You can usually find ones that have been bought up with children and lived happy lives indoors.

As for the breeder not letting you see the parents is a big warning sign for me - I would be looking else where TBH.  How old are the puppies that they are too young to be seen?  Have you had photos or checked the Breeder registration board to check their credentials?  All a bit over the top I know, but thats what you do when buying a lab as they can have health problems down the road and you need to check lineage etc...
Maybe its different with German Shepherds - I don't know if they have the same/similar health problems...

ETA: I see the owners are letting you see them.  Good luck with your purchase! No doubt your new puppy will bring heaps of love and enjoyment to your family!!!

Edited by cabbagepatch, 15 July 2010 - 09:12 AM.

#5 greenmother

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:17 AM

We have a golden retriever, and I have previously had german shepards. For a dog with a baby, I would definitely go golden retriever, even though I would never leave a dog alone with a baby, I feel like I could with ours. He seems to know to be gentle with out 7 month old girl, and doesn't even flinch when she pulls his ears and rips his hair out and pokes him in the eye.

#6 Sentient Puddle

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:23 AM

I have owned Goldies for the last 30 years and would suggest one in a heartbeat.  They are great with children, adults and are great companions.  They do however need a good amount of exercise, particularly in the puppy years - but all dogs do - so that should not put you off.  Buy from a responsible breeder though who will give you hip and eye scores for their dogs - as they are prone to some genetic ailments.

#7 Nut

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:23 AM

I would be a bit concerned about not being able to see the parents. You know my stance on shepherds so I won't worry about that.

I did buy site unseen. I put the deposit and he brought the pup to me (convenience, he was going to be in Canberra anyway). But had I decided not to take him upon meeting him he would have refunded me my deposit. I got photos of him and the parents and had I driven to Sydney I would have met them anyway so it was more lack of opportunity.

I did my research on the breeders and the parents and spoke to a few members of the German Shepherd Dog League who said they would take care of me and give me a good dog etc. and spoke to the owner. He was so loving when he spoke about the female. Said "She's my girlfriend. She sleeps on the couch with me every night". He was married with children so they also came from a family environment and did not sell as gun dogs etc.

I didn't want a lab or retriever because I wanted a dog with brains. They make the most awesome seeing eye dogs too, being more trainable than labs and retrievers. Unfortunately the shepherd as seeing eye dogs program was pulled after only two dogs were trained as they couldn't be bothered with the paper work. A close friend of mine has one of the two trained shepherds and he's awesome.

My Jaz needs to be walked EVERY day (even when it's 6 degrees and raining outside) or he starts getting a bit silly.

#8 fionah

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:28 AM

We have a beautiful Stock coat German Shepherd. Bears coat is not quiet a full long coat, but not a true standard short coat. He requires a fair bit of grooming, which I don't seem to have the time for much these days, so we get the groomer to come.
He is the best dog. Bear will be 10 in October. We picked him up at 10 weeks old & we have hardly put any real training into him. He just seems to know what is the right thing to do. He has never shown aggression & is great with the kids. We did also have a gorgeous Shepherd Cross b**ch, but we had her put to sleep after too many little nipping incidents. I was afraid the next time wouldn't have been a little nip.
I like Golden retrievers, but they are a bit too silly for me. I would love a greyhound next, but my hubby says they are too ugly. I have met 100's of grey hounds and never het an aggressive one. I have only ever heard one story about an aggressive one.
I have been attacked by a german shepherd. No warning or anything, it just launched itself at me, grabbed me by the shirt & bra, not a nick on me though. Thankfully the dog was on a leash and the owner was able to pull him away. This was a show dog, after speaking to others in the GSD circle, I found out that alot of her dogs were aggressive and total nut jobs  sad.gif
Bears breeders were happy for us to visit whenever we liked.
I wonder if your breeders are worried about viruses. There is a very unusual parvo outbreak in western Sydney atm. Not common for winter time at all. I wonder if other areas of Australia are having similar problems?
Anyway, I have rambled enough.
I hope your puppy is great!

#9 Joza

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:38 AM

Well I just looked them up on the breeders association board and they are there as well as being members of the GSDL...
They spoke with so much love of their puppies too, so I guess it may be a case of overprotectiveness as the pups are onyl a couple of weeks old.. Due to go home the 18th August...
They breed for temprament and companionship too and state that they will NOT sell to breeders or as gaurd dogs...
Maybe I am just being a bit OTT as we just so badly want a good dog... And Im so scared that she will be vicious....

#10 Guest_shauna+Molly+ Me_*

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:50 AM

Some breeders dont like strangers coming in to their breeding establishment due to risk of transffering illnesses (especially parvo) on to their property.
Some breeders are very anal about that.
Other breeders (like my sister) are happy for them to come just as long as they take their shoes of first and wash hands.
On Dogzonline their is a breeders section. Join up and ask a question about the possible reasons why this breeder is not comfortable with you seeing their adult dogs.

To me its not a reason to totally dismiss the breeder. but I would ask further questions.

Personally I would go with a goldie but I also love German shepherds.
They are both intelligent dogs that are easy to train but I just love the Goldie smile biggrin.gif .

My next breed of dog will be a lab but I am aware of their long puppyhood and I will get one when my youngest child is about five or so.

#11 sjm218

Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:52 AM

I have had a purebred german shepherd and now have a lab cross and a shepherd/retriever cross (all were rescue dogs). While I love my dogs that I have now, I would love to have my german shepherd back.

Without a doubt the shepherd was the smartest and easiest to train dog I have ever had. Super protective until told not to be, then calm as calm could be. She even got between my ex husband and I when he was being threatening, despite the fact she absolutely adored him, she was willing to take him out to protect me - unbelievable.

As for being around children, while I would never leave my baby near any dog unattended, I would be far more comfortable with the shepherd than the retriever. The retrievers are just a bit less aware of their size.

At the end of the day, I think either of these breeds would be good family dogs, but obviously to be really good dogs takes work and time.

Good luck!

PS The german shepherd bad reputation is partially due to some dodgy breeding that went on about 20 years (maybe more) ago, when there was a problem with fear biting. Ie the dog got scared and bit people. This has been almost bred out in Australia and the German Shepherd registered breeders will ensure your dog doesn't have this problem.

#12 jennie*melb

Posted 15 July 2010 - 10:05 AM

After reading your post I would be very concerned about this "breeder".

Did they thoroughly screen you? Ask you heaps of questions about your lifestyle etc?

I work with animals and would never buy from a breeder who did not let me see the parents and any other animals they had before committing to a pup. Especially a German Shep due to their amazing strength and intelligence.

German Sheps and Golden Ret's are like chalk and cheese really. GS's are usually a lot more "aware" and have more guarding instinct  and are often not as thick-skinned as a Goldie.

I have a Golden myself and a young son and they get on very well and because he was raised inside he is not boisterous in the house. Outside he is a maniac. They require lots of attention and just want to be part of the family. On the whole most I have met had had loving temperaments although I have seen the occasional case of aggression or very nervous dogs- usually from BY breeders. Have seen heaps with health problems that are from so called "breeders"

I have unfortunately seen far more GS'S with problems. Again health problems but far more temperament issues than with the Golden's. I have seen some fairly nice seeming dogs turn very nasty when they are out of their element (usually due to fear). A shelter is a stressful place and they do not seem to be able to cope as well with this as some other breeds. Again often from less reputable breeders or pet shops. I have also met some very lovely Shepherds who are great around kids.

Temperament is part genetics part environment so it is very important that when selecting a pup that the parents are met when possible (from a breeder) as this does give a fairly reliable predictor of the pups future temperament with the right upbringing.

Socialization with any pup you get is so important. The need to be exposed to different people, situations and other animals at a young age or you are setting yourself up for a dog with major issues.

I would personally find a GS or GR club and ask them for a referral to a good breeder then you are likely to get a breeder with a good history of quality pups.

Lastly what attracts you to these breeds - they are not that similar so what qualities are you looking for in a dog? Also have you thought about the hair issue? OMG  they lose a lot of hair.

There are plenty of great breeds out there especially as you want to keep it inside. Have you thought about a whippet for example? Great for indoors, short coat, good with kids other dogs etc, small enough to be walked by bigger kids.

Lastly as much as I trust my dog 100% temperament wise I would never leave him alone with a young child. Ever.

Good luck

Edited by jennie*melb, 15 July 2010 - 10:09 AM.

#13 Joza

Posted 15 July 2010 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE (fertile woman @ 15/07/2010, 10:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you want to PM me with the name of the breeder I am happy to try to find out about their real reputation if you'd like. Being big winners in the show ring doesn't necessarily mean that breeders are ethical or that their dogs have good temperament. I have a number of friends who breed and show GSDs and can make some confidential enquiries if you'd like.

Have Pm'd u hun

#14 i-candi

Posted 15 July 2010 - 11:54 AM

Wow I would be worried about the breeder as well.

Our breeder insisted that we came with the kids to play with the pups at least every week - it was a nearly 2 hour drive there and back but we still did it. We were not allowed to go anywhere near the kennels (we could see them though) and they brought the dogs to us to play with. With only three pups they also wanted our kids to play with them all (to get them kid friendly), also they had family friends with kids that she would get around to play with the pups.

We did go to one breeder that had all the parents in small concrete cages and the pups (from different mums) in one massive big enclosure with concrete kennels to sleep in sad.gif. There was dog poo everywhere - the conditions were horrible. They were a member of the league, we ran as fast as we could from that place.

I had GR dogs growing up - well my brother had them. I was so scared of them because they seemed so boisterous. I am however not a fan of dogs so that could have been an issue with me. My brother did dog trials with his dog - you know the type where they blow the whistle and they had to left or right to pick up scents. I went once boring as all hell lol.

#15 ~JASB~

Posted 15 July 2010 - 01:32 PM

Golden Retriever in a heartbeat original.gif  My girl was never over the top with energy when inside, she'd happily lie next to us and was very good at going to her bed when told to.  My mum also owned one, and my brother had 2 and the only one of the 4 who was very energetic was my brother's male GR (the other 3 were all females), so I don't know if generally females are more placid, but IME they were.

Goldens are absolutely brilliant with kids, my girl would let the boys climb all over her without a care in the world.  But I also know a GSD like that too.

As for your breeder, I would be very concerned too.  Hopefully fertile woman can help you out there.

#16 Nut

Posted 15 July 2010 - 01:39 PM

Contact the German Shepherd Dog League and talk to them.

It is highly recommended that any breeder you buy from is a member of the GSDL as they follow specific breeding practices with the aim to minimise health issues and maintain temperament. If you have any issues with a breeder or the dog you purchase from a breeder that is a member of the league (as I do with mine and his bleeding issues) it's very helpful.

You want to make sure they microchip and tattoo the pup too. Lots of little things to consider when checking out breeders.

The GSDL will be able to give you good information and recommendations. They are familiar with all registered breeders, know all the males that are frequently hired out for stud and the general show stuff too. There is also your local German Shepherd Dog Council.

I would highly recommend contacting either (though GSDL is the better choice I think).

#17 KylieY

Posted 15 July 2010 - 01:44 PM

We have a German Shepherd, she is now 2. We got her when DD was 2 and I was 6 wks pg with DS,

She is a beautifully natured dog and loves the kids and is very gentle with them. My only advice is training him or her immediately. She was destructive as a pup (as they all are).

She is a wonderful family dog and a great protector. She always likes to walk in front of us and always looks back at us to make sure we are okay. She is just gorgeous.

#18 InAi

Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:13 AM

Hi ... I have a GR who's nearly seven. He is great with my kids and is extremely gentle. I have only done some basic obedience training with him, but he is extremely well behaved with people and other animals.

I've always found that breeders don't like people visiting their baby puppies until they are about six weeks old and have had their first round of vaccinations.

I'm thinking of getting another puppy at the end of the year and am thinking of a German Shepherd. I'm still reading up about them so can't say much yet.

I didn't want a lab or retriever because I wanted a dog with brains.

GR and Labs are among the top ten most intelligent dog breeds!

Edited by InAi, 17 February 2012 - 10:17 AM.

#19 ali27

Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:22 AM

For a family dog, GR without question. I have two and they are very placid in the house - although they do shed hair. They are happy to be near the family and stay quiet unless they are invited to play. They do need a good walk/run each day, but then so do GS.

#20 countrychic29

Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:32 AM

We have 2 White German Shepherds, which we choose as i grew up with them and other dogs. Also they dont have the 'banana' back that the modern shepherds seem to have.
To ease your mind with our breeder we paid a deposit only on a photo, we were allowed to see them when they were 4 weeks, i went again every week until picking her up, the breeder was great.
While we dont have kids yet they have been exposed to kids left right and centre and are friendly & respectful of the rules. They are extremely smart and great with our other pets (cats/sheep). but huge sooks loving nothing more than falling asleep in
My parents have a Lab & golden, whilst they are beautiful dogs with lovely temperaments these 2 can snap without warning or realizing, and have before.
Also they bark a lot - so does every other Golden i know - quiet annoying when our neighbourhood is full of them original.gif
Both breeds need loads of exercise or they will annoy you wanting to play constantly!
Good Luck original.gif

#21 la di dah

Posted 17 February 2012 - 11:43 AM

I like German Shepherds pretty well. My DH grew up with one and its one of the few biggish breeds he's fond of.

Edited by la di dah, 17 February 2012 - 12:00 PM.

#22 JazzyWeasel

Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:01 PM

You know this thread is 2 yrs old lol.

#23 BellaMoja

Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:48 PM

Hoping to revive this old thread!
We are seriously considering buying a GS but don't want the curved back but a straight back. We are waiting for about another year as we have a 2yo Dd and want to make sure She understands dogs better before we get one and we want to be 100 percent happy with the breeder.
We live in Sydney and would be happy for recommendations in NSW and ACT.
We are looking for a great tempered healthy family dog.
Also if you have any tips that would be great too!

#24 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

If you have a longer term outlook, I'd recommend that you get yourself along to a few dog shows and meet the dogs and breeders in person. That way, you can check out the look and temperament of the dogs you prefer, and have a casual chat with the breeders.

Otherwise you're left with online searching, and DogzOnline is a good place to start. But it still doesn't get you over the hurdle of meeting the dogs and breeders.

#25 BellaMoja

Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

Thanks Spikey! - we definitely have a longer term outlook - we dont want to rush into anything and really want to feel comfortable making the right choice for our family but most importantly for the safety of my girl.

A question for you - if we go to the shows (which we would be happy to) don't they only show the roach back GS's? So those breeders might not be the ones we want. I can only find one breeder on the net that does normal straight backs - being German Shepherd World.   I have been to dogzonline but they seem to only have roach back GS's too...

I grew up with an amazing GS who had the best temperament and was SO loving and loyal, i used to pull his tongue and he didn't mind!

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