The Goat Spot Forum banner

German Shepherds.

2285 Views 20 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Trickyroo
I have been researching an looking for a breeder for months now. I liked everything I read about the breed and decided one would be a good fit for my family. We plan on getting an 8 week old female pup come spring. My husband owned one as a kid and it very excited about getting another. I was getting excited too until tonight; some family friends came over and we got to talking about dogs. They have farmed all of their lives and so have their parents, like us. The conversation ended up on the topic of putting down dogs that have killed livestock and stories about dogs killing stock ect. He kept mentioning German shepherds. He even owned a couple in the past, and told me they have a bad blood drive- or what ever you want to call it. But they killed no matter how you raised them sooner or later they would kill either your live stock or a neighbors, he named 10+ stories all but one of was a dog who was raised correctly..... I have never read anything like this online, but then again most people who raise expensive dogs don't have livestock. I would like to know if any one has had this kind of experience with a german shepherd, and I don't mean a stray I mean some ones pet. My dog will be a house dog with a fenced in yard to run and play, but I still can't take the risk...
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
I've had three in my lifetime on a farm with cats, chickens, horses, cows, so on, now goats and ducks and a goose, and never had a problem. Soooo I have a problem believing that.
My shepherds have always been the alpha dog, of the dogs I had at the time though, and two of mine were female. The male we had died young so I can't say a lot about him, but my females have both been very alpha with other dogs and very obedient to us and loving to us.
I can tell you with much experience that any dog is capable of killing or harassing animals , regardless of breeding or lineage.
We recently had a young shepherd ( our own breeding ) chase down our sheep and really scare the heck out of them. She never hurt them , but you never know if we for some reason weren't there what she would/could have done. But with that said , she was one of the younger dogs not socialized with the goats or the sheep at all. She was in training for someone else , so she wasn't one of our own dogs.
I do want to say that to label a breed a killer like that is just wrong on so many levels I don't know where to start with that one…..
I know of a very experienced person who has a huge flock of sheep and well trained GSDs who help tend them. He is a awesome trainer and someone who raises sheep for a living. His name is Ulf Kinzel and his farm is called White Clover Sheep Farm ( I think ) I forgot exactly , but Im pretty certain thats the name. It all comes down to how you train the dog from a pup. But genetics do play a role as well. You do want a pup from breed surveyed parents , at least I would if I were looking for a GSD. I have a Border Collie who has very high prey drive and can't control himself around the ducks, geese and chickens. He cannot be trusted. But I do have other BCs that I would trust completely. But again , would I take a chance and leave the dog in the pen with my goats , no , I wouldn't . Dogs are dogs , you can take that out of them.
Unless we are talking dogs who are livestock breeds , thats a whole other topic :)
See less See more
BTW , my husband has been breeding GSDs for well over twenty years.
Let me clarify that he wasn't "dissing" the breed, he loves the breed he was just his honest opinion about having them on a farm, and he wasn't saying they are cold blooded killers, just have a higher prey drive. I should have worded things differently :)

I totally understand that a dog is a predator and will act like one with out proper training. I have 4 terriers right now, and they have a crazy high prey drive. My dad had to put down two of his favorite dogs (Boxers) on Christmas morning in 04 because they attacked and killed 3 calves. They had been broke of chasing calves, but they just got a wild hair that night. He put them down on site.. in our family if it kills one animal (poultry exempt) then it has the taste for blood and it has to be put down, just to much of a liability.
I was really worried when he started telling me about the shepherds, but I realize one constancy in the stories, it could have been prevented days/weeks before they killed multiple animals. In one case a dog had chased a lot of feeder pigs, did not hurt them just chased them. They did nothing. Came back the next night and had 5 died, the next night the whole lot was died (30). This was a neighbors dog, and after the 3rd night he was put down. The dog should have been chained, or locked up at night after that first night, the second night he should have been died once he got the taste of blood.
I hate to sound harsh but that is how I feel about it and this puppy will be a part of my family. She will sleep with my husband and I, play with my son, go on rides to the farm. Our dogs are like our kids, we love them to death. I don't want to be put in the position where I have to put my beloved dog down because she has to high of a prey drive and kills livestock.

I feel much better after reading your guys replies. My yard will be fenced in with chain link and a row of woven wire behind that, she will never be allowed in the goats pen. I will socialize her with every type of livestock from the time I get her.

I think I may have been rambling but I was just so worried after hearing all of that, but I am feeling much better now, thank you so much.

Laura do you know of any breeders in the Kentucky/Indiana/Ohio area?
See less See more
We had 6 when I was growing up. 4 of those were killed chasing cars. ..only thing I remember them chasing. We had calves around all the time, cats, chickens etc. The last 2 were white shepherds. They are a little different. Don't remember them killing anything cept cats. 1st one would never harm a kitten. ..but grown cats were fair game. He was not good with anyone but family.
Ok, I'm on the puter now so going to elaborate. We had a big problem with our dogs chasing cars...neighbors carried their dogs with them all the time and ours got in the habit of chasing because of that. None of ours ever killed anything else. If they had killed chickens or even just eaten the eggs, they would have been dad didn't tolerate that at all. Our dogs were always outdoor dogs (dad didn't believe animals belonged in the house unless it was a frozen calf you were trying to save hehe) We got our 1st GS from a breeder that was trying to sell some kind of insurance to my dad and promised a pb pup if dad would buy...he did, we got the pup, and cancelled the insurance a year later. Our first 4 were fairly young when they got hit by cars...probably not much over 2 years. Then we got Chief...our first white shepherd! He was gorgeous!!! Never killed anything except adult cats. Kittens could eat out of his bowl right next to him, he seemed to understand that they were babies. But grown cats were fair game :( White shepherds are also prone to brain tumors. Chief was great with our immediate family. But not so good with anyone else. As long as you completely ignored him, he left you alone. But try and pet him...he'd bite. After we had to put him down (at about 6 years old, I think) we did get another white shepherd. He was a problem from the 1st....we could never really trust him even with us. He was put down fairly young because of it. Having said all that...I would not recommend a white shepherd, although they are gorgeous and I'd love to have another Chief.

German Shepherds were originally bred to be herding dogs (hence the name shepherd). They were bred to be protective and to help the farmer with his animals. We have pretty much bred most of that out of them. But with proper training, there is no reason they couldn't be used for that. I would not hesitate to get a GS for my family and my farm. They are fantastic animals.
See less See more
Well , we had baby bunnies , all kinds of critters in the spring around here and none of the GSDs killed them , they we always called off and left them alone . One of my husbands PO dogs ,while on the job, was attacked by a cat , he didn't kill it , just shook it off and kept on the scent/search. He could have killed it , but didn't. Not saying they wouldn't kill something , its always possible , especially when a animal flees from them , its going to be game on , thats just being a dog. Later we found out that this cat was the neighborhood crazy cat and loved to attack dogs , lol.. I haven't seen our dogs set out to kill something , ever. But that one dog in training was a first. The danger is always there.They are more curious then anything , but when a animal flees , it awakens their natural chase instinct. Some dogs have a stronger will to chase and destroy then others do. If I were you , I would look for a breed that doesn't have the higher prey drive , like hounds and Pointers. GSDs since they are one of the herding breeds need the right training and socialization. Any breed/mix can be dangerous , I know , but avoiding the main ones might be a good start. Getting a mix breed can be good or bad , you just never know.
Anyways , I don't know of any breeders in your surrounding areas , but you can go to the AKC website and take a look there. They can tell you the closest ones to you . But just remember , if you can't see and meet the parents , being breed surveyed is a major plus , opt to go someplace else. JMHO.
See less See more
Hounds and pointers are hunting dogs. They are bred to have a high prey drive since that is what they are used for. They are also usually extremely high energy dogs that need a ton of exercise. I wouldn't choose one if you have other animals unless you know how to train them properly...and even pointers often have to be trained NOT to go after the birds they are pointing at and to be gentle once they retrieve....
But heck , even a Maltese can be a killer , well , OK , maybe not ;)
But you get th drift , adding a dog to a farm family is tricky to say the least. But if you don't plan on letting it mingle with the animals and just be a house dog , then your choices are wide open. Bottom line , if the dog is trained and completely understands its boundaries , and you don't invite dangerous situations , you should be just fine. But what i always tell people , NEVER expect your dog not to go after , chase or hurt/kill another animal if the chance arises , since you can NEVER guarantee it won't happen. A friends dog was considered so laid back , it could be mistaken for dead sometimes , it did attack a chicken and kill it.
I will never forget that , i was mortified after seeing that happen , but i was a young teenager in the horse world. First animal I ever saw killed and it stuck with me till this day. It happened in a millisecond. What caused this laid back family dog to do that ? Who knows , but it just goes to show they are animals , its in them.
See less See more
I've own German shepards all my life and I have to say in my opinion a German Shepard can and will kill livestock no matter how well it's trained. My dog bear whom I liove and is so well trained otherwise killed one of my chickens and chased my goats all over the yard when he got lose in the yard. He jumped off the deck and tore up my chick I couldn't get there fast enough to stop him. So yes. They definitely can kill your animals. :(
Like Tricky said...ANY dog can kill. Some do have a higher prey drive than others. I had 2 dogs. ..boxer and sister from same litter. Female would kill my birds every chance she got. She found a new home. Male...once he was corrected never bothered my birds again. Out of 6 german shepherds while I was growing up, only one would have been a problem...even with proper training.
We have many people come back to add another pup to their family again and again . A lot of them have other animals , horses , you name it and none of their dogs have killed any animals. I don't and won't ever label a breed as a killer . They are all individuals , like ourselves.You can't bring a puppy home and expect it to figure things out for itself. Its not the training per say , its the socialization in the beginning that shapes the dog and helps it better understand what is expected. I don't want to get into a discussion about GSDs being killers or any breed. I apologize to the OP for the direction your thread has gone. If you are hesitant about a certain breed , then by all means look into another one , listen to your instincts. JMO :)
Good luck with your search !
I didn't mean to bash German shepards because I love them. I've never really owned anything else but a Shepard. They are the most reliable easiest to train dogs. And are by no means a killer!!! They are the loyalist dogs when properly trained. I wouldn't trade my dog for anything... And your right any dog can kill. ;(
German shepherds were bred to tend sheep. They punish sheep that leave the boundary of the graze. Mix that with the extreme bite selection for schutzhund work that most GSD's are used for and you have a disaster waiting to happen if you have a GSD as an at large "farm dog".

Ulf Kintzel in New York has real working, well bred sheep tending German Shepherd dogs. If you want a GSD and own stock, buy a well bred one and train it for the job it is pre-engineered to do.
I totally agree about Ulf Kintzel , he is a very good friend of my husband for many , many years. My husband can't say enough about the lamb dinner he and a friend had there :) We bought the most beautiful Dorpers this year from him. Ulf's dogs handle hundreds of sheep daily , its a sight to see , just beautiful ! He trains a few of our friends as well. Both working lines and show line GSDs. Both had tremendous work ethic and are the the most loyal , gentle family dogs as well.

All GSDs aren't born "Schutzund" dogs and all those Schutzhund dogs aren't "born killers". Just like all Pit Bulls aren't killers. The build of the dog and the power they possess doesn't label them all killers.
The chance is there with all dogs , no matter the training or the breed.
I prefer Border Collies myself , but I live with many GSDs. Having packs here , you cannot trust them , at all , any of them , this includes the BCs. There are ones I wouldn't trust with the animals , but some I do. I know that dog will hit the ground if I tell it to. Others , the attraction to chase is too strong. But they aren't all killers. Personally there is no dog I would trust whole heartedly.
See less See more
I would like to thank every one for your replies :)

I went to the link, and read all of his site. I have never seen them actually used to herd, I think it's great that he is using them for what they are originally bred for. I don't think I would train one to actually herd because there isn't much need around here for them to herd, although I might look into it, since we do have cattle that need to be moved from time to time.

I am still really interested in getting a puppy. I know any breed of dog can kill, but this is the breed I want, I have researched for a long time and I like the qualities of the breed. I need to find a good breeder some where close to me, I looked on the AKC site and I think they where all show lines, but I will check again.

Thank you for sharing you thoughts and stories with me :)
I think you will be very happy. Dont forget to post pics....GS puppies are some of the cutest ever
Yes they are. I'll give ya a perfect mixed breed. My sons dog. He's a pit bull dauschound mix. Best dog there is. Doesn't bother anyone but the ups man lol

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Chair Floor


See less See more
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.