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MimiRaul

German Shepards and other large dogs

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Hey there... I always see a lot about small to medium sized dogs when researching for my full time RV adventure. :-) However, not too much about GSDs or other large dogs. Anyone here travel with a large dog (full time), especially a German Shepard? DH and I are getting one soon and we'll be getting ready to full time in about 2 years. So, we wanted to get some advice from all of you RV gurus. :P

Pros/Cons/tips... anything! Thanks a ton.

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I have seen people full time wtih everything from birds to pot bellied pigs (Rosie the pig). Met a couple full timing with two Great Pyrenees in a 40ft MH. Rosie was 175 lbs and in a TT with her "mom", maybe a 32 footer. So yes, people do full time with large pets.

Pets are a commitment whether small or large and they do restrict your activities somewhat. Some parks can set you up with a dog walker if your going to be away for the whole day, others you will just have to adjust to your pets schedule. Be prepared to do a lot of walking. There are only a few parks that have dog parks big enough to exercise a dog. Walking will be there main exercise, rain or shine.

For the first few months take the doge every where with you. Shopping, outdoor restaurant, any kind of gathering, put him in a day care where the dogs are free to mingle, etc. Get the dog used to kids and being petted by strangers. A little extra effort now will pay off later.

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As you can see from our avatar, we have a proper large dog B)

 

We have not hit the road fulltime yet (will do so in the next three months) but we've camped with him a bunch. Max is not the most dog-friendly, but is very people-friendly. I just wish others would keep their own dogs on a leash and all would be well.

 

Roy

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Yes, be prepared for other dogs running around off leash. We stayed at a park recently where our neighbors had 3 little dogs. 2 of them were aggressive towards our lab, and were not kept on a leash. They kept apologizing for their dog running up and snipping at Sallie (our lab), I finally told them to put their dog on a %$#@ leash, or face the consequences.. they got the message when Sallie caught and shook one of precious miniature yappers. Sallie dropped it on command and we went on our way.

We use one of the retractable leashes. Whenever other pets are near, 20-25', Sallie is always on a short leash. I've been told by probably hundreds of pet owners that their dog won't bite..... that's ok but mine will when provoked.

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The main issue as long as you are a responsible owner who controls and picks up after his pet is that many commercial RV parks do have restrictions on some breeds that at times might include yours and the more common issue is the size restriction. It isn't all parks so it can be done but you may want to make the park aware of your pet just to be sure that they do not object.

 

Most RV parks do welcome pets that are leashed, quiet, and that have good behavior. We were fulltime with first a mini schnauzer and then with a 40# corgi mix. It has never been a serious problem and we have experienced very few issues with pets of other RV folks. Our pet peeve is the owners who do not pick up after their pets.

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We are getting a Lab puppy soon to be our full time pet in 2 years so this is a good question for us. Thanks for asking it. We thought we would have our Rottie for a few more years but she is gone now. No more aggressive bread restrictions even though it should be owner restrictions some times.

My pet peeve is owners who throw their dogs out in a metal fenced kennel on their site and let them bark at everyone that walks by. The other one is the ones that might be down a dead end road who think that keeping their dogs contained doesn't apply to them and you have to deal with 80 lb dogs charging at you not knowing whats going to happen.

I did see a pet pig the last time we went out though. That was kind of cool.

 

James

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We full time with 2 German Shepherd Dogs. They are both retired search and rescue dogs and are very well trained (holding several national and international training titles). Its been a bit over 2 years now since we hit on the road and in that time only one park did not want our business due to the "weight" of our dogs. This was at a park in Quartzsite. When I explained their website said dogs were welcome they pointed out that they had a max 25 pound dog policy. I suggested to them that this would be good to specifically state this policy on their website. At any rate the park said they would allow us to stay with our dogs the night. We declined and moved down the road to a park that they recommended that was very happy to have a couple search dogs stay. Moral of the story do your homework before pulling into the park....I usually do but missed this one.

Later,

J

PS At a park while back while walking the dogs on leash (male 110 lbs and female 85+ lbs) a small spaniel attacked. Even though circling the dogs and barking our dogs ignored it. Soon the owner raced in to apologize. I nickname dogs like this "Death Wish".

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Thanks so much for the replies! I knew you all would be helpful.

 

James, I hope this does help answer some of your questions too. So, when do you get your lab puppy? Our GSD was just born 2 days ago. We are going to see the litter in a few weeks and then, of course, bring one home at the 8 week mark. We paid for 1st pick. We've been researching what to look for in GSD puppies. Hopefully, that'll pay off when we get there. The breeder is wonderful and we've spoken to him multiple times already.

 

Highway Jack, Max is absolutely gorgeous! I hear ya bout people keeping their pets on leashes. I have the issue in my neigbhorhood with a German Shepard actually. I was running by one day and she actually came after me... growling and nipping at my hip area. Talk about scared! The first time she did it I didn't say anything to the owners. The 2nd time I had to go up to their door. I waited awhile when I knew the dog was back inside. Can you believe I actually still want a GSD? Ha. I know it's not the dog's fault... it's owner.

 

KodiackJack, so you must be a GSD pro too! We have already called and made arrangements for him to go to obedience school (a puppy one to start). This particular place also has agility training, if we decide to do that after a few obedience classes. We plan on getting him used to people (hubby will take him to work several times a week) and we will put him in our Doggy Daycare and go to our local dog park frequently. Is your avatar one of them when they were pups? Your DEATH WISH comment cracked me up. You have two well adjusted and well trained GSDs for them to just sit there and chill while the little dog went nuts around them. Ha Ha.

 

Thanks again everyone for all the good things to know about large breeds and restrictive breeds. Also, your pet peeves and knowledge that we will be taking LOTS of walks.

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Thanks again everyone for all the good things to know about large breeds and restrictive breeds. Also, your pet peeves and knowledge that we will be taking LOTS of walks.

We have always had smaller sized dogs since moving to the city and then into an RV, but one of our most loved dogs was the malamute that we had when living on an acreage in WY. I guess we just love dogs in general. :P

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KodiackJack, so you must be a GSD pro too! We have already called and made arrangements for him to go to obedience school (a puppy one to start). This particular place also has agility training, if we decide to do that after a few obedience classes. We plan on getting him used to people (hubby will take him to work several times a week) and we will put him in our Doggy Daycare and go to our local dog park frequently. Is your avatar one of them when they were pups? Your DEATH WISH comment cracked me up. You have two well adjusted and well trained GSDs for them to just sit there and chill while the little dog went nuts around them. Ha Ha.

 

No I downloaded my avatar (sort of criminal for someone with lots of cute puppy photos on their hard drive). We taught obedience classes for about ten years before pulling that plug and went back to training the dogs individually and then training the owners how to handle them. At this point in time socializing your dogs with everything is most important. Beside taking a obedience class get some books on dog training. With the GSD the second the most popular dog in the US do your homework for advise on traits you want in your dog, how to look for them, and hence how best to take advantage of your "pick". Best in training.

Later,

J

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Well, the pic is adorable whether it's yours or not. :P

 

Thanks for all of your advice. I'm sure with 10 years of training experience, you are a wealth of knowledge with GSDs. I think we are on the right track. We've bought several books and of course talked to lots of people. We also looked on the Internet for traits to look for and what to do when we go visit the litter. My DH has big plans for this dog and is reading/researching all that he can. He had several as a child and now is around them with his work (military) and has wanted one for years. We just weren't in the right place in our life to take on the responsibilty. We are now. This will be our first BIG dog. We've had dachshunds (3 of them). We are down to one due to the aging process of the other 2. :-(

 

Thanks again for your input... it's most appreciated.

Edited by MimiRaul

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We just had a guy in this park last weekend with a St. Bernard!! She was very calm and very laid back, wonderful personality. Considering the obnoxious ankle-biters that bark at every leaf that moves and snap and snarl at the ends of their leashes that pass through, the St. Bernard was a breath of fresh air.

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Met a couple full timing with two Great Pyrenees in a 40ft MH. Get the dog used to kids and being petted by strangers. A little extra effort now will pay off later.

Wonderful dogs. We only have one Great Pyrenees along with a Golden Retriever mix. Both are certified Therapy Dogs and love attention. The Pyre really loves to be around kids. Pyres are one of the nicest breeds you will find. Only problem is they shed a lot and they will let you know if someone comes around.

 

They are both well trained so I'm not worried about them doing something to someone else. However I would be worried about another dog attacking our Pyre, the Golden or us. The Pyres being a flock protectors, mainly sheep and goats, would not take kindly to being attacked or have someone attack us so unless the other animal was quite large they would not walk away without serious damage.

 

Lucas%20and%20Bella.jpg

 

Pyre%20in%20the%20middle.jpg

Edited by Timon

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We have been on the road for 3+ years with two greyhounds. Unfortunately, one of our dogs died last month.

We have encountered some campgrounds that do not allow dogs over 30 pounds. I don't understand that because my experience has been that the larger dogs for the most part are better behaved. I think it is because as owners of large dogs, we have to have better control over them. Our dogs do not bark. They do not run free. I have a real problem with people who allow their dogs to bark and run free.

We have also experienced parks that charge extra for dogs. We have paid as much as $40 a dog for a month long stay. What is that fee for? It's not like we are not picking up their poo and we are definitely not going through $40 worth of doggy bags.

 

We do our research before we choose a campground and we also ask when making the reservations to be sure that they allow large breeds.

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we have a GSD, she is 2 1/2 and still a puppy, shes sweet but gets excited when people come over and loves attention, needs to calm down, hope to see her calm down a little more at three yrs old,  were just starting with her in our MH this month, california which calls itself a dog friendly state is the most restrictive state when it comes to dogs, it is almost comical 

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On 7/25/2015 at 10:38 PM, KodiakJack said:

PS At a park while back while walking the dogs on leash (male 110 lbs and female 85+ lbs) a small spaniel attacked. Even though circling the dogs and barking our dogs ignored it. Soon the owner raced in to apologize. I nickname dogs like this "Death Wish".

Jack,

Our Shar-Pei, also well trained ignored any of Death Wish's relations. We encountered them at many parks. Several ankle biter owners thought it was funny. Bogart ignored them. We had a scare when a pair of large dogs came out from a yard. Fortunately their owner was right behind trying to catch them. They more worried about him than interested in us. LOL!

But that is a valid warning.

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