Posted : 7/27/2010 6:25:43 AM
After living with Dobes (26+ years) and GSDs (13 years) I would say they are like apples and banannas (totally different orgins, same general catagories with differences just starting at the covering). While both are intelligent trainable dogs, GSDs are more biddible (comes from the herding background)., Dobes I find to be more perseverative and less willing to give up something interesting when told when compared to a GSD. I have found Dobes to be more clownish for the fun of it, humor is hugely reinforcing to them; they dont seem to mind being wrong. GSDs seem to take it to heart. Neither dog has ever quite on me in training but the dobes required more varability and surprize to hang with me during long sessions.
I found the weather issue with dobes to be a problem especially since the last two were hypothyroid. I did find coats (old sweatshirts actually) worked well, as did covering them in their bed in the winter.
Life spans are reported to be similar but I did have one dobe live 17-9, spoiled me a lot when the others were only 10 and 12 when they died. Both the healthiest and sickest dogs I have ever owned both came from backyard breeders one was the dobe the other GSD. (those plastic genes can do it every time)
Both need INCREDIBLE amounts of socialization and I would expect that will be problematic for any rescue who was not in a "treatment/training" foster home. Not saying dont go that route, just suggesting you be prepared.
So, if you look at my avatar you will see I changed breeds. Respectfully, I suggest you add belgians to the list. We have lots of mals in rescue, you wont loose any of the hair but the dogs are really good. They combine the speed of light and humor of my dobes with the biddability of the GSDs.