Greater California
German Shepherd Rescue
~ It's all about the dogs ~

Our Wonderful Dogs

Axel We find most of our dogs in local shelters and pounds where they have run out of time to be reclaimed or adopted, and are in danger of being euthanized. We will occasionally take in dogs from the legal owner (see Giving Us A Dog), but our primary purpose is to save dogs that have run out of time in kill shelters.

We look for purebred German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) who have a good temperament, are reasonably healthy, and would make a good family pet. Occasionally we take in a dog with special needs, but for the most part our dogs need only basic care, attention, training, and love to be adopted.

Spayed/Neutered
All of our dogs are spayed or neutered, as California state law mandates that dogs must be spayed or neutered before being adopted out by a rescue or shelter. See California Food & Agriculture Code Section 30503.




Meeting Our Dogs
We are not a shelter, we have no facility. All of our dogs are in volunteer foster homes spread throughout the Modesto/Merced, Greater Sacramento, and South Lake Tahoe, and occasionally parts of the North and East SF Bay areas. The best way to see many of our dogs at once is to come to one of our regular monthly Adoption Days in Modesto, Rancho Cordova (Sacramento area) & Roseville. Not all dogs come to all Adoption Days, potential adopters may have to travel to meet a dog they are interested in.

Adoption Policies
Please read our Adoption Policies and send in an Adoption Questionnaire before contacting us about an individual dog.

Puppies
Please read our special Requirements for Adopting a Puppy and note that we have an additional Puppy Questionnaire for puppies under 7 months old.

Foster-to-Adopt
We have a 30-day Foster-to-Adopt program that gives prospective adopters a month to foster the dog in their home before adopting. We want to know that the match is a good one! We actively encourage Foster-to-Adopt, and may require it with some dogs. Please read our Foster-to-Adopt Agreement if you're interested in our program.

Dogs currently in Foster-to-Adopt homes are considered Adoption Pending and are no longer available.

Living Creatures
Dogs are living, breathing, sentient creatures that each come with their own personality and set of characteristics, just like people. Because we rarely know the backgrounds of the dogs in our program, we can't make definitive statements about their health or temperaments. We can only provide information about our observations of the dog while it is in our program with our volunteers.

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"German Shepherds have great instincts and fertile minds. Lots of activity and exercise will make them happy, but tracking, obedience and agility games—or any task-oriented activity—will make them even happier. A bored or neglected German Shepherd may resort to chewing furniture, digging up flowers and other mischief."
- Dogster.com 




Special Needs & Senior Dogs

Most of our dogs are healthy and only require normal care. Sometimes we'll find that one of our dogs has special needs or ongoing medical issues, or is a very nice senior dog with some manageable health issues. Because these dogs will have ongoing, generally reasonable expenses, the adoption fee is reduced.

Senior dogs are 8-9 years old or more.

Adoption Fee for these Special or Senior Dogs is $100.




Cinnamon Head
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SENIOR

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a sweet, calm sable female weighing about 75 lbs, but could stand to gain a few pounds. She was an unclaimed stray from a Sacramento area shelter, so little is known of her background. Her age is between 6-8 years old. She has had one or more litters of puppies in the past. She likely had several untreated ear infections, which explains her cauliflower ears.

Cinnamon was introduced to several German Shepherds and cats. She does well with all of them, although did not seem interested in playing with the dogs.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added January 2016

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Oliver Head
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SENIOR

Oliver

Oliver is a handsome 8-9 year old, 85 pound black and tan shepherd. He was an unclaimed stray from the Yolo County Animal Shelter so nothing is known about his background. When he came to us he had an ear infection and skin issues from fleas but with medication is recovering nicely.

Somewhere in the past, he was loved and appreciated and it shows in his sweet, gentle demeanor. He is friendly with people, intelligent, housebroken and responds to basic commands. He loves to go for walks and after a few minutes on leash will settle into a nice heel.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added June 2015

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Adult Dogs

Most of the dogs come into our program as adolescents or young adults between 1-2 years old. While they may have their adult size, German Shepherds are generally not fully mature until around 3 years old. This means young, adult-sized, dogs may still be very much puppies emotionally and menul y, and still need a lot of training and socialization.

The Adoption Fee for Adult Dogs is $300.




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Cindy-Lou

Cindy-Lou is an adorable petite Dutch shepherd mix. At about two years old she weighs in at about 70lbs. Cindy-Lou was found by a good Samaritan who kept her a couple weeks while trying to find the owner, then surrendered her to a local shelter so not much is known about her background.

Cindy-Lou is a bundle of energy and loves to play play play with a couple of her foster brothers. You would never know she is only half their size as she seems to get the best of them. After a proper introduction, Cindy-Lou has gotten along with all of the large dogs in her foster home, but no small dogs or other small furry critters for this girl. Cindy-Lou likes to play ball, but is easily distracted by flying insects or other more interesting things.

NO CATS OR SMALL FURRY CRITTERS

This is a Level 3 Dog. Please be sure you understand what this level of dog requires.

Added January 2014

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Jasper

Jasper is a sweet one-year old shepherd mix. He was an unclaimed stray, from a local area Veterinarian, so nothing is known of his background.

We received a call from the Vet that Jasper needed surgery as a result of being hit by a car. We agreed to help and an FHO was performed on his left hip.

Jasper is a lovebug. He loves other dogs, he loves every person he's so far met, he even loves cats.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added January 2016

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Jolie

Jolie is a spunky adorable 12-18 month old female. Weighing in at almost 50lbs, Jo is a petite little girl. Jolie and her sister Zoey were kept as outdoor pets, and were turned into the shelter for killing a cat. Jolie is definitely the dominant of the two sisters. She exhibits some prey drive with squirrels, rabbits, deer, and livestock when out on walks, so should not be placed in a home with cats, small dogs or other small furry critters.

Jolie came out of the shelter not knowing a thing. It was obvious she had never been walked on leash, nor been inside a home. She would drop to the ground when she didn't know what do do or if you reached too fast for her collar.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added February 2016

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Come meet me on Saturday, February 6th from 11am to 2pm at the Special - Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Kinsley

Kinsley is a 7 month old mostly black with tan markings, female German Shepherd. She was a stray from the local shelter so very little is known of her background.

Don't let her sweet face fool you, this girl is feisty! She still has a lot of her puppy traits and puppy energy. Due to Kinsley's high energy level, an active family would be best for this sweet girl. Daily exercise would be a must to keep her happy!

Kinsley gets along with other large dogs, but is wary of them at first.

This is a Level 3 Dog. Please be sure you understand what this level of dog requires.

Added November 2015

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MacGyver is a 6-7 month old male GSD mix puppy weighing about 45 lbs. He was found wandering in rural Yolo County, and his family never came for him. He is currently recovering from a skin condition, was infested with fleas, and had foxtails in his eye and in his skin, but is under treatment, and should make a full recovery.

MacGyver is a sweet, soft boy who craves affection. When meeting new people, he is a little uncertain at first, but his tail will be wagging. Once he knows you MacGyver is happy to roll over for belly rubs.His poor skin is so scabby and sore, you have to be careful where you pet him! MacGyver really wants cuddles, and was sweet and smiley as you can see from his photos.

NO CATS, SMALL DOGS OR SMALL FURRY CRITTERS

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added September 2015

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Niner

Niner is a handsome, affectionate, athletic 4 year old who is a little smaller than average at around 70 pounds. He was an unclaimed stray from the Modesto shelter, so we know nothing about his history. Niner is housebroken and quickly adapted to his foster home's routine.

He frequently goes all out when he gets the chance and loves typical dog activities which include hiking, fetch, car rides, and the beach. Since coming to his foster home in the mountains, his energy on the trails has increased substantially, plus he sometimes shows a competitive, rambunctious side. If you are looking for a jogging/training partner, this may be your guy.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added September 2015

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Savannah May

Savannah May is a 4-5 year old bicolored large female, weighing a solid 85 pounds. She was a confiscated dog from the Modesto Shelter, taken from a hoarding situation. Nothing else is known of her background.

Although she reportedly lived with other dogs, she is a very dominant female, who would not do well in a home with smaller dogs or cats. She would be fine in an only dog setting or with another larger male dog.

Savannah May is very people friendly and social and would make a super companion for an experienced handler. Since she has been in a boarding situation for a couple weeks, it is unknown if she is housebroken, or has house manners.

This is a Level 3 Dog. Please be sure you understand what this level of dog requires.

Added June 2014

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Puppies

We rarely get puppies (6 months and under) and when we do, we want to make sure they have the very best start in life. Please see our Requirements for Adopting a Puppy. We also have a Supplemental Puppy Questionnaire just for puppies. Yes, we are very picky about our puppy homes, since we see so many adolescent dogs in the shelters who have outgrown their cute little puppy stage and have been left at the shelter!

The Adoption Fee for our Puppies is $350.

We do not put holds on puppies. If you would like to meet one of our puppies, please send in your Adoption Questionnaire and Puppy Questionnaire! See Adoption Info.




Introducing Soda Pop Litter!

Belle, coming soon to our website, who is a black and tan long coat and incredibly sweet was pulled from a local shelter and gave us nine gorgeous puppies on December 8th, 2015. She had five females: Fresca, Izze, Pepper, Sunkist and Tiki and four males: Barq, Crush, Dew and Jolt.

As you can see below, they are black and tan GSDs. We believe all will be fluffy, but one, and all will be stunning like their mother.

Adopters need to fully understand and appreciate that Perfect GSDs are not born, they are raised, and this isn't a job for the faint of heart!

Please make sure you understand our GCGSR Dog Rating Levels.




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Dew

Dew is a black and tan male, born 12/8/15. He is the largest of four males born in a litter of nine puppies to an especially sweet long coat named Belle. Dew is the alpha boy and needs a job. Already loves the ball.

Dew will be neutered, receive his second set of puppy vaccinations by 2/6/15 at 8.5 weeks, and then will be available for adoption.

This is a Level 3 Dog. Please be sure you understand what this level of dog requires.

Added February 2016

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Fresca

Fresca is a black and tan female, born 12/8/15. She is the largest of five females born in a litter of nine puppies to an especially sweet long coat named Belle. This girl is spunky and likes to cause trouble among the litter. She is already very interested in playing with a ball, is sweet, lovable and feisty.

She will be spayed and receive her second set of puppy vaccinations by 2/6/15 at 8.5 weeks, and then will be available for adoption.

This is a Level 3 Dog. Please be sure you understand what this level of dog requires.

Added February 2016

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Izze

Izze is a black and tan female, born 12/8/15. She is one of five females born in a litter of nine puppies to an especially sweet long coat named Belle. Izze loves to eat and is a mellow, submissive girl. She'll go back in the room when she's had enough and go to sleep; the other puppies tend to pick on her.

She will be spayed, receive her second set of puppy vaccinations by 2/6/15 at 8.5 weeks, and then will be available for adoption.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added February 2016

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Sunkist

Sunkist is a black and tan female, born 12/8/15. She is the smallest of five females born in a litter of nine puppies to an especially sweet long coat named Belle. She is Fresca's sidekick. Likes to help start trouble, but leaves before anything can escalate.

She will be spayed, receive her second set of puppy vaccinations by 2/6/15 at 8.5 weeks, and then will be available for adoption.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added February 2016

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Tiki

Tiki is a black and tan female, born 12/8/15. She is one of five females born in a litter of nine puppies to an especially sweet long coat named Belle. Tiki is very independent and smart. She was the first one who was determined enough to find her way out of the whelping box.

She will be spayed, receive her second set of puppy vaccinations by 2/6/15 at 8.5 weeks, and then will be available for adoption.

This is a Level 3 Dog. Please be sure you understand what this level of dog requires.

Added February 2016

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Still Looking?

Can't find a dog you've been looking at? Check our Adoption Pending page to see if the dog has gone to a new Foster-to-Adopt home, or our Recent Adoptions page to see if the dog has been adopted.

Didn't find exactly the dog you'd like to adopt? Check out the Owner Referral Dogs for other dogs that aren't in our program.




Courtesy Listings

Owner Referrals & Independent Rescuers

We will list spayed/neutered and vaccinated German Shepherd Dogs or mostly-GSDs for owners or other smaller rescuers who wish to rehome their own dogs on our Owner Referral Dogs page. These dogs are not in our program and we can make no assurances about the accuracy of the listings.  

Lost Dogs

Nothing is more heartbreaking than losing a beloved companion. We will post your missing dog for you on our Lost Dogs page!

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GCGSR Dog Rating Levels

Please note there are no universal Rating Levels for dogs; this is how we rate OUR dogs. Other groups may use different rating levels for their dogs.

All German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) share certain traits, that's what makes them a German Shepherd. These dogs generally mature into serious individuals and tend to be more discriminating about their circle of friends. Most are not "dogpark" dogs as adults.

ALL German Shepherds:

  • Are intelligent, energetic, powerful, alert, bossy, noisy and mouthy (like to use their teeth)
  • Are protective, possessive and territorial, and usually won’t let strangers walk in the door
  • Are control freaks with strong herding drive (instincts), and usually have strong prey drive
  • Shed all year long, and will shed twice as heavily in the spring and fall
  • Need ongoing socialization, structure, leadership, exercise, training and affection
  • Need to be made a part of the family, and are not good as outside-only dogs
  • Need a purpose in life, or will find their own amusements by barking, chewing, digging and escaping

The Dog Rating Levels are based on the GSD’s inherent drives, confidence, attitude and personality. The higher the Rating Level, the more confident and demanding the dog is, and the more of everything the dog will require. Young dogs under 2 years old will probably mature up a Level. Don’t mistake a smaller size for an easier dog!
Note: Any dog can exhibit atypical behavior under stressful conditions.

Level 1 – Soft & Submissive

  • Very submissive, born followers not interested in taking a leadership role. Willing to go along and get along, and try to avoid trouble. Sweet, soft, mellow or timid, can easily be overwhelmed.
  • Usually Low to Moderate Energy. May need socializing, housebreaking, house manners. Suitable for senior or sedentary households, will enjoy occasional walks, trips in the car, or light play sessions.
  • If needs are not met, can become clingy, needy, fearful or overly-submissive. Can submissively urinate, can develop Separation Anxiety.
  • This level is rare for this breed.

Level 2 – Moderate & Adaptable

  • Balanced mix of confidence and submissiveness. Middle of the road dogs, fairly eager to please. Will occasionally test leadership abilities, but really don’t want to be the leader.
  • Usually Moderate Energy, can range from Low to High, which can be satisfied with daily walks and play or training time. Need some basic obedience lessons, then may need occasional refresher courses.
  • If needs are not met, can be insecure leaders and can become overly protective, possessive, and territorial. Can develop Separation Anxiety.
  • This level fits the widest variety of households.

Level 3 – Confident & Challenging

  • Confident with very little submissiveness, the standard breed temperament. Assertive and pushy, will challenge leadership status. Independent problem-solvers that will try to out-think their owners.
  • Usually Moderate to High Energy. Need a job, with physical and mental exercise regularly for life.
  • If needs are not met, can take over household in a hot second. Can become destructive or escapists.
  • This is the most common level in rescue.

Level 4 – Competitive & Intense

  • Very confident, very pushy, extremely competitive, adrenaline junkies. Usually ball, toy or prey obsessed. Very high drive and high focus, will often scream, whine and nip in frustration to DO SOMETHING, NOW!
  • Very High Energy, always in high gear. Need several hours of physical and mental challenge every day, live to outwit, outplay and outlast everyone else. Never slow down, never wear out, never shut up.
  • If needs are not met, can become obsessive and very destructive.
  • Ideal for working K9 dogs or for competitive dog sports such as agility, flyball, herding and Schutzhund.

Level 5 – Tough & Serious

  • Supremely confident, have high energy, high focus, and high fight drive. Love to fight, and willing to back everything up with their teeth. Serious dogs who measure everyone for weakness. True tough guys, will never give up and will go down fighting.
  • Very High Energy. Needs highly structured life with a full-time job. Not suitable for the family home.
  • If needs are not met, can bite and become dominantly aggressive.
  • We will never knowingly bring this dog into rescue.
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Special Adoption Day!

Saturday, February 6th, 2016 - 11 am to 2 pm

Pet Food Express
Loehmann's Plaza
2531 Fair Oaks Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 851-1813
(between Fair Oaks and Munroe - halfway between Watt and Howe)

 



Adoption Days

From 11 am to 2 pm every month, rain or shine, at these locations! For directions, please see our Events Calendar page.

First Saturday of every month in Modesto:
Petsmart
2100 McHenry Ave
Modesto CA 95350
(209) 574-0441

Third Saturday of every month in Rancho Cordova (Sacramento):
Petsmart
10830 Olson Drive
Rancho Cordova CA 95670
(916) 851-1813

Fourth Saturday of every month in Roseville:
Pet Food Express

The Fountains
1009 Galleria Blvd
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 780-5555

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