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

Our Wonderful Dogs

Grizzly 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.



Please contact us about our adoptable adoptable dogs!

GCGSR is holding safe, social distancing, private
Meet & Greets with potential adopters.



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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

A new online Adoption Questionnaire and Supplemental Puppy Questionnaire is now available on the Adoption Info page.

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.




"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.

The Adoption Fee for a Special Needs or Senior Dog is $100.




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Special Needs

Darlin

Darlin is a sweet, black & red long-haired female shepherd. She is a lovely companion and aims to be with her people and checks in on all the members of her foster family. She enjoys car rides, road trips, and short walks. Darlin needs a home that enjoys her company and affection and that reliably give her daily medication.

This lovely girl enjoys being inside and is well suited to the work-at-home lifestyle. She uses dog doors to enter the house from the yard, and is learning to use them to go outside. Because she doesn't want to miss out on anything going on indoors, she needs her person to periodically take her out to relieve. She is overall house clean and well-mannered indoors, and her foster family is able to leave her with access to the house unsupervised. If she does need to go out, she walks in circles to signal.

Originally a stray, her estimated age was 6 years, although she is now feeling better and acting younger. Darlin is well-managed on medication for her thyroid and arthritis and had images taken at the vet that showed moderate hip dysplasia, arthritis, and spondylosis. She wags her tail when she greets people, even though a closer look shows that it is broken. She may do better in a household without many stairs required for daily use. She can climb two steps in her foster home and a flight on a road trip, and would do well with an environment that is easy to navigate. She can independently climb into a small car and climb up to sit in the back seat, and cooperates and helps when being loaded into a larger vehicle.

To help clear skin issues, for now she is on medication, a prescription diet, and was recently professionally groomed and had her coat trimmed to its current short length. Note the attached photos show how she appears before and after grooming. She is becoming more active and fit, and although she weighs in at 93 lbs., her weight loss journey may show that she is closer to a 75-80 lbs. dog.

She gets along with a well-behaved older male shepherd in her foster home and at another volunteer's home. She can manage to walk well in a group of shepherds, and can also be grumbly around puppies and animated, unpredictable dogs. A small verbal correction or slight tug on the leash helps her settle if she alert barks when meeting new people, new animals, and unusual things in her environment. (She has had limited experience with cats and children in her initial foster home, and lived with caged birds and goats at one time.)

Unlike some shepherds, she is a fairly low activity dog that only needs short daily walks and that can be managed with a pleasant voice and flat collar. If you are looking for a sweet companion, Darlin could be your girl.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Geri

Geri is a medium sized, white, sweet female approximately 7 years old. She was pulled from a Central Valley shelter, so not much is known about her past. Geri had a few scrapes that have been treated, healed, and the hair is slowing growing back.

She is a very quiet girl that just wants to be loved. It almost feels like she is smiling all the time and her tail is constantly wagging. Geri is house trained and uses the doggy door to go out for potty. She is crate trained and walks well on a leash. Geri sleeps through the night and will either sleep in a crate or relax on a dog bed. She can be left alone inside and out without issue during the day while at work or running errands.

This girl was a quick introduction to our four large breed dogs, both male and female, without incident. She is also respectful of our dog-savvy cats and leaves them alone. Geri sometimes gets a little jealous when others are getting attention. She may give a low growl, corrects quickly, and then waits her turn. With supervision and correction this should diminish over time.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Senior

Sigmund

Sigmund is a 12 year old Belgian Malinois who was originally adopted from us in 2017. His owner unfortunately ended up with mobility issues with left him no longer able to care for Sig, who has a ton of life left in him!

Sig is very active for an older dog. He follows along for 1/2 - 1 mile walks 2 times a day and loves the large pond the ranch has. Which js great because he needs to lose about 10 lbs. He enjoys the companionship of his people and wants to be involved with whatever they are doing. He is a shadow inside the home and is never too far away while doing work in the yard.

He is fostered on a ranch type setting with 2 other large males and a smaller Malinois puppy. He does best with the more submissive male, he wants to play with him. He maintains a neutral relationship with the more dominant male but his foster owner stated that he can get snappy with a dog if they are being inappropriate or too pushy. He does have high prey drive towards small dogs, cats and other small furry critters such as chickens. He is an excitement talker, so at the beginning of the walk or right when he comes out of his crate he will let you know how excited he is by making noise.

Sig seems to be partially or mostly deaf. Aside from his selective hearing he also has, he can hear claps and certain tones. He absolutely loves the ball, he will carry it around all day or entice you to play a small game of fetch with him. His favorite toy is a large soccer ball. He sleeps nicely in a crate overnight and settles well inside the home. He also loves car rides.

Cats and small critters unknown.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Senior

Tarko

Tarko is a German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix and has the energy to prove it! He came to us when his neglectful owner was pressured by dog-lovers and PETA to surrender him to a shelter. We estimate him to be 8 years old.

From his torn ear to his partially amputated tail, his body shows the rough life he has had. He doesn't let his past affect his love for people though! He loves belly rubs and is friends with anyone that will play fetch with him.

Tarko is an energetic, determined boy. He can get easily frustrated and becomes mouthy, especially towards hands. He needs consistent leadership and strict rules, and works well with praise or treats.

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

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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 mentally, and still need a lot of training and socialization.

The Adoption Fee for Adult Dogs is $300.




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Amos

Amos is an active 8-month old pup. He was a stray at a local shelter, so nothing is known of his background.

Amos is happy to play chase and wrestle with other dogs outside. Indoors, he is learning to relax on a dog bed and chew dog toys. He is quite the goofy puppy at times, chasing the cat just for fun or prancing around with a ball.

He loves to be with his people, and jumps up to get attention or to be let indoors. He is learning to sit to get what he wants, but still needs to work on his manners. Because of this, older kids and people steady on their feet will be a better match for him. He walks on a loose leash, but isn't sure how to heel correctly yet. He goes to bed when told in his crate.

While Amos is still working on his manners, he's making progress and will be a great companion for a home ready to invest in continuing his training.

Cats and small critters unknown.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Blackjack

Blackjack is a 7 month old male. He came to us as an owner surrender with his three brothers, Coalton, Gibson, and Gretsch. They are a little slow to warm up to new things, but they love to play with other dogs their size.

More information to come as we get to know him better.

Cats and small critters unknown.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Draca

Draca is a gorgeous Red and Black 2 yr old female weighing approximately 70 lbs. Although her history is unknown to us, we are pretty sure she was on the front cover of the Shepherd Fashion magazine. You'll agree when you look into her almond eyes, complete with eyeliner presented with a happy warm smile.

This gal wastes no time jumping into LIFE. She is born to Party and Please and has no hesitation to greet any and all humans with her energetic wiggly wags. This may be accompanied with a tendency to 'jump-up-and-say-hello', so caution with young children. With consistent corrections, she is learning to practice restraint and sit patiently for anticipated affection. Once she receives your attention, she just might melt at your feet for your endless belly rubs.

When meeting other dogs, Draca can display bursting energy hoping to engage others in play. She does well in the presence of multiple dogs, but her energy level may not be compatible with the ones who prefer quieter company. Due to a high level of curiosity, she will take liberty to investigate and sometimes claim what other dogs have, including food, toys, and treats. When corrected by her pack mates, she may respond with confusion and protest. Thus, she will do best in a home as an only dog or with a submissive male partner. Consistent supervision and guidance is recommended while in the company of dogs to insure she properly minds her business. Because of her strong desire to please her human, Draca picks up on the rules very quickly.

This gal walks well on a leash and will ignore distractions along the way like a champ. She does well on car rides and is eager to join in on any adventure on your calendar! She is housebroken and is accustomed to using a dog door. At night, she enters her crate where she sleeps quietly. Come meet our zesty gal and witness this lovely package of fun.

Small critters and cats unknown.

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

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Felipe

Felipe is a 2 year old Black and Tan boy. He came out of a local shelter so nothing is known about his background.

Felipe has nice house manners and is house broken with the use of a dog door. He sleeps nicely in a crate in his foster mom’s room at night but can also sleep freely as well.

Felipe does best when he is getting regular exercise such as daily walks. He walks nicely on a leash and responds quickly to corrections as needed.

Felipe currently lives with an 8 year old female shepherd and loves to try and entice her to play. If she doesn’t want to play he will take the hint and go find a nice place to lay down near her or his humans.

Cats and small critters unknown.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Gent

Gent is a one year old silver shepherd. He is very affectionate and loves to play. Like most young dogs, he often forgets his own size when playing with people and other dogs.

Gent is housebroken with the use of a dog door to the yard and sleeps nicely in a crate at night. He might be able to sleep freely at night but he has a harder time understanding when it's still bed time for everyone else if he is allowed to sleep loose.

Gent is working on learning the rest of his manners for inside the house and for playing or hanging out with his human companions. He is a happy boy who wants to be loved and please his people so he corrects pretty easily but he requires structure and needs reminders when the puppy brain starts to take over.

Gent loves to go out for walks to explore what's out in the world. He can be a little nervous with new experiences but quickly adapts and is ready to try the next thing. He walks fairly well on leash but still has a little trouble with cars passing by while out on walks. As long as you keep on moving he will slowly keep trekking along and catch back up as soon as the car has passed. Regular walks and continued structure and exposure should help him adjust as he does with most other experiences.

While Gent is a happy and playful boy, he can be a bit of a bull in a china shop and knock just about anything over when excited. For this reason he may not be a great match for young kids. He has not be tested with cats or other small animals.

Gent will make a great addition to a lucky family that is willing to provide him with the training and structure to bring out the best in him while also including him in their daily lives and activities.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Gibson

Gibson is a 7 month old male. He came to us as an owner surrender with his three brothers, Coalton, Blackjack, and Gretsch. They are a little slow to warm up to new things, but they love to play with other dogs their size.

More information to come as we get to know him better.

Cats and small critters unknown.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Huck

Huck is a small Black and Tan male, 7.5 months old and up to 34 lbs. He was a stray from a local shelter so we have no details of his past.

Huck is a nervous boy and slow to warm up to new dogs and people. Once he does, he's affectionate and loves to play. He's a bit of a drama queen if he thinks he's going to be hurt and doesn't tolerate a prong collar for that reason. He's mostly housebroken and will use a dog door. He would do best in a home with another confident, playful dog to provide him security when in public. He's curious about the resident cat, but shows no sign of aggression toward her. Nylabones and toys are necessary to redirect any unacceptable chewing.

Huck sits for his meal and will lay down when told if you're eating or don't want to be pestered by him. Formal obedience training and socialization are needed to make this young boy into a great dog.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Jillian

Jillian (aka "Jilly") is an expressive 4 yo black & tan female weighing approximately 75 lbs. Since she was a stray, the storybook of her past is unknown to us. It is clearly apparent, however, that her theme is to jump into life with exuberance! In fact, she behaves much more like a curious adolescent co-pilot.

Jilly will gently approach all humans, initially with brief pass-by encounters. As she makes sense of her new acquaintances, she quickly settles and will pause for longer periods of affection. In the home, her curiosity prompts her to get a bird's eye view of counter tops or through windows to track her human's whereabouts. These behaviors are diminishing with consistent boundaries and constant reminding that her human will return. Although she is a busy lady, she eventually chooses to lay quietly by your side like a dedicated partner awaiting the next plan for action.

When encountering new experiences, Jilly may occasionally burst into unbridled excitement displayed by romping in 360 degrees. With calm guidance, this is rapidly replaced with cooperative patience. She responds to human direction quickly and is showing eagerness to learn how to "do what’s right".

Jillian approaches all dogs with a curious welcome but may find some small dogs subjects for her to control. If she is unsure with her new dog encounters, she will choose avoidance but will quickly return to re-engage. She takes her time to bond closely to K9 buddies and may intermittently test them to see if they acknowledge her 'supremeness'. She has lived with multiple co-fosters in harmony although she finds it difficult to share high-value items in view (Nyla bones, treats). Balls, in particular, are her obsession! These will ignite her tendency to 'grab it first' from anyone, including her human packmates. Consistent training will be needed to help her develop patience, understand the house rules, and learn the concept of interactive play. Once she gets it, she's a solid partner in your winning team.

Given her healthy physical stamina, Jilly enjoys long daily walks without hesitation. She is eager to join in on any car ride (in fact, she may attempt to jump into random vehicles hoping for a road trip). She is housebroken and accustomed to using a dog door. At night, she enters her crate where she will sleep quietly. Unique to this gal are her vocal expressions that include a pleasant baritone howl as if to say, "Let's do this!" There's not a day without entertainment with this lively gal.

No small dogs. Cats and small critters unknown.

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

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Miss Daisy

Miss Daisy is 6-7 year-old black and tan female Shepherd weighing 68lbs. She came into rescue with an 11 lbs. tumor hanging from her abdomen. The tumor was not cancerous and has been removed. She has healed from the surgery and is ready to find her forever home.

When she first came into rescue, she suffered from separation anxiety. When left alone at home, she would whine and occasionally becomes destructive. Miss Daisy would do well in a home where someone is home most of the time, and a slow transition into a daily routine of time away from her humans.

Miss Daisy loves human affection and would love nothing more than to be in the company of her people. She is learning to wait her turn when other dogs are receiving attention.

She is currently fostered in a home with another adult female GSD and 2 adult male GSDs. She gets along well with all of the dogs, and loves to play with the other female in the home. She is crate trained, but is allowed to sleep on a dog bed in her foster mom's bedroom at night with the other dogs, without any incidents.

She knows basic commands, such as sit, off, and leave it. We are still working on leash manners as she has a tendency to pull on the leash. Gentle corrections are needed as she has a tendency to pancake to the floor if a raised voiced is used.

She will look at you with her soulful eyes as she tries to sneak onto the couch, but will happily choose the dog bed when corrected. She is housebroken with the use of a dog door.

Miss Daisy does exhibit some prey drive, so a home without cats or small dogs is a must.

She is looking for a home that will continue her socialization, training, and help her to build her confidence.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Rinny

Meet Rinny, a 9 month old Black and Tan male. Rinny was surrendered by his owner whose living requirements changed and no longer accepted German Shepherds.

Rinny came to us housebroken and good with other dogs. He's in a home with an older German Shepherd, an adolescent German Shepherd and a very senior Jack Russell Terrier. He is doing well and sleeps nicely on a dog bed at night. He previously lived with cats, so may be able to live with dog-savvy cats.

This boy would benefit from formal obedience but is otherwise a turnkey boy.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Shane

Shane is over a year old, half German Shepherd, the rest Border Collie & Australian Shepherd. He came into our program as a small, fearful puppy. He wasfound in a dumpster as a small, timid puppy.

He is still untrusting of people. He will come to his foster mom for attention, but any sudden movements startle him. He adores other dogs though! His ears perk & his tail wags when he's in their company. He runs & plays & has a smile on his face!

Positive reinforcement will help him learn what is expected of him and help him become less fearful. He's a great dog to have around as a pal for another dog. He's crate trained & housebroken and settles nicely in the house. He walks well on leash and he enjoys his walks once he becomes familiar with the route. He lives with cats and ignores them when they don't run. When they do run, it's sometimes a playful game of chase that can be quickly ended with a stern "Shane..." or swat from the cat.

Shane is looking for a special person or family that will take the time to go slow, has a playful dog, and will give him a happy home like every dog deserves.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Scar

Scar Is an all black, 5 year-old male German Shepherd who weighs 75 pounds. He was surrendered to a local shelter so nothing is known of his past. He had a mass removed from his face at the shelter, the same time he was neutered recently. The mass was tested and was benign, so there are no concerns, except to make sure the wound heals properly.

He has a good appetite, knows some basic commands and heals well on walks. Scar is friendly to his foster and is a good alarm barker with a nice deep voice. He jumps in the car with enthusiasm and rides well. He currently sleeps quietly in a crate at night in a large room where all the dogs are crated all night. He is currently in a home with two other male German shepherds and one female German shepherd. He did get into an altercation over a toy. He really loves all toys but his favorite is a ball. He will set the ball at your feet and stand back and wait for you to throw it for him. The only problem is he is quite possessive of toys and balls so if he goes to a home with another dog there can’t be anything he perceives as a toy. With a dog that resource guards additional care is needed if he's around other dogs. We are uncertain how he'd respond toward children, so older children only in his forever home. Some people choose to not allow toys at all if they have a multiple dog household in order to maintain order.

Regular exercise and a formal obedience class will help him bond to his new people.

Cats and small critters unknown

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

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Tito

Tito is a 2 year old Belgian Malinois with rather unique markings. He is a tall and lean boy, weighing at about 70 lbs. Tito came to us sick and underweight, but with good food and some vet care he has filled out and feels much better. Even when he wasn't feeling well, he was sweet as sugar.

Tito came to us from a very crowded local shelter where he spent 2 months on the adoption floor. We have no idea how he was not adopted as he is great — looks and personality wise! Tito is currently fostered on a ranch type setting with multiple other dogs. The neighbors do have livestock and Tito shows some prey drive towards them through the fence. He likes to say hi to his foster brother through the kennel every chance he gets and enjoys taking walks around the property or running next to the quad. When he runs, he has the biggest smile on his face with a goofy full stride run. As much as he loves his runs, he's actually a pretty mellow boy for a Malinois. Tito is very person oriented and wants to be with his human as much as possible. A home where he is included in the family and daily activities is a must.

Tito loves the car. He tries to get in every chance he gets and go for a ride. He is potty trained, crate trained and working on his leash manners. Tito does not have any ball drive or drive for any other tug toys. He enjoys a bully stick on a dog bed where he can see his person. Tito is learning that jumping is an inappropriate form of saying hello or I missed you to his foster mom, when he jumps up or stands on his back legs he's nearly 6 ft tall.

No cats, small furry critters, or poultry.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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Vegas

Vegas is a lean and tall 1.5 year old German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix who came to us after spending nearly 3 months at the local shelter. Vegas was surrendered to the shelter after his owner passed away where due to shelter overcrowding, he was constantly overlooked. Vegas was said to have lived with two little dogs prior to coming to the shelter.

Vegas is an active boy who is just jazzed to be alive. He loves people and other dogs, so much he is getting some help from his foster mom, who is a dog trainer, to learn what personal space is. He is being taught that all four paws belong on the ground and jumping up to give kisses isn't always appropriate. He is crate trained and learning 'place', or a go to your bed command which has helped him settle down in the home. He is also learning not to pull on a leash or walk up and greet every dog and person he sees.

While at the shelter, Vegas did need a kennel with a secure top on it as he was climbing out. We think this was due to overstimulation and stress in the shelter environment as he has not displayed this behavior in his foster home, but a home with a securely fenced yard and supervision is strongly recommended.

Vegas would do best in a home with an active family, older children as he can be very jumpy and exuberant and may knock small kids over and someone who will continue proper socialization and boundaries. Vegas is a dog who will require daily mental and physical stimulation to have his needs met. He is a smart boy and if he's bored, he will find something to do. Vegas doesn't care much for the ball or other tug toys but he does enjoy something to chew on.

It is unknown how Vegas does with cats and small critters.

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

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Zaras

Zaras is an active, attention-seeking, 8-month-old girl. She is small, weighing in at only 40 lbs. We are guessing she is German Shepherd/Belgian Malinois/? mix.

Zaras is outgoing & loves people! She greets people at the door with "zoomies" around the living room. She gets along well with the small dogs in her foster home. She is working on basic obedience & house manners.

She will make a great pet for a home that can give her exercise and mental stimulation.

This is a Level 2 Dog.

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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.




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Bombu

Bombu is a 4.5 month old Black and Tan female who was rescued by a Good Samaritan from bad living conditions, then surrendered her to us. No details were provided about her history otherwise.

Bombu is crate trained and almost completely housebroken with a few accidents. She sits for her food and is decent on a leash. She is living in a foster home with other dogs and a cat.

When she comes in from outside she is a fur missile excited to greet and see her humans. Once she gets the energy out, she will lay by her humans and follow them around as they move rooms. Her favorite toy is a possum squeaker that she adores and makes it's own little noises. As with all puppies, she is starting to go through her chewing phase but also spends a good deal of time napping.

She is curious about the dog savvy-cat but does not want to chase. With more exposure they could get along just fine. She would do well to have another dog teach her the ropes and keep her busy, but with an active household she could be an only dog. She would benefit with formal training.

This is a Level 3 dog.

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Maisy

Maisy is a 6 month old female Belgian Malinois. She came to us as an owner surrender and is absolutely a sweet dog. Maisy enjoys car rides, does not get sick on the winding roads, and is great in public. She walks well on a loose leash and does not get overly excited when passing loud and obnoxious dogs on walks.

Maisy loves to play with toys, pine cones, and bring sticks into the house. She is very food motivated and is working on basic commands. Maisy is potty trained and uses a doggy door. She is crate trained, sleeps well through the night, and loves to cuddle with her four and two legged house mates.

Maisy would be best suited in a house with no young children due to the mouthy nature and energy level of the breed. She also would be best paired with a dog of like size and play style to help burn off energy. A home where she is included in the family and daily activities is a must.

Cats and small critters unknown.

This is a Level 3 dog.

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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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