Name: Marika      Adopted
Age: 4.5 year(s)
female, spayed
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Adoption Process

Our adoption process is designed to help you and the right dog find each other. Our goal is to place each dog into a permanent, safe, and loving home.

To adopt a German Shepherd Dog from us, you must:

1. Live in Northern California.
2. Complete an Adoption Questionnaire, either online, or by mail. If you do not own your home, you must also have your landlord complete the Landlord Permission Agreement.
3. Be interviewed by an adoption counselor.  
4. Allow a home visit by an adoption counselor.
5. Be approved for adoption.
6. Choose, and be chosen by, the right dog.
7. With our approval, sign our Adoption Agreement, and pay the associated fee.

After we receive your online Adoption Questionnaire, we will call you to begin the adoption process. We encourage potential adopters to come to one or more Adoption Days, because that is the best way to meet several German Shepherds and to find your new companion. If you attend an Adoption Day and choose a dog, you may be able to adopt the same day, if all adoption requirements are met.

If you cannot come to any Adoption Day, we can still assist you, this may take longer because the people who will help you are volunteers who usually have jobs, and scheduling meetings with dogs can be complex because our dogs live in many homes and kennels.


Marika's Story:

Marika is a 4-5 year old female German Shepherd who appears to have been used as a back-yard breeder dog for much of her life. She was surrendered to the shelter by her owner and delivered a litter of puppies soon after.

At her first foster home Marika lived with 2 other German Shepherds (and her puppies) and did fine with both those dogs. When she is out on walks she meets other dogs well, but in general she prefers people over dogs.

Since weaning her puppies Marika has lived in 2 foster homes. She has blossomed into a charming and enthusiastic girl. Marika bonds strongly with her people and loves attention and affection, but is not a “Velcro dog.” She likes to be near her people but is fine when separated from them in the house.

She is only moderately aware of external stimuli (fire trucks going by, school kids playing at recess, barking dogs) but has a growing interest in toys and chewies. In general she’s a calm & mellow dog.

She has not been tested with cats but she does not have a lot of prey drive and does not chase the squirrels in her yard.

Marika has impeccable house manners and sleeps free at night. Once she is comfortable in a new home she has been left alone for about 4 hours at a time without issue.

She is treat motivated and should be easy to train. She "knows" some basic obedience and is learning to actually perform the action when asked to sit or down! She travels well in a car. She is a very quiet dog who rarely barks. She does enjoy lazing in the sun and watching bugs flit around. Perhaps her one bad habit is climbing onto sofas when given the chance. She also enjoys a good dog bed.

Marika loves her walks and can go quite a distance. She pulls moderately on leash like many rescue dogs, though not all the time. She loves to sniff her way along and is an enthusiastic walker. Of late, Marika will play in the yard for short stretches but overall she prefers to relax & watch the world go by.

Marika's ideal family would be a person or family who are around more than they are gone. She has not been exposed to children yet, so we can’t report whether she would enjoy a more hectic household, but given her generally calm demeanor, we think she could adapt to a lot of situations.

Overall, this super sweet dog has gone through a lot of changes since being dumped at the shelter. Her transformation has been something to see. She is a level 2 dog who is living at a foster home in San Francisco.



Important Note About Dog Descriptions

Please remember that the descriptions of dogs (of Dogs Available) have been written by GSRNC volunteers and are usually based only upon our observation of the dog since the time it was rescued. While we try to provide dog descriptions that are fair and accurate, the nature of our work involves contact with dogs whose background and history are unknown to us. GSRNC cannot warrant or guarantee any dog's future behavior. For example, if we say that a rescue dog gets along with children, cats, or other dogs, this statement is usually based upon the fact that one of our volunteers has observed the dog interacting with his or her own children or pets. While this information may be helpful, we cannot be certain of how a dog will do with the children or pets in your home. If you are considering adopting, we encourage you to come to one of our Adoption Days and meet our rescue dogs. Ultimately, only you can decide whether one of our dogs is right for you.

Explanation of the Dog Levels

1 – "Fireplace dog"
Couch potato, super easy, low energy and no issues. This level of dog would do well in any home regardless of owner experience. (We rarely come across this level of dog.)

2 – “Easy Large Breed Companion Dog”
Low to moderate energy, needs some exercise but it is not a daily requirement. This dog will do well in most homes. The dog gets along with most other dogs, gets along with most other people and have been successfully been around children. The dog has no real behavioral issues that need to be managed or dealt with on a daily basis. This dog is an easy family dog.  

3 –“Standard Large Breed Dog”
Moderate energy, needs daily exercise of some sort to thrive and stay happy. This dog will do well in many types of homes, but some situations will not work for this dog. This dog may not get along with some types of dogs. This dog may be reactive to some other dogs while on leash. It may have too much energy to be around small children while unattended, and may have some behavioral issues that will require formal training or daily monitoring for the dog to successfully live happily in a family. These issues are normally minor such as fence climbing, prey drive, minor separation anxiety, nervousness in crowds, or other minor behavioral traits. A Potential Adopter for a level 3 dog must have prior, recent large breed dog experience and be able to demonstrate the ability to successfully deal with the level 3 dog that they wish to adopt.  

4 – “Experienced Ownership Required”
Moderate, high or very high energy/drive. Needs an experienced owner familiar with working breed behavior to provide direct leadership and proper management. Level 4 dogs typically have a challenging behavior, but are good dogs. These dogs might be dog-reactive with most other dogs or dog-aggressive, may have to be an only animal in the home, maybe have moderate separation anxiety.  The dog normally needs daily physical and mental stimulation, etc. This level of dog is not an average pet. (We try to limit the number of level 4 dogs in our program.) A Potential Adopter for a level 4 dog must be able to demonstrate the experience and ability to safely manage and care for a level 4 dog.  

5 – “Competitive or Working Dog”
This is a dog that has an intense focus to ‘work’. It could be a dog that provides Search and Rescue services, could be a competitive Flyball or Agility dog, or has other working abilities. These dogs can be strong, pushy, dominant, and/or have extreme energy/drive. They need a professional handler or an owner who has the experience to provide a demonstrated commitment to the dog’s ‘working ability’. A Potential Adopter for a level 5 dog must be able to demonstrate the experience and ability to safely manage and care for a level 5 dog.