Name:Willson      Adopted
Age: 2 year(s)
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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.


Willson's Story:

"Hi, I'm Willson! Do you like goofy smiles and soft kisses? Because I've got a lot of both!"

Willson is a large affectionate male German Shepherd who was picked up by animal control. Based on his demeanor and the condition of his teeth we estimate he is under 2 years old. He is a tall dog who currently weighs 80 pounds and he will need to put on a few more pounds before he fills out.

Willson arrived at his foster home on June 3rd. Our early observations suggest that he has lived as an indoor dog. He is house trained and uses the dog door to go outside as needed. He readily walks into his crate at meal time and sits quietly waiting to be released when he is done. He has some experience with basic commands, he quickly sits for treats and will down for a treat with a hand signal. He has a soft mouth when taking a treat and is not possessive of food.

Like most rescue dogs Willson needs some brushing up on indoor manners. He will jump on the bed and needs some monitoring for food on counters, but for the most part he is very good in the house. So far he has not chewed or appropriated any of his foster mom’s belongings.

In his foster home Willson is living with an adult male GSD. During their meeting all of the dog communications from Willson were respectful of his older sibling, showing him a wagging tail and submissive body stance. It was obvious he was happy to meet another dog. Once they were allowed to play they quickly bonded and if you didn’t know better it seems that they’ve known each other all their lives.

During Willson’s evaluation at the shelter he was gentle when he met a 5 month old puppy. The folks at animal control told us he lived with dogs in the past.
Willson seems to know about car rides. He easily jumps into the back of a pickup truck and during the ride to his foster home he was quiet and did not get sick when traveling over windy mountain roads. This big boy loves to go for leash walks. He is interested in other dogs that he sees and will pull to try to meet them but he is respectful and is not reactive. Because he is a very strong dog we walk him using a prong collar until he learns not to pull.

Based on our early impressions on this big boy we feel that Willson would love to live with another dog in his forever home. We have not observed any significant prey drive but we were told he does not do well with cats.

Willson is new to his foster home and we will update his bio as we learn more about him. He is a level 3 dog who is living at a foster home in La Honda.



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.