These dogs are in rescue because the owner no longer wanted them or couldn't keep them. Many have been tortured, abused, neglected or simply chained in the yard as as a deterrent. In short their life up until they are rescued has not been ideal. This particular breed of dog is equal in intelligence to a 7 year old child. Our last Shepherd (Ben) could tell time, count, knew his left from his right, had an unbelievable vocabulary. Most people humanize them but the fact remains they are highly intelligent (sometimes more so than their owners) and they are viewed by some 'just a dog'.
Then there are the exemplary adopters. They are all about putting the welfare of the rescued dog first and giving them the very best home possible. Those people don't always have the greatest home, biggest bank account but what they do have is an endless love for the dog they rescue. It could be a mutt from the pound or it could be a specific breed of dog like the GSD. It is best to understand first and foremost the characteristics of the breed or mixed breed they plan to adopt. Many choose a breed like they would a new car. They choose the one that looks good to them or that they would look good in, not the one that may because of its characteristics be best suited to them.
Since it is nearing the holidays where people want a dog for a child because it is cute or someone to occupy that child it was time to post this topic. So I posted my blog today and if you want to see it go to: http://www.motherearthnews.com/the-happy-homesteader/so-you-want-to-adopt-a-dog.aspx
If you are thinking of adoption, consider that the dog will be with you for many years to come and consider if the breed you are interested in suits you or is compatible with your lifestyle. But most of all are you ready to devote the time required to give that dog a balanced, harmonious, loving home. If your reasons are any where near selfish then don't do it. Some people tell me they want the dog to love them, and 'they' want companionship. That is a given with any dog but you get back only what you personally invest. Make it a major investment.