ZOLTAN is an absolutely stunning German Shepherd, 85 lbs of gorgeous energy. He's a beautiful, powerful, stubborn sable GSD from working lines and is HIGH energy. He needs extensive daily exercise playing ball - his favorite activity of all time. By extensive exercise we mean at least 1 full hour each day. His former owners played ball with him twice a day for 30 minutes each, and in bad weather had him jump a bar stool 200 times. He’s tolerating the lower activity level in his foster home pretty well, but long term he needs at least an hour of intense activity every day.
Zoltan truly LOVES being with his family and will be wherever you are. He's incredibly loyal and attached to his people. He adores ears rubs and belly rubs. He's fine with visitors to the house and just wants to play, BUT a stranger entering his house/yard alone, without a family member, would probably regret it. He's protective of his family, and like a true GSD will react to any perceived threat (such as strangers yelling around 'his' kids or family, etc).
He proudly patrols the yard (ball in mouth) and lets you know when something's amiss. He chases every little creature out there. He's crate trained, house trained, and has excellent house manners. You can leave him out free in the house while you're gone -- he's the best alarm system you could get The only thing he's done while left free in the foster home is get into an open-topped wastebasket.
Zoltan was raised with 5 kids ages 7 and up, including a special needs child. We were told he automatically adjusted his play level to the child - gentle with small kids and roughhousing with the teenage boys. He is used to a lively, constantly-active home and will easily tolerate a busy, active household. But we've also been impressed at how well he’s adjusted to the quiet foster home he's in (no kids, single person household, other dogs). He's doing well but definitely needs a higher activity level in his forever home. NOTE: For a few months Zoltan was adopted to a family with 3 small kids. He did have an incident in which he bit a visiting child who was screaming and playing outdoors. It appears this was due to two things: (1) complete lack of supervision by adults, and (2) a total lack of exercise for over 4 months. The bite was minor, but due to this incident we require that Zoltan go to a home with older kids only, 15 yrs and up.
Zoltan likes to chew on toys, and would love to have antlers or other large bones he can safely chew on. He's crazy for 'Jolly balls' (used for horses but loved by many dogs). No soft toys or ropes -he chews and swallows them.
Zoltan's main issue is that in addition to needing regular daily activity, he gets frenzied about cars and often reacts to strange animals. We're gradually desensitizing him to car rides and he's making progress. His leash manners aren't great and he's extremely reactive on leash to passing cars and to certain types of dogs (those who get in his face, especially male dogs). He has a high prey drive for small animals. He's extremely strong and needs someone who will work consistently with him on walks and in cars to de-sensitize him to the big wide world he was never previously allowed to see. His owners didn't walk him much, and his foster's schedule is such that she doesn't walk him much either. With daily walking, STRONG LEADERSHIP, and consistent training, he can and will learn public manners.
For those reasons, Zoltan is a bit of a 'project dog'. He REQUIRES A STRONG CANINE LEADER who's used to dealing with large, powerful, strong-willed, high-energy dogs!!
OTHER ANIMALS: he can be pushy and his first reaction may be to dominate. He doesn't tolerate other dogs in his face or trying to take his ball. On the other hand, he's gotten along very well with a number of other foster dogs who have come and gone through his foster home, though always with proper and gradual introductions. He MUST have strong leadership and gradual introductions (meaning up to several weeks of crate and rotate). Riggo should not be with another dog who's dominant/alpha or reactive, who fails to respect his space or challenges him. He does occasionally PLAY with a female foster sibling, but that requires a non-dominant female that he's gotten to know gradually and will be appropriate. Given the right personality, Zoltan would actually love a doggie buddy as long as it's the right personality! He was raised with a female standard poodle, and lived for 5 months with a large mix breed senior male. In addition, his foster at one time had a 20 lb foster dog, and with strong leadership and supervision Zoltan respected that dog too. He originally lived with a female standard poodle mix and loved to play in the yard with her (but tried to mount her indoors). On the few occasions when he's gotten into a tiff with another dog in his foster home, he corrects well and pretty easily - but it requires vigilance. Overall, Zoltan has an air of intensity and dominance that other dogs often don't like. For that reason, WE RECOMMEND NON-DOMINANT OR MELLOW DOGS ONLY, AND MEDIUM TO LARGER DOGS ONLY. We are huge advocates of NOT RUSHING things - for the good of everyone, the success of the dog, and general safety.
Zoltan is a very smart working-lines GSD who had no leadership in his first 5 years. His owners had no idea how to handle him and were not leaders. He was also in one adoptive home for several months, but was not exercised or given the leadership promised, and it resulted in pent-up energy and an incident with a visiting child. For that reason, we now recommend older children only. Zoltan absolutely MUST have STRONG canine leadership and consistent daily exercise!!
That said, Zoltan is incredibly loving and bonds closely to his humans. He's something of a big lovebug and would come up in your lap if allowed. He likes to be outdoors but likes even better to be with you. He settles nicely and loves to sleep on his back with all 4 feet in the air while you're working. He wants to please you and responds well to strong leadership and training that's consistent. He's currently in an experienced foster home with a strong leader and doing well.
Zoltan's story is sad. His owner bought him while the spouse was stationed overseas. They wanted 'protection' for their large family and bought a working lines German Shepherd (high energy, intense, needs a job to do) without knowing anything about them. As Zoltan grew, they tried to return him to the breeder. Sadly they'd bought him from a puppy mill, which of course refused to take him back. Instead, the puppy miller bribed the family to keep Zoltan by saying they could have pick of the next litter if they kept him.
SIDENOTE: Please adopt, do NOT buy from breeders! Thousands of German Shepherds are dying in shelters every yearr. German Shepherds are the #2 homeless dog in America due to overbreeding and have been for 5 straight years. The suffering and dying can easily be stopped if dog owners refuse to buy from stores and breeders.
The owner tried to train Zoltan in basic obedience, but it didn't work due to lack of leadership skills. He grew up with the family and lived with them for 5 years, til they moved out of state and abandoned him. They called MoGS just 8 hours before they moved across country to the Ft. Bragg NC area for work as a military contractor. Their excuse for dumping Zoltan was 'They don't do fences there' ... an outrageous lie. We strongly encouraged the owners to keep looking for a home with a fence or to put one up, and even offered to arrange a no-cost, all-volunteer transport to get Zoltan from KS to NC for them.
When the family called us, we toldl them we were full, had no room, and could not take Zoltan. Instead we offered to help them in two ways: 1. Arrange low-cost boarding while they sorted out their fencing situation and/or found him a home. 2. Courtesy list him on our website.
We did both.
In return they agreed to keep looking for a home for Zoltan, and to try putting up a fence at their new home. Tragically, they made no effort to do either one.
Once they drove out of town and abandoned him, they barely gave him a thought. At our insistence they paid 1 month's boarding in advance. Later, after being reminded the boarding bill was past due, they paid a 2nd month's boarding and then announced they would NOT pay any more for him. They expected total strangers to pay for their dog and save their family member from dying.
We watched Zoltan's heartbroken face day by day. We were forced to pay his remaining boarding bill of $500. It was weeks before the family even inquired how Zoltan was doing. When they finally did call the kennel, they coldly told staff they 'thought he was already dead' - as casually as if discussing the weather. Staff were shocked and reported the call to us. Zoltan's so-called 'family' used him, discarded him, and didn't care if he lived or died.
Meantime, he was deteriorating in boarding. Volunteers tried to help by walking him, but he was so strong and his leash manners so bad they couldn't. After 4 months he began to go kennel crazy. He twirled in place and chewed the tip of his tail bloody. We stepped in to help. We tried everything we knew to heal his tail: bought many different collars, wrapped his tail (what a sight), and treated him with anti-biotics. He quickly broke through the collars and resumed chewing his tail bloody. Our only option was a foster home. Due to his issues with other dogs and his need for very strong leadership, there was only one foster home we could put him in and that home was full. Sadly and with great heartache, we bumped another abused dog out of that foster home and gave her slot to Zoltan instead. It wasn't fair and the other dog suffered greatly in boarding, but it was the only thing we could do to keep Zoltan alive. We cared about his life, even if his ex-'family' didn't.
We turned heaven and earth to help this owner's dog. We - total strangers - stepped up when Zoltan's so-called family turned their backs on him. Once in the foster home, we triple-collared him and tried anything to heal his tail. See the last pictures below for some of the comic results! The tail wraps and doggie pants failed, but the triple-collars did the trick. He wore them 3 weeks and they were falling apart (all that duct tape), but his tail finally healed and the fur grew back.
So MOGS has paid his expenses and taken responsibility for him, even bumping another dog who had been waiting much longer and suffered because of it. Why? Because his owners walked away and abandoned him. Because one spouse wanted to partially fence their new yard in another state, but the other spouse pitched a fit and said 'no way' because he'd wanted rid of Zoltan all along and lied about it. The move was the perfect excuse to get rid of him. Zoltan was going to die - the boarding kennel would have been forced to declare him abandoned and send him to the pound to be euthanized. We couldn't stomach the thought. So we took a deep breath and stepped up to the plate. We saved this healthy, great dog from an early death at the hands of cold, unloving owners who used him and dumped him. When we asked them to sign an owner release form, they sent a nasty, indignant letter claiming they hadn’t owned Zoltan since the day they left town, expressed fake outrage that he spent so long in boarding, and cried crocodile tears about how much distress they had suffered knowing he had ‘chewed his tail off’ (which is not at all what we told them). They actually said they hoped we would euthanize him.
So although Zoltan lost his first family, he's been better off with strangers who actually love him. And now we're searching for a true FOREVER family for Zoltan. One who understands loyalty - and LIVES it. One who understands love - and LIVES it. One who will never dump, abandon, or quit on him because he's no longer convenient or needed to 'protect' them.
Are YOU such a family?
Are YOU outstanding canine leaders who know what 'commitment' and 'lifetime' mean?
In sum, Zoltan is a gorgeous, regal dog with a true German Shepherd personality: protective, strong willed, highly intelligent, high energy. He’s also very loving, fun, goofy in some ways, good with kids, and very bonded to his family. HE REQUIRES VERY STRONG CANINE LEADERSHIP. AND DAILY EXERCISE.
Are YOU the special family who will share your lives with Zoltan, and show him what true commitment and lifetime loyalty mean? Only one very fortunate family will have the chance!
FENCING: MANDATORY - must have a 6 ft fence minimum. Zoltan MUST be exercised vigorously at least one hour EVERY DAY with games of ball and similar workouts. He must have a large yard to be able to run and stretch his legs
DOGS: Can live with the right dog -- non-dominant, friendly. Medium or larger dogs only. Has a high prey drive for small animals though we have seen some evidence that he can learn to live with a slightly smaller dog. VERY GRADUAL INtRODUCTIONS AND STRONG LEADERSHIP REQUIRED. Can be leash-aggressive to other dogs.
CATS: NO CATS
KIDS: Ages 15 and up. While he was raised with 5 children including a disabled child (approx. 7 yrs and up), he did have an incident in his temporary adoptive home with a visiting neighbor child. Although that incident was due to almost 5 months of almost total inactivity and pent-up energy along with a lack of leadership, we deem it wise to limit his new family to those with older children only
IDEAL FAMILY: an ACTIVE family who will exercise him and mentally stimulate him daily WITHOUT FAIL. Zoltan needs to expend his energy! An only pet household, or one with a medium to large, non-dominant dog who won't challenge him. A family with strong canine leaders who won't allow him to be in charge, and will continue to exercise the oversight and control Zoltan needs when in the presence of another animal (or cars when on leash). A family who loves a high-spirited, energetic, strong willed GSD who is also goofy, loving and funny.
ZOLTAN's ADOPTION FEE: $300
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