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

Our Wonderful Dogs

Axel 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.




**Greater California German Shepherd Rescue 2018 Calendars are now available to order.

GCGSR 2018 Calendar

View sample of the GCGSR 2018 Calendar




Please use AmazonSmile every purchase supports rescue!!

Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at smile.Amazon.com and
Amazon donates to Greater California German Shepherd Rescue Inc.

Amazon Smile




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.

Adoption Fee for these Special or Senior Dogs is $100.




Aldan Head
More

SPECIAL NEEDS

Aldan

Aldan is a tall 6-7 year old white male. He was an unclaimed stray at the Modesto shelter, so not much is known of his background.

He is a sweet boy that leans on you for hugs and loves to be brushed. He has a low energy level and gets along with other dogs and with cats. He is housebroken and has great house manners.

Aldan is a special needs boy. He has EPI, a disease where his pancreas is not able to process proteins or fat. He has a supplement that he takes before he eats to help overcome this, which cost about $40 - $60 a month. Because of his past lack of nutrition, his back legs are weak and he has difficulty getting in a car and getting up from a laying down position.

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

Added November 2017

top




Evita Head
More

SPECIAL NEEDS

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Evita

Evita is a cute, funny and charming mature lady around 5-6 years old and average-sized at around 65 pounds. She was a stray in a local shelter, so her background is unknown, but she came to us with decent house manners and takes direction well with a good understanding of most basic obedience. She's very food-driven, and will try to stay as close to the kitchen as allowed, but understands when told to get out of the kitchen. She will sit (after spinning in circles a couple of times first) and wait for her meals, will speak on command, and understands coming in and going outside, and has decided that having a dog-door is the coolest thing in the world. Once she discovered she could go in and out as she pleased, she spent a whole day doing just that.

This feisty girl is very well-socialized to people and dogs, and lives quite comfortably with two mature male German Shepherds, although she tends to be very bossy and would really rather have all the attention and toys for herself.

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

Added January 2018

top




King Head
More

SPECIAL NEEDS

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

King

King is an 8.5 month old, handsome, large sable male weighing 71 lbs. He was surrendered by his original owners when they learned he has a dislocated left hip and signs of hip dysplasia on his right hip.

This boy had previously lived with children about 10 years old and up. He is currently living with three German Shepherds and a cat. He is being given pain meds and anti-inflammatory meds and he's feeling much better. He tries to play with some of the other dogs, but is not up to chasing them. Originally an outdoor only dog, King had a few accidents and took a few days to accept the crate at night.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added January 2018

top




Staraya Head
More

SPECIAL NEEDS

Staraya

Staraya is a 9-month-old, beautiful, large, long coat female weighing 70 lbs.  She may have a touch of something else mixed in, but because she came from a local shelter, nothing is known about her background.

 

She has lived in a foster home with older children and cats.  She knows basic commands, is housebroken, and is crate trained.  She initially pulls on the leash, but corrects easily.  Staraya enjoys car rides, but needs assistance getting into the vehicle. She has the perfect combination of affection and independence. She loves to be brushed and hugged, but will go entertain herself if you are busy (usually appropriate chewing or napping).

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added January 2018

top




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.




Amberlee Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Amber Lee

This beauty is Amber Lee. She was rescued after being abandoned in a rural community outside of Modesto. It appears that she may have had at least one litter in her lifetime. No other prior background information is known about her.

This delightful 3-4 year old girl is goofy, lovable, gentle and wants nothing more than to be by your side. When invited, she will cuddle on the couch with you or stretch out by your feet and just wants nothing more than to please you. If you let her, she would love to sleep in bed with you. Fair warning though, she does snore but not too loud. Her bark is very deep when she alerts to something wrong and can sound intimidating but only when there is a reason. Otherwise, she is very quiet.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added September 2017

top




Barue Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Barue

Barue is a strong, but mellow 2 year old black and tan male. He weighs 77 pounds and seems to be housebroken. He is from a local area shelter so little is known of his background.

Barue seems to have little in the way of training but has been trying very hard to learn the basics, sit, wait, potty, ok to eat, kennel, move and don't use the cat as a chew toy...

He is currently living with two larger GSD males, one female Golden and a cat. He will play and cuddles with the rest of the pack and gets along well with all but seems to want human company first, and is seemingly quite content to lay at his humans feet and sleep or follow you throughout the house.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added January 2018

top




Beary Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Beary

Beary is a 4 year old black and tan female who was surrendered by her owners because they were unable to manage her multiple medical conditions. She came to us weighing about 60 lbs and very underweight, missing much of her hair, hematomas on one ear and in need of dental care. Since she was relinquished, she has been treated for wide-spread skin and ear infections, provided a dental cleaning which involved pulling a few teeth, as well as removing a hematoma on the right ear. There is evidence that she had at least one litter of puppies in the past. Despite all these challenges, Beary is recovering nicely and showing rapid regrowth of her beautiful coat. Her right ear, however, will remain flaccid.

Beary is one of the keenest dogs that has entered rescue. She successfully unlocked several doors, including her kennel and indoor locks with deadbolts, to search for her human. Secure containment is necessary when left alone until she learns her new routine.

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

Added September 2017

top




Dyna Head
More

Dyna

Dyna is a petite, approximately 2 year old bi-color German Shepherd mix weighing in at roughly 50 lbs. She has a higher energy level than some GSDs, although not over the top, Dyna will need an active home where she gets daily exercise and has a larger, male dog as a playful companion. Dyna came to us as an owner surrender after Good Samaritans found her on their property and held her for the legal stray hold time. She currently resides with another large, playful male Malinois mix who tires her out with constant play.

This little lady quickly became a volunteer favorite throughout GCGSR. She is incredibly friendly and very social! Her foster has taken her camping, to restaurants, and even to work with him. So ideally, we will be looking for the same type of permanent home, where she is included on family/social outings.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added December 2017

top




Grace Head
More

Grace

Grace is a pretty black and tan female, approximately 6 years old now. Animal Control picked her up in a small rural town in Yolo County, and her family never came for her. She was adopted out around a year ago and was recently returned because she was too much to handle for her new owners.

Grace is a nice, friendly girl but is a little timid with new people and she needs to be properly introduced. She knows basic commands and can walk on a leash fairly well. She is house trained and currently left free in the house when left alone; she has a dog door to go outside whenever she wants to.

No cats or small furry critters!

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

Updated January 2017, Added October 2015

top




Gus A. Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Gus A.

Gus A. is a big, strong, handsome black and tan boy who is about 6-7 years old, and 90lbs. Gus was picked up as a stray and taken to the Solano shelter, so nothing is known of his background.

He's a very loving, affectionate dog who will do his best to please his person but the big fellow did not get the training he needed as a youngster. He's learning to walk nicely on a leash and other basics, and with consistent handling and training, Gus will be a devoted, wonderful family member.

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

Added August 2017

top





Jester A. Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Jester A.

Jester A. is a handsome black and tan male weighing about 70 lbs. We estimae his age to be approximately 2.5 - 3 years old. He is an unclaimed stray from a local shelter so nothing is know of his background.

Jester A., aptly named, is a big clown; he is pure joy on four legs.  This pup is very responsive and super quick to learn new behaviors.  Jester is active and can be quite vocal. He will thrive in a home with experienced owners who will give him the training and leadership he needs.

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

Added October 2017

top




Jodie Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Jodie

Jodie is a petite 7 year old female. She is an unclaimed stray from a local shelter, so nothing is known of her background. This active girl loves to go. She is happy to follow her human around, or try to engage her foster sibling in play.

Jodie is housebroken, and while she doesn't seem to have formal training, she is easy to have around the house (although she is pretty sure the sofa was meant for her). Jodie loves to go on walks, and rides well in the car. Jodie is crate trained.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added January 2018

top




Jubilee Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Jubilee

Jubilee is a very petite 5 year old black and red female. She is an unclaimed stray from a local shelter, so nothing is known of her background.

Jubilee is a shy little girl but is learning that the hardwood floors, laundry room and other unfamiliar things/places aren't so scary. She is at a foster home that has 5 resident dogs consisting of all sizes, ages and sexes. She has acted appropriately with all dogs, large and small, that she has met.

She is housebroken and crate trained, and has great house manners.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added January 2018

top




Kramer Head
More

Kramer

Kramer is an enthusiastic black and tan male around 2 years old who we pulled from a local shelter. He came into the rescue at an underweight 70 lbs and will be at his ideal weight when he gains around 15 more. His tall, handsome appearance gets him attention and compliments around town. He is affectionate around the house, is gentle when taking treats from your hand and enjoys a good belly rub when he gets one. His food motivation makes training him much easier. He understands the basics, including being housebroken, although 'down' is his least favorite.

He quickly jumps into the car and enjoys riding to everywhere. When you're in the store, he keeps the driver's seat warm and has learned "jump in the back" as you approach to give your spot back. Kramer is being fostered in the Lake Tahoe area and is becoming an outdoorsy boy who is learning to be a great hiking buddy. It has also been entertaining watching him learn how to swim, as he is still a bit clumsy but willing to give the water a try.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added September 2017

top




Lara A. Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Lara A.

Lara A. is a sweetheart, four-year old, black and tan female, who weighs about 70 lb. She was an owner surrender to a local area shelter, so little is know of her background.

With a little basic training she has blossomed into a wonderful, loving dog. She gets along well with other dogs loves all the people she has met and will make a wonderful addition to a family that will make her an active member.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added September 2017

top






Stratus Head
More

Come meet me on Saturday, January 20th from 11am to 2pm at the Sacramento Adoption Day at Pet Food Express at Loehmann's Plaza!

Stratus

Stratus is an adorable 15 month old white shepherd weighing 74 lbs. He was found running stray and hanging out near houses that had dogs in the yard. Stratus has picked up on living in a home environment quickly. He is housebroken. After a couple nights, learned to run right into his crate at night. Stratus is a youngster, and as such needs something appropriate to chew on. If he doesn't have something that is his, he will find something of yours.

Stratus gets along with the large male and female dogs in his foster home, but does not do well with other pushy dogs.

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

Added November 2017

top




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.




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!

top



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.
top



Adoption Days

From 11 am to 2 pm every month, rain or shine, at these locations!
For directions, please see our Events Calendar page.

Riverbank (Modesto)
Second Saturday of every month in Riverbank (Modesto):
Petco
Crossroads Shopping Center
2341 Claribel Road
Riverbank, CA 95367
(209) 863-1384

Sacramento

Third Saturday of every month in Sacramento:
Pet Food Express
Loehmann's Plaza
2531 Fair Oaks Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 487-9999
(between Fair Oaks and Munroe - halfway between Watt and Howe)

Roseville

Fourth Saturday of every month in Roseville:
Pet Food Express

The Fountains
1009 Galleria Blvd
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 780-5555

top