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.




This Sunday, December 10th is your last chance... Come meet Santa Paws and his Elves!

Picture with Santa Paws!!

Is your pet on Santa's list as naughty, or nice? Pictures with Santa Claus to help raise funds to help more rescue dogs, December 10, at Pet Food Express Sacramento. Mark your calendar!

2017 Santa Paws




**NEW** Modesto/Riverbank Adoption Day!

Come visit us and our available dogs on the SECOND Saturday of each month

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


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

GCGSR 2018 Calendar Order Form




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.

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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
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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

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SENIOR

Esther

Esther is a 9 year old sable female. She came from a Sacramento area shelter and we know little about her history. We were told that she belonged to a homeless person sometime in her past and became a favorite of one of the staff members at the shelter. Esther is a little on the heavy side, so she was fed well wherever she'd been.

This is one sweet, low energy girl. She appears housebroken, walks fairly well on a leash, and ignores the cats in her foster home. She met the other male German Shepherd in the foster home easily. More to follow as we get to know Esther better.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added November 2017

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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.




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Amber Lee

Amber Lee was found living under a car and staying at the same area where she was left abandoned with some food and water. She waited for her guardians to return for two weeks and ran from anybody that tried to approach her. Her rescuers worked for days feeding her and trying to gain her trust. One day she allowed them to touch her and now she is safe with the rescue and looking for a new loving forever home.

This lovely 3-4 year old girl is goofy, lovable, gentle and wants nothing more than to be by your side. She will cuddle with you on the couch, stretch out by your feet and just wants to please you.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added September 2017

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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

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Bhalu

Bhalu is a black and tan male weighing about 60 lbs, but needs to gain weight. We estimate his age as approximately 3 years. He is a stray from a Sacramento area shelter so nothing is known about his past. He was found extremely underweight with patches of hair loss due to poor nutrition, allergies and lack of proper care. In addition, Bhalu is heartworm positive and will complete his treatment by mid November.

He is gentle and affectionate, and enjoys meeting all dogs and humans. He enjoys car rides, adventures to the lake, and his daily walks. He sleeps in his crate at night and is house broken.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added September 2017

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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

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Griff

Griff is a strong, handsome black and tan male, weighing 90 lbs, and is approximately 3 years old. He is a stray from a Yolo County shelter, so we have no information on his background. Sometime in Griff's past, something created a scar across his muzzle, but it doesn't take away from his ability to take great pictures.

Griff has nice house manners, only moving things around being silly, not damaging anything. He knows basic commands, including sitting before going through doors, and sitting before being allowed to eat. He currently sleeps on the floor in his foster's bedroom and is very quiet. He walks nicely on a leash, but can get excited when he sees other dogs.

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

Added February 2017

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Lola A.

Lola A. is a lovely black and tan female who is approximately 6 - 8 years old and weighs in at around 75lbs. She was a stray from a local area shelter so little is known of her background.

Lola is about as sweet as a dog can get. She loves to go for rides in the car and makes friends wherever she goes, is crate trained and housebroken, and walks nicely on leash.

She was heartworm positive when rescued and has come through the treatment with flying colors, becoming a favorite patient at the vets office in the process.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added September 2017

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Mila

Mila is a very sweet 2-year-old black and tan girl, who came from a local area shelter, so little is known about her background. She is currently around 78 lbs but she has not been eating well for a while, so we are working on getting her to a more healthy weight of 90-95lbs.

 

She loves being in the house but it appears that Mila has spent most of her life outside so she'll need more reminders about proper indoor manners (don't leave her with your shoes). She also loves sleeping in her crate at night and being next to her people in the day time.

 

Mila is very shy at first but she loves all people big and small. She is still kind of clumsy, so a home with children over the age of 7 would be best for her.

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

Added November 2017

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Panther

Panther is an all black 2 year old male German Shepherd, weighing 90 pounds, with a luscious soft fur coat. He was surrendered by his owner's because they could no longer afford to feed him, so very little is known about his background.

This loving boy rides well in the car. He walks nicely on a leash, only getting excited when he sees other dogs that he wants to play with. He is a happy boy, with medium energy, good with other people and dogs. He has nice house manners when you are home with him. He sometimes plays with silly things, which is a good opportunity to remind him of the "leave it" command. He knows a few basic commands, like sit and down (with treats).

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added November 2017

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Sebeka

Sebeka is a 1 year old black and tan female GSD that originally came into our program at the age of 4 months. She was recently returned by her owner through no fault of her own. She is your typical 1 year old with a lot of energy, and loves to play rough. Her rough play became too much for the geriatric male GSD in the home.

Sebeka is trained in English, German, and hand signals. She is crate-trained and is housebroken. She has a high prey drive, so a home without cats or small animals is a must.

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

Re-Added December 2017

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Suki

Suki is a 5 year old sable female German Shepherd who weighs 57 pounds. She was an owner surrender who was given up when the previous home could no longer afford her. She lived with other dogs in her previous home and had been kept outside. Her ears have fly strike from her being left outdoors too often, but they are already showing improvement. She has had at least one litter of pups in the past.

In the current foster home, Suki appears house trained, and behaves nicely indoors (with access to the back yard) when you are away. She has nice house manners, not jumping on any furniture. She prefers to be indoors lounging on her dog pillows. She walks nicely on a leash, only needing very soft corrections, and knows basic commands.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added October 2017

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Taz

Taz is an approximately two years old, black and tan male weighing 66 lbs.  He is an energetic companion dog and has a good appetite. He was surrendered to a Sacramento area shelter, so nothing is known about his past.

 

He is house-trained with the use of a doggy door, and has also been left indoors with the dog door shut and has not had an accident in the house. He heels and walks nicely on a leash, only getting excited when other dogs bark at him. He gets along well with the other German Shepherds of various ages in his foster home, but he can get antsy sometimes when he is out-and-about if there are a lot of other dogs around.  He is a flexible boy; he loves to sleep on the dog bed next to his foster mom, but he will also sleep quietly in a crate.  While he will sleep in a crate, he does not like to be contained in a crate or kennel.

No cats, small dogs, or small critters!!!

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added October 2017

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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.




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Celine

Celine is a tiny 7 week old black and tan female who came from a local shelter with no information about her background. Due to her size, we suspect she might be mixed with a small breed dog.

She spends her days napping and antagonizing her foster sister, Kiya another GCGSR puppy. She is a snuggly, but feisty little girl. She is fearless, climbing her way into the top of the toilet in order to get to her foster dad. She is food driven and has a good nose. When given the chance, Celine will search for kibble hidden under the couch and tucked behind the kitchen table.

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

Added November 2017

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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!

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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.
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** NEW ADOPTION DAY and LOCATIONS **

Adoption Days

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

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

** New Location **
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)

Fourth Saturday of every month in Roseville:
Pet Food Express

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

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