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.




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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.




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.




Baldwin Head
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Baldwin

Baldwin is a 5 yo male Black Shepherd weighing about 90 lbs. His previous owners relinquished him to a Sacramento area shelter due to their inability to provide adequate care. When Baldwin arrived, he was missing almost his entire coat, likely due to food and/or flea allergies affecting his skin and coat. With immediate medical care and high quality diet, he is rapidly re-growing his fur. It is unknown whether all of his coat will return, however. Sunscreen is needed in the meantime to keep the exposed skin from getting sunburned.

Baldwin is interested in meeting all dogs, large and small. Once familiar with their presence, he is calm and comfortable. He enjoys human company and appreciates any affection that comes his way, even if it means taking pills or getting his ears medicated.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added July 2017

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Bochy

Bochy is a handsome black and tan 2-year-old male with floppy ears. He is currently overweight at about 95 lbs, but he's energetic and with regular exercise he should be able to lose another 15-20 lbs to get to a healthy weight. One photo shows a recent photo of Bochy and the other is how he looked last September at a healthy weight.

Originally an owner surrender in Sept. 2016, when his family's child became sick and they didn't have time to care for Bochy; he was adopted from us but returned after six months. The second family didn't spend time training or working with him and he became too much for them to handle.

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

Added July 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.

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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Kairos

Kairos is a one year old, handsome black and tan male weighing 60 lbs. He was an owner surrender to a Sacramento area shelter. He was previously kept outside and given up because the family could not afford to care for him properly. He appears to have food or flea allergies that have caused major hair loss and skin irritation. He also was very underweight. With proper diet and medicated baths, in a short time, this boy is already showing improvement.

Kairos is living with a large male German Shepherd and a senior male pug, and gets along well with both. With use of a doggy door, Kairos appears housebroken, however, he is needing to learn proper house manners. Kairos is a good eater and is beginning to put weight on.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added June 2017

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Luna Bella

Luna Bella is an 8 month old Black and Cream Girl, currently weighing only 48 lbs. She is on the thin side, and could stand to gain 5 or 10 pounds. She was an owner surrender, who could not provide her the care and exercise she needed.

She is housebroken; crate trained, and is learning that riding in the car can lead to great adventures. She is your typical young juvenile with lots of energy. She is learning house manners, and not to jump up on people when she is excited.




This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added May 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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Cassius

Cassius is a 12 week old Black and Tan German Shepherd Mix puppy. He is one of 3 puppies who were surrendered to us by a Good Samaritan who took in their pregnant Momma when she was dumped on their property. The puppies are not completely housebroken yet but are trained to use potty pads.

Cassius is the alarm barker and protector of the three puppies, he also loves to give kisses. More to come on this cute little guy as we get to know him better.

This is a Level 2 Dog!

Added May 2017

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Samara

Samara is a 3 month old sable female. She was an unclaimed stray from the Merced shelter, so nothing is known of her background.

She is curious when out-and-about and loves car rides. She gets along well with other dogs. She is interested, but friendly, toward cats. We'll post more when we get to know her better.


This is a Level 2 Dog!


Added July 2017



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Zayla

Zayla is a 13 week old Belgian Malinois puppy. She was a stray in the Modesto area so nothing is known about her background. She currently weighs 27 lbs., and will most likely be 45 - 50 lbs. when she is full-grown.

Zayla is a high energy, very confident little girl. She is currently fostered in a home with 2 adult male GSDs and 2 puppies. She is already exhibiting typical Malinois energy and behavior. She isn't afraid to take treats or toys away from the other dogs.

Zayla will need a home with Malinois or similar breed puppy experience, and a dog buddy to play with.

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

Added July 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 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 Location **
Riverbank (Modesto)
First 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) 851-1813
(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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