Choosing a German Shepherd Dog Breeder can prove to be a bit of a lottery if you don’t know what to look out for. There are a lot of backyard breeders around with the sole motivation of making a quick buck.
These guys do tremendous harm to all breeds, with German shepherds being one of their Favourites due to their growing popularity, because in many cases breed dogs that have congenital defects and behavioural problems, creating dogs that should never have been born and damaging the breed.
We bought Chloe from a friend who has been a German shepherd dog breeder for many years. I was still getting over the loss of my last dog, Tara. She was only a shepherd cross, but her devotion and temperament made her a wonderful companion and we had spent many happy hours together.
Her loss really shook me, and I wasn’t really ready to have another dog in my life, until I met Chloe.
She was the last of the litter, and when we saw her we just fell in love. You can probably see why…she is proving to be every bit as wonderful as Tara was…a true companion.
When you start your search for your new German shepherd, remember that most good dog breeders rarely if ever advertise in Newspapers, because they will generally have a waiting list of buyers for their puppies and they tend to sell mainly by word of mouth to previous buyers or their friends.
A good German shepherd dog breeder know that their puppies will be highly sort after and that they will never have any trouble finding willing buyers for them. They can also charge a premium price because their puppies are in such demand.
If you do see an ad in a Newspaper for shepherd puppies, always be very careful about terms like ‘Champion Pedigree’ or “With Papers’, as these don’t necessarily mean that the dog advertised will be a Champion in it’s own right.
It may only have had a ‘Champion’ ancestor ten generations ago and having ‘papers’ really only means that both her parents were registered somewhere in a kennel registry…it doesn’t mean that she is a pure bred German shepherd champion who will bring home trophies wherever she goes.
A Good Breeder Will Offer A Money Back Guarantee
A good breeder will always give you a money back guarantee on any puppy you buy, no matter what the circumstances for you no longer being able to keep your dog.
If for some reason you cannot take care of her any longer, any breeder worth their salt will take the dog back and find a new home for her – the dogs’ interests are always paramount in their minds, never merely the potential for making a profit.
A good breeder will also check you out thoroughly by asking you questions like where you live, the size of your property, have you had a German shepherd before, are you aware of the responsibilities of owning a dog the size of a shepherd and the amount of exercise and training she will need.
If you can’t answer these questions in a manner that shows the breeder that you can take care of your new dog, they may be reluctant to let you take one of their puppies home with you.
It is very rare to find a breeder of quality German shepherds who will sell their puppies to a per store…why would they? They should have a continuing demand from people looking for a quality dog, so why pay a middle man when you don’t have to?
As mentioned earlier, you might have to wait a while to take your puppy home, because most good breeders will have a waiting list, and you probably won’t be able to jump the cue to get your puppy first – everybody else will be trying to do the same thing. Be prepared to wait if you want a good quality dog…
A good German shepherd dog breeder will have their dogs tested for common problems such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. They will usually offer a guarantee that if these problems occur in the dog you buy, they will refund your money or replace the puppy with another one.
Sometimes there is a time limit on this but everything is negotiable.
Do They Specialize In German Shepherds?
A good shepherd breeder will usually only breed one or at the most two types of dog.
They are typically fanatical about their German shepherds and often show them, work with them in events such as Schutzhund, or enter them into agility or obedience events.
If they breed more than two different types of dogs, then they are probably just in the Business of producing puppies – their main focus is not maintaining and bettering the breed. These are usually not the type of breeders you want to buy your puppy from.
A good breeder will be happy for you to see the puppies parents and will never let them leave home before at least 8 weeks of age, preferably 9 or 10 weeks.
These people love theirï¿½dogs and take care of them like pets rather than as just a Business investment – you will be able to tell when you visit the kennels what type of atmosphere the dogs live in, and this will give you a good idea of what sort of breeders they are.
Always Talk To Previous Clients
Ask the breeder if you can talk with previous buyers of their puppies so that you can get unbiased feedback from people who have already purchased from them. If the breeder is unwilling to give you the names of some satisfied customers, maybe he doesn’t have any…be careful.
Of course, there are privacy issues here, so maybe you could ask the breeder to call some previous buyers for you rather than give you their phone number, but either way, try to talk to a couple of people who have had experience with this breeder’s German shepherds. It may just save you problems in the future.
The breeders kennels should be clean and tidy, and there should be ample room for the parents and puppies to play and live comfortably.
A Couple Of Final Questions…
Do you like the overall attitude of the breeder? Is he friendly, co-operative and helpful, or does he avoid your questions and try to pressure you into buying when you aren’t ready?
Do they raise their puppies indoors and do they tend to them at all hours of the day and night? They should.
Are all the dogs on his property well trained and friendly? Aggressive dogs are a warning signal that puppies may turn out to be the same. Check it out.
Also, a good breeder will not sell more than one dog at a time to anyone who is not familiar with German shepherds and their care. A backyard operator will sell you ten if he can to get rid of them so that he can start breeding the next litter. Buying in bulk for a discount does not apply when buying a dog.
German Shepherds Aren’t For Everybody…
In closing, remember that buying any pet, especially a dog is going to require a commitment of time and money from you and your family. A dog is a living, breathing creature that is totally dependent on you for it’s every need. She is going to take up a lot of your time, so you will have to be prepared for that and make allowances in your daily routine for play, training and exercise.
She will give you years of pleasure and enjoyment if you treat her as part of your family. If you aren’t prepared to put in the time and love your new German shepherd like the other members of your family, then buy yourself a pet rock instead!
Wait until you are really ready to own a dog before you take the plunge – you will both be much happier.
I hope this introduction to choosing a German shepherd dog breeder has helped by giving you some tips on what to watch out for and questions to ask before you buy a German shepherd.
We hope you have a wonderful time buying, training and loving your puppy and new family member.