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Finding your German Shepherd Puppy

Looking for a German Shepherd puppy to add to your family? Learn what to look for before you start your search!

Carissa Kuehn

on 16 April 2015

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Transcript of Finding your German Shepherd Puppy

Finding A German Shepherd Puppy
You've decided to add an energetic, fuzzy, German Shepherd bundle of joy to your family. You want your puppy to be happy, healthy, good-tempered, and a good match for your lifestyle and circumstances.

But where do you find this type of puppy?
Stay away from all of the above, unless you want to risk getting a poorly bred, poorly raised, sickly pup with temperament issues!
A good breeder makes health, proper temperament and athletic structure the foundation of their breeding program. They breed for the total German Shepherd Dog, to produce versatile working dogs that also excel as family companions.

Information Necessary for Good Breeders
A multi-generational pedigree,

a strong knowledge of the genetic history behind your future puppy
The good breeder has dogs that are
registered purebreds;
however, they know that having "papers" is not a sufficient sign of quality. Therefore, the good breeder tests and evaluates their dogs, to ensure that the parents possess the desired characteristics that can then be passed on to their puppies.
To find these good parents that are worthy examples of the German Shepherd breed, you need to find a good breeder!
Why All These Tests?
Waiting List
Unlike backyard breeders, pet stores, or commercial breeders who have puppies ready to be sold at any minute, good breeders may not have a puppy ready to go home with you
right now.
Good breeders do not constantly breed their females to produce puppies. They do more than just breed; they also train, work, and show their dogs. When the time is right, they will produce a litter, so you may have to wait.

A Lifetime of Support
Puppies from a good breeder will cost around $1500-$2500.

"Wait! Why so much? I can get a registered German Shepherd from a breeder in the paper for only $500."
For most good breeders, breeding is not a business, but rather a passion, and the prices they ask for their puppies do not even come close to covering their costs for producing that litter in the first place.
Good breeders invest an inordinate amount of work, effort, and resources into proving that their dogs are excellent representatives of the German Shepherd breed,
they ever breed them.
The Good Breeder
Such a puppy comes from parents that have been
to have these same valuable traits.
Health tests
These include basic tests like hip and elbow x-rays, certified through OFA in the U.S.,
or the SV in Germany (the "a stamp").
Working Titles
Working titles like Schutzhund, IPO, and HGH are excellent ways to test and evaluate the temperament and overall working ability of the dog.
Show Ratings
Show ratings (VA, V, SG, or G rating) are obtained at conformation shows, and demonstrate that the structure of the dog has been objectively evaluated by an impartial judge.
Even if you just want a "pet" German Shepherd, you want to search for a dog with
good health
good temperament
, and
good structure
--all the characteristics a family companion needs!
These tests show that the parents are free from hip and elbow dysplasia, which greatly reduces the likelihood of the puppies inheriting this condition.
These are easy and valuable tests to perform; there is no reason for a breeder NOT to do them before breeding a dog.
These working titles measure the dog's mental stability, endurance, athleticism, ability to scent, willingness to work with and for man, courage, and trainability.
These titles are exceptionally important for the GSD, which is first and foremost a working dog.
These demonstrate that the breeder has a working knowledge of what a GSD should look like. It also proves that the individual dog has been evaluated against the breed standard, which is what serves to define the breed.
Where to Find A Good Breeder
Expect to wait a while before getting your puppy
Pet Shop? Newspaper Ad? Craigslist? An advertisement for "AKC papered"
puppies for only $350?
do more with their dogs than just breed them to produce puppies.
The breeder should have the following information on the
of your future puppy:
Finding Your
German Shepherd Puppy

Good breeders...
train, show, and trial their dogs in a venue that tests their temperaments.
are knowledgeable about the German Shepherd Dog breed - including genetics, health, and proper GSD temperament.
informed breeding decisions
produce dogs that match the breed standard.
Hip and elbow ratings
from OFA, or from the SV in Germany ("a" stamp)
Working titles
on both parents (Schutzhund, IPO, HGH, etc.)
Conformation rating
and breed survey
What to Expect From a Good Breeder
Expect good breeders to have proven the quality of their dogs
through hip/elbow x-rays, working titles, and conformation ratings or breed surveys.
Expect lots of questions
! Good breeders are very interested in making sure that YOU are a good match for THEIR PUPPIES.

But don't worry - a good puppy is worth the wait!
Good breeders also provide their puppy owners with exceptional support. They are there to answer questions, offer guidance, and to ensure that this puppy is the best match for you and your family.
We recommend starting with your local Schutzhund club.
This will give you the opportunity to connect with nearby breeders, and to see working German Shepherd Dogs in action!
You can search for clubs by region on the USCA webpage:


You may have to travel to find the right breeder. Expand your search beyond your town, and you will have a greater likelihood of finding
a great puppy from a good breeder.

What about price?
Expect the breeder to match you up with the right puppy.
No one knows these puppies better than the breeder, and they will know which puppies will work best in a working, show, or active pet home.
How can you tell if a breeder is a good breeder, with wonderful representatives of the German Shepherd Dog?
Good breeders care deeply about the dogs they produce.
Full transcript