Owning a German Shepherd : Breeder Recommendations
Are you looking for an intelligent, energetic dog that will be protective of you and your family?
If you are, then the German Shepherd may be just the right breed for you. Just keep in mind that this is a large dog, one needing plenty of exercise and room to run.
In addition, the German Shepherd was bred to be a working dog so it would be happiest when exercised, played with, and even trained.
Things to Know Before Getting German Shepherd
The most important factor in getting a healthy, trainable puppy is to work with a reputable breeder. We recommend visiting at least three top breeders, asking many questions to clear up any doubts or misunderstandings you may have about German Shepherds.
Good breeders would be open to all questions, as well as showing you where the puppies live and how they are treated. It is best to ask to see both parents of the litter, which would provide you with a better idea about the health and temperament of the puppies.
You could purchase your German Shepherd from a retail store, but the problem with this is you may miss important information about the bloodlines of the puppy and the treatment received while being raised. Additionally, German Shepherd puppies could be purchased from a private party, such as a “backyard” breeder but again you take a risk of buying a dog with poor bloodline, one that was not properly socialized, and perhaps even one with behavioral or health problems that might not show up for months.
When you visit a breeder, take your time with them, ask questions and ask to get any certification documents and other papers for the puppy you choose. Many experienced German Shepherd owners will tell you that it is not always best to take the first cute puppy that shows an interest in you since some of the less assertive and calmer pups might miss consideration.
In fact, the ones that are not overly assertive often make the best dogs. Therefore, look closely at the conditions in which the puppies live, and then watch carefully to see how they act together and with people.
A good breeder would not allow puppies to leave the nest until at least eight weeks of age, with ten weeks being better. This provides the breeder adequate time to socialize the puppies properly so that they are comfortable with other dogs and with humans. In addition, since the German Shepherd is a large breed, you want to ask about hip dysplasia and other joint conditions. These genetic problems can be tested for while puppies, allowing you the chance to know if you are buying one with or without potential risk. Additionally, many early detection tests for other diseases are now available, something the breeder should handle.
You also want to be made aware of any disease common to German Shepherd. With this, you would have information on what symptoms to watch for, as well as the proper steps to take if something arises.
A final point to keep in mind when buying a German Shepherd – ask what would happen if something goes wrong and you need to return the puppy to the breeder. Most reputable breeders offer buyers some type of guarantee, which might mean money back or the exchange of another puppy.
If the puppy were to become seriously ill, would you be able to get a replacement or, if the young dog should die within a certain timeframe, would you be offered a replacement or get your money back?
We recommend asking for a written contract that states these conditions clearly, something a reputable breeder should have no problem in providing.
Read More About German Shepherd
- German Shepherd Breed Information
- German Shepherd : 10 Most Common Questions
- German Shepherd Training Guide
- German Shepherd Health Guide