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doginfo

Will a Breeder Ask Me Questions?

Conscientious breeders want the best available home for their puppies. Expect them to ask you questions about fenced yards, and the type of work that you and/or your spouse do for a living. This determines the amount of time you will have available for your new addition. There are very important items that should be supplied by the breeder.

Breeders will typically give you the following items:

  1. A signed pedigree

  2. A current Health Record; including de-wormings and vaccinations.

  3. American Kennel Club registration papers or application

  4. Sales contract. The type of contract varies and must be mutually agreeable to the breeder and buyer. Much depends on what you expect from the puppy (show, pet, or performance).

  5. Feeding schedule including the type and amount of food.

  6. Copy of OFA certification of sire and dam, if available.

What Should I Look for in a German Shepherd Puppy?

First, you should decide if you want a male or female. Males and females are similar in many respects but there are marked differences between the sexes that you should be aware of.

IMG_2225_copyMales are larger and heavier (24-26 inches at the highest point of the shoulders and 65 to 90 lbs). Females are somewhat smaller and lighter in weight (22-24 inches in height at the top of the shoulders and 50-70 lbs). Secondary sex characteristics should be pronounced for males and females, e.g. a male looks like a male with pronounced masculinity and a female should look feminine with more delicate features. Females will also have a season twice a year. If you choose a female and do not wish to have puppies, then it is recommended that she be spayed. The differences in the sexes in puppies is not as pronounced as in the adult dogs.

Have some idea what you expect from your new addition so you can inform the breeder. Let him/her know if you want a companion, show dog, or a competitive performance dog. No matter what the function you desire in your puppy, all puppies in the litter will have the same bloodlines. Most well-bred litters from ethical breeders are bred to emphasize the health, character, and trainability of every puppy in the litter.

In the search for your puppy, you want to observe the puppies together at first. A German Shepherd puppy should have, first and foremost, a good temperament. They should be inquisitive, outgoing, and unafraid in his advances towards everything and everybody. They will also demand and exhibit affection without inhibition.

Many times puppies will single out one of the litter to pick on. This does not mean this puppy is defective in any way. Take this puppy aside and he will usually assert himself when he is away from his littermates.

Shy Puppies

German Shepherd PuppiesDo not select a shy puppy. You do not want a puppy who is afraid of you, or runs and hides. This type of puppy is afraid of people, places and things. Do not be sympathetic; if you owned one, you would be embarrassed by its lack of true German Shepherd character. The definition of the ideal German Shepherd temperament can be found here - The German Shepherd Dog Standard.

What color should you choose? Color is not a major consideration in choosing a good German Shepherd, as long as the pigment is good. White is an undesirable color and is a disqualification in the AKC conformation ring.

Most companion puppies are sold at 8 to 16 weeks of age. Puppies generally are not ready to go to a new home under 8 weeks of age.

Conclusion

What guarantees you can expect with your new puppy are between you and the seller.  If there are hip and elbow guarantees implied in the verbal contract, make sure they are also included in the written contract.

Conscientious Breeders

  • Strive in each and every breeding to achieve the highest quality possible relative to the breed standard for conformation, trainability and temperament, in order to maintain our breed's characteristics.

  • Use only physically sound, mature dogs of stable temperament for breeding. These characteristics are rarely, if ever, determined before the age of two for females.

  • Continue to educate themselves regarding genetic diseases pertinent to the breed including, hip and elbow dysplasia. Documentation of hip and elbow screenings should be available to prospective puppy buyers. It should consist of an OFA, OVC or Penn Hip report and/or a letter of evaluation from a board certified Veterinary Radiologist.

  • Apply the same high standards to outside bitches sent to their stud dogs as they apply to their own breeding stock.Mother and Puppies

  • Match each puppy's personality as carefully as possible with a compatible buyer/family. Temperament testing of a litter before puppies are offered for sale is encouraged.

  • Take appropriate steps to have each puppy examined by a licensed veterinarian for general health prior to placement. Each puppy should be vaccinated and de-wormed by a veterinarian.

  • Encourage buyers of pet puppies to spay/neuter. Methods should include written spay/neuter contracts, limited registration and/or spay/neuter rebates.

  • Endeavor to gain personal knowledge of the temperament and health of every dog they breed, or to which they breed, in order to gather information on which to base future breeding decisions. They share this information fully and honestly with other breeders and with prospective buyers.

  • Sell breeding prospects to knowledgeable, ethical and experienced persons or are willing to help educate and guide novices. They should at any time accept the return of any dog/bitch their breeding program produces and they should always help when relocation is needed.

  • Do not engage in misleading or untrue advertising and do not use GSDCA membership as a marketing tool.

  • Do not sell, supply, donate or surrender any dog for which they are responsible to a pet shop, catalogue house, wholesale dealer in dogs, Humane Society or to a laboratory. They should have reasonable assurance that each individual receiving a dog will provide a home with appropriate shelter, restraint, control and responsible care.

  • Encourage puppy buyers to go to puppy obedience classes to help their puppies to become better canine good citizens. The achievement of a Canine Good Citizen certificate should be encouraged.