Breed Rescue and AGSRA

What is German Shepherd Rescue and why do we do it?

Unfortunately, some German Shepherd Dogs will find themselves in a situation where they need a new home.  There are two main categories for the reasons that people give up their dogs: behavior problems and lifestyle changes.


Behavior problems usually occur because the owner did not research and/or clearly understand what it takes to raise a German Shepherd Dog to be a responsible community member.  A pet should never be an impulse buy.  The German Shepherd is not only a herding breed, but also a very utilitarian dog that has been used as a Seeing Eye dog, a livestock herder/guardian, in police work, bomb detection, narcotic detection and military work.

He should exhibit the tendencies of a herding dog, which is high intelligence and independent thinking.  This means he requires appropriate training and a job to do.  All dogs are pack animals. There is only one leader in the pack. When you invite a dog to join your family (pack) you MUST establish yourself as the leader.  It is not necessary to do this with force but it is absolutely necessary that the owner be committed to providing appropriate attention, exercise and consistent, positive training.

There are many wonderful books, videos and local training clubs that will provide you with the assistance you need to prevent your dog from becoming a statistic at the animal shelter.  Your best mentor is the breeder you obtained your dog from.  All reputable breeders want their dogs to be canine good citizens and a full member of your family.  Talk to your breeder about any issue that may come up.  They have years of experience to call upon to help you develop your puppy into the safe, happy family member you envision. With a behavior problem your breeder can be a valuable source of information.  They can provide guidance as to how to change the behavior or refer you to expert trainers in the area who are familiar with these problems and German Shepherd Dogs.  The critical issue will be if you, as the owner, are willing to make the commitment necessary to change the problem behavior.


The second reason for giving up dogs is lifestyle changes.  Change is inevitable.  The loss of a job, divorce, death, birth of a baby, a diagnosis of a severe medical problem, responsibility for the care of elderly parents can all lead to a person being unable to continue to care for their German Shepherd.

Your pet himself has no resources to find a new home on his own. You, the pet owner, are the primary resource for finding a new home for your pet.  If you or someone you know has a German Shepherd Dog that they can no longer keep we are here to help with information and referrals.

Your first contact should be with the breeder you purchased the dog from; they should either take it back or help you place the dog.

Some dogs are not lucky enough to have come from a responsible breeder or the breeder is no longer an option.  In that case click here for our website to contact one of our members directly.


The American German Shepherd Rescue Association, Inc. is a 501 (3)© organization dedicated to helping German Shepherd Dogs who need to find new homes.  We provide an online directory of rescues by state as well as other general information that may be useful in your search to find a new home for your pet.  Donations help to fund local German Shepherd rescue organizations.  You may also find that you need to widen your search by contacting mixed-breed and all-breed rescue groups in your area.  You can usually obtain the contact information for local all-breed/mixed-breed rescues through your veterinarian, pet stores and animal control.

We encourage you to explore all options before taking your German Shepherd Dog to a shelter.  When placing the dog yourself, be aware it takes at least 30 days to place a dog. If your dog is elderly, has problem behaviors or medical problems it may take months to place him in a new home.  Your dog must be fully vetted, have all it’s shots and be spayed or neutered prior to placing him in a new home.  Problem behaviors, especially aggression, must be corrected prior to placing. You must interview the potential adopters, visit their home and check their references before turning the dog over to them.  We have a brochure available that will provide further guidelines for placing your pet.  Please check our website .

We would love to have your help as a volunteer in rescue or by helping us support rescue through a donation.  Please either go to our website or contact Diane Roberts.