far as German Shepherds and breeding, we believe the GSD should
be a working dog, a dog capable of police work, service, search
and rescue or competition level Schutzhund and also a wonderful
companion and house dog. We expect a lot from our dogs! Our absolute
top priorities are health, temperament and working ability.
occasional breedings are solely to the best stud dogs we can find
to complement our female. We breed when we are ready for our next
puppy, so we plan our breedings extremely carefully by taking in
to consideration temperament and physical attributes as well as
in depth pedigree analysis. We take great pride in our breedings
and strive to improve the German Shepherd breed. We believe that
the female is key in this endeavor, and that she should be strong
in mind and body.
always use health certified and titled breeding stock. Health screening
cannot provide a guarantee of perfectly healthy puppies, but we
believe responsible breeders should always screen their dogs.
train and title our own dogs in Schutzhund (now called IPO). Schutzhund
was originally developed to test a German Shepherds capabilities
prior to breeding to ensure that all breeding stock had the required
traits. This includes temperament, tracking ability, obedience and protection instincts.
All our dogs are trained from puppies by us and live in
our home. We only breed dogs which have proven their exceptional
quality during Schutzhund training as well as shown their versatility
in other venues and are also able to live calmly in the house. We
don't believe titles mean everything, but we do believe that through
the years of training required, we come to know our dogs in detail.
This helps us to find the best breeding match as far as temperament
How we raise our puppies:
Puppies are raised in our home, and exposed to the "Super Dog"
program and as many indoor and outdoor experiences as
possible before they leave us. Around 5 weeks old, puppies are started with clicker
training for sit, down and recall, and also begin scent pads and
rag work. We start their toilet training by getting them used to
going outside after every meal. They are tattooed and/or microchipped
and an information pack is provided with each puppy.
puppies are fed a premium diet by starting to supplement mom's milk
around 4 weeks. This consists of a carefully prepared raw
diet and also some kibble, and in our experience, pups have no trouble
transitioning to either diet when they leave.
temperament test our puppies for resilience, focus and energy as
well as drives including toys, food and social attraction and we
match each puppy to their new owners with great care, to ensure
that the puppy fits with the new owner's requirements.
We provide all puppy buyers with a simple contract, extensive puppy pack including health records, info about parents, bedding and food
and lifetime help and advice. We always welcome any of our dogs back home for any reason, at any time.
Preference and discounts are always offered to working homes.
All our puppies have limited registration until they have hip & elbow ratings
and working titles. the pups are still eligible for AKC and
other performance events. By doing this, we try to ensure that new
owners commit to title and health check their dogs prior to further
breeding. As soon as the dog has passed the requirements (health
certification and working titles) we will be very happy to change
the registration to full AKC registration.
Before you buy a German Shepherd puppy:
the German Shepherd breed and the various types and lines and ask
yourself which type best fits your family and if you have the time
and space to dedicate to training and exercising your dog. German
Shepherds are an intelligent breed that love to work for their handlers
and need lots of exercise.
Visit obedience, agility or Schutzhund trials to meet dogs and their handlers, these people can often
recommend good breeders. People who spend time training and exhibiting their own dogs are usually the most passionate and caring
about their dogs and their breeds.
When choosing a breeder, ask lots of questions, if the parents
have been health screened and titled. Ask if the breeder themselves
titled the dogs. Ask the breeder what they do with their dogs and
what their breeding goals are. Choosing the right breeder requires
time and research, but is crucial to ensure your future dog is healthy,
stable and a good fit for your family. Be prepared for the breeder
to ask you lots of questions about your plans for the dog, as well
as experience with previous dogs and living conditions. A breeder
who does not ask these questions does not care about where their
puppies end up.
As far as health records, A-stamp, OFA etc, ask to see certificates.
An example of a hip certificate is pictured on the right of this
text. The OFA also has a website where you can search for a dog's
name to see the record - click here.
Be wary of missing records, the OFA allows the owner to choose not to display
failing results, and German Shepherds should have both hips and elbows certified,
so if one is missing, that might be a red flag.
In our opinion, the best breeders are those which have a maximum
of 2 or 3 females at home though they may lease or have other females
who are trained by others. Their females do not live full time in
a kennel, and are not bred on every heat cycle. We choose breeders
who spend time training and then proving their training by gaining
titles in a performance arena. These breeders know their dogs' strengths
and weaknesses and usually know enough about dogs to be able to
recommend the right puppy to each buyer. The best breeders may recommend
another breeder or even a different breed, or an adult dog which
will fit your requirements better. They may suggest a rescue dog,
there are some very nice dogs in shelters who are there through
no fault of their own, be sure to take someone experienced with
you who can help you choose so that you don't fall for the first
set of cute brown eyes!
Breeders who import or buy titled dogs are probably trying to
do the right thing, but cannot possibly know the dog unless they
continue it's training further. Many adult "import" dogs
are not superior to dogs already in the USA, in fact, they are usually
sold out of Europe for a reason, and it is often because they are
not good enough to stay. We are also wary of breeders who always
use their own or one local male for stud on all their females, how
can this one male possibly be a good match for all their females?
A guarantee from a breeder does not mean your puppy will not be
dysplastic or have other problems. It usually means that the breeder
has some sort of replacement policy. Think about that for a moment,
you raise a puppy until 2 years and now it has bad hips, are you
willing to give that dog back to a breeder and get another puppy?
The dog you just gave back could go to a pet home or could be put
to sleep. The replacement puppy will probably be from similar lines
and has a chance to have that same problem again, then what? Or
do you keep the original dog and spay or neuter it, then pay less
for another puppy, now you have 2 dogs, do you have the space, time
and money for both of them?
have recently found that most breeders offer some form of hip and/or
health guarantee even if they don't x-ray or health screen their breeding stock.
Breeding is a cheap proposition for breeders who use their own females
and males and don't x-ray or title their dogs, and replacing a puppy
when they have 4 litters per year is not a big loss. A hip guarantee
appears to be an industry standard rather than a guarantee of quality.
Guarantees have to include a lot of detail to protect both the
breeder and purchaser, and are subject to abuse on both sides, most
buyers cannot reasonably complete all the requirements to ensure
the guarantee stays valid and many breeders don't honor their guarantees.
Having said all this, please remember that a dog is not a machine and even the
very best breeders can only do so much to ensure their pups
But I only want a pet, I don't want to pay more
have lost count of how many times we have heard this comment. Do
you want a dog with great temperament and health that will be a
good family member for 12 or so years? Yes? Then in our opinion,
you should look for a puppy from a dedicated breeder with titled
and health tested parents, and you should expect to pay around $1500.
A "show" or "working" quality pup should not
be any better than a "pet" quality pup in regards to intelligence,
trainability, health and temperament.
Conscientious breeders who really care about the breed are not
making a profit at this price. The cost of raising a brood bitch,
training, titling and health testing her and then breeding her to
the best stud possible and raising the puppies with the best nutrition
and care possible is much higher than you might think.
By insisting on buying low cost "pet" puppies, you are
encouraging puppy mills and people who buy cheap dogs themselves,
do not train or health test them, breed them, and then do not raise,
feed or socialize the puppies correctly.
Breeders are often blamed for the high number of dogs in shelters
and being put to sleep every day and it is true that too many dogs
are being bred, but it is the buyers responsibility to make sure
they are ready for a dog, to commit to doing the best for that dog
for it's lifetime, to educate themselves about a breed and research
breeders and to buy from breeders who truly care about their breed
and try to produce the best puppies possible.
Further Reading - How Life Will Change With a German Shepherd - click
Further Reading - What Characterizes a Good Breeder - click
Further Reading - Wildhaus Kennels - More about choosing a breeder, different types of GSDs, temperament and raising puppies
- click here
Further Reading - Von Tighe Haus - Even more about choosing a breeder and different types of GSDs
- click here
Further Reading - Ian Dunbar's free E-Book - Before You Get Your Puppy - click