Now that you have decided on what you believe to be a reputable breeder, you must then visit this breeder to make sure that they have well cared for and high quality German Shepherd Dogs. Upon your visit examine the overall health of all the dogs and notice if the kennels are clean and well maintained. Does the place smell bad of urine and feces? If the kennel does not pass this initial examination, you may need to move onto another breeder. Once you do find a reputable breeder with well-maintained dogs and kennels, you need to know that there are myriads of different types of shepherds with different looks and different functions. These differences may not be readily apparent to the average puppy buyer. Therefore, it may take several visits to different breeders to find the reputable breeder that is producing the right type of shepherd for you and your family. A reputable breeder does not always translate into good quality German Shepherd Dogs that are right for you or your family. Therefore, you must assess the actual German Shepherd Dogs especially the adults and parents. Because the related adults at the kennel especially the parents are going to be the best predictors of the temperament and structure of the new puppy.
If you have chosen a breeder that specializes in imports be aware that many of these German Shepherd Dogs are high-strung and are full of nervous energy. Unless, you and your family members are prepared to spend several hours a day exercising and training an import shepherd may not be the best choice. For several years, the breeders in Europe have bred their German shepherd Dogs to increase the drive and energy of their lines. This is because the sport of Schutzhund requires a high drive dog, and the higher the drive the more successful the breeder will be in competitions. While this is a noble pursuit for dogs that will be used professionally in law enforcement activities, this does not translate well for the family dog. In addition, some imported German Shepherd Dog lines are people and/or dog aggressive. Do you and your family have the skills to deal with an aggressive dog? Note that not all imports are high-strung; those that originate from the show lines in Germany have steadier temperaments and often make wonderful companions for families, as well as offering home protection.
When visiting the kennel to discuss the potential purchase of a new puppy be sure and go around to all the kennels and visit each of the breeder’s dogs. Observe their behavior. If you are greeted with a serious barking and aggressive behaviors at several kennel this is an indication of the aggressive behavior that would be exhibited by your new puppy once grown. However, if you are greeted by an excited bark this indicates less aggression and a more relaxed temperament. Will the German Shepherd Dogs come greet you through the fence by smelling and licking your hand or do they retreat to the back of the kennel? A retreating German Shepherd Dog could potentially be a dangerous dog that could be a fear biter that could get you sued. Retreating or showing fear towards strangers is not the correct German Shepherd Dog temperament, and is a big clue that these may not be the right German shepherd line for you to get your next puppy from.
Notice if the kennels are heavily chewed or if excessive digging behaviors are observable. Again, these are indicative of behaviors that your new puppy may demonstrate at home. Is there incessant barking coming from the kennels even after you have been there for a while? This may indicate a barking problem when your puppy is grown. Ask to see the dogs outside the kennel. Will these dogs allow you to greet them and to pet them? If the breeder is reluctant to let the dogs out of the kennel this is a major warning sign, and perhaps it is time to move on to the next kennel to purchase your next German shepherd Dog. Be observant and ask questions and listen to see if the breeder’s answers ring true to you.
We at Keystone German Shepherds & kennels breed an even tempered German Shepherd Dog that are a true pleasures to live with inside and/or outside. However, while friendly towards welcomed strangers and children our dogs would readily give their lives to protect us and our property. Our Heidelberg German Shepherds can discern the difference between a stranger and a truly bad person; therefore they will not get you sued for biting someone because if they do bite someone that person will be going to jail.
When someone first arrives at our kennels, the first thing that they will notice is that there is no odor. The next thing they will notice is how quiet it is on our property. Our Heidelberg German Shepherds will first alert bark when strangers come in, but once we go outside to greet the people, the dogs know that all is well and they will quietly observe us and the potential puppy customer. Our kennels are not chewed or dug up. Strangers can go from kennel to kennel and be greeted by a kiss to the hand from every dog on the property without any aggressive or fearful behavior being exhibited.
My next post will be a continuation of this series in “Choosing a Reputable Breeder” and the “Correct Type of German Shepherd Dog for You and Your Family” to actually “Choosing the Perfect Puppy With the Personality That Best Fits Your Family’s Lifestyle and Needs”. Because this is probably one of the most important discussions I can have regarding German Shepherd Dogs, I will be editing these posts and adding to them over the next couple of weeks with the plan to add this discussion as a new page on my web page so please revisit these posts as they are refined and improved.
Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds