German Shepherd Dog > When is it Appropriate to Start Visiting Breeders? (15 replies)
When is it Appropriate to Start Visiting Breeders?
by Konotashi on 06 December 2011 - 09:56
|At the moment, I'm pretty much set on getting a WGSL puppy. On paper and in writing, a WGSL seems like it would be the perfect dog for me. I just want a dog that has medium drive, he most likely will be competing in agility and/or flyball, and I would want the dog to be able to do Schutzhund successfully if I choose to pursue it. First and foremost, this dog will be a companion. I know WL breeders have medium drive dogs as well that also fit my criteria. However, I'm quite partial to black/tans. (I know, color should be my last concern). However, I'll go with whatever dog would be the best fit for me. |
There are several breeders I know of that I'd be willing to drive to, both SL and WL.
I'm not going to be getting my GSD for a few years, but want to start testing the waters now. I want to see breeders' facilities, their dogs, and see what I like in person, rather than just online. Also, I'd like to possibly stay in touch with breeders that I liked and maybe talk to some of their puppy buyers about dogs/puppies they got from them and get a feel for what certain breeders produce and see who I feel would be the best to give me what I want/need in a GSD.
I'm going to guess that it might be up to 5 years before I can get a GSD. I really hope it won't be that long, but that's my sad reality. My question is, how soon is too soon to begin getting in touch with breeders and visiting their facilities?
by dogshome9 on 06 December 2011 - 10:09
|For me if a person said that they were thinking about a puppy for in 5 years time I would invite them to come and see my dogs, puppies and also tell them that I have no idea as to where I will be in 5 years time and neither do they. I believe that a 5 year plan is too far away for me BUT you never know we just might become great friends in that time!!!!!!!|
by eichenluft on 06 December 2011 - 14:02
|You should be comfortable contacting breeders, asking for information about their dogs in general ie temperaments, what they do with their dogs (does the breeder work the dogs, does the breeder train, work their own puppies?) - what health testing the breeder does with their breeding animals, how the dogs are housed, where the puppies are born/raised (ie in the house, kennel, basement, garage, outside), and of course visiting the breeders who sounded good to you, would allow you to meet the breeder in person, meet the dogs, see their condition, any obvious problems with temperament, health, coat - how they are housed, do they look healthy, active, sound, shiny well-groomed coats, or do they look tired, lethargic, disinterested, sad, unhealthy, poorly groomed or dirty? Are they friendly, forward, open, outgoing or at least neutral/aloof to you? Or are they cautious, shy, spooky, hackles up, tail tucked, nervous or aggressive? Does the breeder actually let the dogs out to meet you - loose? Or on leash - does the breeder let you handle the dog, or just pat it on the head? Will the breeder let you bring your significant other, or children to meet the dogs? Will they allow you to watch the dogs working too?|
I welcome people to come visit anytime, meet me and my dogs, even if they are only researching breeders and have no plans on actually buying a puppy in the near future. IMO all responsible breeders should "have nothing to hide" and nothing to be reluctant to show, in person.
by mirasmom on 06 December 2011 - 14:03
|Funny you say in about 5 years time, some of the kennels|
you visit now may not be around in five years, maybe you can go by that
indication. All I know is that when I have a healthy litter on the ground, I have been
blessed, cause the dogs aren't machines, they sometimes have problems producing.
It is nice to see you are researching though, well ahead of time.
Talking to puppy owners is also a great start, cause you will have a more candid
conversation with the average dog owner than the breeder sometimes!
Good luck with your search!
by trixx on 06 December 2011 - 14:50
i think that would be a good idea and go have alook at the breeders you are intrested in. see what they are all about, the breeder should not have a problem with that, if they do , then look elsewhere. i have always welcome family to come see my dogs and or puppies , if i have any.
by destiny4u on 06 December 2011 - 18:25
|few years is 2 far lol its only going to make u want to get one now because you are gonna run into that perfect puppy/dog while researching and it will drive you insane.|
by macrowe1 on 06 December 2011 - 18:40
|5 years seems to be a long time. I agree with destiny, you will end up running into that perfect pup and it will drive you crazy. It's a fabulous idea to get to know some breeders and their facilities, but 5 years is a long time. In that time, the breeders may not be there anymore. The dogs you favor may not be producing puppies anymore. New dogs will be brought into the mix, new breeders will appear. There is a lot of variablility in the next 5 years.|
by Chaz Reinhold on 06 December 2011 - 19:40
|At five years, you are wasting your time and theirs. In four years, you can do an amazing amount of research and learn a lot about the breed, lines, etc. That will give you one year to find the best pup available. If you can't find what you want after that one year search, what is another six months on five years? Don't settle.|
by dAWgESOME on 06 December 2011 - 21:09
|- Start now - the more you learn a head of time the more ready you will be when it is actually the right time to make your decission.|
by aaykay on 06 December 2011 - 21:48
|From a learning perspective, it may be a good idea to start looking around but in every other way, I believe 5-years is too long a time to look ahead toward.|
by Konotashi on 07 December 2011 - 06:30
|I think 3 years would be more realistic, however, I put 5 years so I wasn't disappointed if it took longer than 3 years. I know I was quite upset when I guesstimated it'd be about a year until I got my GSD, and still don't have one. |
There should be a SchH trial sometime in February around here. It was supposed to be on the 3rd and 4th of this month, but was cancelled due to the judge being ill. They expect to hold the trial in Feb.
There is a team member on my flyball team with a WL female who is SUPER fast - something I'm looking for, given I plan to do agility and/or flyball with my future GSD. I have only seen her once and only got to watch her do a few practice runs, but I'll shoot her a message or talk to her next time I see her.
by dogshome9 on 08 December 2011 - 04:26
|When I first started to look I was working full time so the first thing I did was to become a member of the Canine Council and the German Shepherd Dog League, then I started going to German Shepherd Specialty Shows, talked to lots of breeders, watched what was happening in the ring and looked at the dogs and finaly decided what I liked in a dog and why.|
Finally I chose a breeder whose dogs I liked and waited and waited for almost 2 years until she bred a litter and had a puppy for me. During that 2 years I continued going to shows and in that time I learned a great deal more about the breed.
Good Luck with your search.
by Ctidmore on 09 December 2011 - 01:39
|I agree totally with Molly. Breeders should be happy to show you their dogs, I know I LOVE showing off my girls to anybody that will watch them work. LOL The only time I may ask people to hold off is when I have a new litter on the ground and I want the puppies to be at least 3-4 weeks old. I have family and friends that help me socialize the puppies during that time, but I am speaking of just visitors coming in and handling the babies.|
They can always come and see the adult dogs any time but I just like to make sure people don't bring anything into the babies. However I keep germX in the whelping room and ask that they clean their hands before handling the babies. I usually use outside stud dogs and they may be far away, but my females are ALWAYS available for people to meet.
by VKGSDs on 09 December 2011 - 03:04
|To me it depends on whether you are picking a breeder or a dog. If you are picking a breeder, it can't hurt to start looking now if you think you can resist the puppies. If you are picking a dog, might as well spend the time and effort watching training, going to trials, talking to people that train and work dogs rather than visiting breeders because even if the breeders are still around they may not be breeding any of the same dogs in five years.|
by Konotashi on 09 December 2011 - 06:16
|There is one breeder whose dogs I'm in love with. (Online, anyway). This is a breeder I hope to go visit before very long. Resisting puppies wouldn't be too hard, given the fact that I'm in no position to bring one home right now. (However, if I COULD, I believe it would be much, much more difficult). lol |
I don't know if some of her dogs will still be breeding when the time comes for me to look, but I do also like the young, upcoming prospects they have. Overall, I like their dogs. Their progeny is also impressive, and at the rate they're going, I hope that I can get a puppy from them. If they appeal to me in person as much as they do online, of course. ;)
by windwalker18 on 09 December 2011 - 07:15
|As long as you are clear about your intentions I don't think it's EVER too soon to start. I started looking 6 years before I actually purchased my WL male. Had a number of phone conversations about the breeder's dogs, pedigrees traits of different dogs they had, or were looking at to breed to down the line. A family emergency delayed my actually getting a pup for years, but when I was ready one of the 1st "pups" I'd fallen in love with was just due to have her 1st litter. I'd also talked to the owners of the sire a couple times over the intervening years and was quite sure what I wanted to be able to do, and what kind of personality I wanted from my pup to be even if I wasn't able to train in Schutzhund which had been my dream.|
Ikon is now 2 1/2 years old, a very high drive dog, with boundless energy. But thanks to my time spent talking I also made sure to look for a dog with very balanced temperament (what they refer to as 'clear headed'). If you contact a breeder and find that they're impatient with your taking up their precious time, but not getting a pup from an immediately upcoming litter... then make some more calls and find one who will be a friend and guide as well as just a breeder. I am glad to call Ike and Demi's breeders as friends, and have confidence they won't blow me off the first issue that might arise regarding the dogs they bred, and we all love.