German Shepherd Dog > recommendations for breeders near NYS (12 replies)
recommendations for breeders near NYS
by phoebe on 25 May 2012 - 19:06
|Our 8 year old dog Rusty (West German highline) recently died suddenly of Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and I want to make sure we get a healthy dog next time, and also a smaller dog, as he was well over breed standard, 27 inches at the withers, 36 inches long and about 90 pounds. Ideally I would like to visit places and talk to breeders, and certainly not buy a pup long distance. |
I will not show or breed the pup, and do not expect to compete in sport, but will train it well in basic obedience, provide daily
exercise and good nutrition. I have the first Flinks DVD, and spent time with my dog nearly every day with drive and focus games, which he loved. I will not put any bite-work on the dog, because I do not know how to do it correctly, and for liability reasons. If I have time, I would love to work on tracking. At least I can play nose games with the pup, as Rusty loved to find his ball hidden in the house or in the yard. I trained Rusty to stay in a down-stay as I walked out of sight around my mother's house and tossed his ball into tall grass or woods. Then I would return, and when I touched his right shoulder he would run to find the ball. He loved to play tug as a reward.
I do not let my dogs run the house, I like to think of myself as a benevolent but firm leader. They sleep on the floor of my bedroom, on dog beds. I do sometimes cook for them, and of course they get lots of affection. Rusty had health problems from an early age, his weak gait, allergies, and of course his heart disease, which is what must have made him so slow in later years. I knew he had a heart murmur for some years, but did not realize it was so serious. I thought I was buying a working dog, but did not understand the terms correctly at that time. I do not want to make another mistake. Now I want to get a dog that will be happy with me, so a very high drive dog would not be appropriate. I do not need a guard dog at all. Just the appearance of a GSD with upright ears and head leading forward is plenty for most people. I want a highly intelligent, agile, healthy companion. If I have the parlance correct, I want a clear headed dog with moderate drives, but not a sharp dog. If I knew that I could get a compact non-angulated, West German High-line that did not have Rusty's genetic faults, we would consider that, just because we loved Rusty's temperament so much. And he certainly had drive, he never saw a squirrel or raccoon he didn't like.
So now (finally) the question. Most people feel that working dogs are healthier then any show dog, but of course have much higher drives. Are there healthy working lines with lower drive? Are there show lines with excellent genetics? I am looking for breeders within shouting distance of the Hudson River, either side. But I will travel further if needed. I have already met Kandi Jacopino and I loved her dogs, and have communicated with Molly Graf and Claudia at K9vanGogh.
by trixx on 25 May 2012 - 20:23
|all lines have health problems and in all lines you will also have very good healthy ones, puppies are a crap shoot , so best advise i can give you is talk with breeders ask for references eps. from puppy buyers , do alot of research on the breeders you are looking at.|
by hexe on 25 May 2012 - 23:05
|My condolences on Rusty's unexpected death; it sounds as if he was everything a GSD ought to be, temperament- and intelligence-wise, despite the weakened heart.|
Don't rule out looking into GSD rescues, either--sadly, there are a lot of obviously well-bred, European lines GSDs ending up in breed rescues and shelters through no fault of their own. With the economy as it's been, and home foreclosures and job losses, there's been an increase in the number of people who need to place their dogs simply because they're forced to move to housing that won't permit a GSD, or they can't afford to care for the dog any longer. It's heartbreaking.
True, you're not likely to be able to get a health history or pedigree on a rescue (though that's not always the case, either!), but frankly, there are *very few* health issues that can be GUARANTEED NOT to occur merely because the parents are clear of the condition--and it's rare to be able to get a full history of the health of not only the parents of a litter, but *all* of the relatives behind them, iincluding littermates for every one of them--that matters as well when it comes to whether or not the genetics for a disorder are present in the lines. To be blunt, you can pretty much presume that EVERY potential health disorder that's got a genetic link is in ALL GSD lines, because they all share common ancestry, and it's common to linebreed on one or more common ancestors.
A quick check on Petfinder [ http://www.petfinder.com ] shows a number of GSDs that are clearly purebred, and a fair portion of those look to be split between European show lines and working lines (a place called Rescue Dog Village in Bristol, CT appears to have several that fit this description at the moment, from their listing on Petfinder). Molly Graf usually has a foster dog (or two or three) in residence, too, so you should check with her on those, too.
by dantes on 25 May 2012 - 23:14
|Get a Czech work, not sport, line.|
by CCole223 on 27 May 2012 - 07:35
|Their are lines that are better than others, but remember that while health/hip may be guaranteed by the breeder, not every dog is going to be 100% healthy. Yes, some lines are proven to be better than others, but there's always a chance where a puppy can have a condition or defeat. It could something simple yet annoying such as floppy ears that never stand, or it can be something more serious where the dog can't live their life enjoyable or without pain. If you're looking to get a dog from a breeder, look into past puppies they have produce, both the young ones and the older ones. Just because a breeder sells a good looking healthy pup, does not mean when they hit 3 years old the don't have a million problems. Ask for references, some breeders have previous buyers on their site, read recommendations but also ask some buyers in person/email/phone if you're able to. If you adopt a dog, you may still have the option of seeing what lines they are from, but not always. Although you may not be able to get a "history report" on the dog or puppy and find out their info, they are usually vetted prior to going into adoptive homes and you will be told (hopefully) if the dog has an pre-existing issues or not.|
I actually live in Westchester County, and I too was hoping for a breeder near me. I know someone who I'm not sure still breeds GSDs that sold his pups for $1500. I can find out and will repost if he does. I know you're searching for a breeder near Hudson Valley, but if you're not willing to travel far, shipping is usually an option if you are interested. Last year I was supposed to pick up my pup from TN (it was too hot for the airlines to ship him without a person with him), but the day before I was supposed to leave my parents had told me they changed their mind I couldn't have him, so I'm still dogless. But anyway, you may find a good breeder you like further than what you hope for. Near or far, I wish you luck on finding your pup!
by phoebe on 27 May 2012 - 18:11
If you send me the breeders name, I would like that. The breeder from whom I bought Rusty is in the Hudson Valley, then and now, and I would not go back to him.
by guddu on 28 May 2012 - 20:54
|Some have been happy with http://www.vandenheuvelk9.com/|
Their website has been down for a long time, and I think the ownership might have changed...worth investigating.
by MVF on 30 May 2012 - 04:56
|Breeders would like you to believe that it is the breeding that determines the pup at maturity. But, frankly, population genetics shows that there is enough diversity in every litter to safely say that there are dogs of varied levels of drive in all breedings. That is, there will be lower drive dogs even in fine working lines litters -- if you examine and test the pups carefully and trust the breeder to admit to the couch potato in the bunch. |
That said, an unhealthy breeding won't produce healthy puppies who can be identified at 7/8 weeks.
And a breeding of untested parents (of "good" bloodlines) may be dumb or lacking in work ethic.
So why not pick a solid breeding of solid, accomplished dogs and pick a lazier but alert pup. That's what I would recommend. I would also recommend preparing yourself to drive a few hundred miles each way if necessary. In 5 years you will have long forgotten the 8 hr trip, but the dog will still be making you very happy.
by MVF on 30 May 2012 - 04:59
|You should also focus on longevity in the pedigree, and seek out a sire who is mature (>7 years old). I myself care about longevity and chose a pup who was linebred on a dog who bred until he was 13 and lived to nearly 15. I had lost a DDR bitch at less than 6yo, so I did my homework.|
by phoebe on 21 June 2012 - 14:18
|We ended up getting a slightly older pup from Molly Graf from a recent litter, Xanthi x Diego. He is very different from our Rusty, much more mischievous and bouncy, but a little worried about new sounds and objects. Coming from a farm into the Bronx will require adjustment, of course. We practice everyday, and he improves. My mom has a place upstate where he can run and be a dog. We are very happy with him so far.|
by SitasMom on 21 June 2012 - 18:48
windyridge in berrysburg pa is good
by vomeisenhaus on 21 June 2012 - 19:05
|Dantes.... what would be a czech work line & not sport ? And what advantages come with it ?|
by SitasMom on 22 June 2012 - 00:35
there are many good dogs available. I have some slovik and czech highlines and they are healthy, have plenty of drive and defence and they are wonderful to live with.