Best place to find a quality puppy? - Page 1

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by ladywolf45169 on 09 June 2023 - 00:06

I'm interested in a quality puppy, but can't find anything recent on this site. Suggestions? TIA


by alexnds05 on 09 June 2023 - 12:06

First of all, full disclosure, I'm the breeder behind German Shepherds, and I write this from a breeder's perspective to a customer. 

To find a quality puppy, German Shepherd breed, you need to select some criteria but what you mean by that. What are your standards? In my opinion, all German Shepherd breeders, whether breeding pet lines or Working lines or Showlines should perform O.F.A hip X-rays and elbow X-rays. In Germany, they use the A-Stamp system but in the United States we use the Orthopedic Foundation of Animals. The other thing that should be mandatory is testing for Degenerative Myelopathy. One parent can be a carrier, but the other parent must not be. It means both parents must be carriers for this terrible disease to show up. There are many other diseases but you can't possibly test for every single one. At most you should test for a disease which is more common in a specific breed.  So for example, a disease that affects Dalmations may not be relevant to German Shepherd dogs.   Now, this comes to price.  I've seen website like Hobby Classifieds that sell puppies for as $500 or $850. You can't possibly ask a breeder to perform all this level of testing and screening of parents, and not pay too much for a puppy.  Puppies that have been priced between $2500 to $4,000 is the price range for health tested and titled parents.  The thing to watch out for is breeders that breed for a "special" trait.  For example, I would avoid like the plague breeders that breed "Panda" Shepherds. This is a genetic mutuation and the goal is to breed away from genetic mutuations, not for genetic mutations deliberately.  The same thing goes for Liver and Brown colored German Shepherds.  The liver color is a color dilution gene from the black recessive gene. German Shepherds don't have a black dominant gene.  So while the puppies might be healthy, I would shy away from breeders that breed for "something different" than the breed standard. The breed standard exists for a reason. We as breeders didn't invent this breed: Captain Max von Stephanitz did. So why buy a puppy from a breeder that tries to do their own thing? I also wouldn't buy puppies from dogs that are 120 lbs in weight. Bigger is not better when it comes to a sheep dog that can herd all day long. 
The other thing to shy away from is a breeder that is focused on breeding exclusivly for double recessive traits. For example, some breeders specialize only in long coats. This requires both parents to carry the long coat gene.  Other breeders focus exclusively on only carrying black shepherds.  Yet again, this requires both parents to carry the black recessive gene, or both parents to be black to guarantee black.  An animal is a complex organism of polygenetic traits. You can't breed for one trait only: you must breed for the total animal. When a breeding program is almost exclusively focused on breeding for a single trait, color, or coat type or an unusual color, such as panda or liver, this is the wrong focus. They are not focused on the animal as a whole. So I would avoid breeders that are too narrowly focused on a single trait only. 

The nex thing to understand is your responsibility as a buyer.  Most breeders that breed good dogs want to know something about your ability to provide a home for their puppy as a buyer. That begins with not having a "vending machine" psychology. Too many buyers want a puppy right now, and at this minute and expect breeders to have puppies around all year long. This is simply not possible.  Good breeders plan their litters well in advance and have a buyer's list of willing and able buyers. If your attitude is you can buy the puppy you want, anytime you want, and have an 'off the rack" mentality, keep in mind that this is not how it works.  Female dogs have 6 months between heats and many breeders don't breed back to back heats and let their female rest between heats. From the time of conception to the time you get your puppy, 4 months has to pass before you have the puppy in your hands. That means, you must be prepared to wait 10 to 4 months for the right puppy.  Too many people have an "I'm ready when I'm ready" psychology. Than you are not ready for a good breeder, but simply anybody that comes along when you are ready.

 The next level up is to demand titles from parents from a breeder.  Now, this comes down to knowing how to read pedigrees.  If you see "Ch" in a dog's titles, which stands for Champion, this usually means a conformation title.  This means almost nothing when it comes to the temperament of an animal. Does the animal startle easily, and then recover? Or does the animal stay frightened?  Does the animal shake out of fear in an unknown environment?  Is the animal easy to handle around children? These are the kinds of characteristics most buyers are looking for in an animal, and not whether or not it can prance around a show ring and be felt up by some blue blood at the end of the judging.  So in sum, you want an animal that is anatomically sound, is highly intelligent, has relatively high prey drive, which is normal for this breed, and is highly trainable and comes from a long line of working pedigrees and titles, that demostrate trainability and nerve strenght. So in the end, you have to know what "quality" means to you.

by GSCat on 10 June 2023 - 01:06

Good info, above.


EDITED TO ADD:  I just saw you posted in the Borzoi forum.  I edited to add Borzoi info.  Below the EDIT, substitute Borzoi for German Shepherd.  Sorry about that.


I just went to the AKC website to read the breed standard for Borzoi.  AKC also has history of Borzoi breed

Borzoi National Club

Nice Borzoi article in ShowSight Magazine (publication about sighthounds, of which Borzi is one breed)

AKC has a Puppy Finder function on its website.  As of the day and time of this post, there were only 11 AKC-sanctioned breeders with available Borzoi puppy(ies).

OFA has list of breeds and which conditions most commonly afflict them.  Borzoi

Important to read the information about the tests on the OFA site.

When looking at pedigrees on PedigreeDatabase, health test results, if available, should be posted in the pedigree


German Shepherd Questions (oops), but they generally pertain to other breeds, as well.

What do you want to do with your dog? Pet only, emotional support or service dog, agility, dock diving, conformation (show dog), sport (Schutzhund, Ring, PSA), Herding, Search and Rescue (SAR), Therapy Dog, or?

How much and what kind of experience do you have with dogs in general? What kinds of dogs? How much experience do you have with German Shepherds? Have you ever raised a puppy before? What breed?

How much time do you have to care for, train, play with, and exercise your puppy/dog? Do you have a large fenced yard, multi-family housing with on-site dog park, local dog park, or?

What other family members, including cats and other dogs, do you have? What kind of climate do you live in? Which country?

The answers to the above will help members here advise on some more specific things to look for or avoid when looking for a German Shepherd puppy and useful resources for training, etc.

Q Man

by Q Man on 10 June 2023 - 09:06

Lady Wolf:
There's a lot of very good information above...And I appreciate all the info given...

Personally I wouldn't be able to remember all of that...So I would like to tell you the way I think about it when asked this question...

Simply put: Find a good breeder...Know what you want: Showline or Working Line German Shepherd...

Learn by Asking...Reading and Watching Videos about what you should ask a breeder...Research and Learn...

If and when your ready ask for recommendations for breeders...

Then I would certainly highly suggest taking someone with you that can give you their thoughts on a litter or even a particular puppy...


by tiffanyboall52 on 14 June 2023 - 10:06

One more thing I'll add, from my own experience: If you can find someone who is a neutral party who is highly educated and involved in the breed, ask them for tips on good breeders. I love my dog, but I wish I had the resources at my disposal when I chose her breeder that I do now. My next puppy will be chosen differently, utilizing the advice of some trusted people.


by ladywolf45169 on 26 June 2023 - 05:06

I'm not sure how or why this ended up on the GSD side, because I actually posted in in the Borzoi side. And while i do appreciate all the above information and suggestions, I can assure you that I already have an extensive background in the GSD breed! :)

by GSCat on 26 June 2023 - 12:06

Your thread is still safely in the Borzoi forum ;-)

The GSD breed-specific forum is the most active at PDB, and most posts throughout the non-specific forums are reference GSD.

Most people click Latest Posts so we pick up all the new posts throughout the PDB site, regardless of forum. Much more efficient and don't miss posts that way.

I failed to check which forum your original post was on and just "assumed." Sorry. I hope the Borzoi info I added when I realized my mistake is helpful.


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