Hi, I’m Ryan with Triad K9 and I would like to give you some insight as to how to shop for a German Shepherd puppy. I want to help you find a great dog even if you don’t buy one from our kennel. As a 3rd generation breeder I am committed to producing exceptional working dogs. I want you to realize the market is polluted with bad genetics. I also want to show you the mistake people make when they decide to breed the German Shepherd they own. We will explore many topics and will break things down so you have a clear picture as to what you’re buying. Just take a look at all the ads out there, everyone is claiming that their puppies are the best. Each ad basically says the same thing but in a different way. Most of them read “Great for the family environment but great for protection” or “Excellent temperaments” and the list goes on. How are you supposed to decide on which one to visit? After you finish reading this article go back If you first found some of my advertisements in pet ad listings and count how many folks which fit the descriptions about backyard breeders and then start your search for a puppy.
There are so many types of German Shepherds to choose from and most people don’t know the difference. I have provided a link for you to see what type will fit your needs (coming soon)
This is one of the important things that may people don't understand that well and get you ripped off. When you look at the many prices that dogs are available at, you get this sense that the cheap ones are just what they are and the expensive ones are the good ones. But there are so many more factors than that. There is also the price that people put on their dogs because they value their dogs more and put them purposely in the more expensive market to look more professional and to make more money. I see dogs for what they are worth based on workability, performance, structure and health, and show quality. People who just buy expensive dogs and import them just so they can sell puppies for more money should just stop breeding. They aren't buying the dog to improve the breed, they just do it for profit. I own many different types of dogs and the most sought after in my kennel and in most around the globe are herding, working and show line dogs. They are your typical saddleback black and red German Shepherds. They have it all, the looks, the body type, the health and the workability. I don't invest my business in just plain working dogs, Its in the West German. I prefer the west German more than any Czech or Eastern DDR dog. The price reflects this as well. Most Czech shepherds and DDR dogs dont sell for much because the market is dilluted by them. They are a dime a dozen. This is actually why the dogs that we own that are Czech or Eastern lines are crossed with West German and are 50/50. It also helps with the temperament. When looking for a puppy, I would expect to pay around 1000 to 1500 for Czech/ DDR working litters. As far as the West German they usually run 1400 and up to 5000. If you want the best German Shepherd you can get for your hard earned dollar they need to have the total package.
The Sire and Dam
The sire and dam are obviously one of the first things to look at when starting your search because this is what your puppy will look like when it grows up. It is during this step that you know if you will be choosing this litter. So ask yourself, do the parents look amazing compared to others on the market or is their something better out there. First and foremost a “breed dog” is unfortunately expensive and boy do they look expensive. You will know one when you see one because it really stands out and gives that wow factor. They should have correct body type and excellent pigmentation. The body should be proportional to its size and should not be too long. The place between the shoulder blades or “the withers” should be the highest point of the dog and should gradually slope to the hind quarters. Have you ever seen a Shepherd that has a dip in the back? That is because the shoulder blades are not positioned correctly at a 45 degree angle. This affects the dog’s weight distribution and can also affect the spine and elbows. There are also Shepherds that have a very sloped back which is undesirable to most customers. Once again this is all related to the withers and how it’s anatomy affects the body. Size is another issue that’s overlooked. The German Shepherd is a herding type breed and should not be a very large dog. Large German Shepherds are not true to the breed and are considered faults, it also affects their ability to work. Most Shepherds weigh in the range of 70 to 90lbs. When observing the dog ask the breeder to open the dogs mouth and look at the teeth alignment, there should not be an over bite or under bite. The teeth should basically look like the dog has had braces. I know that sounds funny but all of this matters when buying a great dog for a lot of your hard earned money. The color of the parents is something I would be very picky about. Both parents should be very rich and robust in color, somewhat like high definition on your TV. One look at a true breed dog and you will understand. I prefer black and reds and would stay away from black and cream or black and silver and even some black and tans depending on how washed out they look. Some breeders have caught onto this and started claiming that there dogs are the more sought after black and reds but with one look you can point out that they are not. Black and reds won’t just have a little red on the head or a little here and there, they will be red throughout their entire body and on the legs and it will be a gorgeous mahogany color. Both of the parents you are purchasing a puppy from should be registered through the AKC. Now there are many foundations that dogs can be registered through but the AKC is the only one I trust. I prefer to stay away from CKC registered dogs due to unregulated services. The pedigree should be a major part in your search for a puppy because this will more than likely dictate what you’re getting. The higher the pedigree the better off the puppy. If I were looking to buy a puppy as just a pet I would be looking in the $1000 to $2500 price range due to what’s in North Carolina below that price. If price is an issue then good luck, it will be difficult in the market around here and there will always be compromise . It is my job as a competitive breeder to know about all litters being sold in North Carolina and you will always sacrifice the pedigree for a cheaper price. When looking for the best dog, purchase puppies from VA bloodlines. The latest and greatest genetics come from the Sieger show winners. To tell if the lines are VA rated look at the pedigree chart and research the genealogy of the dogs named. It is here you will get the names, then look up the names to see if they are in the Sieger Shows. The progeny from these lines will be exceptional in quality and take on a completely better look. Just remember that the founders of the German Shepherd had specifics in mind when creating this breed and it is a disgrace to produce anything less. Over many years of breeding we have documented the many characteristics and types of puppies we have produced, analyzing each and every litter. We have crossed many types of German and DDR stock while staying true to the breed to create a unique bloodline. We also carry 100% West German herding/show lines. They are competitive, driven and are performers. They have excellent temperaments, they are expressive and charismatic, and are very gentle with children and other pets. They have endless amounts of energy to entertain you and your family. All of our customers will tell you that our Shepherds are the best dog in the world and that they couldn't imagine life without them.
The Breeder you choose to buy from should be very experienced and should sound like it. They should have a wealth of information on dog breeding and know everything there is to know about the breed and whelping puppies. You have to be able to trust these breeders and know that what you are purchasing is the best puppy for you. When I purchase a high quality breed dog I know the people, the dogs and their program very well. I order from the best kennels in the world to get exactly what I want, so I can provide you with a dog that will amaze you in every way. We strive to sell the best German Shepherd on the market! There are so many people who got a German Shepherd puppy and decided that they were going to breed it but had no clue what it takes to produce high quality puppies. These kind of people are called backyard breeders and are very indiscriminate on what they breed. It takes one look at their dogs or operation and you will know when compared to real breed dogs. These people pollute the gene pool with genetics they think are great, but in reality they are undesirable to professionals. Now even though they may take care of the dog and love it dearly, who was to say they were good breed dogs, them? The people who are selling you the puppy! Keep in mind that most of these dogs stay in a drafty chewed up dog house and live their entire life in a fence. They don’t care or understand you can’t keep animals locked away until you are ready for them. Each one must be included in your everyday life. When you visit a real breeder you will see how much work they put in to their program. There will be proof all around their property and in the kennels that they work very hard on what they take pride in.
When you visit a real breeder you should be absolutely blown away by the kennels the dogs stay in. A real breeder should set the highest example in a dogs living conditions to express to customers on how dogs should be treated. If they are exceptional breeders it will definitely show it. Make a note of how well the dogs look. Do they have a good shelter and a nice dog house? How clean is the water, how about the water dish itself? Are they left out in extreme weather? How often do they have Vet checkups? Where do the puppies stay. Are the puppies clean or do the smell like urine and bodily waste. Do they look skinny and sickly? Remember, you hold the power when visiting the kennel. You are the only one who can actually say whether the parents or the puppies are happy and healthy not the sellers. At Triad K9 we are set up to accommodate the many needs of our Shepherds. We keep our Shepherds in a heated and cooled kennel with indoor air quality and sanitation in mind. Our dogs are our way of life and I want to give them the highest level of care and the love they deserve. We maintain a very sanitary facility with loads of room for our dogs to run and enjoy themselves. We take a lot of pride in our home and kennels and welcome all visitors to come and see what we have to offer. Please make note that if you encounter a backyard breeder do not feel obligated to rescue the puppy. I know it will be hard to pass up an adorable puppy, but you’re feeding their impulse to keep selling undesirable dogs for money and are also helping them dilute the greatest breed on earth. One of the main things that should stick out when making your selection is the health guarantee. The guarantee should protect you from any genetic health issues should they occur. It includes things like hip dysplasia, DM, auto immune deficiencies, etc. Most guarantees are two years, which is pretty standard across the board. Below is a breeder checklist and it’s a printable copy for you to take with you while making your selection.
(checklist coming soon)
The health of the Sire, Dam and the Litter of puppies are one of the most important things to consider when shopping around. This is reflected by the kennels and the program the breeder presents. We have touched base on the kennels mentioned earlier in the this article. The other part to this is the Sire and Dam and how the quality affects whether you will be plagued with a nightmare. With all living things there is always a chance defects can happen. How many times or how often is the determining factor whether you should purchase from that kennel. Be sure to ask what defects have occurred and also how many times. It is ok to have a defect happen if it is a very rare thing. Just like people, out of a hundred or so individuals if only a few people have health issues I would call that success. Even the most exclusive kennels have had this happen but it is rare in their program because of the high quality. Most great breeders will provide a health guarantee to protect you in case of that rare thing happening to you. A two year contract is pretty standard across the board. It should cover you from things like hip/elbow dysplasia, DM, or any life threatening or crippling defect. Always ask to see the contract before making a deposit. It is important that breeders stand by their puppies so you don’t get the short end of an agreement. Make sure your breeder isn't a “Do it yourself” type where they try and save a dollar and get 7 way shots from a box store. Most of these types of shots are ineffective and will not vaccinate your puppy. Make sure the breeder takes your puppy to a licensed veterinarian before taking him home to ensure it is healthy. You will also want to take it to your own vet and have it evaluated within the first few days of getting it.
Choosing the puppy
Now that you have reserved a puppy and its time to make your selection your breeder should help pair you up with the best one for your needs. Each puppy should be evaluated and observed by the breeder with records logged. They should be able to show you which puppy suits your needs. You may choose the puppy they have designated for you or pick one yourself. Each customer has a certain criteria they have in mind. You have to ask yourself what comes to mind when describing the best dog for you. Do you want a big dog, like 90 lbs? How about a gorgeous dog or one for protection. Great temperament? I would say all of those put together. Remember the puppy will only be as good as the parents. Look at the parents and pick the traits that you like best, like the Dam’s temperament but the Sire’s coat and color. In each litter there will be certain variations the pups have that they get from their parents. I am an excellent puppy picker and can tell you everything about the puppy, even down to what it will look like when it gets older. As a good breeder, I will pair you up with a good match, but there are some things that are out of my control. For example: lets say you are wanting a Shepherd for protection but when you take it home you introduce the many household things available that could scare the daylights out of the little guy. Well this can create a pup that is afraid of certain objects and can set the stage for adult hood and their reactions to new things. Another point is spraying the dog with the water hose is not a good way to start your dog off for having fun at the lake. The puppies we produce have sound nerves and are clear headed but unfortunately some people can manage to mess it up. It is up you to educate yourself and train/introduce the puppy in the correct manner.
One more thing before you go! I want you to know that if there is anything I can do for you when searching for a new pet, even if your not buying from me. I will be here to answer any questions you have about German Shepherds or breeding ethics.
Thank you for visiting Triad K9.