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Researching the German Shepherd Dog

Updated on June 23, 2020
Kelly Ward profile image

Breeding and training German Shepherds since 2010. I craft a regiment to help dogs reach their genetic potential.

Individuals and families research many different types of purchases. They research buying a car, a house, and the right car seat for the children. All of this research is wonderful. I wish more would research the puppy or dog they were bringing to their home. For example, there are many consumers that do not know about hip and elbow testing in the German Shepherd breed. This is an essential piece of health research when looking for your future dog.


Price or budget is usually the first category that is considered when researching for a dog. I completely understand and support researching a budget. Over the years of life I have learned that with purchasing or acquiring any item in my life- I have "got what I paid for". For example, when I saved up and paid more money for the better quality mower for my yard, I had a better experience. The mower cut much better, I had far less mechanical problems, and I had a machine that lasted a long time.

I want to caution when researching a dog and looking for the "best bargain". There are many reasons why quality breeders have a higher price tag for their dogs. The simple explanation in business terms is: overhead. Quality breeders are in the 'business' of creating high quality dogs.

Examples of dog 'overhead':

1. Health testing

2. Pedigree testing

3. Years of training

4. Years of competition

5. Competition costs: travel, entries, dog prep, training, etc.

6. High Quality Care: Diet, training, exercise, grooming, and Veterinarian care

7. Breed memberships and club memberships

8. Years of proven pedigree lines

When researching your new family dog, I would emphasize also saving for a specific budget. You want to find a quality dog that is healthy, has a balanced temperament, and will live a long and happy life with you and your family. Realistically, if price is an obstacle that is OK. There are multiple rescues and adoption facilities that have pure breeds available. Please research these agencies, they are wonderful and helpful.


The next category is geography when researching for you dog. I am so confused as to why people need to get the dog that is in their town? There are quality breeders who ship and that you might have to drive to go and meet your new dog. I want to emphasize to research for exactly what you are looking for in a dog. If it means you must drive to the breeder or rescue then that is the steps to take.

The concept of scams or internet purchasing is a reality in today's consumer world. This is where your research and work comes into play. You should find references or even better you could speak with friends or family and locate a safe option through word of mouth.

What to look for when researching a quality GSD breeder:

  1. Health testing- Hip & Elbow, DM, etc.
  2. Pedigrees- database membership
  3. Titles
  4. Experience with the breed & Knowledge of the breed in Europe and the governing agencies such as FCI and SV.
  5. Temperament Testing
  6. Paperwork
  7. Guarantees
  8. Breeds for the improvement of the breed
  9. Competes & Serious in breed activities
  10. Has all records: breed registry, health testing, vaccines, de-worming, health certificate, microchip


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