**What do we have to do to reserve one of your puppies? Can I send a deposit?
We would like an initial contact email giving us a little detail about yourself and your purpose for wanting a German shepherd puppy and any prior experience that you have had as an adult in raising and training the breed.
If we have puppies available or have puppies planned, we would ask that you complete our puppy pre-purchase questionnaire and be as detailed as possible which will save us from going back and forth trying to clarify things. The questions that we ask will help us determine if our German shepherd puppies will fit into your home situation and if you would be happy with one and if the puppy will be happy with you.
We will let you know if we feel we can make suggestions to make this work for you. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. The breed is not for everyone in every stage of someone’s life. Please be aware that we do not sell puppies to just anyone who wants one and if this is going to offend you, there are plenty of breeders selling puppies for much more than we should be who would gladly take your money and ask minimal questions. We want it to work and be a win win situation for your family and for the puppy!
**What is the cost of one of your puppies and how much of a deposit is needed?
That will vary slightly from litter to litter with several things that we have to consider and again we will have detailed litter info written up that we can email you when you send us the pre-purchase questionnaire. Pick puppies if available will be slightly higher, long coated puppies will be a little less. Currently we are letting pups go for less than we can purchase them for from other breeders with similar lines and from importing. This will probably have to change but the reason we do this is it gives us more of a choice of homes which goes back to what we have said, we do not sell to everyone who wants a German shepherd puppy.
Our deposits are $200. Unlike other breeders we do not ask for $300 - $500 down and then move you to another litter if there are not enough puppies or if their female is not pregnant. We do not want to hold someone "hostage" and ask them to wait longer. We understand that people are anxious to take their new puppy home as it is. Our deposits are refundable if there are not enough puppies of the gender that you have requested or if for some reason the female is not pregnant. You will not be asked to wait for another litter! This is a promise!
** Will a German shepherd puppy get along with my current pets?
That depends on what pets you own. Well bred German shepherd puppies have prey drive which means they will likely chase a cat if the cat runs. Some German shepherds get along well with cats and some do not. Early introduction is important and an escape route for the cat, ie: counter top, bookcase ledge, top of the fridge! is really important.
If you have another dog, the best thing to do is to bring in the opposite gender. Two males may not get along and two females may not get along and if they do not, you will have to find a way to separate them for life. A lot of how it works out depends on the temperament of your current dog but there also is no way to know how that German shepherd puppy will be as an adult. Your current dog must be a dog that will tolerate puppies who can really be bothersome. You must be certain to remove any toys or empty food dishes or anything that you think your adult dog will or can be possessive of. We can give you suggestions on how to introduce the German shepherd puppy to your current dog.
**We have children, is the German shepherd a breed that is good with kids?
Yes if raised properly where they have the time that they will demand and need and common sense is used.
The German shepherd will bond strongly to his family and to his “kids.” He may not tolerate when friends and cousins come to visit and rough house with the kids that the dog lives with. Common sense must be used in that you should never leave a dog of any breed unattended with children.
We have found that parents can be overwhelmed with the German shepherd breed when they have toddlers and young children. We have said it before and it is true, the German shepherd is a demanding breed. They are very intelligent, very active and need something to do. They do not like to be left alone for long hours nor do they take the back seat to anything. They want to be part of everything. They have needle like teeth as puppies and well bred German shepherd puppies prove to be very mouthy. They bite in plain English and they need an adult to redirect that biting to a toy or something that they can have. This said those teeth can easily hurt a young child, unintentionally of course, but it’s a fact, as puppies, they are mouthy and ankle biters. This does stop when they start to get their adult teeth between 4 and 5 months of age.
We really don’t like to place puppies in homes with children under age 6, but we have and we do make exceptions depending on the ages of other children and the time you will have. (A great example below however this family in particular made sure there was time for training and socialization for their puppy.)
**When should we neuter a male or spay a female German shepherd puppy?
We suggest a female be spayed as late as possible, 8 or 9 months of age to give her time to grow, a tad longer if you are able to deal with a first heat cycle. We would like to see a male stay intact until 18 months of age. A male dog that has been neutered young will usually have a narrow chest and a feminine head. There is also controversy about health issues from cancer to joint problems that can develop if a dog is “fixed” at too young an age. Please read this article and you can google, “early spay neuter risks” for more information.
What foods do you feed?
**I want a dog to run with. Will a German shepherd be a good choice?
A German shepherd will want to be with you and go with you where you decide to go, but they prefer cool weather if you must do some jogging. You personally may be able to jog 2 miles in 70 degree heat but that is hot for this breed and would be really unfair to drag the dog along. Take some long walks, jog a little and walk again. Keep the dog on grass, don’t ask him/her to pound joints on pavement. Be careful with younger dogs as bones do not calcify until 12 months of age. The wrong kind of exercise can cause problems.
** How do you feel about crate training and house breaking?
I think it’s great if done properly. Puppies should be taught to sleep in a crate, preferably next to the owner’s bed. This should be an adult in the house that is able to take the puppy out a couple of times during the night. They will have to determine if the whining and crying is because the pup has to go to the bathroom or because the pup is just not used to his crate yet. It will be easy to figure out after the first few nights. Water should be available all day for the puppy. We suggest for example if you go to bed at 10pm and that is the last time you take the puppy out before retiring, that you pick up the water dish about 8pm. Do not put water in the crate at night. A puppy can as a rule hold his urine for 1 hour for every month of life, so in theory an 8 week old puppy can hold it 2 hours. Now we have had reports that puppies have slept from 11pm to 4am without having to go outside. You should expect though to be getting up for the first few weeks at least once in the middle of the night.
I am totally against all day crating. The puppy cannot be crated all night to go back into a crate at 7 am to be let out 4 hours later on someone's lunch break to be put back in again for another 3 plus hours. This is not fair and not proper treatment. You can damage kidneys by withholding water, your puppy will not be able to exercise to develop proper muscle tone which can hinder joint development and ears will probably have a hard time standing if they are hitting the crate as the puppy stands. This is not to ignore the fact that the breed is active and they need and want something to do! They must have human interaction to be properly socialized. Ask yourself how much time you have when you get home at 5pm before bed to spend only with this puppy? (Not cooking dinner, not doing homework with children, not doing laundry, not watching TV, etc. ) If you work full time away from the home and no one is home all day, you must have some kind of arrangement where the puppy will have someone come in more than just for lunch and the puppy must have a safe place that is temperature controlled to move around in, stand, etc have safe toys and water available and an area for potty on newspaper that needs to be cleaned up by someone. A puppy is not going to hold his business for more than a couple of hours and even at 6 months of age, that puppy is not going to wait all day without destroying your home and relieving himself. Unfotunately people don't understand how active this breed is and when we refuse to place a puppy with them due to their lack of time, they get angry instead of understanding that we are trying to help. That puppy will not be happy and neither will the owner when they find out that we were right about the demands of this breed.
Back to the crate when it's used correctly. A crate is a good place to feed the puppy (during the day) so that any other pets do not bother the puppy and so that the puppy stays in his crate until any other pets have finished their food. It would probably be best to feed the puppy first and take him outside as soon as he is done. Then put him back in the crate if you have an adult dog to feed as that puppy will have tremendous food drive and he will run to the adult’s dish and that is how accidents happen.
The puppy can nap in the crate while you are busy doing something at home or if you have to run to an appointment or to the store. It is a safe place for him to be as long as it is not abused.
We suggest the plastic “Vari Kennel” type crates as it give the puppy more security and this is a safe type crate to use for trips to the vet too. We also have huge wire crates for the adults. We will go over where to purchase and what to purchase before you take your puppy home.
**What kind of guarantee do you give?
*We give a 12 month hip warranty for severe hip dysplasia which is standard among breeders in this country. If the dog should be diagnosed by the OFA or the SV of Germany’s “a” stamp program to have severe crippling hip dysplasia, we will offer the buyer a puppy at 50% of that puppy’s purchase price.
We have seen several contracts from other breeders. Many ask for the original dog to be returned to the breeder. I believe two things, one is that some may say most people won’t do that so we are off the hook. I also believe some feel that to get something in place of something, the original must be returned.
We have seen contracts that offer an “as is” price that offers no warranty, (that price is higher than our puppie’s prices), and a “warranty” price that is much higher than their “as is” price.
Some contracts offer a full replacement, however, the price of the original puppy is very high.
Joint disease has both genetic and environmental factors. (Feeding an average food vs. a very good large breed puppy food and adult food, allowing puppies and dogs to get heavy, playing frisbee, excessive stair climbing, long hikes, asking a young growing dog to jog on unrelenting surfaces or any for that matter before their joints are calcified, continuous ball throwing, jumping on and off objects, furniture, etc in excess, crating for several hours a day, early spay/neuter) and genetics all play a role in bone growth and development.
When we buy a dog or puppy from Europe, there is no guarantee. Why? Well I think that those breeders are smart. How can they guarantee something that they are not raising?
We feel a 50% solution is fair.
We offer an additional 10 day warranty from time of pick up of the puppy in the event a serious congenital defect was not present at the vet visit that the new owner would have taken the puppy to within 72 hours of taking possession of the puppy. We would expect the puppy to be returned immediately for a full refund.
**Will a German shepherd do well in an apartment? or Condo?
The German shepherd dog is very adaptable to different situations. You must however, take some things into consideration. If you live in an apartment, say on a floor other than the first floor, how are you going to be able to get that puppy out immediately for house breaking if you have to carry the pup down stairs or wait for an elevator and then walk to a common area once you get outside? When puppies start to look for a place to go, it is immediate. They can’t wait. They also have to be taken out at least hourly and a couple of times in the middle of the night when they are very young. How inconvenient will this become for you? (Please do not forget that your new puppy is not fully vaccinated and should not be walking where other dogs have done their business. Please consider an entire daily and nighttime routine before you say "yes" we are sure we want a German shepherd puppy.)
Another big consideration is your neighbors. Many people are afraid of large dogs or dogs in general. How will they feel when you are walking your 90 lb German shepherd to the common area or a wooded area past their children playing so your dog can go potty? What about the barking and the noise the dog is going to make that will be heard through the walls and door? The thundering feet running that your downstairs neighbor is going to hear?
Do you have a way to exercise your dog daily?
**What if you have to move? (Our question to you to ponder.)
We all know that no one can predict the future with 100% certainty, but there is a difference between someone say who is retiring from the service in a year, knows he/she won’t be deployed again and will be buying a house shortly after retirement. He/she has been in the same home for a few years, has nice neighbors, good landlord and there is no problem in having a large dog until they make their next move to their own home.
Ask yourself what the probability of keeping a dog for 13 years will be? Many places do not allow large dogs and unfortunately, the German shepherd is one that may not be on an “allowed” breed list. What happens when you have to move? This is how dogs end up in rescue because people don’t take the time to think about things like this. Don’t feel bad, you are not the only one, but we are bringing it up so people read it and they do sit down and talk to their spouse, partner etc before they buy that German shepherd puppy.
**I picked up a couple of books, can you suggest any others?
These books are available on Amazon.com. You may be able to read a sample of the book before purchase. I would say the first two are great for new puppy owners. A friend suggested the 3rd and I would certainly make that another choice as I assume it is on the order of the first 2 and easy reading.
“What All Good Dogs Should Know: The Sensible Way to Train” by Jack Volhard and Melissa Barlett (Illustrated and easy to read and understand.)
“The Toolbox for Remodeling Your Problem Dog” by Terry Ryan (Easy to read and understand and a ton of good examples of everyday things that happen so you can prevent your dog from having issues.)
“The Evolution of Charlie Darwin” by Beth Duman
“Don’t Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training” by Karen Pryor
“The Culture Clash” by Jean Donaldson
Special interest training books:
“Tracking: From The Beginning” by Gary Patterson
“Schutzhund Obedience: Training in Drive” by Sheila Booth
“Schutzhund: Theory and Training Methods” by Susan Barwig and Stewart Hilliard
“Successful Obedience Handling: the New Best Foot Forward” by Barbara S. Handler (This is AKC style obedience and different from the Schutzhund routine. This is an older book, there may be a revised copy available.)
Books about the Breed:
“The Total German Shepherd Dog” by Fred L. Lanting , Ph.d.
"The German Shepherd Dog: A Genetic History" by Malcolm B. Willis, PH.D.
“The German Shepherd Dog in World and Picture” by V. Stephanitz (and old book going back to the origin of the breed by the founder of the breed.)
25 Ways to Raise a Great Puppy (This is inexpensive and a great one to have!)
to be cont'd!