First off, a very Happy New Year to all of you German Shepherd Training Academy readers! We hope that 2015 will bring you and your loved ones (and dogs) much joy and happiness!
As the first post in 2015, I wanted to discuss something that many dog owners do not take into account while selecting a German Shepherd dog. More specifically, how does one choose where to get a German Shepherd dog?
Once you’ve decided that you want to bring a German Shepherd dog into your life, there are many different places where you can find a German Shepherd dog. The most common ones are from rescue groups, at a local shelter, or from a breeder. Read on to learn more about each of these options where you may just find your next dog:
A breeder is someone who breeds dogs, typically of a specific breed, such as German Shepherds. There are two broad categories of dog breeders – reputable and backyard breeders.
Reputable breeders have been involved with the breed for a long time (several years) and have a deep understanding of that particular breed. These breeders have not only spent countless amount of time to study the breed, but also have extensive interaction with the breed. For example, German Shepherd breeders are very well-versed with anything German Shepherd related, including training methods, dietary needs, physical characteristics, behaviors and typical health problems. In addition, they also know a thing or two about breed genetics; which is why they take great care in the selection of the sire (father) and dam (mother) of each litter. A litter can be defined as a group of offspring at one birth of a multiparous animal.
For certain reputable breeders, potential dog owners will have to fill out an application form in order for the breeder to identify any personal preferences. Among the benefits of getting your German Shepherd dog or puppy from a reputable breeder is that you will have a resource for asking questions about the breed in the future. Especially true for new or inexperienced dog owners, this can be a huge resource for learning different techniques required for German Shepherd training. You can read more about some of the common challenges that dog owners face when owning and training a German Shepherd here. Aside from that, these breeders will usually have also begun the puppy’s vaccinations, crate training and started the puppy’s socialization not only to living in a household, but also to being around other dogs. As you might have already expected, getting a German Shepherd dog or puppy from a reputable breeder can cost quite abit.
Besides reputable breeders, there are also backyard breeders who usually gained experience in breeding through their own family dog. They are usually not equipped with the amount of experience and knowledge that reputable breeders have.
Note that most German Shepherds obtained from a breeder are still puppies, rather than dogs, although there are certain rare exceptions.
German Shepherd Dog Rescue
While getting your German Shepherd puppy from a breeder requires plenty of housetraining, there are also options to own a more mature or trained German Shepherd dog. If you are not fond of the idea of putting a lot of time into housetraining your German Shepherd puppy, then you may consider getting your German Shepherd from a rescue group. Note that while housetraining requires much patience and hardwork, it is possible to hire someone to housetrain your puppy. Click on this post to compare the pros and cons of hiring someone to housetrain your puppy and housetraining your puppy by yourself.
Purebred rescue groups are organized and run by individuals who love their breed and are concerned about dogs who need new homes. Some of these rescue groups are run by breed clubs, while others are run by private organizations. Unlike breeders, rescue groups generally do not have much information about their dogs, but are able to provide basic information such as if the dog is trained.
Dogs end up in local shelters for a variety of reasons. The owner of the dog may have passed away and no one else in the family wanted to own a dog. Besides that, another common reason is that someone decides to give up on owning a dog because it took too much time and commitment. Other reasons include, the dog having escaped from the yard and was picked up as a stray dog. An example of a local shelter is ASPCA: https://www.aspca.org/adopt/adoptable-dogs-your-local-shelter
It is often hard to tell the temperament of dogs coming from local shelters as they often do not feel comfortable in shelters. As seen in the ASPCA website, there is also usually a fee if you choose to adopt a dog from local shelters. Compared to the cost of getting a dog from a breeder, the cost of adopting a dog from the local shelter is significantly lower.
Now that you have an idea of where you can get a German Shepherd, let us know where you’re inclined to get your dog. Be sure to call breeders, rescue groups and local shelters in your area to get more information!