So where do you buy a nice German Shepherd Puppy or Dog? What Is A Backyard Breeder? Is a Backyard Breeder a Bad Thing? What about "Dog Rescues"? How to Avoid Puppy Mills, and How to Recognize One. Internet Buying. How You Should Act at the Breeder's Place. What to look for in/at both the Breeder and Puppies. And Don't Blame The Breeder!
This page might surprise you. You see? I am not part of the Political Correctness that has gotten so far out of hand it has caused Problems and Rumors on Innocent and Good and Reputable People. Rumors have been tossed around so much many unknowing people see those rumors as facts. I am here to set it straight.
So what are you looking for in a Dog Breeder? The obvious, healthy, happy dogs and puppies. A Breeder that not only knows the breed of dog, and can answer questions about them, but has pedigrees on her dogs and knows the personalities of the puppies they are selling so that they can help the buyer pick out the best puppy for their needs. You are looking for a nice area where the puppies are kept. The area does not have to be brand new or scrubby dutch clean, but it does have to be well kept and a safe area for the dogs and puppies. You are looking for that Breeder that does not push the puppies, but is interested in finding each of the pups a good home. You are looking for a Breeder that has time for YOU. A Breeder that takes the time to answer your questions and is not distracted by outside distractions. You are looking for the Breeder that has the Registration and Health Papers for or on the puppies right there, ready to fill out for you. The Breeder DID have time to take care of this, if not, look elsewhere.
I THINK THE BOTTOM LINE ON WHAT A "GOOD OR REPUTABLE BREEDER" (and this means any type of animals) IS CAN BE SUMMED UP, NOT BY HOW MANY DOGS THEY OWN, NOT BY WHERE THEY LIVE OR WHERE THEY BREED THEM, NOT BY THE FACT THAT THE DOGS ARE REGISTERED....BUT BY THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE BREED THE BREEDER POSSESSES, BY WHAT THE BREEDER IS DOING WITH THEIR DOGS (working or showing), BY THE KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR OWN DOG'S PEDIGREES (genetic make up and titles within), BY HOW THE BREEDERS DOGS ARE CARED FOR, BY THE WAY THEIR DOGS ARE TRAINED. (this is the short form, please keep reading this page)
What Is A Backyard Breeder?
Some how, some where, about the 1980's, the people that only bred their dogs now and again got a bad name. How? Well, where do I even start on that one? <smiles>
It is a shame, but there are some people breed their dogs just because they "have papers" and the owner's want money. The problem is, that because of these folks that want to make a fast buck, good people with good dogs became known as "bad guys" in the loop of the terms "Backyard Breeders".
Not all people that own a nice pure bred dog and breed that dog to another person's nice pure bred dog is a bad person. Many, many, many good dogs, working dogs, family pets, dogs that have saved human lives, were bred this way. Many times, folks like me, that own good working dogs, breed them because they want more good dogs, working dogs, out of that line and sell the other good puppies from the litter. Many times other people that want dogs from the person with the good dogs are the people that encourage the breedings.
All this "Political Correctness" has done damage to the, in the, "Dog World". Good people are labeled villains because of misinformation on TV and the Internet. People are taunted when they take out an advertisement for their puppies by people that have too much time on their hands and read the paper just to upset themselves with other people's business.
Personally I would rather buy from someone that breeds in their home. Someone who works their dogs. Someone who has a few puppies now and again. Shoot, Deron and I ARE those people.
On the other side of that same coin...if you go and visit a litter of puppies from an advertisement. If you show up and the puppies are outdoors, stink, have pot bellies (unless they just ate this is probably worms), the dogs and puppies are overly aggressive and or shy, if they have fleas so bad you can see them crawling on the dogs.....walk away. This is the Bad Side of a Backyard Breeder.
This photo is from an ad on the Internet. These puppies are just out playing for a while....and puppies need this. They need to get outdoors and run and play.
What Is A Puppy Mill?
I can describe these folks in just about one sentence. They see their dogs as money makers.
This is the "Kennel" that has/have dogs set up in small areas and do nothing with them, including perhaps even medical, but breed them, and breed them every single heat cycle. They do not care about the dogs, they only care about how many puppies they can sell and how much money they can make from the dogs. Many of their dogs live in terrible conditions. Many of these "breeder dogs" have serious health issues. Very Sad. Very very sad.
This is the person that ALWAYS has puppies for sale, or puppies coming very soon.
And worse. People buy these puppies unknowing. Then down the road, many times right way, their new puppy has many health issues. The new owners did not get the dog they had hoped and the dog is costing so much in Veterinarian Fees the family is robbed of the wonders of owning a healthy happy dog.
One way to tell a Puppy Mill from a Reputable Kennel, is not only the way the dogs are kept, but also a Puppy Mill will usually have many breeds. Or many dogs of the same breed that live in pens and do nothing else other than breed.
Now stop here and... Let's not confuse the Breeder that Shows or Works with a few different breeds and Breeds those dogs to continue the good lines this person has worked to develop. Most of these people are keeping a puppy or two out of the litter you will be looking at.
Most Puppy Mills will not want you to see the adult dogs, most Reputable Kennels/Breeders will WANT you to meet their adult dogs, maybe even Aunts and Uncles to the puppies you are looking at.
What Is A Dog Rescue?
Along about the time of the words "Backyard Breeder", came to mean something bad, came the term "Dog Rescues". Usually it is the dog rescue people that want people to believe that Pure Bred Dog Breeders and or People that/who breed their one dog in their homes, are bad people.
Rescue people throw around words like, "adoption", "parents", "neglected" "abused" when they really have no idea if these dogs were abused or negleceted other than the way the dog is acting...and many of these dogs coudl just be scared changing homes, or have a shy gean, yes, dogs can be shy too. The words that Dog Rescues throw around puts dogs, their dogs, on the same level as a human being. Not a good thing. Many reasons why...I could write a book. <sighs> Mostly, these "rescuers" want money thrown their way, buying their dogs, sending money to help them keep the dogs, buying them items so they do not have to spend their own money to keep their dogs.
A few, Dog Rescues, very few, are actually a very good thing! Some, very few, are people that take in dogs to find them new homes. Some of these folks really work hard to place dogs that need homes because they care about the animals. It is also a great way to receive a tax write off and tax exemption.
However, this is the new money maker using dogs or other animals. Some people, with all the "Political Correctness" are taking advantage of unknowing people using the right words, the right phrases, the right lines to get the folk's money. This scam is a HUGE MONEY MAKER! These people are as bad as the people that run Puppy Mills!
Many of the folks are "self proclaimed heroes". They make themselves out as a Heroes and get your tax dollars as credits for their "work". They play on people and act as if you buy a Pure Bred Puppy rather than buy, a dog from them, then you are a "bad guy" too. They talk badly about real Dog Breeders and people that own Pure Bred Dogs.
Further, they have self appointed themselves as the Dog Police...as in asking too many personal questions before they "allow" you to "adopt" one of THEIR dogs. They ask how much money you make, all about your family and home, many times they want to come and look at your home. They want you to fill out all types of paper work making stupid promises to them.... One of those promises is that if the dog does not work out for you, it goes back to them, free of charge, so that they can sell it again. You know? "For the good of the dog." My Foot! It has become for the good of their pockets.
And, Yes, the word is buy, adoption is a word used and should only be used for human children. Further, these "Rescuers" want your money. Not just to buy their dogs, but to support their dogs in their homes. They ask for money and items to "help their cause". You make a purchase when you give someone money for an item, an animal, or other goods or services.
Buying Animals Using The Internet
The sign of the times. Using the Internet to find the animal you are looking for is a way to branch out of your own area and find more. With the use of Videos you can even see a bit of the animal's personality and movement.
I have bought animals using the Internet. I have had great results and bad results. Buying from the Internet is a gamble. More of a gamble than buying in person.
HOWEVER! If you can not find what you are looking for in your own area, if you need to bring in "new blood", if you are looking for the "right" or "correct" animal, if you saw a photo of an animal offered for sale over the Internet and you just must put an offer in, then the Internet might be the best way to buy your new animal.
This is a GSD puppy I am buying over the Internet. Scarey for sure. My best ace in the hole....I have met other people in our area that have bought from this, from what I hear is a Responsible and Good Breeder, and they love their dogs temperaments, look and are so pleased. Both people I have met that own dogs from this breeder are working with their dogs, one in Schutzhund, one is a Breeder herself and bought the female puppy for her own breeding program.
Also, I have "been in dogs" long enough to know when I am talking to a real dog person. Someone who knows about dogs, about breeding, about caring for dogs. I talked to a few Internet Ad Breeders about their GSD Puppies, there is a difference. Ask the right questions and get the wrong answers and you know to move on.
If the breeder has a website this is a good sign too for Internet Buying. Anyone can have a website and make up lies to fill it, no doubt. But if you have done your homework, you can just about pick out those folks just by reading the site. A website can help the buyer in many ways. What does it say? How much/many details do the Breeder offer on their site? How many photos of adult dogs? Any videos?
If you find a GSD Breeder Website and you are interested in buying a puppy form this person, do not be afraid to ask for more information on their dogs, and or more photos of the puppies or the adult dogs. You will NEED a photo of the parents and other relatives of the puppies viewed from the side. You will want to see how the backs are shaped, the pasterns, the face shape, how deep the stop is, and if the dog has a tuck up or not. That and more. You will also be able to see the dogs markings a bit better from a side shot.
What Is A 'Stacked Photo'?
Beware of the website that offers only one or two Stacked Photo of the dogs they breed.
"STACKED" = a Posed Position of a Dog for a Photo. This photo is usually (but not always) taken from the side. A Stacked photo can be taken from any angle. Stacked photos are taken to HIDE Faults. With 'Stacking', not only are the feet posed (that is twisted and turned correctly and set just where they should be, this what is known as 'stacked'), very often, the owner shifts the weight of the dog from front or to the back of the body, to cover up 'faults' the dog has in front or rear. Be aware of 'stacked' photos (especially when those are the ONLY photos shown) when you are looking at the parents of the puppy you want to purchase. Another 'photo trick' is when you only see photos of the dog sitting or if part of the dog is blocked from view. If the head is tilted back, probably weak, or lop ears. If the person in the photo has a tight grip on the dog, this can mean so many different things, one, if the dog moves at all, you will see it is not built correct, or it could be a "Kennel Dog" doing nothing but breeding so it is untrained...beware! Think of "Stacking the Deck".
KEEP IN MIND: Stacking Dogs for the Conformational Show Ring is Correct and How It Is Done.....but if a breeder is offering no candid shots of the adult dogs....Beware!
People that have litter of puppies, people that are training their dogs, people that have a kennel to run, and especially if those people also have other full time jobs and or human children are busy. But if you call or email a Breeder to talk about purchasing a puppy or dog from them/their kennel. Or if you call or email with a problem or question you have that person should either give you their full attention or ask if they could call you back. They should try to answer your questions, solve your problems, help you out, but they might not have time to just chat. Or they might not be able to talk to you the very moment you call.
A Breeder should have a clean area where the puppies are being raised. Puppies get dirty....especially when folks are coming out to look at them, puppies and dogs and children just have a knack for finding something to get into right before they should look their best. But a good and reputable Breeder will have a way, and will, clean those pups up pretty quickly.
A Breeder of good standing will schedule your visit and be waiting for you to arrive. There should not be any distractions, other than emergencies, so that you have their FULL attention. They should have scheduled about an hour so that they can introduce their adult dogs, show you the paperwork, and let you look over and play with the puppies. No. If you pick up your puppy and all business is finished in less than an hour, you were not robbed, and you do not have to stay longer than it took to finish your business.
A good and reputable Breeder will have all of the puppy's paperwork right there, ready to go. This will include your Registration Papers, the Puppy's Health Papers, and any instructions that the Breeder has written out for puppy care, as well as any Written Guarantees that the Breeder gives on their puppies. In this paperwork should be an email address for you to contact them if you have questions and or problems. Email is a better way to contact a Breeder these days and expect their full attention.
Most Breeders will either send the puppy home with a little of the food it has been eating or have the brand and type written on a sheet of paper.
Visiting The Breeder Etiquette
When you visit a breeder you too have responsibilities.
As a Breeder and knowing others that breed dogs and other animals, I have seen so many rude things go on by potential buyers, I thought I must add a section on Etiquette for when visiting a person's home or kennel looking at their puppies or other animals for sale.
It is not that Breeder's are Hiding anything. They are not in a Hurry To Make a Buck. But we do have lives, rich and full, and having puppies is a LOT of work that needs to be done quite often, such as feeding, picking up after, playing with, and many times, Breeders are working with the puppies to start their training. They do not have time for long visits from people, people they do not know, just so those people can come and "see the puppies", many times, not interested in buying a puppy at all.
Case in point. Years ago Deron and I had Siberian Husky puppies for sale. We took out an ad and a guy called. We set up an appointment and waited, and waited, and waited. Here comes this guy, who stayed for 2 1/2 hours playing with our puppies, asking questions, telling allllll about dogs he had had in his life. Finally, when I told him we had to get back to work (we work at home), he told us he had only come out because he said he would. (WHAT!?) He actually decided not to buy a puppy but had told us he would come and look, so he did. What a misguided person. He thought he was "doing the right thing". All he did was hold us up from doing our own work, not just while he was there, but while he was an hour late coming from the appointed time. THEN he held us up another 2 1/2 hours chatting....and never once did he mention before that time he was not interested in a puppy. That is just ONE example of things people do and think nothing of it.
Another is the folks that "bring the kids out to see the puppies". That is they call an ad in the paper for something to do. They load up the kids and take them "to see the puppies". Never once do they think about the people selling the dogs, or the dogs themselves. Not only that, but they never think that they are taking up time that someone else could be using to actually buy a dog.
First of all, Breeders Homes/Kennels, are NOT Open Stores or Places of Business where you can just come and go any time and stay and play. You are taking up their time. This is not a store to browse in, to go just to play with puppies, to stay and just ask, over an hours worth of questions just to ask, it is not a place to go and talk about your "old dog" for hours. Asking questions and talking about your old dog are fine, but in excess, and especially when you are not buying a dog, is rude. And above all, the Breeder's Home or Kennel it is CERTAINLY not a place to take your child for the afternoon, just for the fun of the child. You only, go to see puppies and only if you are truly interested IN BUYING.
When the visit is scheduled, be on time. Call if something comes up, or if you change your mind and or can not make the time or date. Reschedule if you need to. But do not let the Breeders just wait for you. They too have lives.
Again. Please do not take your children with you to look at puppies. Children do not need to approve the pup, they will love it, you know that is true. No. You should not leave your child in the vehicle at the Breeder's Home or Kennel either. Leave your children at home. You will want the Breeders Undivided Attention and the Breeder will also want your Undivided Attention. If your child is picking up puppies and dropping them, this is not going to "endear" you to the Breeder. If your child is interrupting the conversation, you might miss information you later need. And yes. This does mean your children, not just "other people's" children.
Turn off your Cell Phone when you arrive at the Breeders. The Breeder is going to want your full attention to tell you all about your new puppies, it's requirements and to show you all of the paper work. The breeder is setting time aside to give you their full attention, you should do the same. Turn off your Cell Phone. You will only be with the breeder for 15 minutes to an hour. You will be with your new dog for about 15 years, learn all you can about it from the breeder when you pick it up.
Your breeder is going to need to know, or might want to know, your experience and training abilities raising puppies dogs. The breeder is not trying to "get in your business" nor being noisy. The breeder is trying to know how to help you raise a puppy you might take home. They don't want to stand and tell you things you already know, but on the other hand, there is much information the breeder can give you about the breed and training the puppy you are getting ready to take home with you.
Listen to what the Breeder has to say to you about the breed of dog and the puppies they bred and raise. Amazingly they probably know a lot about them. <duh!>
Take the time you need to choose or not choose a puppy, but do not hold the Breeder up for hours. Before you ever make the appointment with the Breeder to look at the puppies, you should have an idea of what you want to own in that breed of dog. Before you arrive, after reading and looking at photos, in breed books, of good animals in that/that represent the breed, you will or should be able to decide if you like the parents of the puppies as soon as you see them. Now? Which puppy? That might take some time, all Good Breeder's, Dog People, understand that. Taking hours on end. No. If you can not decide, take photos of the puppies and go home to sleep on it. But if those puppies sell while you are gone, they are gone, not the Breeders fault. ANOTHER WORDS, I AM TELLING YOU AGAIN, TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU ARRIVE. Taking your time to decide what puppy you will choose to own for the next 15 years is fine and appreciated by most Good Breeders. Taking your time to decide IF you want a puppy is not. That should be decided long before contacting a Breeder about their puppies. Go home and think about it. Take a drive. Go get a snack at a Fast Food place and think about it. Don't just hold up the Person selling the dogs for hours only to say, "Oh I can not decide. I just don't know what to do." If this is where you are, in your own mind, when you have looked at the puppies for a while, watched them, looked at the parents, you are not ready to buy your puppy.
Take all the time you need, as long as it is no longer than, say, 1 1/2 hours, and that is pushing it. Just remember to treat people the way you would want to be treated if this same person came to your house to look at puppies you had for sale.
Once you choose a puppy, it is not right to keep it a day or a couple of days than ask if you can return it or exchange it. The Breeder has no idea where that puppy has been, what dogs it has been around, ie, what it might be bringing back to the Breeder's Kennel full of well cared for dogs. Further, the Breeder has no idea if that puppy was well cared for or dropped, or what it was fed.
You might find that you have much in common with the breeder of the dogs. You might find you have just met a friend for life, or even your spouse. But don't push it. No. You can not ride their horses. No. You are not there for a tour of the farm (but some people ARE happy to give you one, we love to show off our animals), or a tour of their home, but that is if a tour is not offered, don't ask.
The bottom line is: A puppy is not a lamp. A puppy is not a Prom Dress you wear once and return. Don't buy a puppy til you make sure in your own mind, and if you are renting, make sure you can even own the dog, before you go and buy one.
IF YOU HAVE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK BEFORE BUYING YOUR PUPPY...
If you have done your homework, that is read the books on the breed, visited with people that own the breed, joined forums and elists, read articles and looked at photos on the Internet. You WILL know what you are looking for in the dog and the breeder. You will know if you go and visit someone if you like their dogs and or their set up for keeping their dogs. But go without the preconceived notion that all Dog Breeders are Bad People.
The photo is NOT of our dogs or our place....just a photo for you to look at and think if you would want a puppy from here or not...
DON'T BLAME THE BREEDER!
I hear this all the time. The breeder should have.....(fill in the blank). Once you take home your puppy, you have a tremendous responsibility to that dog. Did you know that a lot of so called "hereditary trates" are diet related? Including Hip Displacia? Did you know that if you do not get your dog out and about and around people, especially a GSD, if you do not socialize it, that pup as a dog can act shy or worse, very aggressive? Did you know that a neglected dog, or a dog left in a crate too many hours, can show trates of shyness? And uninformed people will believe that you have mistreated your dog for it to act this way. A puppy that did not grow up eating the correct diet will not grow into it's full potential, this is true of human children too. Without proper nutrition your puppy will not have a correct, sturdy and strong skeleton, or muscles, or mind.
Did you know that among the many other ways a dog's hips can have problems is Neutering or fixing the dog too early in life?
And worse. I have seen people that do not raise their animals with proper diet and care and training and socialization BLAME THE BREEDER! As if all the problems a dog can have go back to the very person that did everything they possibly could to see this animal off to a good start in life. And you know? These folks that do not care for their animals correctly and blame the Breeder, have NOT done their basic homework before buying an animal. It is a shame. A terrible shame.
It is the owners responsibility from the first day they pick up their puppy to feed, house, care for, and train their puppy correctly so it can grow to be a healthy and happy, well behaved dog.
It is also the owners responsibility to chose the right dog. Shop around. Read and know the Standard for the Breed of the type of dog they are buying. Check out the people they are buying from. Ask questions about the ADULT DOGS, the parents of the puppy they are looking at buying.
The contents of this page for Dog Breeders is still under construction. Please check back later!
I would like to invite you to join us on a Yahoo Group that I host called Working Big Dogs.
-- The Working German Shepherd Dogs Team
Sat, 03 Aug 2013 14:21:20 -0400