So, you’ve made the choice that you want a German Shepherd puppy – that’s great!
The next steps are:
- To educate yourself on what that choice involves – German Shepherds are generally a 9 to 15 year companion and commitment
- To educate yourself on whether you want to adopt from a shelter or rescue (there are plenty of sociable and loving puppies and older dogs in these situations), or whether you want to buy from a breeder
- If you still want to go through a breeder, make a commitment to do your own work/ cross checking to buy a healthy & happy puppy through an ethical breeder
When you get to that point, you’ll want to know where you can find the best and most ethical German Shepherd breeders that are nearest to you.
That’s what we run you through in this guide.
German Shepherd Breeders: How To Find The Best Breeders Near You
Know What Your Situation Is, And Know You’re Looking For
Before you start looking for breeders, be clear about your current situation.
Run through your finances, time availability and how your current living situation is compatible for a German Shepherd.
You can get an idea of the number and types of costs of owning a German Shepherd here (point 4).
Make sure you have plenty of time for training, obedience, socialisation, exercise and of course bonding with your dog.
Are you allowed to have dogs where you are, and do you have enough space and the sort of living arrangement that will allow a puppy or grown German Shepherd to be stimulated and safe (both for themselves and to others).
Once you’re sure of those things, think about what sort of GSD you are looking for.
People are most commonly looking for:
- A happy and healthy German Shepherd family pet, OR
- A German Shepherd with high pedigree, defined breed characteristics, and usually working or show titles
If you are just looking for a family dog or a regular pet companion, you may just be concerned with how the breeder treats the puppies, the health of the puppies and it’s temperament.
For those looking for a a German Shepherd of high pedigree – you’re search criteria is going to be a lot more thorough.
Do your research on ethical breeders, and have questions ready
Once you have a good idea of your situation and what you want, you need to know how to identify both good and bad breeders.
It’s ultimately up to you to decide on your own ethics and use your own judgment.
However, we put together a guide if you want help on a whole range of breeder related topics + want somewhere to start researching, and outlines of breeder and puppy buying checklists/questions.
Read the guide here – What To Look For When Buying a German Shepherd Puppy: Ethical Step By Step Guide.
Know what your rights are when going to a breeder, and at the least make sure there is some type of contract or agreement that gets signed that protects you against the puppy have health defects or significant health related issues.
Some countries like the US actually have laws in place to protect the buyer against genetic disorders in puppies.
The health of the puppy AND the parents (always check health and other documentation for the parents and the puppy) always comes before any commercial gain for good breeders.
Good breeders are knowledgeable and actually encourage you to contact them if you have any questions or issues with your puppy – they care about the dog!
How To Find The Best German Shepherd Breeders Near You
The following are just guidelines – it is up to you to cross check facts and do your due diligence on making sure you are buying from an ethical breeder, and that your puppy meets your own criteria.
To find a reputable or ethical German Shepherd breeders in your area, you might:
1. Get on the website, or contact the national dog registration organisation in your country – the national breed registration organisation for America is the American Kennel Club.
2. Within these organisations, there are national and sometimes regional breed specific clubs for each dog breed.
Contact these clubs (the national club can give you a list of regional clubs, or you can google regional clubs in your area), and ask for a recommended breeders list from these dog breed clubs.
For America, the national German Shepherd club is the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.
They have a list of regional breeders here.
UK residents might try the British Association for German Shepherd Dogs
Australian residents might try the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia
Canadian residents might try the German Shepherd Dog Club of Canada
These list aren’t a guarantee of ethical or good breeders, but they are a much better place to start than your local classified ads, or some random independent website on the internet.
4. Ask friends and people you know where they got their German Shepherds – you may find some good referrals for breeders locally.
5. You can find German Shepherd events in your city or town and go to them to ask for breeder referrals
6. You can find trusted German Shepherd forums on the internet. Stick around for a while, find one you like and trust, and ask for referrals from forum members
7. If there don’t seem to be any ethical breeders in your area, try an animal shelter or dog rescue.
NOTE: We do not favor or recommend registered breeders over independent breeders, or vice versa.
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