How did you find/and or choose your breeder? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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How did you find/and or choose your breeder?

There is another thread where discussions are "would you refer people on this forum to specific breeders"?

Instead of hijacking that thread further I brought it here and hope people will share their opinions.

I will only give my referral for those I have had direct contact with ie. purchased a puppy myself. If breeder information is posted I have no problem pointing out what I think is good or bad but only my opinion.

I would like to see more people talk about their experiences with their breeders, both good and bad. I know how difficult it can be to find a good breeder, been there. I have years of experience with purebred dogs both as pets in the show and obedience ring. When I lost my last Siberian Husky at 14, my husband said it was his turn to pick what breed of dog we would have next. When he said GSD I was OMGGGG could you pick a sicklier breed!?!?!. I began the long search, months of phone calls and following up references. I talked to some total nutbars, one of which I swear was Lobobear...exact same views. I was learning about the 2 breeds within the breed and settled on our first GSD being a showline. I had thoughts of heading back into the showing, most definately obedience and agility. I found what I thought was a reputable breeder. Kennel unannounced (I know i am bad). I was comfortable, I called the references she supplied to me, everything looked good. Dogs were accomplished in both the show, obedience ring. Some Sieger wins etc. (found out that was false, borrowed trophies or fake). I was very up front with my expectations. Floyd was our first GSD. Over standard at a lean 98lbs, EPI, Giardia, skin allergies, dog aggressive, weak nerves and worst of all he was people aggressive to anyone with dark skin but ohhhh how handsome he was!! His aggressiveness made him a huge liability. My kids could not walk him until he was almost 7 years old....same year we lost him to Hemangiosarcoma. When I called the breeder to let her know we were losing him she told me he was the first she had lost to Hemangiosarcoma. With 20+ litters a year I just couldn't believe her. I later found out from a trainer that there have been multiple dogs from this kennel that have died from Hemangiosarcoma, 2 tge same age as Floyd. It reminded me of my conversation with her when Floyd was diagnosed with EPI "he will outgrow it" she said.
My family was devastated, even with all his problems we loved our Floyd. Just typing this brings tears to my eyes. He was intelligent and ohhh so loyal. My kids were devastated, we were a mess.

I told my husband never again would I get a GSD. I started looking for a breed that was simular but healthier. I felt even with my dog experience, I was tricked and I was now not confident with my ability to find a hood GSD breeder. Every search I did for simular characteristics brought me back to the GSD.

Finally a member here suggested I contact Carmspack kennels. I did and the rest is history. Gus is now over a year. I can honestly say he is the healthiest dog I have owned thus far. He is everything she said he would be. She has joined me in his tracking training sessions. Sends him and I gifts. Invites me into her home with open caring arms and I know she will always be there for me and for Gus. Helped me to understand and relax about raw feeding so I could continue comfortably.

Why shouldn't I feel free to reccommend her to anyone looking for a GSD? Why shouldn't I be able to scream out to everyone that she has healthy GSD's that are true to the breed standard?

I know there are more good breeders out there so why can't this place be a good place for people to start their search? With so many GSD owners in one place, this place is golden!!

I wish I could publicly announce Floyd's breeder and his issues. Breeders should be accountable. To me, fair is fair.

Carmspack Gus

Last edited by Saphire; 01-07-2014 at 02:51 PM.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 02:53 PM
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She must be one heck of a hidden gem ive lived in good old brooklin my entire life and was totally unaware the little town had a GSD breeder!
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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For 35+ years.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 03:20 PM
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I've had 2 GSDs and I had bad experiences with both breeders. Although I love my Sinister, I think I am done with the breed or at least I will be done with them for a while. Found the 1st breeder in the newspaper and I found the 2nd breeder on this forum.

I found my Dalmatian breeder through the internet, I was actually in contact with a different breeder but I always watched the show results pages and kept seeing this one kennel name that was dominating the show ring, I checked out their website and really liked the look of the dogs and all the information she had provided. I decided to call her, we talked for over an hour and we both decided that we would be a good match. So I drove a couple of hours to meet her and the puppies. Her rule was that after meeting the puppies you couldn't take one home that day, she wanted her puppy buyers to go home and really think about whether or not that was truly the puppy that they wanted since everyone reacts impulsively when it comes to puppies. Well I took my puppy home that very day, we all saw the connection between he and I. I am in contact with 8 of his littermates, I talk to the breeder and I really, really like her. I would absolutely recommend her and I will be getting more puppies from her in the future.


Sinister ~ black male GSD 3.11.09
Draven ~ male Dalmatian 6.30.13
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 03:44 PM
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I went to trials, various training clubs, etc to find dogs I liked. However, to cut through all the political stuff that accompanies the sport world, I focused on sport dogs I liked OFF the field. I was looking for a dog balanced enough to train in ScH, work livestock on our farm, AND be a good companion dog. There was one dog in particular I was extremely impressed with, and after researching other dogs from that litter and that breeder in particular, I moved on a repeat breeding of the litter I was so fond of.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 04:00 PM
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My first GSD, Hanah, was found through a one off line in a Dog World magazine article about GSD. There was a quote from the breeder and how they bred to German Standards. Being totally ignorant to all things GSD, I tracked them down, called them, and they had Hanah. She was coated, so they were offering a steep discount on her, back then you could not show coats. She was a WGSL. Best dog ever. Healthy as a horse, great drive, forgiving, honest. Lived to 16. Perfect intro to the breed. Breeder is no longer alive.

My second GSD, Ike, I found via a recommendation of another friend. This friend used to board the LE K9 and one if those LEO was also a breeder. Contacted them, talked a lot, lots if emails and on the wait list I went. I got 3rd pick working male. Breeder kept one and that puppy worked as a dual purpose K9 for our county, winning many LE competitions as well. Ike was an amazing dog, lost to Hemangiosarcoma last year. If they were still breeding I would have gone back to them for another dog. But they would be ripped to shreds on this board. But their success at breeding SAR, SchH, and LE K9 is impressive. We are still very good friends, I see them all the time.

My 3rd, Lena, is from a breeder on this board. Zu Treuenhanden. I was looking for a USAR prospect and through emails and PM, Lisa thought she had a young female prospect. So I drive out to Michigan, fell in love and came home with a dog. Lena has been an excellent dog. She did not make it as a USAR dog, but has been a true joy to own. Very healthy, except for a recent bout of stomach bacteria. She is almost 10 and going strong. Lisa was easy to deal with. We have not always agreed on things, but she has been amazingly supportive, especially recently when Lena illness almost took her from me.

My 4th, Nix, is my newest. I was looking for a black sable male that had medium drives, great off switch and strong nerve. Did lots of research, found a breeder. That breeding fell through, so I went back to my list and emailed Julie at Vom Banach. She called me that night and we talked for nearly 2 hours. Then had multiple other conversations and I decided to go with her. I am so far thrilled with him. He is exactly what I wanted and asked for.

Maybe I am lucky but I have only had good experiences so far.

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"So that others may live"

Hannah vom Steffenhaus, BH, Wilderness SAR
Eisenhower v.d Polizei "Ike" Wilderness SAR, CGC
B'Lena z. Treuenhanden
Nixon vom Banach, RATN
Phoster, FEMA USAR(Labrador)
Ch. Pennywise Sticky Wicket(Dandie Dinmont Terrier)
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 04:07 PM
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I searched the internet. I asked for referrals here. I called a few and went with my gut after talking to them. The breeder is wonderful. Always helps if I have a question. I was not rushed off the phone ever. When I went to see the puppies I was not rushed at all and it took me a while. They have given me information on the vet they like and use for all their dogs. It has been a great experience.

The puppy has not had any issues that would not happen to any other dog. He got kennel cough even after being vaccinated for it, ate a pepper from the garden and had a bad reaction. More recently he laid down on a floor that was still wet from mopping and had an allergic reaction from the floor cleaner.

I don't have any complaints. He is a great dog and the breeders have been wonderful.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 04:37 PM
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Well Ozzy was a newspaper dog, Sandi came from a farm in Woolwich, the last name was Martin

We did buy our Saint Bernard from a German Shepherd Breeder. A. Glen Saxon in Ancaster, they were the dog catchers, run grooming and boarding and have a part of their facility devoted to strays etc., who need homes. We saw the ad for Dolly, contacted Charmaine and Rick, Charmaine talked to me for hours on the phone, we went, met Dolly, spent more time with them, it was she who told me get Oz's thyroid checked, she looked at him, said her opinion was labXGSD and he had a thyroid issue - good enough for me, she was right! They were fantastic with follow-up, told us if we needed to return her we could, we kept an open dialogue with them, we even boarded with them once.

If I were looking for a GSD, I wouldn't hesitate to call her or recommend talking to her. At the end of the day, if you are spending over $1,000 on something and you aren't doing your own research, a fool and their money are soon parted. What one person on the internet says is good, isn't always.

Sometimes I think what happens is someone wants "A" dog, but they want "C" dog's price, so they settle on "B" and then don't necessarily convey the whole truth, so people get inflated senses of comfort or recommendation. I remember when my ex and I bought our first plasma tv, they had a hefty price tag back then, anyways, a friend told us, oh no, you order from this company, half the price - yes but they didn't spell Panasonic right We bought from a reputable store, not on-line from some foreign country, they bought a forgery/knock-off. Now it might be OK for a $50 purse, but when you are talking about lives, animal lives, and the price quality is, you want to make sure you are buying what you want.

The only way to do that is research and recommendations, but if most of the people you know, don't know much about your preferred breed, you might have to listen to internet experts. Except, because you are new, haven't been around to watch long enough, you don't know that these experts have dogs far beyond their scope, they are languishing talented dogs, their vision of the breed is significantly skewed or their idea of doing something with their dog, is getting a $10 pledge for the humane society walk-a-thon. What I am saying, is recommendations is only one very small part of the purchase process and all recommendations should be treated with a grain of salt.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 04:39 PM
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The local PD K9 officer across the street refered me to his breeder.

Bear, Anna, Molly, Ossie, and The Countess Lisl von Schlaf

An Unhappy German is a Sour Kraut!
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2014, 05:15 PM
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Tara's breeder I found in Dogworld magazine. She no longer breeds. Talked to her on the phone and then spent 5 hours up there just discussing dogs. She had tons of information and was pretty much always available to help. She chose the perfect puppy for me.

Endi I found in an add in the USA magazine. That is a long story. They also are no longer breeding, but were not very helpful when I was having problems.

Treue's breeder I found through a club member. He was getting a puppy from the litter so I called her breeder, then sent him a long letter about what I was looking for in a pup plus my deposit. He was pretty communicative, but at this point I didn't tend to go to a breeder for things. By the time I got Treue I was no longer looking for breeders, but for a specific dog.

How I got Nike is also a long story, but I liked the pedigree and knew the kind of dogs her breeder tended to produce.

I had a few other dogs that didn't work out. The rest I have bred myself.

Lisa Clark

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