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Old 01-14-2014, 12:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default need breeder recommendation for Washington, DC area (MD, VA, PA, DC)

Hello Everyone,

This is a first post from a new member. I have done a bunch of research but it is starting to make my head spin so I thought I would ask the helpful members on this site.

I thought I would give some background information and a description of my "perfect dog" and see which breeders in the Washington DC area you suggest. I am willing to travel up to about 300 miles. A site visit and meeting the breeders are musts for me.

Background: dedicated GSD owner who recently lost his 16 year old GSD rescue. We love the breed and want to get the best GSD that is most suited to our lifestyle and needs. So, we are going the breeder route this time.

Rank order of priorities

1. health
2. temperament
3. intelligence
4. trainability/drive (medium)
5. conformation

Relationship with new dog:

Perfect Dog: My wife and I are seeking a family companion. We had health issues with our GSD rescue so a very healthy dog is a top priority.

We socialize with other people and dogs on a daily basis in a variety of situations. If we can take the dog with us, we generally do so. Thus, a very even temperament is a top priority. While I can handle dominant dogs I prefer not to own them.

I do lots of obedience training and will go for Companion Dog title at minimum. If things go really well I might even shoot for Utility Dog title but frankly I need to up my own game to make it that far. We exercise with the dog (long walks, hikes, etc) at least twice per day. We interact and talk with our dogs all the time. Thus, we prize highly intelligent dogs.

For drive I think a medium level drive is best. I won't be competing at high levels, will not be doing protection work and we are generally laid back people in our mid 40s. So a highly driven dog doesn't seem right for us.

Our last GSD was very aloof--even with me who she favored--and we would prefer a more affectionate dog. Perhaps part of her issues was her rough start in life--she grew more affectionate over time after we rescued her. But part of that is likely genetics.

Conformation and gender are last on our list. From my research it seems the West German Show lines are the best choice in terms of temperament and drive. We like sables, black & tans, red and tans but dislike black or white. Coloration is way down the list of priorities. Nevertheless, a pretty, black-faced female dog would be our choice all other things being equal.

Timing: we would like to start with the new puppy in late May/June/early July time frame.

Which breeders would you recommend to me and why? Also, do you have any personal experience with the breeder(s) you are recommending? And does anyone know of any particular litters that look promising and consistent with my priorities.

Thanks in advance,

Michael
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would check with Dean at Diamond kennels. He's got some nice dogs and is located near D.C.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would recommend taking a look at Christine's Blackthorn Kennel (Barboursville, VA). I have two from her and love the dogs! Her emphasis is on a medium drive litter whom will be easy to live with, good citizens, and versatile in many dog sports. My two do AKC rally and agility, herding, and have started with PSA. Very, very versatile dogs who love to work with and for their family!
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdsteve View Post
I would check with Dean at Diamond kennels. He's got some nice dogs and is located near D.C.
Thanks very much gsdsteve. I appreciate the recommendation. Do you have any personal experience with them?

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Originally Posted by SpookyShepherd View Post
I would recommend taking a look at Christine's Blackthorn Kennel (Barboursville, VA). I have two from her and love the dogs! Her emphasis is on a medium drive litter whom will be easy to live with, good citizens, and versatile in many dog sports. My two do AKC rally and agility, herding, and have started with PSA. Very, very versatile dogs who love to work with and for their family!

Thanks SpookyShepherd. There seems to be lots of Blackthorn fans on this board. Glad to hear from someone with personal experience with their dogs. I checked out their planned litters and it seems they are now planning some rather serious working dogs--maybe a bit of a departure from the medium drive litters that they usually emphasize. From my research I think I am more interested in the German show lines. Nevertheless, I will reach out to them to start a discussion.

Blackthorn Working German Shepherds -- Available Puppies
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Steve Lavalle - Real k9 solutions has a nice male pup available. Call him at 908-399-2551. He owns and titled both the sire and dam. He is in nj.
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Definitely give Christine a call. My girl is a pretty high-drive type but she had littermates that are super chill, almost couch potatoes. Xita is an import, hence the ScH1 title, but she imparts a lot of clarity and a great off switch in her pups. If you like what you see at Blackthorn Christine will provide a LOT of fantastic guidance to match the best pup to your family. And she is always up for a phone call if you run into a question. I still call her when I need another set of ideas!
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all of the replies and PMs.

After a ton of research we finally selected Haus Juris. We spent a few hours visiting their facility on Saturday meeting the people and the dogs. We also met some customers and their Haus Juris dogs including several of Kloud's progeny. Kloud is the total dog IMHO and his progeny are testaments to the breeding program at Haus Juris.

We came away very impressed and are now putting down a deposit. The wait until May/June for a puppy is going to be tortuous.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great Choice! We love Megan's dogs. we have a son of Kloud and a daughter of Liedo. They are amazing dogs there. We just had a litter from the Liedo daughter who bred with Mailo. Truly a top notch service and professional kennel there.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister C View Post
Hello Everyone,

This is a first post from a new member. I have done a bunch of research but it is starting to make my head spin so I thought I would ask the helpful members on this site.

I thought I would give some background information and a description of my "perfect dog" and see which breeders in the Washington DC area you suggest. I am willing to travel up to about 300 miles. A site visit and meeting the breeders are musts for me.

Background: dedicated GSD owner who recently lost his 16 year old GSD rescue. We love the breed and want to get the best GSD that is most suited to our lifestyle and needs. So, we are going the breeder route this time.

Rank order of priorities

1. health
2. temperament
3. intelligence
4. trainability/drive (medium)
5. conformation

Relationship with new dog:

Perfect Dog: My wife and I are seeking a family companion. We had health issues with our GSD rescue so a very healthy dog is a top priority.

We socialize with other people and dogs on a daily basis in a variety of situations. If we can take the dog with us, we generally do so. Thus, a very even temperament is a top priority. While I can handle dominant dogs I prefer not to own them.

I do lots of obedience training and will go for Companion Dog title at minimum. If things go really well I might even shoot for Utility Dog title but frankly I need to up my own game to make it that far. We exercise with the dog (long walks, hikes, etc) at least twice per day. We interact and talk with our dogs all the time. Thus, we prize highly intelligent dogs.

For drive I think a medium level drive is best. I won't be competing at high levels, will not be doing protection work and we are generally laid back people in our mid 40s. So a highly driven dog doesn't seem right for us.

Our last GSD was very aloof--even with me who she favored--and we would prefer a more affectionate dog. Perhaps part of her issues was her rough start in life--she grew more affectionate over time after we rescued her. But part of that is likely genetics.

Conformation and gender are last on our list. From my research it seems the West German Show lines are the best choice in terms of temperament and drive. We like sables, black & tans, red and tans but dislike black or white. Coloration is way down the list of priorities. Nevertheless, a pretty, black-faced female dog would be our choice all other things being equal.

Timing: we would like to start with the new puppy in late May/June/early July time frame.

Which breeders would you recommend to me and why? Also, do you have any personal experience with the breeder(s) you are recommending? And does anyone know of any particular litters that look promising and consistent with my priorities.

Thanks in advance,

Michael
Welcome to the forum! I private messaged you a breeder in PA that I've dealt with and formed a very strong relationship with. She fits what you're looking for to a T.
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