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meldy 02-06-2014 01:21 PM

Breeder by distance
Is there a logic to choosing a breeder by distance? It seems like a lot of people decide by how far the breeder is from them.
I think I may be limiting myself as Im hoping to not go further than one province/state away….but there’s no real reason for that beyond I don’t want to drive further to pick my pup up.

Im not going to hand pick my puppy. Im new to dog sport, I wouldn’t even know what to look for so plan to rely heavily on the breeder to choose for me. Im finding it very frustrating finding a breeder that breeds good dogs with both a solid pedigree and health record.

I may not be looking for a top notch dog but at the same time I want quality. It’s been suggested I settle for a local breeder and that any registered GSD is as good as the next. A fake rolex may look like a rolex but it isn’t going to function the same.

Is it worth it for someone like me…looking for her first working dog to explore IPO, tracking and obedience with (but mostly looking for a full time companion), to stick close to home or should I be willing to ship a dog clear across the country so it can potentially run with me around the neighbourhood and hang out on my couch and cuddle. (I cant guarantee at this point I will pursue any sort of dog sport with enthusiasm as I have no experience with any of it)

Curious what breeders and buyers take is on this issue.

** I think I posted this in the wrong spot originally so this is a duplicate post**

RubyTuesday 02-06-2014 01:32 PM

There are advantages to local breeders but the most important thing is to wind up with the pup you want to live with for 12-14 yrs.

I wouldn't import from outside the USA but only b/c I think that's risky unless you're knowledgable, experienced & know that you have honest, reliable breeder contacts. IF I wanted to get a dog from over seas I'd look for help & advice from others on the board that have successfully imported.

meldy 02-06-2014 01:45 PM

That's sort of the problem Im running into actually.
Most of the breeders Ive found locally are horribly flawed in some way to where I don't really want to deal with them based on both people who have had personal experience and shared that information with me and pedigree information provided by people who have way more knowledge than I have. (and sometimes just gut feeling :sick: )

I have NO faith in my ability to pick a pup. I don't even want to try it Im trying very hard to find a breeder willing to work with what I want.
My problem is having confidence in who Im dealing with and trusting them to pick what I want. I don't want to waste anyone's time, which it often feels like Im doing simply because Im not looking to be the top of the top in any field. I get the feeling like a lot of high level breeders don't want to deal with 'lower level' people such as myself, like it's a waste of their time.

Very possibly that's a wrong impression but it's still prevented me from contacting certain breeders. Even ones that have been recommended by owners.

That and the fact that the majority of breeders who are being recommended are clear across the country.

wyoung2153 02-06-2014 01:51 PM

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While local is always convenient, I did get a Boerboel from a breeder in Utah, I'm in Florida.. I was happy with my choice and she is a great breeder. Looking at getting another from her in the future.

I think it's best to not limit yourself.. and be open minded. Also if you find a breeder at a distance that you REALLY like, ask them for suggestions closer to you. A good breeder, not breeding for money, will absolutely refer you to someone they know if they are close to you.

Chris Wild 02-06-2014 03:15 PM

You're doing the right thing by researching carefully and asking questions. I do think it a good idea to start local and see what you find. But if you can't find the right dog locally, it is better to expand the search geographically than settle for less than the right dog.

Are there any IPO or other training clubs nearby? You mention being interested in IPO so I think locating a good, local club would be a wise first step. First, so that you can learn more about it to help decide if it is something you really want to do and also for the obvious reason of seeing if there is a club in your area that is a good fit for your personality. Secondly though, your local clubs can be an excellent resource for finding the right dog as well. They may be able to point you toward some breeders in the area that you otherwise might not even know existed, and you may be able to meet some dogs from local breeders at the club.

Castlemaid 02-06-2014 03:23 PM

I see you are in Calgary? Here are some resources to help you with your search:

German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada (GSSCC):
The German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada
Go to "Regions and Clubs", and there will be a listing of IPO clubs and contact numbers.

They will be able to direct you in the right direction. Check with the Chinook Schutzhund Club - Jason Giso is really easy to talk to.

meldy 02-06-2014 03:25 PM

I've been in touch with the local Schutzhund club and plan to attend some of their training sessions, once the weather clears a little, as they train outside and a good distance out of town.

Otherwise I'm actually finding a lot of different sports I didn't even know existed via speaking to people about their dogs and what they are doing and how well they are doing it. That line of inquiry has also knocked a lot of breeders off my list.

I'm not planning to purchase until a little later in the year. Summer or perhaps even early fall. It's just very frustrating to feel like Im doing everything I should, to finally think maybe Ive found a good breeder, then have various messages and information come in turning everything I thought I knew on it's head.
And then starting from scratch all over again.

I've pretty much settled, at this point, on North America as my geographical limitation.
Now I need to overcome the hurdle of not needing a top level dog, but wanting a dog of that calibre just not that much drive (if that makes sense?) and having a breeder be willing to deal with a newbie.

meldy 02-06-2014 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by Castlemaid (Post 4977394)
I see you are in Calgary? Here are some resources to help you with your search:

German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada (GSSCC):
The German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada
Go to "Regions and Clubs", and there will be a listing of IPO clubs and contact numbers.

They will be able to direct you in the right direction. Check with the Chinook Schutzhund Club - Jason Giso is really easy to talk to.

I will contact him! thanks! Ive spoken with Dan Waters at the local GSD club about attending some of their training sessions.

SuperG 02-06-2014 04:04 PM

Limiting yourself to any factors or restrictions most always results in compromise...unless luck is on your side.

You sure seem to have been honest with yourself regarding your intentions, so I would guess by continuing your due diligence as you are, you will be just fine.

I wish I would have been as deliberate and careful as you seem to be when I got our first dog but I was too impatient and willing to believe whatever I was told by some breeders....big mistake. The quality breeders will be glad to entertain and respect your "piercing" questions, especially about health, temperament etc. The last pup I purchased, I started at home and knew many of the breeders ( not personally ) by the pups they produced, unfortunately it seems at times if you bring another kennel's name up, all you hear is how lousy they are and that they aren't ethical.....blah blah blah....etc. I always subscribed to the old saying about.....if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all....especially in important applications...such as this journey you are on currently. I even heard some breeders trashing other breeders for things not even remotely connected to the breeding world or a healthy puppy....easy decision at that point...look elsewhere, which I did.

As far as proximity goes, don't limit yourself to any degree to which you can afford....the entire world is available for your choice if your pocketbook allows.

You sound like a discriminating buyer and your efforts will hopefully reward you manyfold.

Happy hunting,


RubyTuesday 02-06-2014 04:27 PM


I have NO faith in my ability to pick a pup.
It's not a pup you want. Ultimately, it's the dog that pup will become that you're looking for. Just about all pups are adorable, including those saddled with health & temperament problems.

By all means get advice & insights from others but do develop a *feel* for what you want & need in your GSD. Clearly know what you're looking for & develop an ability to recognize it when you find it.

When considering a breede,r look at parents, extended family & when possible offspring, especially full sibs if available. Talk to breeders regarding their dogs & breeding program. How long do the dogs live? What temperament is s/he looking for? What health problems has s/he seen, age of onset & frequency of occurence? IF you're interested in competitive sport, conformation showing, IPO etc do the dogs have a history of success in the endeavor(s) you're interested in?

IF you're looking for a pet it's important that the dogs produced succeed as solid, stable, trustworthy pets & family members. Some breeders believe differently but I strongly disagree. This does NOT mean that dogs who excel in law enforcement, IPO &/or herding are NOT suited to be family pets. Not at all. Many of them do, but if there isn't actual proof of this, look elsewhere. Suitable proof, imo, are breeders who live with them in the house &/or have their dogs freely mingling with family, friends, small children etc. I'd also look for dogs that are placed as family companions in addition to work or competitive sports.

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