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Old 07-02-2014, 07:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Newbie here, looking for a breeder in northeastern USA

We would prefer a breeder in New England, but we don't mind going a little further. We're hoping to spend between $500-$1000 since we want a pet as opposed to a dog that needs to be tractable enough to do competitions and clubs. A low to medium drive dog would be best for our lifestyle. We do vastly prefer white and black GSDs, and have a particular affinity for the long-haired variety, but coat length doesn't really matter.

We would rather not rescue because I want a dog that can go hiking and bike riding with me, and we're concerned that rescuing is setting ourselves up for a dog with hip dysplasia and other health problems. If I'm wrong about this, let me know. We prefer rescue animals and have always had mutts, but since purebred GSDs are prone to so many issues, it doesn't seem as safe as rescuing a mixed breed that is not as likely to have health problems.

We did find one breeder that looks promising and their animals have excellent temperaments; I have met several of them and worked alongside one back when I was an animal-assisted therapist at a nursing home. The breeder is Northern White Shepherds in Vermont. Does anyone know anything about this breeder? Thanks!

Last edited by Declan; 07-02-2014 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This site has some responsible breeders listed as well as answers to some of your questions. Good luck in your search! My advice would be to please take your time and learn as much as possible about the breed, different lines as well as how to choose a responsible breeder(usually one that has foundation lines and longevity they can prove with transparency)

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Old 07-02-2014, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This site has some responsible breeders listed as well as answers to some of your questions. Good luck in your search! My advice would be to please take your time and learn as much as possible about the breed, different lines as well as how to choose a responsible breeder(usually one that has foundation lines and longevity they can prove with transparency)

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This is very helpful. Thank you.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My advice is to be a little more flexible on price. $500-$1000 is definitely on the low end if you're buying from a reputable breeder. Ultimately the purchase price of your pup is going to be the least of your expenses. In my opinion it would be better to spend a little more to go with a breeder whose has a sire and dam with good temperaments, X-rays parents for hips, spends for vaccines, quality food, etc.

Just to give you an example, when I was a kid we bought a cat from the local pet store. They wanted $10. My father was outraged and told them no way he'd spend more than $5 on a cat. We got the cat for $5. Six months later the cat developed an intestinal blockage. The vet told him the operation to save him would cost $1000 By then our family had become very attached to the cat. The cat had the operation. And that's how our $5 cat turned into a $1005 cat.
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Old 07-02-2014, 10:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I remember buying a $3 cat from a pet store(this was way before puppymill/pet store partnership) and he was a long lived companion with no health issues. Though his front canine teeth were curled so we dubbed him Liquor(licorice, licker) because his tongue stuck out until his adult teeth came in. He was a very cool grey tiger.
That said, I so agree with John C....support the breeder doing it right, that means paying for their investment in their program. The good breeder health tests, trains, titles and knows exactly what their dogs strength/weaknesses are to help them decide on breeding matches to compliment the dogs. The least you'd pay is about a grand....though now and then good breeders sell for under that. Finding such a breeder is pure luck or knowing someone that knows someone/then trust is key.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The general costs associated with dogs, such as vet bills, aren't a problem - we're just personally not comfortable spending more than $1000 on a puppy when something could still go wrong. Puppies are fragile. A friend of mine spent $3000 on a puppy from a fantastic breeder, and the puppy died from parvo.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Declan View Post
The general costs associated with dogs, such as vet bills, aren't a problem - we're just personally not comfortable spending more than $1000 on a puppy when something could still go wrong. Puppies are fragile. A friend of mine spent $3000 on a puppy from a fantastic breeder, and the puppy died from parvo.
You're most likely not going to find a well bred dog for under $1k.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You're most likely not going to find a well bred dog for under $1k.
What do you consider the minimum price range for someone who just wants a healthy dog with a good temperament and isn't looking to compete? I based my preferred price range off what I've seen from GSD breeders that do thorough health screenings and have dogs with good temperaments, but are located out of visiting range. Being able to visit the breeder and meet the dogs is important to us.

If we're vastly underestimating the cost of a German shepherd that's in good health and didn't inherit serious temperament issues, we will certainly reevaluate our expectations, but I found quite a few breeders that are well-known and well-liked who sell pups for around $700-$800.

Last edited by Declan; 07-03-2014 at 12:03 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Depends what you want. I really don't know what American show lines are going for. For working lines, expect to pay somewhere in the 1500-2000 range. For German show lines, expect somewhere in the 2000-3000 range.

There's always exceptions, but I think those prices are pretty typical. I'd imagine none of the breeders jane posted in the link above charge $1k or less.

And you keep mentioning you just want a pet and not looking to compete, but why should you have a dog with any less of a temperament than a dog that is able to compete in something? A pet dog should have every bit the nerve base than a dog that is going to compete or be worked. Breeders that are charging too good to be true prices are typically not the breeders anyone should be buying dogs from.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Depends what you want. I really don't know what American show lines are going for. For working lines, expect to pay somewhere in the 1500-2000 range. For German show lines, expect somewhere in the 2000-3000 range.

There's always exceptions, but I think those prices are pretty typical. I'd imagine none of the breeders jane posted in the link above charge $1k or less.

And you keep mentioning you just want a pet and not looking to compete, but why should you have a dog with any less of a temperament than a dog that is able to compete in something? A pet dog should have every bit the nerve base than a dog that is going to compete or be worked. Breeders that are charging too good to be true prices are typically not the breeders anyone should be buying dogs from.
A dog can have a good temperament as a companion without being tractable enough to participate in competitions, especially since we want a low to medium-drive dog. My only dogs have been rescued GSD mixes, so I don't know much about working vs show lines. I don't have much of a preference one way or another as long as my dog is healthy and has a good temperament.
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