I'm looking to get a puppy in December. I'm living in West Virginia right now. This is the first time I'll be buying a puppy from a breeder, so I'm very new to this whole thing. I've been looking through the forums as to what to expect from good breeders and what questions to ask, but it's been a little overwhelming so far. It seems like I keep running into places that just don't feel right, or maybe I'm jumping to conclusions because of my inexperience. Is it bad to feel so put off by just a few negative comments about a breeder?
I'd love to eventually compete in Schutzhund with my dogs, so it'd be good for this pup to be a sort of gateway dog to that. I'd like to at least put him through some of the training, though I'm not focusing on competition right now. It's just me and I'm mainly looking for an active companion and a protector. I run every day and do a lot of hiking and backpacking, and I'd love a dog I can take with me on all of my adventures when he's fully grown and all trained up. I know I'd like a larger dog and I prefer long-haired shepherds. Is it realistic to ask a breeder about appearance and size in addition to good health and trainability/fit?
I was curious as to if anyone had any suggestions about specific breeders or even just good places to start. I'd prefer not to have my pup shipped and to go pick him up myself, and I'd have no issues driving whatever distance to get him. I'm trying to find a breeder in the near future so we can develop more of a relationship before I take my pup home.
I have a pup from Blackthorn working dogs in Barbersville va. Christine has nice pups who are sane and sound of body. I know she usually has a few pups with longer coats in her litters. She is very hands on and helpful with all her puppy buyers. I know I haunt her facebook page with questions constantly.
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