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Thread: Newbie here, looking for a breeder in northeastern USA Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-03-2014 08:21 PM
LifeofRiley Declan, it sounds to me like you want a great companion/family dog. I am going to re-post a response I made on another thread. It speaks to what I want in a companion dog (which sounds like what you want) and how I go about finding one.

And, as a preview, my current dog is a white german shepherd pulled from a shelter by an all-breed rescue. I encourage you to check out not just breed-specific rescues in your area, but also all-breed/all dog rescues. You might be surprised how many GSDs you find outside of breed-specific rescues.

Here is the post I referred to earlier:
To me, a great companion dog is not just a house dog, rather it is a dog that can go out in the world with me without me having to worry about how the dog will handle crowds, traffic, noises, new environments, passing cyclists, skateboarders, joggers, random folks stopping to pet him, etc… you know, all the things a city dog would have to be able to handle if it ever was to leave your house/yard/block/neighborhood.

I am breed-neutral in my choice of a dog, I just look for a shelter/rescue dog that I think has the potential to be the type of companion dog I want. My current dog did not walk out of the shelter being the perfect companion dog (by my definition). But, as I was his foster home, I got to know him and felt he had the right characteristics (handler focus, desire to please) to become one with some TLC and training… turns out I was right : )
07-03-2014 01:48 PM
Jax08 Where is whiteshepherds? She'll know of reputable white GSD breeders.
07-03-2014 01:00 PM
Cassidy's Mom
Originally Posted by Declan View Post
I feel that the general attitude of this thread has been somewhat condescending and hope this isn't common when a newbie is looking for help with something like this.
Please try not to take the comments personally. I'm not seeing anything in this thread that screams condescension, I think people are sincerely trying to help.
07-03-2014 12:31 PM
Originally Posted by Declan View Post
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!
Try contacting the breeder Lisa suggested. My 14 year old was not from that breeder but from her stud dog-she has been very healthy -has had health issues in her later years but I think that is to be expected. She is wonderful with children very tolerant and other dogs. There may be some rescues that would do xrays or you could work out some sort of agreement with since you said that you prefer rescues. My GSD rescue was a senior -she also had very few health issues until her later years.

The other thing you could try is just visiting clubs and training You might run into someone who is doing a first breeding or not as well known. Good luck with your search.
07-03-2014 11:41 AM
blackshep Well bred GSD's with health clearances, titled parents are going to run about $1500. That's just the market for a well bred GSD.

I would consider a rescue if I were you. Getting a PB doesn't guarantee good hips, and getting a rescue doesn't mean the dog is unhealthy. You get to see what the dog is like as an adult, you know of any known health issues up front. A lot of great GSD's end up at rescues, so please keep an open mind.
07-03-2014 10:48 AM
mydogs Go to a rescue

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07-03-2014 10:37 AM
Originally Posted by Declan View Post

Maybe I'm not cut out to be a good GSD guardian if I'm hesitant to spend $1500 on a puppy, but I have a hard time believing the hundreds of members here who paid less than that for theirs are bad and ignorant people, and that seems to be the general attitude on this thread - that if I want to pay less than $1000, I'm an idiot who doesn't know any better. That's not helpful, it's disturbing, because that's how people get chased off and end up making huge mistakes because they don't feel they have a safe place to ask for advice.
I just want to say that I was one of those members who paid less that $1500 on my puppy. Don't get me wrong, I love my dog, but I will never do that again.

I went with a breeder who seemed like they had it all together. They promised that their dogs hips were great, and that all the grandparents were x-rayed and okay. I got the meet the dad, and play with the puppies and everything seemed great. The dad was calm, cool, and like a really nice dog. The breeders were really nice and I walked away with my $600 feeling really good about myself. Than the problems started. For the first few months we had our girl she had constant tummy issues and we spent thousands of dollars on vet bills, test, and medication. We finally figured out it was allergies and got that all sorted out. When we had her spayed they checked her hips, only to find that they didn't look so good. They weren't awful, but she will mostly likely develop HD later in life. While her empowerment is normally pretty good she has some crazy prey drive and she OCD (she will chase shadows and has to be forcibly removed from the situation). She is a great dog, but next time I will be doing more research and paying a lot more upfront for the puppy. Its not a guarantee of a better dog, but it certainly puts the odds in my favor.

When I tried to get a hold of the breeder to let her know all the problems we had she quick responding. She also told me that they had had a dog with HD in the past, and that it was nothing to worry about (the total opposite of when they told us all of their dogs had great hips when we went to visit). I had no support from them.

If people seem condescending it is just because many of us have been where you are now and are just trying to save you the heartache we went through. Just something to consider.
07-03-2014 10:20 AM
Originally Posted by Twyla View Post
If the breeder can't take the time to title and know their dogs, do the health testing that is needed, know the lines they are breeding and what they will produce; then transfer that same detailed interaction to the pups produced through med care, early socialization, puppy testing - why would I think they would take the time after the pup is sold?
Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
07-03-2014 10:00 AM
lhczth People, repeating the same thing over and over again becomes brow beating. The OP has said her reasons for why she wants what she wants. Help her in the context of those desires or just let sleeping dogs lie.

Thank you,

07-03-2014 09:58 AM
lhczth Declan, I recommend you go visit breeders, talk to them thoroughly, ask about their experience, find out their history, find out what they really know other than the ability to throw two dogs together. Then meet the dogs. Ask about and have them show your proof of health testing (this should be the minimum). Get your hands on them so to speak, see them interact with their people, see how they are around you. Then look at puppies of the dogs and the breeders pass. Be critical. Ignore price. Just look at the dogs, the breeders and the puppies. If anything feels wrong walk away. Then decide who best fits your needs and the price of the pups will not matter (it may be in the $1000 range, maybe a little higher).

Don't settle for problems. You have the experience to deal with them, but why pay someone to deal with a problem dog for the rest of its life? You want a lower drive dog as a pet, but you will also need health, good nerves and a sound temperament. Don't settle for less.

I do not know this breeder and have only seen a few of her dogs. Also don't know the prices she charges, but might be worth contacting. From her website most of the pups go into pet homes. You will not find white dogs here, but she may produce blacks and long stock coats.
Breeders of German Shepherds & Cairn Terriers | NH & MA | New Hampshire & Massachusetts - Pam Lake, Owner

Good luck in your search.
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