Looking for a Breeder for a Psychiatric Service Dog Prospect - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for a Breeder for a Psychiatric Service Dog Prospect

I've been researching and looking for breeders since the beginning of this year. Searching through hundreds of websites and trying my best to avoid any suspicious ones or any that seemed linked to puppy mills. I've done hours of researching the different lines, temperaments, behaviors, diets, pros and cons, but I'm burning myself out looking by myself. This is my first time looking into and getting a dog but I've done my homework. I'm really passionate about this breed too. I love everything about the personality of German shepherds. I'd just like a little more help and education from more experienced people out there.

I'm looking for a reputable breeder, obviously. I'm in the US, specifically the Arizona area. What complicates things a little is I need this puppy to become my psychiatric service dog that I will be training. So even temperaments and good nerves across the board. I realize it varies from dog to dog how they act and their different personalities. Of the different lines I find that the West German Working Line is closer to what I'm looking for but knowing that they're rarer I'd settle for a mixture of the working lines. But I'm not strictly set on that line. As long as I find a puppy with the proper attitude, personality, willingness to work, and temperament I couldn't care less which German line they're from. I'd like to avoid the American show line because of their bad traits. If there's any breeders who are having puppies at the end of this year or the beginning of next year that's all the better, although not a requirement. I'm willing to wait and find the right breeder and puppy for me. If you can help point me to the right person I'll appreciate it so much!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 11:50 AM
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Just bumping for you. I am in AZ, and don’t have a single good recommendation for you, other than to broaden your search area. Plenty of members here have knowledge of lines and what can be expected with certain breedings. Hopefully they can steer you in the right direction. Good luck!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jchrest View Post
Just bumping for you. I am in AZ, and donít have a single good recommendation for you, other than to broaden your search area. Plenty of members here have knowledge of lines and what can be expected with certain breedings. Hopefully they can steer you in the right direction. Good luck!
Thank you! I'm not expecting to find a breeder in AZ. Anywhere in the US would do. Closer to me would be preferred but not a requirement.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BatXan View Post
I've been researching and looking for breeders since the beginning of this year. Searching through hundreds of websites and trying my best to avoid any suspicious ones or any that seemed linked to puppy mills. I've done hours of researching the different lines, temperaments, behaviors, diets, pros and cons, but I'm burning myself out looking by myself. This is my first time looking into and getting a dog but I've done my homework. I'm really passionate about this breed too. I love everything about the personality of German shepherds. I'd just like a little more help and education from more experienced people out there.

I'm looking for a reputable breeder, obviously. I'm in the US, specifically the Arizona area. What complicates things a little is I need this puppy to become my psychiatric service dog that I will be training. So even temperaments and good nerves across the board. I realize it varies from dog to dog how they act and their different personalities. Of the different lines I find that the West German Working Line is closer to what I'm looking for but knowing that they're rarer I'd settle for a mixture of the working lines. But I'm not strictly set on that line. As long as I find a puppy with the proper attitude, personality, willingness to work, and temperament I couldn't care less which German line they're from. I'd like to avoid the American show line because of their bad traits. If there's any breeders who are having puppies at the end of this year or the beginning of next year that's all the better, although not a requirement. I'm willing to wait and find the right breeder and puppy for me. If you can help point me to the right person I'll appreciate it so much!

I'll take any recommendations for breeders in the US. Although I'd prefer to be able to drive wherever a breeder is it's not a requirement. As long as their dogs and puppies are in good health that's all I care about.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 03:21 PM
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Bat, how active are you ? What specifically are you training for ? Psych service dog is pretty vague. Best advice I have is to find a breeder that specializes the type of service dog you are looking for. Good place to start researching is at local gsd clubs. Also, don't rule out American and German showlines if they have what you are looking for.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 05:53 PM
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Do you have previous GSD experience?
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 08:12 PM
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I can't speak for a specific breeder in Arizona, sorry, but I can tell you how I handled my search.

I just recently finished my own service dog search. I had specific requirements I looked for from my initial breeder search. I will say these were my requirements and they don't have to be everyone's:

- a litter by litter listing of their puppies on their website or facebook, I could then know where their puppies went and how many went into service work
- live with and work their dogs, including holding back puppies from their own litters and breeding them (BHOT), this usually means the breeders don't breeder terribly often and are selective about where they place their puppies

I then contacted those breeders and explained my situation, several came back with advice (sometimes not what I was looking for). Several came back very hopeful that they could produce what I wanted out of a dog, none of them said they would definitely have a dog for me. You will need to be more specific in what actual tasks you want the dog to do for you.

Then I visited. A lot. Not necessarily their kennels (as my selected breeders' kennels are their homes as well), but their clubs. I visited clubs they didn't belong to. I watched their dogs work, even if it was Schutzhund and not service work. I met their dogs and the breeders were happy to show them off to me. I watched other dogs work. I went to clubs that had nothing to do with my breeder. I brought food (my own and food for them, think cookies) and prepared for a whole day of watching people work dogs. Schutzhund people know working line GSDs well. I talked to the club members, a lot. Club members have a lot to say, not just about the breeder and their dogs but also your goals. Just like on this forum, you won't hear everything you want. You'll have to filter.

I also looked up people on this forum that had contact with the breeder or had the breeder's dogs and PM'd them. Everyone I PM'D was very helpful to me (thank you).

I think this forum is a good start for you.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by huntergreen View Post
Bat, how active are you ? What specifically are you training for ? Psych service dog is pretty vague. Best advice I have is to find a breeder that specializes the type of service dog you are looking for. Good place to start researching is at local gsd clubs. Also, don't rule out American and German showlines if they have what you are looking for.

I'm working on getting more active and being healthier in general. I know GSDs are very active. I'll be training this dog to help alert me before I have panic attacks wherever I am, get me to a safer place, and to motivate me to get out more to help with my depression. I'm not avoiding the show lines but from what I've seen on the American show lines is they tend to have bad hips and health from bad breeding. I could be completely wrong about them though so I won't be completely against any show line.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Do you have previous GSD experience?
Unfortunately I don't have much personal experience with GSDs which I know is important. I'm planning on getting some experience before I'll get mine. I know they're extremely smart and fast learners. I've done tons of reading and watching videos about how they generally act and their personalities I know I love what I've seen about them. I'm not expecting perfect or anything.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BatXan View Post
I'm working on getting more active and being healthier in general. I know GSDs are very active. I'll be training this dog to help alert me before I have panic attacks wherever I am, get me to a safer place, and to motivate me to get out more to help with my depression. I'm not avoiding the show lines but from what I've seen on the American show lines is they tend to have bad hips and health from bad breeding. I could be completely wrong about them though so I won't be completely against any show line.
.

Sounds like caradean has more info than I do. As stated, you will need to expand your search area. Depending on the tasks you need your service dog to preform, you also need to research trainers in your area.

I'm regards to ASL, there are some good lines out there. There are some breeders on this forum who might be able to help you or put you you in touch with breeders that have what you need.
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