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Join a local GSD club, and if there are none close enough for you -- couple of hours, meet once a month, then a training club. Meet lots of nice people, and get to know the dogs.

When you get your puppy. Glad this is not your foundation bitch. But she will do for a start. You can start training her in a variety of different venues. Obedience is a must, maybe agility when she gets a little older but a puppy agility will be fun for you and her, and you will meet people. Also go to a herding fun day with the puppy, see how she is with sheep or ducks or whatever.

Take her everywhere, and do a bajilion things with her. Take her to a bunch of different classes and make sure it is fun fun fun.

Once you have successfully raised your GSD, and titled her in a couple of things, and worked her in more things, and tried many things with her. Then it may be time to thing about getting your foundation bitch.

By then you will have had time to procure the books, and get a mentor, and learn about the different lines, and pedigrees -- at least enough for a start. I think learning is ongoing.

By then you will have experienced at least some of most aspects to life with shepherds. You need to become an expert with all of them. If a puppy buyer calls you in the middle of the night and says the puppy has eaten a dryer sheet, you need to know whether you should encourage her to wait or to go to the ER. If you puppy buyer tells you their vet says the pup has "boxy looking hips" and probably has mild hip dysplasia in both hips, you need to know how to respond to that. Yes, for this breed you need to know more than some vets do.

Everything everyone else suggested, books, etc, all excellent suggestions. I like the idea of training your bitch. I hold the belief that if people would just train their dogs, there would be so many less dogs dropped off. I also believe that trained dogs will be less likely to add to the bite statistics. And training is an excellent way to bond with and evaluate your bitch. When you go to get your foundation bitch, you will be an old hand at training. And you will probably find that you will have to learn new skills with the new bitch, but nothing is wasted. All of the training skills will help you deal with your puppy buyers.

Good luck.
 

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I'm just curious: Why are you glad this isn't my foundation female? I don't plan on her being it, but that's because I don't know enough to find a great foundation female. However, what if she would make a good foundation?

Also, I would like to join the GSD Club of America, but I need some members of the club to recommend me on my application. Anyone who is a member of the club willing to help me?
I am not saying DON'T JOIN the GSDCA. But it will NOT help you locally, with what you NEED. A local club, that is a few hours away will give you real live people, shows to volunteer at etc.

The GSDCA sends you the Review. Big Whip. A few articals, you get to vote for people you don't know, and you get to see Jimmy Moses ad nauseum showing ****** dogs he doesn't approve of.

There is more to it than that. But I was a member back when there was some serious fighting, and I let my membership in that lapse, because I was not on the inside, and did not know what all was going on, and just hearing bits and peices.

Now that I have been in a local club, that has national members I probably would not have felt so out of it.

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Why am I glad that this will not be your foundation bitch?

Hmmm, where to start.

It sounds like you have no idea what lines you are interested in, and within those lines, what bloodlines you are interested in. This is your first shepherd? You have no experience training sheps. You have a long way to go before you try to breed your foundation bitch.

First of all, you need to find a reputable breeder who will not be afraid to tell you what is in the lines. You need to find someone who can point at a dog in your pedigree and tell you about him, what he produces, what were his strengths and weaknesses.

I hate to say it, but a first time shepherd owner is going to have a hard time getting noticed as serious. Some breeders would not sell you a puppy. Others will require a limited registration, meaning if she is bred, pups are not registrateable. This is ok. You are not planning on this being your foundation bitch.

This is the girl you can fall hopelessly in love with, train, socialize, work with. Breeding is NOT your goal with her. Your goal with her is to learn and to network.

By the time you have a bunch of titles on her, and are totally imersed in the breed, she will be old enough that you probably should not breed her for the first time. When you get your foundation bitch, whether you buy her as a young adult already titled, or go with a green dog or a puppy, you will be able to get through titling quicker because you know the ropes.

You will know all the right questions to ask because you have been there before.

Frankly, I do not know that it is fair to fault a dog for a handlers lack of experience, but if you do not have SOME experience with the breed, how in the world will you be able to gage whether the bitch you want as your foundation is really worthy of breeding at all?

I am not saying this to discourage you, just to give you an alternate route to your goal. In this day of fast food, burgers in seconds, no one wants to wait for anything. But waiting until you have good contacts in place, a good trainer, and some good experience with your own GSD, could make a huge difference.

This is a hobby or business that goes a lot on reputation, word of mouth, and experience. If you rush into it with your first dog, you are likely to get a bad rep right out of the starting gate.
 

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I'm just curious: Why are you glad this isn't my foundation female? I don't plan on her being it, but that's because I don't know enough to find a great foundation female. However, what if she would make a good foundation?

Also, I would like to join the GSD Club of America, but I need some members of the club to recommend me on my application. Anyone who is a member of the club willing to help me?
Another note:

Breeders can be kennel blind -- unable to see fault with their dogs.

I think that first time shepherd owners are also very vulnerable to this. It takes time studying the standard, to really get a feel what a well-bred dog should look and act like. But when you are deeply invested in your bitch, you raised her from a puppy, she is perfect in every way...

And your ultimate goal was breeding...

You are setting yourself up to breed your bitch regardless to her true colors.
 
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