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I've never owned a GS and went on a trip to Indiana. Fell in love w/my brother in laws GS who gave me the name of breeder he got his from. Turns out the breeder has a female (long haired) that is 6 months old along with a new litter of puppies. I would rather have the 6 month old and I definitely want the longer coated which she is. The breeder told me that the parents were OFA ( I think that is the acronym) and that they are AKC registered. I'm nervous because how do I know that he is being honest about the OFA and AKC? Does this really matter? He sent me pictures by email and the 6 month old is soooo beautiful. I have an Airedale Terrier who is 7 years old and I wonder if they will get along well. If I brush a GS everyday will I still have tons of shedding???? Also, I would rather buy a GS here in Minnesota but the prices are too high for me. This 6 month old girl is $650 which I can afford. I know this is alot of info and questions but please give me all the advice you can!! and I'm also beginning to read all of the forums.
 

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OFA matters... when you know the results. It basically is a rating of x-rays of hips (and sometimes elbows) to rule out dysplasia (a condition where the bones do not fit properly at the joint).

AKC just means the dog is purebred... it says nothing about whether or not the bloodlines are good.
 

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as for the shedding, it will cut down the shedding if you brush her everyday, but, at the end of the ay, a) its a GS - shed constantly b) its long haird - lots of hair to shred
 

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I'm a bit leery that the female is a long coat. Nothing wrong with getting longcoats in a litter, it happens, but to *breed* a long coat is not a good thing- they are against the breed standard. Get the OFA (hip AND elbow) certification numbers from the breeder and look them up in the OFA database: http://www.offa.org Do NOT take their word for it until you look it up yourself!

AKC is meaningless for quality. All it means is that this dog is a GSD, its parents were GSDs, and all its ancestors were GSDs. It's like a car title- you can have a fancy Corvette with a title but you can also have a rusting body of one in the backyard, no engine, two tires, and busted windows, getting overgrown from weeds with a car title stating it's still a Corvette.

EDIT: Just to avoid confusion, I read it as though they bred a long coated female. If they just happen to have a 6 mo old longcoat from a previous litter, that's fine.

Also want to add that the GSD is one of the BIGGEST shedders on the planet. If you don't like eating macaroni and hair, drinking hairuccino, wearing a true fur coat over your work clothes, and having hair buffaloes course through the house, you'll do fine. GSDs are double coated (some long coats are not) and so will shed a TON. Long coats without the undercoat will not shed quite as much. This dog will be nothing like your airedale in terms of shedding!
 

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OFA is great, and you can get copies of that from the breeder. Wonderful it's on both sides for both parents. And you also get a copy of the AKC registry so you know the background for yourself.

I think getting the 6 month old is a great idea, but make sure you find out why she still has only that puppy from the litter. Was she keeping it initially cause she loved it so much and was thinking of keeping it forever? Or is she keeping it cause it's nickname is Cujo and he ate the mailman?

TALK to the breeder and both conversations should last awhile. All your questions and concerns should be answered quickly and honestly. And a good breeder will also ask YOU tons of questions about your lifestyle, background with dogs, training abilities, availability of classes in your area, goals for your dog (pet is fine, but they should ask). Matching a new dogs needs and personalities should be WAY more important to the breeder so it's a great mix for the next 12 or so years (should not be about the $$$$ or you just liking the long coat).
 

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I used to think that having an ACK registered dog meant that the dog was of good quality. Unfortunately, I found out that I was wrong!

AKC is a dog registry which does nothing more than record breedings of pure bred dogs. It both parents of the pup are AKC registered and all of their ancestors are AKC registered, then the pup with be able to be AKC registered.

AKC does not require any kind of quality assurance that the dogs being registered are up to the breed standards (a perfect example is this long haired pup; as a LH, she is NOT up to the GSD standard; LH are not allowed according to the GSD breed standard and should not be bred on purpose).

To find out if the dog is of quality, you have to look at the pedigrees of both parents. If there are champion titles on both sides (both parents and all four grandparents, at least), the puppy will be of better quality.

OFA is a certification of x-rays, usually for hips and elbows. GSDs are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia and ALL breeding dogs should be x-rayed and certified that they do not have it. It is hereditary and its passed down to the offspring.

A responsible breeder will have all his breeding dogs x-rayed and certified against HD. If any of their dogs do not pass, they are altered and never bred. There are also other health concerns that a responsible breeder will look for like eyes, thyroid, heart, etc…. In addition to how the dog should look (based on the breed standard), the breeding pair must have the desired breed personality characteristics. GSDs are supposed to be intelligent, loyal, friendly, and obedient. They should not be nervous or scared or aggressive. Make sure that this puppy is all that a GSD should be!!!! Do your research, ask lots of questions and make sure that this is the dog you really want.
 

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My starting advice would be to do your homework. Learn as much as you can about GSDs. They are not for everyone. There is plenty of literature out there that will tell you about the breed. Check out some of your local breeders. They should be more than eager to tell you about their dogs and the breed in general (I know that I am).

It would seem that your primary interest is to get this dog as a companion. If that is so it doesn’t really matter whether or not she turns out to be a “coat”.

Regardless of your reasons for acquiring this puppy, OFA is important. Right now you have no way of knowing whether this puppy will have sound hips and elbows because the puppy has to be older than 24 months for the x-rays to be of any value. Ask the breeder to show you the OFA rating for the parents. This won’t guarantee the soundness of the puppy but at least you will know that the parents are OK. Bad elbows and/or hips could cost you a lot of money and heartache in the future.

AKC is an assurance that the puppy is the result of a breeding with two AKC registered GSDs. It guarantees that the puppy is GSD from a certain blood line; and that’s about it.

You should also consider how you are going to train the puppy. You will want to be sure that there are competent trainers (for you and the puppy) in your area.

As far as your other dog is concerned you will have to wait and see. One question to ask yourself is whether or not your Airedale is dog aggression. If so that could be a problem. Usually people will tell you not to have two males or two females because they won’t get along. That’s not always true we have and have had multiple females and never had a problem.

Good luck – keep us posted.
 

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Hi,

I recently purchased a pup.

I spent a very long time (10 years) researching GSD's, training puppies et cetera.

An AKC registration on a dog is just that a piece of paper which shows your dog is in the registry. This does not guarantee, health, temperament, ethical breeding standards et cetera.

Granted, it is a start, but by no means is it a "be all end all".

You should spend a lot of time speaking with breeders. You can get a good idea about a breeder's ethical standard within five minutes of conversation.

Years ago I contacted a breeder in my region about buying a GSD. I was not ready to purchase at that very moment, but knew I would be purchasing within the next two years or so. I, of course, relayed this information to the breeder and she was irritated. She acted as if I was wasting her time. (If you check the breeder's category you can find my post about it.) I ended the conversation quickly and vowed I wouldn't buy a dog from her I was right about her there are a few members of this board that are unsatisfied customers.

The moral of the story: "Follow your gut!".
 

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You also really need to pay attention to the dog's TEMPERAMENT versus what the dog looks like. Within a litter of puppies you will find many different temperaments.

Will this dog fit into your lifestyle? Do you have enough time to exercise the dog? Where will your dog live? In the house? Outside?

Can you cover the on-going costs of owning a GSD? THe costs: routine veterinary care, feeding, grooming, emergency trips to the vet et cetera.

I am not trying to dissuade you from getting your dog. It just sounds as if this is an "impulse" buy. GSD's are extremely intelligent dogs. They require mental and physical stimulation. Many people who purchase GSD's impulsiveley end up leaving them at the shelter.


Good luck.
 

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I've been a dog groomer for 8 years and believe it or not I've only groomed ONE GSD in this entire time who is a regular. She is the short coated or stock (whichever it is called). Therefore I am not to familiar with their coat. I know labs shed tremendously in spite of short hair as some people think. But with this GSD being long coated I thought that might cut down on some shedding. My Springer Spaniel died of cancer this past October and since then the Airedale has become so incredibly jealous of other dogs...maybe it's because I've spoiled her more. I do want the GSD because I know how intelligent they are and this one is also so beautiful to me. My house is huge and she will definitely be an indoor dog. As far as excersice, we do about 3-4 miles per day rain, snow, or shine. I could never leave any dog at a shelter. NEVER EVER!!! But yes I'm nervous about how everything would work out and it might be because I have never actually met her. I've only gotten pictures. She is in Indiana and I'm in Minnesota. My brother in law is coming to visit 12 Jul and would bring her along on the drive if I purchase her. As far as feeding I give my Airedale Innova which is a high quality food. I'm very much against any by products, corn fillers,...etc... If you have a GSD, tell me about yours as far as personality. Thanks for the pointers and good questions. I will keep you posted.
 

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Okay, the grandparents have been OFA not the parents of the 6 month old. Is that a big deal. No they did not breed for a long hair. She actually came from 2 short haired/stock coats.
 

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Um, yes that's a big deal. If you are going to be breeding, that's the least you can do! HD can rear it's ugly head at any time. Just because the dogs move ok from looking at them doesn't mean they aren't dysplastic.
 

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She got along great with out female Springer Spaniel who passed away this past October at 12 years from cancer. Since out Springer passed she has become very crabby toward all dogs. Soooo I don't know. I would like to think that with time she would adjust to having a new dog in the home.
 

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I was mistaken in the parents being being OFAd. It is the grandparents who were OFAd. Is that a big deal?
 

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i recently fostered a boy ( 8 months) with UAP. to look at him you would never know, but it was his x rays that told a different story.
 

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Parents with excellent hips can produce dogs with horrible hips. It is NEVER, EVER enough to rely on hip certifications beyond the parental generation. In other words, if the parents are not OFA'd, look elsewhere. In a breed with so many joint issues, that is way too risky.

No OFA parents, no puppy. If you do decide on the puppy, ready yourself for thousands of dollars of corrective surgery if your pup is unlucky enough to have dysplasia.
 

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Unfortunately that can happen even with pups whose parents are ofa'd. Responsible breeders try to stack the deck in their favor versus breeding unknowns.
 

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Originally Posted By: AniadoubleI used to think that having an ACK registered dog meant that the dog was of good quality. Unfortunately, I found out that I was wrong!

AKC is a dog registry which does nothing more than record breedings of pure bred dogs. It both parents of the pup are AKC registered and all of their ancestors are AKC registered, then the pup with be able to be AKC registered.

AKC does not require any kind of quality assurance that the dogs being registered are up to the breed standards (a perfect example is this long haired pup; as a LH, she is NOT up to the GSD standard; LH are not allowed according to the GSD breed standard and should not be bred on purpose).
Actually, longcoats are a fault, not a disqualification.


Some breeders do breed a long coat bitch, and these are breeders with many, many, many Champions and ROM's to stand behind their program and their choices. Breeding to a coat ...of course all the longcoated pups would be sold to companion homes on limited registration. The standard coats would be kept as show hopefuls (if their conformation is correct also) and continue the breeders lines.... Keeping the longcoat factor, keeps the plushness of the coat. If you breed only to "non coat factored" bitches or dogs....you end up with coats with smooth collies. (which is not what the standard calls for either)
 
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