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Hello everyone!

My name is Angel, I'm currently a student in Animal Care as well as a part-time kennel attendant. I have spent the last 5 years researching everything possible about dogs as well as the German Shepherd breed. I want to be a small, home-based breeder of working-line German Shepherds.

I would really like to import a male from outside North America that will have an excellent pedigree with a line strong in Schutzhund. The only problem is that I have NO idea where to start looking.

If somebody has imported a pup or stud from outside of North America, could you please outline the process for me? I'd really appreciate any advice or information on how to go about importing a dog. Any suggestions or recommendations as far as WHERE to get the dog?

Thank you so much in advance.

~ Angel
 

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There are some excellent breeders here in NA of the type of dog you are looking for. I can think of about 6 or 7 I would recommend off the top of my head.

There is nothing against importing but when you add in the shipping and the fact that most European Breeders do NOT have any warrantees on health, temperament or working ability. You get what they send you. Not all are like this but...... personally I would rather buy a pup in the States (or Canada) from a breeder that are more prone to develop a long term relationship with you. Someone that you can go to when you are ready to breed/whelp/raise your first litter, etc.

My biggest issue right now are there are several breeders I would LOVE to get a pup from but I can't get them all at once.
 

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There is also the really REAL risk of getting WAY more (or less) dog than you bargained for if importing an adult.

I know of more than one person that has imported an adult and has gotten a dog that they can NOT handle. And these are experienced handlers.
 

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I am unclear on the goal - would you be buying and adult, titled stud to use in your own breeding program? To compete with? To stud out to other breeders?

If you are not already in a good SchH club I would start there. Most good clubs have WL breeders or people who have been competing for decades and know good WL breeders. They can point you in the right direction.
 

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I don't think importing a stud dog would be the ideal way to get started if your goal is to become a working line hobby breeder.

First, breeding programs are based on females. There are many nice, qualified studs available to choose from to find the right match for a bitch. For this reason many breeders don't even keep their own studs. They reserve their time and space and energy for those important females, and then carefully select from outside studs for each breeding.

Imported, titled adults are very expensive. A proven stud of high quality will be almost impossible to pry out of the hands of a European, and if you do you will be paying an ungodly amount of money for that dog. And then you've still got to get a bitch if you want to be a breeder, not just a stud owner, and no one male, no matter how wonderful, is a perfect mate for every female. So what if you get a bitch that isn't a good cross for that stud you bought?

IMO, the best breeders are those who spend years studying the breed, including working and training and titling dogs, before they breed. In that vein, my recommendation would be to find a good young dog, probably a female, and get involved in training. Then once she is mature, titled, and ready to breed you'll have a much more in depth knowledge and experience of working dogs to help guide your breeding decisions.

Importing a titled, proven broodbitch can be a great way to jump start into breeding, but it doesn't bring with it the wealth of knowledge and experience that can be gained through working a dog to that level of acomplishment yourself.
 

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Originally Posted By: Chris Wild



Importing a titled, proven broodbitch can be a great way to jump start into breeding,...
And it can also be an expensive "lesson". (IN a BAD way.)

I know of more than a couple of folks that have spent a good deal of money on importing a titled broodbitch, only to have nothing but problems and heartbreak along the way.

I know someone that recently imported a bred female. Ended up with a c-section and 1 dead puppy. She then bred her to her male, and again got 1 puppy.(again via c-section) But this one lived.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Okay, that makes perfect sense. I was planning on starting with a male and female.

Any recommendations for North American breeders?
 

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My advice again, start with a female.

Forget the male. Easier, cheaper, and in most cases better breeding to select the ideal match from the many studs available, once you have a better idea of what sort of dog will be a good match for her, than to get a male yourself. And again, there is no way for you to ensure that any male or female you were to purchase would be good mates for each other, no matter how great they may be themselves.

Take that female and work her, live with her, get to know her. Let others with more experience get to know her a bit and give their opinion. As you work her, keep your eyes open to other dogs you encounter as this will help you learn more about what traits you value and don't like and what makes a good working dog. All of this is much better learned first hand, through experience.

During this time study pedigrees and bloodlines, and find a mentor in breeding who can help you learn about the ins and outs of breeding. As you work her, you will glean an understanding of how she measures up and be able to determine if she is worthy of breeding and represents the sort of dog you want to breed. You'll also become familiar with her strengths and weaknesses, then when she is ready and you are ready, find the best stud you can, one with a complimentary pedigree and characteristics, and who will help enhance her strengths and compensate for her weaknesses, and likewise she will do the same.

Do those things, and you'll be well on your way to becoming a great breeder.
 

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What hasn't been mentioned except in passing is that the kind of stud dog the OP is talking about is worth a lot, like thousands. Not worth thousands but you can have it for three low payments of $19.95, but actually worth a lot of money. Like mortgage the house and sell the kids into slavery kind of money.

The only way a stud is ever actually a valuable commodity for someone to buy when it is already accomplished is if they have the ability to campaign it, show it off, nationally and internationally earning good scores and generating the kind of interest that makes lots and lots of people willing to breed to it and buy it's progeny.
 

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Originally Posted By: Alpha WolfOkay, that makes perfect sense. I was planning on starting with a male and female.

Any recommendations for North American breeders?
Vom Landholz in Florida
Wildhaus in MI
I know I will butcher Lisa Clarks kennel name
Zu Truen Haden MI
Rokanhaus in CT ?
Ann Kent in CA
Triton Kennels in IL

Off the top of my head.
 

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In addition, several people have recommended Bill Kulla and Nate Harves to me.
 

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Stay away from a working line breeder in my general area. I can PM you for details if you are curious.

Pay attention to the advice that Chris and Tim Wild are giving.

Look at the websites of the working-line breeders reccommended by board members - see any similarities in how they operate? You should strive to be the same kind of breeder.

Buying two dogs and mating them does not make one a breeder, merely a puppy producer.

Here is an example of how things can turn out if you buy dogs and mate them without years of knowing what you are mating:

Based on the above breeder in my general area: don't know the breeder, but we have two dogs from this breeder in our Schutzhund club:

Breeder buys and imports SchH III titled dogs with very good pedigrees. Male cost 10,000 $ ?

Does one mating, three pups - sells the two males to "pet" owners, keeps the female back for future breeding.

One male turns out to be extremely dominant, always looking for a fight. Owner joins Schutzhund club to get help in directing the dog's aggression into appropriate outlets. Dog has recently been diagnosed with severe HD.

Other male is weak nerved. Afraid of people, afraid of random objects, afraid of noises. Broke his leg at age one from a fall (bad luck or bad health genes?) Had "red zone" outbursts of aggression directed at his owner - but these went away after neutering. Owner joined Schutzhund club as he was interested in the sport, and the training helped him a lot and helped the dog a lot (now has a BH), but the dog will never be "normal".

(Both owners say that had they known then what they know now, they would not have gotten a dog from this person).

This is a good example why you don't get two dogs to start and breed them - there are so many unknowns. What kind of temperament do these dogs produce, what health issues run in the lines? What has the stud been producing? What does it take to have a stable dog, of good temperament, with working ability? It takes YEARS of working and training and living with a dog to be able to answer that question.
 

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Quote:I know I will butcher Lisa Clarks kennel name
Zu Truen Haden MI
Thanks Ruq. Zu Treuen Händen. LOL
 

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Originally Posted By: DocPPSSSSSSSSTTT. Two words - bloodlines and genetics.
Well, maybe the breeding dogs in my example came from stellar bloodlines and historically good genetics. But the breeding dogs themselves may have lost out on the genetic lottery and wound up with temperament flaws which may not be apparent at first glance, but could have been uncovered through the thourough testing of training for trials and titles.

So each dog needs to be evaluated on its own merit, and not merely on his or her own pedigree - though a good pedigree will help ensure that a good dog passes on good genes.

That is why the OP is being counseled to start with ONE dog, and train her and title her and live with her so she knows the dog inside and out, in person, not just on paper.
 

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I said nothing nothing about just knowing them on paper. Do your paper work before you visit a dog. Prepare yourself with what knowledge is available about the histories of the lines. Do your homework before the dogs. Ask questions of folks who know the bloodliines, the strengths, weaknesses, the health, temperaments, etc.

Garbage in; garbage out. Know the sire and dam. Know everything you can find about the sire and dam before looking/buying and that includes bloodlines and genetics - something most breeders and buyers nowadays have forgotten or pay little attention to.
 

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But Castlemaid, it sounds like those dogs are titled and have hip certifications, so based on what I have learned this means they are from reputable breeders. If they were on a website they would pass the smell test wouldn't they?????
 
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