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we are looking for our first German Shepherd (working or sporting line) in the Mass/New England area. Tons of information out there, trying to narrow down who would be the right fit for our family (3 active boys).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!
 

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we are looking for our first German Shepherd (working or sporting line) in the Mass/New England area. Tons of information out there, trying to narrow down who would be the right fit for our family (3 active boys).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!
I would suggest not limiting your search to only your area but that's just me, I want the best for us.

A lot more details would be helpful in offering suggestions, ie... experience, desires, budget, living space, available time/resources to give to a dog, who's decision yours or kids or wife/husband etc... This might help others to better understand what to suggest.
 

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There are a bunch of breeder recommendation threads from the last few weeks for the New England area. Alot depends on what you want in the dog and what lines you are interested in. Just browse down the list of threads in this section.
 

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There are a bunch of breeder recommendation threads from the last few weeks for the New England area. Alot depends on what you want in the dog and what lines you are interested in. Just browse down the list of threads in this section.
Thank you for the response. I did see there were a few similar posts and was curious if anyone, who's been down this same path in the last few months or even last few years, has any experience to share (both negative and positive.)

We would be open to breeders out of the area as well, but figured why not start somewhere in the greater NE area.

What we would like: We would like to find either a German Sporting/Working line dog that will get along well both at home with the five of us, with extended family who have dogs as well or at the sports field with plenty of activity and strangers around. We have a large 1-acre plus yard so there's room to move. Primary concerns are temperament and health (elbows, hips, etc.) and while we will do some obedience training the intent is that this will be a family dog vs. show/trials.

Thank you again for the input in advance. :smile2:
 

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Given your parameters, I would at least take a look at Olympia kennels in New Hampshire. My current boy (who is now 2) came from them. He has a wonderful temperament and gets along well with both dogs and people. He is also a great family dog, although my kids are older and are only home sporadically.

How old are your kids? GSD's can be pretty rambunctious and are big dogs (mine is a lean 95 pounds).

A couple of caveats - my guy does have skin allergies so we have to watch his diet. He is also not a dog I would recommend if you are interested in serious/competition obedience, as he does not possess the drive or focus of a working dog. That's not to say he's not smart or easy to train - just that you're not going to get the "glued at the hip" healing or lightning recalls you would get from a higher drive dog.

But if your primary goal is a solid family dog with a friendly demeanor and a stable temperament I think Olympia might be a good fit. (I have also met a number of other Olympia GSD's and found them all to have pretty similar temperaments to my guy, so I don't think he is an outlier).

You might also take a look at Ryanhaus, Kavalerie (sp?) and von hena c. These are more working lines, but when I was looking for my puppy I communicated with these three breeders as well and was impressed by their approach. All three seemed to put a big emphasis on the health and temperament of their dogs.
 

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I have a 2 1/2 year old from Von Den Brookfields in New Braintree,Ma. He is a 92 pound black,tan and red goofball. Very friendly with no temperament issues. I visited Bev before making any decisions and got to meet all of her dogs one on one. All the females were very friendly and the males were tolerant and somewhat aloof. I would certainly go back for another. VON DEN BROOKFIELDS - Home
 

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Given your parameters, I would at least take a look at Olympia kennels in New Hampshire. My current boy (who is now 2) came from them. He has a wonderful temperament and gets along well with both dogs and people. He is also a great family dog, although my kids are older and are only home sporadically.

How old are your kids? GSD's can be pretty rambunctious and are big dogs (mine is a lean 95 pounds).

A couple of caveats - my guy does have skin allergies so we have to watch his diet. He is also not a dog I would recommend if you are interested in serious/competition obedience, as he does not possess the drive or focus of a working dog. That's not to say he's not smart or easy to train - just that you're not going to get the "glued at the hip" healing or lightning recalls you would get from a higher drive dog.

But if your primary goal is a solid family dog with a friendly demeanor and a stable temperament I think Olympia might be a good fit. (I have also met a number of other Olympia GSD's and found them all to have pretty similar temperaments to my guy, so I don't think he is an outlier).

You might also take a look at Ryanhaus, Kavalerie (sp?) and von hena c. These are more working lines, but when I was looking for my puppy I communicated with these three breeders as well and was impressed by their approach. All three seemed to put a big emphasis on the health and temperament of their dogs.
Thank you for the well articulated reply. Our boys are 10, 9 and 7. I've had a few people point us in the direction of Olympia kennels so it's good to get multiple sources recommending their dogs.

This will be a family/companion dog vs. a trial/obedience dog. I simply want to make sure our dog is intelligent and can focus. I'm not sure if my husband has the time or desire to consider competitive obedience. I know I won't be leading our pup down that path :wink2:

Do you think the allergies you're seeing in your dog is genetic or could it be something that is more environmental? I'm curious about this but as you're staying on top of it how would you rate your concern on a scale of 1-10?

Appreciate the great info and other suggestions as well. Thank you for pointing me in additional directions. Jenn
 

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I have a 2 1/2 year old from Von Den Brookfields in New Braintree,Ma. He is a 92 pound black,tan and red goofball. Very friendly with no temperament issues. I visited Bev before making any decisions and got to meet all of her dogs one on one. All the females were very friendly and the males were tolerant and somewhat aloof. I would certainly go back for another. VON DEN BROOKFIELDS - Home
Excellent and I appreciate the feedback. Have you seen any allergy issues or other minor/major health issues? I'll put VD Brookfields on the research list as well.

Has anyone had any experience with Seelenvoll German Shepherds in ME?
 

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No issues with August at all. He's completely representative of the dogs I met while visiting. Gets plenty of exercise so he's not a big barker,not a digger,not overly sensitive and is very obedient. He's unlike my previous GSDs in that he is somewhat a velcro dog and my other males have always been more aloof. Absolutely no complaints about temperament or personality and he is also quite handsome.
 

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Mind you, I know nothing about breeding specifics, but I do know that my instructor's dogs sire (who was a super nice dog SCHH 3, IPO 3) was retired from breeding due to passing on allergies.

Something to think about.

Moms:)
 

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I think you can do better than Seelenvoll, especially for what they're charging. For that amount of money, I want to see the breeder working and titling their own dogs.

I have a dog from Abby Kennels in MA and she's just about the best dog I could ever have asked for. I had purchased her from a very specific litter with the hopes of doing IPO, but life had other plans and she's now an active family pet (and mountain climber extraordinaire). Rock solid temperament, fantastic drive with equally fantastic off switch, and zero health issues. I've met a few dogs from Kevin that I've really liked.

That being said, there are a wealth of good breeders in the greater NE area- it might be worth going to visit some clubs and meeting some dogs to see what you like. WL GSD's aren't for everyone, if you've never had one before- I'd recommend going out and meeting as many dogs as possible and seeing what kind of personality meshes with your family, especially if you've got kids. Luckily we're heading into the summer and there are doggie events galore to go check out.
 

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I've met LoveEcho's dog from Abby Kennels. Stellar dog who could fit into any scenario.
 

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JRay - 10, 9 and 7 should be fine for a GSD. If you had said they were 4, 2 and 1 I might have recommended that you hold off, although my 2 kids grew up with a 100 pound Samoyed from the time they were born.

As for skin issues - GSD's are known to sometimes have problems with their skin/allergies. It's like hip dysplasia, it kind of comes with the breed, so I think it's genetic. We have switched his food to fish based protein, as the chicken based chow we were feeding him seemed to really set it off. He is definitely better, although he still scratches more than normal and his skin hasn't cleared up entirely. Honestly, on a scale of 1-10 I would say our concern is about a 2 - it does bug him a little, but it's not like he's constantly scratching or has any hot spots.

No worries on his intelligence - he's plenty smart and had no problem learning basic obedience, but then the GSD is a smart breed so any quality breeder should be able to provide you with an intelligent and trainable dog.

One word of warning, I have had a couple of GSD's and I would say that, as a puppy, my current dog was definitely the most active. He basically had two settings, top speed and asleep.:) He started calming down at about 18 months, but before then if he was awake he basically wanted to be playing/interacting with me, my wife or our other dog. I work from home, so I'm always around. Not sure if he would have done well if left alone for 8-10 hours a day.
 

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Go to
germanshepherddog.com
---Events/Clubs

There are several trials coming up in June. Many clubs. Go visit the clubs and watch the dogs. You'll find what you like :)
 

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Abby kennels is another good recommendation. I've met the owner/breeder who is pretty well known in schutzhund circles, as well as a couple of their dogs. This is a working line kennel and the two adult dogs I've seen were serious schutzhund dogs. Very solid temperaments and tons of drive. However, most litters have a range of puppies, so I'm sure that if you talked to the breeder he could help you pick a puppy with lower drives that would not be a top sport prospect but that would be perfect for an active family.
 

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GSD Breeders in NEast

Has anyone heard or had experience with the breeder - Seelnvoll German Shepherds? They are a small breeder, high up in Maine (Penobscot region) and seem to breed selectively throughout the year. The folks seem knowledgeable and their dogs types and temperament seem to be a good fit but wanted to see if anyone had any input.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I think you can do better than Seelenvoll, especially for what they're charging. For that amount of money, I want to see the breeder working and titling their own dogs.

I have a dog from Abby Kennels in MA and she's just about the best dog I could ever have asked for. I had purchased her from a very specific litter with the hopes of doing IPO, but life had other plans and she's now an active family pet (and mountain climber extraordinaire). Rock solid temperament, fantastic drive with equally fantastic off switch, and zero health issues. I've met a few dogs from Kevin that I've really liked.

That being said, there are a wealth of good breeders in the greater NE area- it might be worth going to visit some clubs and meeting some dogs to see what you like. WL GSD's aren't for everyone, if you've never had one before- I'd recommend going out and meeting as many dogs as possible and seeing what kind of personality meshes with your family, especially if you've got kids. Luckily we're heading into the summer and there are doggie events galore to go check out.
Thank you for the feedback and information. I took a quick look online and ran across this information on Abby Kennels.
Abby Kennel - 10 Reviews - Pet Grooming - 28 Gorham St - Chelmsford, MA - Phone Number - Yelp

They are litterally up the street so it's worth while to take a look myself to see what I think of the breeder and kennel, but certainly some reviews here cause me to pause and question if this is a place worth purchasing from. Sometimes too much information isn't helpful... sigh.
 

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I'm in CT, and while my latest dogs haven't come from the new england area..if I were to purchase, I'd be looking at watcher engel k9 in northwest CT, von hena c in NH, and/or ryanhaus..Those are 3 that I'm familiar with. good luck in your search
 

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JRay, saw the yelp review of Abby Kennels and can see where it raised some concerns. However, I wouldn't completely write off this breeder, particularly if you choose to go with working lines. As you begin to learn more about GSD's you will soon find yourself overwhelmed with different types of dog owners, different training philosophies, different opinion on the superiority of SL, WL and AL GSD's etc. At its most fundamental level there exists a wide difference on how people view and interact with their dogs. At one end, you get people who view their GSD as a mini-person, who would never put their dog in a crate and who oppose all forms of negative correction (and may even believe that teaching a dog any kind of obedience at all is somehow oppressive). At the other end of the spectrum are people who view their dogs as a tool/means to end. Their dog is not a part of the family, lives in a kennel and interacts with the owner primarily when they are training. If the dog is not performing adequately you sell it and start again. Obviously most people fall somewhere between these two extremes.

Moreover, a working line GSD is not like a Golden Retriever, they can take (and may need) a the kind of correction that would totally shut down the Golden. I say this because some of the things described in your yelp link (leaving a dog in a crate for a long period of time, giving a dog a very hard correction) may reflect the fact that Abby kennel's goals seem to be primarily to produce sport dogs and Kevin himself comes from a schutzhund background.

Having said that, I do agree that while crating a dog at night is very common practice (and will go a long way towards helping you house break a puppy) leaving a dog crated in a car does seem strange. Similarly choking out a dog is something trainers occasionally do in very extreme cases (a very famous schutzhund trainer I once took a seminar from told us he had done this with his own dog), but it is still a controversial training technique. And of course there are many people who have been very successful in schutzhund or other working venues who also treat their dogs as beloved family pets.

All this is a long winded way of saying that certain practices which might seem cruel or abusive to a non-dog owner (or someone who owns a toy poodle) are not that uncommon if you own and do serious training with a WL GSD.
 

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Thanks for the quick and thorough reply and explanation - makes sense (i was raised with Goldens:) just the first I'd come across when looking at GSD's.

Search is overwhelming, but actually going well thanks to input like yours and more research!
 
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