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I got my very first GSD in 2001 from a local breeder in Scotland who bred the show variety. I was new to the breed and unfortunately my little man had hip dysplasia from a pup and also had skin allergies. This didn't stop him being the best doggie friend I ever had. Smart as a whip and extremely loving. He passed away 6 years ago. He was the best family pet I could ever ask for.

I wanted to get a dog a couple of years later but my wife wouldn't have it. She found the loss terrible and couldn't imagine doing it again.

Long story short, she's come around and I'm looking to get another GSD. This time however, I'd like to get one from a more reputable breeder. We don't have any working trials or Schutzhund clubs close to where I am and I don't intend on competing at all. I simply want a dog that will make a great family pet. I would however like to train in the obedience and tracking aspects of Schutzhund. I feel this will give Kaos (yes, I've already named him - is that silly?) and me something fun to do together and give both of us a shared purpose.

I guess my initial questions are multi-facted so please bear with me.

1. I've found a breeder that I like the look of and he'll have puppies ready to home end of January. I've registered interest but fear that he's probably got a waiting list and that I will be disappointed. I found him on the working dog site. Any suggestions on good working line breeders in the UK would be greatly appreciated.

2. Are there books on training in Schutzhund that anyone can recommend for a beginner? Like I said, I'm not looking to compete. I'm simply an admirer of the sport and feel training obedience to be close to that standard would be exciting for both me and my soon to be new best friend.

3. I am reading quite a bit about raw dog food diets. Having looked at the premade varieties on offer in the UK, lots of them seem relatively more expensive than the bags of kibble I use to purchase. I understand quality differences and market economics play a role in all this and was just looking to see if anyone has any preferred brands or has any advice in general about the subject.

I appreciate any suggestions and advice you can give me and hopefully, with your help and solid training, I'll become a good doggie daddy soon.
 

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I'm on my second dog feeding RAW and continue to buy human grade food from my supermarket. At least I know it's

safe, clean and healthy and for one dog, it's not that expensive if you watch for sales and specials.
 

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Hi, I'm also from the UK! I wanted a GSD for a long time but wouldn't go near show line breeders as there are simply too many health issues in the breed over here (which the infamous Crufts episode highlighted) and everyone I know of with German Shepherds have issues with either allergies, temperament and hips/elbows, DM.
However I found an extremely good breeder in Cornwall if you are willing to travel so far? He breeds east German lines and you can see the grand mother/father, mum and dad depending on the litter. He will show you them working, doing high jumps, long jumps, bitework, scent work, everything. Really good breeder. And having interacted with most of his dogs they are all physically sound and have brilliant, GSD typical temperaments. He does keep them in kennels but they are also very much family pets. I'm getting my new pup soon, which was matched to me by the breeder and I have had non-stop updates and pictures from the moment they were born. All the pups he has produced, and I have seen two litters now, are very forward and bold, and when challenged with something scary, will back up, look at it than face it straight on. Got good brains.
To be honest if I hadn't found this breeder I wouldn't have gone near a GSD and was actually considering a rottie although I wasn't quite sure I liked the temperament. Also some of the people saying they breed working lines are actually breeding nut-jobs, so be careful.
Food wise, my favourite brands are butternut box (hate the name btw) and naturaw. Naturaw is a completely balanced raw brand (please don't try and make your own, especially not for a puppy) and butternut box is gently cooked but full of the good stuff also very balanced. Both are protein high and carbohydrate low. I know they are more expensive but they are worth it in terms of nutrition and quality.
As for books on Schuzhund, I don't know any, and any training I do will be through the breeder. I haven't really heard of many if any IPO classes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm in Edinburgh and the breeder I'm looking at is in Cambridge, about a 12 hour round trip by car or train. So yeah, I'm willing to travel, but Edinburgh to Cornwall is some trek :) About 20 hours round trip.

I obviously can't post links till I hit 3 or more posts, but a search for "Hohenburg gsd cambridge" should bring him up. The sire is a dog I have long loved the look of: Pike del Lupo Nero


I'm defo not looking to prepare raw food and I've looked at butternutbox, naturaw, natural instinct, bellaandduke etc.
 

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Yeah Hohenburg looks like he has amazing dogs as well, really nice animals :) If you want the name of the breeder I'm going to PM me (what's another 8 hours :)), as I don't want to post the kennel name as I don't know how'd he feel about that. However if you contacted him he would be happy to answer any questions. I believe he does have a waiting list but as he doesn't seem to promote much, many don't seem to find him unless they specifically look in the Cornwall area.
Naturaw I didn't find so bad when feeding a JRT but a GSD is gonna be a whole other game, and butternut is defo in a high price range. I got around it by feeding my pets high premium food and eating rice, bread and noodles myself. Although paleoridge will send out kilo bags of raw food at a cheap price, but I haven't tried them.
 

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However I found an extremely good breeder in Cornwall if you are willing to travel so far? He breeds east German lines .
Hi,

Would you mind sharing this breeder as I spent over a year looking for East German line breeders in the UK and I drew a blank. In the end I had to import from Germany.

I'm not looking for another pup but it will be good to know who they are for future reference.

Thanks.

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