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Hello, I am looking for a German Shepherd Breeder in Maryland or a close by state (within a few hours drive). I'm looking for a companion animal so from what I've researched I prefer show lines or lower-drive working lines. I really am in love with the black/red or black/tan coloring. I've been saving up for this for last year and can afford no more than around $1000 (this is high for me but acceptable for a great puppy). I love the West German Show lines but after a lot of searching was unable to find any priced remotely near what I can afford. I love the idea of potentially having my dog do therapy pet service when old enough, but at the very least go through basic obedience training. I've already found a vet in the area that I like and have done a lot of online searching for breeders in the area, however, many websites don't list prices, are out of date and no longer operating, or don't reply to emails. Any help would be lovely! Thank you in advance!
 

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I'm in the same are as you. I researched for months... I think your price point is going to limit you. I understand 1k is a lot of money but 1.5-2.5k is what I found for reputable breeders within 150 miles of Annapolis. I did find a breeder that was sub 1k they were just starting out and had no real "body of work." , just didn't feel right to me.
 

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1k is a lot of money, but most of the "better breeders" around here do charge more than that. When we first looked we checked here Johnson-Haus German Shepherd Breeder/Dog Trainer, Frederick Maryland and I think his price was closer to 1k, but still over. He didn't have any pups at the time so we went to MistyRidge. Her prices are well over 1k but both our dogs are wonderful. Our boy has CGC and his BH. We just took the dogs for a walk around Mall in DC this last weekend and I can't tell you how many school groups wanted to pat our dogs. My gal is still a pup and after a while I had to protect her from so many admirers. But our boy, two years old, took it all in stride. We couldn't be more pleased.

Moral of the story, it might be worth saving up so you can afford a bit more. Your other option, of course, is to check the rescue groups and foster in the meantime.
 

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Thank you both for the responses! Yeah, I've noticed that the few breeders relatively close do seem to charge more than in some other areas. I did really like Johnson-Haus, however the price ($1500 I think) and the fact that they focus significantly on working dogs (mostly sable/black) deterred me from immediately pursuing and yeah, as you said, MistyRidge is even pricier. I would be willing to spend more if I hadn't already been waiting and saving up for over a year, but at this point I'm really getting discouraged that there aren't any decent breeders within a reasonable distance within a manageable price. I don't want to support puppy mills or backyard breeders, but I'm a college student working part time on minimum wage so it's a rough pull for me to spend another half-year's worth of wages in pursuit of a dog that will have the same purpose for me (since I'm not going to do showing or compete). I've been dreaming since a kid, planning for the last 2 years, and saving for the last year and I'm out of patience. I 100% understand testing costs a good bit, but from researching other dogs that also need to get tested for hereditary diseases, I've noticed that many German Shepherds are significantly steeper in price than even those (costlier breed because more popular) and that the price varies a lot for puppies of good pedigrees with parent testing and registration depending on area.

I was initially looking at shelters and rescues, but I've been looking through the shelters in my area and have seen very few puppies go through and most that did were pit bulls. As for rescues, because I am a college student living in a rented townhouse, most of the ones I have looked at would not even consider me for a dog because of strict regulations.
 

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I'm a college student working part time on minimum wage
I'm going to be the downer parent here...

Wait. Keep saving your money and wait until you are thru with college and secure enough financially to take a large vet bill hit.

How about volunteering for the rescues right now, maybe do some fostering?
 

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Thank you for your concern, a few people have expressed similar opinions; however, I've done many years of volunteering in an animal shelter and I found that by no means is that remotely the same as the joy of owning a dog of which I've had several during my life, and I can't foster because my landlord very specifically created our lease for the ownership of a single dog for me. A lot of people seem to have difficulty understanding that someone young can also be responsible, but I'm pretty aware of my capabilities as an animal caretaker and know the cost and responsibility that comes with owning a pet. And yeah, I'd much rather spend my time taking care of and loving a dog than out partying or going to bars but I feel like that's my prerogative and I planned out my housing, entire schedule, and roommates specifically in order to accommodate a large dog which, again, I've been planning on getting for years now and have saving up for for a while. I have a job, do scientific academia research, and a regularly keep a rigorous workload in a hard science so I'm fairly used to taking a serious, practical approach to all my decisions and this is something I have meticulously calculated. Furthermore, because of mental health issues, having an animal companion is something that I really need to help with anxiety and environmental pressure so this is additionally important for me in that regard.

If it really is impossible to find a breeder within my price range that does have all the desirable qualities (does showing/training, AKC registered, does parent health testing, parents have good pedigrees, etc.) which of these qualities is it typically acceptable to lower standards in in order to find a puppy within what I can afford? I understand that the ideal breeder would do all of these, however there are decent breeders I've seen that are lacking in one or a few of these areas but otherwise seem very responsible and good caretakers. I would imagine parent testing is a given?
 

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Well, I did not say I thought you were irresponsible, or any other thing you mentioned above. I said wait until you can afford the hit of a large vet bill, which you can't do part time on minimum wage. Do you have a spare $5k laying around? That's what it costs me to fix a knee from playing frisbee and she slid on wet grass.

IMO, none of the desirable qualities can be dismissed. If you wait and keep saving, you'll be able to pay the price for a good quality puppy from a good breeder.

Good luck in your search. :)
 

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I agree with the waiting part. It wasn't too long ago that our son, who is in his early 30s and very responsible, had a low paying job and a Rottweiler mix. It was tough to pay his bills and take care of his dog. Eventually she passed away, not because he couldn't pay the vet bills. We helped him with those. Now he has a better paying job but he is still waiting to have another dog. He wants to be able to afford to care for his next dog without worrying about buying people food or dog food if money gets tight again.

I understand your wanting a dog now, though. It is hard when you can just imagine the joy of working with a smart handsome dog.
 
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