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Hi, I am new to this forum. I've had dogs all of my life, but I've never had a GSD. Husband is obsessed and we are on the path to importing one from Germany. I'm just curious if any of you have experience with breeders in Germany. We have found one who has fantastic references, but I don't have access to see how the dogs are raised, etc. I come from a family of rescuers and I'm paranoid that unseen breeders could be puppy mill-ish, or just mass commercial breeders. It sounds like this isn't as rampant in Germany as it is in the US. Any experience or knowledge about this? Thanks so much.
 

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Hi JanOT, Congratulations on your decision to bring a GSD puppy into your life and welcome to the forum. GSDs truly are the best breed (but I am more than a little biased). Just curious about why you decided to import from Germany? Are you in the U.S.? Do you plan to breed or show? I'm sure you can import a wonderful dog, but there are also many great breeders here in the States--and that route might be less complicated. Anyway, I'm just a pet owner. There are lots of more experienced folks on the forum who can steer you in the right direction. If I were going to import a dog, I would look for an experienced breeder or trainer who had contacts in Germany and would help me find an appropriate dog/puppy.
 

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I would stick with a US breeder. Go on the pedigree data base..you will see that you really need to know someone overseas to assist you on site to get what you want. There are great breeders and scam breeders even in the USA, but easier for you to post on sites like this to find out the respectable breeders. I have working line GSDs for over 20 years. All have come from breeders here in the US.
 

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Just because the breed is called German Shepherd, doesn't mean that all dogs from Germany are of high quality. As a novice your chances of being scammed are real unless you work with an experienced, honest broker from the US. It may take some time but it is not that hard to find a good GSD in the US. Where are you located?
 

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I agree about your recommendations about sticking in the US, however, my husband, who isn't new to GSDs, has had his heart set on getting one from Germany for years. His reasons? The over breeding in the US and the strict regulations in Germany, etc. We found a breeder who has tons of good references - we've contacted a few of them. I just hate not being able to see the site. The breeder is really careful about who he sells dogs to - made us send a video of our backyard and asked us 20 questions - which I like, but it's the unknown that makes me nervous. Thanks for all of your replies!
 

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Hi JanOT

Importing a dog can be a hassle but can understand the merits of getting one from Germany. For one thing Germany has breed standards that won’t allow breeders to breed dogs with bad genetic disposition like elbow and hips dyspraxia. Also to breed the dam and sire should be Schulz hound certified. They do impose higher standards on breeders there

That is not to say that you can’t find breeders who follow the same standards locally. But if you really want one from Germany this might be a good idea

http://www.worldclassgsd.com/German_shepherd_import_puppies_for_sale/german_shepherd_import_puppy_for.htm

It’s way pricier than getting one locally but as long as you are happy it’s a decision for you and your husband
 

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Unfortunately, just because they have rules in Germany for breeding dogs does not mean that said breeder isn't getting around the rules by "buying" titles. I have seen videos of so many dogs that don't belong anywhere in a Schutzhund ring who are now titled and breeding. I'm talking running away from the helper looking like he/she is about to pee her pants. Or unwillingness to bite. Those rules are great if they could be kept up 100% and people couldn't lie and manipulate. But they can and they do. You have to be VERY careful.
 

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But welcome to the forum! I'm sure you will find a great dog if you are patient enough. Good luck. :)
 
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