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I will flatly put out there..
I have never owned a German Sheppard, and have NO idea how to know if the puppy I am planning on buying is fit for our family or not!
Ok.. Now that I got that out of the way!
My husband and I have been contemplating getting a dog for years, and have finally decided the time is right for our family!
We have agreed that a German Sheppard will be perfect for our family!
We have never fully trained a dog ourselves, and plan on using a local obedience place for lots and lots of help!
http://oscarspetresort.com/training.asp
We actually found our German Sheppard accidentally!
We just moved to Lancaster (Amish country) and are having a deck built on the back of our house, by a wonderful Amish man!
I called one day to let him know that our permits went through, and on the message machine, it also said, something about German Sheppard puppies!!
The ones that message was referring to are gone! They belonged to his brother, but amazingly, his own AKC German Sheppard JUST had babies (10/11/10) and he is willing to sell us one, with papers, for 500 because he loves our large family, and we are already paying him an arm and a leg for the deck :)
We went today to see the puppies and they are adorable!!!
He keeps the mom and puppies outside in a LARGE almost shed like contraption that is lifted off the ground, with a door out the back into a fenced area!(he’s VERY good with his hands, I can tell he made this himself!)
I’m VERY confused as to what I need to ask for from him to make sure I am getting a good, healthy dog...
He is a great guy, is very adamant about who is getting his puppies, and keeping them till they are at LEAST 8 weeks!!
What questions should I ask him?
What paperwork should I expect from him before I purchase the dog?
Any other info you can give a future, nervous, German Sheppard mommy?!
 

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Trying not to jump to conclusions but you're in puppy mill country. Please be sure to check out the breeder and background of the pup carefully.

How many dogs does he have? Any references? Are the sire and dam on site? Does he work his dogs or just breed for resale? You mentioned the dam is AKC registered, how about the sire?
Have they had x-rays sent to OFA? (that's to check the parents for possible hip and elbow problems)
Does his kennel have a name? (doubting they have a website if they're Amish...but maybe?)
 

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Some people will probably come on to say that the Amish in Lancaster PA are notorious puppy millers.

I got one of mine from an Amish fellow with a great shed set up, pups were on wood chips and they had lots of room, it was clean, and their two kids were playing with the puppies.

He had two bitches and they were in a huge fenced in field. I thought it was an ideal set up for puppies.

But there are some things I did not know. At no time while I was there, did I see any King Charles Spaniels. And I was in his home to fill out paperwork. They were no where where I could see them, but a month later he was advertiseing King Charles Spaniels. And I think later I saw other breeds advertised as well.

So the question was, was there some huge barn out back or down the road where all the bitches and dogs were kept in terrible condition, and only puppies are brought up when they are about ready to go?

Some things sound good, he wants to keep the pups for at least eight weeks, they are AKC -- if he is pumping out a lot of dogs, AKC will likely inspect at some time.

I would ask the following questions:

1. What breeds of dogs do you breed?

2. How many litters per year do you usually have?

3. Will the puppies be seen by a vet and given any shots?

4. What lines are the parents, could I see their pedigrees and any health certificates?

I called the boy's breeder back a few years later to let him know how the dog was doing. He acted like he really did not want to talk to me, and that he got sick and had to sell all his shepherds. These were the only breeders I have ever been to that asked if I was going to keep the dog in the house.

You can never tell really with people. Some Amish people are great people. We have had work done by them and it was excellent. My neighbors are Amish, they have a dog, a farm dog, that has the absolute best life imaginable for a dog. Other Amish people have a very different attitude about critters, how they should be kept, etc.

The dog I got was out of a titled German showline imported male, and the dam was out of imported German showline sire and dam. He was a nice dog. Did he come out of a puppy mill? I am leaning that way.

The reason we do not support Millers is not because the dog may be unhealthy or have issues, but because, by supporting them we are encouraging them to breed their dogs over and over again. We are conserned with the health and conditions that the adult dogs live in 24/7, 365 days per year. If your Amish people did not come from Lancaster County, I would probably not be so skeptical. I guess you could ask to see the kennel and adult dogs. If they are in good condition, and in good conditions, base your decision on that.

Good luck.
 

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If you are getting the dog for $500, that is cheap. You cannot expect all the ducks to be in a row. That is, you are not going to get everything you want, like OFA certificates on sire and dam, titles on sire and dam, warranty on puppy -- I actually did get a hip guarantee. You might get some of everything you want, but not all. If you want it all, you will probably pay 2-3 times as much for starters.
 

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Oh my gosh!!!! His brother had just sold off all of his puppies, but fortunately his dog had just had puppies?!?! What a coincidence!!!

*sigh*

Like Whiteshepherds said, trying not to jump to conclusions or be prejudiced in any way, but you are in the middle of puppy mill country and it is not at all uncommon for Amish people to raise dogs as a cash crop.

To make sure you're getting a healthy dog, you want to look for at least hip certifications and preferably elbow certifications as well. Puppies should have their first set of shots and possibly the second set before going to their new homes. Most reputable breeders offer a 1-2 year health warranty that will offer a complete or partial refund if the dog is diagnosed with genetic disorders before a certain age.

To ensure that your dog has a good temperament for a family pet, you want to make sure that the parents have some sort of titles, whether it be in agility, obedience, Schutzhund, etc.

Honestly, for a puppy out of non-titled,non-OFA'ed parents with "papers" $500 is a bit on the medium to high end, so don't think you're getting a deal. Look around this forum for some of the articles about choosing a reputable breeder.


Please read http://www.wildhauskennels.com/breeder.htm about choosing a good breeder.

This dog will hopefully be your companion for the next 10-15 years. Don't rush into anything.
 

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But just because sire and dam ARE a-stamped, titled, does not mean that they are as they look? A-stamped is the german hip rating.

I do not know anywhere you can expect to get an AKC registered dog that does have ofas and titles on sire and dam and health guaranty for $500.

And if anyone has two sets of shots in a eight week old puppy, I would not purchase it. I read some protocol the other day that said first set should be given at nine weeks, then every four weeks for two months, and rabies at six months.

Usually I do first shots at 6-7.5 weeks old, and then every four weeks. Worming should be done several times prior to picking the pup up, and then every time you take him to the vet for shots.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This dog is his only dog, it is a family dog, and this is her second litter. He said he doesnt breed her for a living, but wanted her to at least experience motherhood. I didnt even think to ask how old she was :(
The mother was onsite, adn when we got there, jumped out of the 'shed' and laid on the ground in front of the door. I assumed trying to "shepard" us away from the babies?
Jonas has 3 little girls himself, and all the girls were playing with the puppies!
There was a barn, that we walked through, but it was only horse and buggy equipment, and lots and lots of wood! (he is a deck builder)
The mother dog is named Lassie, and is beautiful, even with 3 extra adults there, and Jonas kids handeling the squealing puppies (who are 2 weeks old now) she still let me pet her and was very friendly.
The only thing jonas mentioned that confused me, is that Lassie had to be debarked? Iguess his neighbor was complaining that she barked VERY loud at night, and as not to argue with them, had this done.
Im nervous asking all these questions because it seems to me he is just selling a family dogs puppies? But I guess I deserve my questions to be answered for a dog I plan to keep for years to come, right?!
So good questions would be-
Do you have paperwork on the dam and sire to prove they are AKC?
Have they had x-rays sent to OFA? Do you have the OFA certificates on sire and dam?
Do you have titles on sire and dam?
Is there a warranty on the puppy?
Do you offer a hip guarantee?
Will the puppies be seen by a vet and given any shots?
What lines are the parents, could I see their pedigrees and any health certificates?
 

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I will flatly put out there..
I have never owned a German Sheppard, and have NO idea how to know if the puppy I am planning on buying is fit for our family or not!
I think that first you need to know is the GSD a fit for you. How much excercise can you give a dog daily? GSDs are a very active breed. Are you okay with shedding and grooming, especially if you get a long haired GSD? GSDs shed and a long haired GSD needs more grooming than the normal haired GSD.

I think that you should do some research on the GSD. Even what Animal Planet has on the GSD may help. You may want to look into some breed basic books or go to GSD sites and read about the cons and pros of a GSD.

And like everyone else said, don't rush into this. We are also here to help you. :)
 

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You would be much better off contacting a rescue. They can match what you are looking for with the right dog or puppy. Seriously, you are in the middle of puppymill country and this sounds way too suspicious to me.
 

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For 695, he should have the sire and dam ofa'd or a-stamped.
 

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This dog is his only dog, it is a family dog, and this is her second litter. He said he doesnt breed her for a living, but wanted her to at least experience motherhood.
She needed to "at least experience motherhood" a second time? Did she not get enough of an experience the first time? He doesn't breed "for a living" but I bet that extra $5000-$7000 per litter comes in handy, huh?



Im nervous asking all these questions because it seems to me he is just selling a family dogs puppies? But I guess I deserve my questions to be answered for a dog I plan to keep for years to come, right?!
So good questions would be-
Do you have paperwork on the dam and sire to prove they are AKC?
Have they had x-rays sent to OFA? Do you have the OFA certificates on sire and dam?
Do you have titles on sire and dam?
Is there a warranty on the puppy?
Do you offer a hip guarantee?
Will the puppies be seen by a vet and given any shots?
What lines are the parents, could I see their pedigrees and any health certificates?
Yes, you deserve to ask as many questions as you can come up with for a dog you're going to spend the next 10 years of your life with and $500 for.
 

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Do you know how much GSD puppies bite? They are called land sharks for good reason! German Shepherds are also nicknamed German Shedders because they shed nonstop. Also "velcro dogs" because they stick to their people. They need interaction with their family. They need tons of exercise both mentally and physically. They need training their whole life. They need jobs.

This breeder doesn't sound reputable to me but its your money. If the sire/dam don't at least have hip cert then I would walk away if I were you.

Also, AKC papers don't mean anything about the quality of the dog. They don't even prove a dog is purebred. Just becuase the pups are cute (all puppies are cute) and play with his kids means nothing. Puppies are not aggressive. A cute playful pup could grow into a fear aggressive bag of nerves no matter how much training and socializing you do.
 

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I would not get the puppy. I think you have alot more research to do before you get a GSD, especially if you are asking if a GSD is right for you. Spend a few months on this board. I thought I was ready- and I have had a few surprises with my pup!! GSDs are different than any other breed. They require a TON of exercise, a TON of training, and TONS TONS TONS of socialization. I am lucky that I am home every day to provide these things for my pup. If I worked a normal day job there's no way I would be able to properly raise my baby GSD. I socialized the heck out of my puppy. He met/meets/has contact with any where from 10-30 people per week besides us, and we go a MINIMUM of 3 places per week, not counting walks. And I am slowly working through fear issues with him. If I had a day job I would not be able to keep up with his socialization and training and he would for sure become dangerous. Without the titles you can't prove temperment. And that's exactly where I went wrong when I got him. I thought I don't need titles because I don't plan on using him in sport...boy was I wrong, and now it's costing me!

I would be scared because at least in my area, the Amish account for nearly all the puppy mills. It sounds as if that may be true for other parts of the country as well. I also would not support a breeder who breeds his female so she can experience motherhood...that tells me he didn't breed for the RIGHT reasons at all. And what's with the de-barking? Maybe if he would have trained her properly there wouldn't be barking issues.....?? Is she trainable?? Those are just some other questions floating through my mind!! Taking her voice box out to curb nusiance barking tells me that he doesn't take the time he needs with the dog....and if she can't be trained not to bark all night, then maybe that's not the kind of GSD you would want...

I have learned from my experiences with breeders, and now look at the WHOLE picture instead of what I WANT to see. So I am trying to open you up to those possibilities. Cause puppies are cute, and love is blind...and sometimes we don't look at what we don't want to see. Consider all the possibilities!
 

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i'm a facebook user every single day. As far as your puppy decisions go, its entirely up to you if you want to spend $500 on that puppy. Would i recommend it? Only if you can handle the possible health issues that can come up quickly and without warning in a puppy mill dog. I have my Shasta. She's a PB. I've met both her parents. Her litter was accidental as her mom was scheduled to be spayed. I paid $150 for her. She's technically from a BYB. She's 6 months old now and one of the sweetest dogs. She's very well behaved for her age and wicked smart. Would i do it again if i came across another PB GSD pup for that price? Probably not. I have no health certs for her. I do have vet references in regards to her parents and she came with her first set of shots done and a 20lb bag of food. But i also know what i want in a dog and i have an idea of the breeder i'll be going to when that time comes. To get the quality dog i want i fully understand i'll be paying a minimum of $1000. I suggest you wait, do your research and get a good quality GSD pup. In the meantime, look through rescues. A rescue is usually easier for a first timer without the obnoxious puppy stages.
 

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DO NOT BUY FROM THE AMISH! or from a petstore...

Or you are contributing to the continuation of Puppy Mills in the USA. The Amish are a major part of this because dogs are really just farm stock to make $$$$$ from like the chickens and sheep would be. No temperment/health concerns when you just want to have as many puppies as you can as fast as you can to sell sell sell (and kill the adults when they can no longer breed).

Puppymills - Information about puppy mills and how to shut them down.

YouTube - PetShopPuppies's Channel



Some MUCH better information on finding a good breeder (and supporting them with your money) are:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/choosing-breeder/137533-things-look-responsible-breeder.html

Just click on that!
 

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All the questions you listed above are great, my first gsd is now 6 months old, please dont' rush into this, especially if you've never fully trained a dog yourself. do some research and talk to different breeders and people who own GSD's this forum is a great place for info.
I know when I first started looking at GSD's talking to other owners and breeders one of the questions they all asked me was had I ever trained a dog and what kind of dogs had I ownded, so I would be leary if the Amish man you are talking to is not interested in if you've trained a dog or owned dogs before. I've always owned high drive border collies, and I know from personal experience when people asked my about my border collies I talked with them as much about their quirks as their good points, so people didnt' automatically think smart dog easy to train and keep,
I also am a little leary about his dog being debarked.
 
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