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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been lurking these forums for a while, and decided it was time to make an account and start posting. I am in the process of moving to Pensacola, Florida, and once I am settled in and I've puppy proofed our house and turned our 4th bedroom into a dog run/den, I am going to be looking for a reputable breeder, preferably in the South Eastern United States, within 2 days driving distance. I want to tour the facilities and meet the puppies parents myself before I'll buy anything.

I should note that in my forum lurkage I've seen Von Jagenstadt and Little River Canine breeders mentioned. I've looked at both of their webpages, and they seem to be ok. They time frame I'm looking at in getting a puppy is 2-6 months from now. The end of April would be ideal, as I'll have 3 weeks off from work, we'll have settled into our house by then, and I can take the time to properly socialize a new member of the family. Ideally the breeder I find will have puppies 8-12 weeks old at the end of April. I can wait longer for the right breeder/pup if I have to, but this time frame is the most ideal.

A little about myself...I've owned 4 dogs, my first was a blue heeler at far too young an age to handle such an energetic ball of fun, second was a cocker spaniel/dachsund mix that did not look or sound anything like you would think. He was a little lion and he knew it, best friend I've ever had, I still remember the day he chased off two Doberman Pinschers. Third was a Dalmation that was sadly pet-napped about a year after we got him. Fourth was a hound mix that I had to find a new home for when I joined the military. I still see him when I go back home and he is doing well, though getting on in years. I have 2 children, an infant and a 4 year old. I am perfectly aware of the problems that can arise with young dogs and young children. Especially the problems a German Shepherd puppy that just loves to bite things can cause. My wife stays at home, and is also familiar with the problems that arise with unsupervised children and pets, so there shouldn't be a time when our little ones are alone with a pup. I understand the reservations many have concerning young children and dogs, and I agree to an extent, but I have no worries in my case. I believe the occasional chewed hand goes a long way towards helping a youngster understand that animals aren't a cute ball of fur with a tail attached, but something to be respected.

I've wanted a German Shepherd for as long as I can remember. For one reason or another, mostly money and military duties, I've put off owning one for many years. But now I'm about to be in a stable situation, and able to give a GSD the attention he needs and deserves, so it is time to find one. I don't care if it working line or show line, I care about the health of the dog. I need to see the parent's pedigree and as I said I want to meet them in person. I lead an active lifestyle, everything from weight lifting to mountain biking, if its a physical activity chances are I enjoy it. I know I won't be taking a young dog on 5 mile runs, but I would like a companion that can accompany me on some of my activities. He will receive plenty of exercise, and we have a fenced in 1/2 acre yard. As I mentioned I'm building a dog run off the 4th bedroom, so he'll have a room and run to himself.

I don't plan on showing or breeding my dog. Nor do I have plans to do shutzhund. I will definitely be doing obedience training though.

I don't have any other pets at the moment, but we will probably get a kitten at the same time we get our puppy, to properly socialize both with each other at a young age.

I hope I've already answered the most common questions people seem to ask in these "help me find a breeder" threads. Sorry for the wall of text and thanks for your time.

*edit* I'd like to add I've read the information on this board pertaining to getting new puppies and such, including the cautionary shredder tales.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One more thing, does anybody know anything about Southern Import K9? They have a paypal link on their page which concerns me, but everything else appears to be above board. If someone has personal experience with this breeder, I'd appreciate some info.
 

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You might want to do a bit more work and really solidify if you want working or showline. It's not going to be a deal breaker probably, but concerned breeders want to know you have decided on one or the other and how you came to that decision. I'm not saying this well, but I guess I'm trying to say that they are pretty different in many respects and knowing that and expressing what you want to a breeder is important.
If you can, find a schutzhund club in your new hometown and go meet some folks and watch some of the work. Even if you never plan to participate, you will learn a lot and can hopefully get some good breeder info. Our club has people with both WL and SL GSDs, so you can see and experience both. Most clubs I've been to seem to have a mix which is why I'm suggesting it.
As to the kennels you mentioned, do you have a link to the Little River one? I found more than one and am not sure which you looked into. The other 2 you mentioned are both Showline kennels.
The paypal button on the other site isn't a huge deal. Most breeders that offer that have it so someone can do a fast deposit, or pay for an adult dog and not lose out. Usually you can't just buy a dog or pup without making contact. I'm betting if someone just sent them money they'd be making a phone call pretty quick. For example, a pup a client got recently was from another state. They talked to the breeder multiple times and when they made the decision the breeder gave them the option of using the paypal button and told them what to put in the comments box, etc.
As for the kitten, I would get the kitten first and let it grow up some, or vice versa, get the pup first and get some training established first. Two babies at the same time could be a recipe for disaster if you are not accustomed to the landshark stage of GSD pups. A young GSD pup could easily accidentally hurt a kitten and badly. And a panicked kitten can do some damage with razor sharp claws as well.
Good luck with your search!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The reason I was thinking of getting a cat at the same time is simply because I've read its best to get both young to socialize both together. However, I am indifferent about cats and my wife and expressed a desire to get one, only reason I mentioned it. Certainly don't mind waiting longer to get a cat if that is the consensus.

As far as working lines and show lines, can you possibly clarify? My understanding is that show lines are capable of producing a working dog. I have heard there is more drive in working dogs than show dogs, is this what you are talking about? I see a large difference in color between show lines and working lines, but color is definitely a tertiary concern. As long as the dog exhibits the characteristics of the German Shepherd breed, is healthy, comes from a good breeder, and meets my criteria and matches my lifestyle, I'm not entirely sure why this would be a concern, since I'm neither looking to show nor compete in Schutzhund.

I will certainly look up a club nearby, and spend some time with the different lines, but just from reading I'm not seeing anything that would deter me from either line, other than the frog back you see bred into some lines, but I wouldn't even look at something from a breeder that intentionally bred that into their dogs.

Link for Little River Canine I saw linked on these forums several pages back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
For some reason, it isn't letting me edit, but I found this explaining the differences. From the rather short explanations offered, the temperament and drive of the German lines all seem to match what I'm looking for, but it sounds as if show lines bred into working lines is the closest to what I want. I don't want placidity, but neither do I want warp factor 10 drive. If I can have the best of both worlds, I want in between. If I absolutely have to choose, I'd rather warp 10 drive over lets just sit here and nap the day away.
 

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You can only edit a post for 15 minutes after it's made. :) I agree that either line would probably work for your situation, so I agree with bocron that you and your wife should probably go and meet dogs from different lines just to get a feel for what you like better.

For example, I do agility and obedience with my dogs and would do well with either line, but I have a strong preference for the working line, specifically the East German dogs. My friend does protection sport with her dog, would do well with either line, and strongly prefers the German Show Lines. I think in most cases a good GSD home is a good GSD home and it just comes down to meeting the dogs and developing your personal preference. I also don't see anything wrong with going and visiting breeders of both lines in your area.
 

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Well, of the 3 you've mentioned so far I like Little River. But I am firmly in the working line camp and have been for years. (We currently have 2 showline males in residence as well).
All of our dogs are from working lines, mostly German imports with a bit of Belgian and Czech thrown in. Every dog we own(8 GSDs) are house dogs and are fine just hanging out while we watch a movie or surf the internet. Heading out to the Schutzhund club is a big part of our life, but if they didn't do Schutzhund they would all be just as happy doing another sport, or just hiking in the woods if that's what we chose.
The trick is finding a breeder whose dog's you have hopefully seen and enjoyed their company. We picked our last 4 from the same breeder because we met a few of her other dogs at another club and liked them. Then we met a couple of her breeding dogs at a seminar and loved them as well. We have gotten what we expected in terms of the dogs' temperament and workability.
 

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I love the dogs from Von Jagenstadt, but again my preference is West German Showlines, thats why it's very important to go see all the different lines for yourself, as I agree, ANY line will have the perfect puppy for you, but theres nothing wrong with getting the one that appeals to your eyes as well. Welcome aboard!
 

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I love the dogs from Von Jagenstadt, but again my preference is West German Showlines, thats why it's very important to go see all the different lines for yourself, as I agree, ANY line will have the perfect puppy for you, but theres nothing wrong with getting the one that appeals to your eyes as well. Welcome aboard!
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I love the dogs from Von Jagenstadt, but again my preference is West German Showlines, thats why it's very important to go see all the different lines for yourself, as I agree, ANY line will have the perfect puppy for you, but theres nothing wrong with getting the one that appeals to your eyes as well. Welcome aboard!
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I got a cat at the same time I got my GSD it worked out well -they got along very well together although at times it didn't look that way and in the begining the cat was rather mean to him
 

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Also think Andrew has very nice dogs and takes beautiful pics of them and if he once swore at someone --well we should all be allowed to swear at someone at least once in life shouldn't we
 

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Not to put down your experience, or say it didn't happen. However, I have a dog from him and I went to his home to meet him and his dogs.... he was very very nice to us, answered all our questions, and gave us lots of very useful information. He was great to talk to and his dogs were absolutely beautiful and very stable. I am very happy with Duke, and he shows the qualities of a very well bred GSD. From our experience, I would definitely suggest him for anyone looking for a German Showline GSD.

Sorry you had such a bad experience, but I just didn't see those qualities while talking to him online, over the phone, or in person. And his dogs are fantastic. He also really cares for them and they adore him!
 

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You said two days driving distance from Florida, right? You might want to check these breeders out:

GA Breeders:
German Shepherd puppies for sale | German Shepherd breeders | Imported German Shepherd Puppies| German Shepherd Kennels

TN Breeders:
Sequoyah German Shepherds
Hillview Kennels - German Shepherd Breeders

NC Breeders:
Haus Brezel - German Shepherd Breeder | Trained German Shepherds | AKC German Shepherds

If you're unsure what type of GSD you want, you might want to go out and meet showlines and workinglines.

Oh yeah, what kind of budget are you working with or does price matter?
 

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I believe the occasional chewed hand goes a long way towards helping a youngster understand that animals aren't a cute ball of fur with a tail attached, but something to be respected.
Careful! Too often it’s not the hand that gets nipped but a small, easily damaged face. Family dogs must be both tolerant & forgiving of young children who often don’t mean to be intrusive…Nor are they intentionally clumsy, loud & chaotic.

It was recently noted that ‘good temperament’ means different things to different people. You want a stable, confident, tolerant GSD with high thresholds & impeccable judgment. Your pup s/b acquired from a breeder who understands the demands placed on dogs living with young children. As stated on another thread, it’s not enough that your GSD be good with your children. The dog must also be good with their friends as well.

In addition to WL & SL, there are companion line GSDs, commonly referred to as ‘Old Fashioned’. Please note that the functionality of the different types isn’t restricted to show, work & pet. There are SL & companion lines GSDs that work. There are WL dogs living solely as well loved pets. Which type you prefer is a matter of individual taste. Knowledgeable breeders from any of these types will know if their dogs are suited to your family & will work with you to match you with the appropriate pet if you so choose.

I admire many of the WL dogs but I’m smitten with the best of the companion lines. Misinformation abounds on dogs people aren’t familiar with. Some people mistakenly think WL are excessively sharp, prey driven bite monsters. Others think companion lines are invariably fat & lethargic. Determine which type truly speaks to you & seek out those owners & breeders experienced with the actual dogs.

There are 2 companion line breeders in NC & TN whose GSDs are very nice & make outstanding family pets. IF the type appeals to you I’d absolutely recommend you contact them.
 

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Oh yeah, what kind of budget are you working with or does price matter?

Price doesn't matter that much. I am not looking to get ripped off of course, but I'm focusing on the quality of the dog and the breeder and price isn't going to play much of a factor.

I have see Sequoyah kennels linked before but the other ones are new to me.

Careful! Too often it’s not the hand that gets nipped but a small, easily damaged face.
My sister was bitten in the face by a rottweiler when she was young. She was lucky it was a clean bite all the way through the cheek, but even so she still has tiny scars to this day. This is why I want to meet the parents, the breeder, etc. If the parents are stable in temperament and not skittish or prone to aggressiveness, the puppies should be much the same. With proper training, socialization and supervision we should be fine and not suffer more than a briefly chewed hand.

I am leaning more towards working line for the higher drive and intensity, but I am hoping to make contacts with a few different kennels and make my final decision after I've at the least seen the differences between WL/SL in person. But, I still haven't seen anything to make me think it won't just come down to the sire/dam and the puppies they've produced in the past, be it working line or show line.
 
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