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Hello everyone, I plan to get my first GSD pup in this Oct. and I'm looking for a good breeder to make an early reservation. My expectation for the pup is to become a good family companion, neither for working or showing.

I did as much research as possible and I contacted two breeders:
1. vom issam haus the webite is German Shepherd Breeder with Puppies For Sale in Ontario
2. amalaberg the website is AMALABERG

The breeder from vom issam haus told me that all parents are screened by the OFA before being passed for breeding, and puppies have a lifetime guarantee of genetic health issues.

According to the breeder from amalaberg, all dogs are certified for hips and elbows (with the OFA or in Germany) and genetically tested and certified “Clear” for DM (Degenerative Myelopathy), and there is also a 6 weeks free health insurance for the puppy in the new home.

These two breeders look good, but I'm not very sure about it. Has anyone purchased puppies from them? Or maybe just share your gut feelings would be appreciated.

I live in the GTA area of Ontario, if you have any recommendations for another breeder in ON, I would love to hear about it.

Thanks, guys.
 

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I don't know what kind of dog you are looking for, what you want to do with it or what your lifestyle is. A bit more detail would be helpful. There is a breeder in the Ottawa area that is great.
 

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I don't know what kind of dog you are looking for, what you want to do with it or what your lifestyle is. A bit more detail would be helpful. There is a breeder in the Ottawa area that is great.
Hi, thank you for your response. I'm looking for a GSD as a family companion with a gentle temperament and good health, and also good with other pets (I also have a corgi and a Scottish fold). My lifestyle... I guess it's just like most people lol. I take my dog out to walk every day and go to dog parks on weekends, my house's backyard is also big enough for him to play around. I realize the importance of puppy school so I will take my pup to go for basic manner training and advanced obedience. Thus, I'm not very worried about puppy temperament. But I am worried about their health and do want to know from which breeder I can get a healthy pup without gimmicks.
 

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You need to very concerned about temperament!!!!!! You need a lower drive, stable, open, social temperament for a companion animal.....temperament is almost more important than health....a dog with bad hips or allergies can be treated and be a wonderful companion....a dog with a poor temperament can be dangerous and if extremely poor may not be suitable to live in your family for a normal lifespan.

It appears that you are looking at West German Showlines....a cursory scan of both shows that they are both breeding these....

My advice would be to arrange to meet the prospective parents, especially the mothers....not sure if von Isslam has the same credentials on the females. They appear to be similar with Amalaberg having more experience and higher level titles on breeding stock.

Lee
 

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You need to very concerned about temperament!!!!!! You need a lower drive, stable, open, social temperament for a companion animal.....temperament is almost more important than health....a dog with bad hips or allergies can be treated and be a wonderful companion....a dog with a poor temperament can be dangerous and if extremely poor may not be suitable to live in your family for a normal lifespan.

It appears that you are looking at West German Showlines....a cursory scan of both shows that they are both breeding these....

My advice would be to arrange to meet the prospective parents, especially the mothers....not sure if von Isslam has the same credentials on the females. They appear to be similar with Amalaberg having more experience and higher level titles on breeding stock.

Lee
Yes, I am concerned about temperament and I agree that this is the most important thing when come to choosing a puppy, thanks for emphasizing that. ;)

And yes I plan to visit both kennels, but not these days due to the spreading of coronavirus, staying at home may be a better idea. But I will definitely visit them both before reservation.

And Again, yes I'm looking at West GSD, there are only two lines which are show lines and working lines. Working lines tend to have super high drive and that's not what I'm looking for, which only leaves the show lines. Also, I notice that all show lines have a sloped back instead of straight back, and I've heard people saying that sloped back GSDs are more prone to health issues. I don't know if this is correct but I'm kinda concerned about it. Plus it is hard to find a straight back GSD these days.
 

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Temperament is the most important thing. Trust me when I tell you there needs to be a good dog in there to start with. Training and a good handler can mask and manage poor temperament, but you can't fix it.
Drive is not the same as energy. I think people get confused about that. Drive is a dogs desire to do something. Drives are useful. A dog with no drive is, well it's just not a dog.
Also there is no such thing as a straight back GSD.
I know somewhere on this forum there are two pictures of the same dog to illustrate what actually is happening.
But, it doesn't matter. Just do what Lee said earlier and stick around here and ask lots of questions.
 

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Temperament is critical. Unlike the fur mommy, rescue, and shelter chant, dogs are not a blank slate or all in how you raise and train them. The genetics of behavior is real and fixed at conception. You can modestly enhance or diminish a dog's genetic, behavioral traits but you can't change them.

Don't worry so much what a dog looks like. Be fixated on the genetics of behavior, what type of temperament the breeder is breeding, and what your breeder considers a good companion and pet temperament.

Have you read this breed's written breed standard? There is a section that details expected breed behavior. You do know that breed matters, right? In the standard, you will see terms used such as guard and protect. That is accomplished by using aggression. In other words, this breed has a predisposition for aggression. Sweet or gentle are not words that you will see used as this breed's expected behavior.

German Shepherds were bred to be a living fence. That means that if bred properly, they have the stamina to perform all day. Energy level is a genetic trait too.

If you are looking for a gentle dog that will make a good dog park dog on the weekends and be content with a backyard during the week, you might want to try a rescue. I am not saying that you can't find what you want at a breeder but "companion" or "pet" dog is subjective, and can result in temperaments that are all over the place or that simply don't suit you. What you are looking for is not expected breed behavior and a rescue may be better able to find an adult dog for you with your requirement needs.
 
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There are West German showlines with a more moderate topline. We have a WGSL male that has some curve to his back, but not extreme. The thing is...and this is just my small little part of the world......but I'm seeing more workingline dogs with back issue vs the West German showlines, not sure if that's an isolated thing or a problem that runs a little deeper throughout wls. I've been meaning to research this as I prefer working lines myself and have a Czech dog.
 

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There are West German showlines with a more moderate topline. We have a WGSL male that has some curve to his back, but not extreme. The thing is...and this is just my small little part of the world......but I'm seeing more workingline dogs with back issue vs the West German showlines, not sure if that's an isolated thing or a problem that runs a little deeper throughout wls. I've been meaning to research this as I prefer working lines myself and have a Czech dog.
There are skeletal issues showing up in backs on WL for sure. We are now certifying backs (LUW) via SV...It definitely runs in lines that are very very very popular in the sport....and are rapidly spreading due to the practices of mass breedings to males who do well competitively who are KNOWN!!! to have issues.....

Every dog competing is being subjected to the same physical stress of training....when major issues retire some dogs, this is being used as justification....ask yourself....ok - 3 top dogs are hurt with same issue - 80 other dogs competiing are not retired with that...so look at pedigrees - look at similarities and differences.......

WGSL have their own issues - the arched spine is one of them, but seems to be acceptable in the show ring.....I don't know how this correlates to injury - these dogs rarely are entered at trials after being trained enough to pass and get their titles in order to qualify for the show circuit. The show people have different priorities and different problems.

Lee
 
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