With our 20 years of experience we have put together a buying guide to help you in the process.

  1. Buying solely on price. – “You get what you pay for…ALWAYS” –

As Benjamin Franklin famously said: “the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”

  • You may see prices from $800 – $5000 and beyond. You should expect to spend $1,000 – $2,000 for a dog.
    Our current litter is from $1,100.
    • Remember this is around a 10-year investment. An “extra” $500 upfront will average out to less than~$50 per year over the average life of your dog.
    • A “Cheap” dog can potentially equal a lot of future vet bills, a lot more than $50 per year.
  • All AKC puppies are the same — NO!!!
    The AKC is a tremendous organization. But it should be the first step in puppy or breeder quality, not the only one. This being said, I would only purchase from breeders that are in good standing with the AKC, and list on their website,
  • Avoid “backyard breeders”.
  • The term “full blooded” is a dead giveaway, all living dogs have all their blood. Purebred is another term backyard breeders will use frequently.
    • Pictures of mothers and their litter in a “kiddy pool”. Almost all experienced breeders utilize a whelping box after the birthing process.
  • Buy from a repeatable breeder who has multiple years of experience.
    • A good breeder will ask you as many questions as you ask them.
  • Male or female?
    • Really a personal preference, my preference are females for a family pet.
    • I have found females to be a little more protective over children, “mama bear”
    • Dogs tend to bond strongest to the opposite human sex.
  • Males are not much larger – sometimes ~5-10 pounds heavier.
  • Many people do not know they are different “lines” of German Shepherds.
    • In a nutshell they are: American, European Show, and European working. The breeders of each line will sell the advantages of theirs and demonize the others. To us. the line depends on the person. American lines are what you see on the AKC dog shows, primarily bred to the standard of the herding group which emphasizing the protective instincts of the herding dog. Consider your family it’s flock. Their distinction is the rear is lower than the front “angulation”.
    • European Show – Very much like the American show above, but with a higher energy level. Slightly larger (maybe 5 -10 lbs.). They have more of a rounded back. Temperament is very even, and they make a good family dog. Many of the bloodlines will trace back to Western Germany.
    • Working (European) lines – Bred for bite work and prey drive. These dogs are very energetic and are bred (and live and love) to work. You can see examples of these in police and military applications. They are good for moderate to very active people. If you don’t find them “a job”, they will find one.
  • Do not purchase solely on pictures.
    • All German Shepherd puppies are cute. Cute does not equal good quality. Be cautious, if perspective owners ask for an overload of pictures many reputable breeders will dismiss them as “shoppers” and not serious.
  • Health issues
  • Meet and inspect the parent and where the puppies are raised.
    -Many breeders will use a stud dog, so the dad may not be there. You will want to meet the mom and see where the puppies have been born and raised.
  • If a “breeder” is very pushy and wants deposits and/or prepayments with a cash app it most likely is a scam. We take checks, venmo and paypal for deposits ($200) and final payment in cash. If the final price is too good to be true, it almost always is.
  • Health issues
    • The big one for GSD’s are hips and elbows. Buy from pedigrees with OFA (US)- The Canine Health Information Center | OFA and A-stamping (Germany) Hip Service Page (gsdca-wda.org)
    • Many “passionate” breeders will tell you that American lines have hip issues due to the angulation and European lines have issues with the way they are bred. I have asked numerous vets, and this is not the case. The best source of information (besides the OFA) is your vet.