If you’re looking for a German shepherd, you have plenty of options when it comes to breeders. As the second-most popular breed according to the American Kennel Club, German shepherds come in a range of health and conformation quality. If you’re looking at show line German shepherd breeders, here are three questions to ask.
1. Do They Health Test?
Many backyard breeders decline to test for the most common health problems in their breed. A professional German shepherd show line breeder will ensure both parents receive hip and elbow evaluations in addition to general health testing. If a breeder refuses to show proof of health testing, that’s a sign that you should walk away.
2. What’s in the Breeder Contract?
Most reputable breeders will have you sign a contract before handing over your new puppy. It typically outlines requirements including whether you must spay or neuter the animal and if you are allowed to breed it should it remain intact. Many good breeders also include a clause stating that they will take back the dog if for any reason you can no longer keep it. This is important as it keeps dogs out of overcrowded shelters.
3. Can You Interact with the Parents?
It’s common for breeders to use studs that are not their own, so you may not be able to meet the father of your potential puppy. However, the mother should always be available for you to interact with. Her disposition will be a strong indicator of the puppy’s future temperament, so if a breeder says you can’t see her for any reason, you should tread with caution.
Choosing a German shepherd breeder to work with can take a while if you’re committed to finding the best. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and move on to a different option if you don’t like the answers you get.