Companion to the German Shepherd Dog Email List (GSD-L)

Questions To Ask The Breeder

  1. How many of the dogs in the pedigree have you actually seen & put your hands on? Tell me everything you know about the sire and dam. (You want to know more than just what can be found on the pedigree.)
  2. What is the incidence of dysplasia, allergies, thyroid problems, epilepsy, etc., in the pedigree?
  3. Were their any temperament problems in the ancestry of the puppies?
  4. What are the sire's/dam's worst/best trait/fault?
  5. How much time do you spend on planning the litter & rearing the pups?
  6. Do you temperament test? What test do you use? How do you evaluate? (Ask to see the results. Have the breeder explain them. If they can't, what good is the test to them?)
  7. Are the sire & dam OFA Certified? vWD tested? Do you have evidence? What about farther back in the pedigree? (Learn about OFA and vWD results. The answer "Oh, they're okay." is *not* good enough.)
  8. Do you offer a Health/Temperament guarantee on your puppies? What is it? If I have a problem, will I have to return my puppy? (This is emotionally traumatic, though with some health problems, it is necessary. You want to find a breeder who is not just committed to their litter, but to the breed as a whole.)
  9. Are you able & willing to answer my questions for the life of the dog?
  10. Do you require a spay/neuter agreement on companion-quality puppies? (This is Good.)
  11. Are you knowledgeable about GSDs? Can you/will you answer my special medical, food & training questions? Will you tell me when you don't know a answer? Do you have access to resources when the questions stretch beyond your knowledge?
  12. What are the most important things you are striving for in your breeding program. (Temperament should be first along with health!) Why did you breed these particular dogs?)
  13. Will you supply at least a 4 generation pedigree, the puppy's health record & instructions on how to properly take care of my new dog?
  14. What titles (conformation &/or working) are in the pedigree? How far back? How many dogs? What titles/degrees are you currently working on?
  15. May I see and visit with both parents?
  16. What is your philosophy on breeding in general and with respect to German Shepherds? Why did you breed this pair of dogs in particular? How did they fit into this philosophy?
  17. What clubs are you active in?
  18. What references can you give me of previous purchasers?

What should the breeder ask me? 

  1. Am I the right kind of person for a GSD?
  2. Am I the right kind of person for this particular litter of puppies?
  3. What do I want to do with the puppy?
  4. What experience do I have with GSDs?
  5. Do I plan to spay/neuter the puppy?
  6. If I'm thinking of breeding, will I do the necessary health checks and try to prove the worth of my dog within the breed?
  7. Do I have the facilities to keep a GSD?
  8. Do I have the financial means to feed and vet a GSD?
  9. Where will the dog live in the family?
  10. What kind of exercise will the dog get?

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