The German Shepherd is a very popular breed. There is a great demand and corresponding supply for puppies of this breed. Therefore, it is not difficult to find a suitable nursery professionally engaged in breeding German Shepherds in any country. But before you buy a pet in it, you need to know a few rules – how to choose a German shepherd puppy.
Choosing a cattery or breeder
Before choosing a puppy, you need to decide where you are going to take the puppy. Today on the Internet there are a huge number of advertisements for the sale of puppies. They are offered by amateurs who have received litters from their beloved dogs and eminent kennels. Accordingly, prices differ.
On Avito you can buy a puppy from 2000 rubles. up to RUB 25,000 Nursery prices start from $ 300 to $ 10,000. It is the price that can tip the scales in favor of the private owner. This does not mean that his puppies will be worse, but if you are going to buy a pet with a pedigree, purebred and with a guarantee of future victories at shows, then you can make a profitable purchase only in a kennel.
A puppy from a kennel is not only a future winner of exhibitions or a thoroughbred breeder. Even if you decide to acquire a faithful companion, the dog from the kennel will be healthy, without hereditary diseases, and socialized. But in order for the puppy to meet all the requirements, it is necessary:
- Make sure that the kennel where you buy it has a good reputation and that knowledgeable specialists are involved in breeding dogs.
- Find out in what conditions the dogs are kept – whether they have the possibility of free walking.
- Meet with the breeder to personally look at the puppy’s parents, see his pedigree, medical records of “relatives”.
- A good breeder will honestly and competently answer all your questions and familiarize you with the necessary documents.
- You should ask what criteria the breeder was guided by when choosing a pair for mating. By the answer of the breeder, one can judge his serious attitude to the matter and professional competence.
- It will not be superfluous to inquire about the achievements of pets (prizes, medals, etc.).
- You need to take a closer look at the rest of the dogs, if in the kennel there are dogs with exterior anomalies and deviations in working qualities, then this will serve as a signal that the kennel is unprofessional about breeding, and there is also no guarantee that the puppy you have chosen is a descendant of the demonstrated pair.
Today, both large kennels specializing in a particular breed and individual breeders are engaged in dog breeding. The conditions in which dogs are kept are important, especially of large breeds. An experienced owner will ask about the bitch’s health:
- at what age did the first mating occur;
- how many times she gave birth;
- how many puppies are in the litter from which the little shepherd is selected.
From the answers received, one can indirectly judge how strong the puppy is, whether the bitch is not exhausted. Only after you are convinced that a lot of money will not be spent in vain, and the breeder is worthy of trust, you can proceed to the direct selection of a puppy.
Defining the purpose of choosing a puppy
The next must-have when choosing a German Shepherd puppy is to define a long-term goal. Why did you decide to have a puppy? There are various criteria and goals when choosing. So, for example, a pet is purchased as:
Much depends on education and training. However, the working qualities of a dog are inherited and should be familiarized with when choosing a puppy. If you are choosing an elite representative, then you should inquire about the pedigree, the purity of the breed and the achievements of the offspring of this particular pair.
But even such a careful selection does not guarantee 100% that a champion will grow out of a puppy. A show class puppy costs 3 times more than an ordinary dog, and must have full compliance with the breed qualities described in the standard. He is brought up and raised, immediately focusing on the development of high exterior qualities.
Breeding or breeding puppies must not deviate from the standard, must have good health and be suitable for breeding. Pets, companions or puppies in the pet class may have minor deviations in the exterior that will not allow them to be used for breeding, but will not affect character, health and loyalty.
It is also important to determine the sex of the puppy. After all, males and females of the German Shepherd differ not only in size, weight, but also in working qualities:
|A more stable nervous system||It’s harder to get obedient||Easier to train, more trainable||Lose performance during estrus|
|Physically much stronger and more resilient||Have a desire to dominate||Less aggressive and less prone to social dominance||Not suitable for service during the period of bearing puppies and caring for babies|
|Unpretentious in content||Difficult to control in the presence of bitches during estrus||Easier to manage||Less physically strong and tough|
|Operable all year round||Require tighter and more constant control||Easier to adapt|
When choosing a German shepherd puppy, you should take into account your own experience in raising representatives of this breed. A less experienced dog breeder should take a bitch with whom it is easier to find a common language. Experienced dog breeders note that emotionally the bitch is more attached to the house and owners, her reactions are subtler and richer, which is captivating, especially when purchasing a pet or companion.
The female is less aggressive, gets along better with children, is more intelligent. German zoopsychologist Konrad Lawrence argued that the bitch of all four-legged representatives is closest in terms of the subtlety of perception, emotionality and the ability to real friendship with humans.
In males, the owner can be attracted by their natural independence, ability to serve, intelligence, loyalty, tirelessness, dedication. But the dog needs more physical activity, it even takes longer to walk with him because of the desire to mark the territory.
The next criterion for choosing a German Shepherd puppy is his psychological health, socialization and behavior in the litter.
The character and behavior of the puppy
Many character traits are passed on to offspring from parents. It is worth seeing how the puppy’s parents behave, whether they are excessively aggressive, cowardly, hysterical. German shepherd puppies are distinguished by curiosity, a craving for research and everything new, if these traits are absent, then the dog will poorly adapt, grow up passive and lack of initiative.
Some breeders advise against choosing a puppy if he looks depressed and timid in his litter. But shepherd dogs often form groups among their peers, which are at war with each other, winning back leadership. It is worth taking such a puppy from his “rude” brothers, and he will become cheerful and active, and with good upbringing – brave, devoted and loyal, as befits a German shepherd.
Cowardly puppies are afraid of people, noise, new surroundings. Do not indulge yourself in the hope that such a puppy will grow up brave. A weak psyche is difficult to correct by education.
The puppy must be socialized, which will facilitate its adaptation to the new home, its inhabitants, children. Avoid overly aggressive, gloomy, timid puppies. This indicates not only bad heredity and improper upbringing, but also about the isolation of the puppy.
Foreign dog handlers advise taking the puppy away from the mother at the age of 50-65 days, which has a positive effect on their character, psyche and socialization. In Russian kennels, puppies are taken away earlier, which can have long-term consequences.
To acquire a companion, you should immediately pay attention to a balanced, non-aggressive, trainable and intelligent dog. The German Shepherd is one of the few “versatile” dogs that can be raised for almost any purpose. But in order to do this correctly and easily, it is necessary to take into account the character of the animal.
The shepherd puppy is the most inquisitive and lively, which indicates his mental development. But for a layman, and even more so for a person who first decided to have a puppy, it is difficult to correctly assess the psycho-emotional characteristics of the baby.
To determine the character and mental abilities of a puppy, a simple and accessible test developed by the American zoopsychologist William Campbell is used. It consists of 5 parts and helps to define:
- contact or desire for communication of the puppy;
- the baby’s ability to follow a person;
- the pursuit of resistance or the test of obedience;
- striving for social domination;
- self-esteem (lifting test).
It is recommended that these tests be performed on puppies 6-8 weeks of age. The duration of each stage or test does not exceed 30 seconds, which is due to the psychology of the dog. Before choosing a puppy you like, it is worth taking a few minutes to determine the character of the future pupil, his ability to learn, the need for professional and strict training.
After passing this stage, you should carefully evaluate the exterior, breed properties, as well as the health of the puppy.
Read about feeding and nicknames for the German Shepherd.
Assessing the puppy’s appearance
Especially carefully it is necessary to approach the evaluation of the exterior of show dogs and breeding dogs. You can not find fault with the appearance of the future pet so severely. But often exterior anomalies indicate pathologies. A German Shepherd puppy should look like this:
- Clear, clean, almond-shaped eyes, dark in color. Discharge from the eyes and bulging are inadmissible. If the puppy is less than 30-40 days old, then his eyes may have a bluish tint, which disappears over time.
- Head with a narrow forehead. The muzzle is not sharp. The transition from the forehead to the nose is clearly visible.
- Hanging ears, set high, clean. Erect tips in puppies under 3 months old may indicate a calcium imbalance in the body. The ears should not smell unpleasant – this is a sign of an inflammatory process.
- The jaws have a scissor bite – the upper jaw extends over the lower one. Incomplete dentition, fused teeth, bite anomalies will not only prevent the breed from continuing, but will also affect the health of the digestive system.
- The skeleton of the puppy should be strong, legs should be straight. Curved paws are a sign of rickets. Large joints are a characteristic feature of a shepherd puppy. It levels out with age.
- The body should be well-nourished, which indicates good nutrition. No ribs should be visible. A large belly may indicate helminthiasis.
- It is important to pay attention to the slope of the croup. In a puppy, it should fall to the tail. Insufficiently sloping croup with age will lead to the fact that the shepherd will throw up its legs when moving.
- The tail should not have kinks, knots, defects. When moving the puppy, he should not throw too much on his back or twist into a ring.
- The coat should be smooth, shiny and smell good. There should be no feathering. With age, the coat will become even longer, which will ruin the dog’s appearance.
- The skin on the abdomen should be free of damage and rash.
- The mucous membranes should be pink and clean.
- The nose is wet.
It is also important to evaluate the puppy’s gait. You should see how he moves freely, without a leash. If the puppy throws out its hind legs to the sides, then the straightness of the gait is disturbed, which is a defect.
After the puppy is selected, it is worth consulting with the breeder about its nutrition. Some well-known breeders give a puppy to a new owner if the dog willingly goes to him, choosing his friend for life.
Choosing a puppy is a responsible and important action that requires knowledge, time and some effort on your part. Do not rush to return or hand over a taken puppy. It was not without reason that the great R. Kipling said: “Buy a puppy and you will acquire the most devoted love in the world.”