Breeding your German Shepherd big puppy

written by Robin Krumm (please do not copy)

Breeding is something that should be left to people who have a very good understanding of the breed,…If you love shepherds and are considering breeding learn more about the different lines, genetic problems, potential genetic diseases,. The necessary and available genetic testing that is appropriate for that breed etc..Many say only professionals. In my opinion “professional” is very subjective, I have known people that have bred for years, and still breed poor tempers and bad health because they are pro’s its all about money  or it all about the best show dog  or the best schutzhund dogs because the breeder can get more money for such dogs. Having a goal about breeding show dogs or sport dogs in fine, but often health and or temperament are over-looked or considered OK to a certain point because the dog has the qualities, that will make the dog a great show dog or sport schutzhund dog.  It goes the same way for other things as well many old style breeders  will breed a dog because it has huge size but bad hips are over looked because of the size?  Or a pure white  or black dog is bred even though it has a bad temper because it has a good color.

            For me breeding  has become a passion to bring back the shepherd as a safe family pet and protector.. Breeding  in my opinion should be first and formost for the family because if your goal for instance is to breed the best sport Schutzhund dog,  a dog that typically does well in that discipline is high in prey drive (the drive to chase and kill ) He also would do better to have the highest energy possible , so he can run faster longer and harder, he also would do better to have an intense temper, wheel and turn and jump on in or attack at the smallest movement…. All of these qualities combined would make a great Sporting dog,  In the Shepherd he would make a great Shutzhund dog,. In a Lab or Golden a great hunting dog. But for the average family those qualities mean trouble. Since no matter what you breed for 98 % of  your puppies go to the average family, why not breed a temper the average family can handle?  

            If you breed intense lines that is fine sell most of your puppies for that purpose,  But many sell them as family pets because very few are needed for police work or Schutzhund training. I do not breed my dogs for police or SCH. And  I do say that up- front.

            My brother breeds hunting goldens and labs, these dog look and act much different then their show or pet counter parts and he sells them as hunting or trial dogs,, and warns people of the extreme energy of his dogs…. Nothing wrong with breeding that way. But if sold into an average family dogs of this nature will give the whole breed a bad rap which is exactly what ahs happened with the German Shepherd.

            As Far as starting to breed. Many breeders do not sell their dogs for breeding at all they choose this for many reasons often to protect where their dog has been sold and prevent bad conditions, unfortunately for me that just led to people lying ( breeding them under false papers, or other registres,) which ultimately has lead to worse conditions for the dogs… Some do it to protect their line or to prevent future competition, for their type of dogs from other breeders, Still other don’t sell for breeding because it leads buyers to genetically test for HD (Hip Dysplasia) then they have to replace the dogs they sold as breeders at a much higher rate then those sold as pets. In any case it is always a breeders right to refuse most or all people who intend to use the dog for breeding.

            For me I remember all the mistakes I made when I started. I did not know what I was doing, and I did not take the care I should . I quickly learned that most breeders were rude and helped me very little if at all…. My questions were met with anger and distane . I was looked upon as competition I guess. But my view has always been to bring back what I used to know the shepherd to be .. As one small breeder I alone cannot rebuild the reputation of the breed and what about after I am gone? I want my lines to be the standard someday for what a good shepherd is  and work for the best GSD to continue .. In hopes that someday the German Shepherd will again be the great pet he was…Yes selling for breeding will produce competition but it is worth it to get good breeders of German Shepherds out there, those that care to breed for family pets… I am happy to help breeders with love , drive and commitment to this great breed… I require that you sign a contract with specific requirements such as OFA, not selling whole sale  ect…. I also am willing to help people get started.  Several things should be kept in mind before you consider breeding… I made absolutely no money for the first 8 years of breeding and probably lost money! Money should not be the reason you start breeding . It takes years of breeding the right way before money can be made and that takes commitment from not only you but family members understanding and patients as well. Time- puppies and dogs take enormous amounts of time, .Adult dogs should not be allowed to just sit in a pen they should be taken out daily  walked played with, or trained.   You have to be commited to going to obedience classes sometimes several take a dog with you every where you go, get them out in the public….(beware of the breeder who does not let the dogs out of their pens!) Numbers of dogs sometimes do not matter I have meet breeders with three dogs that are terrified to step foot out of their pen, and ones that have 20 that every dog is well socialized and well trained…At the same time there is a limit one person cannot take care of 40 or 75 dogs well, these are generally no more then puppy mills….even if they do breed just one breed that many dogs is just too many unless you have a number of employees or something . 

            Puppies are fun and hilarious and cute. Puppies are also noisy , stinky and very expensive, They eat twice the amount as an adult dog of a very high quality food. and poop every two hours. Clean up is non stop, even if you are spotless your whole house smells of puppy poo (again why family has to understand) You need to purchase tons of milk supplements as well as yogurt and cottage cheese – several tubs daily. They need wormers , meds and vaccinations every week,And sometimes you can hand nurse , cuddle and treat a weak  or sick puppy for a month and he can still die in your arms and make you cry for two days… Sometimes a litter can get a deadly virus and you can loose them all within hours. You have to be willing to take the good with the bad. Only 1 out of 10 breeders end up breeding for more then five years and just some of these are the reasons why … All I can say is that if you breed the “right” way its one of the hardest things you will ever do..