finding the right puppy
So you have decided that you want a German Shepherd but don't know where to start looking. Below I set out guidelines to help you choose the right puppy/dog and to also help you purchase your puppy from the right kennel.
The first thing that you should do is make sure that your yard and house are ready for the onslaught of a new puppy. Are the fences adequate? Do you have somewhere warm, safe and secure for your puppy to sleep? Do you have food and water bowls? (You shouldn't purchase feed for your puppy until you find out what the breeder has been feeding - if you want to change the puppies diet it should be done gradually so that there aren't any major upsets). If you don't want puppy digging in gardens etc. do you have a fenced off (maybe a dog run) area that you can put your puppy when you aren't able to supervise?
Are you ready for a puppy? Puppies need alot of time and looking after. You shouldn't get a puppy (at this stage) if you are intending to go away soon afterwards or if your work schedule will preclude you from being able to spend at least a couple of days at home with the puppy when he first comes home. You also shouldn't get a puppy (at this stage) if you won't have the time to properly socialise your puppy and if you won't have the time to do some obedience training.
So you have thought carefully about all of these things and have still decided that you want to proceed with the purchase of a puppy. So what next?
In Australia there is the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia which has member clubs in each state.
These clubs normally have a puppy listing service where you can get information on puppies available. These litters will have to have met certain criteria to be placed on this listing service.
To get contact information on these German Shepherd Clubs, ring the Canine Controlling body in your state and ask for a contact phone number for the club. Alot of the clubs also advertise in the papers at the weekend.
You can also check the local paper.
Regardless of how you go about purchasing your puppy there are things that you should check out and if the litters fail in any of the below then you shouldn't take a puppy from that litter.
1. Both parents should be registered pedigree German Shepherds (in other words they are registered with the Australian National Kennel Control (ANKC) (through the relevant state controlling body)
2. Both parents should have an A stamp for hips and a Z stamp for elbows gained through the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia Hip and Elbow Scheme. (To register a litter in most states now, the sire and dam must have had their hips and elbows scored, but the don't have to have a passing score, so if you aren't sure if they have passed, ask to see their certificates).
3. Both parents should be breed surveyed (either Class 1 or Class 2) through the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia Breed Survey Scheme. (This shows that the dogs are of breed worth. A title from the show ring or obedience ring, alone, does not do this).
4. All the puppies should be duly registered with the Canine Controlling body in the state in which they are purchased (a pedigree alone is no proof that the dog you are purchasing is pedigree). Don't be fooled by the old 'oh they are pedigree, just haven't registered them routine'. If you get this, then they aren't pedigree.
5. All puppies should be wormed, vaccinated and microchipped (and maybe tattooed as well). (The tattoo is a form of positive permanent identification that is used by members of the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia)
6. All puppies should be friendly, happy, reasonably outgoing and appear happy and clean (well as clean as puppies can be). If the puppies are shy, introverted and run away you should forget the litter and move on to view another.
If you have any question about the above please feel free to contact me.
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