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buying a german shepherd

(79 Posts)
myermay Sat 30-May-09 09:32:29

We are currently doing our research as buying a german shepherd.

Now we are not looking to show/breed our dog but i'm amazed at the difference in prices. We're going to look at some which cost £350 and some that are costing £650! the more expensive ones, the lady asked all the questions, and seems very interested in the kind of home it's coming too (which i know is good), told me all about hip scores etc, will be kc reg and comes with papers. However, the cheaper one won't be kc reg,but the father is - but is being brought up around other pets and kids.

My question is, does it really matter as we are not intending to breed or show the dog? obviously we'll look at the parents and see what the temperaments are like but we really did not want to spend £650. Do you think it'll be a very unhealthy dog?

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 30-May-09 09:39:10

There is no answer, you could buy either pup and they could be the most healthy or unhealthy pup, IYKWIM.

From my point of view i would go with the pup with all the papers and KC registery. You should get more of an idea when you go to visit these pups about how they are bred and how many liters each year are produced from breeders etc.

Also if the lady you have already spoken to asked the right questionns is a good vibe from my point of view

I would definately want hip scores from both parents.

SouthMum Sat 30-May-09 09:40:27

I'm no expert but when we got a dog we looked into this. On face value you might be less likely to get any problems with the £650 dog as both parents will be KC reg and be checked out with hip scores etc. There again you could buy the £650 one and still have problems whereas a mutt from the local dog pound could live until its 18.

If it was me I would go and check out the cheaper ones environment. I think you can pay a vet for hip scoring so you could ask the people if you can pay for them to get that done??

SouthMum Sat 30-May-09 09:41:02

Might be expensive though.....

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 30-May-09 09:42:51

hip scoring is expensive, very expensive! especially if you are having 2 dogs done and a puppy.

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 30-May-09 09:47:33

And also not all vets can hip score you have to find one that does it. We had a two hour round trip to have our dogs done.

myermay Sat 30-May-09 09:58:36

thanks for this, i know it's luck of the draw really. i think i'll try to visit both before making a decision.

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 30-May-09 10:05:02

think thats the way to go, i would try to visit a couple more just to get a feeling.

Also have you thought about german sheperd rescue?

myermay Sat 30-May-09 10:52:48

i have thought about a rescue one, however, i'm apprehensive about getting a big one as i don't want my kids to be scared of it to start with. Also i know rescue centres don't really like housing with young kids. I def want to get a pup so we can train it our way and bring it up around the kids.

morethanyoubargainfor Sat 30-May-09 11:38:48

it would be worth contacting them as they might have puppies, its not unheard of.

bella39 Sat 30-May-09 12:10:06

<waves at morethan, fellow toy chart person>

Just to say KC reg does not say anything about the health of the pup. If you want to avoid hip dysplasia (which can cost £000's to treat) you need to know the hip scores of both parents and how that relates to average hip scores for that breed.

Even if you get good hip scores, remember that hip dysplasia is only 30% genetic - the rest is down to diet (controlled steady growth rate of pup) and exercise (very little when young, only relaxing the restriction when pup is fully grown (about 18 months for a GSD).

This also mean that for about a year or so you will have a big bouncy dog (they stop being pupy size at 5-6 months) whom you cannot exercise as much as you would like. It's very hard work.

But I love GSD's - just want to point out that big dogs as puppies are a lot of work.

KingCanute has a 4 month GSD pup - ask her how bouncy he iswink

bella39 Sat 30-May-09 12:11:24

And FWIW I would go for the breeder who does hip scores and gives you a darn good grilling as to whether or not you are good enough to have one of their pups. These breeders are usually the ones who will offer you lifetime support with the dog.

KingCanuteIAm Sat 30-May-09 12:50:44

What Bella said about breeders, my pup came from a terrible breeder and only cost £200. When the person who bought my pup had problems the breeder flatly refused to have him back and got very very offensive and threatening. This is how pup came to me grin

On the surface he seemed a great breeder, fantastic surroundings, clean kennels, healthy pups and mums, good natured dads, hip scoring, the lot but when it really mattered he just said "stuff you" (only much much more rudely)

They are bouncy, they are an awful lot of work when they are little and it does last a good 18 months. At about 1 yr you will start to see glimpses of the sane dog they will become but they come and go grin

With mine, he has to be excercised 2 or 3 times a day, for very short times because of his joints. We take him out and let him sniff about, play with other dogs etc but don't really walk him yet IYSWIM. In between those he needs stimulation, he will sleep for 30 mins ish then be up. If you leave him it takes about 40 minutes for he is running from the bottom end of the garden right through the house to the front door, barking his head off and cannonballing anything that moves. We have puppy training classes once a week so we have little practice sessions in the morning, afternoon and evening, different things each time, sometimes it is sti/stay, others it is let me play with your ears/check your teeth. This is more about keeping his mind occupied than him actually learning. After that he will sleep a bit, then he is up and off again so to head that madness off we will have a play session, find it, catch etc again 3 or 4 times a day. GSDs are very mouthy pups too and it can be unnerving for smaller children who are at a prety good head height for an adolecent GSD, even older dc can find it a bit much at times.

With all of that we manage to keep him just about sensible! But it has to be every day, there is no let up when the dc (or you) are ill and this kind of routine will have to continue for at least another year. It is pretty intense! To top it all off, it has to be said that our pup is very calm for a GSD, lots of others are lots worse than him!

I am sure that you have researched all this and know what you are getting yourself into but I thought an "insider" view may add some colour to your findings! smile

KingCanuteIAm Sat 30-May-09 12:51:06

Blimey, that was an epic blush

bella39 Sat 30-May-09 12:53:33

Crikey - for someone who didn't even want to come on this thread you fairly got into your swing there, KC! grin

KingCanuteIAm Sat 30-May-09 12:57:30

Weeelll, I thought, if yu are going to do it, do it properly grin

Op, I didn't want to come on incase I was teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, no other reason smile

bella39 Sat 30-May-09 13:04:37

And I have dealt with the OP previously, a long long time ago and she is very nice. That's all I am saying wink

myermay Sat 30-May-09 14:38:00

thanks everyone. Bella are you the lady i emailed???wink, i'm more of a lurker now funnily enough! or do i know you in RL?

KC, i can assure you that all your comments are appreciated, it was a very long time ago that we had gsd pup, so i've forgton most of what you've described!!! thank you it was very helpful.

Must say i feel happier with the lady that asked me loads of questions, i know she obviously cares for them. Just need to get saving!

KingCanuteIAm Sat 30-May-09 14:53:26

I am glad Myermay, believe it or not I usually try not to give advice unless it is asked for (actually I don't but I thought I would give it a go and see how it worked out for me). Anyway I blame Bella grin

bella39 Sat 30-May-09 14:54:14

Yes, that was me, Myermay. I tried to reply but not sure if you ever got it - I just wanted to thank you wink

Sorry if I prattled on a bit - and boy , did King talk for England, but I do tend to launch into all that when anyone talks about getting a large breed pup.

Very best of luck x

KingCanuteIAm Sat 30-May-09 14:55:27

It is my current favorite subject, can you tell? grin

myermay Sat 30-May-09 15:02:56

ahh it all becomes clear now! no i never got a message back i think it's because i haven't sent my account up for CAT perhaps.

Thanks again for all you advise, really appreciate it

CountryGirl2007 Sat 30-May-09 23:14:48

You'd be better off getting a rescue GSD really. The ridiculous way they are being bred now, they are practically doomed to hip dysplasia from birth. All the GSD's in my family have ended up with it. The drastic slope is to blame really, unless you can find a breeder of good old fashioned working typer german shepherds.(i.e. the straight backed ones bred for work not for the showring that look more like a normal livestock dog)

bella39 Sun 31-May-09 09:39:37

There are more and more straight backed ones coming through, but obviously more difficult to find than the awful sloped ones.

What do the police do with their 'rejects' ?

myermay Sun 31-May-09 19:51:43

i've got a police dog handler who is a family friend making a few enquiries for me - so fingers crossed.

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