The German Shepherd – the all time favorite dog of families, single people, children, and seniors. This is one of the most loved and most versatile dogs out there.
So, when you think about this dog’s characteristics, you might wonder: Aren’t all German Shepherds the right dogs?
Yes, all German Shepherds are great dogs, but this does not mean that each German Shepherd will be a perfect match for you. There are factors to consider here, such as the puppy’s gender, behavior, willingness to interact with you, and so on.
So, let’s see what you should pay attention to while choosing your future puppy.
The Essential Step Of Finding The Right GSD Puppy
The first and the most important thing to start with when looking for the right German Shepherd puppy is finding a reputable German Shepherd breeder.
You probably see a lot of German Shepherd dogs in your surroundings. This could even be the dog you see most often in dog parks or on dog beaches.
When I go back to my childhood and remember my parents’ friends’ family pets, it seems like they all had German Shepherds!
Maybe this is part true, and part my hazy memory, but, a German Shepherd is one of the most common family dog breeds, for sure.
According to the Pet Educate German Shepherd statistics, this versatile working dog is the number 3 owned breed in the States. So, there have been more than 3.5 million German Shepherds registered in 2022 in the United States.
Since there are so many of these dogs in the States, as well as in the rest of the world, there are certainly a lot of their breeders, too.
So, you will easily find a GSD breeder in your vicinity. But, this does not have to mean that you should choose your German Shepherd puppy from the first breeder you visit.
How To Recognize A Reputable GSD Breeder?
The most important step of finding the right German Shepherd puppy is to find the right German Shepherd breeder.
Many GSD breeders will announce that they care for their puppy’s genetics, health records, and socialization. You will need to visit the breeder’s kennel to check whether these words are truthful.
So, you might visit more than just one German Shepherd breeder. My cousin went to 4 different kennels until she found the right German Shepherd puppy for her family.
If the breeder you are talking to is responsible, he might ask you some of the following questions:
• Have you owned a dog before? If so, what breed of dog breed it was?
• Why do you want to have a German Shepherd?
• Do you have a fenced yard?
• Do you have children?
• What are your working hours?
• Do you have enough time to dedicate to this high-energy dog breed?
So, just like you are looking for the perfect dog for you, reputable German Shepherd breeders are looking for the best home possible for all of their dogs.
If you think the breeder is asking you too many questions, this is actually a good thing!
How To Know Which GSD Puppy Is The Puppy For You?
If you have already visited a couple of German Shepherd kennels, you have probably chosen your favorite among these breeders.
Now it’s time to put all of your attention to the litter of German Shepherd puppies that your chosen breeder is offering.
What should you do in order to find the German Shepherd puppy that will be the best fit for you and your family?
1. Visit The Breeder For A Couple Of Times
Before making your final decision to take a German Shepherd puppy with you, I suggest you visit the breeder a couple of times.
This way, you will have a chance to really meet this puppy. I am sure the breeder won’t mind; actually, he will probably be happy about this suggestion.
This is a perfect opportunity to see how the puppy reacts to you.
2. Try To Interact With The Puppy
One of the things you should do while looking for the right GSD puppy is to try to interact with the puppy you are considering purchasing.
You can get close to the puppy, and try to pet him. But, be careful here. German Shepherds are known to love their owners deeply, but remember that you are not this puppy’s owner yet.
Do not force the puppy on any kind of interaction. If the puppy shows he likes you being near him, then you can use the opportunity and pet the puppy.
If the GSD puppy seems disinterested, don’t try any further. You should visit the kennel a few more times. In this way, the puppy will have additional time to get used to you and maybe next time he will show a greater desire for interaction.
If the puppy you have chosen doesn’t seem to show any interest for you even after a few of your visits, maybe it’s time for you to look at another puppy from the litter.
And don’t get discouraged while searching for your perfect match. Every person will find the puppy eventually. Think of all those celebrities that have found their ideal German Shepherds! I am sure they didn’t rush into this decision without meeting the puppy a bit better beforehands.
3. Male Or Female?
Are there any real differences between male and female dogs? This question is not so easy to answer, but, I would recommend you to consider the gender question thoroughly before deciding on your future German Shepherd puppy.
See, gender is an important factor of a dog’s temperament, so, I would dare to say that there are important differences between male and female German Shepherds.
Both of these dogs are excellent guarding dogs, with slight differences. Male GSDs will be more territorial, while female German Shepherds are more likely to be protective towards their family members, especially children.
Male German Shepherd will probably get attached to only one person, while the females are usually equally devoted to all family members.
If you are thinking about getting a male German Shepherd, you should be prepared for this dog to wander around a lot when he becomes sexually mature.
On the other hand, having a female will mean getting to know everything about first heat symptoms.
So, both males and females GSDs are extraordinary dogs, but, gender might be one of the important factors of choosing the right German Shepherd puppy for you.
4. The Breeder Might Recognize The Puppy Before You
What are you actually looking for in your future puppy? A guard dog? A working dog? Or perhaps a show dog?
I hope you know the correct answer to these questions if you are already visiting kennels in search of a perfect German Shepherd puppy.
One thing that can be very useful is telling the breeder what you are looking for. Don’t forget that the breeder is the first person that has met these puppies. He is also the person who is spending most of the time with these puppies.
Therefore, the breeder will probably know to recognize the characteristics you are looking for in his puppies. With this, he will make your choice significantly easier.
5. The Puppy’s Behavior Can Be A Dealbreaker
Puppies in kennels will usually not be older than 8 or 10 weeks.
This might seem too young for a puppy to already show some kind of behavioral problems, but, still, you might see this.
If you notice a puppy that shows signs of food aggression, you might want to choose the other puppy. This means that the puppy is growling or snapping at other dogs during their meals.
Of course, you will be the person who will train and socialize your future German Shepherd. But, you should be sure you are choosing a well-behaved and socialized puppy, as much as he can be for this young age.
You don’t want to come home and immediately ask the question: Why is my German Shepherd destroying everything?
So, pay attention to the puppy’s behavior while the breeder is feeding him, and while he is playing with other dogs.
You should choose the one that seems the least aggressive one in the litter. Your future puppy should be tolerant and sociable as possible.
I mean, you might consider having another dog in future, right? Therefore, you should make sure your German Shepherd will be suitable for living with other pets.
6. Is Puppy’s Looks Relevant?
I am sure all the German Shepherd puppies you will meet in your search will be adorable. But, is a puppy’s looks even a relevant factor in choosing the right German Shepherd puppy?
Well, it kind of is. You should choose a GSD puppy that seems clean, and that walks with confidence.
Also, your future GSD puppy should have a compact body, wide hips, and smooth skin. There should be no discharge on the puppy’s nose and eyes.
So, some might say that looks should be irrelevant in choosing a puppy. But, I think you should also pay attention to your future puppy’s physical appearance.
After all, you are getting to buy a purebred German Shepherd, and we all know these puppies are not cheap.
So, I, personally, would want to get a high-quality, healthy, and good looking German Shepherd puppy.
I cannot imagine a bad German Shepherd, but the truth is – not every German Shepherd will be a perfect fit for every future owner.
So, how to find the right German Shepherd puppy? Find a trustworthy breeder first. Meet as many puppies as possible. Try to interact with the puppy that catches your eye. Also, observe your puppy’s behavior with other dogs from the litter.
Choosing your future dog is not an easy task, and you should give yourself enough time to do it well.