The history of the German Shepherd dog is relatively brief compared to other breeds. A version of the sheepdog, the first German Shepherd was classified as such by a German cavalry captain named Max von Stephanitz. The dog, Hektor, was renamed Horand von Grafath, and in 1899 was the first German Shepherd registered by the Verein fur deutsche Schaferhunde, or The German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany.
The German Shepherd dog is wolfish in appearance and has been bred to retain its lupine beauty, intelligence and utility. This breed is one of the most popular dogs in the world. It was renamed the Alsatian Wolf Dog briefly in the 1900s due to anti-German sentiment surrounding World War II. Though this breed is classified by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as part of the herding group, German Shepherds perform many other functions. Though other breeds may be able to defeat the German Shepherd in specific tasks, the Shepherd is one of the best-rounded dogs and is capable of being trained to do many tasks. German Shepherd breeders may often train these dogs. The breed is commonly used in police work, as guides for the blind, and as security for many families and businesses.
Purebred German Shepherds have specific characteristics. Max von Stephanitz inbred the first German Shepherds so that certain traits would be guaranteed in the line. The German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany sets the breed standard. It defines characteristics from body measurements to character to gait. German Shepherd breeders should be familiar with the breed standard as well as what health problems to expect and to have dogs evaluated for. For example, German Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia and other skeletal disorders.
Good German Shepherd breeders will also have registration papers or some form of pedigree for each Shepherd they sell, preferably from the American Kennel Club. German Shepherd breeders will also provide medical records and offer a guarantee against the dog developing hip dysplasia at least within the first year. Good breeders have their own kennels, and dogs should receive daily socialization as well as being well fed and groomed. Unfortunately, there are many German Shepherd breeders who may attempt to sell Shepherds with false registration papers. They may also sell unhealthy German Shepherds. It is important to know how to avoid bad German shepherd breeders.
Sure-fire signs of bad German Shepherd breeders include the fact that they only sell puppies over the Internet, they have no physical kennel of their own or only broker puppies, they ask for a non-refundable down payment before the litter is born, they do not plan to keep one of the litter, They claim to have a kennel but will not allow a buyer to visit and they have many dogs for sale at one time. Bad breeders also cannot provide adequate registration or certification paperwork, cannot provide medical record information or refer you to only their" veterinarian, and they don't ask the buyer questions about their household. They do not care where their puppies are going.
Good German Shepherd breeders have the opposite qualities of the above. Additionally, they are affiliated with other agencies and rescue centers that help promote and care for the breed. Most importantly, good breeders love the breed they raise!
German Shepherd breeders may be good or bad so it is important to do your homework before buying a German Shepherd dog. German Shepherd information and information about locating valid German Shepherd breeders is provided in this article.