So, you are looking for German Shepherd Breeders in NC. Let this be a step by step how to guide to finding the best breeders in North Carolina. It also has some of my opinion mixed in with it, so please take it for what it is worth.
First, you should decide which type of German Shepherd fits you best.
There are many types of German Shepherds, and most breeders have selected their favorite breed to deal with. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer to this, it is all personal preference. Some people will tell you the American line German Shepherd is the best. Others will tell you that the West German Show Line is the best. In some cases, the German working line is the best. It all depends on what you’d like out of the dog. Once you have determined which breed of German shepherd you like you will need to select a breeder. For more clarification on the various breeds go here. We feel the West German Show Line best represents the original GSD. They are hands down the most beautiful. If you are looking for a working animal, the working line will be better for you, and if the show line is out of your budget, the American line isn’t a terrible choice, just remember that they are almost completely different breeds of dogs. The show line is brilliant, is very expressive, is usually very healthy and is overall a wonderful companion and is more of a family member than a dog. They are primarily used as wonderful family members, but are also used for show, protection, special needs, and more.
Second comes breeder selection.
There are many types of breeders. The first I’d like to cover is what most people refer to as a puppy mill, or a backyard breeder. Often, when you at the shopping mall and see a dog behind a glass window in a small cage, you are looking right at the product of one of these puppy mills. I can not speak for all of them, but often people who run puppy mills have too many dogs. We’re talking 50, 100, 2,500, you just never know. Due to this they end up living in filthy conditions, have no social skills, and are basically treated as livestock. They might look cute and happy and healthy, but are usually in need of rehab. I personally know pet store owners who are great people, and many of them continue the practice without understanding the consequences of their actions or are in denial. Disagree with me if you must, but please note I am not out to offend anyone, and I do believe this is the consensus among educated dog lovers. If you have a compelling argument to this by all means email me and I will consider revisiting this article.
Almost all of the hobby breeders I have interacted with arrange breeding between two high quality dogs and are trying to improve the breed they have chosen to work with. Of course, there are bad hobby breeders out there, and sometimes hobby breeders are referred to as backyard breeders. But again, usually they are great breeders. Typically they own 1 or 2 females which have fantastic temperament, color, size, expression, movement, etc. German Shepherd hobby breeders typically have dogs with certified hips, excellent pedigrees, obedience or Schutzhund titles and sometimes show ratings. Their DNA should be on file and they will be registered with the AKC or even Schäferhundfreunde.
This is the category that Hektor Haus falls into. Entrepreneur owned, we spare absolutely no expense in doing things correctly. We may lose money or make a few bucks at it; that is yet to be determined. To date we’ve blown well over $15,000 on our little project, and the money is not a factor. What does matter is producing a beautiful, healthy litter, and pups who are going to grow up to be amazing family members and make the world a happier place. Our pups are raised indoors along with our children and other pets. They are used to handling, vacuum cleaner noises, kids making kid noises, TVs, radios, telephone ringing, cats, chickens, etc. We live on 6 acres and regularly take our animals out to walk around the community college, meet other non-aggressive dogs, and splash around in the lake. We have 1 breeding female, and may produce a litter every year or two. The stud dogs we select are champions who are in demand and have litters on multiple continents.
It is up to you if a pet owner should be considered a breeder or not. This varies a lot from breed to breed. As far as German Shepherds are concerned, if they have gone through the lengths we have above, they are, at least by my definition, a hobby breeder. If they are not aware of hip tests, animal history, DNA tests, temperament, conformation, etc and are just out to make a quick buck or just make “cute puppies” things can go very bad, and they can definitely contribute to the worsening of a breed, which is very sad to see happening, and I can not support this behavior.
Show Breeders / Professional Breeders:
There is a wide spectrum of show breeders out there. In the German Shepherd world, especially in the German working line and German show line, there are some very fine breeders out there. I have met a couple here in North Carolina, and there are usually 1 or 2 in each state. Having a champion dog does not mean they are ethical, but the breeders I have met in the show world are just amazing, have a plethora of knowledge, and I send them business myself whenever I have the opportunity. Some travel the world looking for their next pup to enhance the quality of their dogs, and as a good hobby breeder, they care about the welfare of their dogs and the homes they go to.
Professional breeders often produce many more litters. If they have been in the business for several years they are often experts committed to improving the breed of these fine dogs. They usually have kennels set up. I’ve seen German Shepherd Breeder here in North Carolina with a kennel so immaculate you would be happy eat dinner in it.
Still, if you are trying to avoid a kennel and get a pup that has had maximum interaction and been raised indoors, you will need to check out a hobby breeder. There is nothing necessarily wrong with a kennel, and you absolutely have to have one if you are making a business out of breeding, as you can’t have 18 dogs in your house.
Next, you will want to communicate with the breeder.
A good German Shepherd breeder cares about the welfare of their dogs and their good name. They will ask you questions about what other animals you have, how you plan on getting the dog’s energy out, if you plan on showing the dog, where you live, etc. They will have a health guarantee and will offer to take back any dog at any time in the future- not for a refund, but if you get run over by a truck and the dog has nowhere to go, most responsible breeder will accept the dog back for free.
You can always ask them questions as well. You can ask to visit the breeder. They may or may not let you visit. A professional breeder has clean kennels set up and doesn’t mind guests. A hobby breeder may let you come out depending on the pup’s age. Here we upload photos daily of the pups to our blog, videos, and more. But puppies are also susceptible to disease so during their first 7 weeks visits are generally off limits. We do use Google Hangouts and Facetime for video conferencing though. Occasionally people may come out IF they have not been to any other breeder’s houses that day and are 100% clean, but generally we are extremely picky about this and visits are limited to before the puppies are born, or after they are 7 weeks old.
If you are not certain who you are dealing with you can ask if they sell to pet stores, and which vet they use as a reference. For example, we are happy to give out our vet’s information. Our dogs receive exceptional care at Jordan Lake Animal Hospital, North Carolina State University, and we have a veterinary technician who comes out and helps us during whelping, and all of these people will be thrilled to give us their recommendation.
This should really be an article of it’s own but German Shepherd pricing varies. A random AKC or non-papered American German Shepherd dog may run you $100-$800. A German working line pup may run you $1000-$1500. A German Show line pup may run you $2,500 – $3,000 or more depending on the age and training involved. Dogs with special training go for $17,000 – $85,000.
Here, we consult with NCSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine on a regular basis. When one of our dogs is pregnant, they receive every possible vaccine, so that they may pass along antibodies to the puppies in their colostrum. Adults get Royal Canin German Shepherd 24, puppies get Royal Canin German Shepherd Puppy 30 dog food. Pregnant girls get extra care- sonograms, Xrays, weigh-ins, checkups, etc. During whelping, they get vanilla ice cream, and we have a Registered Veterinary Technician in house throughout the process with an emergency clinic on standby at all times. Post whelping, they get eggs and cottage cheese in with their puppy food, delivered to their whelping box, and one of us monitors the puppies for the first week non-stop, and this includes sleeping beside the whelping box. Pups are handled daily, weighed daily, and photographed daily. Family vacations are postponed, and work revolves around the pups.
If you have further questions, please email us.