What Questions to Ask When Buying a German Shepherd?

Top 15 Questions To Ask When Buying A German Shepherd

A Comprehensive Guide for Prospective Owners

If you’re thinking of adding a furry friend to your family, a German Shepherd may be just the breed of Dog you’re looking for. German Shepherds are intelligent, loyal, (and can be) protective dogs that make great companions. However, before you go out and buy a German Shepherd puppy, there are several questions you should ask yourself and the breeder to ensure you make an informed decision.

Take a look at the Top 15 Questions I’ve compiled below for you & maybe have a copy of them with you in case you become overwhelmed by the cuteness overload & forget what to ask when you visit puppies or if you are talking with a German Shepherd Dog Breeder & forget what to ask…knowing as soon as you’re done, you’ll remember them, these will be a huge help!

  1. Is a German Shepherd the right breed for you? German Shepherds are large and active dogs that require a lot of exercise and attention. They also have a high prey drive and can be protective of their family, which can make them difficult for inexperienced dog owners. Before you commit to buying a German Shepherd, make sure you have the time, energy, and resources to care for one properly.
A German Shepherd Dog Laid down looking to camera with a toy ball between front paws

2. Where are the puppies raised? It’s essential to ask the breeder where the puppies are raised and how they’re socialised. Puppies that are raised in a clean, healthy environment and are exposed to different people, animals, and experiences are more likely to be well-adjusted and healthy dogs.

3 German shepherd dog puppies laid down with owner outside a supermarket with owner

3. Can you meet the parents? Meeting the parents of the puppy you’re interested in can give you an idea of what your puppy may look and act like when they’re older. It can also give you an idea of any potential health issues the puppy may be prone to.

4. Are the parents health tested? German Shepherds can be prone to certain health issues, (just like many other breeds of Dog) such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Reputable breeders will have their breeding dogs tested for these and other health issues before breeding.

A German shepherd Dog at the vets on a table having it's heartbeat listened to by vet.

5. Can you see the puppy’s health records? If there are any at the time, It’s important to know what vaccinations and preventative care the puppy has received OR likely to receive, before you bring them home. Ask the breeder for a copy of the puppy’s health records, including any veterinary visits they’ve had.

6. What is the breeder’s experience with German Shepherds? Reputable breeders will have years of experience with German Shepherds and will be able to answer any questions you have about the breed. They’ll also be able to provide you with references from previous puppy buyers.

gsd puppies in a kennel

7. Does the breeder offer a health guarantee? A health guarantee can provide you with peace of mind that you’re buying a healthy puppy. Many reputable breeders will offer a health guarantee that covers any genetic health issues the puppy may have. Often this is where the breeder will put into a contract that they will accept the puppy back if a genetic condition arises or if you find you are in a position where you can no longer give the dog the best quality of life. The breeder is the first person who should be contacted, where ever possible. (please also see below)

8. What is the breeder’s policy on returns? Life happens, and sometimes people need to rehome their pets. Before you commit to buying a German Shepherd, ask the breeder what their policy is on returns. A reputable breeder will always take back a dog they’ve bred if the owner can no longer care for them.

9. What is the breeder’s philosophy on breeding? Reputable breeders will have a breeding philosophy that puts the health and welfare of their dogs first. They’ll also have a plan in place for finding good homes for their puppies.

10. What is the puppy’s temperament like? German Shepherds can be a bit reserved with strangers, but they should never be aggressive or fearful. Ask the breeder to describe the puppy’s personality and temperament and make sure it’s a good fit for your lifestyle and personality.

11. What kind of training will the puppy need? German Shepherds are intelligent dogs that thrive on training and mental stimulation. Ask the breeder what kind of training the puppy will need and how you can provide it. Enrolling in obedience classes or working with a professional trainer can help ensure your puppy grows up to be a well-behaved, happy, sociable dog.

german shepherd puppy courtesy of unsplash

12. What kind of food/diet should the puppy be on? Feeding your German Shepherd a high-quality food/ diet is very important for their overall health and wellbeing. Ask the breeder what kind of food the puppy is currently eating and what they recommend for the future. The breeder will give you a few days worth of the food which the pup has been weaned off it’s mother, onto. Often they will also have a puppy pack of some sorts which may also have discount vouchers in for food or pet insurance.

13. What kind of exercise will the puppy need? German Shepherds are an active breed that requires a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. However, ask the breeder what kind of exercise, along with how often, the puppy will need and how you can provide it.

A young German Shepherd Dog laid down in green grass looking to the right of the camera

14. How long has the breeder been breeding German Shepherds? A breeder with years of experience breeding German Shepherds is more likely to produce healthy, well-adjusted puppies than someone who maybe is just starting out. They will also have a record of how many litters each dam has had.

German shepherd running through grass and woodland

15. Can the breeder provide references? Ask the breeder if they can provide references from previous puppy buyers. Talking to someone who has already bought a puppy from the breeder can give you an idea of what they are like as breeders and what to expect.

A young sable German Shepherd Dog looking out over a fence type area

Take time to go over the questions and :

By asking these questions, you can do your best to ensure you’re buying a healthy, well-adjusted puppy from a reputable breeder. German Shepherds can make great family pets, but they’re not for everyone. Make sure you’re prepared to care for a large, active dog (some with a high drive) before you bring one into your home. *Please remember, when we bring a puppy into our homes, we are raising a fully grown Dog, we are not raising a puppy!

It’s important to find a reputable breeder who prioritises the health and welfare of their dogs. Ask about the breeder’s experience and philosophy on breeding, as well as the puppy’s health history and genetic testing.

If you are having doubts about getting a German Shepherd Dog

Buying a German Shepherd is a big decision, but with the right preparation, it can be a rewarding one. By asking the right questions and doing your research, you can ensure you’re bringing home a healthy, happy puppy that can be a loyal companion for years to come.

image of a black gsd head in a frame with golden stars & dog bone with thegermanshepherddog.co.uk name

In conclusion:

Buying a German Shepherd can be a big investment, both financially and emotionally. However, with the right preparation and care, your new puppy can become a beloved companion & family member.

Consider the puppy’s temperament and energy levels to make sure they’re a good fit for your lifestyle and personality. It’s also important to plan for the puppy’s training, diet and exercise needs and make sure everyone in your household is onboard. Try to get into a routine with the puppy and stick to it as much as is possible.


thegermanshepherddog.co.uk does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

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