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Buying A Puppy

Before buying a puppy or any dog please ask yourself the following:

• Are you prepared for the serious responsibility of this lifelong commitment?
• Dogs need space - is your home big enough?
• Is someone home during the day or can you make regular visits home to attend to your puppy/dog?
• Dog food and vets bills are a regular cost - can you afford this?
• Is everyone in the home keen for a dog to join the family?
• Are you absolutely certain that a German Shepherd is the breed for you?

The choice of puppy should not be made on the spur of the moment, doing so can lead to heartache and financial disaster.
Research the breed, the breeder and take your time over the decision. Be prepared, you may have to wait for a puppy from your chosen breeder but even a year wait for the right puppy is a small portion of time compared with the many years ahead you will be together.

PUPPY

When you visit the breeder the first visual indication is the kennel/home where the puppies live, if it isn't clean enough for you to enter, go no further. If the breeder's dogs are not healthy - leave.  Puppies are constantly messing so expect a little lingering poop and pee smells and possibly some recent mess but the smell of age old filth is not acceptable.
All pups spend a lot of time sleeping, but when they are active they should appear alert and energetic. Bloated stomachs, except possibly right after eating, can be a sign of worms. Eyes and noses containing a mucous-filled discharge can signal a viral or bacterial infection. Never take a puppy home in this condition, anyone who has ever brought home a sick puppy can tell you how frustrating and heartbreaking it can be. The whole experience can turn what should be an exciting, happy time into a nightmare. The stress of taking a sickly puppy to a new home can quickly worsen the problem - do not buy a sick puppy because you feel sorry for it! It is up to the breeder to provide the puppy with the proper care.
Ask to see the breeders other dogs. Are they approachable and sociable, well behaved? Are they in good condition and healthy? If you have children make sure they are well behaved and supervised around both the adults and puppies. Do the puppies and adults interact well with your children?
Most breeders will give you a health guarantee, usually for 72 hours in order for you to take the pup to your vet. If your vet finds a serious problem that the pup had upon delivery from the breeder, you should be entitled to a full refund of your purchase price upon return of the pup.

money

PRICE

The price of the puppy will be reflective of the type of establishment you are buying from.
A well bred GSD puppy from a reputable kennel will cost approximately £800, some may be slightly more or less but this is a general rule of thumb. Anyone offering GSD puppies for half this price needs to be questioned further about their reasons for breeding and carefully grilled about the hereditary test results of the parents, if in doubt ask to see certificates or check out the validitaty of the claims on the Kennel Club Health Test Result Finder.
A good, reputable breeder of quality stock cannot afford to sell their puppies at low prices, campaigning show dogs and performing all the current known hereditary test is vastly expensive, not to mention the actual cost of breeding. Neither will a reputable breeder barter with you, the price is the price!
The worst first question you can ask a breeder is the price, understandably we need to know the cost but don't make it you're only consideration. Buying cheap proves false economy and costly in the long term.

If things should go wrong...

The purchase of a puppy is an important decision to make, in the vast majority of cases both the breeder and new owner will be happy. However, what happens when things do not go as they should?
Your rights as a purchaser are going to be based upon the contract with the breeder. The sale of a dog is covered under the general terms of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and as such there will be legal rights and remedies available. There may also be statutory rights under the Trades Description Act to explore and therefore your local Trading Standards Office or Citizens Advice Bureau should be able to give you some guidance. This applies for both breeder and owner.
In all instances try to mediate with the breeder and openly discuss any issues, try and reach an amicable solution to any problems. If you did your research well, you will have hopefully found a good breeder who will immediately rectify any problems.
Always think hard before buying a puppy, it's a long road to adulthood with a GSD, testing at times but always full of fun.
Remember: The breeder is the architect, you are the builder; it's you who creates the dog you want!

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