Dog Training

Selecting a German Shepherd Dog – Breeder vs. Adoption or Rescue

So you have decided you want to add a German Shepherd to your household. You will next need to determine where your German Shepherd Dog will come from. The two most common options are buying from a breeder or adopting from a shelter or rescue organization. There are pros and cons to both.


A GOOD breeder will do everything within his or her power to produce healthy puppies that will be free of genetic health disorders. You will also have the advantage of knowing your dog’s bloodlines and genetic health history. Good breeders want the best for their pups and will offer you lifetime help and support, should you need it. A good breeder will also be knowledgeable of their lines and can help you with things to watch for as your pup grows and matures.

Getting a dog from a reputable breeder can be pricey. Many breeders also have a screening process that all potential buyers must go through (and pass) in order to purchase from them.


Getting a dog from a shelter or rescue organization will cost far less than a dog from a breeder. Rescue dogs are usually current on vaccines, vet care, and may even be spayed or neutered. Getting a dog from a shelter or rescue organization can be very rewarding. You know you have saved a dog’s life and made a difference.


Some shelters and a lot of rescue organizations also have a screening process to ensure that you and your home are a good match for the dog. The screening process is in the best interest of the dog and potential owners, so be prepared to answer honestly for a good match.

The negative to adopting or rescuing a dog is that you’ll rarely receive any background information. The odds are high that shelter and rescue dogs are a product of irresponsible breeders or owners. With that being said, you roll the dice with any dog (regardless of breed or age) you bring into your home and allow into your heart.


If you do not care about bloodlines or pedigrees and are simply looking for a pet quality companion, adoption or rescue is an option. If you are interested in competitive sport or working activities with your German shepherd, it is recommended that you consider a dog with working lines from a quality breeder.

Be aware that German Shepherds often go quickly in shelters. Diligence, patience and a bit of luck may be needed if you choose to go this route.

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