In an ideal world, all German Shepherd breeders would be reputable, and would breed their dogs to ensure their health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, and not all breeders care about the quality of the dogs they sell. Thus, not all puppies that are sold will be healthy.
The following is a list of characteristics you will want to look for when analyzing the puppies that German Shepherd breeders are selling:
- The eyes of the puppies should be shiny and alert. Puppies shouldn’t have misty, cloudy, watery or red eyes. The eyes shouldn’t look sad or have an expression that conveys fear.
- The inside of the ears should be pink. Ears that are infected will look red and have a funny odor.
- Tongue should be pink.
- A puppies coat is soft and shiny. The coat should cover the body evenly and there should be no bald patches or scabs.
- The nose should be clean. There should be no discharge leaking from the nose.
- Puppies should be curious and not timid. Shy or fearful puppies are a good indication that the German Shepherd breeders are either mistreating or neglecting the pups.
- Male dogs should have two testicles.
Other ways that you can ensure the health of puppies is to ask the German Shepherd breeders for the pedigree. You will also want to see all of the pup’s health records. You need to make sure that all of his shots are current and he has been tested for heartworm.
In addition, German Shepherds are prone to many hereditary problems because of years of indiscriminate breeding. Due to this fact, Shepherds are at a high risk for hip and elbow dysplasia. Therefore, any of the German Shepherd breeders you are interested in, should have had the hips of both the sire and dam of their litters certified OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) good.
It is vital that you make the effort to ensure the pup you buy is healthy. An unhealthy puppy will only lead to expensive vet bills and plenty of misery for both you and your dog. Therefore, make it your goal to find reputable German Shepherd breeders who are dedicated to preserving the well being of the breed.