Finding the right breeder for a German Shorthaired Pointer the right way involves a couple of tips I have learned along the way and want to share with you.
You’ve finally done it! You’ve been keeping an eye on my blog for a while, and now you want a Hank of your own, right?
Even if you’re only just discovering my blog now for the first time, I still want to help you pick out the perfect GSP for your home.
In order to do that, I’ll take you through the important things to look out for from a German Shorthair breeder.
As sad as it is to say, there are too many unreputable breeders out there, and the last thing you want to do is pick up a puppy from them, because you just can’t trust that your new GSP pup will be healthy and happy!
So, if you want to avoid all that – read on!
Look At The Breeder’s Reputation
This is the first thing you need to do before you even step foot near a breeder’s business – check out their reputation.
If they’re local, ask around town, it’s surprising what you can find out from word of mouth.
When I was picking out a breeder for my GSP Hank, I asked around town to find out where the best/most recommended breeders were.
Good reputations travel just as fast as bad ones, so keep your ear to the ground and see what others are saying about them.
If they aren’t local enough to you for everybody to know about them, then check out the internet.
Even after I asked around town, I still went to the internet to look up my GSP breeder to make sure they were as legit as everybody said.
Checking the internet for reviews will reveal a lot about a breeder. If you can’t find reviews easily, ask yourself why.
It may just be that they don’t ask for reviews, or maybe they are hiding the reviews they do have.
Breeders with an excellent reputation like to remind people of that, so check websites etc for links to review sites. If they have excellent reviews, that’s a brilliant start.
Ask About The Dogs Bloodline
Next up is to remember to ask about the dog’s bloodline. That’s because GSPs are bred from one of three categories:
– Family Dogs
– Competition Trial Dogs
Now, each one of these bloodlines has certain traits that are unique to them. My Hank, for example, came from a bloodline filled with Hunters, and that hunter blood still beats through his veins today.
He wants to hunt, and I take him hunting, but even if I didn’t, I could see how much he wants to hunt by the way he plays with toys in the house.
He’ll grab tightly and shake hard like he would with an animal he was trying to hunt. Hank’s not aggressive by any means, but hunting is just in his blood.
Likewise, if you want to show your dog in competitions, then buying from breeders who can show evidence of a competition trail dog bloodline is key.
If you just want a family dog, one that’s a little calmer and more used to patience with children etc, then look out for dogs with family pet bloodlines.
It’s true that they’ll pick up traits from their family because it’s simply bred into them, so be careful which breeder you choose here or you might end up with a GSP that isn’t quite right for you.
Ask To See Both Parents
That brings us on to my next point. ASK TO SEE BOTH PARENTS. Now I understand, this isn’t always possible. Maybe Dad lives elsewhere, and that isn’t always a problem – but at the very least you should be able to see Mom in the flesh.
If you can’t, for whatever reason, walk away. I wouldn’t have picked up Hank if I didn’t see his parents, because it’s the best way to tell what your pup’s temperament will be like.
GSPs aren’t prone to aggression, but if Mom or Dad are aggressive, then the chances are pup might be too.
You should be able to see Mom, and at least see a picture of Dad. If this isn’t possible, then red flags should start waving in your mind.
Pay Close Attention To Your Gut
This isn’t a very technical one, but trust your gut. If you think something is off, then it’s usually off. If you think something is right, then it’s usually right.
When I walked into my GSP breeder’s place, I instantly got a good feeling. I could tell it was a reputable breeder and I could tell that any pup I took from there would be perfect for me.
My breeder passed every one of the three points I’ve made so far, so I picked Hank up!
But if I’d have walked in and felt that something was off, I’d have walked away empty-handed, and I was prepared to do that.
It didn’t matter what the reason was, it might have been unclean, or the price might have been too good to be true (I’ll be covering average prices in a later blog post, so keep an eye out for that), or it may have just been that I didn’t like the breeder.
Whatever it may have been, if my gut told me not to, I wouldn’t have got Hank and I’d have moved on to the next one. Thankfully, all was OK with mine, but if your gut tells you no, then walk away.
‘How to find the best German Shorthair breeders’ could have been a difficult post to write, but actually, I just remembered all the advice I was given before picking out Hank, and tried to put it into a post for you all.
The best advice I can give you is to focus on breeder reputation, ask about bloodline (because this also proves how knowledgeable the breeder is – if they can’t tell you, run for the hills), and ask to see both parents.
You’re never guaranteed to get the perfect GSP pup, but by doing these three things, you’ll be giving yourself the best shot.
And just before I go, I wanted to remind you – even if the breeder meets all three criteria without issue, if you still get a bad feeling about them when you arrive, then just walk away.
There are great GSP breeders out there, and you _will _find the right one, so never settle for less just to get a GSP pup sooner!