Buying a Puppy
Many people buy a cute little puppy without considering the future consequences of a much larger adult dog. In the right home that puppy will be a loved family member. In the wrong home he will be a nuisance at best. It is a sad fact that well over 100,000 unwanted dogs are destroyed in Australia each year. Remember a “Pet is for life”. You should not purchase a German Shepherd or any other dog until you are completely satisfied that you will be able to cope with not just a puppy, but a strong energetic adult dog. Perhaps another breed of dog may be a better choice for your household?
Buyers should consider the exercise, socialisation, training, fencing and shelter requirements of any intended purchase. Most importantly you will have to find time in your busy schedule to accommodate the demands of your new family member. You will also have to consider the effect of the soon to be adult dog on other members of your household. Young children will also need adequate supervision when playing with their new household companion.
Believe it or not a puppy will probably cost you in excess of $5000 over its lifetime. You will need to budget for vaccinations, food, registration and more. You must be prepared to afford the dog adequate veterinary attention and this can easily run into hundreds of dollars. You will have to budget for your new family member and be confident that the household budget can afford him or her. I would also suggest that you do not try and bargain hunt for a dog. There is no such thing as a ‘bargain’ to be found in pet stores and other undesirable sources of dogs. The initial purchase price of a puppy or dog is not as important as it’s health and temperament.
Like all breeds of dogs the German Shepherd does have a few possible health problems and potential owners should be aware of these. All owners, and particularly breeders and new owners should take note of the recent article “Growth disorders in young German Shepherds” Some of the prevalent problems are being addressed by a number of breed improvement schemes administered by the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia (GSDCA). These schemes are designed to reduce the incidence of Hip Dysplasia, Haemophilia, and Elbow Dysplasia. These schemes, together with the Breed Surveying of dogs, are helping to improve the health and quality of German Shepherds bred in Australia.
The Breed Survey also helps to improve the genetic temperament of the breed by requiring presenting animals to be subjected to both crowd and gun tests where they must not show any unwanted behavior such as fear or aggression. The knowledge gained from the Breed Survey is published annually and is available to all Breeders to use in their breeding program. The ACT German Shepherd Dog Association and other affiliated clubs of the GSDCA are bound to implement these breed improvement schemes.
If you do go ahead and purchase a German Shepherd Dog then you must be prepared to begin to positively socialize and train your German Shepherd dog as soon as you bring it home. It is strongly recommended that you join the ACTGSDA or another obedience dog club. The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent and active animal and demands stimulating activity and regular exercise to give them a suitable quality of life.