When looking for a German Shepherd Dog puppy, people will often say that they just want a pet and do not need to worry about all of the “bells and whistles”. By that, they mean it is not important if the parents are titled or working/show dogs. Potential buyers often do not even care if the dog has those “fancy tests” done such as OFA hips and elbows.
This line of thinking is extremely flawed, even if people do not realize it. Who wants a pet that is unsound in temperament or has health issues? No one! When you purchase a pet puppy you want the puppy to grow up into a healthy, sound and well adjusted dog that will hopefully be part of your family for many years to come. If that is the case, why would you not care about the health and temperament of your puppy?
These “bells and whistles” such as titles and health testing help to stack the odds in your favor to ensure that your puppy is as healthy and sound as possible. A good breeder will take the time to fully evaluate each dog in temperament and health (among other things) before breeding them. Where as an irresponsible backyard breeder that does not do these “fancy things” really does not care about the health and temperament of the puppies they produce. They have no way of knowing what they will produce since the parents (and possibly the rest of the pedigree) are not tested.
Yes, you are going to pay more money by going to a good breeder who does these “fancy tests”, however it will be well worth it in the long run when you end up with a health sound companion for the next twelve or more years.