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Buying a GSD puppy: Should both parents be on site?

Some breeders may own their own male, but that should never be a deciding factor alone.
Some breeders may own their own male, but that should never be a deciding factor alone. Valerie Miller

Many people feel it is important to see both parents when you visit a breeder to look at a litter. However this is not always possible and most definitely should not be a requirement when looking at breeders.

While it may be nice to see info about the father of your new puppy, seeing him at the breeders house should not be overly important to you.  There are more important things to consider.
While it may be nice to see info about the father of your new puppy, seeing him at the breeders house should not be overly important to you. There are more important things to consider. Valerie Miller

You must realize that often good breeders do not have the sire of the litter on site. Occasionally he is also owned by the breeder, but usually he is not. Sometimes he is local and you can also go visit him if interested, other times he may be completely out of state and unavailable to visit. This should not be a deal breaker.

While you may feel you gain a benefit from seeing the father as well as the mother, truth be told you really are not gaining much knowledge by simply seeing the father (or mother for that matter) run around the owners yard.
Most dogs are comfortable in their own yard and are going to appear sound and normal in their comfortable environment. This can be misleading to prospective puppy buyers. You are much better off seeing proof that the dog has accomplished something outside of his owner’s home, such as a working title to help prove his nerves, temperament and abilities.

A good breeder will choose the best suited male for their female when they plan a breeding. Rarely is the best suited male in their backyard. A good breeder spends countless hours and puts much work into planning a breeding, including studying pedigrees to find a male that will bring traits to the female that she may be lacking. When all of this work and effort is put into a breeding, you are much more likely to get healthy, sound, well adjusted puppies compared to a litter where the breeder simply bred her “pet female” to her “pet male” that they happened to own at that time.

You may come across a good breeder that has a highly accomplished male that they wish to breed. In this case, the breeder may purposely seek out a female that will be suitable for their male to have a litter. This is a legitimate reason that a breeder may have both parents on site.

The fact is that seeing both parents on site is extremely over rated and should never be a selling point or deciding factor when considering a breeder and/or litter. Instead, ask questions about the father, ask for pictures and/or videos, ask for the stud dog owner’s contact info and speak with them about the dog, ask for more information about his temperament, drives, nerves, etc… Make sure that the father (as well as the mother) has the proper health testing done and has been proven to be breed worthy. All of this information is much more beneficial than seeing a pet run around his owner’s backyard or house.