If you buy a German Shepherd puppy in England do not be misled by the fact that it has a Kennel Club ‘pedigree’. All that means is that the dog or puppy is registered with the Kennel Club and has a Kennel Club pedigree certificate. This Kennel Club ‘pedigree’ provides absolutely NO guarantee of health, temperament or conformity to the breed standard. It is very important to understand this. People mistakenly assume that a Kennel Club ‘pedigree’ is a guarantee of quality or fitness for purpose. It is not. All that is required to register a ‘pedigree’ German Shepherd puppy with the Kennel Club is that both of the parents of the dog must be of the same breed of dog registered with the Kennel Club (or a recognised foreign club), that the parents were between the ages of 1 and 8 years of age at the date of mating and that the female dog has not previously registered four litters with the Kennel Club during the course of her lifetime.

There are more specialised restrictions such as father/daughter matings not being allowed but most people would regard those as obvious. What is really important to understand is that in England there are no health checks required of the parents, there are no DNA tests to ensure that the parents are who they are said to be, there is no test of fitness of purpose for breeding in terms of character, temperament or conformity to the breed standard. These things can and should be tested before breeding and in other countries they are but that is not compulsory in England.

If you stop to think about this you will realise why a Kennel Club ‘pedigree’ offers no guarantee of anything. It is just a piece of paper. It is a necessary piece of paper for a pedigree dog in the UK because the Kennel Club is the only registering authority in this country for pedigree dogs but it tells you nothing about the health or fitness for purpose of the dog. You should also be aware that the Kennel Club registers German Shepherds which do not comply with the internationally recognised breed standard. There is a type of German Shepherd dog, best described as an ‘Alsatian’, which is recognised by the Kennel Club but which has no recognition outside of this country.

This matters because many, if not most, German Shepherds seen in the UK are of poor quality and they often suffer from health and temperament issues. Therefore, please do your homework before buying a GSD. There are reputable breeders in the UK who breed to a standard far in excess of the requirements of the Kennel Club but they are relatively few in number compared to the many breeders who continue to produce mediocre dogs or ‘Alsatians’. Germany is the home of the German Shepherd Dog and its German Shepherds are universally recognised as the best in the world. Please continue in order to understand the difference between what is required in Germany to breed a German Shepherd and what is required in the UK. You will then understand why Germany produces the best German Shepherds and know what to look for when you are looking to buy a German Shepherd puppy. The difference is essentially the difference between buying a car without looking at the paperwork or buying it and checking the log book, MOT and service record. You would not buy a car without carrying out certain basic checks. You run the same risk if you do not check basic things when you buy a German Shepherd puppy.

To find out more about what really to look for when you buy a German Shepherd puppy in England click on the link.

Some of our puppies at 11 days old

Araxes Damaris at Christmas

© Araxes GSD