Breeders usually release their puppies when they are around three months old. The difficulty lies in the fact that dogs, much like humans, tend to change appearances as they grow older.
German Shepherds, in particular, start as cute little balls of fluff with floppy ears and dark fur. Those who are not familiar with the breed may not be able to reconcile the adult dog to the puppy because there is a vast difference in appearance, initially.
Your best bet is to ask the breeder or the kennel for documents regarding the sire (male dog) and the dam (female dog). A responsible breeder keeps track of his dogs and registers them with the local or national dog breed associnamesation.
A legitimate breeder will have the registration papers of both parents and a pedigree of both dogs up to several degrees. Puppy pedigrees might come later since the registration may take some time because some breeders might register the puppies under the new owners’ names.
Other important documents that should come along with the parents are health cards. Although these will not help much with technically proving the purity of the breed, it will show how much care the breeder has put into the sire and the dam.
Backyard breeders do not take much care of the parents of the puppies since all they need to do is to produce offspring. Ask for an up-to-date health card before you buy it. Be mindful of the schedule for immunization and shots because some shots may need to be followed with just a week or two lapses.
Puppies look different from the adult. but there are characteristics that you can check in puppies that can be an indication of being purebred.
See if the puppy has big paws. German Shepherd puppies tend to have paws that look exceptionally large and out of proportion from the rest of the body.
Another thing you can look out for is the ears of the puppy. Although initially floppy, GSD puppies start to show signs of erecting starting three months of age. The ears usually grow straight up with a tendency of falling together towards the center of the head.
Some puppies may exhibit unevenness in their ears, one up and one down, but rest assured, it is unusual for the ears to stay down after eight months of age.
You should also take note of the puppy’s color. Standard colors for GSDs that are the norm range from black and tan, black and red, pure black and pure white.
There are also non-traditional colors such as sable, blue, liver, panda, piebald, seal, and silver. There has been a lot of arguments regarding non-standard colors and traditionalists who want to protect the breed do not want non-traditional coloring to be accepted in most organizations.
An effective way to prove that your German Shepherd puppy is purebred is to employ DNA testing.
Several Universities and organizations gather data from dogs all over the country through a database while providing DNA testing for dogs. You need to swab your dog’s mouth, send the swab to the organization or University, and wait for the result in a few weeks.
Aside from DNA, some laboratories also provide the percentage of breeds found in your puppy. You can also ask your vet for guidance regarding DNA testing.
Overall DNA testing is the best way to prove that the German Shepherd puppy is a purebred pup.
Some unscrupulous backyard breeders may show bogus documents for their dogs. It is also a good idea to get from responsible breeders who have built a reputation for themselves with regards to the Geman Shepherd.
Picture Source: pixabay