We are a small family owned and operated kennel and we only produce a couple of litters per year, this small volume allows us the personal attention each puppy and puppy buyer deserves in this process. We take our responsibility for every puppy we produce, very seriously and care very much about the type of homes our puppies go to. As such, we require every potential puppy buyer to fill out a questionnaire so we can get to know a little bit about you and what you are looking for. Please bare with us in the process of getting to know you and finding out what you are looking for, wanting and needing in a German Shepherd. We love our dogs deeply and will only sell one of our dogs to someone we recognize to be a good fit for our dogs.
Once you have filled out a questionnaire and are approved for a Grothaus puppy, you may either put a deposit down, or be placed on our waiting list. A deposit is to hold the next puppy of the specific type you are looking for (temperament, drives, personality, sex, color). The waiting list is just a list that I can refer to once the puppies are born to call and announce what we have available. If you are on the waiting list and we produced the puppy you are looking for, you can then put a deposit down to hold that puppy until it is ready to go home. Please note, we do keep an active waiting list before each breeding takes place. The best way to ensure your next puppy is from Grothaus, is to place a deposit early.
The deposit is $300 and is accepted with a signed copy of the deposit contract after you have been approved. The deposit is not necessarily for a certain pick in the litter, it more stands for your place in line for which puppy works best for your family and lifestyle. I will evaluate the dogs during their entire lives with a dog training and behavior background as they grow under my close supervision. I’ll watch social interactions, confidence, drives, attitude, and personalities. As I watch over the litter of puppies, I can choose which one suits your needs best as a family, lifestyle, training disciplines, and goals. This means that I could have 7 puppies that are suitable, or one. Unfortunately, sometimes mother nature has other agendas besides attending to ours, and number of puppies, sexes, colors, and personalities can never be predicted. If none is the case, due to a deposit being placed on a planned litter and the litter not providing, the deposit may then be moved to another litter. The puppy pages, Facebook and Instagram will be updated regularly once the pregnancy is farther along, and then on until the puppies are sold. There will be pictures and videos and interested parties can watch the puppies personalities emerge as they grow. And as always, I’m available to answer any questions you may have about our dogs, our program and our puppy.
Yes, I will take back any dog from my breeding at any time in its life. I understand that sometimes “life happens” and people find themselves in a situation where they can no longer keep the dog. In these situations I will be happy to help you find a new home for the dog, or take it back and find it a new home myself. NOTE: I am not here to help you resale your dog, but find it a new home in the event you can’t keep it. Transportation to my house is the responsibility of the owner. If I take the dog back, once it is returned to me it is mine. I will work with it to help fix any issues it has, get to know what sort of placement would be best, and then I will place it in a home that I feel is suited for it. I cannot guarantee that any information regarding the new home will be shared with you, that will be up to the new owners to decide.
A sample copy of the contract can be found HERE
Health – pups health is warranteed until they are 3 years of age. This is not a lifetime guarantee for 2 reasons. First, if there is a concern about the dogs health, it should have been checked prior to the dog reaching 3 years of age. The sooner an issue is discovered, the sooner it can begin being treated the longer the dog will enjoy a happy/healthy life. Second, I make breeding decisions based on the health of not just the parents, but their siblings, aunts, uncles, and any past offspring they have produced. The owners of the past who have health checks done on their dogs have helped shaped the decisions that were made to produce the pups of the present. It is my hope that all puppy buyers will do basic health testing on their dogs prior to 3 years of age so this information can be used to make breeding decisions for the future.
Working Ability – I make every effort to match each pup and the abilities it shows to the proper home. However, after the pup leaves my premises I have no control over if the new owner properly socializes and trains it. Therefore I do not guarantee that a pup will achieve a certain level of title or working certification. Most people have heard “puppies are a crap shoot”. This is true, but it’s not always the puppy that makes it true, but how the new owner chooses to raise their puppy. I do realize though that sometimes a puppy does not grow up to be exactly what we thought it would at 8 weeks, even with proper socializing, training, etc. They are not machines, but living, breathing beings. If I feel that you have done right by your pup, and it just isn’t going to work out as desired, we will talk about a possible replacement, which is soley at my discretion.
The purchase process begins when you fill out the questionnaire and contact me about a puppy. I receive between 5 and 20 inquiries a week regarding puppies, the questionnaire has been designed as a way to begin to get to know you, and also keep track of “who is who” until we get to know each other better. After reviewing your questionnaire I will contact you with any questions I have, and answers to your questions. We will email or message back and forth discussing what you are looking for in a pup, what your plans for the pup are, and what I expect from the litter(s) you are interested in. If we decide that one of my litters is right for you, then you will be added to a waiting list.
The waiting list is a list of people that are interested in a litter; being on this list means that when the female goes into heat you will be contacted to let you know the breeding is coming up. After the breeding you are interested in has been done you will be contacted again with the opportunity to send in a deposit. People already on the waiting list will be contacted first, and have the opportunity to send in a deposit, before deposits are accepted from anyone else. A limited number of deposits will be taken prior to a litter being born, usually 4 to 6, so it is important that you respond ASAP as the waiting list usually has more names on it than the number of deposits I will accept.
After the litter is born I will contact people regarding the number of pups born and their gender. If I have 3 males and 3 females reserved and 5 males and 1 female are born anyone with a deposit will be given the opportunity to switch genders. If nobody is interested in switching genders then deposits would be held over to a future litter. The decision on who will receive which pup will be based on the home and the pup, and who I feel will be the best match to form a lasting partnership and great working team.
Pup prices range from $1800.00 to $2000.00, depending upon the cost to do the breeding. If I use a local dog, pups are usually $1800.00. If I am doing an artificial insemination, shipping a female across the US, or traveling to another country to do the breeding the price of the pups will increase. Each litter announcement on the Announcement page will indicate the price of the litter.
Many people ask me what the letters after a dog’s name mean. And what the hip ratings mean. This is a great question and requires a very lengthy answer. First, I must explain that each country like Germany, Czech, and Poland for example all have different working titles they use as well as different names and ratings for hips. Not to mention the fact that these are all done in the native language to that country. So needless to say that can mean a load of information that can overwhelm even the most diligent person. Therefore I am only listing the most common abbreviations. So we will start off with the most common hip and show/obedience ratings.
The two main hip rating systems used in the USA are the OFA, which is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and the Penn Hip, which is The University of Pennsylvania’s hip rating test. Both tests are good but each a bit different. The OFA is done by a panel of three judges who look over your dog’s x-ray’s done by a licensed veterinarian and decide unanimously on the score. The scores range from Excellent to Severe Dispylstic.
The Penn HIP is done also by a certified and licensed vet who sends the x-rays to the college who then determines the laxity or amount that the dog’s hip joint’s come out of the socket. Thus telling you the amount of displsia it currently has or will develop in the future. Each hip is given a score of .30 being excellent and .60 being displastic. That is a basic explanation of US hip ratings now we will move onto US American Kennel club obedience ratings. I have added only obedience titles below you can visit AKC.org for titles explained in other events, such as Conformation and Rally.
- OFA: Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (Hip Certification in U.S.).
- OVC: Ontario Veterinary College (Hip Certification in Canada).
- CGC: The dog has a Canine Good Citizen certificate.
- Penn HIP: Developed at University of Pennsylvania (USA)
- Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde: (German Shepherd Dog Club) The original GSD breed club and breed registry, based in Germany.
- SV: Schaferhund Verein, GSD Society of West Germany.
- CKC: Canadian Kennel Club.
Obedience Titles for the American Kennel Club:
AKC titles can only be earned at an AKC-licensed or member club trial. The Novice (CD) title must be completed before an exhibitor can enter the Open class. The Open title (CDX) must be earned before an exhibitor can enter the Utility class.
Companion Dog (CD) – The letters CD may be added after a dog’s registered name when it has been certified by three different judges as receiving qualifying scores in classes at three licensed or member obedience trials.
Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) – The letters CDX may be added after a dog’s registered name after it has been certified by three different judges as receiving qualifying scores in Open classes at three licensed or member obedience trials.
Utility Dog (UD) – The letters UD may be added after a dog’s registered name after it has been certified by three different judges as receiving qualifying scores in Utility classes at three licensed or member obedience trials.
Utility Dog Excellent (UDX) – Dogs with UD titles must earn qualifying scores in both Open B and Utility B at 10 trials in order to add the UDX title after their registered names.
Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) – Dogs with UD titles must win 100 points and a first-place in Utility B and Open B, plus a third first-place win in either class, under three different judges.
National Obedience Champion (NOC) – The AKC awards this prestigious title annually to the dog that wins the AKC National Obedience Invitational. The letters NOC are placed before the dog’s AKC-registered name and become part of the dog’s permanent title.
Tracking Degree (TD) – AKC tracking title- The TD track is from 440-to-500 yards long with 3-to-5 turns (or change in direction) and aged from a half-hour to two hours.A dog must indicate a glove or wallet placed at the end of the track.Tracks are plotted in an open field with uniform cover.There are no obstacles such as roads, ditches or woods.The start of the track will be marked with a flag.A second flag is placed 30 yards from the start flag to indicate the direction of the first leg of the track.There are no other flags in the field.
Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) – The TDX track is 800-to-1000 yards long, with 5-to-7 turns and aged from 3-to-5 hours.The track also has two sets of cross (diversionary) tracks and has some of the aforementioned obstacles.The start is marked with a single flag and the dog must determine the direction of the first leg.There are four dissimilar articles for each track, one at the start and three more on the track.
Variable Surface Tracking (VST) – A VST track is from 600-to-800 yards long, with 4-to-8 turns, and aged from 3-to-5 hours.The articles must be one each of leather, cloth, plastic and metal.The VST track must also contain three different surfaces with one turn on a non-vegetated surface such as concrete.This test demonstrates the utility of the tracking dog to work in an urban environment.
Common German Working titles:
AD: Aus dauerprufing – 12 mile endurance test.
BH: Begleithunde – Temperment and traffic safe test.
WH: Watch Dog.
DH: Dienshund – Service dog.
HGH: Herdengebrauchshund, Herding Dog – a qualification of dogs working with flocks.
TD: Tracking Dog – Qualification title for nose work.
FH: Fahrtenhund – Tracking qualification.
FH1: Advanced Tracking.
FH2: Superior Tracking Qualification.
UD: Utility Dog – Working Qualification.
ZH: Zollhund – Dog trained to work with customs police.
SchH1: Novice Schutzhund qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection.
SchH2: Intermediate Schutzhund qualification in tracking, obedience, and protection.
SchH3: Masters level of Schutzhund tracking, obedience, and protection.
IPO1: International Novice Schutzhund trial qualification.
IPO2: International Intermediate Schutzhund.
IPO3: International Masters level Schutzhund.
German Show and Hip Ratings
German Conformation titles:
ZB: Zuchtbewertung – Conformation Show Rating followed by:
VA: Vorzuglich Auslese – Excellent Select,the highest attainable award by a German show dog and granted only at the annual Sieger Show.
V: Vorzuglich – Excellent.
SG: Sehr Gut – Very Good; an official German show grade and the highest obtainable by dogs under two.
G: Gut – Good.
A: Austreichend – Sufficient.
M: Mangelhaft – Faulty.
U: Ungenugend – Insufficient.
Sieger or Siegerin: Title given to the top Male and Female at the German National Show, they will also receive the rating of VA-1
Weltsieger: World Seiger title awarded to the top dog at the FCI All Breed Show
German Hip Ratings:
“a” – Zuerkannt: Certified hips that fell within the following three categories:
“a” -1 Normal – Certified Normal Hips
“a” -2 Fast Normal – Certified Near Normal Hips
“a” – 3 Noch Zugelassen – Certified still permissible Hips
German Breed Survey:
Korung: German breed survey to select animals for breeding. Class 1 animals recommended, Class 2 animals suitable.
KKL1: Korklasse I – Breed surveyed recommended for breeding
KKLII: Korklasse II – Breed surveyed suitable for breeding.
Lbz: Lebenszeit – Lifetime rating.
ZW Zuchtwert: ZW-value — Zuchtwert evaluation — is a Breed Value Assessment – a number assigned that gives an indication of the genotype of the dog for breeding purposes.
Our statistics prove that individuals with an SV-Breed Value of around 85-95 do not improve anything. Improvement can only be expected when the parents show Breed Values of 75 and below.
And the answer is… Everything!
The German Shepherd began as a herding and working dog. Put through a series of tests over the years through service and Schutzhund/IPO work. Generations of Germans put their time and efforts into creating a breed that could stand the test of time. A breed that could herd sheep and protect our children. A versatile breed able to track lost children and take down a suspect.
American Show Line Shepherd (ASL)
Unfortunately when the German shepherd reached the American soil it became another breed altogether and was no longer bred for service or working ability but simply to be a pretty show dog. Over the years the rear angulations got more and more severe until their hocks grazed the ground and their rear ends sloped so badly they are no longer useful for any function other then the show ring. Along with their bone structure their temperaments also changed. No longer bred to serve a purpose their temperaments began to be unstable and often unreliable. The AKC puts no regulations on breeding dogs and any dog that is registered with them can be bred. So as the American show line breeders continue to breed underage, unproven and untitled dogs with faulty hips, our German shepherd as it once was continues to be lost.
German Conformation Line Shepherd (GSL)
The main difference in the German show line and the American show line is that in Germany they are required to have a Schutzhund title and clear hips and elbows to be bred. With the Germans putting some amount of regulations on who can be bred, the German show line has not been as affected by the rear angulations and sloppy breeding standards of the Americans. However, most German show lines can be traced to roughly three different dogs and run the risk of being over/in bred. They come from basically three differant kennels; Arminius, Wienerau, and Wildsteiger Land and they are, like the American show line, bred to be a show dog and therefore are not bred to be anything more. With their working temperments bred out of them they most often barely pass their Schutzhund trials and are then used for breeding. Therefore you see very few going on to make a career out of civil work such as police, border partol or even a prolonged Schutzhund career. Their coloring is virtually always black and tan with the traditional saddleback. They are a heavier build then the American line and have bigger, blocker heads.
European Working Line Shepherd (WL)
The European working line shepherd is bred for a job. They generally have a smaller build and have a wide variety of colors (not white). The working lines could include Czech, DDR (East) and West German working lines, (not West German show lines) I myself have found great success in crossing the DDR lines and the West working lines to produce very nice family companions who are structurally sound as well. The working line breeders put a strong emphasis on working ability and temperament testing. And of course if the dog is not structurally sound it cannot perform its working jobs. So dogs with fair hips and poor angulations would never hold up in a working environment. The working lines have little to no rear angulations and their hocks are straighter, making them healthier and more agile animals. Their temperaments have been a top priority for years and remain stable today. I truly believe that the working line is the shepherd that Max von Stephanitz had in mind when he created the breed. A dog that could do any job put before them and at the end of the day curl up under their children’s feet and protect the house at night.
Costa von Karthago, of Neumond German Shepherds, is an example because of her increadable working pedigree and body structure. You can clearly see how closely she resembles the great foundation sire Bernd vom Lierberg below.
Yes, I will place puppies in ‘active’ pet homes. While a working German Shepherd can also make a great house dog and companion, this is when it’s also being actively trained or worked and has the outlet needed for its drives and working abilities. A pet home provides the pet portion of this equation, but not the other part, the working portion. The traits that make a GSD one of the top working dogs (drive, intelligence, energy, reactivity, character, possessiveness, resiliency, and athletic ability are the same traits that make a working line GSD in the right hands a super star and in the wrong hands a disaster in the making. A getman shepherd that does not have a daily outlet for its working energy/drives will quickly become bored/unhappy and will find things to do, which may include remodeling your house, landscaping your yard and re-arranging your furniture. Not to mention developing neurotic behaviors such as barking at the leaves on the trees, constant pacing, etc. Taking an 8 week puppy class at the local PetCo isn’t going to be enough of a training outlet for your GSD. If you want a working German Shepherd, you need to plan to be involved in a training club and train not just weekly with the club but during the week on your own plus socialization and other “outings”.
I believe a working German Shepherd can also be a great house dog/companion, if you are honest with yourself and willing to put in the time and effort.
Many people that read our motto seem to have missed the “that WORK” portion and focus on the “in the home” portion. Our dogs are bred first and foremost to work, and if they are given a job to do they are happy to live with you. Yes, they can be house dogs, but this does not mean they are couch potatoes that are happy with a walk around the block 3 times a day to potty, and playing Frisbee at the park once a week. When I have one of my dogs out and about and people meet it, their impression is a well behaved, social or socially neutral dog and they assume that is just the natural state of the breed. They do not realize the hours of training, socialization and work that have gone into raising the dog and that part of what they are looking at are trained behaviors. If you aren’t willing to put that time and energy into your own dog, you will not end up with the same type of adult.
Yes. Puppies can be shipped pretty much anywhere, not just within the US, but to other countries also. Some countries have specific import requirements such as certain vaccinations, age requirements, or other requirements. It is up to the buyer, when outside the US, to research the requirements to import a puppy into their country. For international flights the buyer may also need to be involved in making the flight arrangements, sometimes it’s easier to do from the country the pup is being shipped to. The buyer is responsible for all shipping related expenses, including but not limited to the health certificate, crate, flight, and any other costs. At 8 weeks I make one trip to PDX airport to ship puppies from a litter, if a buyer needs special arrangements (shipping on a different date, or from a different airport) there may be additional costs.
All puppies are sold on limited registration. While I am not against people breeding a dog they purchase from me, I am against people telling me they have all these plans for their dog (high level titles, working certifications, etc) so they can get the best puppy in the litter, and then do nothing with it except pump out pups, many times without even doing basic health checks. I have spent years and 1000’s of thousands of dollars working with this breed, studying dogs, bloodlines, training, competing, etc.
There are too many unethical breeders putting puppies out there that do not know bloodlines, what dogs will combine well, or put any effort into finding the right homes. Their pups are for sale to anyone who has a check that clears. Many of the dogs being used for breeding aren’t being worked themselves, but are from a working pedigree, and are still capable of producing some working potential in their pups, meaning the pups need to be in homes that are prepared to deal with them. These people will produce a litter or two, discover they can’t sell the pups, wind up with a number of untrained, unsocialized 4-6 month old pups that are destroying their home, and then move on to something else, doing who knows what with the GSD they currently have. Many times I see these dogs being sold to the highest bidder to become a new fly by night breeders breeding stock, for the next round of disasters waiting to happen. I want my pups going to homes that will do something with them, not just leave them in a kennel and pump pups out. If someone has taken the time to train/title their female, understands what it has to offer the breed, done the health checks, researched the lines, and feels it is worth breeding then I will change the registration to full (this is covered in more detail in contract). If the breeding being done is one I approve of I will also provide support and send potential pup buyers their way.