How to Breed German Shepherd Dogs

By Louise Lawson

German shepherd dogs are one of the most recognizable breeds thanks to their popularity in the media. They are loyal, determined and hard-working companions and retain that majestic image even after decades of breeding. Selecting a stud dog for your female German shepherd can be a daunting task, but knowing what you want to produce in your litter beforehand will make your search much more enjoyable.

Review your female’s pedigree to determine her lineage. A good pairing of dogs is most successful when dogs of complimentary lineages are matched together. Take into consideration whether your female comes from show or working lines and begin your stud search from there.

Look over your female’s vet records. Only dogs that are considered to be healthy and good specimens of the German shepherd breed should produce puppies, so have your vet check your female over thoroughly. She should have her hips and elbows x-rayed and evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals to be sure she has no dysplasia. She should also have a current brucellosis test to be sure she is free of disease.

Show and title your female before breeding her. Quality German shepherds are most often produced from dogs that have proven their worthiness and working ability through trials and titles, so making sure your female is an acceptable breeding specimen is important to controlling quality and overpopulation.

Speak with experienced German shepherd breeders to ask any questions or voice any concerns you might have. A good breeder or mentor will be more than willing to discuss stud dogs and lineages with you to help ensure you get the best possible match for your breeding.

Contact breeders who own stud dogs you are interested in. The breeder will discuss with you her policies on outside studding and will most likely want to evaluate your female in person to see if the pairing will be likely to produce quality puppies. She will want to see your dog’s titles, vet records and certifications to assure that your female is an acceptable mate for her stud dog.

Discuss breeding fees and contracts with your breeder of choice. Often breedings are performed for a fee or a puppy from the ensuing litter, so check on what the breeder prefers. Review any contract clauses and sign any required paperwork to finalize the breeding arrangement.

Transport your female to the breeder’s kennel if your breeding will take place at her site. Most breeders prefer that the female come to their site so that the breeding can be performed on appropriate days. Be sure to bring along any supplies or special items that your female will need while she is away from home. If you plan on using artificial insemination instead for your breeding, contact your local veterinarian to arrange for collection and transport of the materials from the stud dog.

Pick up your female from the breeder when her fertile period is over and you and the breeder have agreed that she is ready to leave. Make sure you bring her crate with you and a few of her favorite treats to keep her calm and welcome her home. Being away from home can be stressful and you want to reduce her stress as much as possible after breeding.

Schedule an exam by your veterinarian to make sure the breeding was successful. Your vet will check your female over thoroughly to make sure she was not injured and will eventually ultrasound her to check on the success of the breeding. Be sure that you keep her in the best condition and environment possible after breeding to help nurture and develop your impending German Shepherd Dog litter.