Excellent German Shepherd Breeding
How is Del Cono Sur Different than Other Breeders?

Good German Shepherd breeding starts with good females of good families. A Good family is determined by the quality of siblings more so than the fame of parents and grand parents. It is far better to breed with a mother who has excellent structure, health and character and whose siblings display similar qualities, than to another who is a top ranking show dog with a superb pedigree but whose siblings were rejects.

Genetic power, far from being a biblical list of famous up-line names, is more a matter of soundness in the immediate family tree--brothers and sisters of the breeding pair, and brothers and sisters of their immediate parents. The milestone producers of our time come from strong litters: The "L" litter Wienerau, the "Q" litter Arminius, the "P" litter Wildsteiger Land, suggesting that the genetic power of an individual dog like Lido Wienerau, or Quando Arminius, or his mother Palme Wildsteiger Land were animals who emerged from a strong sibling quality. This scenario concentrates the "good genes" into a more homozygous "package".

A Unique German Shepherd Breeding Method and Client Policy

  1. We start with mothers of excellent health, structure and temperament. These mothers must have at least one or more litter mates who themselves are excellent in similar ways. This ensures family strength essential to establish a strong genetic concentration.
  2. We do not breed to the latest import or to famous names on a pedigree (a common mistake among inexperienced breeders) but rather to sires who have convinced us with proven results. These males must also live up to the same criteria set for females in point #1
  3. We also recognize that many sires are excellent themselves but have a shallow gene pool or are unable to produce good offspring. We avoid "glitter" dogs with flashy show-wins yet with poor or no records as producers.
  4. We are our first clients! We breed in order to improve on the previous generation. We breed to shape the future of our kennel and create a strong foundation. Our goal is to produce puppies who, on the average, are better than each individual parent.
  5. We keep the superstars . We don't fool around with your expectations or lie to get your money. If you truly want a top prospect be prepared to wait until three things have happened: a) Is old enough to show its true potential (at least four months of age) b) Is old enough to have preliminary hips and elbows done (four to six months of age) Shows temperament consistent with those who develop into strong working dogs.
  6. We evaluate each puppy fully and price them according to their "REAL" quality. Then we disclose the reasons why each is ranked in a particular way.
  7. We send you information on videotape so you have a full--three-dimensional view of the puppy or adult you are buying. We make recommendations on shipping routes and make arrangements for shipping. We answer all your questions and are always eager to hear from you and follow up on every one of our dogs.

Three Mistakes People Make in Buying a Puppy
Everyone seems to have a "world class" puppy, a "perfect match for your needs," a dog they simply "cannot say anything negative about." German Shepherd advertising is at an all-time high of competitiveness. Breeders invest in costly and elaborate schemes to get your attention. The price tag of such advertisement is passed on to you, but not always the quality you expect and deserve .

Mistake #1: Falling for the "World Class" advertising schemes.

A respected judge from Germany once said: "If you are producing an average of one top dog in every two litters, you are doing very well as a breeder" This, from someone living in Germany with access to the very best in the world. However, when you look at the flashy web sites flooding the US market everyone has "world class" dogs available to you (a complete stranger) for a premium price.

Truth is that even for accomplished breeders, the vast majority of their puppies are not competitive. Furthermore, a good breeder interested in the future of his or her kennel is reluctant to give up their very best. A truly competitive young dog or puppy is priceless for its rarity and are usually held back or placed with trusted friends or experienced people. The vast majority are then marked for sale.

Unless you have a sophisticated knowledge of bloodlines, structure, and temperament you will likely be the recipient of "kennel surplus". If you have no intentions of showing, this may not be of concern, but by the same token, you should not have to pay a high price for a second rate puppy.

The way we see it, the most important client is the one providing the "pet home." This client finances a breeder's goals, and must not be mistreated or mislead with false promises of greatness. Unfortunately many sell second rate puppies for top dollar using as as smokescreen a pedigree that proves "daddy was a world champion."

Mistake #2: Believing all that shines is Golden

Genes combine to produce the best and the worst. The best stud dogs in the world (yes even the Sieger) have the uncanny ability to render a work of art or "art that can use a lot of work" (the second with much more frequency).

In simple terms, a good producer is a dog that is dominant for quality while a poor producer is not able to equal or better himself in his progeny. The best-kept-secret among German Shepherd Breeders is that most of us have been victims at one point or another of export schemes and dog brokers who specialize in selling dogs of the second kind.

A dog is born from famous parents, he or she is put through the system, used for breeding, and soon, almost magically, appears in web sites and specialized magazines for the world to buy! So we eagerly welcome in our international airports the latest arrival from Europe with their cargo of sometimes positive but often poor combination of genetic impotence.

It is from these good looking dogs with nice pedigrees but with often major hidden agendas, that we buy puppies from. This, leads us to the final mistake.

Mistake #3: Buying into the "Vanity Paper"

How many times have I looked through the pages of a show catalogue in great anticipation to see a direct "heir" of a renowned dog just to find a specimen that falls short of the minimum quality standard. What is more sad is to see a newcomer who paid in the thousands leave the show shell shocked and in last place. How many times have I myself sold puppies from top imports later to find that I must replace half the litter due to health issues and insurmountable congenital problems. The lesson although hard is simple: A pedigree is not a guarantee of good quality. Getting caught up in glitter names or latest fads only helps to jack up puppy prices but little else.

Regardless of background, and impressive paperwork, each puppy must be evaluated individually, each breeding dog must be scrutinized seriously, and each client must be told what to expect for a given price. Finding a balance between quality and price is the responsibility of an honest breeder, but knowing who to deal with is ultimately yours.

How WE Evaluate and Price Puppies
Following is an example of how we rate our puppies. In keeping with our determination and mission of honesty and full disclosure we let you peer into our minds and educate you, the buyer, on how we make choices and pricing decisions. The puppies below are some we have bred and sold or kept behind for competition.

Evaluation examples: (these are only examples, not actual dogs for sale)

A First Rate puppy destined to stardom: Preliminary hips and elbows good. Started in drive development for SchH and ring training. Very confident, full of drive puppy. Excellent movement. Somewhat low in the pastern at this time but this will improve with time.

The same puppy three months later, now a reality, and a top show winner.

Second Best Puppy : Very promising prospect with excellent potential for show and training. Very good drives and great disposition. Preliminary hips good. Drive development started.

Third Best Puppy : A large-boned female with an excellent head. The tail is not perfectly straight and has some minor structural shortcomings for show purposes.  Otherwise a very nice looking puppy with good preliminary hips.

Fourth Best Puppy: This female did not pass our stringent criteria as a show prospect (her light color and longer body for example.) These criteria however do not interfere with her potential as an excellent, healthy companion dog.

As you see from the above examples, the concept is simply to give the buyer an honest and educated evaluation of the prospective puppies. We do not charge high prices for the entire litter, but rather rank them according to their true potential. This way we avoid creating false expectations and broken hearts.

What to Look for in a German Shepherd Breeder

Checklist to Choosing a Good Breeder

There are two qualities that set a breeder apart from the rest: The first is a deep knowledge of the breed which should be reflected in a successful breeding program. The second, and more important, is honesty with self and with their clients.

A good breeder is someone who:

  • Takes time to listen to you and to match you with the right puppy
  • Has a clear picture of what his/her puppies will grow up to become
  • Discusses bloodlines, temperament and diseases openly
  • Sends you detailed information on puppies and parents.
  • Stays with you over the years with training tips and advise
  • Is experienced, knowledgeable and respected.
  • Breeds for the the love of the German Shepherd dog, not economic survival
  • Keeps puppy prices reasonable in spite of market hype

Quality German Shepherd Breeding