Frequently Asked Questions
What made you get into breeding German Shepherds?
I have owned German Shepherds for 11+ years and throughout that time I have owned dogs from backyard breeders and dogs from reputable ethical breeders. The differences I can see in them has made me come to see the importance of getting a dog from an ethical breeder. Having lived in Hawaii my whole life, I have seen a huge increase in backyard breeding and I would like to give others the opportunity to get a well-bred dog.
What makes Island Shepherds different from other German Shepherd breeders in the Islands?
We actively train and compete in Schutzhund.
Our breeding dogs are fully health tested and not just "health checked" (physical exam by a vet)
We are not a large kennel and only have two females. We will only have one or two litters a year. We strive for quality not quantity.
We do not let owners choose their puppies. We place puppies into each home.
We only give limited registration until dogs are proven to be breed worthy or are spayed/neutered
What do you consider an ethical breeder?
Will complete all health testing required for their breed. For German Shepherds, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America requires OFA hips and elbows at a minimum. Some breeders will even go above and beyond the minimum requirements.
They participate in sports or conformation
They know their dogs lineage
Will not give full registration
Will thoroughly screen potential buyers
They want to be kept in contact with
Will often keep puppies until 10 weeks of age
Will offer health guarantees/warranties
Will always take back a puppy/dog that they have produced
Will place puppies into suitable homes
Will answer any questions you may have and offer lifetime support
Why do you not give full AKC registration?
As ethical breeders, we breed to improve the breed. We understand that not every single dog we produce will be suitable for breeding. We will happily give full registration once certain requirements are met that show that the dog is suitable for breeding (health testing, titles, etc...) We will also give full registration with proof that the dog has been spayed/neutered which we do not recommend until at least 18 months old.
Why do you not allow buyers to choose their own puppies?
Breeders know their puppies the best. Buyers may only see the puppies a couple of times and spend very little time with them. Making a decision based on spending 30 minutes with them is not how we run our program. We spend everyday with them. We know their ins and outs. We do testing and evaluations to see which puppies will be the right fit for each home. While of course puppies can change and what the breeder sees may not be what the dog will eventually turn out to be. But we try our best to ensure that each puppy goes to a home that's best suited for them. We want to do our best to ensure that we find forever homes for them. If buyers cannot understand this and want to choose their own puppies then they are not the right fit for our Island Shepherds family.
What happens if an owner can no longer care for the puppy/dog they received from Island Shepherds?
While we hope that all our puppies find their forever homes right from the start, we understand that unforeseen circumstances can occur. Our contract states that if you can no longer care for the puppy or dog for whatever reason, you must first contact us here at Island Shepherds. The puppy can be returned to us or we can assist with rehoming. If we are not contacted and the puppy or dog is rehomed without our knowledge or surrendered to a shelter we will take legal action against you.