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How our puppies are raised

      Each WindRidge German Shepherd puppy receives the love and tenderness of a family home, with the socialization needed for superior attitude, perfection in temperament, ease of trainability, and a stellar personality. This combined with their large bone, incredible black & red, bi-colored and sable coats and beautiful structure makes them some of the highest quality German Shepherds. Our dogs are bred with the personality that will suit most family homes. We believe these components are essential for dogs – whether owned as family companions or trained in more complex training.

      WindRidge is dedicated to breeding only the finest quality German Shepherds. Our goal is to produce clear-headed, social puppies and dogs that not only have beautiful looks but are healthy from head to tail. No detail is left without attention in our program! We strive for excellence, we will only except OFA prelims and final ratings of GOOD or EXCELLENT, FCI of A-1 or A-2, SV of A/Normal, Cardiac Normal, Eyes Normal, DM Clear (N/N)-no carriers, DNA testing, and fully cleared Embark panel.

      With continued training our puppies/dogs have excelled in many venues including obedience competition, scent work, Search and Rescue, Guide, Mobility and Therapy dogs, conformation as well as devoted and affectionate pets that are capable of protecting its family if needed. We carefully expose our litters to a very wide variety of sights, smells, sounds, surfaces, people, and other animals while implementing Puppy Culture (ENS and ESI puppy stimulation). Every WindRidge puppy, teenager or adult comes with a lifetime of breeder support and interest in their training and achievements. Our puppies have wonderful temperaments, are very eager to please, and easily master obedience. Their lineage includes numerous AKC Champions, AKC obedience titled dogs, IPO-Schutzhund dogs, dogs with European titles and additional working, herding and scent work titles.

      Buyers seeking high-drive German Shepherds should continue your search for a different German Shepherd Dog breeder. WindRidge purposely does not breed for that type of German Shepherd. Instead, we strive for happy, healthy, low to med drives in our puppies and dogs that do not require a constant job but will proudly work, train and be as active or non-active as its human owner/handler.  Personally, we do not want a puppy/dog that has to be worked several hours every day, for hours on end or else it is destructive, loud, bored, can’t settle or relax and has no OFF switch.

      We start handling our puppies from birth and find the pups thrive on this hands-on contact and stimulation forming a strong human bond. We try to excel in puppy placement. Therefore, the cutest, fluffiest, most playful puppy may not meet your needs, allow us to assist you in making this important, lifelong decision. Choosing a puppy that is right for you takes time and careful consideration. We want you and your new puppy to live a happy and rewarding life together.

  WindRidge puppies are delivered in our home nursery-into loving awaiting human hands. They are raised within our home, with our family.  We are able to put a lot of time and individual focus on each puppy’s growth, development and individual enrichment needs. One of our goals as a responsible breeder is to set each of our puppies up to win on whatever path they end up on.

      The first 12 weeks of a puppy’s life are incredibly important. This is an almost magical time when a breeder has the power to change the outcome of a puppy’s life by what we choose to teach him/her. By doing just the right things at just the right time, we can give your puppy the best start possible.

 Some of our puppies will go on to become therapy- mobility, scent or working dogs, others coexisting in several types of family settings as cherished members of the family.  We perform ESI in addition to ENS and Puppy Culture Curriculum, so that they have a greater start in their future. This is a value-added service that makes a big difference in our puppies as well as the families they become a part of.

      You may have heard of Puppy Culture but aren’t exactly sure what it’s all about. Here you will learn in layman’s terms what it involves and the amazing outcomes it produces.


      What is Puppy Culture? Puppy Culture is a socialization and training program specifically developed for puppies from birth through the end of their critical socialization period, with age-appropriate protocols and lessons laid out in an organized format. Puppy Culture is a program developed by Jane Killion, professional dog trainer and breeder. It is a comprehensive, organized program for breeders to follow during the first weeks of a puppy’s life. Puppy Culture is the result of decades of animal behavior research and the science of promoting healthy physical and behavioral responses in dogs, while deterring problem behaviors from a very young age. Puppy Culture begins on day 3 of the puppy’s life.


      After ENS and ESI are complete, the fun really starts in week three. This is where the socialization and behavioral training begins as the puppies are beginning to discover each other, their environment, and getting a sense of self. Each puppy’s personality is starting to emerge! Over weeks three through eight, Puppy Culture protocols all work toward building seven principles into each puppy while they are a blank slate. Most people think of socialization as exposing their puppies to as many new experiences as possible while the puppy is young. While this is part of the process, it’s not enough. Our goal is to raise dogs that have the emotional intelligence to connect with you.


      This is an incredible amount of work, but it is 100% ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT!!!!!! When your puppy is ready to go home, you will be just as thankful as we are for this program! It's one more layer of work we provide in growing strong foundations for our puppies and their futures.

      For your convenience, included in the purchase price of each puppy, WindRidge purchases the AKC Puppy Protection Package for you and your puppy:


      German Shepherds for Real Life: WindRidge German Shepherds is proud to be chosen by the AKC as a Select Breeder and a premiere participant in the AKC's Puppy Protection Package Plus program. We are the first German Shepherd Dog breeders in the United States able to offer our customers unsurpassed benefits for their new puppies provided by the AKC. We are thrilled to have been included in the development of this program and know it is one more step we can take to provide the BEST protection for our puppies. Thank you to the AKC, for recognizing our devotion to the German Shepherd Dog breed by honoring us with this exclusive opportunity. 

Do you ever wonder where your puppy comes from when you can't physically visit WindRidge?

Just A Pet...

      “I don’t care about papers.”, “I just want a pet, not a show dog”, or “Who cares if it’s out of standard, I just want a companion”, or ‘’ I just want a cheap puppy/dog’’

      I see this time and time again when people are on the hunt for a new puppy to add to their family. It is often used as an excuse to purchase from a less than reputable breeder or to find what is the cheapest.  They feel they don’t need all the “bells and whistles” because they do not understand why they are so important. Breeding should be for a purpose, and it is okay if that purpose is companionship, but health testing should still be done on all dogs prior to breeding in order to better the breed. So, what exactly does that mean? It is a multifaceted concept, but in short bettering the breed means breeding toward the breed’s standard, breeding away from flaws, breeding for ideal temperament and drive, and breeding away from heritable diseases.


      The breed standard encompasses everything from structure to temperament to color. It is designed in such a way to provide a dog most well suited physically and mentally for whatever job they were meant to do. The breed standard is also one of the wonderful things about owning a purebred and well-bred dog. It means you know exactly what you are getting into, from size to energy level to drive to coat type. When the breed standard is ignored, you end up with dogs with structural problems that lead to degenerative joint issues or dogs, horrific diseases that with health tested parents could and would have never presented in the puppy, or with temperaments the exact opposite of what they were supposed to be which can often result in dogs being rehomed, dumped, or even euthanized.

      So, while you may not want a show dog, a breeder who shows their dogs in conformation is proving objectively that their breeding stock fits the standard and a breeder who shows in sport or work is proving their dog has the correct trainability and drive. Every litter from two show dog parents is going to consist primarily of pet dogs, which is a better source for your family pet than the backyard breeder found on Craigslist, the litter from work or sport parents will also have puppies suitable for active -athletic families, because 𝗯𝘂𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗶𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗵𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀𝗻’𝘁 𝗯𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗱𝗲.

      Breeding away from heritable diseases is one of the most important aspects of reputable breeding in my eyes. It means doing thorough health testing based on what the breed club recommends and only breeding those who pass. The goal is to create an even healthier next generation. Health tests are one way of doing this, but registration and pedigrees are the other. For example, there are not any reliable DNA tests for epilepsy which is one of the few issues Siberian huskies can have. Because there are no tests, it is important for a breeder to be able to study pedigrees and avoid lines known to carry it. So, while you may not see the merit in papers, they serve a purpose and an important one.

(It is also important to be aware that papers/registration 𝗮𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗲 does not make a dog well bred.)

      Doing things, the right/correct way costs money, a reputable breeder puts in so many hours of training, thousands of dollars in health testing and competition, acquiring or producing select dogs to join individual programs,  energy, lost sleep/holidays/vacations, continues education, understands trial and error, and invests a lot of love into each dog and individual breeding programs to ensure that you, the buyer, saves thousands of dollars in vet bills, heartbreak, loss and pain of that cheap puppy/dog, insuring you receives a healthy and happy puppy. It basically comes down to paying a responsible breeder from the beginning, or more often than not paying more so in vet bills/extra specialty training on an ill puppy with a undesirable temperament. 

      The world of reputable breeding is a big one and it can be a confusing one, but it is important to understand these things. The sooner we stop making these excuses for backyard breeders and puppy mills, due to lack of education, the sooner we can put an end to them.

*Original poster unknown, individual additions by WindRidge GSD,LLC.*

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