1. Registration:
a. This puppy will be registered with the AKC by Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds with a name chosen by Vom Haus Middleton followed by “Vom Haus Middleton”. Buyer agrees to notify Seller of any change in contact information. Vom Haus Middleton may give Buyer the option of picking a name for the puppy if the name has not been used previously.
Buyer agrees to the terms: _______________(Initial)

2. Deposits:
a. A $500 non-refundable deposit must be submitted in order to place a puppy on “hold”. Should the deposit be left prior to the whelping date in the form of a reservation, the buyer may place a request for a specific sex and/or coloring. Should the request not be fulfilled, the Buyer will have the option of choosing a different puppy or waiting for a future litter. ALL DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
Buyer agrees to the terms: _______________ (Initial)

3. Wellness Check Agreement:
a. This puppy must be taken to a licensed veterinarian within ten (10) business days from the date of receipt for a wellness check and, upon request, a report sent to Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds. Any claims must be made within this time period and will be verified by Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds’ own veterinarian. If said puppy is proven to have a life-threatening genetic defect, buyer will have the option of a replacement puppy and this puppy must be returned to Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds with fourteen (14) days with all his/her paperwork, including a signed AKC certificate and all veterinary records. Buyer may choose to keep the said puppy and receive a full refund. Failure to see a veterinarian within ten (10) business days will void this agreement. Acceptance of puppy implies the Buyer is completely satisfied with and waives any and all claims regarding the Dog’s conformation and physical appearance.
Buyer agrees to the terms: ______________ (Initial)

4. Non-Breeding Agreement:
a. This puppy is sold with a NON-BREEDING agreement and with limited registration.  If any dog is over twenty-five (25) months of age at the time of purchase and is not already spayed/neutered, buyer has exactly thirty (30) days to spay/neuter the dog unless sold with a "breeding" contract signed by both buyer and seller.  A copy of the statement from your veterinarian showing proof of spay/neuter must be given to Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds. Violations of this agreement may result in court action and fees. 

b. Should the purchaser wish to keep the dog intact and if the puppy meets proper breeding criteria, Vom Haus Middleton may reverse the limited registration to full registration. All AKC fees will be paid by the buyer. Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds will require an additional $1000 fee for breeding rights. This fee is waived if the dog has earned a working title as accepted by Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds. These working titles include, but are not limited to, IPO title or equivalent, herding title and certain SDA titles.  Breeding companion must be acceptable and approved by Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds. The following criteria needs to be met prior to consideration of breeding rights:

i. 1) At least two years of age
ii. 2) Free of all known genetic defaults and have sound temperament
iii. 3) OFA (or equivalent - such as SV "A" stamp, Penn-Hip, etc.) certification for hips.
iv. 4) Current negative Brucellosis report from veterinarian
v. 5) DM Test, unless clear by parentage
*If either dog in a breeding pair tests as a "Carrier" or “At Risk”, it can only be bred with a dog that tests "Clear"
vi. 6) DNA on file with AKC
vii. 7) All inoculations and worming up to date

Buyer agrees to the terms: ___________ (Initial)

5. Hip Guarantee:
a. Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds guarantees this puppy’s hips to be free of debilitating dysplasia (grade 2 or 3) per OFA examination or its equivalent. X-rays showing proper positioning performed by a board certified, licensed veterinarian who is skilled at producing x-rays for OFA (or equivalent) evaluation must be taken and submitted to the OFA (or equivalent) by thirty (30) months of age. OFA passing for hips are “EXCELLENT”, “GOOD” and “FAIR”. This warranty expires at thirty (30) months of age. Before a puppy is replaced, Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds will request a copy of all x-ray films taken and a copy of the OFA evaluation showing Grade 2 (MODERATE) or Grade 3 dysplasia (SEVERE).   Penn Hip and European equivalent is also accepted​. At our discretion, we may request a second opinion x-ray be taken (at our expense) by a veterinarian of our choice. If the alleged defect is proven to be genetic, buyer can choose from one of the following options:

i. Return the puppy and receive a replacement puppy​
ii. Keep the puppy and get 50% off of a 2nd puppy
iii.  Keep the puppy and receive a 50% refund​

If you choose a replacement puppy, it will be the same sex and from the next available litter, not necessarily of the same breeding. We breed a select number of litters per year and a replacement puppy may not be immediately
available. In no instance is a full refund issued. Seller requires proof of spay/neuter of the dysplastic puppy before the guarantee will be honored.  If the alleged defect is proven to not be genetic but caused by trauma, early spay/neuter, obesity, stress or any other NON-inherited factor, this guarantee will not be honored.  We do not apply this policy to BORDERLINE OR MILD (grade 1) hips as it is not crippling and no clinical signs are typically present.  It does not require treatment beyond supplements and the dog's quality of life is typically not affected.

b. Buyer acknowledges they have been informed young bones do not properly calcify until twelve (12) months of age. Buyer acknowledges we will guarantee the hips until thirty (30) months of age, providing the buyer agrees they will not allow environmental conditions to adversely affect the development of the hip structure. Buyer will provide a certified, nutritionally complete food that will not promote excessive growth or obesity. Buyer will provide regular moderate exercise. The buyer is aware if they allow the dog to engage in activities that would stress the hips before the age of twelve (12) months, then the hip guarantee becomes null and void. Activities include, but are not limited to, exercise on hard, unyielding surfaces, continuous running, repetitive jumping, training in competitive dog sports, or any other activity that may cause injury.  Although CHD has a large genetic predisposition component, environmental factors can contribute greatly. Please do not let your young dog jump onto hard surfaces like concrete, etc.

c. The hip guarantee is null and void if by three (3) months from the date of sale, the dog’s registration certificate has not been submitted to the AKC to transfer legal ownership of the dog from Vom Haus Middleton into the buyer’s name, if the ownership has been transferred from the original buyer to another individual, if the puppy was spayed/neutered before twenty-four (24) months of age or if the puppy has been bred prior to meeting breeding criteria as described in item #4b of this contract.

The buyer, not Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds, is responsible for all veterinarian bills, the costs associated with the return of a puppy and/or the replacement of a puppy.
Buyer agrees to the terms: ___________ (Initial)

6. Performance:
a. Buyer acknowledges that Seller cannot guarantee that Puppy will achieve any particular titles or ability (i.e. conformation championship, performance titles, service dog, therapy dog, search & rescue, etc.) It is recommended that the puppy be evaluated by a professional trainer at seven weeks to determine if the dog has the characteristics needed to attain the goals of the Buyer.  Working with a trainer is highly encouraged.  Buyer is encouraged to notify Seller of any pertinent accomplishments of Puppy, i.e. titles, awards, or other accomplishments recognized by the American Kennel Club or other registry or organization.
Buyer agrees to the terms: ___________ (Initial)

7. Liability:
a. Buyer agrees to release and hold harmless Seller for any and all liability, damages, or injuries, caused either directly or indirectly by puppy to any person, animal, whether actual or legal, or in any property whether real or personal. Furthermore, Buyer assumes full liability for any damages or injuries, whether physical or mental, emotional or economic, caused by puppy, to a person whether actual or legal, or to any property, whether real or personal, after receiving and acknowledging delivery and possession of puppy.
Buyer agrees to the terms: _____________ (Initial)

8. Shipping Agreement:
a. Shipping is always in addition to the cost of the puppy and is the responsibility of the buyer. We ship puppies with various airlines from the airport in Sacramento, California. When shipping a puppy, Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds and the buyer agree to the following terms:
i. Buyer assumes all risks and expenses of shipping, which includes a crate, airfare, health certificate and money for our time/fuel involved in the transport to the nearest airport meeting the transport criteria (typically $600-$1500 USD and up depending on crate size, weight, airline fees).
ii. We are in no way responsible for loss, death, or injury during transport to the new home.
iii. Buyer will need to settle any disputes, should they arise, with the airlines and NOT Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds.
iv. We are NOT responsible for associated changes which can occur due to shipping. These include stress, low blood sugar and loose stools.
Buyer agrees to the terms: _____________ (Initial)

9. Other Agreements:
a. Buyer agrees to send pictures and updates at four (4) months, six (6) months, twelve (12) months, eighteen (18) months and twenty-four (24) months of age. Buyer also agrees to maintain this dog in good health, provide routine preventative health care, including, but not limited to, inoculation, internal and external parasites and heartworm preventative medication. This dog is sold with the understanding that he/she will become a member of the family and treated as such. Buyer agrees to allow Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds to use the dog’s name, picture and/or other information in advertising providing that we give the buyer recognition of ownership where appropriate.
Buyer agrees to the terms: _______________ (Initial)

10. Right of Refusal:
a. If for any reason the buyer is unable or unwilling to keep the puppy/dog, Vom Haus Middleton MUST be notified in writing and given first right of refusal. Once we receive written notice, we agree to answer any offer of purchase within two weeks with a written response indicating our decision to repurchase or not repurchase the dog. Should we wish to repurchase (this is not a refund or replacement situation) the dog, we will compensate the buyer with 1/3rd of the original purchase fee.  Return of the dog and all expenses required to return the dog to the Seller is the responsibility of the Buyer.  This repurchase fee is not negotiable.

i. If we decline to repurchase said dog, then the buyer may sell said dog on the condition that the new home be approved by Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds and we are supplied with their name, address, email and phone number.  If we are unable to repurchase the dog due to kennel capacity or for any other reason, we will offer to advertise the dog on our website and locate an approved new buyer for a 10% fee of the agreed upon sales price.
ii. If we decide to exercise first right of refusal, the buyer agrees (at their expense) to get a full wellness check of said dog and provide us with a veterinary signed report. Buyer also agrees to supply us with any OFA paperwork, the signed AKC registration certificate and all veterinary records to date.
iii. In the event of Buyer’s death, Puppy will either remain in the Buyer’s household, be transferred to a member of Buyer’s family, or Seller will be given the option to accept return of Puppy without payment of monies by Seller to Buyer’s estate or heirs. In the event of Buyer’s death, this Agreement will be binding on Buyer’s estate and heirs.
Buyer agrees to the terms: ________________ (Initial)

11. Violations:
a. Violations of the terms of this contract renders all guarantees null and void and Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds has the right to reclaim said dog without refund. Additionally, Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds shall reclaim the dog without refund in the event that the dog is deemed to be abused, neglected or kept in an unsafe or cruel manner.  In this event, AKC registration must be signed over to Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds and accompany the dog along with all current veterinary records to date. Should Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds seek legal action against the buyer for violations of this agreement, the buyer will assume any and all expenses, including but not limited to, court costs, reasonable attorney fees, veterinary costs that may be needed for the dog and our time at $25 an hour. In the event of any dispute, it is agreed that the place of venue shall be the County of Douglas in the state of Oregon.
Buyer agrees to the terms: ________________ (Initial)

We cannot urge you strongly enough to keep in touch with us regarding the growth and development of your new puppy. While Veterinarians are useful in many areas of a dog’s life, the Breeder has the experience with the growth, health, and development issues specific to the German Shepherd Dog and their specific breeding lines. The German Shepherd Dog is unique, and as such, has unique growth patterns and health issues that many vets are not familiar with. Because of this, we have certain vets that we recommend who are familiar with the German Shepherd Dogs and their growth.

The AKC registered name has already been chosen by the seller and placed on the AKC registration application. The buyer may choose any “Call Name” they wish, but is not to attempt to change the registered name given by the Seller. If the Seller has not provided a registered name, you may register your dog with a registered name of your choice (Please be prepared to provide the registered name at the time of delivery).

If Vom Haus Middleton decides to keep a puppy from the litter, they will have first choice. All picks will be done in the order of deposits after Vom Haus Middleton picks their puppy. NO EXCEPTIONS.  Recommendations as to which puppy would best fit your needs based on goals listed in the application are given by Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds and encouraged to be followed.


Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds agrees to board ​​puppies while Buyer makes arrangements to pick up the dog.  Should the Buyer need additional time to pick up said dog, arrangements can be made and an additional fee of $10​​ per day will be added to the cost of the dog.  Additionally, should the dog need any veterinary care that is routine and/or not the fault of Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds, the Buyer will be billed and provided with a receipt at pick up.

Health Guarantee

Seller certifies that said puppy is in good health to the best of Seller’s knowledge.
We guarantee 100% against life threatening genetic health defects. It is required that the buyer have the puppy examined by a licensed veterinarian within 10 business days of the purchase date. Should the puppy be found to have a life threatening genetic health defect, the seller is to be contacted within 24 hours of diagnosis, so arrangements can be made for return of the said puppy within 14 days if the buyer would like to return the puppy. Upon return of the defective puppy, along with written diagnosis signed by a licensed vet, the buyer can request a replacement puppy of equal value. If you chose to keep the puppy within the first fourteen (14) days, Seller will offer a refund for no more than the original purchase price. The seller is not responsible for the vet bill. Buyer is responsible for shipping costs. Seller has no obligation to reimburse Buyer for any costs incurred, i.e., medical, shipping, crate, etc. Puppies that become sick or die due to an accident or buyers negligence (chewing electrical cords, hung by collar, exposing the puppy to strange dogs not living in the home before fully vaccinated, etc.) will not be replaced or refunded.

We only breed 3-4 litters per year – a replacement puppy may not be immediately available.

Buyer agrees to maintain the puppy’s health with regular veterinary care, vaccinations and worming, heartworm preventative, and to provide a caring home and adequate shelter. The puppy is not the be tied, chained or otherwise tethered; nor allowed to roam free, except while on a leash or under the direct supervision and control of the owner. The puppy needs to be in a secured, fenced area or kennel when not supervised to prevent the dog from injury or escape.  If the puppy is ever discovered living in an unsafe, unsanitary, neglectful or abusive manner, the Seller (Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds) will repossess the dog. NO REFUND WILL BE GIVEN!!!!!!!
Buyer agrees to the terms: ________________ (Initial)

Male Puppies

If the puppy does not drop both testicles by the time he is twelve (12) months of age, it would be required that you have him neutered between eighteen (18) months and no later than twenty-five (24) months of age to help prevent testicular cancer and testicular torsion. Dogs who are not neutered will have a much higher risk of testicular cancer and torsion. In these cases, upon written proof of the veterinarian, a $100 refund will be given to the Buyer upon proof of neuter between 18-24 months of age.  Only one discount will be applied per puppy.  If a dog with this condition (Cryptochidism) is not neutered by 24 months of age, all health guarantees are void and no refund will be given.  If the dog is neutered before 18 months, or is bred, there will be no refund and health guarantee will be voided.  ​No other refunds will be provided as this condition will not alter the dog's quality of life and all of our dogs are sold as pet quality and without breeding rights.

Because all dogs mature at different rates, it is impossible to determine if a puppy has both testicles, or if both testicles will “drop” as the puppy matures. We make every effort to ensure the genetic “Soundness” of our dogs. However, no genetic issue is exact. Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds cannot guarantee that a puppy whose testicles have not “dropped” by the time of delivery will have both testicles. These puppies will be sold as "pet quality" and Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds assumes no responsibility or liability in this matter, making it the sole responsibility of the buyer.
​Buyer agrees to the terms: ________________ (Initial)


All puppies are sold on a limited registration bases (not for breeding) and must meet certain breeding criteria prior to Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds changing the registration to FULL. Should Vom Haus Middleton consider giving breeding rights, the $1000 fee must be paid (unless an approved working title is earned and the fee waived) and the following criteria MUST be met:

1) At least two years of age

2) Free of all known genetic faults and have sound temperament

3) OFA (or equivalent - such as SV "A" stamp, Penn-Hip, etc.) certification for hips.

4) Current negative Brucellosis report from veterinarian

5) DM Test (unless "Clear" by parentage)
*If either dog in a breeding pair tests as a "Carrier" or “At Risk”, it can only be breed with a dog that tested "Clear"

6) DNA on file with AKC

7) All inoculations and worming up to date

These requirements must be met for both the male and female in any planned breeding pair, not just the dog purchased from Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds. The VHM dog should only be bred with a dog of equal or higher standards in an effort to improve the breed, not for profit with dogs who do not meet these minimum standards for health. Should the Buyer breed the dog before ALL the requirements listed in this section are met (or with a dog that does not meet the above mentioned requirements) the Buyer acknowledges the Seller’s right to execute their right to possess the dog that this contract pertains to. If the dog in question is a bitch, the Seller may also repossess any and all offspring derived from the breeding in question. There will be NO refund and any monies paid will be not be returned. It will be left to Seller’s discretion as to the placement of the dog and any of her offspring. Breeding without written seller permission (and FULL AKC registration) will void all guarantees.
Buyer agrees to the terms: ________________ (Initial)


Attached to this contract will be a copy of the early spay/neuter considerations. Studies conducted have shown that German Shepherds spayed/neutered before 24 months of age are significantly more prone to orthopedic problems (hip/elbow dysplasia) and cancer.  If any dog is spayed or neutered before the age of twenty-four (24) months, any guarantees are voided. There will be no refunds or replacements of any puppies. We encourage not to spay/neuter the puppies before twenty-four (24) months due to the fact that the puppies need to have the proper hormones and stay intact to develop properly. Females should have at least two heat cycles and be 24 months old before being spayed. Vets will recommend spay/neuter around six (6-12) months old to stop certain behaviors (heat cycles in bitches, leg lifting in males, etc). The only acceptable spay/neuter before the age of twenty-four (24) months is in a medical emergency. If a puppy is spayed or neutered before the age of twenty-four (24) months, we require you to get a copy of the certificate and forward it to us with a written explanation from your vet.  If the dog is bred prior to spaying/neutering, or if it was spayed/neutered before twenty-four(24) months of age (unless in cases of MEDICAL EMERGENCY or males wit one retained testicle), all guarantees are voided.  Males with at least one retrained testicle must be neutered between eighteen (18) and twenty-four (24) months of age due to the increase in testicular cancer prognosis.  In cases where a male dog with one or two retained testicle is neutered between eighteen (18) and twenty-four (24) months of age, the health guarantee will stay in place.
Buyer agrees to the terms: ________________ (Initial)

Shots & Worming

Your puppy has been started on a parasite and worming program from the time it was 4 weeks old, and on a vaccination regimen between 4-8 weeks old. All dogs/puppies will have age appropriate vaccinations before leaving Vom Haus Middleton German Shepherds. You will be provided a list of shots your puppy has received along with information on the shots your puppy needs. You will also be given a list of the dates and type of worming your puppy has already had with the schedule of future worming.

Ear Management

Contact the breeder if the puppy’s ears are not fully standing at the age of 6 months. It is the buyer’s responsibility to have the puppy’s ears taped by a licensed veterinarian should there be any problems with ears standing on their own. Vom Haus Middleton makes no guarantees that the dog’s ear will stand and no refunds will be given.

Hip Dysplasia

Although it is impossible to guarantee a puppy will not get hip dysplasia, we make every effort to avoid such an occurrence by using stock that has been x-rayed. Our policy on replacement is stated below.

Hip Dysplasia is a congenital malformation of the ball and socket joint of the hip. A dog may or may not become lame because of the disease depending upon its severity. In the event that one of our puppies develop CHD (Crippling Hip Dysplasia – typically grade 2 (MODERATE) or 3 (SEVERE), we will do the following for up to 30 months of age:

The puppy is returned and we will replace the puppy with another puppy of equal or greater value if the puppy is found to have MODERATE/SEVERE hip dysplasia (grade 2 or 3) in which the disease is crippling. Should the buyer wish to keep the puppy, they may receive a 50% discount on a 2nd puppy from any future litter or a 50% return of the original purchase price (minus any discounts/spay or neuter refunds).  A certification of sterilization must be given before any replacement or refunds will be made by the seller or before the buyer receives a 50% discount on a 2nd puppy.

The X-ray and a copy of the OFA letter of diagnosis (or equivalent - SV, Penn-Hip, etc.) must be given to the seller. If the seller so chooses, they have the right to have the X-ray’s re-done by their own veterinarian and submitted to OFA (or equivalent) for a second opinion (many poor hip readings are inaccurate due to improper positioning by veterinarians and/or their staff).  Contact us for a list of qualified veterinarians in your area who have the experience in hip x-rays for OFA purposes as correct diagnosing is a specialized field.
In the event that a bitch conceives a litter or a male sires a litter prior to meeting requirements listed in section #4b of this contract, this guarantee becomes null and void. Hip Certifications must be completed before the dog is thirty (30) months of age (or bred) or this guarantee will be voided. The hip guarantee is also null and void if by three (3) months from the date of sale, the dog’s registration certificate has not been submitted to the AKC to transfer legal ownership of the dog from Vom Haus Middleton into the buyer’s name, if the ownership has been transferred from the original buyer to another individual or if the puppy was spayed/neutered before twenty-four (24) months of age. Dogs which are obviously neglected, mistreated or abused WILL NOT BE REPLACED.

To aid in prevention of hip dysplasia and Pano, it is recommended to give puppies 500mg of Vitamin C daily until 6 months of age, then increasing the amount to 1000mg. It is also recommended to supplement with glucosamine while your puppy is growing. Do not allow your puppy to jump from elevated areas (such as trucks), over obstacles, or on concrete until at least 12 months of age. Low impact and obedience training is encouraged before 12 months.
Buyer agrees to the terms: ________________ (Initial)



Pano is a temporary and painful limping condition which unfortunately can occur in German Shepherd puppies that grow too quickly. It usually strikes between the ages of 4-12 months of age and can occur on and off for up to 2 years of age. Episodes of Pano lessen in length and severity as the dog matures and will in most cases self-resolve by the time the dog is 18 months of age. Because Pano is temporary and relatively easy to manage, we do not replace puppies afflicted with Pano. Following the breeder’s diet recommendations (below) can help prevent or reduce the severity of Pano. Again, it is recommended to give puppies 500mg of Vitamin C daily until 6 months of age, then increasing the amount to 1000mg, to assist with pano prevention. Glucosamine is also an excellent supplement to give puppies as a means of prevention and would help relieve pain should they suffer from episodes of pano. Please read the attached article on Pano as it is a common problem with the GSD breed, especially fast growing males.

Soft Pasterns

Soft Pasterns occur when your puppy’s front legs at his wrists are bent inward and it looks like the puppy is walking on his feet and wrists at the same time. In certain bloodlines there is a period, usually during the teething stage that your puppy’s ears and pasterns might temporarily soften. With the proper diet, they will return to full strength after the teething is completed. Soft Pasterns is a temporary affliction that is self-resolving, lasting several weeks to several months depending on severity.


​Although we do our best to keep puppies clean and away from dirty water, puppies will be puppies and there may be occasions where puppies contract giardia.  This is rare but can happen.  This can easily be treated and we recommend that you have the puppy's stool sample evaluated during their initial health exam.  We do not give refunds or pay medical expenses for puppies with a giardia diagnosis.
​​​​Umbilical Hernias

On occasion, a puppy does develop an umbilical hernia during delivery.  It appears as a little bump at the site of the umbilical cord and it can easily be pushed in.  About half the time it closes and goes away on its own and other times, it never closes completely.  It is not typically a problem unless it is a large opening (usually caused by trauma - not congenital) and it becomes herniated. In some dogs you can only feel it when their bellies are extended. It doesn’t hurt the puppy or impact its quality of life.  It can be left as is unless you wish to have it surgically closed if/when you spay/neuter.  If you chose to have it addressed surgically at the time of spay/neuter, we will reimburse up to $100 with vet receipt.  Only one discount may be applied per puppy.

Diet Recommendation

We feed all of our dogs and puppies quality premium dog foods. Currently we are having excellent results with Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice All Life Stages formula.  "All-life-stages” food, which means you can feed it to both your young puppies and adult dogs. We prefer to use a lower protein food to help with proper growth. Additionally, research shows that grain free foods which supplement grains with peas, lentils, potatoes and legumes have a direct correlation with causing an enlarged heart and "DCM", which results in congenial heart disease and death.  Please consider NOT feeding grain free or consult your vet for a list of proper grain free formulas.  Should you choose to feed a puppy blend, please make sure it is specifically made for “large breed puppies”. The primary ingredient in premium food is meat based (Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Lamb, etc.). Premium food promotes good health, strong teeth, shiny coats, and firm stools. Most importantly, studies done specifically on German Shepherd puppies has shown that raising GSD puppies on Adult formulations or those which are for “large breeds” helps reduce the incidence of Pano, weak pasterns, and pancreatic insufficiency. This has been practiced by GSD breeders for many years without any negative effects on growth or size at maturity. FEEDING YOUR LARGE BREED PUPPY TOO MUCH PROTEIN CAN CONTRIBUTE TO PANO. Additionally, over-feeding may also contribute to pano and various other problems within this breed. Please make sure you feed your puppy a quality premium large breed or adult food and keep the portions appropriate.


Our puppies are raised underfoot, socialized with other dogs, extensively handled, and exposed to variety of conditions. To ensure your puppy’s temperament remains as sound as the day it leaves our home, once your puppy is fully vaccinated, take it places as often as possible. Allow a variety of people to pet your puppy (children, elderly, men, women and people of different ethnicity). Introduce your puppy to other FRIENDLY dogs of various breeds. Be VERY careful to protect your puppy from unpleasant or traumatic experiences, such as taunting by children or being assaulted by an unfriendly dog. These can have a lasting negative affect, which can be difficult to overcome. The fear period is between 8 and 16 weeks, so exposure is very valuable during this time. Keep in mind that your puppy is not fully vaccinated until 16 weeks of age, so be careful to only take your puppy to "safe zones" (no dog parks, shopping centers etc) so as to not expose your puppy to parvo or any other life threatening illnesses.


German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs with lots drive. Responsible owners channel this intelligence and drive in the proper direction with adequate love, attention, and training. Bored, lonely, and/or neglected GSD’s can become highly destructive and/or aggressive. We recommend that you enroll your puppy into an obedience class by 6 months of age. The Buyer agrees NOT to start Schutzhund Bite/Protection Training of this puppy, until it has reached a minimum of 12 months of age. (Thus allowing the puppy the physical as well as mental maturity level not to harm or damage the puppy). Obedience training is the first step to protection training and minimal, non-stressful training can be completed in preparation for protection training. Positive re-enforcement training (marker training) is the only acceptable training for a puppy. Compulsion training can permanently damage a puppy and should NEVER be used on a puppy or young dog. This training should be stress free and fun for the young puppy. The Buyer agrees that he/she is not acting as or in part of, an agent in the purchase of this puppy and that the Buyer will not sell this puppy or any of its progeny to any agent, pet, store, or guard dog business.

It must be pointed out that Schutzhund training, police training, obedience training, SAR training, protection training, tracking, etc. are just that – training. No dog can just walk on the field and do these things. They must be trained, and trained correctly. We can sell you a dog with a good potential to do these things, but it is up to you to develop this potential in your puppy. We would also like to point out that there are a lot of good dog trainers in the world. However, there are as many bad trainers as well. Choose your trainer very carefully!!!! There are some that use harsh and unproductive punishment methods to training dogs. Don’t do anything crazy to your dog no matter who tells you to do it!! We will be more than happy to help you with training ideas or refer good trainers to train with. Dogs, especially young dogs (puppies) should only have positive re-enforcement during training as it helps create a bond and makes training “fun”.


It is our hope that you will take exceptional care of this puppy through its entire life. This means providing socialization, training, medical, proper nutritional, physical needs as necessary, treating your dog as part of your family, and giving it lots of love for the remainder of its life. We wish you and your puppy the very best. Give the love, care, and attention your puppy deserves and you will be rewarded with a loyal, devoted, and beautiful companion for many years! Please drop us a note and photo of your puppy every so often. I am concerned about and enjoy knowing how puppies from our breedings are developing. This also assists in improving our breeding program. Feel free to call me with any questions or concerns that arise regarding your puppy @ 541-900-4330 or e-mail to dlhk9tex@yahoo.com (A quick call to your breeder can sometimes save you unnecessary vet expenses!)

This contract is agreed upon by Buyer and Seller.
Both will sign and retain a copy for his/her records.

BUYER PRINTED NAME: __________________________________

BUYER SIGNATURE: _____________________________________

DATE: ____/____/____

CO-BUYER PRINTED NAME:_____________________________________ 

CO-BUYER SIGNATURE: ________________________________________

DATE: ____/____/____

SELLER PRINTED NAME: _______________________________________

SELLER SIGNATURE: ___________________________________________

DATE: ____/____/____

I have read the attached “Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete”

____________ (Initial)

I have read the attached article “Panosteitis (Pano) in young dogs”

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Early Spay

  Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete

One Veterinarian’s Opinion
© 2005 Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP
Extensively revised and updated
Canine Sports Productions

Those of us with responsibility for the health of canine athletes need to continually read and evaluate new scientific studies to ensure that we are taking the most appropriate care of our performance dogs. This article reviews scientific evidence that, taken together suggests that veterinarians and owners working with canine athletes should revisit the current standard protocol in which all dogs that are not intended for breeding are spayed and neutered at or before 6 months of age. The results of a number of publications are briefly summarized in the areas of orthopedics, cancer, behavior, and other health considerations.

Orthopedic Considerations

Bitches spayed at 7 weeks had significantly delayed closure of growth plates as compared to those spayed at 7 months, and those spayed at 7 months had significantly delayed closure of growth plates as compared to those left intact. (1) In a study of 1444 Golden Retrievers, bitches and dogs spayed or neutered at less than a year of age were significantly taller than those spayed or neutered after a year of age. (2)

In a study of 203 agility dogs, the author demonstrated that the tibia and radius and ulna were significantly longer than the femur and humerus, respectively, in dogs that were spayed or neutered at or prior to 8 months of age as compared to intact dogs. (M.C. Zink, unpublished data) Several studies have shown that spayed and neutered dogs have a significantly higher prevalence of CCL rupture (3–6), even when controlling for body size. (3) Dogs that were neutered at least 6 months prior to a diagnosis of hip dysplasia were 1.5 times more likely to develop hip dysplasia than sexually intact dogs.(7)Spayed/neutered dogs had 3.1 times higher incidence of patellar luxation. (8)

Discussion: Dogs that have been spayed or neutered at or before puberty can often be identified by their longerlimbs, lighter bone structure, narrower chests and narrower skulls than intact dogs of the same breed. This differential
growth frequently results in significant alterations in body proportions and particularly the lengths (and therefore weights) of certain bones relative to others. For example, if the femur has achieved its genetically determined normal length at 8 months, prior to a dog being spayed or neutered, but the tibia (which normally stops growing at 12 to 14 months of age) continues to elongate for several months after that point because of the removal of the sex hormones, then the relationship between the femur and tibia will be different than what was genetically determined. This may result in an abnormal angle at the stifle and a longer (and therefore heavier) tibia placing increased stress on the cranial cruciate ligament (of the knee or stifle joint).

It is well known that spayed and neutered dogs are more likely to be overweight or obese than sexually intact dogs (9), and this can be a contributing factor to orthopedic diseases. Thus, keeping the spayed/neutered canine athlete lean can help mitigate the increased risk of orthopedic conditions.

Cancer Considerations

Spayed females had more than 5 times greater risk than intact bitches of developing cardiac hemangiosarcoma and neutered males had 1.6 times higher risk than intact males had of developing cardiac hemangiosarcoma. (10)

Spayed females had 2.2 times increased risk for developing splenic hemangiosarcoma. (11) Male and female Rottweilers that were neutered or spayed before a year of age had 3.8 and 3.1 times greater risk, respectively, of developing bone cancer than intact dogs. (12)

In a second study, spayed/neutered dogs had a 2.2 times higher risk of developing bone cancer than intact dogs. (13) Neutered dogs had a 2.8 times greater risk for developing any prostate tumor than intact dogs. (14) Neutered
dogs had a 4.3 times higher risk of developing prostate carcinoma. (15, 16) Neutered dogs had a 3.6 higher risk for developing transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder than intact dogs, and a 3 times greater risk of developing any bladder tumor. (14) Spayed/neutered dogs had more than 4 times greater risk for developing transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder than intact dogs. (17)

In a survey of 2505 Vizslas, spayed or neutered dogs were found to have a significantly higher risk of mast cell cancer, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and all cancers together than intact dogs. (18)

Discussion: One study indicated a slightly increased risk of mammary cancer in female dogs after one heat cycle (8% increase), greater risk with two heats (26% increase) and increased risk with each subsequent heat. (19) However, a recent systematic review of the publications that advocate neutering to reduce the risk of mammary tumors in dogs indicated that 9 of 13 reports had a high risk of bias and the remaining 4 had a moderate risk of bias. This study concluded that the evidence that neutering reduces the risk of mammary cancer is weak and do
not constitute a sound basis for firm recommendations. (20) Additionally, at the time when several of these studies were conducted (late 1960s), it was found that incidence rates for all malignant neoplasms were 453.4/100,000 in female dogs. Mammary tumors accounted for half of these tumors, or 198.8/100,000. Thus, the actual overall risk at that time of any bitch getting a mammary tumor was only 0.2%. (21) In any case, the figures for increased risk of mammary cancer must be compared with the 200 to 400% increased risk of other cancers in spayed females. While about 30% of mammary cancers are malignant (22), as in humans, when caught and surgically removed early, the prognosis is very good. (23) This is in comparison to the other cancers listed, such as hemangiosarcoma and bladder cancer, which are often fatal. Given the balance of cancer risks listed above, owners of canine athletes should strongly consider leaving the ovaries intact for at least two heat cycles. In addition, the veterinary field should be developing programs for regular examinations including imaging to facilitate early diagnosis of mammary cancer in all intact female dogs, as has been performed in women for decades.

Behavior Considerations

Early age gonadectomy was associated with an increased incidence of noise phobias and undesirable sexual behaviors, such as mounting. (24)

Significantly more behavioral problems in spayed and neutered bitches and dogs, with fearful behavior being most common in spayed bitches and aggression in neutered dogs. (25, 26)

In a prospective study, German Shepherd Dogs spayed between 5-10 months of age had significantly increased reactivity. (27)

Discussion: A number of the early studies claiming to show positive behavioral effects of spay/neuter were significantly flawed. For example, one of the most often quoted publications to support improvements in behavior, particularly aggression, after gonadectomy does not actually provide any statistical analysis. Additionally, 88% of owners of dogs in this study stated that their reason for castrating the dog was to attempt to resolve an existing behavior problem. Owners were also surveyed regarding the dog’s behavior a mean of 27 months post - castration. These factors likely introduced a significant amount of bias. (28) Another performed statistical analysis but showed that the age when the dog was neutered was not correlated with the degree of provement. (29) Most critically, neither of these two studies included a control group of intact dogs. One of the more important undesirable behavioral effects of spay/neuter for canine athletes was a finding of a significantly lowered energy level. This was shown in a study that was well controlled and examined over 3500 dogs. (26)

Other Health Considerations

Female, and sometimes male, dogs that are spayed/neutered before puberty have an increased risk of urinary incontinence and it is more severe in bitches spayed earlier. (30-33)

Spayed female dogs displayed a significantly higher risk or hypothyroidism when compared to intact females. (34) A health survey of several thousand Golden Retrievers showed that spayed or neutered dogs were more likely to develop hypothyroidism. (2) Neutered male and spayed female dogs had higher relative risks of developing hypothyroidism than intact females. (35)

Neutered females had a 22 times increased risk of developing fatal acute pancreatitis (multivariate analysis) as compared to intact females. (36)

Risk of adverse reactions to vaccines is 27 to 38% greater in neutered dogs as compared to intact. (37)

In a study of female Rottweilers there was a strong positive association between retention of the ovaries and longevity. (38)


I have gathered these studies to show that the practice of routinely spaying or neutering every dog at or before the age of 6 months is not a black-and-white issue. Clearly more studies need to be undertaken to evaluate the effects of prepubertal spaying and neutering, particularly in canine athletes. After examining the risks and benefits, I have significant concerns with removal of the gonads in both males and females. It is clear that the gonads are not just important for reproduction, but play a critical role in growth, development and long-term health.

Preventing Procreation

If we leave the gonads intact, how can we prevent the production of unwanted dogs? For males, the obvious solution is to keep them away from bitches in heat. But if an owner needs more certainty that a dog will not be bred, the answer is to perform a vasectomy. One possible disadvantage is that vasectomy does not prevent some unwanted behaviors associated with males such as marking and humping. On the other hand, females and neutered males frequently participate in these behaviors too. Training is the most effective solution to these behaviors. Another potential issue is finding a veterinarian who can perform the procedure. Veterinary schools do not currently teach students how to perform vasectomies. However, the methodology has been described and any board-certified surgeon can learn the technique. For a list of veterinarians who will perform the technique, contact the author at mczink@caninesports.com.

In females, the issues are more complex, because having a bitch in heat is inconvenient and leaving the uterus intact substantially increases the risk of pyometra (a serious, potentially fatal uterine infection). One solution might be
to perform a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), leaving the ovaries intact. Unfortunately, the effects of this technique on female dogs have never been studied. It is not known whether these dogs would continue to ovulate and perhaps show behavioral changes, although it is likely that there would be no discharge. Further, dogs that have this surgery will have intact ovaries, so veterinarians would need to establish an effective monitoring system for early detection of mammary cancer in intact bitches, as is available for women. In addition, there is the possibility of the dog developing stump pyometra if small amounts of uterine tissue are left behind during the hysterectomy.

My current recommendation for performance dogs is to have them go through at least two heat cycles before spaying. Perhaps in the future hormone replacement therapy will be available for spayed females, but little is known about that at this time. For males with retained testicles, there is a logical solution, based on fact. A large prospective study showed that the incidence of testicular cancer in cryptorchid dogs was 12.7/1000 dog-years at risk. (39) In other words, if 100 dogs with retained testicles live to be 10 years old, approximately 13 of them will develop cancer in the retained testicle. The average age at which tumors develop in undescended testes is 8.7 years. (40) These tumors are commonly benign, though they can grow quite large. Based on this study, I recommend that dogs with retained testicles have surgery to remove the retained testicle some time during the first three years of life and at that time they have a vasectomy on the remaining spermatic cord. This solution allows the dog to have the benefit of its sex hormones, but prevents passing this likely genetic condition on to offspring. Most of all, it is important that we assess each dog and its living situation individually, weighing the risks and benefits of removal of the gonads. There is no single solution that fits every dog.

The author is grateful for excellent in-depth discussions with Samra Zelman on the literature regarding spaying and neutering and for her careful review of this article.

 Panosteitis (Pano) in young dogs

Panosteitis is a bone disease of dogs that is characterized by bone proliferation and remodeling. It is often painful and can last as long as 18 months, though more commonly it lasts from 2 to 5 months. It is characterized by lameness that often comes and goes and changes from leg to leg. It is a common problem in several large breeds and the cause is currently unknown. The treatment is symptomatic but the outcome is usually very good.

Who gets panosteitis?

Panosteitis is most common in large breed dogs between 6 and 18 months of age.
Occasionally, middle-aged German Shepherds will have a bout of panosteitis. It affects dogs worldwide and has been recognized and studied since the 1950's. Male dogs are much more likely to get panosteitis then females. There is a higher incidence in several breeds including German Shepherds, Great Danes, Doberman Pinschers, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, and Basset Hounds.

What causes panosteitis?

The cause of panosteitis is currently unknown. There have been many theories as to the cause of this disease. Originally, it was suspected that the disease was caused by a bacterial infection. However, several investigational studies failed to isolate any bacteria. In addition, the disease responds poorly to antibiotics, further suggesting a cause other than bacterial.
Other studies showed that if bone marrow from affected dogs was injected into the bones of healthy dogs, the healthy dogs would contract the disease. It has therefore been speculated that a virus may cause the disease. The high fever, tonsillitis, and altered white blood cell count would also go along with the viral theory. Another interesting twist to the viral theory is that panosteitis was first identified as a problem at the same time that modified live distemper vaccines became widely available on the market. Since wild distemper virus can be isolated from bone tissue, some researchers feel that there might be a link between distemper virus vaccine and panosteitis, however, more research in this area will need to be done before any serious speculations can be made. Another theory is that panosteitis might have a genetic link. Because of the greatly increased incidence in certain breeds and families of dogs, it is very likely that there is a genetic component involved in this disease.
Lately, there have been some claims that nutrition, particularly protein and fat concentrations in the diet, may have an impact on the incidence of the disease. But here again, more research needs to be done to substantiate these claims. Most likely this is a multifactorial disease that has several different causes including viral, genetic, and possibly nutritional.

What are the symptoms?

Presenting symptoms include a history of acute sudden lameness not associated with any trauma. It is usually a large breed male dog between the ages of 6 to 18 months. There are periods of lameness lasting from 2 to 3 weeks and it may shift from leg to leg. The most commonly affected bones are the radius, ulna, humerus, femur, and tibia, though the foot and pelvic bones may also be involved. The dog may show a reluctance to walk or exercise. When the affected bones are squeezed, the dog reacts painfully. Occasionally, affected dogs will have a fever, tonsillitis, or an elevated white blood cell count.

How is panosteitis diagnosed?

Panosteitis is often diagnosed based on a combination of presenting signs and radiographs (x-rays). The presenting symptoms are listed above. If a dog is suspected of having panosteitis, then radiographs are indicated to confirm the diagnosis. Individual radiographs of each affected limb should be taken. Often, radiographs of the unaffected limbs are also taken to compare the bone changes. In early forms of the disease, a subtle increase in bone density is observed in the center part of the affected bones. During the middle part of the disease, the bone becomes more patchy or mottled in appearance and the outer surface of the bone may appear roughened. In the late phase, the bone is still slightly mottled, but is beginning to return to a more normal appearance.

How is panosteitis treated?

There is no specific treatment for the disease. Since this condition is often very painful, painkillers such as buffered aspirin or carprofen (Rimadyl) are recommended. (Do NOT give your cat aspirin unless prescribed by your veterinarian.) These products are used as needed to help control the pain. Antibiotics are not routinely used unless there are indications of concurrent infections. In severe cases, steroids are used, but because of the potential long-term side effects of these drugs, painkillers are often tried first. This disease is self-limiting and after it runs its course, there are very few long-term side effects or need for further treatment. As mentioned earlier, the disease usually lasts for two to five months, but can last much longer. There are several conditions with similar symptoms, so if a dog continues to have symptoms after the normal period of time or is not responding to treatment, she should be reevaluated.

How is panosteitis prevented?

There is currently no way to prevent the disease. However, because of the potential genetic link, breeding animals should be screened to ensure that they are not potential carriers of the disease. Despite the numerous puppy foods catering to large breed dogs, there is no current evidence that confirms that these foods will lower the incidence of the disease when compared to standard commercial puppy food. If an animal shows symptoms of the disease, they should be promptly diagnosed and treated and exercise and activity should be reduced until the symptoms have gone away.