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Interview with Kristin on German Shepherd Dog Breeding

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Published on
Tuesday 3 March 2015
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Interview German Shepherd Dog Breeding
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We have interviewed Kristin, founder of an active Facebook Group and small breeder of healthy German Shepherds. She tells us about the importance of having an online presence when breeding dogs and how much research should be put into the breed before starting the activity.

Please introduce yourself and your dog breeding business.

My name is Kristin Wilkerson. I’m a fairly new breeder of German Shepherds. I’m a small scale breeder of quality working dogs and active family companions.

How did you get involved in the dog breeding industry?

I acquired my first breeding female and that’s also the same time that I acquired a mentor. My mentor has been breeding German Shepherds for 40+ years and has taught me everything I know.

Do you consider breeding as a hobby, a business or both?

I consider it both, but more so a hobby. However, there is always a business aspect to breeding that must be handled professionally.

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Check out the German Shepherd Handbook – everything to know about choosing, feeding, and caring for a GSD.

Is it your only source of income or are you having another job?

I do have another job as a waitress at a local restaurant that pays the bills.

Why did you choose German Shepherds?

I work with German Shepherds because they are loyal, beautiful family companions and great protectors.

Do you think wanna-be breeders should breed dogs they like the most or are there other criteria when decided for the dog breed to work with?

I think that anyone considering breeding should do tons and tons of research first. I studied the breed and pedigrees for two years before I acquired my first breeding dog.

What are your breeding plan’s main objectives?

I strive to produce great health and sound temperaments first and foremost. Then I look to produce something that families will love and be proud to have. Family protectors and service dogs are my main goal.

What is the biggest misjudgment other breeders may have about dog breeding?

A lot of different breeders judge every other breeder for a variety of reasons. It may be to make others look bad while trying to make themselves look good. I personally don’t judge because everyone breeds for different reasons and goals.

How many dogs did you start with and how did you choose your founding stock?

I started with one female and used an outside stud. I then acquired my now only female and I love what she produces and she is what I would consider my foundation breeding female as she produces what we are looking to produce.

How do you differentiate your dogs and your business from the other breeders?

We put a great deal of care and love into our puppies and dogs. Our dogs are part of our family and are treated as such. We are a small scale breeder so we can spend more individual time with our puppies and really get to know them and their strengths.

Do you do anything special, on a daily or weekly basis, to give extra care to you dogs?

We just make sure that our dogs and puppies receive the best possible diet for them and receive the best vet care and give each dog the daily attention and love it deserves.

Did you need a lot of money to start your breeding business?

Not really, because I did not and do not want to become a large, commercial breeder. I needed money for my first female and money to set back in case of emergencies.

How do you control your expenses while dog breeding?

I have a separate fund specifically for my dogs and breeding and I plan out a budget for each breeding and if possible, I don’t go over what I know I can spend safely.

Kristin Wilkerson

How many litters per year are you having on average?

I will have two litters this year, but no more than that.

How do you find most of your clients?

Facebook advertising and word of mouth from satisfied customers and other breeders I work closely with.

What are your efforts put into in order to build a great reputation?

Making sure my puppies are the healthiest they can possibly be and making sure everyone of my customers are satisfied and treated well.

You also founded a very active Facebook Group – why did you start this community?

I wanted to give breeders both experienced and new, a place to come to have discussions and post questions without fear of being ridiculed.

How important is it for a breeder to have an online presence nowadays like their own website along with being active on online forums?

I think it’s very important. You can get your name and reputation out there to more potential buyers and also offer your knowledge and expertise.

Have you met some great (or very bad) people through online breeding communities?

Yes I have met both good and bad people through the online communities.

If you had to start afresh with another breed, which one would it be?

I would probably start with Siberian Huskies.

What has been your most memorable sale? And client?

It would be my first litter when I sold a puppy to be a military serviceman’s service dog.

Any advice you would give to newcomers in this industry?

Do plenty of research and conduct yourself as professionally as you can. Always treat others with respect.

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