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I am planning to purchase a puppy today for my family and I am hoping the puppy is purebred; now the area where I live is based on the good ol boy network and I know some are just out to make a quick buck. The man selling the puppy seems very nice and has been very informative in keeping me up to date, but if I remember correctly he said he didn’t have the papers which isn’t a big concern. However, since I am paying $400 I’m wanting a second opinion on whether the pup looks purebred. Below are the only pictures I have of the puppies and mine is the one his hand is under.

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I’ve been told they are seven weeks old. It’s my understanding that the ears may stand up later as the puppy grows but I’m just a little worried since I’m spending $400.

closed as off-topic by trond hansen, James Jenkins Mar 3 at 10:58

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about identifying a breed. – trond hansen Mar 2 at 16:06
  • @trondhansen are those explicitly off-topic? We have a breeds tag. – JAD Mar 2 at 16:11
  • @JAD we have had a debate about this in meta and dog breed and cat breed are off topic,identification of more exsotic pets might be on topic. – trond hansen Mar 2 at 16:19
  • @trondhansen Can you, please, link to this Meta debate? – elbrant Mar 3 at 2:50
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*Disclaimer - I’m not an expert in identifying breeds. But I have 2 shepherds.

This dog appears to be a shepherd or have shepherd in it. It looks similar to mine when they where pups. And you are correct, the ears will rise with age.

However there are a couple of things:

Papers and evidence of lineage will tell, things like if it is registered with your country’s dog authority (I.e. the kennel club etc) will allow you to be sure.

The fact that this breeder “doesn’t happen to have the papers” is a little red flag. Breeders worth their weight are able to provide as much information as possible, papers of atleast the parents, kennel names, health tests etc. Generally breeders get papers for the pup between 4-8 weeks and you should be walking away from the sale with them.

Generally when you’re buying puppies you’ll be able to meet atleast the mother, see any health test results, and get a kennel name to find out more about the breeding lines which will make it pretty identifiable.

$400 is rather cheap for a shepherd, in Europe a decent, health tested kennel registered shepherd will cost around £950 - £1200 ($1254-$1585) but the market maybe different in the states, but I would argue that’s cheap none the less.

So if you’re paying that for a pup I’d want to see papers of parents and the pup to research on.

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    The less papers there are (lineage, proof of vaccination, etc.) and the less information you get (being allowed to visit the breeder and see the parents) the higher is the risk of this being a puppy mill where dogs suffer for the profit of the breeder. And this bears the risk of those dogs being inbread, prone to all kinds of illnesses and behavioral problems due to insufficient socialization. – Elmy Mar 3 at 7:07
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Another "red flag" is that the puppies still have their dew claws. Purebred pups typically have their dew claws removed (in the U.S.) and (if breed appropriate) their tails docked. If the breeder doesn't do these things, there is a good chance that the puppies have not been vetted. Ask which Vet's office they used and follow up. It should be reasonable to inquire if the Vet noticed anything you should know about the litter (because you are purchasing one). If the Vet dances around the quesion, there's a good chance that they never saw the litter.

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    Worth noting that cropping and docking is illegal in the UK and legal in most of mainland Europe. But assuming OP is in the states given the currency indication. If the breeder dances around the vet question or refuses then this is also a red flag. – UIO Mar 3 at 10:18
  • @UIO Good point! – elbrant Mar 4 at 2:14