Looking for a Belgian Shepherd puppy as your future companion?

Below is some information to help you make the best decision. A reputable breeder will provide you with the following documentation and information:

  • Official registration certificate from the kennel club of the puppy or dog's country of origin at no extra charge. For example, a Canadian born dog will have a Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) registration certificate; a dog born in the US will have an American Kennel Club (AKC) registration certificate, etc.
  • Microchip information - the CKC requires Canadian-born puppies to be identified with a microchip or tattoo before leaving the breeder's premises.
  • Pedigree for your puppy or dog
  • Health information and vaccination records 
  • Health information for parents
  • Food and instructions on care and feeding
Our Breeders Listing page has contact information for BSDCC members in good standing, who also breed Belgian Shepherd Dogs. You can also check our Rescues & Rehomes page for any Belgian Shepherds that are looking for new homes, if an adult dog is a better option for you. 

Also, if you just got a puppy, ask your breeder to look into our Puppy Membership option, to treat their puppies' new family with a BSDCC puppy membership!

This new program allows CKC registered Belgian Shepherd breeders to purchase BSDCC Membership for their puppy owners at a discounted price of $25!

To register puppy owners as members of the BSDCC, click: BSDCC Puppy Membership Form

What to look for - helpful tips

Health Testing
Every breed has different recommended health tests based on the breed's most prevalent issues. These tests could include radiographs of the hips, knees, and/or elbows which are then evaluated by a panel of orthopedic specialists, laboratory testing of the thyroid, annual ophthalmologist examination, auscultation and echocardiogram of the heart, DNA tests looking for specific genes, hearing tests, and various others depending. This testing provides basic information for breeders to make more informed breeding decisions in order to reduce the incidence of inherited disease.
Reputable Belgian Shepherd breeders will xray their breeding animals for hip and elbow dysplasia, and have their dogs' eyes checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist (eye certification is onyl valid for one year). Some will also complete other testing, such as thyroid or heart.
The health registry most commonly used in North America is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) https://www.ofa.org/, which has a searchable database listing all the health information submitted.
Age of Breeding Pair
Recommended health testing is a good segue into the minimum age of the sire and dam. In most breeds, two years of age is considered the minimum age for breeding. For most breeds, they are physically mature enough for their body to handle pregnancy and whelping. In addition, some of the health testing can only be completed and submitted if done after 24 months of age. Many Belgian Shepherd breeders wait until their dogs are at least three years of age before breeding them.
Number and Frequency of Litters
There are various factors a breeder must consider when planning a litter, but one having back to back litters on a bitch should not be a red flag. Many breeders will likely only have a two or three litters out of a bitch before retiring her, usually by age seven. If a breeder has multiple litters on the ground consistently or they are breeding numerous breeds, that should be a red flag that things may not be very reputable. 
Proven Parents
A reputable breeder will choose their breeding pairs based on traits that best complement each other in order to produce a dog that is healthy and has sound temperament and structure. They will recognize a fault in the dam and pair her with a stud who is strong in that same aspect and vice versa.
Depending on what you are hoping to do with your dog, being proven can mean different things. If you are looking for a working or performance sports dog, you would want to see that the dam and sire were proven herders, accomplished in protection sports, or titled in agility or obedience, for example.
For a show home, you would be looking at conformation titles. A conformation show is one in which a judge familiar with a breed's standard evaluates how well the dog conforms to the breed type and standard. A conformation championship from a recognized national kennel club is generally considered a reasonably objective indication of merit. 
Thorough Application Process
A reputable breeder will not sell a puppy to just anyone. They typically have either a thorough application or will have a long discussion with you about your wants, needs, and lifestyles. They will not place a puppy in a home that is not going to be a good match, in terms of care, training and activity level. Belgian Shepherds are a very active, intense and intelligent breed that need owners committed to training and exercising their dogs.
A breeder will often ask for veterinary references if you already have pets to prove you will provide proper medical care, or the name of the vet clinic you intend to use if you do not already have animals. They will inquire about your experience and knowledge of the breed's specific quirks and needs. They'll ask if you own or rent your home, and if you rent if you are allowed by lease to have the specific breed or animals at all. They'll ask about your intentions with training and how you plan to keep the puppy safe when you are not home. They'll ask if anyone in the home has allergies. In addition to these, there are various other questions they will likely ask before agreeing that one of their puppies would be a good fit with you.
Thorough Contract
A responsible breeder will make sure that there is a solid contract in place between them and their puppy buyers ensuring the best care for the puppy. An important clause that will be in every contract with a good breeder is a return clause. This just means that if for any instance the initial buyer can no longer keep the dog, that it be returned to the breeder. Because of this, reputable breeders retain responsibility for any puppy they have produced throughout their lives.
The contract will include a health guarantee stating that the puppy has been vet checked, dewormed and vaccinated appropriately, and was in good health upon exchanging hands. They typically have a genetic health guarantee as well, so that in the event of a congenital or hereditary health concern you can turn to them for replacement. Contracts also typically require that you keep the dog up to date on vaccines and medical care, feed a quality food, and allow constant access to water and shelter. Most require that you update them on the dog's welfare on a regular basis.
Whelping and Puppy Socialization
A reputable breeder will have a vast store of information and support going into whelping. It is important to look at where the puppies are kept while still with the breeder and how they are raised. For instance, a good breeder will have a proper whelping setup that is easy to clean and sanitize, as well as cleaned out rather frequently.
In addition, a good breeder will put a lot of effort into socializing the puppies. Some will follow various programs that help work through early neurological stimulation, enrichment, fear and development periods, crate and potty training, anti-aggression protocols, problem prevention, and much more.
In addition, a reputable breeder would not allow a puppy to leave their home until they are a minimum of eight weeks of age. Puppies need to learn and socialize with their mother and littermates at least until 8 weeks of age. Some breeders will keep the pups until they are 10 or 12 weeks old.
You will quickly notice that a reputably bred dog will be much more expensive than a not so responsible one. Their prices reflect the work and costs associated with raising, testing, and proving their dogs.
Show and sport entry fees are costly. Most health tests are costly, and some must be done yearly. An outside stud fee will also be costly. There are many additional veterinary fees associated with the pregnant bitch and well as additional costs for vetting the puppies themselves. The cost associated with purchasing a well bred puppy can be thought of as a long game type of situation, you pay more up front for a healthy puppy from healthy lines and less in the long run, versus a dog who does not come from health tested parents.
Additional Information
A reputable breeder will dogs that are registered with a reputable registry, such as the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club, NOT the Continental Kennel Club) or AKC (American Kennel Club). It is important to note that registration alone does not make a dog well bred, as it is simply a registry through a club.
A reputable breeder will provide you with a lifetime of support for your dog. If you have questions or concerns, a reputable breeder will be there for you to help in anyway that they can.
A reputable breeder will breed to their breed's standards. This means not breeding for fad colors, incorrect coat types, or over/under sized dogs.
A reputable breeder will not breed designer mixes.