Our Breeding Philosophy


Hello friends. Welcome to our site. We are a German Shepherd Breeder in Northern New Jersey. We offer German Shepherd puppies for sale in New Jersey, USA.  I had German Shepherds since the 1980’s and love this breed. Long before I became a breeder, I admired the versatility of this breed, from the ability to work as scent dogs, to the ability to guide the blind, or herd sheep in the tending style . This intelligent breed has been a passion of mine. I have owned many different kinds of pet level and working level dogs over 30+ years, and after a journey of training, and loving many dogs, I decide that I wanted to enter the arena with a genetic bloodline of dogs that people would enjoy and love as family companions and as working dogs. We offer, gorgeous, well-bred European working line German Shepherds. Our dogs are not just any German Shepherds, but are either directly from Europe (Netherlands) or only one generation away from Europe (Germany). We paid to have the best possible bloodlines imported into the U.S, that represents champions in the sport of I.P.O and K.N.P.V lines as working examples of a dog with a working temperament, able to excel at the highest levels. We are a small breeder in Northern New Jersey. We are not a volume producer, and only produce one litter per year. We produce the kinds of dogs that we ourselves would love to own. We primarily focus on the West German working lines as our genetic foundation stock. Our dogs are raised in a healthy, loving home environment, not kenneled. Our dogs are the old European Working lines, bred for a highly social and safe nature, but can also work when the occasion calls for it. We want sensible dogs, gentle around children and pets, friendly and approachable, yet with the courage to offer security to our family and your family, and to handle work with confidence: intelligent, loyal, lovable, yet protective and fierce in the right circumstances, but overall well integrated, loving family members.


Working dogs as Family Pets

We are a supporter of all working dogs and dog sports


Our dogs are chosen based on rigorous criteria. We believe, as, Max von Stephanitz, the originator of this noble breed, felt that this breed should remain a working breed at all times. That means that there needs to be a temperament test by which dogs are selected, where their genetic potential and ability can be measured against some common standard. The selection of a dog with a working temperament is a complex topic. There are many examples of what is meant by temperament. We invite you to our “Articles” Page to look at various articles that we have written on our blog and others have written on this subject. Suffice it to say, that the frustration of trying to work with a dog who simply does not have correct temperament for the task at hand is something we have seen ourselves. However, with a dog of good temperament, training for a given task becomes almost easy. That's where the separation of genetics and working ability come into play. 

So therefore, the dogs you would select for “Search and Rescue” may not necessarily be the dogs you'd select for walking a blind person. The same is true of a dog that you want to compete at the very highest levels in the sport of Schutzhund, now called I.P.O (Internationale Prüfungs-Ordnung).


The Loyal German Shepherd is a special dog, and their owners share a special bond.
The Loyal German Shepherd is a special dog, and their owners share a special bond.

Dog Sports and Genetics, why does it matter?

Why does the sport of I.P.O matter in the selection of breeding stock in the German Shepherd?


IPO is a three-part sport which includes Tracking, Obedience and Protection phases – the dog must pass all three phases in the trial. To succeed in the protection aspect of the sport, the successful IPO candidate must possess a basic level of instinctual drives, solid nerves, desire, and willingness to perform the work with their handler.

The specific drives which must be present are prey (desire to chase an object based on visual cues) and fight (desire to defeat the prey object). The other very important drive is “pack drive” or the desire to work for the handler. While it’s helpful if the dog possesses other drives, they are not nearly as essential as strong prey and fight drives and pack drive.

When we talk about “nerves” we are referring to the dog’s core confidence. A “nervy” dog is one who gets stressed and worried easily – often flipping into forward aggression or fear inappropriately or very easily. This is the classic fear-biter, that puts on a show of aggression, to push away a potential threat. A dog with “solid nerves” does not see a threat easily, and is much easier to train in the sport. Personally, I would think twice about training a dog with weak nerves and I would never breed one either. That's why we know our dogs: because we train and work our dogs. We feel fear-biters or sharp dogs is mostly a genetic characteristic.

So how does genetics and I.P.O intersect and why is this important? The German Shepherd Breed after World War II essentially became divided into 4 sub-breeds, or sub-gene pools so to speak. The four main Gene Pools are called “The A.S.L” or the American Show Line Shepherd”, the East German (D.D.R) and Czechoslovakian German Shepherd from the Eastern Block (Warsaw Pact Countries) that were raised in government kennels for military duty, and the West German High Line Showline Shepherds and Working Line Shepherds. Some people separate the D.D.R dogs from the Slovakia and Czech dogs (now that Slovakia and Czheck Republic have been split up) . Some separate them, but we lump the D.D.R dogs and dogs of former Czechoslovakia as one basic gene sub-pool.

There are hundreds of websites that can explain to you what the differences are between the A.S.L, the D.D.R/Czech dogs and the West German Show-line and West German Working Line dogs. We recommend before you buy a puppy from us that you educate yourself on the various kinds of German Shepherd Dogs available on the market today. Literally hundreds of pages have been written on this subject. We have written a short excerpt on this subject on our site that can be found at this link: “Different Kinds of German Shepherds”. This genetic diversity in the breed must be somewhat understood by the prospective buyer, to get a sense of the various lines, or genetic sub-pools as we like to refer to them, in the breed. We focus on the West German working lines, with occasional West German Showline (with drive) added into our genetic stock. We invite you to read our “Ancestors” page, to understand the genetic overall make up of our dog's ancestors and our “Titles” page, to understand what the various dog titles in their pedigree actually mean.

So while the German Shepherd is indeed one breed, the various gene “sub-gene-pools” are rarely crossed, and in essentially doing so, you are breeding within a specific genetic sub-pool, perfected over 75 to 80 years of breeding since World War II, where certain  characteristics and behaviors are more easily developed from dogs derived from one gene pool versus another gene pool within the same breed. In other words, by breeding within one genetic gene sub-pool of dogs, you are able, via selective breeding over time, concentrate certain physical as well behavioral characteristics.  

Essentially, when selecting a breeder, you are selecting the genetics of that breeder's ancestors in that line. So while all dogs can make great pets, not all dogs have the ability to be working dogs.  That's why we focus on European derive working lines..and that's what you're buying from us. We are very proud of the bloodline we carry.



German Shepherd doing "bark and hold" exercise, showing extreme self control
German Shepherd doing "bark and hold" exercise, showing extreme self control

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Phone is 201-333-7957
email is vongontahaus@gmail.com

VonGontaHaus German Shepherds

Jersey City, New Jersey 07305, United States

(201) 333-7957


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