Good German Shepherd breeders are familiar with the breed standard, use only physically and temperamentally stable dogs for breeding, screen for health problems and work hard to match their puppies with compatible owners. They are willing to share knowledge about their dogs and to educate and support new owners.
Reputable breeders usually require a written contract with a prospective buyer regarding the animal's care. If the animal is being sold as a pet and not as breeding stock, the contract usually includes a spay or neuter clause. Good breeders usually offer a lifetime guarantee to take the animal back if a placement does not work out. They also provide written health records including documentation of screenings for genetic problems.