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German Shepherds have been a part of the Hirschfeld family for nearly twenty-five years. Shortly after returning to the original family farm outside of St. Marys in 1992, the family purchased their first female German Shepherd, Daisy. Amazed by her loyalty and balanced temperament, Janna and Erik decided to breed Daisy. Her first litter was a joy for the family: the kids watched the puppies squirm and grow; Janna and Erik secretly worried about being able to find good homes for the pups, but even though they were not registered dogs, each puppy quickly found a new home. Janna and Erik were pleased because they had not only found homes for the first litter but had also provided several families with a pet they knew the family would love.
That has been the mission of Hirschfeld German Shepherds -- to provide well-taken-care-of pets for families. Over the past two decades, the family has sold dogs to a variety of patrons, including fire departments, police academies, and service dog programs. But the most fulfilling part of the transaction has always been knowing the quality animal goes to a quality establishment. At times, Janna and Erik have turned down buyers in fear of ill treatment of the pet or unlawful actions that would adversely affect the animal. German Shepherds are remarkably intelligent and loyal to their owners; perhaps that is why the Hirschfeld family continues to have repeat purchasers and customers based on referral.
It wasn't long after Daisy's first litter that Hirschfeld German Shepherds (HGS) recognized the importance of having a recognizable membership. The American Kennel Club (AKC) stands out as a reputable and respected authority in pet ownership as well breeding. The AKC also maintains an expected level of care for their breeders through routine - and sometimes surprise - inspections. This rigor for pet care is what drew Erik and Janna to the AKC for membership. As breeding stock, each adult is identified by microchip and/or DNA sample. When a dam whelps, Erik and Janna document the birth, the bloodlines, and register the litter with the American Kennel Club. At any time AKC reserves the right to check bloodlines; therefore, membership with the AKC requires an ample amount of paperwork and documentation. While puppies are not required to be registered when purchased from HGS, every new owner is provided the paperwork to complete a limited registration.
When buyers come to the farm between St. Marys and New Bremen they often remark that it's not exactly what they expected to find. The farm has been in the family for over 60 years, and the facilities have seen a variety of livestock and grain throughout the years. Caring for pets, of course, is different than caring for livestock, so several of the original farming structures have been reworked and continue to be remodeled for better care and ease of customer visitation. The "small family farm" feel, however, has not changed. The Hirschfeld family farm has never been corporate or "factory farm" in tone. Instead, the farm has passed through generations and maintained the same caring feel it began with years ago. Livestock and dogs are inspected daily. Our breeding stock goes through routine vaccination schedules and also see the farm veterinarian -- all to maintain health and wellbeing of our pets. One aspect Hirschfeld German Shepherds differs in opinion from the American Kennel Club is the requirements for breeding. Originally being livestock operators, Erik and Janna understand the importance of clean bloodlines and the risk of inbreeding. While AKC allows incestuous offspring (usually for enhancing a desired trait), Hirschfeld German Shepherds refuses to breed adults with any level of relation. Instead of this accepted behavior, HGS continues to seek out breeding stock that contain the desired qualities they want in their pets. This includes color (black and tan, white, grey/blue, liver) as well as the squared hips instead of European slanting hips.
Diversifying Colors and Markings
After Daisy's first litter of puppies and joining the American Kennel Club, HGS started expanding their breeding stock as well as breeding traits. The oldest daughter, Audrey, purchased an all-white female and continues to breed white German Shepherds. The oldest son, Mitchell, sought out and purchased a liver (red) saddle back. Erik and Janna also have white, solid black, liver, and gray adults in addition to their traditional black and tan sables and saddle backs. All five children in the family have females of their own, attesting to the loyalty and quality of a German Shepherd dog as a pet. Each of the children also continues to have his or her females bred. Three children have their dogs at their homes in Marysville, Bellbrook, and New Knoxville where they raise litters and sell to buyers in their area.
Why Choose HGS
For the past twenty years, much has changed in the Hirschfeld family, but one thing remains constant: the desire to provide other families with quality pets. From personalized care of each animal to American Kennel Club notoriety, knowledge of the breed to variety of characteristics, Hirschfeld German Shepherds has provided hundreds of families with pets they love and continue to love. We hope you will consider not only a German Shepherd but a Hirschfeld German Shepherd.