4 of the Best German Shepherd Breeders in Iowa

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The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, ranking consistently in the top 3 breeds registered with the AKC. These intelligent, loyal dogs make excellent companions, police dogs, service dogs, and more.

Getting a German Shepherd puppy is an exciting time, but finding the right breeder is extremely important. You’ll want to make sure you choose an ethical, responsible breeder that focuses on health, temperament, and preserving the integrity of the breed.

Iowa has its fair share of dedicated German Shepherd breeders passionate about this wonderful breed. If you’re looking to add a German Shepherd puppy to your family, here are 4 of the best German Shepherd breeders in Iowa to consider:

1. German Shepherds of Iowa

German Shepherds of Iowa is a small family-owned breeder located in Hills, Iowa. They’ve been breeding German Shepherds since 2013 and focus on AKC registered working line dogs.

Their German Shepherds come from strong European bloodlines selected for health, structure, temperament and working ability. All breeding dogs undergo genetic and temperament testing.

The puppies are raised in a busy farm environment and exposed to a variety of people, animals and situations for early socialization. They handle and work with the puppies daily to build their confidence.

German Shepherds of Iowa is dedicated to matching their German Shepherd puppies with the right families. They get to know prospective owners very well before placing any puppies.


  • Working line German Shepherds
  • OFA certified hips/elbows on breeding dogs
  • Puppies raised on a farm with early socialization
  • 2 year health guarantee against crippling diseases
  • Strong focus on genetics, health and temperament

Location: Hills, Iowa


2. Valiant Shepherds

Valiant Shepherds, located in Humboldt, Iowa, breeds West German working line German Shepherds. Their focus is on producing dogs of exceptional quality in both structure and temperament.

They breed and import dogs from top European bloodlines. Their German Shepherd puppies can be either stock coat or long stock coat.

Valiant Shepherds begins socialization and training from day one. They also do temperament testing to ensure their puppies have sound, stable temperaments.

This breeder is very dedicated to the long-term welfare of their dogs. They have a thorough screening process for potential owners to ensure their puppies are matched with the right families.


  • West German working line German Shepherds
  • Stock coats and long stock coats available
  • Early socialization and training
  • Temperament testing on puppies
  • Strong focus on finding great lifetime homes

Location: Humboldt, Iowa


3. Alte Baum Kennel

Located in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Alte Baum Kennel imports and breeds top quality European working and show line German Shepherds.

Their focus is on producing German Shepherds with outstanding temperament, trainability, structure, and health through carefully selected breedings.

All of their breeding dogs pass extensive genetic and health testing. The puppies are extensively socialized and exposed to many different environments during their early development.

Alte Baum Kennel German Shepherds make wonderful active family companions while also possessing the traits needed to excel in police, military and Schutzhund work.


  • European working and show lines
  • Genetic and health testing on all breeding dogs
  • Focus on health, structure, temperament
  • Puppies raised with extensive socialization
  • Proven ability in police, military, Schutzhund

Location: Fort Dodge, Iowa


4. Knallhart Kennels & Training Academy

Knallhart Kennels & Training Academy in Iowa City breeds and trains German Shepherds and Newfoundlands. Their focus is on producing healthy, structurally sound dogs with stable temperaments suited for work as service dogs.

Their German Shepherd breeding dogs undergo extensive health and genetic testing before being selected. Puppy owners can also take advantage of their professional dog training services.

In addition to breeding, they title and show their dogs in AKC events. This allows them to prove their dogs meet breed standards.


  • Health and genetic testing on all breeding dogs
  • German Shepherds well suited for service work
  • Professional training services available
  • Proven quality through AKC events and titling

Location: Iowa City, Iowa


What to Look for in a German Shepherd Breeder

Choosing the right breeder is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when getting a German Shepherd puppy. Here are the top things to look for in a responsible, reputable German Shepherd breeder:

AKC Registration

A quality breeder will have all their breeding dogs registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). AKC registration ensures the dogs meet the breed standard and gives predictability in terms of size, structure, and temperament. Responsible breeders are passionate about breeding to the standard for health and temperament.

Health Testing

Extensive health testing on all breeding dogs is a must. Reputable breeders will test for common genetic issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and eye issues.

Health testing is critical for minimizing the chances of puppies inheriting debilitating diseases. Only dogs that pass these tests should be bred. Ask to see health certificates or proof of testing. Breeders should openly share results.

Common tests for German Shepherds include:

  • OFA or PennHIP hip dysplasia evaluation
  • OFA elbow dysplasia evaluation
  • Degenerative myelopathy DNA test
  • OFA cardiac exam
  • Eye exam by a veterinary ophthalmologist

A good breeder tests for issues most prevalent in the breed and does not cut corners when it comes to health.

Sound Temperament

An ethical breeder focuses on producing puppies with sound temperaments suited for companionship, work or show. They breed dogs with stable personalities and allow you to meet the parents and see how they interact.

Meeting the sire and dam gives you insight into what a puppy’s temperament may be like. A quality breeder is forthcoming about their dogs’ temperaments and conducts early neurological stimulation.

Early Socialization

Reputable breeders understand the critical importance of early puppy socialization to minimize fear and maximize confidence. Puppies should be raised in the home around people, exposed to normal household noises and handled frequently.

Early socialization through the breeder sets up a puppy for success in training and social situations. This level of care requires significant time and dedication from the breeder.

Contract & Health Guarantee

A good breeder provides a written contract detailing responsibilities, pet registration, and health guarantee information. They offer at least a 1-2 year health guarantee against genetic issues.

Ideally, the breeder also agrees to take back a dog at any point in its life if the owner can no longer provide care for any reason. This demonstrates long-term commitment to the welfare of the dogs they produce.

Doing your due diligence in finding a quality breeder helps ensure a happy, healthy German Shepherd for many years to come. Don’t cut corners – find a breeder who fully health tests, focuses on temperament and provides top-notch puppy socialization.

Frequently Asked Questions About German Shepherd Breeders in Iowa

Are there any German Shepherd breeders in Iowa?

Yes, there are several reputable German Shepherd breeders located throughout Iowa that focus on breeding purebred German Shepherds. The breeders mentioned in this article are some of the top options.

How do I find German Shepherd puppies for sale in Iowa?

Start your search online through breeder websites and directories. Also check sites like AKC Marketplace that list puppies from breeders across the state. Attending dog shows is another way to network and meet local breeders.

What health tests should the breeder do?

Reputable German Shepherd breeders will perform a variety of health tests on their breeding dogs including hip and elbow evaluations, DM testing, heart testing and more. Ask the breeder to provide documentation.

How much does a German Shepherd puppy cost in Iowa?

German Shepherd puppy prices in Iowa can range anywhere from $800 to over $2000 depending on the breeder and particular bloodlines. Expect to pay $1500 or more for a pup from a top breeder.

Should I import a German Shepherd from Europe instead?

There are excellent German Shepherd breeders in the US and Iowa. Importing from overseas can be very expensive and risky unless you know the breeder very well. For most owners, an Iowa-bred puppy is a great choice.

What questions should I ask the Iowa breeder?

Key questions to ask include info about their experience, breeding dogs, health testing, genetic guarantees, socialization methods, what they feed, contract terms, pricing and more. Take notes on their responses.

Final Thought

The German Shepherd is a beloved breed known for its intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. When searching for a German Shepherd puppy, it’s important to take your time finding an ethical, responsible breeder in Iowa focused on furthering the health and temperament of the breed.

The breeders showcased here exemplify dedication to breeding quality purebred German Shepherds with sound structure, health, and impeccable temperaments. By choosing one of these breeders to work with, you can feel confident you’ll find the perfect German Shepherd puppy to welcome into your home and family for years to come.

By Andrew Garf

Andrew Garf has loved dogs, especially German Shepherds, since he was 10 years old. Though he also loves burgers, training dogs is his real passion. That's why he created the website TrainYourGSD.com - to help dog owners learn how to properly train, care for, and bond with their German Shepherd dogs.