DireWolf Dog Comments

Dire Wolf Project - DireWolf Dog - Ember - American Alsatian Dog

Dire Wolf Project - Ember - DireWolf Dog - American Alsatian



2016-09-21 03:09:24 Andy Biondi

Just a comment, Flowers Kuberos is the most spectacular puppy I've ever seen in any breed. Can't wait to see a photo of him as an adult.

2016-09-01 17:20:44 Vallecito Alsatians

sorry about that, Kelsey. Here's the correct link. I better update that. www.schwarzdogs.com

2016-08-31 19:35:16 Allyson Kelly

My husband and I are considering an American Alsatian when we retire! Lovely, informative website!

2016-03-16 19:07:33 Nikia Brock

Hello, I'm looking for a dog and stumbled onto this wondrous breed. I still live with my mom, but plan to have an apartment in about 1 to 2 years. My life after that will be a juggling act of university and (hopefully) working as a Crime Investigator in the military. I'll have a small cat with me. Point is, am wondering if this course is manageable with this breed. Am not looking for a guard dog but a companion. Thank-you for your time.

2016-02-23 13:24:41 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Light Bringer - So glad that you have found us! Please let me know if you need anything along the way. :) Stay well.

2016-02-22 10:54:05 Light Bringer

Well, my research has paid off, and I've done a ton of it! I'm now very confident to say that I will be owning an Alsatian in the future. Until then I'll be keeping a close watch. Can't wait for my own adventure with one of these wonderful dogs! :)

2016-01-27 02:27:35 Anjounét Leavell

I cannot wait to adopt one someday :D.

2015-12-06 01:12:48 Light Bringer

Hello again, It has been a while since I checked back here. I was wondering though. My neighbor has two German shepherds that I have been baby sitting to see if a big dog is right for me. They are sweet dogs, but can be mouthy and hard to play with, and they also pull very hard on the lead, so I was wondering if Alsatians are mouthy in play and tend to pull on the leash.

2015-11-21 19:05:29 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Scott- I'm pretty far behind on those questionnaires. Thanks for being so excited! I did receive it and I'll get to them as soon as I can. Keep the faith and we'll hopefully talk again soon. Jennifer

2015-11-20 12:16:56 Scott Kennedy

This breed sounds amazing. Very interested in adding a AA to our family. I've filled a questionnaire very interested in the next step. My wife ask me everyday if we've heard anything yet. Laid back nature is just what we're looking for.

2015-11-20 01:50:46 Vallecito Alsatians

Kamrae- Great question. No, typically the American Alsatian sheds out the hair so frequently and constantly that they do not have a doggie odor. However, I noticed Aslan beginning to smell some. I haven't bathed him in a few years and he tends to retain his undercoat more readily than the others, so time for a bath and a good brushing. I haven't noticed that doggie smell in any of the other dogs. Thanks and I hope that helps some.

2015-11-16 01:06:24 Kamrae

So weird question but I've read about a few breeds that claim to not have a "doggie" odor, does the American Alsatian have a doggie odor?

2015-10-20 01:25:43 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Karen - American Alsatians can live to 12 or 13 years old. The oldest living American Alsatian that I know of will be 11 years old in December 2015.

2015-10-13 14:12:39 Karen L Kane Druckenmiller

Hello !! This breed sounds wonderful, wondering about life span for them ??? We have owned 3 Giant Schnauzers, sitting here with #3, we absolutely love big boys and girls , but would like to have our next pet to have a longer life span than 8-10 years !!! Thanks !!!

2015-08-22 14:47:20


2015-08-19 21:38:24 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Nicole- American Alsatians cost between $2500 to $3000.

2015-08-19 20:45:21 Nicole O'Malley

Could you please tell me how much one of your puppies would cost? We are very interested in the breed and would love to know more! Thank you!

2015-07-26 10:22:57 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Light Bringer- (Nice handle, btw.) If you have any questions along the way, just let me know. I'll be happy to answer them. Good luck in your search for your next furry companion.

2015-07-25 13:08:14 Light Bringer

I have always wanted a dog, and had always held a passion for wolf look a likes, but being disabled I could never keep up with such wonderful, yet high energy dogs.I have looked at tamaskins, inuits, utonagans, malamutes, and other wolf like dogs through the years, but all have proven to be not suited for me. I have always wanted to find a dog that strongly resembled a wolf but was calm and collected. I am happy to find this site and I hope that one day your efforts for this unique breed will come through! I will continue to research this breed to see if it will be right for me in the future.

2015-07-17 14:14:54 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Maxwell - Great questions. Thanks for asking. American Alsatians love water, especially when it's hot out. Many of them live by the ocean and love to play in the shallow surf. They are not so much interested in swimming, but shallow water playing is a great pastime. They do not have separation anxiety and in fact I have often left my dogs for 8 hours a day while I go to work. There are never any issues in the house without being crated as adults and while crated as puppies. This breed is a calm breed in general and tend to sleep waiting for their people until they get home.

2015-07-17 12:58:18 Maxwell

So far, this breed seems to be my dream dog, and I am thinking of purchasing one in the future. However, my family and I love the water and go to the beach multiple times throughout the week. Therefore I was wondering if this breed tolerates the water. I would enjoy having a shallow water companion. Another minor concern is if the breed gets separation anxiety. At least 2 days in a week the dog will be left alone for 8 hours. I won't mind hiring a dog walker, or even getting him a companion to satisfy him. I hope these questions aren't too wild, thank you in advance.

2015-01-27 19:12:03 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Jeff- There are currently only 2 breeders, and numerous stud dog owners. The founder lives in Oregon state and we are here in Colorado state. Many people on the east coast prefer to fly their puppy home, although a few have driven out to get their puppy and some have used pet ground transport services. All three of those options have been used with great success. If you are interested in acquiring an American Alsatian, you can begin the process by going to our puppy adoption questionnaire and submitting your answers. Someone will get back to you shortly. Once you are approved, you can place a $300 non-refundable deposit down to get on our waiting list. We go down the list in order of first interest in a particular litter and then down that interested list by deposit date. I hope that helps answer your questions. Please let me know if we can help you further.

2015-01-27 10:33:58 Jeff

I am interested in this breed. I live in Maryland, on a 20 acre property that is primarily woods, and surrounded by a state park. Are there breeders anywhere close to Maryland? If not, what would be involved in aquiring a female pup?

2014-12-25 16:36:45 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Ameila- Thank you for the compliments. It is always a pleasure for me. Let me take your questions one at a time. First off, it's important to note the difference between lazy and calm. American Alsatians do not require much in the way of exercise. They are content to lie near and get pet... the more petting the better. They enjoy affection, getting brushed, learning to communicate with their owners, and pleasing them. They are calm in this way. But, they are by no means lazy. They don't resist going out. On the contrary, they want to be wherever their owners are. So, they will lope along with you as you run or walk with you through the forest trails, always keeping an eye and a nose on where you are. I have found that this breed, in general, is excellent on the trail because of the fact that they always keep an eye out for their owners. If you are a serious runner who finds full marathons easy and enjoyable, an American Alsatian is probably not going to go the distance. They have very bulky, heavy frames not made for long distance running. Also, this breed is a serious breed of dog. They are not playful in the sense of silly, goofy dog play. They are mostly not interested in fetching or playing tug of war. They will, some, but their interest wanes extremely easily. They would rather lie close and get pet than play exuberantly with their humans. They are also not interested in playing much with other strange dogs or people. They will play tag and keep away with their doggie family, but are not interested in playing with other strange dogs until they get to know them. Dog parks are not the bane of their existence. It is the interest they have for their owners that is extremely high and creates the perfect companion dog, in our minds. All of my dogs would rather chew on bones and soft toys in whatever room I'm in, rather than bring me a ball or frisbee (which they've never done). By the way, this breed is a very soft-hearted breed and easily correctly. They are submissive in the sense that corrections need only be very soft and easy for them to understand that they did something wrong. All of my dogs do not touch anything on the counters, even if it's steak or chicken and even if I'm gone. This is not something I specifically taught them, but somehow there is an understanding that these things are mine and these things are theirs. I know that sounds like it might be impossible, but it is consistent with each of my American Alsatian dogs. I have a feeling it comes with the submissive, soft-heartedness of the breed. The American Alsatian is currently in transition in overall height. After perfecting the calm and affectionate companion dog temperament in a large breed of dog, without working behaviors, we began working more toward the Dire Wolf bone and body structure. The truebred American Alsatian currently stands 25 to 27 inches tall, however, we are working to slowly increase overall height to average between 27 to 30 inches tall. The same goes for the weight of the breed. The truebred American Alsatian currently weighs between 80 to 105 pounds, but we are working now to increase overall weight to average 100 to 130 pounds. There is variation now within the breed after the recent crossbreeding. This includes variation in temperament, however, all the Vallecito Alsatian dogs have a similar temperament and their personalities are close enough to standard. I happen to have dogs who are more on the smaller size ranging from 25 inches in my females to 27 in my male. We are hoping that Ember is a taller, heavier female than Sprinkle turned out to be, even though they will both be second generations away from a giant Malamute. But, we must choose for correct health and temperament first, so height and weight remain to increase at a slower rate and may take several years to create an average breed increase. You have asked a very good question, that many people assume they know the answer to. Unfortunately, many people have assumed that due to the parent breeds; German Shepherd Dog, Malamute, English Mastiff, giant Malamute, that the American Alsatian cannot be the temperament we say it has. However, what many do not realize is that the founder, Lois Schwarz, was extremely meticulous in only choosing puppies with less and less energy, less and less noise, less and less shy/scared, less and less aggressive tendency, less and less hardness and more and more soft, submissive, sweet, gentle, calm, quiet, affectionate... for 26 years she's been choosing puppies that fit her temperament mold... before ever perfecting the look of the breed. That is the reason why the breed does not yet conform to the Dire Wolf looks standard we hope to eventually achieve. When I realized that the founder was THIS meticulous in eliminating health and temperament issues within her whole breed, (and it took me a lot of research and questioning to realize this) I was hooked. Couple this with after owning them for many years, wanting so much to share what Lois was doing so that other people would understand what I came to realize and wanting to be an integral part of helping to bring her vision to fruition, I began breeding. It was very rocky at first. It was a large learning curve, to say the least, and I had to have a lot of "stick-to-it-ness" in order to be here today. But, I'm very glad that I did. It has been become a passion for me to bring these lovely dogs to owners who need an easy, calm, sweet large breed of dog for so many different reasons. In the NEAR future, I hope to help others less fortunate by gifting those who are disabled and in need of a service dog, with free service dog training to the highest standards. That is a process in the works, though, as we continue to work out the legal details. But, I hope it comes about in the next few years. I hope that helps answer your questions. Please let me know if I can help you further. Blessings, Jennifer

2014-12-23 06:41:38 Ameila

Hi! :) First of all, I'd like to say the promptness of your replies are incredible. Secondly, American Alsatians are among the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen. I hope you won't mind me asking a few quick questions. Firstly, you mentioned to the commenter below that AAs are extremely "mellow" in temperment. Does this mean that they are ill suited as running/ hiking/ camping companions? And do these dogs tend to be playful? Secondly, on average, how tall are these dogs? I searched online, and then results range from between 55 to 80 cm, which can't be right. And purely out of curiosity, is there any particular reason why you choose to breed these dogs with lower energy levels and more mellow attitudes? Looking at the parent breeds, they could just as easily have been more aggressive guard dog types. Thank you so much in advance. -Ameila

2014-12-22 20:02:39 Vallecito Alsatians

GSDLover: Thanks for your great questions. This topic is very near and dear to my heart as it is health and temperament that we constantly work to improve and protect, although we must crossbreed from time to time. The truebred American Alsatian (those dogs that breed true to standard) are extremely intelligent, as much as a GSD or Border Collie. However, they have a completely different temperament type, so that intelligence isn't met with the normal energy that the above mentioned breeds also tend to show. (I realize you can get a milder GSD or BC, but according to standard and breed majority.) The majority for our breed is a very mellow, calm, quiet type of dog. They are not generally excitable, but tend to show their happiness through their facial expressions. The truebred American Alsatian craves affection and attention. They live for that, in fact. They do not dig, bark or chew excessively. They are very patient and willing. They learn commands easily, but aren't going to win prizes for fast-paced, high-stepping obedience. They are obedience and will do all of the commands with ease, but will not have energy like a GSD or BC would. They are non-confrontational type dogs, as well, preferring to get behind their owners instead of stand in front and challenge an aggressor. They are excellent watch dogs, alert to all that surrounds them... but terrible guard dogs. That being said, we have several crossbred lines that remain separate from the main truebred line. Puppies from some of these lines have temperaments that do not conform completely to our temperament standards. Some first and second generations puppies from the giant Malamute, for example, have shown a stubborn, unwilling attitude. Here at Vallecito Alsatians, we do not have dogs of this temperament. Only one American Alsatian breeder is allowed to cross and so, Vallecito Alsatians maintains truebred lines that conform to American Alsatian temperament standards. Our females are a bit on the energetic side for our breed, but otherwise are very close to temp. standards. You can view how they score according to our standards by visiting their respective pages. Aslan, our stud, is exactly to temperament standard. I hope this helps in your understanding of the American Alsatian temperament. Good luck in your search for your next furry companion.

2014-12-22 13:55:15 GSDLover

Hello. American Alsatians look to be a beautiful breed, and I'm thinking of getting one in the future. However, I have a few questions that I hope you won't mind answering regarding the average intelligence of the breed. As an owner of GSDs and Border Collies, I prefer intelligent dogs who love being intellectually challenged. How does the intelligence of the American Alsatian compare to breeds such as those mentioned above? Also, do AAs make suitable watch or guard-dogs? Do they have temperaments suited to those of working dogs? Thank you for reading this!

2014-09-01 18:12:16 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Wolfgirl_121 Thank your for your thoughts on the word "passed," which we've used to describe the veterinarian approved lack of disease/health concern in these areas. Noting your confusion with the wording (and perhaps others), I will gladly make that clearer. Thank you for your feedback there. FYI: We do not have (nor will we ever use) Siberian Husky in our lines.

2014-09-01 01:09:47 wolfgirl_121

The inbreeding was a concern of mine, but that concern has now been assuaged with your explanation, so thank you for that. The reason why I asked about the CERF and halter monitoring is that, though you say their eyes and hearts have passed, they really haven't. Unless these third parties have tested the dogs, they have not truly "passed". I am not discarding their clean bills of health from your veterinarian, but CERF and Halter tests are what a dog "passes", not just preliminary tests by a vet. Saying that your dogs have passed their eyes and hearts only serves to tell people who are more educated about dog breeding, tests and health that they have passed these tests when they really haven't. While this might not be an issue in your eyes, it could be in the eyes of a prospective owner. Say I had just assumed that you were testing through these third parties and my dog ended up being diagnosed with hemeralopia due to X-Linked Progressive Retinal Atrophy for which CERF tests(often seen in siberian huskies which, I might be mistaken here, are in your dog's lines)? It's a genetic condition that can be caught and not passed on (though it can't be caught at the genotypic level, but the phenotypic appearance is what's found). Now, one could look at this and say that you're lying, whereas I look at it and see that it's an unfortunate choice of words. Maybe a disclaimer or something in the fine print could point out that these dogs don't go through these nationally accredited, third-party testers, but through your own veterinarian? I know that you pride yourself on being open and honest with your prospective customers, and I hope that this is an honest oversight. Thank you for taking the time to read this!

2014-08-23 17:37:05 Vallecito Alsatians

Wolfgirl_121- No, we do not CERF or Holter monitor, although perhaps someday the majority will win out and we'll third-party test those, too. We monitor both eyes and heart through our veterinarian. We've never had any eye problems, ever, although some heart issues have recently come into the breed from the giant Malamute, so we monitor the innocent heart murmurs and post them on our health page. We do not breed any pups who show a heart murmur as a puppy, even though they do go away on their own at around 3 months old. The two pups who've shown it are neutered. The dogs we have kept with ancestry from the giant Malamute did not have the innocent heart murmur.

2014-08-23 17:25:13 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Wolfgirl_121- Your questions are not a problem. I enjoy them, truthfully. Many people have similar questions and hopefully my answers will help you as well as anyone else listening in. Yes, Aslan is extremely saturated with Zorro's genes. This was done on purpose. Aslan has a 29% inbreeding co-efficiency and I'm sure that will shock many people. He is VERY highly inbred, especially on Zorro's end. He is basically Zorro, but with a silver coat. Normally, I would say you are correct in that inbreeding can show an increase of health issues. However, when you have a highly inbred dog WITHOUT any health issues to give, you don't get any. It isn't inbreeding itself that produces the health issues. It is inbreeding on unhealthy genetics that produces a higher rate of ill health in the pups. Zorro was 100% clear of any health issues. Not because he was tested by some outside third party... but because everything that went before him was bred on purpose to make sure that he had 0 health issues in his genetic make-up. THIS dog, Zorro, was THE dog to breed with to make sure that the breed produced exactly the same as himself. Aslan is just such a male. Aslan is everything Zorro was... health, temperament and looks, except devoid of yellow or red coloration. Now... taking a dog like Aslan, that has 0 health issues and perfect temperament (according to our breed standards), and breeding him to a second generation female with a different ancestry, means that their pups will have a MUCH less inbreeding co-efficiency, but a great possibility of not having any health or temperament issues. This is what we are doing when we breed Aslan and Sprinkle. I made sure that Sprinkle did not have the same background, but came from a different line. She also has the recent giant Malamute 2 generations away, which brings in much more diversity. The puppies between Sprinkle and Aslan will be 3 generations away from the giant Malamute, but have ALL of the good genetics that Zorro had in him. Just like wolves in the wild, American Alsatian breeders breed with an ebb and flow of inbreeding and outcrossing. This makes the lines very solid and stable, but then creates diversity which shakes up the genetics and gets them ready for the next stage in the process.

2014-08-23 17:25:04 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Wolfgirl_121- Your questions are not a problem. I enjoy them, truthfully. Many people have similar questions and hopefully my answers will help you as well as anyone else listening in. Yes, Aslan is extremely saturated with Zorro's genes. This was done on purpose. Aslan has a 29% inbreeding co-efficiency and I'm sure that will shock many people. He is VERY highly inbred, especially on Zorro's end. He is basically Zorro, but with a silver coat. Normally, I would say you are correct in that inbreeding can show an increase of health issues. However, when you have a highly inbred dog WITHOUT any health issues to give, you don't get any. It isn't inbreeding itself that produces the health issues. It is inbreeding on unhealthy genetics that produces a higher rate of ill health in the pups. Zorro was 100% clear of any health issues. Not because he was tested by some outside third party... but because everything that went before him was bred on purpose to make sure that he had 0 health issues in his genetic make-up. THIS dog, Zorro, was THE dog to breed with to make sure that the breed produced exactly the same as himself. Aslan is just such a male. Aslan is everything Zorro was... health, temperament and looks, except devoid of yellow or red coloration. Now... taking a dog like Aslan, that has 0 health issues and perfect temperament (according to our breed standards), and breeding him to a second generation female with a different ancestry, means that their pups will have a MUCH less inbreeding co-efficiency, but a great possibility of not having any health or temperament issues. This is what we are doing when we breed Aslan and Sprinkle. I made sure that Sprinkle did not have the same background, but came from a different line. She also has the recent giant Malamute 2 generations away, which brings in much more diversity. The puppies between Sprinkle and Aslan will be 3 generations away from the giant Malamute, but have ALL of the good genetics that Zorro had in him. Just like wolves in the wild, American Alsatian breeders breed with an ebb and flow of inbreeding and outcrossing. This makes the lines very solid and stable, but then creates diversity which shakes up the genetics and gets them ready for the next stage in the process.

2014-08-04 12:35:14 Kathleen

Looking forward to having a loving companion.

2014-07-28 04:21:25 wolfgirl_121

I've noticed something else. Some of your dogs say that their eyes have passed. Have you started CERF testing? Other's say that they've been passed for heart testing. Are you now Holter monitoring them? Are regular ultrasounds done? Are there new health reasons that these tests are being done?

2014-07-27 04:35:11 wolfgirl_121

Hello there! Now, I'm sure you've become annoyed with all that I've thrown at you before, but I've spent the last few months (over a year) really researching the breed and looking through pedigrees and your breeding practices and just weighing it all in my mind, I've just got one more question. In regards to Aslan, there are three Zorros in his pedigree. Are these all the same dog? Or different dogs with the same call name? Inbreeding can be extremely detrimental to a dog's health and, while none of your dogs have exhibited major health issues, breeding practices like that can really kill a breed's health. Just look at the doberman. (Yes, I'm sticking with the dobe since they're a perfect example of just what can happen within a breed when bad breeding is practiced) The breed is plagued with hip displasia, wobblers, VonWillebrand's disease, blindness, deafness, Z-factored dogs, cancer, heart issues and all sorts of other debilitating problems due to things like inbreeding. Again, this is just another question from a prospective buyer as well as a lover of the breed and the ideals behind it. <3 As for a little information about myself, since we seem to have a great rapport and I hope to continue with it, I am a 21 year old female from Michigan with a lifetime of dog experience. I'm currently getting a training certification to fulfill a goal of mine. I want to rehabilitate unwanted, unloved dogs in shelters to give them a better chance at finding a forever home. I volunteer with the local authorities to transport death-row dogs to no-kill shelters. I also transport adopted dogs to their families across the state and to neighboring ones. Breeding practices are something that I look very closely at as most dogs in shelters are those that have been poorly bred and just sent to anyone with a pay-pal card who wants one and is willing to pay. Thank you for all of the information that you've provided and for all of the time that you've put into your responses to me, as well as putting up with my nosy questions.

2014-06-06 02:10:01 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Eric- Thank you for that thoughtful question. The American Alsatian is docile and submissive in nature. They bond strongly with their pack and prefer their company to any other. If you have dogs in your pack... they are included in that bonding. Dogs outside the pack are approached with some reserve and caution. They are not afraid, but are unsure and do not want to provoke or draw attention to themselves. They are not extroverts, but prefer quiet and solitude to open play with strangers or strange dogs. Thanks for the great question. I hope this helps.

2014-05-14 19:05:37 Eric J. Gartz

Hi! I really like the looks of your dogs, how do they get along with other animals.

2014-05-10 18:23:56 Stephany Carter

Hope you are having a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. We are looking forward to the day the good news comes and we can plan our trip to pick up our new family member. Do you think it will be this litter?

2014-05-01 20:22:16 nick ingram

where is the wait list at? I cant find it anymore and curious where I'm at. so excited!

2014-04-06 16:40:55 Kari Morrow

From Louisiana: beautiful, majestic animals!

2014-03-27 12:03:24


2014-03-17 21:39:59 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Gonzales- Please email me at: americanalsatian at yahoo dot com

2014-03-17 21:13:42 gonzales

Is there any way to contact you via phone #? I would very much like to speak with you about visiting.

2014-02-28 00:02:05 Eileen Dubuisson

Need to edit my application to read will except F1 -F4 pup breeding is NOT my intention.

2014-01-05 13:49:31 Amanda Brotman

I filled out a puppy Questionnaire in October and still haven't heard whether or not we are approved to send you a deposit. I'm not sure of the best way to contact you, so after emailing, and facebooking, I figured I might as well try here too! You said that you are teachers, and that we should bug you, so I'm doing my best! I sooooooo hope you will respond. We are starting to get really discouraged.

2013-10-22 18:55:56 Tristan

When do you expect to being taking deposits again? It's been 5 months since I came across your site, starting to lose hope.

2013-10-06 14:55:19 Vanessa

I'm so excited! I've been looking around and doing a looot of research for another companion dog for almost 4 years now and after whittling the list down to two, I think I've finally met my match. Everything about the Alsatian is just so great! I think what attracted me the most is their excellent temperament. I'd love to do therapy work and bring a smile to someone's face. They remind me a lot of my own dog, too. I can't wait for the questionnaires to go up again!

2013-09-16 12:39:57 Malone

I'm extremely interested in this dog breed. It really seems to offer everything I want in a dog. A large majestic look, incredibly friendly personality that is adaptable to new situations, and with a lower energy level to accommodate my physical ailments. I am given pause however by the overall lack of presence for this breed across the internet. It's often labeled GSD/hybrid with 'marketing' pushed by 'puppy mills' when searched online. Additionally there only seems to be 2 recognized breeders: This one and Schwarz Kennels, which despite having some lovely videos on youtube has a website from the early 90s, and has changed domains. It feels a bit fly by night and gives me pause. Is there a national or international organization that I can look to to gain more confidence. Perhaps a way to talk to owners and breeders directly?

2013-07-16 14:20:39 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Kyra- We have a cat that lives with us and the dogs. I have never had any issues with our dogs living with our cat. In fact, Odessa and our cat are very good friends and drink from the same bowl at the same time as well as curl up together often to sleep. As puppies, you may need to remind them not to play chase in the house, but they are usually easily corrected and will learn quickly. At least all of mine have done so. Also, when we received our cat, she was already declawed and this has not been an issue. She is still respected and never bothered. I hope that helps you understand a bit more about how they are around cats. Thanks for the question. Jennifer

2013-07-16 14:16:22 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Carol- Thank you for checking on that. I will look into it for you. If you have a moment, could you please email us at americanalsatians@yahoo.com. That way I will have your email. Thanks.

2013-07-16 14:13:26 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Ryan- Thank you for your interest in the breed. We better update that info on Aslan, huh! :) Currently, he is 25.5 inches tall and weighs 100 pounds. He is ultimately too short for the breed and in the coming years we will be working on increasing the height of the breed overall to 31 inches in height and around 130 pounds on average. I hope that was a help to you. Thanks for the question. Jennifer

2013-07-14 12:40:52 Ryan

I'm very interested in this breed, do you have current measurements for Aslan that would give me an idea of what to expect full grown? I see his last measurements were at 5 months old, and he is now over 1 year old! Thank you, I hope to contact you in the future.

2013-06-28 08:55:42 Kyra

Hi! My partner and I have fallen in love with this particular breed, and have been eager to try and get on a witing list in the near future. We do have a concern first, however, adn that is our other pet, a large, friendly Maine Coon cat. How are Alsatians around other animals, particularly smaller animals? We know it's impossible to predict exactly how the two will act around each other, but have there been any problems in the past?

2013-06-19 22:01:47 Carol Conliffe

I think I completed the puppy questionnaire last year. I didn't receive a response and didn't follow up. We were dealing with our dear Jack Russell who sadly now has left us. Did you receive our questionnaire?

2013-06-08 20:35:25 Pam Snow

You were right on with the food my main menu for Shylar was a high quality dog food of chicken and lamb not much else in it. I grow my own fruits and vegies and when I was picking them she would would just lightly nudge me with her nose if she wanted some. And grass eating sometimes. Never use poisons on your grass because of it. And than I have to comment on your grooming picture. Not quite enough fur in that picture, need some in the bushes and blowing in the wind. It may seem to some like a lot of work but its realy not and think about it you may be able to weave it into yarn. Thank you for letting me know about October. Sending pics soon Pam

2013-06-06 23:17:46 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Pam - Thank you for the compliments, Pam. We will reopen our application process in October of this year. 18 years is a fantastic age... I'd love to see a picture of your sweet dog. You can email us at: americanalsatian@yahoo.com I hope to talk with you again. Sincerely, Jennifer

2013-06-06 21:30:32 Pam Snow

I was lucky enough to get one of these dogs from the pound looked just like the one in the care tab. Had her for 14 years. Her total age was 18. She developed fast growing cancer had to put her down. I miss her so much. We decided we need to get another one female. You will be hearing from us. Love your web page and I actually feel safe getting a dog from you. Ive had well over 100 people asking me where they could get that kind of dog. Makes you wonder

2013-05-03 01:05:08 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Andy Mae- Absolutely. I completely understand. I'm sure an American Alsatian would tolerate your other dog just fine. They do not generally enjoy strange dogs that can show overwhelming behaviors when excited, but when the other dog is a pack member, it shouldn't be a problem. Many American Alsatians live with all different types of dogs without any difficulties that I've ever been aware of. :)

2013-05-03 01:00:44 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Debbie: If you neutered your male, especially at a young age, you would have no problems with male territory marking. I have had this difficulty with my unneutered males, but have never heard of this happening with neutered males.

2013-03-22 17:17:01 Andy Mae

Skye is, in no way, an outside dog. She sleeps, eats, and cuddles inside, she just likes to run around on 2 fenced in acres of yard and woods. She is allowed to come and go as often as she pleases via a doggie door. 90% of the time, she is with me or my SO. The rest of the time, she is at doggie day-care , when we're both working.

2013-03-12 18:34:09 Debbie O'Briant

I have been watching you and your mother's website for a while now. I want a puppy when the time is right for me and the dog. I really want a male (fixed as soon as possible) but I am concerned about male territory marking. The dog would have the run of the house. How prone to this are AAs?

2013-03-07 09:05:53 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Andy Mae Just as a hyper dog can be trained to be more calm and mellow (through appropriate exercise and having an equally appropriate job to do), a mellow, calm dog can be trained to have more energy than they normally would on their own. If you purchased a mellow, calm puppy from us and allowed it to run and play with your Lab/Shar-pei, it would in turn learn to become more energetic. That is what it would grow up knowing how to do. That would be its role model, in other words. Our dogs, however, are bred to be family companion dogs. They are not outside dogs and crave human attention. They are happiest when they are with their people, wherever they go... to the store, camping, just hanging out, etc. That is their true nature and why they are bred.

2013-03-07 03:42:11 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Wolfgirl_121 Sorry for the delay in replying. Life does get away from us at times. However, we are aware that this is an important issue and do not want to gloss over your response. So, we've taken the time to discuss the information that you've presented as well as looked at all of the websites (and links in your breeder friend's website) so that we can make an informed reply and look into our own practices in case we determine that they should be changed. That is always a possibility, as we are always learning and in pursuit of the practices that will make a real difference in the quality of our puppies in health and temperament. Our goal is most assuredly to always breed better than the last, so this is a very important topic to us. First of all, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for putting in the time to do a bit of looking around for all of that information. It was truly a pleasure reading the information you provided in your post and the time you put into it is evident. Your breeder friend is obviously an excellent breeder of Doberman's and will continue to see success in the many years to come. Her dogs are lovely and her dedication to her breed and to educating those who may be browsing for a puppy is very admirable. I applaud her determination and dedication. For every breeder of her caliber, there are, unfortunately, 100s more who are not as dedicated to protecting the breed in health and purpose. Having said that (and with the highest respect for your position) we would like to challenge you further. You are absolutely correct that OFA gives a preliminary hip/elbow score at 1 year and only gives a full hip/elbow score at 2 years of age. However, if you look at their correlating research, the correlation between a hip/elbow score of good or excellent at the 1 year preliminary scoring is extremely high. (98 - 100%) That is more sure than not becoming pregnant if a condom is used. That is more sure than a laboratory blood test to determine a blood disease that is, in fact, present. The correlation is so high, AND we have a 0% occurrence rate of hip dysplasia and only one known dog with elbow dysplasia, that the chance of showing hip or elbow dysplasia in our dogs is almost null. All of our dogs are hip/elbow scored from OFA at 1 year of age. All of our dogs have received a 'good' rating from OFA, which again has a correlation of 98% for not being dysplastic at 2 years of age. In a developing breed that has not yet established the completed "look", being able to breed generationally is necessary. Crossbreeding is also necessary in our breed, but brings in diversity which must be removed in order to move on in the breed. The strictness with which we allow breeders also limits us as we only have two with some prospective breeders taking several years to finally become certified and breeder ready. These things take time and waiting another year for both a female and male to become "ready" to breed because well... that's the right thing to do... (especially when it is unnecessary in our breed to wait that long) does not make sense. Frankly, it is then just a waste of time for us so that we will "conform." I challenge you that the 2 year wait is excessive and not necessary in our breed. (Again, I cannot speak for other breeds.) Regarding CERF certification: We have never had any eye issues in our breed (let alone genetically inherited) and thus a 0% occurrence rate. No goop build up, no puss, no swelling, no cataracts, no blindness, and none of the following: Cataracts Collie eye anomaly Corneal dystrophy Dermoids Ectropion Entropion Exposure keratopathy syndrome - Exophthalmos, lagophthalmos, and/or macroblepharon Eyelash abnormalities - ectopic cilia, distichiasis, trichiasis Glaucoma Imperforate lacrimal punctum Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) -"dryeye" Lens luxation Microphthalmia - ocular dysgenesis Optic nerve hypoplasia and micropapilla Pannus - chronic superficial keratitis Persistent pupillary membranes Progressive retinal atrophy Retinal dysplasia Third eyelid (nictitating membrane) abnormalities - "cherry eye" Why spend the time and energy to perform a test (you could make that argument with hip dyslasia as well) when there has never been any incidence or even indication that it exists within our breed? You may claim that it is preventative, but we would respectfully disagree. The test is not preventative in our eyes... it is the proper breeding of dogs without health issues that is preventative. You see, we do not have 100s or 1000s of breeders breeding the American Alsatian. We have two. We are also bound together; wound tightly around our breeder's association and our founder's health ideals. With 100s to 1000s of breeders, as in some popular breeds, some of whom belong to the breed club and most of whom do not, no one organization can monitor all of the breeding taking place. Many breeding faux pas occur when no one is watching. That is one of the reasons that we are completely transparent and post all of the health issues occurring in our breed from the beginning and we update it whenever anything arises. It is a living breathing document. But, then, how can you be sure, right? How can the buyer be sure that we are begin truthful? So, then, let's call the CERF test what it is: a guarantee to the buyer that our dogs do not, in fact, have any genetic eye diseases. It doesn't help the dog breed itself at all, though. We've been able to show a 0% incidence rate of any eye diseases, so the breed already has a perfect record in that regard. A CERF test wouldn't help that score any. So, the test is really an assurance to you that we have what we say we have. And... that's okay. You can absolutely want to know for sure that the parents of your puppy are clear, especially if that gives you peace of mind, we will go ahead and CERF test any parents of a puppy you buy from us... but you'll have to foot the bill if our dogs pass. Now let's turn to your very accomplished breeder friend. Again, amazing work! Great informative website and SO very comprehensive. First of all, I'd like to point out that her suggestions for how to breed for health even exceed the HSUS' own suggestions, which are the strictest criteria I've seen anywhere. http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/pets/puppy_mills/find_responsible_dog_breeder.pdf Secondly, although your good friend is obviously extremely knowledgeable and informative, what she presents does not meet the generic definition of scientific research. "Application of scientific method to the investigation of relationships among natural phenomenon, or to solve a medical or technical problem." Business Dictionary She has done a lot of research to find all of the sites for the reader and the reader must do research when they read through her site and follow all of her links, but this is research in the sense of a systematic study, not using the scientific method to get at what can be shown to be true over time. Those are two different procedures entirely. Again, I do not mean any disrespect. Your friend's page is amazing. Don't get me wrong. But, we base our breeding practices on scientific research that has shown what is healthy for a breed of dog and what is not. What this does bring to light for us, however, is that we should define what we mean more clearly so that the two definitions for "research" are clearly used on our site. We certainly do not want to confuse anyone so we will fix that to be more clear in our wording. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with us. It has been a joy talking with you. Please, as always, let us know if there is anything further you'd like to discuss. It is always our pleasure.

2013-02-22 02:18:57 Andy Mae

So, I've got a lab/shar.pei mix and she is a bit energetic. She plays rough, but does respect other dogs boundries. She is same-sex aggressive, so I would need to bring home a male dog. Would an alsatian be able to keep up with her? She is 22in tall, 65lbs of muscle, and, when she's not running around like a maniac, she's a total lovey couch potato.

2013-02-21 20:09:13 wolfgirl_121

; http://www.offa.org/ OFA only does a preliminary hip/elbow scores before two years of age because the joints aren't fully set yet. http://web.vmdb.org/home/ Cerf tests should be done yearly http://glengate.m.webs.com This breeder is a good friend of mine and her buying guide is mainly geared towards future doberman owners, but works for anyone trying to find a pup, and includes links to quite a bit of research.

2013-02-21 00:58:28 Vallecito Alsatians

@ wolfgirl_121- So, how can we determine before the puppies are born what they will look like. Well, we've done our research into the pedigrees and even seen each of the dogs within the pedigree years and years back. We have physically been with the breed for 8 years and have known Lois and her dogs for many more before that. We've literally seen the breed develop. We personally experienced the dogs throughout these years and researched many more of them before we were an official part of the breed. Because we are only one of two breeders of this breed in the world with strict breeding regulations to follow, both Lois and I work extremely closely together. We call each other at least once a week and many times more than that. We discuss and talk about it dog and their strengths and weaknesses. In our pure American Alsatians, we know definitively what will be produced. In our crossbred lines, we are now backbreeding on our pure stock. The second generation will look very similar to our pure stock, but will differ only slightly in conformation and temperament. Health is a given. I've experienced backbreeding in our breed before from both the Anatolian/Great Pyrenees cross in 2004 and the Don Juan cross in 2006. When one personally knows the dogs as well as we do, then one will also be inclined to get out their crystal ball and predict with accuracy what will occur in the next litter. Let me describe of few of the litters coming up for you: Let's take Nellie Bly and Aslan. First of all, Nellie Bly is a golden sable. Her father was a purebred German Shepherd Dog from the working East German lines, but bred here in the US with several generations behind him of dogs also bred here in the US. He is a black and tan with dark eyes. Nadine, well, we have her here with us and she is a dark silver sable with dark eyes. I have seen all of Nellie's litter grow up. I know their temperament from Lois' description and I know their conformation and all are extremely healthy. There were mostly golden sables from the litter with a few black and tans. No silvers. However, I know that Nadine is a silver. When you get a silver dog... this is a recessive. Also further know that a sable dog in our breed, (which can be dominant in the GSD and mask other colors) is homozygous. That means that we only have sables and any sable within our breed can only throw sable. Therefore, silver sables cannot throw anything but silver sable to their puppies. That means that even though all of the puppies from this German Shepherd and Nadine were golds (whether sable or not) they are all heterozygous and will throw silver to some of their puppies. Because sable is dominant in the GSD, Nellie may be carrying a heterozygous sable coloration and may throw a solid color, but it will be rare if it happens. (Nellie will also throw golds, consequently) Nellie's eyes are a light brown, therefore, she will not throw a dark eye as she has a lighter eye. She is also small for a female, but I know that Nadine is 26 inches tall and the German Shepherd Dog was 27 inches tall. Her sister and brothers are taller than she is. Therefore, she will likely throw puppies slightly taller than she is. (She is 25 inches tall) She has thin bones. Both Nadine and the GSD has thin bones and so Nellie will throw thin bones in her puppies. Nellie is also more energetic and willing to play fetch than any of our pure Am. Al. dogs. Her father liked to chase and run. This type of behavior is dominant and masks our calm, mellow behavior. Also, the thin bones promotes a faster dog, not a mellower one. Nellie is also highly intelligent and willing to please. Both of her parents were also this way. Nellie's ears rose early and both her mother and her father have solidly erect ears (Nadine's ear is due to injury). Nellie passed OFA hip/elbow scoring. That is the one relative unknown as I do not know the hip/elbow scores for the dogs in the GSD's pedigree. So, that's just Nellie. When we get to Aslan, we have many more generations to fall back on. No health issues as far back as the eye can see in his lines. Both his father and mother have erect ears, but they did not rise early. He has light eyes and consequently will only throw light eyes. He has a slight liver gene in his pigmentation, which he may throw. He is 26 inches tall at the moment, but has a few more months to grow before we know his full height. He is a silver and will only throw silvers. He has thick bones, but may be heterozygous for thin bones as well and may throw them in some of his puppies. He has a longer tail, but also will throw shorts. He is mellow, calm, gentle, sweet, and willing to please. He is highly intelligent and learns extremely quickly. All of the dogs in his pedigree behind him were also like he is, so he will throw what he is. This is the definition of a purebred... he will breed pure. Putting this knowledge together is then relatively simple. I know that energetic dogs are dominant, so the puppies will be more energetic than our breed typically is. Intelligence (or an ability to learn new material easily) is seen in both dogs and both parents, therefore, they will both throw this in their puppies. Dark eyes are dominant, so the eyes will range from dark to light brown and possibly yellow as well, but rare. Erect ears are dominant (for both the GSD and the Am Al) and so all puppies will have erect ears. Size will be smaller than we ultimately want in our breed and thinner bones will likely be the case. etc... etc... and on and on. This is how it goes with all of our litters. It is my job to know the best matches to produce the best puppies to move the generations to further the breed. As you may be aware, we breed to better the breed first, not for the public first. What is best for the breed is bred and then those puppies that will make excellent family companion dogs or therapy or service dogs will go to lovely family homes who are screened and interviewed beforehand. We always have a waiting list, currently at a year's wait. I hope that helps you understand a little behind our thinking on the statements for each litter. If there is a surprise in the litter, we note it and adjust our understanding of the genetics in the parents to account for that. No one family is under any obligation to purchase a puppy that doesn't fit our strict standards in temperament or conformation. We assess each puppy thoroughly, set up a puppycam, produce pictures, videos, and all of our notes and assessments are right on our website. Anyone wanting to purchase from a particular litter is welcome to come and see them in person when they are old enough... around 3 weeks old and after the second temperament test. We want our families to feel like they are right here with us, seeing what we see. And... if that's not enough, a family interested in the current litter is welcome to ask for more. We will do our best to provide exactly what it is they need to make a determination or not. It is all up to them, but we will help them choose a puppy that we see will fit with their personalities the best. We have also been known to suggest that a family wait for a future litter because we know that the puppies are not what they are looking for. I hope that helps you understand how it works a little more. Please let us know if you have any further questions and as always it is a pleasure.

2013-02-21 00:10:35 Vallecito Alsatians

@ wolfgirl_121- It is our absolute pleasure to discuss our breed and your concerns. We enjoy learning and are always open to suggestions. I would very much appreciate reading any solid evidence from scientific research that determines breeding dogs that are 2 years old is significantly healthier for a dog breed. TEMPERAMENT: When breeding the American Alsatian, we are specifically interested in our dog breed's genetically inherited temperament. As we mentioned, this has been the sole focus of the breed for the first 24 years. A dog's genetically inherited temperament is only truly seen at a young age before a dog is conditioned through training and experience. Temple Grandin has performed some research into genetically inherited temperament and has been able to determine that once an animal is older, it must be placed into stress in order to be able to experience some of its genetically inherited temperament and even then, it is questionable if one is seeing all of the temperament that has been inherited. Therefore, waiting until two years to determine temperament can actually be detrimental to the healthy temperament of a dog breed as a whole. This is seen when a breeder chooses a dog that is well-mannered and obedient, but has been extensively trained to show this behavior. I've seen severely shy dogs act completely normal due to training. Those excellent working Malinois are amazing to watch and perfect in the home if they have been exercised and trained appropriately... but they wouldn't meet our breed's genetically inherited temperament standards. We can tell what a dog's genetically inherited temperament is before it is 4 months old. In fact, the optimal time to check a dog's temperament is between birth and 8 weeks. Please see Volhart Puppy Aptitude Test (http://www.volhard.com/pages/pat.php) for an example of others who've noted this and have created a way to determine which puppies will grow to be what kind of adults. The puppy can show certain behaviors afterwards that should be noted and assessed as they occur, but we must always quantify that with the experiences that may have occurred for that particular puppy to possibly create the behavior it is now showing. For example, in this last first generation litter with Nadine and Rainier, several puppies exhibited a behavior that is not seen in our pure American Alsatians. When unsure, they drop down to the ground and will not budge if pushed to move. This is coupled with the observation that they do not yield or bend readily when turned over or pushed (physically put hand on dog and push... they resist with the same amount of pressure in response.) This is also not seen in our pure litters. This was noted in these puppies at 6 weeks old and is consistent with these puppies as they are shaped through experience. I'd be even more interested in any research you have found that shows how to determine genetically inherited temperament in a dog as an adult. I have never been able to find anything other than Temple Grandin's research regarding this. However, that being said... if a puppy that we choose for breeding begins to exhibit a behavior that is completely contrary to our breed and cannot be fixed by breeding better than they are themselves, then we will not breed it. It is as simple as that. Although extremely rare, this happened to Lois before when she noted excessive barking behaviors in a pup around 6 months old. She found a lovely home for the dog and, although excellently healthy and quite a beautiful silver, was never bred into our lines. CONFORMATION: Our dog's show their final height at 1 year or just over, therefore their bones are no longer growing, but they look a little lean and leggy. They continue to fill out throughout their second year; their chest becomes a bit broader and they fill out in the belly and the rump as their muscles continue to develop during this time. The conformation that we are most interested in is what brings health and a calm, mellow temperament in our breed. Therefore, a solid straight stance, a nice splay to the toes, a broad rear and deep, broad chest, heavy weight, large thick bones, broad large skull, perfect teeth positioning and correct bite, etc. are what we look for. These things can be determined at 10 to 12 months old since the bone structure is pretty much set at that time. Weight may not be correct until 2 years old, however, we have lots of data for weight at 1 year old to determine if a dog is heavy for its size at this time or not. If this was not the case and our dogs changed drastically over the second year, I would surely sing a different tune, but we do not see a drastic change in appearance from the first to the second year. My male, Aslan, has begun to show adult masculinity at 9 months old. In 4 more months, or another fourth of his life, he will be fully grown and have had 4 more months to grow into his masculinity. However, perhaps you are talking about maturity in the sense of if a female is prepared mentally for taking on a litter of puppies. I've heard this argument many times and each time I wonder where the research is on how a female feels when she is pregnant or when she whelps. Certainly, different females act differently when they have puppies and these noted differences can occur at any age. One female will dig a lot, or move around a lot or pick up their puppies a lot and shift them from here to there. Another female will lay close and not move for hours, even with noise and movement from the family around them. In fact, these differences have been noted in our own breed. However, I can speak from observational experience that these females I'm referring to were older than 3 years and had no previous puppy experience. (Ahwna and Autumn are recent examples of this.) Furthermore, in 1932, regardless if one agrees with his experimental practices or not, a veterinarian bred thousands of dogs analyzing their offspring. At the time, there was a rumor going around breeding circles that breeding dogs on their first heat would stunt a female dog's growth or harm her in some permanent way. After breeding thousands females, always on their first heat, for years and years, he definitively concluded that they were in no way harmed and the puppies were in no way harmed. They grew to full height and went on to be excellent hunting dogs (he bred working hunting dogs of all types). The same has been experienced with Lois' work. Although I do not breed our females on their first, there have never been any complications during birth or stunted growth or more health issues or change in temperament or anything else that would harm the female or the puppies in any of Lois' litters since the beginning of the breed. Litters were healthy, adequate sized litters were experienced and the mothers took excellent care of their litters, with varying degrees of behavior as noted above. Again, if you have any research to refute these claims from a breeder or prominent person breeding thousands of females and recording the health, temperament or conformation changes in a female being bred on her first heat, I'd be highly interested in reading and reviewing it. Just as you are, we are interested in breeding the best dogs in health and consistent temperament. If anything we did produced otherwise, I would personally not be involved. I am a very conscientious breeder, probably more so than most. I was with the breed for many years, researching all of this over many turns around the sun before I felt remotely comfortable with what Lois was doing, let alone participating in it myself. I am a vegetarian and a Franciscan have a deep abiding draw to treat all life with dignity. If I find that any of these practices are significantly challenged by new research that presents itself to me (and I'm constantly searching) then I will definitely take them to heart and change for the betterment of the breed and the dogs that I raise and love each and every day. I truly appreciate your candor and willingness to challenge us and keep us honest. It is the only way we can get better in life. Again, please let me know of any research you have that shows any of the above to be harmful to our breed as a whole. They are why I'm here and to keep the breed safe for many more years is the ultimate goal.

2013-02-20 03:12:01 wolfgirl_121

Thank you for taking the time to give me some answers. I have read through all of your breeding practices and feel that they are impressive. My main councern with breeding a dog before 2yrs is that the dog is not fully mature. The health testing may all be done and the dog may be clear of all signs of health issues, but a dogs true size and temerment aren't known until they are fully mature. I can e-mail you some research if you'd like. Also, how can you guarantee the size, color, coat type, and temperment of the litter from a dog that's not even 5 months old yet? What if you promise a litter full of sables and that they're going to be upwards of 120 lbs and have yellow eyes, and they end up being grey, 80lbs, and have brown eyes? I understand using selective breeding to get these things, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. Also, after promising these things so far in advance, what if, god forbid, one of the potential parents doesn't pass it's OFA, and gets a low score? I am exploring my options and really like the idea of this breed... but want to understand the reason behind every decision made, especially when it comes to a possible furture puppy.

2013-02-19 22:09:12 Vallecito Alsatians

@ George Nolet- Thank you for contacting us on our comments page. We are glad you stopped by. Please see our Future Litters page at: http://www.vallecito-alsatians.com/future-litters.html for more information on which litters we have coming up. We do have quite a waiting list and so applications are closed for the moment, but please check back again in the fall of 2013 in order to apply for puppy adoption.

2013-02-19 21:58:54 Vallecito Alsatians

@ wolfgirl_121- Thank you for your kind words on the beauty of our dogs. I understand your concern about breeding dogs before they are ready. If you are inclined, our breeding policies page explains some of our thoughts on the matter. http://www.vallecito-alsatians.com/breeding-policy.html HEALTH: We breed both males and females only after they have received passing scores from OFA in both hips and elbows as well as a host of other ailments that are monitored and made sure not to exist in any way. We perform preliminary OFA hip/elbow scores at 1 year old. That means that a male can be 13 months old and have passed all health testing requirements in order to breed. That also means that a female can potentially be 15 months and have passed all health testing requirements in order to breed. In addition, there is a 97.9% correlation that a dog receiving good scores for hip dysplasia and negative scores for elbow dysplasia will remain free from either at 2 years old. (Please see OFA's website for more information: http://www.offa.org/hd_prelims.html) (We would not breed any dog who received a fair score from OFA) This, coupled with the fact that we have never had a confirmed case of hip dysplasia in our breed and only one case (10 years ago) of elbow dysplasia (in which both parents were rated excellent by OFA) in 25 years of the breed's existence seem like pretty darn good odds. I cannot speak to any other breed, as I do not know their unique health situation. However, if you have solid evidence from scientific research that determines breeding dogs that are 2 years old is significantly healthier for a dog breed, I'd be extremely interested in reading it. As we state on our breeding policies page, we do rely on solid research to form our policies and we will take any research of this nature very seriously. TEMPERAMENT: We temperament test our puppies three times before they are 8 weeks old. These are standardized testing procedures that the founder has developed specifically for testing our unique companion dog temperament. This is done on all of the dogs since the beginning of the breeding program in 1988. We also assess the temperament of our chosen breeding puppies as they grow to make sure that they remain sound. You can visit our dogs anytime to check for yourself how they are with strangers and with us in the home. Also, I have many, many videos which depict their temperament for you so that you can see how they react in difference situations. We train all of our dogs in basic obedience and I am currently in the process of training our male, Aslan in CGC. We have never hidden any temperament flaws and openly acknowledge each dog's weaknesses. The temperament of our dogs is paramount and we pride ourselves on their sweet, loving, gentle family companion dog temperaments. Please see the Dire Wolf Project's Temperament page for more information on this: http://www.direwolfproject.com/temperament.html CONFORMATION: We have a standard and stick closely to its guidelines. We are in a unique situation in that our founder is still living and can guide us here at Vallecito Alsatians in what conformation will improve the health and temperament of our dogs, which always comes first. We breed for a solid structure, thick bones, broad hips, large chest cavity, large skull size, small oval yellow eyes, erect ears, shorter straighter tails, short thick necks, large paws that splay slightly to hold the dog's weight, straight legs, look for a smooth gait when trotting, dark pigmentation, clean coat that doesn't smell 'doggie', etc. Many of these aspects of our breed's conformation, which I agree is quite beautiful, also promote excellent health and a calm, easy-going temperament. The main point of the breed's conformation is this breed's desire to replicate the extinct Dire Wolf's bone and body structure. Contrary to what many believe, this is the last of our goals, but one of our goals, nonetheless. Now... even with all of that... if you prefer to skip over purchasing one of our dogs because you disagree with our breeding policy of breeding dogs before they are two years old, that is your right. We understand your desire to work with breeders who breed only the healthiest, solid-tempered dogs. In fact, we admire that from you and hope that you will continue to research and find a breeder that fits all that you hope for in your next furry companion. If we aren't it... that's okay. There are many different breeds with many different breeders, so you will surely find one that works for you. Good luck in your quest to find that next best friend. It is always a pleasure.

2013-02-19 18:17:02 George Nolet

Hi, we would like to know more about upcoming litters. Our older Golden passed away last fall and we are now hoping to find another dog to keep our younger dog company...and to love. We love what we have heard about the temperament of the Alsation, along with the size and the look. We'd also like a little more info on pricing of puppies-not sure from the site quite what that is. thanks so much. George and Robin

2013-02-19 01:58:09 wolfgirl_121

I think your dogs are absolutely beautiful!!! I do have one concern though, you are planning on breeding a dog at a year old this upcoming fall. My understanding is that a dog should not be bred until at least two years of age to confirm conformation, health and temperment. I have lived with and become very good friends with breeders of other breeds, and this is one rule that they all live by. How can you make all of these guarentees of cost, color, coat type, temperment, and health if one of the planned parents was only born in November? I don't think I could even consider one of these gorgeous dog until breeding practices are improved.

2013-02-14 01:08:18 Nicole Carollo

I just wanted to leave you guys a comment and say how special you and your dogs are. I personally really appreciate all the health follow ups you have completed with all of your dogs. You are doing everything right to ensure a healthy breed. As well as paying close attention to the temperament of your dogs and their offspring. I want to thank you for that. I'm sure that all of your puppy buyers also are thinking the same. I love your boy Zorro, he's very nice and I am sure I am not the first one to say so. I want to wish you good luck in developing your breed. Looking forward to seeing your dogs accepted in the AKC with a couple years to come.

2013-01-27 20:12:53 anna dewart

my husband and i are planning to adopt a puppy in 4 years. we are so excited about this upcoming addition. we have allot of little pets right now; my son, 14 years old has a bearded dragon, a bumblebee ball python and a hamster. my daughter, 17 years old has a mouse and a rabbit. i have a hamster and a canary. we wanted to wait 4 years to be fully attentive to our future companion. we own a home and a back yard. we live near the beach and allot of wooded areas to take our future dog for a great walk. fell in love with this breed since educating myself about it. not much of a barker and being very loyal to it's family was 2 big things with me and my husband. we love big dogs and this breed being so loving to it's owners is what made us select this breed. we live in the northshore of massachusetts. any registered breeders in and around mass? thank you vallecito!

2012-12-09 21:29:55 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Vic- YES! Temperament is the most important thing, apart from health. We breed for a specific companion dog temperament and have strict guidelines for temperament testing our puppies and dogs. This has been the sole focus of the breed for the last 24 years. Now that we are focusing on the Dire Wolf look, we must always be mindful to keep the temperament in the forefront and breed with care and purpose. Thank you so much for a lovely question. Please see our many videos on Youtube to help you understand the temperament we have achieved. Take good care.

2012-12-09 20:39:42 vic

Hi, I have owned a GSD before and the behavioural issues that really stood out were: seperation anxiety and aggression towards other dogs. Is this something that you have taken into account with your breeding ?

2012-11-25 17:35:28 Vallecito Alsatians

Hello Anon- Thank you for contacting us. We do periodically crossbreed in order to diversify the genes within the breed and improve the breed's overall health, temperament and/or conformation. It is a highly regulated practice that is strictly researched and must happen at specific times according to the breed's need. You can learn more about this practice by going to: http://shepaluteclub.tripod.com/breeders/id33.html We recently used a working East German Shepherd Dog as a crossbreed. That line will remain separate from the main breed until we are satisfied that that line helps to improve the breed and is sufficiently mellow and quiet per breed standards. We would be willing to consider your British long-coated male Alsatian for a future cross. You can submit pictures (of all sides) and video of your dog walking, jumping up and over something, trotting and running to Lois Schwarz at: schwarzkennels@aol.com. We also have a new definition of our breed and are no longer striving for purebred status, but would rather call our dogs strongbred dogs. You can learn more about the new term by going to: http://shepaluteclub.tripod.com/breeders/strongbred.html Thanks again and I can't wait to take a look at your British German Shepherd Dog. Good luck passing all the health tests and having the breeding ban lifted. Sincerely, Jennifer Stoeckl

2012-11-25 01:31:23 Anon

I was wondering if your breeding program uses OLD British flat back, long coat, alsatians? We have a year old male from England that comes from amazing lines with little inbreeding and looks/acts amazing. He fits the general mold of an American Alsatian in attitude and appearance. He is gold/cream/white in color so I'm unsure if that would matter... but I was wondering how one would apply to have their Dog involved with the growth of this breed if it is NOT an American Alsatian. We will be having our breeding ban lifted after we get his joints tested and hemo cleared. Our breeder knows we will NOT breed him if he will not aid to improve future litters. My husband and myself are new to the dog breeding world so I would love to know more!

2012-11-19 01:27:30 Zerrin

I've done much research in the passed two years, and I've found that the American Alsatian is everything I've ever looked for in a dog, and from what I've read your dogs are among the very best. The things I seek in a dog are these; I can not have to worry hugely about taking on walks (one or two a day would suffice), but can still be large and fluffy enough to hug and cuddle with; it wouldn't be a huge trouble to own in an apartment setting; the dog could (eventually) be a service animal that I would be able to take with me for medical assistance (i.e, PTSD); I would be able to one day have child(ren) and would not have to worry about the dog being dangerous around them at a young age. From what I understand, your dogs can meet all of those requirements, right? My only problem I would foresee with them is the cost. I understand that such outstanding dogs are incredibly rare, which make them a bit more expensive, but I'm not too sure I would be able to get the lump sum of money while still being able to make sure the dog is healthy, well fed, and all in all taken proper care of. With that said, would this kennel be open to perhaps a down payment of say, half price, with monthly payments afterward (with a properly signed contract, of course)? My reason for asking is that I'm nearing 18 years old, and have not had a dog since I was forced to put my husky mix down three years ago, and had lived with dogs all years prior. She was not the right breed for me, and I had done no research when we got her, which ended badly for everyone, unfortunately. Having a dog in my life means a lot to me, and I want to do it right this time around. I want to ideally get a pup within this coming year or the next, and this is the only breed that really fits me. If you aren't open to my payment suggestion, I understand, but would be grateful for feedback of some kind as to what you would suggest I do in my condition. Contact me at zerrin@1rondragon.com

2012-10-02 23:32:01 Lynn Graziano

I have just submitted a puppy application but would like to meet this breed in person. The next dog must will be important to us and we must be certain of our choice. Please contact us to set up an appointment to meet your dogs, Thank you, Lynn

2012-09-30 00:04:54


2012-08-23 18:19:16 Keith

I was looking at the shepherds and then I saw this breed and I'm impressed. Can you tell me two things, Is there anyone in MO? and I can't find how much they cost. I was looking for one for the home and for my daughter, she is 13. Let me know please. My email address is harpsrvmo@yahoo.com

2012-08-17 20:57:30


2012-08-17 20:57:10 Twilla Baker

I am very interested in your dogs and found them quite by accident when browsing the web. I currently have a pomeranian, but would like a dog that could be in the house as well as outside. I live in the country and need a bigger dog for outdoors. Does this breed get along well with other smaller breeds? How hard are they to house train, and do they get along well with children as I sometimes as my grandchildren with me?

2012-07-24 22:33:50 Vallecito Alsatians

@ Losers: Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We take the temperament of our dogs very seriously and so it's a good thing to hear of any problems you've encountered. It would help us further if you could give more specifics. If you truly would like to help, you can email us at: vallecitoalsatians@yahoo.com and let us know which dog you encountered, or at least where you encountered it. However, one dog does not a breed make. I have experienced plenty of dogs in several other great breeds that exhibit intense behavior issues. But, we do take responsibility for them here at Vallecito Alsatians and breed only to better the breed overall. A calm, sweet-natured, confident companion dog is the ideal. Again, thank you for letting us know and many happy days with your Border Collie. Best wishes, Jennifer

2012-07-24 21:45:49 Losers

I have seen some of your overpriced mutts and I must say they are disgusting. The last one I encountered immediately urinated itself in the presence of my border collie and rolled over to expose its belly. The other dog - a Papillon - that the person possessed was calm and relaxed. Others I have heard are aggressive.

2012-04-18 14:49:07 Christopher Best

Do you ship to Canada? Toronto? Our family has a 3 year old spayed female shepherd and we are strongly considering adding a proud Alsation to our family. Female preferably, i have trained 3 in my lifetime as companions for our family. please contact me at ccbest@rogers.com to discuss

2012-04-11 02:44:05 Merja Ahonen-Sihvola

I have fallen in love with your dogs. Me and my husband have a plan to take a dog when we are retiring. I am writing from Finland. Are you transporting your dogs also to other countries as an airgargo?

2012-03-13 16:30:00 Erin Garner

These are beautiful dogs, and I find the laid back temperment attractive, especially from such a large dog. I may be interested to buy some time in the future, and I am going to keep you in mind. I found your comments about buyers keeping in contact, sending pictures and wanting to watch your pups grow wonderful, it tells me that you care so much for your animals. Your process also shows me how you want to make sure that you have a good home to send them to, and that you are responsible breeders.

2012-02-11 03:24:01 Alexandria Bennett

These dogs are lovely! Beautiful, all of them. I am impressed with the level of standards here. These dogs sound just the right type. A few months back I lost a dog, she was a mix poodle and something else, very friendly and calm. Unfortunately, she was suffering to the extent she would not eat and got very weak. I did not want her to suffer, so I was with her when she was put to sleep. Hearing of a breed that has a long, healthy lifespan, raised outdoors, and loves family, this is like finding gold at the end of a rainbow! (corny, I know, but it's true). I live near SLC in Utah and will be contacting you soon! I hope I get the chance to meet you and some of your lovely alsatians!

2011-10-14 11:05:06

2011-10-14 11:02:56 Alizeb khan

i love dogs.....but......but i have no dog lover frnds

2011-06-27 02:17:17 Arthur King

After looking over your site, and reading every post, I must say that I am thoroughly impressed. How you respond to criticism and the truly interested, factual answers you provide, leave this internet peruser truly stunned. I wish you the absolute best of luck with your endeavors.

2011-05-07 00:03:37 celeste baronzzi

Just discovered your dogs and I couldn't be more excited. I have a few questions but over all your website is fantastic. I wondered if these are dos you could take on a run. Several of us are runners.. also how easy are they to potty train? We lost our Golden Retriever 7 month ago after 16 years with him. Have not found another breed I was so interested in. Are there still openings for the next litter? We live in eastern Ohio. My phone is 330 692-3629 email celestebaronzzi@yahoo.com

2011-04-23 05:24:46 Vallecito Alsatians

In response to Vanessa:

Thank you for that clarification, Vanessa. I agree with you 100%. The lady who clicked for quiet was most certainly not using clicker training correctly. If a large GSD was barking at my 5 year old daughter and the owner sat there patiently and waited for quiet in order to reward, without correction, because she doesn't believe in correcting her dog, I'd be quite upset. I believe there are times for appropriate correction when a dog is showing disrespect as well as when a dog COMPLETELY knows the learned task but is refusing. (which is also, in my book, a form of disrespect)

I also agree with you that Cesar Milan leans more on the side of aversion training, although not as 'old school' as trainers were just 50 years ago. Many professional dog trainers may not like all that he has to say (as well as myself), but for the average companion dog owner, I have to say that I like his description of being the pack leader. He is very visual in his descriptions and the pack leader skill requires developing a confidence that everyday passive people who buy large dogs (even mellow ones) without the knowledge to train them would benefit from acquiring.

Personally, I prefer to remain in the middle of the strict clicker OR aversion training debate. I believe a dog should be patiently taught the skills we want through marker and reward training, but I also believe that certain disrespectful behaviors need to be dealt with quickly and assertively. However, for our sweet-natured breed, we never need to roll the dog or use hurtful yanks to correct the disrespectful behavior. The American Alsatian is submissive and gentle by nature, with feelings at the surface. This means that correction needs to remain only as harsh as is needed to immediately stop the behavior... and for this breed, that is not much.

With an emphasis on the positive with tasty rewards and lots of praise and love as well as corrections only when needed for behaviors that challenge the pack leader's role, our dogs will develop a deep trust that goes along with a loving bond we will most certainly form. Yes, dogs do not see us as other dogs, but they must see us as leaders or they will step up and take on the leadership role for themselves. When a large dog, even a calm gentle one, does that, we can learn a very important lesson the hard way.

Thanks for your thoughts. I always enjoy discussions like this. Take good care!

2011-04-22 05:37:52 Vanessa

In regards to the lady who clicked for quiet...

She was not using the clicker properly. A clicker is a tool used only in the beginning stages of training, as is food. Both should be weaned out using a variable rate of reward. Also if clicking for quiet, the dog should slowly be required to offer quiet for a longer period of time before being rewarded, or offer quiet quicker before being rewarded. She's what my training company would call an "click addict."

I do believe in light correction after the dog knows what to do to avoid the correction. Ceasar Millan never teaches the dog what to do to avoid the correction, he just corrects until they quit doing anything. Positive punishment(Something the dog doesn't enjoy; ie a collar jerk) should be used in conjunction with positive reinforcement (something the dog enjoys; ie praise, a toy, or treat) for the dog to understand what is expected of it in the beginning stages of training. The dogs should learn consequences in a fair, humane way. They shouldn't be jerked into submission. Also Ceasar doesn't really even use praise during training. The dogs rarely get anything from him but the ability to exist without being corrected.

I agree with the "pack leader" mentality to a point. You should be able to manage your dog, but dogs don't look at us as if we're a dog. If they did this, dog specific aggression wouldn't exist. They should learn their place, but dogs an people don't communicate the way dogs communicate with each other. There have been many studies over many years to find the best way to communicate with our animals, and resorting back to imitating dogs isn't the way to go.
The professional dog training world generally does not agree with Ceasars methods as they are too harsh and too stressful for the dogs. They may work, but there are always more humane ways to achieve the same goals.

2010-07-24 05:54:54 Vallecito Alsatians

In response to Cheech:

Thank you for your thoughts. I find them fascinating. I have pondered heavily on these issues many times as I've gone through various types of training styles and techniques with the dogs I've owned. Just as you do, I do see a place for marks and rewards, but I also see a need for consequences and yes, even dominance. This does not mean that I am constantly punishing my dogs, though. Let me explain with an example...

I know a lady, through search and rescue, who SOLELY clicker trains her German Shepherd Dog. She clicks for EVERYTHING. Sit... click... treat. (Thankfully, dog sat when she said sit) This is a mark and reward. Works well for sit. However, what if you do not want your dog to bark all the time at dogs walking by? Hmmm... should you wait until the dog is silent and then click and treat? This lady does.

The problem with clicking at that moment is that the dog has just completed barking... was silent for a minute... and you rewarded it. When is the dog going to 'get it' that you are clicking for silence? When is the treat more important to the dog than the immediate reward of barking at the passing dog? There are times... such as peeing on the floor, getting into the garbage, barking, digging in the garden, chasing a deer, etc. when reward and treat (like clicker training) is not satisfactory. Distracting the dog with food or toy, 'trading up' with the dog, trying to distract the dog when it is in a heightened state of chase, etc. does not teach the dog that the behavior it has just engaged in is not wanted.

Like you, I also do not agree with everything Cesar Milan suggests, but I do agree with being your dog's pack leader. True pack leaders rarely punish. They do not need to. Pack leaders are quiet and often very tolerant, but the rules they have and what they say are followed, always. It is a myth that pack leaders are constantly overbearing. That is not the case at all.

Also, when watching a dog pack (as opposed to a wolf pack) they naturally fall into the alpha, the beta, the child rearer, the look out, and the submissive. They are not wolves, but none-the-less, their pack formation mimics a wolf pack as far as hierarchy goes. Dogs need to understand their role within your house. They need to learn the rules you have for your home. What will you do to mark and reward your dog when you have left the dog in the backyard for a few minutes while you talk to the neighbor in the front yard and it has torn up your garden? Will you ignore the behavior all together then work the problem out over several months by marking and rewarding each time the dog is in the backyard and does not tear up your plants? I bet it would still tear up your plants if it knew you were not looking. Could you ever leave a dog like that out in the backyard for very long?

Cesar Milan demonstrates his dominance over the German Shepherd Dog in the backyard on his video. It is a technique that absolutely needed to be done in order to gain control of a dog in the beginning stages of aggression towards its owners. His 'dominance' over the dog was not harmful or threatening. It did not create a feeling of mistrust in the dog, but rather a feeling of trust from the dog. The dog finally understood where the boundary lied (aggression was not okay) and could not cross it.

In conclusion, while I agree with mark and reward training for teaching a dog commands, I believe in pack leader rules and boundaries for decreasing unwanted behaviors. A good trainer will take full advantage of both and a good dog will respond well to both.

2010-07-23 02:45:13 Cheech

I find Cesar Millan's training much to aversive. Instead of helping the dogs forget about tearing up couch cushions and creating a constructive outlet, he seems only to intensify it and deny the dog until it doesn't submit, but enters helplessness. I like his 'non-mark', where he tsks the dog (like the opposite of clicker-training) and his avoidance work, where both parties try their best to ignore a stimulant. Also, body blocks work well. But he does a rather poor job at some things, the leash jerking techniques are considerably hard to master and many dogs grow. Also, the 'Alpha Roll' at the wrong moment (and I've seen many people do it wrong) can damage a dog's trust. Also, I'd like to introduce the idea that research suggests dogs, (unlike wolves) aren't pack animals, but social animals. Instead of fighting for dominance, they struggle for peace, meaning they will almost always submit to the person who holds the food can. Training is not an issue of 'dominating' your dog, but setting boundaries and marks where there are rewards and consequences.

2010-05-28 20:11:38 Anita S. Hatland

I love what you've written about your Lap Therapy! It is pretty similar to what I did with my poodle when she was eight weeks old. From day one I put her on her back in my lap, always holding my hand gently on her chest so she would not try to get up, and she got a lot of praise when she laid still. I started doing this because I knew she would need a whole lot of grooming, but it turned out to be useful in other ways too, as it has made her very calm. Now she is four years old, and a dream to live with.

Oh, I see some other Norwegians has written here too, that's some coinsidence! :)

Best of wishes from Anita and Nicki the poodle, from Norway

2010-03-19 02:56:44 adeline

how much does an alsatian puppy cost?

2010-03-10 19:45:50 Birgit and Sam, from Norway

We absolutely love the breed. You have very nice website and beautiful dogs. Good luck and all the best!

2010-01-26 16:43:40 Tamara Bosshardt

I have researched dog breeds for years since my old man collie passed away. This sounds like my perfect dream dog. I own 5 acres in central Utah and am a responsible horse breeder and own my animals for life. (Which is why I am selective) I am also a professional singer-entertainer and value quiet, close friendships an loyalty in people and animals. My only question is if this would make a nice trail companion. I do not push my horses and rest a lot - it is all about the enjoyment of the trail and not competetive. I also would like to become a breeder if this turns out to be "the dog". OH and KUDOS to you for your vet and health care beleifs! I raised my kids and now horses the same way! Consequently, I have 3 huge scrapping young men who have rarely seen a doctor! The same goes for my horses. Please contact me and let me know how to get started breeding in Utah.
Tamara tjyoungmusic@yahoo.com
home- 435-462-9357
cell 435-704-1672

2010-01-09 04:46:54 Jane and Tarka Hamilton

My son Tarka and I are getting Phoenix Rising, one of Jessies pups in February. I just found your web site. Beautiful place. Good Luck with everything!

2009-12-24 05:23:10 Cyndi lengyel

Hello -- what beautiful dogs. I look forward to learning more about these wonderful animals. Thank you.