Bay Area German Shepherd Rescue

Frequently Asked Questions

We get asked alot of questions. These are some of the most regular. We hope you will find this useful as you think about adopting your own German Shepherd Dog.

1. How do I adopt a dog?

2. How much does it cost to adopt?

3. How long does it take to adopt a dog?

4. How many dogs do you have?

5. Where do you keep your dogs?

6. Where do you get your dogs?

7. Will they like my kids, cats, etc.?

8. Are they spayed/neutered?

9. Do you take in owner surrenders?

10. Can I adopt more than one dog?

11. Do I have to have a fenced back yard?

12. Are your dogs trained?

13. What if the dog I adopt gets sick?

14. What if I can't keep the dog I adopt?

15. I live in an apartment, can I adopt a dog from you?

16. I want a puppy, can I adopt one?

17. Can I introduce my dog(s) to the dog I'm interested in?

18. How do I arrange a meeting?

19. Why do you have to check my home?

20. What will the Adoption Counselor be looking for at our home visit?

21. I work long hours, can I still adopt?

22. How do you know what dog will work for me?

23. What if 2 people want the same dog - How do you decide?


1. How do I adopt a dog?

You can read our 5 step guide to adopting a German Shepherd Dog right here!

2. How much does it cost to adopt?

Each dog costs us about $625 in medical bills, food, microchipping, etc. We ask you for $300 for an adult dog and $350 for a puppy under 12 months. Any donation towards your dog’s full cost is gratefully received.

3. How long does it take to adopt a dog?

We like to get your home visit completed within 2 weeks of your application. If the home visit is completed sooner, you could have your new dog within 2 weeks of applying! This is a very important part of the process, however, and we encourage you to take your time and meet several dogs. Finding the perfect dog may even take a month or two.

4. How many dogs do you have?

Sometimes we have many adoptions in a short period, or there are simply not many dogs available, so we might only have a few. A few weeks later we are suddenly swimming in Shepherds! Just keep checking our Facebook page and website for new faces.

5. Where do you keep your dogs?

We keep all our dogs in loving homes, called foster homes. No boarding kennels for them. This is the best approach because it lets us see the dog in a family environment, often with other dogs. We learn something new every day about our dogs!

6. Where do you get your dogs?

Most of our dogs come from shelters. They have either been lost or abandoned. Other dogs come from loving owners who are no longer able to care for their dogs; they give their dogs to us. The good news is that over the past few years we have not seen many dogs that have been neglected or abused.

7. Will they like my kids, cats, etc.?

Because all our dogs live in foster homes we can evaluate them very carefully and let you know our experiences with cats, other dogs, kids, squirrels and more. It’s all part of our service.

8. Are they spayed/neutered?

Yes. We are legally required to spay/neuter all rescue dogs. There are many benefits to this. One of the benefits to you is that we have already paid for it and helped the dog through the process.

9. Do you take in owner surrenders?

Absolutely. Most of our owner surrenders occur because people’s life situation or health has changed. You can read all about this right here!

10. Can I adopt more than one dog?

We prefer that if you want to own multiple dogs, that you adopt one and let it settle in. This will give you time to get to know your dog, bond with your dog, and address possible training issues to make your lives easier. Then come back to us in six months and we’ll try to find another perfect match for you.

11. Do I have to have a fenced back yard?

We ask that you do because of the safety of your dog. We will will also ask you to repair broken fencing before you can adopt. However, we know that in some situations fencing is not possible. In this case, you’ll need to help us understand how you plan to keep your dog safe.

12. Are your dogs trained?

Puppies and young dogs will have no training. This puts a real requirement on you, the adopter. Most of our dogs will have basic house manners and obedience commands, but some won’t. We’ll let you know exactly what your Shepherd can and cannot do when we meet. We encourage all our adopters to train their dogs - there are so many benefits.

13. What if the dog I adopt gets sick?

We do the very best we can to make sure that your new dog is in good health. Where we know about medical issues, we will share them with you before you adopt. However, you are taking on a long term commitment and maintaining your new dog’s health is now your responsibility. You can always call our hotline for advice, but we strongly recommend that you talk with your vet.

14. What if I can't keep the dog I adopt?

We encourage all adopters to make their best effort and undertake training. If this does not work out, we will be there for you always. You may return the dog at any time.

15. I live in an apartment, can I adopt a dog from you?

Many people in apartments have dogs. You will need to demonstrate that the dog has plenty of access to outside and that exercise time will be provided daily. Large working breeds are not ideal for apartments, but many people make it work nicely.

16. I want a puppy, can I adopt one?

When we receive a puppy, most of our foster homes would prefer not to have the dog. There’s a good reason. They know just how much work is involved. We will only adopt puppies to people with strong experience and a lifestyle that enables the care and socialization the puppy needs.

17. Can I introduce my dog(s) to the dog I'm interested in?

Absolutely. In fact we will not adopt a dog out to a family without introducing the dogs on neutral ground. The last thing you need is to get home and find the dogs cannot get along.

18. How do I arrange a meeting?

You’ll need to be an approved adopter to meet our dogs. If you see a dog you like - you’ll contact your adoption counselor and they will begin that process for you. Our complete adoption process is here!

19. Why do you have to check my home?

Your new dog has no say in where it will live for the rest of it’s life. We want to be sure that your home is a good environment for a German Shepherd. Just recently we visited a home and found a back yard with hundreds of open cans of paint that are all poisonous to a dog!

20. What will the Adoption Counselor be looking for at our home visit?

We are looking at several things. We want to meet your family and understand your experience with dogs. We will discuss your lifestyle and talk to you about your environment. The majority of our adopters really enjoy it, and we quickly become friends. You will see that we are there to help you because we love the dogs.

21. I work long hours, can I still adopt?

German Shepherds need companionship, training and reason to be. They are a working breed. You’ll need to show that you and your family can spend the time with the dog to meet the dog’s needs as well as yours. If you are single with a busy career that demands all your time, a German Shepherd may not be the perfect choice.

22. How do you know what dog will work for me?

We have experience of successfully matching over 1,000 German Shepherds to owners. We try to get an accurate picture of each dog’s temperament, energy levels and needs. We then look at your experience and lifestyle and counsel you on the right dog. We are here to help you.

23. What if 2 people want the same dog - How do you decide?

We flip a coin - just kidding. We try to look through the dogs eyes to see which family it would choose. Don’t worry though. We will find you a great dog, even if your first choice did not work out. In fact most of our volunteers experienced the same thing- before they joined us!


Finally, if you have a question that we did not answer, please call us on our hotline

(855) 473-5683 - 855 GSD-LOVE