“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

– Cicero

GretchAnya was established with our first German Shepherd, Gretchen, in 1995. We strive for puppies with good conformation, excellent temperament and medium activity level. We are hobby breeders who average two litters per year. All our dogs are family members first. During the day, they enjoy spacious outdoor runs, where they are kenneled with a pal. In the evening, they warm their paws by the fireplace.

Three Generations, left to right: Anya (12 years), and her daughter, KK (7 years), and KK's son, Moe, (2 years). Photo June 2008, snowheronstudios.com

Three Generations, left to right: Anya (12 years), and her daughter, KK (7 years), and KK’s son, Moe, (2 years).
Photo June 2008, snowheronstudios.com

Gretchen gave us our start in the breed mainly because of her mischievous nature. A brain like hers had to work – and work we did, breezing through our CD title before the age of 2. An injury prevented her from continuing her canine education. So we turned our attention to Anya, a lovely American-bred bitch who would become our foundation.

Gretchen left us on a crisp fall morning in 2008, after a sudden onset of unexplained seizures. She never had a sick day in her life and we are especially grateful, for her sake, that her passing was quick. She was 10 days shy of her 13th birthday and didn’t look a day over 7. It will never be the same without her.

Anya passed exactly two weeks after Gretchen, on a cold and damp December afternoon. She was 12 years old, and had a short period of failing health. She was my protector, teacher, counselor, co-pilot, mentor, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, Jack’s girlfriend and – without question – the best friend I have ever had. She stole my heart at age 24, helped me raise my two boys, and left me much, much too soon.

Gretchen taught me about dogs. Anya taught me about life.

The girls are the reason we became “GretchAnya” German Shepherds. They inspired us to get involved in the breed, with both local and national clubs, and rescue work. Today, our dogs are shown in the conformation and obedience rings, in the U.S. and Canada. But mostly they make wonderful companions. Read below to learn more about how we raise our dogs.

Anya (right)


DOB 9-18-96 ~ 12-2-08

BrownHill’s Let’s Blow This Joint CDX Can CD TC HIC OFA H/E

GSDCA 13 Club Member

Gretchen (right)

11-28-95 ~ 11-18-08

Gretchen vom Haus Licher CD TC HIC OFA H/E

GSDCA 13 Club Member

Why a GretchAnya German Shepherd?

When considering a purchase of a German Shepherd, always ask questions about how the puppies are raised. Adding a puppy to your family is a large commitment of time and resources. You should expect that the breeder has prepared your puppy for the transition from being with its siblings to being part of a human family.

Puppies age 6-16 weeks learn quickly. They are often imprinted through experience. Some can be positive, some can be negative. The goal at GretchAnya is to tip the scales toward positive.

Many families looking for a perfect little puppy are aware of the health screening available to breeders. Breeders receive plenty of good inquiries about these tests. But there is much more involved in producing a well-adjusted German Shepherd. Ask about the puppies’ first weeks. Ask to see where they were raised and ask to see their mother and any other relatives that may live with the breeder.

Patience and research will help you find the best puppy for your family, and that will benefit you and your new German Shepherd for its entire life. Purchasing your puppy from a reputable breeder, with whom who you can speak face-to-face, will give you an advantage when it comes to having a healthy, happy, well-adjusted family pet.

The lure of a pet shop – “buy it now!” – is just that. You cannot gather any information on how the puppies were raised, what health tests were performed on the parents, nor the conditions of the puppy’s early life.

Why GretchAnya German Shepherd Puppies are worth waiting for:

  • All puppies are raised in our home on love.
  • They are kept with their mother from birth through the weaning period, and long after that process is complete.
  • They puppies are protected between three and four weeks old from any upset in their routine or environment. This time period is very important and can have a lasting effect on their social attitudes. It is a time when their hearing and eyesight improve. They become aware of their environment and seek the security of their mother.
  • They have hands-on time with us daily, beginning at birth.
  • They are socialized with children and other dogs in our home beginning at 4 weeks.
  • They experience grooming from one week old. We trim nails, gently brush coats, check teeth/mouths and ears.
  • They are encouraged to explore and use their minds to play and problem-solve through exposure to different environments, toys and climbing opportunities.
  • They receive a full health exam and first vaccination between 7 and 8 weeks old with our veterinarian.
  • They are placed in loving homes by matching their temperament to the lifestyle of their new family.
  • They are placed on a limited registration, meaning they cannot be bred, with a contract that includes a lifetime requirement that if, for any reason, the puppy cannot remain with its new family, it must be returned to GretchAnya.
  • They benefit from thoughtful selection of a sire that best compliments our female, in relation to health, temperament and overall soundness.
  • They benefit form a network of breeders who, through various German Shepherd dog clubs, share decades of experience.
  • They are AKC registered, securing the integrity of their pedigrees, and ensuring that proper paperwork was processed.
  • Their parents have health clearance certificates through OFA for Hips and Elbows. (Any dog’s OFA status can be researched here: www.offa.org.) Additionally, many of the parents also have AKC Champion certificates, ensuring their physical and mental conformation to the German Shepherd Standard – they are what they should be. Many have also earned temperament certificates, Canine Good Citizen titles, Herding titles, and/or Obedience titles.

If we don’t have a puppy available or a planned breeding, we can refer you to another reputable breeder who may be able to help you in your search for a special addition to your family. Please contact us.