Adoption Process

How do I adopt a German Shepherd from True North GSD Rescue?

Visit our applications page to review the process and submit an application. If you have additional questions, please contact us!

What is the typical adoption process like?

Once your application has been submitted, a small team of approved volunteers will begin processing. This includes vet/reference calls, home visits, and meet and greets. Once you have been approved as an adopter, you will be paired with a potential dog. We conduct a series of meet and greets (at minimum one) to determine whether or not it’s the right fit. Once a match has been made, our volunteers drop off your new pup in person to ensure a safe and effective transition into their new home.

Do you adopt to families with young children?

Yes! Our team works hard to match dogs with the right families. Some of our pups have prior experience with children, and have been temperamentally assessed accordingly.

Do you adopt outside of Washington State?

Our rescue currently operates in the coastal PNW region, meaning that we operate in Washington, Oregon, and California. Other states are considered on a case-by-case basis.

What kind of dogs do you typically have available for adoption?

We specialize in German Shepherds. Occasionally, we have German Shepherd mixes as well as other breeds, that are considered and accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Before You Adopt

What should I consider before adopting a German Shepherd?

German Shepherds often require a lot of exercise and training. They are an incredible breed that make fantastic life companions, but are a large commitment for any family. You should always consider the overall time commitment for any dog before looking at adopting a working breed, including German Shepherds.

Do I need a fenced-in yard to adopt a German Shepherd?

All applications are reviewed and considered on an individual basis, as with other details of our application process. Please submit an application and let us know how you plan to accommodate your potential rescue dog.

What kind of training do German Shepherds need?

We respect and utilize all methods of training. Our rescue does not subscribe to or promote one specific method over another. All adopters are required to enroll in basic obedience after adopting from our rescue. We believe that training is essential to bonding with your new dog and should be viewed as a fun, engaging activity with your new family member.

Can German Shepherds live in apartments?

Yes! German Shepherds can live in apartments. However, our rescue only adopts to apartment residents on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your living situation and incorporating a working breed into your home.

Rescue Information

How is the rescue funded?

True North GSD Rescue is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, funded by the generous contributions of our donors.

I want to help but I can’t take a dog right now. How can I volunteer?

You can apply to volunteer via our applications page. We are always looking for new volunteers, from fosters to photographers and application processors!

What happens to the dogs after they are surrendered to True North GSD Rescue?

All potential intakes must submit a surrender form, where our team reviews each and every unique situation. We receive hundreds of surrender applications each year, and are able to temperamentally assess only a select number of them. Once a dog has been approved for our rescue, they will either remain with their owner until adoption, or are transferred to one of our foster homes, depending on the situation.

I want to lend a hand. Can I donate?

Yes! You can visit our donations page and choose a way that works for you. We have several different ways for you to donate to our rescue.

Do you have events for fosters and volunteers?

Yes! We have regular meet-ups with volunteers and their foster pups for play time. This gives the pups in our rescue a chance to be extra social and have playtime with other dogs outside of their home with monitoring from multiple experienced handlers. We also thost morale events to keep our rescue’s community alive and thriving.

How involved is the rescue with their fosters and volunteers?

We believe that open discussion and continuous communication is the best way to foster a strong and healthy community of fosters and volunteers. Throughout your time as a foster and volunteer, you will not only have a great time with likeminded people, you’ll also be fully supported by other experienced volunteers/fosters within our rescue.

About German Shepherds

Are German Shepherds good family dogs?

Absolutely! German Shepherds can make for exceptional family dogs. Each of our dogs is temperamentally assessed before entering our rescue, so we have a good idea of which households they’ll thrive in upon placement.

How much exercise does a German Shepherd need?

On average, most German Shepherds require a medium to high level of exercise. This can come in many forms, such as general conditioning (like ball play or training) to daily walks to brain games. You should anticipate that they will need higher levels of exercise and stimulation.

Are German Shepherds good for first-time dog owners?

We require that all of our adopters have previous German Shepherd or similar working breed experience. While some German Shepherds can be very good for first-time dog owners, we have a policy that our adopters must have prior experience to receive a dog from our rescue.

What colors of German Shepherds exist?

There are many different colors of German Shepherds, but the most common are black and tan, black and red, black and silver, bi-color, black, and sable. Other colors can include white, liver, panda, and blue.

Do German Shepherds shed?

German Shepherds typically blow their undercoat twice a year, while shedding additionally throughout the year. This is completely normal, but coats vary from dog to dog. We often recommend brushing your pup at least once a week to keep their skin and fur healthy and looking great!