Upstate German Shepherds founder, Don Spear, has been breeding dogs over a 40-year span, 20 of those breeding the mighty German Shepherds of European fame.

Don discovered the longhair variant Shepherd when his reproduction veterinarian introduced him to Jodi Hartman. They bred Rommel to Mishka and the pups proved to be extraordinarily beautiful, more importantly, superior companions. A few years later, Don and Jodi merged their small kennels and housed the dogs on Jodi’s 14-acre property in Canisteo, NY.

Jodi has 20-years of dog breeding experience and an invaluable instinct with German Shepherds. Breeding and daily care are her duties in the partnership along with new acquisitions, usually direct from Europe. She is the ideal “dog person”. Together they decide on the match between sire and dam to produce the traits they want in each litter. Jodi assists our buyers in pup selection based on individual personality.

We emphasize the well-bred, “flat back” German, Czech and Low Country bloodlines popularized after WWII. We do NOT deal in the American or European branch characterized by the sharp downward angle of the back and the squat rear. Ours are working lines and are NOT show dogs. What’s the difference? We breed for flawless disposition with unparalleled steady nature and courage and character. Our dogs are accidentally beautiful!


All of our adult dogs are companion dogs living in someone’s household. The European German Shepherd is much too evolved to languish in a kennel. GSD’s need regular human interaction. Their intuitive nature thrives on companionship. All of our females are at our home in Canisteo, NY near Bath and due south of Rochester which we refer to as our kennel. It is actually our modest house. This commitment to having no kennel dogs is the reason we are a small breeder.


The European breeds were always superior, but with the fall of the Berlin Wall, East(DDR) and West Germany were reunited. An entirely separate line of GSD was integrated into the DNA mix. Strong stock became mighty! Our dogs are impossible to make unsure with a rock-solid steady nerve base. They have great bone strength and great working ability. They are relaxed and perfectly behaved inside the home. They are especially gentle with small children and are able to concentrate and focus on task. Conversely, they are highly determined in protection. Our dogs have a great willingness to be obedient showing reliable responses to the obedience commands.


Our Number 1 objective is good health. Next is the perfect home pet disposition. Along with that comes the desire to be trained and to follow commands that leads to such a satisfying relationship between dog and master. Finally, should you want a personal protection dog, you have the correct stock to achieve this goal. To accomplish this, we must and do follow the exacting standards of the German breed.