Grünberg Shepherds

"Where peace of mind is just
another member of the family"

Don't take our word for it . . .

Read what some Grunberg Shepherd owners have to say.

Grunberg  German Shepherd breedersI am a Police Officer in Vermont whose Department was gearing up to seek out the best all-around Patrol/Detection K9. My department researched many different breeders but didn’t have the renowned history of superb genetics until we came across Grunberg Shepherds. Marisa’s ideology of picking the right puppy for the right job was on point when I was united with Kubo. We became inseparable from the beginning and that very same loving compassion blended well with my wife and two young children. As a puppy, I brought Kubo to work with me every day, integrated him with what’s it’s like to be a Police Officer as he was mentored by our- now retired Malinois. Anyone who knows Malinois, know that they constantly have high drive; Kubo’s play drive was none that I’ve ever seen and he was always alongside the Mali keeping up with whatever training session we were doing. Throughout the months, watching Kubo grow, his markings stood out amongst other Shepherds, not a typical Shepherd, one that imprints a lasting memory in someone on their first sight. At the age of 11 months, we attended Vermont’s Police K9 Patrol School graduating with exceptional marks in Tracking, evidence recovery, handler protection, building searches, general and tactical obedience, agility, and apprehension.

When Kubo is off-duty, he’s home with me and my family but is always on alert; he’s very loyal, playful and protective which I wouldn’t trade those traits for any other.

January 2017, we will be attending the Vermont Police K9 Drug School and feel he will be in top of his class because he is very methodical when he searches.

Hi Marisa,

I hope you are well, I have been following your adventures via Facebook and you have been busy!

Grunberg  German Shepherd breedersIt has been awhile since we touched base, school has become incredibly busy and between that and Deacon, I am always on the go! Since last we saw in you in September, Deacon and I have been working hard on Schutzhund, he loves it! We work with his trainer twice a week. She is very pleased with his progress and we are planning on going to trial for his BH in the fall, with his IPO 1 to follow shortly thereafter. He is truly the 8 cup Shepherd you speak about, Carrie (his trainer) says we could go as far as we want to in competition.

Training alongside other dogs it is always so apparent to me how Deacon differs. All owners are partial to their dogs, but Deacon's balance and drive is really beautiful to see on the sport field. Many people have remarked that I am 'lucky' that I have the 'total package' in him but I know it comes down to impeccable breeding and solid genetics. I did my research before getting a Grunberg Shepherd! People who haven't met him are amazed that this dog who is a monster on the Schutzhund filed and hits like a mac truck is the same one playing oh-so-gentle tug and tag with the litter of 10 week old puppies. His on-switch is both effective and fail-safe.German Shepherd breeders in Asheville, NC

Grunberg German Shepherd breeders in Asheville, NCAside from his adventures in sport, Deacon continues to be a constant source of joy and laughter for both my husband and myself. His quirks and goofy personality win over pretty much anyone who enters our home. You haven't laughed until you have seen an 80 lb German Shepherd drag his blankie up the stairs for bedtime. While I fully admit to contributing to his oddities, I like to say most of them came 'factory installed'. This dog certainly went through the line twice when they were handing out personalities!

I have included some photos, Deacon is a handsome son-of-a-gun for sure. I hope we see you sometime soon!


Caitlin Grunberg German Shepherd breeders in Asheville, NC

Tilly and GretaI had the opportunity to spend two days with Marisa and her wonderful dogs while finalizing the acquisition of Tilly (aka Matilda, aka Katja), a puppy from the August 22, 2014 welping of Kira/Goran litter.

I have searched and researched breeders for the past 2 years and was fortunate enough to find Grunberg Shepherds. What attracted me to Grunberg Shepherds was Marisa’s commitment to breeding for dogs with emotional stability and physical functionality. As a Veterinary Neurologist/Neurosurgeon, I sadly see so many dogs, German Shepherds included, lacking in both these areas often leading to heartbreak given an emotionally unstable and/or physically challenged animal needing extensive behavioral and medical care.

I have loved the German Shepherd breed all my life but have been worried about the “German Shepherd” I was seeing as a veterinarian. I knew I needed a stable dog to join my pack, including several dogs with neurological issues. I simply couldn’t take the risk of bringing in an animal that wasn’t emotionally sound. Watching my older “rescue” German Shepherd struggle with her orthopedic and neurological issues, I knew I also wanted an animal with a body meant to function well for a long lifetime.Tilly - Grunberg German Shepherd

When I walked into Marisa’s home, I was greeted by 10 yr old Goran, the sire of Tilly, who’s SCh 3, FH1, KK1, and fully trained service dog, and Annie, 13 yr old retired SCh 3 brood bitch. While the credentialing of both are impressive in their own right, I was absolutely blown away by how welcoming both were, after getting the “ok” from Marisa that I wasn’t an intruder, I was especially blown away by how well both were moving! Professionally, I watch dogs move all day long and have a keen understanding of form and function.

Goran is a stunningly athletic boy who moves flawlessly. Annie, a little more advanced in her age, moves exceptionally well and has a twinkle in her eye and love of life defying her age! I had the honor of spending time with Thor, a handsome beast of a German Shepherd, who at 20 months of age is a fully trained service dog.

I also was privileged to watch Marisa work with one of the loves of her life, Rune, who at 6 months of age, epitomizes what the German Shepherd breed is: intuitive, intelligent, and with a body meant to and able to work! I was smittened to say the least. The love fest only deepened when I was introduced to Tilly. I have never seen a puppy move with the grace and fluidity of an adult animal until meeting Tilly and Greta, her sister. Both have amazing structure and confirmation. Both are exceptionally well balanced girls in the two areas which I believe make the most phenomenal companion and working dog: emotionally and physically fit. They are bred to perform and have an inner confidence which helps them interact intelligently with their surroundings. Tilly has adjusted to her new pack without any hiccups. She loves coming to work with me and being an ambassador. Tilly has exceeded all my hopes and expectations, she is one of the most athletic dogs I’ve ever encountered and her intelligence is scary (in a good way!) on a grand scale. I only hope I can keep ahead of her and keep her motivated to be the very best she can be.

I wholeheartedly recommend Grunberg Shepherds to anyone who knows the German Shepherd breed and what it was originally breed to do. Grunberg Shepherds strives to produce animals with those traits: intelligent, courageous, and with an outstanding functional confirmation.

Joli Jarboe

Canine Neurosurgeon/Neurologist

WolfgangHi Marisa:

I thought to send a message about Wolfgang, the great and gentle dog I bought from you 9 years ago. He has been a great companion for years. I chose a Grunberg dog because of your focus on breeding smart, family-oriented dogs with a gentle temperament. Wolfgang’s manners, gentle nature and total adaptability speak to this focus on good tempered dogs. In nine years, my life has changed many times over, and he’s dealt with every change easily and happily.

When I got Wolfie from you nine years ago (in ten days), I was single, living in an apartment in Boston’s Back Bay. Wolfie - Grunberg German Shepherd Today, I’m married with an adopted mutt whom Wolfie adores, an adopted cat, and a 2 year old girl, whom we showers with kisses. When we brought Annabel home from the hospital, Wolfgang knew implicitly that he was to be gentle – to love and protect Annabel. “Weefie” was one Annabel’s first words, and he has recently taken to sleeping in her room.

I was – at first – concerned that the focus on temperament might make him less athletic. No such luck: Over the years, Wolfie has run hundreds of miles on trails and roads, swum crazy miles as my open water training partner...he’s faster in the water than most human swimmers and he can outlast nearly anyone in the water; he’s mountain biked all over New England, Colorado, Vermont, and Utah. He has summited Vail, Beaver Creek and backcountry areas as we skinned up, then rocketed down powdery ski pitches in Colorado, New York and Vermont. Even at nine years old, he still acts like a puppy when we grab our gear and head outside to play.

He has also been incredibly easy to train. Despite his high energy, he is smart and sensitive and thus very easy to train. That obedience is what has allowed me to bring him on all these adventures. I never worry that he will wander or disregard a command. Wolfie has some great years left in him, but I will certainly get our next Shepherd from you.

Thank you,

Brian White

Coco and BehrThree years ago our family was ready for a dog and the unanimous choice was a German Shepherd. We searched the internet for breeders, and our first response came from Marisa at Grunberg Shepherds. We were so very impressed with her diligence in selecting for us what would soon become a cherished member of the family. We have 2 busy teenagers; one will be heading off to college in the Fall and the other to high school. My husband travels frequently and I find myself spending an abundance of time alone in our home. Coco has been my constant companion and faithful walking partner. I feel secure when she is near me, whether we are relaxing at home, walking through the neighborhood, or playing in the park.

Recently, we went back to Grunberg for our second puppy! I remember asking Marisa about bringing another dog into our home and her reply was "One shepherd is great, two shepherds are fabulous!" Once again, she provided us with a complete hands-on resource of knowledge and support, both during the selection process and well after.

Our two shepherds are beautiful, responsive, and intelligent. I look forward to many happy years with our Coco and Behr.

Thank you Marisa!


YannoI am writing this letter because your ability to match the right dog with the right person has changed my life!

I am a pet industry CEO and have the resources to get a dog from anywhere. In fact, many reputable kennels offer me fabulous dogs for free just to get recommendations. However, I always come back to the people involved in Grünberg Shepherds and I'll tell you why.
When I first met Richard Crane (your supervising trainer), oh, so many years ago it makes me feel old, I had been almost carjacked in California while nine months pregnant. I had always had dogs and loved Mastiffs, but at 200 pounds and with a new baby, my male Mastiff, who was close to going to heaven anyway, was just too heavy to get in and out of the car, and thus I started driving without my "sentinel" in the back seat.

After extensive research, I decided to buy a Shepherd. I felt a Shepherd would certainly be a deterrent to the "bad guys" since I travel alone quite a bit, would be great with children, and would be a good size to accompany me wherever practical. Careful as I am, I talked to and visited almost everyone in the Shepherd world. To make a very long story short, the Grünberg team is one of the most well-respected in Shepherds.

I needed a super dog. The dog had to be bomb proof with kids, other pets, other species, in the office, Home Depot, cocktail parties, etc., but really good looking, responsive, good obedience, and a deterrent to potential bad guys, etc. Most people laughed, and many tried to sell me dogs that simply didn't fit the bill.

Long story short, Richard found me "my super dog" and offered to come to my house and help us get off on the right foot. For me, since I was so new to the German commands and system, we actually took a video in my home of Richard going through the motions, pronouncing the words, etc., so that after he left, we had a guide we could refer back to (our dog had been initially trained in Germany).

I have been exposed to many breeds of dogs through my business and the rescue work we do, but I honestly believe that a good Shepherd is the most incredible dog you can have. Like anything else, however, it has to be the right match and a quality dog; there is a lot of variation in the breed. The Grünberg team has a wealth of experience behind them and a dedication to quality that is unmatched in my mind.

Barbara A. Allen

Mrs. Allen's Shed-Stop

HudsonIn March of 2003, we purchased a German Shepherd puppy from Marisa Shaw, owner of Grünberg Shepherds, and so began a wonderfully rewarding journey.

The experience of owning one of Marisa's dogs does not end with the purchase. Marisa, along with trainer Richard Crane, has offered ongoing support and endless education on the raising and training of our dog, Hudson. This invaluable service has opened our eyes to the possibilities of what our dog can attain through proper handling. Hudson's temperament is even-keeled, and he is steady of nerve as promised, in addition to possessing all the intelligence one expects of a German Shepherd.

We strongly recommend Marisa Shaw as German Shepherd breeder of the century! Anyone who is lucky enough to own one of her puppies is lucky enough.

Michael and Diane Stoeckle

HunterI was skeptical at first about purchasing an adult dog. I had gotten all my previous dogs as puppies, and I was concerned that I wouldn't have a close bond with the dog.

I have learned from my experience with Grünberg Shepherds that a close bond with a dog is largely a result of the dog's breeding. Bary and I are a team, and I know I can always rely on him to do what I ask. I am the leader of his pack, and he will do whatever is necessary to keep me safe and happy.

I like knowing that when I need the dog he will be there for me and that I can count on him.

Marisa took the time to learn what I was looking for in a dog and searched for the right dog to meet my needs. Her ongoing support has been superb.

In short, Bary is an amazing dog, and our relationship is one of the best things I've experienced in life.

Nancy Hutner



I have been a vet tech and an accounts receivable manager for 10 years at a veterinary practice in Rutland, Vt. When I'm not working at the vet practice, you can often find me walking dogs, house and pet sitting, or at the equine stable, riding. I have done work with many rescues, fosters (for a New England rescue league), and have had my own professional clients, along with taking care of my personal animals.

With the profession I am in, I am able to bring my puppy to work every day. His name is Tyr (German, pronounced teer), which means spirit in English. He is a four-month-old, male, black/red German Shepherd. On my arrival at Grünberg Shepherds, owner Marisa Shaw made me feel more than welcome. I was able to view all the puppies, and with Marisa's help, select the pick of the litter. She was very knowledgeable in looking for specifics, quality, characteristics and personality, and making sure they were going to coincide with my lifestyle.

Tyr and I went back to a puppy imprinting seminar, and were pleased with the different ages, obedience, and protection work that were demonstrated by other Grünberg Shepherds. I anticipate the highest level of training in the future with Tyr.

I am fortunate that I have met Marisa Shaw with Grünberg Shepherds, and encourage others to purchase a puppy or adult dog from her kennel.

Stacey Fitzgerald

SoniaWhen it was time for me to find another German Shepherd dog for our family (I have over time owned six German Shepherds), our trainer, who has assisted us in finding good GSDs each time, sent us to Grünberg Shepherds, saying that they consistently provided the best dogs in physical soundness and with good character and mental stability. And once again, was he ever right!

A photograph can attest to this dog’s beauty and noble good looks, but it can’t tell you what a fine animal and companion this girl has made. Sonia is physically sound in every way, she is an exceptional athlete, and her personality is friendly, sensible, and appropriate to the occasions she meets. Her love for our children is exceptional; she accompanies them whenever they play outdoors. With them, she is a blithe spirit.

Grünberg Shepherds has, I believe, bred and acquired dogs to improve health and mental soundness in the breed. They have provided ongoing input whenever I have needed advice with training and with health and diet recommendations. Backup and support has always been happily and openly offered.

I am delighted with my dog, the best I have ever owned, and with the Grünberg Shepherds relationship.

Linda Tors

Lord BearI lived near a partner of Grünberg Shepherds, so I knew of their outstanding quality long before my first shepherd, and felt so privileged to be able to acquire one of their new puppies.

Marisa is extremely helpful in teaching new owners about working with the traits of the breed via workshops and round table discussion groups. And she is always ready with tips and assistance regarding any behavioral issues that may arise.

The intellect of the magnificent creature pictured here amazes me, and the consistency of training pays off quickly. Even at play it is evident that he is absolutely fearless, and at nine months his devotion is clear. His presence brings comfort, security, and great joy.

I look forward to many miracle moments with my Lord Bear.

Tish Russell

Owner of Lord Bear,
 Brenna/Dax son


My husband and I met Marisa with her impressive shepherds a few years ago. We were both instantly taken with the dog’s calm self-confidence and winning character. Marisa met with us and we discussed the breed and various upcoming litters. This was our first experience in owning a German Shepherd though we have always had dogs. We were looking for a dog to provide security and blend in with our family of four, complete with energetic children, friends and activities. Together with Marisa we were able to hand-pick the ideal pup to fit our lifestyle and personalities.

Eva is the perfect German Shepherd ambassador. She is forever eager to learn, please and protect. The follow-up training and education that Marisa and trainer Richard Crane offer is invaluable to dog and owner. EvaWe have been fortunate to attend Grünberg seminars on puppy imprinting, obedience, and protection work. At our house we use the training skills every day. Eva is obedient, agile and exceptionally responsive to commands making our daily walks through the woods or bustling downtown Manchester a pleasure. I am looking forward to continuing our training to the highest level.

At 2½, Eva has proved an ever-vigilant house and property guard. We live in a secluded wooded area. She is keenly aware of our boundaries, sensing intruders and stray ATVs. We all sleep soundly.

Eva is the most loving companion anyone could ever want. Thank you, Marisa and Grünberg Shepherds.

Donnel Barnum

Athos and Hero

I feel privileged to be the owner of two beautiful Shepherds from Grünberg Shepherds. Owner Marisa Shaw cares deeply about, and has unparalleled knowledge of, the German Shepherd Dog breed and it shows in the gorgeous animals she provides.

My first dog, Athos, is an eight-year-old male who can go from working hard all day in the sun to playing like a puppy. His incredible prey drive, his amazing constitution, and his joyful working attitude made raising and training him like putty in the hands. All his energy is there at the surface to use in training; there is nothing he cannot do.

He is the model of good citizenship, gentle with people, great with children, and can go anywhere, anytime. People are always amazed that such a serious working dog can be such a wonderful family dog as well. 

My new puppy, Hero, is the apple of my eye. Marisa's masterful skill shows through with Hero's confident attitude, magnetic curiosity, and incredible friendliness. It very apparent that Hero will be a dog like her brother; strong, confident, and deeply committed to working.

I simply cannot come up with enough superlatives to describe these dogs. Thank you Marisa for such wonderful additions to my family.

Trisha Selbach


I have been involved with German Shepherd dogs for 35 years; I have known Marisa for 15 of those years. I know her to be an honest, energetic person who truly loves the breed. She has made it her aim to breed German bloodline dogs of the highest quality and represent them with integrity. Her efforts have achieved sound dogs in mind and body and a credit to our breed, a very worthy endeavor.

Richard Crane

Photo: Richard Crane with Fax Vom Hof Niederzier SCH 3


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