GSD Breeder experience... ongoing

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Thought I would put some of what's going on down on "paper", so why not mud?

Anyone who has seen my posts in the pet section might know we have/have had 3 GSD's (German Shepherd Dogs).

All 3 came from the same breeder. They breed amazing temperament dogs and have excellent certification for hips/elbows. Just amazing. Absolutely.

However.....

Our oldest (my wife shares with her ex) is now 11. She was originally chosen to breed by the breeder, but when old enough to radiograph found a mild problem with an elbow - so the breeder removed her from the breeding pool. My wife got that pup just a bit before she was a year old.

Our next oldest was not quite 6 years old when she passed in February 2018. Similar situation - breeder kept 2 pups from a litter for future breeding. At just over 2 years old, my wife got our 2nd GSD. When my wife got that dog, the dog was quite skinny and had an extremely large open/infected cyst on her shoulder (about the size of a quarter). The breeder had no idea. This pup passed, at our decision, due to multiple tumors in her rectum - something that has extremely low success rates and, when successful, short lifespans due to very high rate of reoccurence. This pup almost died after her spay (health wise she was "fragile") and she had crazy allergies to both fleas and most foods - so with the exception of protein (like steak/chicken as a treat) she only ate Natures Domain Sweat Potato and Salmon food (at the direction of the vet - the dark blue bag from Costco). The only meds, that were consistent, she had was comfortis.

Our recent puppy we got sooner than we anticipated. The other female the breeder kept (sister of our 2nd pup) had a littler that was born the day after our 2nd pup passed away. It was her first litter. We felt we had to get one due to the connection to our 2nd pup. We performed all vet visits, all shots/vaccines, and the only meds she was given was trifexis.

That puppy passed away recently completely at random and zero indication something would happen. We took her body to the vet to perform a necropsy (which apparently is rare, most owners don't do this - they didn't recommend it, but understood why we wanted one due to such a strange thing happening). The vet noticed 2 things - once was that there wasn't 'vacuum' in the chest cavity, and deemed cause of death was a tension pneumothorax. That is - a hole in the lungs allows air to enter the chest cavity, reducing the lungs capacity, and the tension portion could have also blocked her airway (which also goes with the coloration of her gums/tongue). There was no simple underlying cause of the pneumothorax (like trauma, foreign object, etc). The other thing found was spots on the small intestine - something not always normal, but if for some reason her immune system was constantly working can cause.

I have to leave - and will follow up with discussions with the breeder, follow up discussions with our vet, and what we are thinking. I do have a family member who has been part of agility training/shows in the area for 3 decades (though different dog breeds - she does have GSD experience just not in depth like she does with Shelties/shetlands), but any thoughts on this so far would be great.
 

gnob

 
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Not sure what your question is. Reading this post tells me your breader isn't amazing.
Sorry for your losses, your pics in the other thread are darling.
 
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To further the story... and part of why I'm writing this is to get it out, but also how the breeder responds will say a lot either way.

Saturday the puppy passed and we took her to the vet.

We received a call from our vet (there was a different vet at the clinic who performed the necropsy). We were given the information that it was due to her lungs, nothing could be done, if we had her spayed in the future she wouldn't have survived. We were told there could be additional testing, they had saved samples, and genetic testing was a possibility. We asked for an email so we could forward on to the breeder.

Sunday we called the breeder and received a call back. She responded that in 20+ years this has never happened. The discussion ensues, not poorly, and blame wasn't directed at us (which we were half expecting). During the call the breeder offered the puppys mom (we had previously mentioned we would like to have that adult dog when the breeder was done with her) and a puppy. She wanted the email as well.

I believe on Tuesday night the breeder called back asking if we had forgotten to send the email, and we discussed that we too were waiting for it. She mentioned she would be visiting her vet on Friday morning and would like the information. My wife emailed the breeder our vet information in case the 2 vets wanted to talk.

On Thursday we spoke with the vet who performed the necropsy. He explained in further detail his thoughts/findings (as described in the previous post). He sent an email - in it he said he didn't believe it was genetic (though, my specific brain wonders if the vets consider a difference between 'genetic' and 'hereditary').

My wife called the breeder immediately and left a message. When we got the email from the vet, she forwarded it on.


That was last week and we have yet to hear back from the breeder.


We have read over the purchase contract multiple times. The only 'warranty' that is expressed is related to hips/elbows.

What I find interesting is they are considered one of the top GSD breeders and aside from an odd BBB complaint (about deposits) there's NOTHING negative about the breeder.

In discussing with my aunt I mentioned that when we went to pick the puppy up there were 3 litters (the litter in which our pup came from, a litter that would be ready in the next week, and then a new litter which had been born about a week prior) - and essentially said while that isn't a complete "red flag" it seems like a lot, and could be difficult to properly follow through with bloodlines and potential health issues with that much going on.

Just for discussion sake, the initial purchase price of the puppy was $2,000 plus some paperwork for AKC.
 
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So, mild follow up if anyone cares (once everything is figured out in the next few weeks I'll mention the breeder name).

We hadn't heard back from the breeder so we reached out. Long story short - the breeder offered a puppy (normally $2,000) and the adult female (Sadies mother, normally $500) for $1,000, stating the puppy was 1/2 off and would give us the adult - it would then be our responsibility to spay.

We added up the costs for the past 12 months of our 2 passed pups (vet bills, cost of the puppy, extras, cremations, etc) and the total is well over $5,000 at this point. My wife and I decided that, at this time, we aren't paying $1,000 for a puppy - because in reality it isn't just $1,000. There's multiple vet visits for wellness/shots, food, and more.

We've reached out and let them know this, but said we wanted to take the adult female. What wasn't clear is whether or not the offer to give us the adult was contingent on the puppy. We haven't heard back (only reached out last night).
 
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Unnecessary drama continues.

We heard back from the breeder late last night. She does not want to give us the adult ASAP and wants to try to breed her again. This adult has had 1 successful litter, and the breeder came across as very upset about that. It seems that the breeder is worried about making money off of her. While this wasn't mentioned earlier, apparently the adult had a very bad infection that nearly killed her. Supposedly an ecoli infection from 'licking' while in heat wasn't caught - the breeder thought the dog was pregnant, took her to the vet to have a scan done, saw that the infection was "leaking" at the vet, and had to get some shots. She believes the adult female is now ready to breed.

My wife and I are having talks of small claims court at this point. It's an odd place to be in - the contract gives no guarantee of health, but something has to give here. If the breeder truly thought the health of the puppy and the ending result didn't have a glimmer of responsibility from her breeding then I would think she would state that and make no financial offer. Yet, here we are. Everything is coming across as "I want more money" from her, and not trying to resolve a problem with a repeat client.\

We shall see....
 

4mydogs

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Echoing gnob's post above, all of this really blows.

On top of everything else you've just gone through I just can't fathom such a well regarded breeder offering the adult dog -- and then reneging on the offer.
 
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I'll post the last response from the breeder and my response to it, just to show we aren't blowing smoke where it doesn't belong...

This has prompted us to consider different breeders.... which has us chasing our own tails here. I find it amazing the lack of information available online. You go to purchase a TV for $300 and you can find reviews, suggestions, likes, dislikes. You want to buy a car and you get massive information about the vehicle, reviews, problems, etc.

Want to get a dog from a breeder? Aside from AKC and maybe some other pedigree information about the parents (if it's not fabricated) - it's all based on "trust" or "word of mouth". We live in a world of social media and instant information - yet just about every breeder we look up you can find only 1 to 5 reviews on Google and literally nothing else. Breeders in business more than 2 decades and literally nothing.

It's very strange....
 
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The breeders last response:

"Been thinking all day...I have next year as her last year I can breed her. She should be in heat in January. I will keep her and breed her again. I have only gotten one litter from her. Terrible! So if she comes up empty or has any issues then I will just place her early with you. I will keep you posted."
 
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This is my response (names removed):

This is (me) responding to the correspondence you have been having with (my wife). (my wife) and I have been transparent with one another throughout this and with the exception of one phone call, all calls between you and I or yourself and (my wife) have been on speaker-phone with both of us.


When Kessy passed away, (my wife) wrote an extremely heart felt email and the emotion was overwhelming within it. Kessy was a young adult who died of a terminal health disorder.


The response from you was of sorrow, but was also to sell us another dog.


While our household was still broken from the loss of Kessy we opted to get Sadie because of the wonderful story it carried - (Kessy's sister) having her first litter born the day after Kessy passed away.


Little did we know, 5 months later that puppy purchased from (breeder) would die suddenly of a health disorder most likely caused by an underlying health issue not able to be identified by the vet due to the sudden nature and due to how young Sadie was. The necropsy found zero fault on our end of any wrong doing that would have led to her passing.


While your response was, again, of sorrow - it was also immediately to sell us another puppy.


Our 5 year old son, (son) is heart broken, he walks around with a stuffed GSD puppy everywhere, wearing one of Sadies first collars - he calls it Sadie, takes photos of it, sleeps with it, and more. Samantha is now 11 years old and, when in this household, walks around missing both of her previous playmates she's lost in only 7 months. (my wife) and I are struggling as well, trying to figure out why this would happen to us and if there's some further meaning to it all.


Your offer to us was that we could pay you another $1,000 for a puppy and you would give us (the mom). When (my wife) and I made it clear that we have spent quite a bit on vet bills pertaining to health concerns of 2 (breeder) GSD's as of recent and we did not want to to purchase puppy, your response was that you wanted to try and breed (the mom) again while seemingly frustrated she has only provided you with 1 litter. The availability of (the mom) has changed - when the offer to purchase a puppy was made it was with the intention we would take both on December 1, 2018. Breeding (the mom) in January 2019, if successful, would not make her available until the 2nd half of 2019.


Accepting (the mom) is not a simple decision. With 2 young children in the house, there is a high probability that we are setting them up for losing yet another dog in short time. The decision to accept (the mom) into our household was not one for us per-say, but one for (the mom)- to be in a loving household where the majority of the (dog) attention is on her. Pushing that time frame out another 8 months from now just increases the risk of losing her soon after accepting her into our family. Her sister died at 5 years old and one of her offspring died as a puppy, both of health concerns - this has put a fear into us (whether founded or not) that they are related.


We have decided that if you choose to breed (the mom) again, we cannot wait that long.


As far as Sadie goes, we request you consider offering a refund. While this is out of the norm for you, so is having a (breeder) puppy die suddenly from a health issue - as you put it - it has "has never happened in 23 years". While the purchase/transfer agreement says you do not provide a refund, it also says that dogs from your kennel must always carry the (breeder) name. As of current, the story of our (breeder) experience is that we were blessed with 2 exceptional temperament souls - Kessy died before she turned 6 years old of a terminal health disorder and Sadie suddenly died of a health disorder at only 7 months old. I don't want this to be the end of our story with (the breeder). I hope you can understand the impact of losing these 2 pups, young and very young, has had on our household and we can come to an agreement.
 

gnob

 
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Here's what resonates most with me about these exchanges.

Mind you I'm not a breeder, nor do I have first hand knowledge or experience. I am simply a dog lover.

My take is simply this. This person being willing to part with her mother dog is dirty. If this animal is providing you money to feed and house your fat self, it deserves way more than to be turned out to save them money or face.

I have no issues with a rescue from said situation.
I would at no point in time give this person another penny. Frankly I would probably have bypassed your emails and paid for an attorney to send her correspondence.
 
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My take is simply this. This person being willing to part with her mother dog is dirty. If this animal is providing you money to feed and house your fat self, it deserves way more than to be turned out to save them money or face.
She currently has 4 adult females for breeding, and keeps a female puppy from most litters to have their hips/elbows checked when they're old enough. The breeder has had at least 7 litters this year so far....
 

4mydogs

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My own experience: my wife was taking care of an elderly gentleman's Labrador Retriever (which was the breed we wanted). We had visited a few breeders in our state but weren't very pleased with what we were seeing, but we loved the Lab she was taking care of. Great conformation, wonderful temperament, he was just a great dog to be around, just what we wanted. We asked where he came from and got the name of the breeder who lives many states away, and because of our relationship with my wife's client we were able to get on a waiting list (she had 4 bitches at the time and was producing lots of puppies but they were in high demand and so we had to wait). Meantime we got references on the breeder: all very good. Found some of her dogs in Labrador publications, traced lineage of her dogs back to older and highly regarded kennels. It took about 9 months to get our first dog from her. We're now on dogs number 3 and 4 from her. All four were/are wonderful dogs. Breeder is elderly, has fewer breeding bitches but still breeds them and still has a wait list. I hope that you can find someone like her and maybe cut ties with this breeder. Also AKC shows are a good place to see dogs, and inquire as to their origin. Local AKC clubs may be able to help. This might help:
9 Tips for Finding and Working With a Responsible Breeder

I wish you lots of luck.
 

little_joe

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As an objective bystander, I'll be "that guy:" I would end this and move on. Aside from any reviews or other history, it appears there is some issue either in the bloodlines, the environment, or with the breeder's practices. Common sense says when you've had such experiences, why keep going back? esp when the breeder uses it to extract more money from you? And as @gnob points out, that this breeder is wiling to effectively throw away the female says plenty of his/her character.

And I am not at all trying to be a jerk, but if you don't need to have an AKC-registered pup, there's tons of dogs that could use a loving home such as yours, and who would be awesome companions.
 
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As an objective bystander, I'll be "that guy:" I would end this and move on. Aside from any reviews or other history, it appears there is some issue either in the bloodlines, the environment, or with the breeder's practices. Common sense says when you've had such experiences, why keep going back? esp when the breeder uses it to extract more money from you? And as @gnob points out, that this breeder is wiling to effectively throw away the female says plenty of his/her character.

And I am not at all trying to be a jerk, but if you don't need to have an AKC-registered pup, there's tons of dogs that could use a loving home such as yours, and who would be awesome companions.
I agree, rescues are the best breed. Hit the shelters, find a Shepard mix and adopt. You'll be loved for life for your kindness.
 
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At this point we are looking at other breeders, have an appointment with one this weekend (and talking with them was a very different experience). My purpose of posting this is to have a more factual documentation of what's going on, trying to leave my emotions/opinions out of it (with the exception of the email transparency).

They gave a non-response response to the email I posted above...

"I have not responded to your email because I am still in shock and what I am being accused of. I am pretty upset, offended and angry about it and will get back you when I can."
 

gnob

 
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Pretty hard to see other people's point of view with head lodged firmly in sphincter. FVck that breeder. Send an attorney letter just to rattle their cage. ;)
 
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Stayed a bit quiet on this for 2 reasons..... one is the breeder called us and, again, changed the offer - which has made for many conversations between my wife and I.. the other is because we had an appointment to meet with a new breeder/kennel, see their outfit (etc). The entire process (emotional and informational) has been a roller coaster.

The other night my wife said "Don't worry, whatever decision we make - it will be the wrong one".... and it has seemed that way lately.

Sadie/Kessy's breeder called us last week to talk with us - and has changed the offer. She is now offering a 'free' puppy, keeping the adult sister to try and breed her at least 2 more times. She was upset from our email because it suggested all she cares about is money. Her reasoning that she doesn't was (paraphrasing here):

"I offered you a puppy at half price and (the adult sister) to go with, which would only be $1,000. I could still breed her 2 more times, an average litter has 6 puppies, times 2 is 12, times 2 is $24,000. Plus $2,000 for a puppy, I was willing to essentially give you $25,000 for only $1,000.".

My wife and I were under the assumption that the email would upset her at the suggestion that 2 of our dogs passed away early in life due to health problems - something I would think a breeder would VERY HEAVILY weigh against.


The kennel (I call it that because that's what they call themselves - plus they provide in house training, boarding, and events where others can bring their pups if they want - for instance they invited us to their 'halloween bbq' to meet other owners, as they felt other owners are as good, if not better, examples of what they offer) we visited over the weekend was very different. Very transparent (we met every single dog in their program), saw the whelping room, saw some obedience training in action (with actual customers). They suggested we bring our older pup with to meet any potential dogs we liked (which we did).


There was some negative reviews of the kennel online - which was concerning, of course - but there has been ownership changes and total upgrades/changes to their facility and way of business (which bodes well, because their reviews are still overwhelmingly very good).

The down side - their puppies/young adults are significantly more than the breeders.
 

JohnVee

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@toyotaspeed90 I'm pretty much right with you on the confusion about what to do but I'm kind of thinking, and I have been since my avatar passed, that we put way to much emphasis on our expectations of unknown variables. Early death is horrible, and possibly inexcusable, but we as humans stick with what we know and will try to justify things in any way that makes us feel more comfortable. Every dog purchase or adoption comes with tons of variables, personality and temperament being key along with bloodline health. I say move on. You're not gonna get your money back from this breeder, you'll only continue to feed them money and end up with a friend that you'll always be wondering about. Might live forever and s*** chocolate covered rainbows...might not. Which do you think is more likely? Our desire for one outcome is not enough to influence the outcome.

Cut your losses. Find a new breeder or a rescue (all of my GSD's have been rescues). Then post a logical, honest, and non threatening review(s) on the breeder using only agreed-upon facts. You need to be that person who leaves information behind for anybody who comes after you. Just be factual and non-threatening.

Oh...and be happy that the breeder didn't add in the future value of training 2 years of pups to that $25k!
 
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