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Old 12-05-2012, 12:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I would take the puppy back to the breeder and walk away.

Then I would talk to breeders from this forum and put out feelers for a more mature dog with a known stable temperament who a reputable and ethical breeder has decided to make a pet placement.

I am so sorry for you and your family What a horrible experience. But I commend you for all the effort you put into your puppy.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I would not rehome this dog to someone else, it is just passing on a genetic problem that MAY be able to be managed, maybe not. As this dog has already bitten, it is a liability. Think of what is fair for the dog, not what is easiest for you. Did the trainers say it could be desensitized and managed? Or was it mostly just going to be managed with a muzzle and isolation?

I agree, do not get another dog from this breeder. Chalk it up to a life experience (an expensive one) and move on. If you would like another German Shepherd, start doing some reasearch and find a well known breeder who has clients who can tell you their experiences with the dogs and the breeder first hand. Learn what to look for and get the dog your family needs.

I am sorry this pup did not work out, it is not your fault, nor the dogs. It is what it is, and I commend you for being responsible enough to be honest about your dog.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This is not meant as a criticism but we all make mistakes and mistakes all have consequences. The dog's temperament could be due to lack of socialization either with the breeder or with you. You have had him quite a while so probably with you. I don't see how anyone could determine the absolute cause and award in a legal case. Place the dog in an experienced GSD home with no children or better yet with breed rescue who can better determine his temperament. You can only do the best you can. You can advertise him on this list if I’m not mistaken. If I lived closer I would work with him and with you because he is far from a lost cause and can go on to make someone a good pet.. Children in a home always come first and right now the dog is unpredictable. I hope this turns out well for the dog and I hate that you lost so much money and that you must give up a dog you are attached to.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Disagree, we can't blame this on the OP. The dog's temperament is what it is, breeders should not have to extensively socialize every dog for people to get a nice dog that doesn't bite kids. The dog could do well placed in a home with no kids but I doubt a rescue will help with this. As a GSD owner and trainer I personally would never accept a foster with a bite history at 10 months, and I get some pretty rowdy foster dogs.

IMO the dog is what it is. Unfortunately the OP got a bad egg. Sounds like the breeder has culled the breeding dog from the program so that's good to hear.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The dog might work for an individual who is single and without children. It's not the most exciting life for a GSD, but it might be the best opportunity for them to have a long healthy life.
I'm sure everyone here will agree that our GSD's are our babies, and we only want the best for them, but sometimes our lifestyles or environments are not the best for them.
Can I ask a personal question? Did something occur for the dog to bite, or was it just a sudden reaction the dog had towards them? Either way biting can not be allowed, but it can help us to understand what the baby is thinking and how we can help him to make better choices. If he's suffering from a lack of confidence we can work on that. If he is just reacting out of fear there could be some steps taken.
How is his obedience training otherwise? I know he is still a pup and there is plenty of time to still correct this! Don't give up, but make sure everyone is safe at all times with him!


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Old 12-05-2012, 12:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Before I did anything with this poor dog, I would:

- Have a thyroid test done - costs between $80-180 probably depending on where you are at.

- I would look for a veterinary teaching school that had a vet behaviorist or try the Tufft's VetFax/PetFax program through their behavioral school and Dr. Dodman: About Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic : Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

- If the complete thyroid test proved to be normal in all senses of the word, their recommendation agreed with others' you have gotten, I would ask the breeder what her plans were if he were to return there.

Sometimes dogs are bad fits for different people and situations - and show themselves to do extremely well in different environments that provide whatever it is they need (if there is a need that can be met - cannot always be the case). While this could be the case with your dog, he now has that dreaded bite, that should not/can not be passed along. What were the circumstances of that bite?

As for the breeder, the money, the replacement puppy, I would totally walk away. The relationship with the breeder is stressed, there is no guarantee really with a living thing (and a lawyers fee would put you up how much?), and I would worry that some concerns would be passed down the leash to a puppy from that same breeder.

We don't know you, your experience with the breed, or the dog, but thanks for trying to help him. He at least has an advocate and that is helpful.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Marine,I agree that it probably is from not being socialized properly. If that's the case it's time to take steps to improve that. Socialization is the key, but it will have to be in a completely controlled situation. Before we move on with socialization you might want to introduce a muzzle for the exercises.
Better to be safe then sorry!


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Old 12-05-2012, 01:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
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IMO- when a breeder culls a bitch from her breeding program because she has produced unstable temperaments (this is not the only affected puppy) it is a genetic issue. Intensive management practices may allow the dog to be "safe" in certain environments. But this goes beyond improper socialization. Besides, the OP has been working with this dog so I don't think that is a fair assessment of the situation anyway.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What happened with the bite is this....my stepdaughter was dropping my two children off after spending some time with them. She came in-we have gates that keep the dog separated into the main living areas of our home but block his access to the doors at the front of the house. She came in and was on the opposite side of the gate. My daughter (12) was on the side of the gate with the dog giving him treats. After the first bark when they came in( expected and acceptable) he took the treats and appeared to be fine. Several minutes went by. My stepdaughters hand was on the gate-he suddenly lunged towards her barking aggressively and bit her hand. She wasn't moving towards him or attempting to enter his area. Se wasn't even looking right at him.

The other instances that have happened have been similar-although he had only snapped and barked and lunged. There have been more instances of similar behavior outside the house with my neighbors etc. I have had the dog out socializing him at least 3x a week since bringing him home. W have gone everywhere possible. I don't allow people to pet him or ask him to greet anyone. I am ok with a dog who doesn't want affection from strangers. I am not okay with a dog who is so unpredictable for me. Could someone be successful with him? Probably. But he's not safe at this point to be in a family situation and that was my whole purpose in getting a dog. Up until this point, I had nothing but good things to say about the breeder. I have probably 100 emails going back and forth between us since I bought him. I have gotten outside professional help when it was clear I was in over my head.

My position is this, I was sold a dog that I was told would be a good family dog and that was socialized during the most critical period. The breeder now herself admits that didn't happen and that my dog probably wouldn't have had all the issues he has if it had been. I feel she should bear at least some responsibility for how things turned out and stand behind her dog. So far, she hasn't and I'm pretty angry about it. I realize that breeding isn't an exact science and that sometimes things go wrong. I'm just not sure why she feels I should be financially responsible for something that wasn't in my control.

I have done a lot of reading on this forum and others and without a doubt I have found that ethical responsible breeders will take a dog back no matter what. She has indicated she will if I drive the dog to her out of state location-not the location that I purchased him which is about a 20 min drive from my house. This is a mother-daughter breeder situation with two locations. The one she claims I can bring the dog to is about a 13 hour drive each way. Doesn't seem right or fair to me.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrammaD View Post
IMO- when a breeder culls a bitch from her breeding program because she has produced unstable temperaments (this is not the only affected puppy) it is a genetic issue. Intensive management practices may allow the dog to be "safe" in certain environments. But this goes beyond improper socialization. Besides, the OP has been working with this dog so I don't think that is a fair assessment of the situation anyway.

Agreed. One should not have to muzzle a dog in order to get a nice tempered dog, especially for $2000!
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