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Old 02-03-2014, 06:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Floppy Ears- Breeder Issue

I have a german shepherd that will be 2 years old on May 14. He was very expensive (from my point of view), but he came with full breeding rights. The breeder listed him at about 2300 dollars and that is what I paid, with the understanding that I would use him as a stud dog later on. He is beautiful and I love him more than anything, but one of his ears doesn't stay up all the time. It will go up if he is in hot pursuit of something or if a stranger comes through the door, but it mostly stays floppy. If this is genetic, should I not breed him ? I don't know what I should do... Some people have seen me walking him and asked if I wanted to breed him, but I don't want to make them seem like bad breeders if they get a litter of puppies that turn out to be floppy-eared like him. The breeder I bought him from isn't the type of breeder I will buy from again... I had another german shepherd I paid 600 dollars cash for and got full breeding papers, and both his ears stood up and he was gorgeous! (and I DID successfully breed him once). I just don't know how other people/breeders/owners feel about this... I feel like if I would have known he was going to always have floppy ears, I would never have had intentions to breed him (and I definitely wouldn't have spent 2300 dollars on a dog I was never going to breed). Thoughts ??
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What are your breeding goals, in other words, what kind of dog are you aiming to produce? Working, sport, conformation, etc. What qualities of your dog do you want to pass on and what do you think they contribute to the breed? Does he have any special titles or working ability that would perhaps be more important than a floppy ear? This info will help other forum members give advice. Are you still in touch with his breeder?

I don't breed dogs, so I don't feel qualified to comment.


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Old 02-03-2014, 06:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer of one of your stud's progeny....would you want the same to happen to them as what happened to you?

Just because a dog is "expensive" and one has full rights to the animal by no means constitutes a reason to simply go ahead and breed the dog.

In your own words...." He is beautiful and I love him more than anything,".....that should be more than adequate. Too many breeders already and too many producing crappy dogs.

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Old 02-03-2014, 06:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like he has weak ears. Personally I wouldn't breed him but there is more to breeding than 'ears'. My feeling is, if you wouldn't purchase from the breeder again, why would you breed one of their dogs? Just my opinion.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It is a fault. A disqualifying fault. It is genetic, and you really shouldn't breed the dog.

Check your contract. Chances are the warranty only covers hips and elbows, but some do cover genetic issues. If you bought a show puppy or a dog specifically for breeding, you should have gotten a contract that provided for the event that the dog has a disqualifying fault or genetic disease.

Check your contract, and if it does not mention anything of the sort -- chalk it up as a learning opportunity. But don't exacerbate the problem by breeding the boy.

A puppy is a crap shoot. Sometimes they do develop issues, faults, etc. And we need to go into it with that understanding. There are a lot worse problems out there than an ear not fully erect. It means the dog shouldn't be bred, but otherwise it does not take away from him being an awesome pet. $2300 is not out of the ball park for a well-bred, healthy pet with a good temperament. With all the problems that plague this breed, many people would gladly exchange their dog's issue for yours: Epilepsy, hemangiosarcoma, weak nerves/fear biter, crippling hip or elbow dysplasia, DM, weak nerves/storm phobia, MegaE, Spondylosis, weak nerves/separation anxiety, and on and on.

Love your puppy. This one shouldn't be bred.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I could be taking this out of context, but it sounds like you only want to breed him because he is purebred and beautiful. That is not a legitimate reason to breed, and if he has a floppy ear he should not be bred. And unfortunately, price does not determine quality.

Every dog you see walking down the shelter row was once thought to be "the best dog ever" or "the most beautiful dog ever" too. What does your dog offer that those dogs do not? Something to keep in mind.

Neither of the contracts for my dogs came with anything about the ear, but rather had specific instructions to contact them if one didn't go up, since steps can be taken to help it go up. However, it is genetic and a fault, and lets face it, the ears are a huge part of this breed that we love so much.

But like said below, that is not the make it or break it. If your dog is titled and has proven that he has multiple, more important reasons why he should be bred, than maybe he should be. However, if the only reason is that he is beautiful, he shouldn't.

I would personally be upset if I purchased a puppy, the ear didn't go up, and then I later found out the parent had a weak ear and was bred regardless. But that's just me. It's one thing if I damaged it, but if it was knowingly passed on I feel that I would be a little angry. (This is hypothetical of course, I always want to see the parents first)

Just enjoy him as a wonderful pet that he probably is. Always buy a puppy first and foremost as a companion and whatever other plans you'd like, deciding on breeding should always be decided after the dog develops.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with Mocha....except that my rescue/shelter dog *IS* the best dog ever just messing with ya

No, I would not breed a dog with weak ears, but that's also secondary to temperament and health. What training and titles does the dog have? Health certifications? He'd have to really be something else to breed with a weak ear.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default I love you ears...

My 2 year old boy is all around beautiful! Great bloodlines and a tail that most show dogs (or rather their caretakers) would kill for. He has an extremely mellow temperament, is athletic (can easily catch a ball with all 4 paws 6 feet off the ground), has a strong back and legs, is very social with people & other dogs and is very quick to learn & understand what you want. His mother had 3 litters and many of them are search & rescue and assistance dogs. He is the only of all of his siblings who has a horizontal left ear. Raven was neutered when he was about 9 months old since I was not interested in breeding him - but his clone would definitely be an asset to the canine nation. Since he's a biker dog, who took to the sidecar without a second thought, his appearance may be part of his non-conformist attitude; or it may be simply be a reflection of his love |_
flop-eared fan
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My boy has two floppy ears and I was told by our vet he has thin ear cartilage. We had him fixed because we did not plan on breeding and he still a very loved, valued member of our family, as he always will be. His ears are part of his personality. He only puts them up when something really gets his attention.
He (Coda) is a great dog ! He is almost 2 years old now so his ears are what they are. Guess what, we don't care! He is AWESOME!
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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when you say floppy do you mean like lab floppy or kinda down? mine has a choice in the matter, when he comes up for morning snuggles he has his ears glued to the bak of his head, but then he will move them completely erect...right now he is half asleep and his ears are super to the side of his head, but if i move they will stand then when he comes over they will be straight back to his head.
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