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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-02-2014 12:50 AM
Charles T Richard I'd use it as raw feed for a bure bred. Charge your buddy $150 to take it off his hands.
03-01-2014 04:57 PM
wolfy dog Ever since I was 8 years old I have yearned for a GSD pup but never got to have one. Now I am a member of the AARP (the old folks clubs) and have a good GSD and also am a trainer. But I know now from experience and, this is not to annoy you but rather prevent you from heartache, it would have been a disaster if my parents had given in to my desires of having a GSD pup, since none of our entire family knew anything about training dogs or had info on how to choose a good one to start with.
My advice (despite knowing that a 15 year old will probably roll his/her eyes) would be to enjoy the dog you have and to learn training techniques with this dog. And start saving for a good GSD for the time that college is behind you and you have the time/money/commitment it takes to raise one. Enjoy your own "puppy hood" first. I wish you a beautiful future. I am glad you asked before you got into it.
03-01-2014 12:50 PM
my boy diesel your backyard bred pup
could end up costing more than a well bred dog in the long run
there was a thread recently where a gal bought a puppy for 100 bucks
puppy went on to get parvo and had a dirt impaction in its gut
that cost the owner over 1000 bucks and the puppy still passed away

for 1000 bucks or in that area you could purchase a well bred puppy with health guarantees and vaccines so it stood a better chance of surviving an illness it might acquire
03-01-2014 12:33 PM
kakarot and I meant to say neuter.. not spay. Unless you're getting a female, then spay. No edit posting sucks. ^__^;
03-01-2014 12:22 PM
kakarot Whoops, I said 11 week year old in my previous post. I'm smart! Anyways, back on topic.

Also, male dogs who aren't spayed and aren't able to mate can get frustrated and turn aggressive. The chance for cancer is higher as well. Spay/neuter your pets!
03-01-2014 12:09 PM
kakarot I don't really see this as a.. Should I get this dog.. it seems more of a.. I'm gonna get him/her anyways but I wanted to post a thread just to see what people say regardless of my already made decision. Everyone's saying to wait, but I don't see any desire to wait.. sorry, I don't mean to sound like a btch but..

I agree with everyone else here. It's $150 now, and that already says 'Hey, these dogs are backyard bred, no idea about what future health issues are like, I just wanna get rid of this dog ASAP so here's a cheap price'.. but those costs will, and I repeat, will be costly in the future. Vaccinations, monthly/yearly medications, pet visits/check ups, because the puppies are a 50/50 chance of being poor quality, they'll develop the hip issues and that is expensive to take care of. Blood work and x-rays alone can cost well up into the thousands! Training German shepherd puppies takes a lot of work, time, and dedication. Obedience training is highly recommended. My 11 week year old is smart, but he cannot pay attention if his life depended on it, and he chews everything. He EATS everything. I spend most of my time digging things out of his mouth. These guys need to be supervised 99.8% of the time and if they're not, they need to be crated. Being 15, you're going to be at school 5 days out of the week, 8 hours of the day. Puppies need to be tended to literally every 2-3 hours. You should talk to your parents and make sure they'll be dedicated to raising a GSD because they are a lot of work. In the long run, you'd be spending the same amount of money waiting for a good quality GSD vs getting a backyard bred pup for $150..

Do the research and buy from a quality breeder. It costs more, yes, but it'll save you the money in the long run. Believe me.

Plus, good breeders keep their pups up to date on their vaccinations/deworming before they're sold to you, so it's just one less thing you have to worry about.. until the next visit comes up anyway.
03-01-2014 11:43 AM
sechattin Pretty similar here, as well. The last shepherd I had was a backyard bred puppy that I got second hand from a family that got bored of him. I thought I had gotten lucky because his temperament seemed stellar, but a couple months later, he began showing signs of seizures and after about $1500 in testing, I found out he had severe epilepsy. Another $2000 went towards behavior modification and setting up management plans for his, at times unpredictable behaviors, another $3000 in vet visits and drug therapy trying to find a regimen that would work in controlling his episodes. And this entire time, I was confined at home with him constantly if I wasn't at work because his seizures would always end in aggressive fits where several times he caused serious physical damage to me and other times himself. I had to get stitches twice, which was about another $1000 to patch me up, and he had to get stitches once, which was $700. And after all this money, time, stress, physical and mental heartache, I finally had to make the decision to put him down at two years old.

So in the course of about a year and a half, I spent $8500 trying to just give him a reasonable quality of life, and this isn't even taking into account the general supplies for him, the expense of training, the expense of taking him to and from the vet, the behaviorist's, and all the other places he needed to go. And then there was also the physical and mental stress that just compounds a situation like that. This is the reason we are advising you not to get this puppy. If the owners do not have titles or health checks on their dogs, you are most likely setting yourself up for failure. You do not know what you are getting with this puppy, there are countless things that can go severely wrong, and by buying a puppy like this, you are supporting people who allow their dogs to breed without taking the proper steps to ensure that their puppies will have a good quality of life like they deserve. It is because of people like this that these puppies suffer. And it is because of people like this that I had to put down my Atlas at two years old. If his parents' owners had just done the proper testing, it is likely that while I maybe never would have gotten him, he would never have had to suffer the horribly painful and stressful life he was forced to live.
03-01-2014 11:15 AM
Originally Posted by Wolfenstein View Post
I have a feeling all of this is going to fall on deaf ears. I'm going to take a gamble that you're at that age where you haven't yet figured out that all of us remember being younger and going through similar situations. That our advice isn't just a bunch of adults trying to ruin your good time, but rather that we KNOW what we're talking about from experience, and want you to learn from our mistakes. Please, please do your whole family a favor and let your parents read this entire thread. I hope I'm wrong, but I really get the feeling that you're picking and choosing what information you give to them.
Yes. Please let your parents read this thread.

When I was a teenager I wanted a GSD worse than anything, so I bought a backyard-bred puppy because I didn't know any better. But I wanted what I wanted and no one could tell me otherwise; I didn't listen to the good advice people gave me. I wish I'd have waited and done things the right way. I hope you are smarter than I was.
03-01-2014 07:08 AM

Maybe some anecdotal advice would help... This is Freedom. She was my in-laws' dog when I met my husband. She was also a GSD bought as a puppy, on a whim. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law visited a local kennel that was open to the public, and came home with her.

I'm not going to lie, her temperament was wonderful at home, aside from occasionally getting in fights with the other female they had in the house, and being very nervous about going strange places. But the poor girl's health was absolutely horrible, because the breeder ONLY cared about temperament and didn't do any health testing. She wound up with crippling hip dysplatia at a pretty young age, which is what caused her front paws to splay out (why they look like hands). She had to use a part of her leg that is normally used to keep the dog upright because the pain in her rear was so great it forced her to shift all of her weight to the front. Her back end became very weak, and by the end of her life, she mostly used both back legs in tandem to hop around. She was on supplements and pain killers, but they could only do so much. She might have had a more active life, but her owners couldn't afford the literal thousands of dollars it would cost to have both of her hips replaced.

Despite the handicap, Freedom did have a good life. She was a wonderful girl, but that was in part due to the fact that the family had tons of dog experience, and my father-in-law grew up with his whole family raising GSDs, even his father trained in Schutzhund (dog sport created for GSDs to test obedience, tracking, and protection). They knew how to handle a lot of the quirks that come up with the breed, they might not have been so lucky if they didn't have that experience.

In the end, Freedom died very suddenly. She had a tumor rupture in her abdomen, and it completely toxified her system. Even after a lot of strong antibiotics, she didn't pull through. This was apparently something else that was genetic, and although it's not something a breeder can test for, it WOULD be something a responsible breeder would know about in its lines. She was only 7 when she passed away. Even if she HADN'T gotten that tumor, she wouldn't have lasted much longer just because of the constant pain she was in. It was almost a gift when it happened.

I LOVED that dog, with all of my heart. It hurt ME to see her have to hobble around in pain. Losing her was something that took over a year to get past. It was especially heartbreaking knowing that it was her "breeder" who did that to her, most of her issues were completely preventable.

It's not just about "oh, we'll plan for it, we'll be fine." It's about supporting people who are producing dogs with absolutely no stake in their futures. It's about seeing a dog you love with all your heart suffer for years while you sit by and watch.

If you rescue a dog, that's one thing. Of COURSE the health will always be in question because you don't know where the dog came from. But at least with a rescue, you're saving a dog's life. If you're going to spend money to BUY a dog, to support someone that's actually breeding them, spend your money to help someone that is going to care about producing healthy dogs, that's going to be able to help you get the best temperament possible for your home, that's going to know what they're doing beyond sticking two dogs in the same room.

I have a feeling all of this is going to fall on deaf ears. I'm going to take a gamble that you're at that age where you haven't yet figured out that all of us remember being younger and going through similar situations. That our advice isn't just a bunch of adults trying to ruin your good time, but rather that we KNOW what we're talking about from experience, and want you to learn from our mistakes. Please, please do your whole family a favor and let your parents read this entire thread. I hope I'm wrong, but I really get the feeling that you're picking and choosing what information you give to them.
03-01-2014 03:57 AM
sechattin My advice, like many others, would be to either wait and get a pup from a reputable source (like an ESTABLISHED breeder setup to give health guarantees and take the puppy back if anything is wrong) or look into adopting a shepherd that is two to three years or older. Honestly, I would much prefer to see you adopt an older shepherd from a rescue group who can let you meet the dog and give you a good idea of its temperament and behavior. Especially because an adult shepherd is going to be mature enough that there isn't going to be much guesswork in what its temperament is. As much as you want to do well for this puppy, the German Shepherd is not an easy breed, nor one to be taken lightly. It really doesn't matter how committed you feel you are to doing the very best job, there's no replacing experience. And if you put yourself, your family, and the puppy in a situation for which you lack the experience to control and the puppy ends up with major issues, that is on you.

As far as backyard breeding, the term doesn't refer to people "forcing" the dogs to mate. What it means is that the owners have not taken the time and money to ensure that the dogs they are breeding are truly fit to breed. And it's not as simple as "they seem pretty healthy" and they're "calm". When a responsible breeder is trying to determine if two dogs should be bred together, they have health checks run by veterinarians to screen for things such as hip dysplasia and they will have documentation such as OFA scores for the parents' joints. Responsible breeders will also have titled their dogs in some sort of sport to show that their dogs have a stable enough temperament to function in a working environment. And going over to meet and pet the parents isn't enough. I have had dogs before that were fine in my house and interacted wonderfully with visitors, but they were nutcases if they were brought to say, a pet store, a real world environment - they probably would have bitten someone because they were not mentally stable dogs and therefore should never be bred, and in fact were both fixed the moment I got them.

I would also reread Wolfenstein's advice very carefully. You are at a point in your life where you are very busy and your life will soon become even more chaotic and unpredictable with further schooling, job, and social requirements. Dogs thrive on routine. All of this change is something that WILL put stress on this puppy. So not only will you be dealing with questionable temperament, you will be dealing with questionable temperament UNDER STRESS, which is never the formula for success.

And hip dysplasia does not show up "randomly", it is passed on genetically, and if your puppy is genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia, it will most likely develop it later in life, which will not only severely impact the quality of that puppy's life, but can also shorten the years that puppy has left to live - there is no "random" about it. I usually try not to be dark, but if you commit to a dog, you commit to it from the beginning to the end of its life. If you decide to take on the responsibility for this dog, take on the stress, the dubious health and mental stability, the responsibility for bringing a new life into your family's household that has to be raised, trained, and cared for then you should consider that you are also responsible for being there for that dog at the end as well whether it goes naturally or you have to make the choice to end its life because of health or behavioral issues.

Getting a puppy is a choice never to be taken lightly.
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