Should i buy this puppy or not? Advice needed soon! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Should i buy this puppy or not? Advice needed soon!

I need some advice on this possible puppy purchase.

I responded to an online ad. The seller is a couple that claim they will be moving and cant take their 5 month old puppy into the new apt in NYC.

What has raised a concern for me is that the seller purchased the shepherd from what may very well be a puppy mill in Queens NY. I have read all 100 plus reviews on google and many are terrible. Many claim the dogs have serious health issues, distemper, some have died young etc. Further that they are caged in small cages and appear sedated at the store. None specifically complained about a bad shepherd though.

So whats your take on this? Do you think they are just dumping this dog because of some potential unwanted issue. In the picture the dog is very good looking and appears healthy however they are just pics and Im not a vet. Seller state that the dog is very friendly, great with kids, plays alot, energetic , inquisitive etc which are great traits.

Also this isn't a give away dog it will cost several hundred dollars so of course i want to proceed with caution. I could just take the money and put it towards a more expensive dog possibly from a reputable breeder etc

Any suggestions on how to go about this purchase when I meet the seller in person with the puppy (any thing in particular to look for upon examination or ask) or just forget it all together?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 01:53 PM
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I'd ask for a vet check at the vet of my choosing. I'd meet the dog. I'd interact with the dog. I'd talk to their vet. (Vets don't fall under HIPA so they can discuss the dog with you) I'd ask for vet records.

Good dogs can come from all sorts of situations.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 02:05 PM
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More importantly, I'd meet the dog in the person's HOME!

Even then, it would be hard to tell if the owners were being truthful about the dog's situation, but if you are observant, you can tell if they are dog people, and if the dog is being loved and cared for, and has not just been dropped off there from a puppy mill where it was kept locked up in someone's basement or garage.

If they have kids, watch it interact with the kids.

There should be signs the dog belongs there: food and water bowls, toys that look like they've been played with, dog hair in the corners, a dog bed or crate.

Look for a friendly, outgoing dog that doesn't cower or hide, and is eager to interact with people. Eyes should be bright, coat shiny. At 5 months, the ears should be up or mostly up (teepee stage, or ears go up when dog is really interested in something.)

Ask about worming and vaccinations, and ask to see records. Get the dog vet-checked before you decide - better safe than sorry!

A number of my GSDs have been rescues with no papers, and only one of them had serious health issues. A dog doesn't need a pedigree to be a good pet, but it does need to have a good temperament.
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Last edited by Sunsilver; 08-17-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 06:07 PM
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Just curious why this pup caught your eye. Plenty of breeders in NY state, NJ and CT.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 06:20 PM
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Are you sure they're not fronting for the puppy mill to move unsold inventory?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 07:13 PM
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The puppy exists. The big reason not to buy from a puppy mill, is that you do not want to encourage the puppy mill owners to continue to keep and breed bitches in horrendous conditions and ANY money given to them encourages this.

That particular concern is over because the money has changed hands and now whatever money is given for the puppy will not find itself to this puppy mill.

The other problems, distemper and parvo -- that is probably beyond your window, if the puppy has been with these people for a few months.

Long-term health problems are something that exist in the breed, and often in well-bred puppies. Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cardiac issues, sensitive digestive tract, allergies. I don't know if you are more likely or not to have one of these out of this situation. I think oftentimes it is because of close line-breeding/in breeding that these show up more in well-bred dogs. Looking at a five generation pedigree, and not seeing too many repeats, and you might be ok, or rather even risk. Of course ANY GSD can end up with these issues. We're just considered added risks.

x-raying hips and elbows at this point isn't going to net you reliable results.

Having a full veterinary check up, knowing when and what the dog was vaccinated for, what flea-tick/heart worm prevention has been used. Yeah, you definitely want to do that. I (the buyer) would expect to pay for the vet check up.

Look at the puppy and how it responds, what it acts like, what it looks like and see if it is something you want to spend the next 12-14 years with. If so, go for it. Don't look back, don't worry about where the puppy came from. Love it, play with it, take it to classes. Start from moment one with teaching it the behaviors you expect from an adult.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 08:57 PM
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This is nothing different than getting a dog from a shelter, only it doesn't have the feel-good "rescue tag". I agree with Selzer; if the dog seems people-social and healthy and you like him, go for it. If it is a male, hold off on neutering if hasn't been yet.
Hope it works out, seems good looking.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
Are you sure they're not fronting for the puppy mill to move unsold inventory?
I never thought of that. I'd guess if they have registration and licensing in their name, no. But that's something to consider.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:03 AM
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I bought my first two dogs (GSD and GD) from a pet store. At the time I was ignorant to puppy mills which they surely came from. Taken away from there mother early and put on a truck in a box. The GD was a sweetheart as most golden doodles are. The GSD was a sweetheart too, but he had fear aggression which was a PIA. I loved him to death, he died at 10 from hips. The GD dies at 8, he had epilepsy.

All this said, after learning more about puppy mills, I looked at my purchases as saving them, but I swore to never go that route again. Meet the dog, it's a tough choice on whether to support puppy mills by purchasing him, but he is already a living dog and has to go somewhere, why not be it a nice home with an experienced owner like yourself. Keep an eye out for fear aggression. I would pin the puppy mill thing on that for my last GSD.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-23-2019, 08:32 AM
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Hard to say, but I have questions. Is this your first dog/puppy? Have you had GSDs before? Any working breed before? Why this and not another puppy/dog? Several hundred dollars is pretty standard among reputable rescue groups, though it's much less than you'd pay a reputable breeder. Is that what concerns you?

If interested, I'd go observe the pup where it's currently (or supposedly) living and ask a bunch of questions --- how long have they had him? Where did they get him? What's his vet history and I'd ask to see those records (e.g., timely well puppy visit, vaccines administered, at the right time, not all at once, any other vet visits and, if so, for what, etc.), what have they done with the dog so far (e.g., formal ob training, house/manners training, etc). I'd also be interested in observing a bunch of stuff --- how does the dog respond to a stranger (you) coming in? If suspicious, how long does it take him to recover and become interested? what does his temperament appear to be like (if you've got some experience and know what you're doing, you can do your own temperament assessment to get a feel for the pup), how does the dog interact with the 'owners?" If you can, take him for a walk, off property, and observe how he does (e.g., good/no leash manners, reactive to other dogs/strangers?). What do the house and yard look like --- clean, littered with trash and poop?
What are they feeding and how often?

Then, if you decide to go forward, I'd make everything conditional on a successful well puppy visit with your own vet. I'd even schedule that visit for the next day, explaining to your vet why you want to set things up that way. You can always cancel if you don't take the pup.

A couple of final thoughts. First, good dogs/puppies can wind up in all sorts of unexpected locations. You never know, sometimes you can get very lucky and sometimes not so much. Second, even well bred puppies from reputable breeders can develop significant health issues because stuff happens. Third, in a risky situation like this, you need a clear idea of what you can tolerate (at a minimum), and what you're able and willing to do (w/re management and training) to end up with the kind of adult dog you desire, doing the things you both enjoy.
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