Breeding my Service dog...thoughts? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Breeding my Service dog...thoughts?

I have finally decided to breed my service dog. I purchased Liska in 2013 following a TBI injury in 2010. She came from the Czech Republic and is an awesome GSD. She now performs seizure predict/response duties and is amazing, prior to having her I had received several injuries resulting from falls. This is not an easily trained skillset for a dog and I want to perpetuate her bloodline in hopes of stacking the odds in my favor when she becomes older and retires when I find myself needing another service dog. My issue is she is now 6 yo and far from retirement, but at the age where breeding can take place. I want access to her bloodline. I was hoping to home the puppies as it will help recoup some of the cost for my dog, I have a substantial amount invested in her and it is worth every penny. However I am hoping to place a couple of puppies in homes with the condition that I may have access to a future offspring of the puppy when it is time to train a new service dog. Does anyone have experience with a similar situation or have input?
Thanks for your time,
Shawn
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 02:06 PM
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Yes and I've decided not to do it. Leave it to professional breeders. There is a lot to be said for W/L GSD's that are health tested, IPO titled and breed surveyed. Do you know 10 people that would definitely buy a puppy from you? Can you accept a returned puppy(s) for health or behavioral reasons?
She looks gorgeous and sounds like an excellent service dog.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 02:07 PM
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Have you contacted the breeder you got her from? I would do that before I did anything else. I can understand wanting a puppy from your current service dog to one day follow in her footsteps. That said, please think carefully about breeding her. It can be extremely dangerous. How would you feel if there were complications with the pregnancy or birth and she died? That isn't unheard of. Have you considered the fact that she will not be able to work for you toward the end of her pregnancy or for a while after the birth? Has she had any health tests done? It sounds like her temperament is great. Do you have a pedigree we can see?

My golden retriever came from a situation exactly like this. Her mother was an amazing service dog for a little girl that had a lot of issues. With the help of their breeder, they bred her and sold the puppies. They kept one female for themselves. While my golden is great, she has developed quite a few health issues. Those health issues have caused temperament issues. Please be sure to get the appropriate health tests done before you breed your girl. If everything checks out, find a good breeder who would be willing to mentor you and help you along the way.

Good luck!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 03:21 PM
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My 2 cents...Are you willing to lose her having pups? It is not super common but it does happen. And what will you do for a service dog while she is out of "service" when the pups are young? Health testing like hips/elbow/DM done? I know how it is to love a dog and think they are worth breeding..but to think you may recoup some of your money is not the reason..Cost of stud....possible c-section and no live pups...feeding and caring for pups....She is a beautiful girl.....but think really hard and listen to some of the already posted great advice.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 03:44 PM
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Imagine 3 years from now your puppy buyers move, have kids, get divorced and no longer want to own the dog. So they drop their untrained dog off on your doorstep, without warning. Or 5 years from now other puppy buyers cannot afford needed vet care and bring the dog back to you to deal with. Yet other adopters screw up their dog with bad training, and you get back a highly dog reactive mess. And on and on. It really does happen!

Or worse: Imagine that one day, I call you from the other side of the country reporting that a dog you once bred far, far away, many years ago is now in our rescue, pulled out of one of our high-kill shelters, with mange, heartworms, and a slew of serious health issues. We traced it back to you through surrender paperwork or a microchip. If I ask you to take responsibility for bringing the dog home and caring for it, do you have the means to do that? Good breeders really do! If one of theirs somehow ends up in a shelter or rescue and they learn of it, they move heaven and earth to help. I've worked with one who did that for a SENIOR dog she'd sold as a puppy many years ago. She was devastated by the life the poor dog had lived when she found out its story, and she resolved to make things right by adopting it, and making it her personal dog....even though she was over 1000 miles away. She took responsibility for an old dog with health problems, for the rest of its natural life. That's a lot of responsibility.

Finding good homes is NOT as easy as novices think -- and you're on the hook to be their safety net for life. The chance of getting home selection 100% right your first go round is pretty low.

If the litter gets parvo from your shoes and you have a $5,000+ vet bill, can you handle it?

If one of the pups develops HD and the buyers blame you and want to enforce a guarantee, can you deal with that?

Lots to think about!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 04:05 PM
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Get another dog from the same breeder and lines. You are a beginner and have no idea how to duplicate her. Chances are you won’t get her again. A friend is a puppy raiser for a very well known national assistance dog group. They have their own breeding program and still only a small portion of their purpose bred dogs make it as service dogs. You will regret it if you breed her, eventually due to costs health, and variabilities in temperatment.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 04:27 PM
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Keeping in touch with breeders and lines of your dog is a good suggestion i do this myself. Max has an incredible presence I can not imagine life without him in it. Luna is such a easy girl that just make life sweeter. I love the combo of these two dogs personalities
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Last edited by Jenny720; 07-05-2018 at 04:30 PM.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 04:54 PM
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If seizure response is something that is trained, then it would not matter if your future service dog is related or not. Training is not genetic and she will not pass her training on to her pups. I wouldn't be surprised if there are many litters available already from her same lines if she were well bred from which you could choose from if you shop around.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 05:01 PM
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Not trying to be rude, but how are you going to be without your service dog for a few months?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 05:23 PM
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I've heard seizure response is inherent (genetic) in a dog, and the key is creating a recognizable alert signal in the dog.

If this is true, and it is genetic, perhaps there is some merit to breeding this dog, but I'd work closely with an experienced breeder on selecting a stud.

All other concerns, are very valid. Certainly think this through carefully.

I'd also be a bit concerned about fertility issues in a 6 year old never-bred female GSD. Most breeders chose to have a first litter by age 3- 4. 7 is generally the oldest a bitch is bred.

Finding good homes for even a well-bred litter can be a huge challenge.
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