Please advise buying 5yr retired breeding dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Please advise buying 5yr retired breeding dog?

Hi all!
I've been looking for a GSD for our acreage, mainly for my father when I go back to school. There have been some robberies out in our area, he's almost 70 and I want a companion to keep him safe.

The dog I found is registered purebred here in Canada, 5 years old and had 4 litters. Hips certified (though don't know when). Described as obedient, from a working line, socialized. Growing up on a good family farm with other GSD's.

Also may not be due to retired from breeding. They say due to marital reasons. I understand if it were retired from breeding it may be because something is wrong health-wise, good owners will not continue to breed a dog with health problems. Which is the one thing that keeps me suspicious.

My questions are:
1) Can the dog still be further trained? I plan to work with a trainer and possibly get involved in some schutzhund activities.

2) What should I be checking for healthwise? 5 years old is only a few years away from "senior".

This dog is also located a good 6 hours away from us - so it will be a commitment to go see it (and if we go it would be with intention to buy). We're not experienced evaluating dogs so even if we visit first - we won't really know.

Older than 2 at least seems to be the ideal fit as the energy and extra training going into a younger dog. Though 5 years may be too much, especially for the $1000 ask (Canadian mind you).

Rescues and Kennels are another option (my heart really goes out to all those dogs) but there currently isn't much available in my area, as well those that I see often have behavior issues better suited to someone with GSD experience.

Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 07:42 PM
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" 5 years old and had 4 litters and Growing up on a good family farm with other GSD's "

that screams puppy mill if you were to ask me

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 08:33 PM
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Let's not be hasty.

Is it a dog or a bitch?

Ask if they can give you the name of their veterinarian, and if they are ok with you asking about the dog's health history with the vet.

If they do, then walk away. I am not sure if a vet office will disclose this sort of information without the owners telling them its ok. But if you are worried about the health of the dog, than it may make sense.

4 litters for a five year old bitch, could be

1 at 2 years old,
1 and 3 years old,
1 at 4 years old,
and 1 at 5 years old.

That isn't that many, really. A puppy mill will hang onto a good producer and breed them back to back, usually several times:

1 at 18 months,
2 at 2 years,
2 at 3 years,
1 at 4 years,
1 at five years.

7 litters by five years would be more typical of a puppy mill.

Some breeders will find their retired bitches a new home, so they can have a family life. This is GOOD, not a bad thing. It means that they are caring for the bitch, and just not keeping every one, or euthanizing them when they fail to produce.

Ask them for references, trainer, puppy buyer, vet. And follow up.

5 years old is not old.

It is also possible that the breeder has seen what this dog produces and has a pup out of her/him to move forward with.

It could be a BYB or a puppy mill. Buying a breeding dog out of that situation, can help them continue breeding dogs. But more likely it will help them have better conditions for their dogs -- retiring and selling them rather than putting them in kennel runs and forgetting about them, or euthanizing them. $1000 is not unreasonable for an adult dog (health, structure, and temperament known), in good condition, with hip and elbow certificates.

Of course a five year old dog can be trained further.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 12:11 PM
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I got my girl, Jade, from a breeder who, after 3 litters at nearly six years old, just wanted to find the right home for her. She did not charge me for her, just mandated that I get her spayed and take care of her. I send her updates and photos now and then. Jade has some issues, which is why her owner wanted a very experienced home for her, but things have worked out well. I don't think I would pay for a dog a breeder is re-homing, however. Tells me that the dog's best interests aren't necessarily the breeder's priority. The flip side, though--having to pay for a dog can ensure that the dog will at least have some value in the new owner's eyes. But Jade's owner knew me already and we had a couple other connections, so she knew what kind of home Jade was coming to.

Susan
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susan_GSD_mom View Post
I got my girl, Jade, from a breeder who, after 3 litters at nearly six years old, just wanted to find the right home for her. She did not charge me for her, just mandated that I get her spayed and take care of her. I send her updates and photos now and then. Jade has some issues, which is why her owner wanted a very experienced home for her, but things have worked out well. I don't think I would pay for a dog a breeder is re-homing, however. Tells me that the dog's best interests aren't necessarily the breeder's priority. The flip side, though--having to pay for a dog can ensure that the dog will at least have some value in the new owner's eyes. But Jade's owner knew me already and we had a couple other connections, so she knew what kind of home Jade was coming to.

Susan
I have given away a dog to someone I didn't know, but I felt that he would actually be a great home for her, and it turns out, it was. However, just like giving away puppies, giving away adults has just as many negatives.

I mean, let's say you took your free 6 year old bitch and bred her 4-5 more times, and then dumped her in a shelter or shot her in her head. Your breeder should have spayed the bitch FIRST, and then placed her in your home for the cost of the spay.

Also, people have their girl friends and wives go meet breeders and tell them all about how they want a dog who will be a companion to them, blah, blah, blah, and then they hand the dogs over to the boyfriend, all for free, and the boy friend uses them for bait dogs.

A person who cannot afford the dog, will also not be able to afford the surgery that the dog needs when it tears and ACL or bloats. They call the breeder and expect the breeder to foot that bill too.

Sorry, but a dog is worth paying for. Even an older dog. Maybe not the same as a puppy, it depends on the dog. A puppy you cannot have information of hips and elbows, etc. A puppy will not have a significant amount of training in them. A puppy can be a crap shoot with temperament.

And there is this: sometimes people value more what the shell out for. Sorry, but the dog you got for free because his testicle didn't drop or his ear didn't stand, well that dog is defective. Some people won't even bother to contact the breeder when they decide to move and, awe shucks, just no place will take a dog, better drop it at the shelter. Hopefully breeders can judge people and recognize the breed, but sometimes life happens, the dog ownership changes hands, and even that, if the dog is worth anything, well, they rehome it for nothing, and well they dump it for nothing.

Don't tell me people pick up dogs at shelters and never dump them, because the facts are otherwise. People rescue dogs from shelters, and then dump them when it is inconvenient.

Hopefully the retired breeding bitch, who probably has more than half of her life left is well-bred and good tempered, with passing hips and elbows. That may not be worth anything to some people. It is worth plenty to others.

Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Selzer I really appreciate all the info and time and effort you put in by replying to my post - it's such helpful information and it's just what I needed to know at this point. I don't have experience with these dogs (or the wide world of breeders, pedigree, training and so forth) but love the animal and am looking forward to getting our first and learning more, just want to do it the right way. Your insight is so helpful in this search.

I did message the owner asking if I could contact the vet, as well as being able to speak to owners / trainers of her litters as well as any info on accomplishments of her parents. I heard nothing back yet and it's been two days, perhaps there are health problems with her or she is too busy or maybe I sounded like too much of an amateur and not worth her time.

I assume she is a bitch but the owner hasn't mentioned it, she did just recently have a litter of puppies. I've read it can be risky getting them spayed or neutered at an older age.

Part of me feels I may have offended her by questioning her credibility (she said the dog is in good health). But if she doesn't feel comfortable sharing this information or at least replying to the question then I should, as you said, walk away.

Also learning that if you want to raise dogs - any dogs - it really needs to be done "right". Yet what "right" means differs so widely. My brain is melting from reading all the information on the net. Determining fact from opinion is such a fine line - reading tonnes of debates and differing information on even keeping them inside or outside. I cynically wonder how anyone ever owned a dog before the internet - but at the same time understand the plethora of information is there and intended for those who truly want to be the best owners and give their companion the best possible life.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 03:39 PM
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Breeders have no business "not wanting to deal with amateurs." Most of their puppies go to pet homes, and they are amateurs. A huge part of the reason to go to a breeder is because they can offer support/advice with the breed and their lines. So, being willing to talk to people, teach people, work with people, spend time with people is a must.

On the other hand, the weekend is here, they may be showing, may be on the road, they may have a litter of puppies that they were up all night with, and they may have their day job too, so, giving them a day or two to get back to you -- nothing wrong with that.

If they didn't like you asking about the vet, and will not sell you the dog for that reason, then it is for the best. A decent breeder would not be worried about you talking to their vet, and would see your checking into it, as proactive and not necessarily a negative thing.

Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 05:19 PM
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Go and see them ----

Honestly if I had a nickel for every

"Growing up on a good family farm with other GSD's.
Also may not be due to retired from breeding. They say due to marital reasons"

and "the father was a police dog"

I would be rich.

Carmen

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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I guess once I speak to the vet I will get these questions answered - but if anyone cares to chime in - when should a dog be checked for hips or the other common issues that effect this breed? For example if she's 5 years old but was checked 3 threes ago, is that sufficient to know she's clear for hip dysplasia?

Also I began speaking to someone who has their 4 yr old male for sale. She answered all my questions in depth and sounds fine with me speaking to the vet - even directed me to the kennel she bought him from citing his blooadlines and it all looks very good.

My only concern here was this (and I'm sure I could find many threads on this) and that's deciphering if a male or female is really best for us. I think the temperament of the dog would matter more than the sex, but at the same time I'm thinking since we are on an acreage a male would be more prone to wander off if he smelled a bitch in heat. Whereas if we get a female (and if she's not fixed) we can at least keep her in a kennel and only have her out when we can keep an eye on her. I would just worry about the male wandering off and something happening to him. One would still have to be cautious but I would imagine less so with a female.

Also, I thought training wise (for a beginner such as myself) a female may be easier to handle. Although my only experience with a GSD was living in a household with a male, mind you he was expertly trained and one of those 20k protection dogs, so the ease of experience with that dog likely couldn't be compared to another male with only minimal training. I personally like males for their size, but this dog isn't just for me. The biggest concern however is getting the right dog so our situation serves best the health of the dog, and I feel it would be nice to let the dog out without having to supervise him each time, this is why I would think a female - is this somewhat correct thinking in any of your experiences?
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 03:39 PM
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Females wander off too, especially when they go in heat, but they do not need to be in heat to wander off. So, there is no reason to keep male or female kenneled when you cannot supervise them.

Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.
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