Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

1. In my 20's, I looked in the newspaper and found shepherd/lab mix puppies for $25. The person selling the pups had allowed her dog to go into heat and roam around, "...and a big German shepherd came over and was in the back yard."
Result: I had the smartest, most even-tempered, child-loving, bad-guy hating, healthy companion for 14 - count 'em, 14 - years.

2. When the one above was 7, I looked in the paper (again) and found German shepherd puppies "champion lines," (American lines)and drove over to a...eh hem...breeder's and spend a few hundred dollars on a female GSD. She was NOT "supposed" to be a good dog by all the rules and the books.
Result: She was a FANTASTIC watchdog, very aloof, so many good old GSD qualities -- so much of what I wanted in a GSD. She died at the age of 10 of CES.

3. When the above two were still alive, I educated myself further and decided I wanted ANOTHER GSD. This time I did my homework. I researched. I learned about good breeders vs. backyard breeders, different lines, etc. I wanted good German working lines. My Jasmina's lines were German schutzhund/police dogs. Hips & health guaranteed. I knew I had a QUALITY GSD on my hands. I spent a lot more $ on her.
Result: Well, uh, yea. I love her to death. She would have made a great family dog, as she loves kids. She loves people. She can recognize a bad guy. A real sweetheart. I wouldn't trade her for the world. But at the age of 4 she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, spondylosis, bone spurs, and ... well, arthritis. She is 10 now and having health problems.

I'm not arguing for buying puppies out of the paper.

I often wonder, though, do we ever know what we're getting?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 08:06 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

I think Puppies are crap shoots. There are multiple genes that are involved in the HD, you can have two litters same sire and dam and in one of the litters have a pup that has crippling dysplasia.

There was some study that said that mix breeds are generally more healthy than purebreds and I am sure that has to do with the fact that there are two totally different gene groups.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 08:10 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

i think you have better luck when use a reputable breeder. i know alot of good dogs have come from the SPCA and rescues. was there any history of dyspasia or the other illness you mentioned with the German, Schuzthund/Police dogs?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 08:29 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

I think one of the best ways to know what you're getting is to adopt an adult dog from a rescue with a good foster system. You can test the dog for all kinds of health issues and still not spend as much as you would on a puppy from a reputable breeder.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 09:25 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

I have to agree, they are like kids, you have NO idea really what you are getting. I mean, you may know the parents, just like you obviously know yourselves before you have children, you know your personality traits, looks, intelligence, etc., but when push comes to shove a dog, like a person, is an individual, their own "person". Lexi is definitely her own little girl, it's neat knowing she's not perfect, she's just who she is, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 06:30 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

sometimes they say mutts are some of the best dogs. my dad has always had mutts. the latest was a female husky mix (spayed) and a pur male mutt that looked like a mix between GSD and retriever. anyway he fead them the cheapest dog food, they lived outside there whole lives and never got "spoiled" like the boxer/pitt mix he has now does. they both lived to be 14 years old also... i will also say that he got the boxer/pitt mix from an aquantance that wasnt able to keep diesel so my dad took him. he is an awesome dog. very good with kids (as his previous owners had small children) not aggressive at all, greets guests nicely, no barking or growling. so if you ask me, i dont think it matters if its a pure bread with a health guarantee or the most awkward looking mutt you have ever seen its a 50/50 shot. just my opinion

steve

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 07:37 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

Funny Steve you say that about feeding the cheapest dog food before I knew better both my GSD X and my Husky had eaten really cheap dog food (that was what I could afford back then) and you know what my Shep x lived to be 18yrs and if his body didn't give out he would have lived longer he had a zest for life more then any dog I have owned so far, he loved everyone, loved life (swimming, boating, running, etc...) and he would have never hurt a fly, he will be engrained in my heart forever as a dog that enjoyed everything and he was a stray that walked into my life at 4 month old, we never new his background. He looked like a GSD, sheltie, collie, husky mixed up LOL. My husky lived to be 14yrs old she just passed away this Nov, she was my strong headed, love to run and pull the sled and we will miss her spirit of willness.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 08:01 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

Elly, how long ago was this that your 18 yr passed? Remember the thread about dog food, how it was mostly horsemeat and no corn way back when? Could this be related?
I know when I was a child(60's) our pets were fed rival, strongheart stinky stuff and lived to be over 17, these dogs wandered the neighborhood as they all did, got along w/ everyone/thing and were outside more than inside because that is what they chose to do. They were mutts too. I think then, if a dog died, it was due to getting hit by a car and never by cancer. I also just lost a 14 yr in Nov. and she was fed a gamut of different kibble, never canned and until her senior yrs. it was all grocery brands. I didn't learn nutritional benefits til I got Onyx.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 08:22 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: onyx'girlElly, how long ago was this that your 18 yr passed? Remember the thread about dog food, how it was mostly horsemeat and no corn way back when? Could this be related?
I know when I was a child(60's) our pets were fed rival, strongheart stinky stuff and lived to be over 17, these dogs wandered the neighborhood as they all did, got along w/ everyone/thing and were outside more than inside because that is what they chose to do. They were mutts too. I think then, if a dog died, it was due to getting hit by a car and never by cancer. I also just lost a 14 yr in Nov. and she was fed a gamut of different kibble, never canned and until her senior yrs. it was all grocery brands. I didn't learn nutritional benefits til I got Onyx.
Brandy passed away in 2007, never had cancer he had a stroke his body just gave out and I truley remember giving him 5.99 food I think I gave him Econo Bits at one time (yes I admit it) but hey you do what you can with the money you have right and he no worse for wear at 18y and 55 lb dog. Niketa ate what he ate our pb husky she developed a liver tumor but she was almost 14y when she went to the bridge this November. I never fed mine canned either.

Cabela my min pin rescue can eat just about anything too but my Sonny well he is my expensive boy only Natural Balance is working for him right now, I believe he is allergic to the grains. My one cat is an expensive too with his urinary issues being on Hills SD C/D that is worse then the dog food, working on getting him on something different that keeps him from getting crystals. (I know off topic) but my 1 cat at 17yr is still ticking and has eating just about everything.

I can bet there is something to the truth on what you said about food there are so many additives and fillers anymore even in human food. I am sure it also has to do with so many BYB too and not breeding for quality of the breed.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2009, 08:49 PM
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Re: Do we ever know what we're getting in a dog?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: onyx'girlElly, how long ago was this that your 18 yr passed? Remember the thread about dog food, how it was mostly horsemeat and no corn way back when? Could this be related?
I know when I was a child(60's) our pets were fed rival, strongheart stinky stuff and lived to be over 17, these dogs wandered the neighborhood as they all did, got along w/ everyone/thing and were outside more than inside because that is what they chose to do. They were mutts too. I think then, if a dog died, it was due to getting hit by a car and never by cancer. I also just lost a 14 yr in Nov. and she was fed a gamut of different kibble, never canned and until her senior yrs. it was all grocery brands. I didn't learn nutritional benefits til I got Onyx.
its kind of like now-a-days you see so many people with diseases, cancers etc etc. this was not as common years ago. there is something fishy about this common issue in pets and humans but i just cant put my finger on it. if i could shoot in the dark i would aim for the food manufacterers...or all the additives they put in food human and pets. also with doctors giveing out presiciptions like candy. its a multi billion dollar industry. it seems like for every med you take there is a side effect..for that side effect is another med..and for the side effects from that med there is another med..so on and so forth..sorry to get off subject, i just had to add that.

steve

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