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Next week marks TWO YEARS since Rookie dropped in the backyard. It seems like yesterday but at the same time feels like much longer. I have an opportunity before me, but need opinions because.... well.... I guess I'm still a little shellshocked.

I'll try to keep this short.... I met an 8-month old all-black female who was originally destined for K-9 work, returned to the breeder, and eventually back to the trainer who is considering breeding her. He wants to home her with breeding rights (one litter).

This pup was whelped and essentially raised in a "warehouse" for several months by a "reputable breeder" who apparently didn't socialize the pups at all. (quotes are the trainers words) She was fostered for 2 months in a home with a domestic violence situation before the trainer learned of it and took her back. He's had her back for about a month now. He says she was not abused, but there was always tension in the house. She's very shy and skittish in unfamiliar surroundings and "defensive", though not aggressive. I met her yesterday in a pet supply store; she acted like it was her first foray into the world. Very cautious, though not scared. Didn't shut down, but was definitely in a shell. Wouldn't come to me despite the stinky cheese I offered, but warmed notably after some time. She eventually took it from me and allowed me to pet her. Trainer says this has been her M.O. since he got her back; perfectly fine at his house but doesn't like being anywhere else, need alot of time with new surroundings/people.

I'll stop right there and inject my own opinion; ANY breeder that does not socialize, and any trainer who selects unsocialized pups and doesn't carefully vet foster homes, are not worth looking at, much less talking to. /inject.

With that said, I know K-9 guys who are vouching for this trainer. He sent me some video of the pup at home and she appears 100% normal; food driven, play driven, happy, bouncy, etc. I happen to know a guy who has one of the littermates. He was also very shy as a pup, got passed around quite a bit until he was ~5 months old, and has since developed very nicely.


I'm completely conflicted. Beautiful pup, non-aggressive, and would most likely warm up to new surroundings and people with a little gentle effort. But both of my previous GSD's were very outgoing at this age, and seeing this behavior in a young dog is very troubling. Then there's the breeding deal. The trainer is considering doing his own breeding, and wants 3-year rights in exchange for the free pup. I'm not well versed in dealing with an intact female, and I'm not sure how I'd feel about breeding "my" dog 3-years down the road.

So? Am I overthinking this? (and so much for trying to keep it short, sorry)
 

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IMHO a dog with temperament issues that sound as if they are genetic(the skittish littermate) should not be bred.I have a soft spot for shy dogs myself.It's incredibly rewarding to help them come out of their shells and see them happy and relaxed at home.But I don't think it's a responsible decision to breed and carry those traits forward.
 

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Sounds like she would have a great home with you! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
IMHO a dog with temperament issues that sound as if they are genetic(the skittish littermate) should not be bred.I have a soft spot for shy dogs myself.It's incredibly rewarding to help them come out of their shells and see them happy and relaxed at home.But I don't think it's a responsible decision to breed and carry those traits forward.
My opinion is no and hope this poor girl does not get bred.
Agreed & agreed, however...

Sounds like she would have a great home with you! :)
Yeah. I'm kinda feeling a little that way too, but I'm still not sure.
 

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What would happen if you adopted her... Then "accidentally" got her spayed? LOL. I agree, she absolutely should not be bred. I guess this explains how the trainer thought the other breeder was reputable.
 

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Have you owned an intact female before? Are you prepared to deal with her heats, do you have a fenced yard...have you thought all of that through?

I agree she sounds a bit shy....I don't know why they want to breed her. Whole thing sounds a bit suspect I guess. I think I personally would pass on this situation.

OP you said "I'll stop right there and inject my own opinion; ANY breeder that does not socialize, and any trainer who selects unsocialized pups and doesn't carefully vet foster homes, are not worth looking at, much less talking to. /inject. "

Whether or not your opinion is correct---your whole post seems to read as if you have a gut feeling that this is a bad scene to get involved with. If that is your feeling... I would trust your feeling and walk away.
 

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What would happen if you adopted her... Then "accidentally" got her spayed? LOL. I agree, she absolutely should not be bred. I guess this explains how the trainer thought the other breeder was reputable.
Oh let me just tell you guys a quick story unrelated to dogs. I hired one contractor to do one job. He recommended another contractor, who recommended a 3rd. (all different specialties for parts of the project).

ALL THREE were horrible! I mean, horrible! But by the time we figured out how bad, we were in up to our eyeballs with these people and it was the most stressful situation and THANK GOD it is over!!!

According to #1, #2 was great. And according to #2, #3 was great. At one point my husband and I are banging our heads against a wall asking ourselves how we managed to hire 3 different contractors who were all so awful and then it dawned on us that they were like the loser's club, recommending each other and it made perfect sense


So, Pytheis has a good point above!
 

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You may be in for a project dog that'll consume a lot of time and energy, not to mention the breeding requirement, not something I'd want to do. A confident pup is so much easier to live with, I'd keep looking.
 

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Well, if shes a stable dog that the "reputable" trainer claims she is then exposing her wont be hard. Theres a difference between nervy and unexposed.
We dont know without seeing her...
My question would be, will she come around in a stable environment. When the genetics are there, you have a lot of room to fix.
So do you want the project? Just because a dog has some issues doesn't mean its automatically nervy
 

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No, i would not sign up for this project/s.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have you owned an intact female before? Are you prepared to deal with her heats, do you have a fenced yard...have you thought all of that through?
I mentioned in my original post that I have zero experience with it. I do not have a fenced yard (DogWatch only) and am just now learning about the heat cycles.

I agree she sounds a bit shy....I don't know why they want to breed her. Whole thing sounds a bit suspect I guess. I think I personally would pass on this situation.

OP you said "I'll stop right there and inject my own opinion; ANY breeder that does not socialize, and any trainer who selects unsocialized pups and doesn't carefully vet foster homes, are not worth looking at, much less talking to. /inject. "

Whether or not your opinion is correct---your whole post seems to read as if you have a gut feeling that this is a bad scene to get involved with. If that is your feeling... I would trust your feeling and walk away.
I absolutely sense something not quite right, and I would have immediately rejected this opportunity if not for the backing of a very reputable K-9 handler/trainer I know. He works with this GSD trainer and speaks very highly of him.

You may be in for a project dog that'll consume a lot of time and energy, not to mention the breeding requirement, not something I'd want to do. A confident pup is so much easier to live with, I'd keep looking.
I sense that as well, but her brother (raised in the same "warehouse") didn't take long to come out of his shell and is a very nice, balanced pup.

Well, if shes a stable dog that the "reputable" trainer claims she is then exposing her wont be hard. Theres a difference between nervy and unexposed. Just because a dog has some issues doesn't mean its automatically nervy
VERY critical wording there. I watched this pup walk around the store filled with rodents, parrots, other dogs, and people walking around and up to her. It was a total bombardment of the senses... a worst-case scenario for her, yet she never got overwhelmed. She was careful and a little edgy, but I wouldn't call it "nervy".

I may decide to meet her again, maybe arrange to spend a day alone with her and observe her progress. I can learn to deal with the heat thing, but I'm not ready to take on a project.
 

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My take on this, your head is saying no but your heart is saying yes. Lol.

You knew right away that you should walk away, you said yourself this does not sound like a reputable person. But, silly you, you went and met the dog.
I pulled a puppy from a puppy farm who had literally never been out of the cage she was born in. At six months old she integrated into my household seamlessly, and although she was cautious she was willing to try and quickly overcame her reservations. When I placed her a few months later she did the same thing, an initial period of wariness followed by rock solid. And that was a poorly bred, no contact at all puppy who needed her leg casted.

My take on the whole thing? Take a leap of faith. You might like where you land.
 

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I think you may be "overthinking" in this case... this girl is still a child and still developing into an adult.....what she is as an adult is where you come in.
Sounds like she's had a very sketchy and crappy start to life.you may not have been told the whole story by the trainer...maybe he didn't know the whole story....the actual story could be worse.... proof of what she can be is the litter mate's crappy history at 5 months and yet has "developed very nicely"....I wouldn't judge this dog to have a bad/poor temperament....not until she's had a chance at a stable life...again that's where you come in. As far as owning a intact female...no different than a spayed female other than..heat cycles and keeping her away from unwanted "suitors"


I have to say.. though as far as the "breeding rights" and the trainer go....having a litter isn't cheap and can have some hazards at any point...to the female or her pups..also.Vet costs-first shots-wormings-food etc.---since it sounds like you're only supplying a surrogate mother (so to speak).....I'm bringing this up because if the trainer isn't paying for this "pregnancy"-then your "free dog" won't be "free"---JMO
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My take on this, your head is saying no but your heart is saying yes. Lol.

You knew right away that you should walk away, you said yourself this does not sound like a reputable person. But, silly you, you went and met the dog.
I pulled a puppy from a puppy farm who had literally never been out of the cage she was born in. At six months old she integrated into my household seamlessly, and although she was cautious she was willing to try and quickly overcame her reservations. When I placed her a few months later she did the same thing, an initial period of wariness followed by rock solid. And that was a poorly bred, no contact at all puppy who needed her leg casted.

My take on the whole thing? Take a leap of faith. You might like where you land.
I think you may be "overthinking" in this case... this girl is still a child and still developing into an adult.....what she is as an adult is where you come in.
Sounds like she's had a very sketchy and crappy start to life.you may not have been told the whole story by the trainer...maybe he didn't know the whole story....the actual story could be worse.... proof of what she can be is the litter mate's crappy history at 5 months and yet has "developed very nicely"....I wouldn't judge this dog to have a bad/poor temperament....not until she's had a chance at a stable life...again that's where you come in. As far as owning a intact female...no different than a spayed female other than..heat cycles and keeping her away from unwanted "suitors"


I have to say.. though as far as the "breeding rights" and the trainer go....having a litter isn't cheap and can have some hazards at any point...to the female or her pups..also.Vet costs-first shots-wormings-food etc.---since it sounds like you're only supplying a surrogate mother (so to speak).....I'm bringing this up because if the trainer isn't paying for this "pregnancy"-then your "free dog" won't be "free"---JMO
Lots of excellent advice here. Excellent point on paying for the pregnancy; that issue will be raised if/when appropriate.

And yeah... my head said "run away"!

I'm going to continue to mull this over and maybe take the pup for a day or so on my turf to see how that goes. THAT might be the real tell.
 

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The breeding clause would send me packing. IMO, the decision to breed a bitch should come after you know what she is capable of, and only if she is solid. While I agree that this dog may come around (depending on the genetics behind her, and her experiences going forward), I’d be extremely leery of getting involved with someone who wants to breed her with how she is now. Are you planning on titling her? Showing her? Do they want health testing done, at least? I’d have to know she was going to contribute something good to the breed before signing up for that. Best wishes to you, whatever you decide.
 

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Totally agree with Gypsy. I know your heart may be saying 'yes, yes', but if you take this dog, you are supporting what I am guessing to be a backyard unethical breeder, and helping him produce more puppies to sell. This type of breeding does NOT need any more people supporting it.

For the love of the breed, I'd back away, hard as it may be. If her temperament seems okay to you, and you're really smitten with her, ask if you could BUY her so there is no need to breed her.

But that would still be supporting an unethical breeder...

Have a friend who bought a Golden that was 'warehoused' in a large barn with a whole bunch of other dogs. The dog was a nervous basket case its whole life, and would go and hide whenever visitors came over.
 

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The breeding clause would send me packing. IMO, the decision to breed a bitch should come after you know what she is capable of, and only if she is solid. While I agree that this dog may come around (depending on the genetics behind her, and her experiences going forward), I’d be extremely leery of getting involved with someone who wants to breed her with how she is now. Are you planning on titling her? Showing her? Do they want health testing done, at least? I’d have to know she was going to contribute something good to the breed before signing up for that. Best wishes to you, whatever you decide.
If the breeding clause is a no go then why not insist that breeding can only take place if and when all health clearances are in place and she has earned an appropriate title? I would also add that you as owner have final say on any stud selection. Perhaps this girl has really solid breeding behind her. We do not have all the facts.
 

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If the breeding clause is a no go then why not insist that breeding can only take place if and when all health clearances are in place and she has earned an appropriate title? I would also add that you as owner have final say on any stud selection. Perhaps this girl has really solid breeding behind her. We do not have all the facts.
I agree with you. We do not have all the facts. I still wouldn’t want to be in a position to have to breed my girl... I don’t like strings. If the situation were one where IF she was titled, IF her health tests were done and passed, IF she had a solid temperament, and IF she had a wonderful pedigree, THEN they would want to consider breeding her once, at an appropriate age, it might be different (for me). I’m not trying to say this particular dog should not be bred. I have no idea if she should be bred. I’m saying the situation as it was presented would be a situation I personally would walk away from.
 

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Has the trainer offered this type of offer to others in the past? If so what was the outcome? Was the agreement verbal or under contract? If contract, ask to see it first.

Those are just a couple more questions I would want to know. If it were me, I would want the business part of this ironed out before I saw the pup again because I wouldn't trust myself stay unemotionally detached if I brought her home. Especially if she was going to fill a place that my boy left open.

Edited to add:
Who placed the pup in the foster home? Was a legitimate rescue involved or was the foster home the trainers descriptions of a puppy placement fail? Is the trainer going to be the one training this pup?' Sorry if I sound cynical but it almost sounds as if the trainer is semi interested in the pup but wants to see from a distance how she grows up before investing his time and finances into her.
 
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