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I picked up my first german shepard from a local pet store today. Ive had Shetland Sheepdogs for the past 20 years. I currently have 4 The oldest and last of the ones i bred is 12 and really only has a year or two left. I had decided that i didnt want to raise anymore and wanted to move onto a new/larger dog.

Knowing that i wanted another intelligent animal and not a small ox the German Shepard seemed like the only good choice as i have no interest in the retrievers/labradors. I didnt do any real before hand research as i just recently decided to get one soon.

I was out today just browsing a few of the pet stores killing time and i ran into one that had this german pup. It didnt take to long after holding and playing with him before the salesman had me checked out and on my way home with him.

So far hes nothing but a bundle of joy and no different then the sheltie pups ive had but after doing some basic research on the breed and finding this website im starting to get a lil nervous.

I called the pet store, The pup isnt a AKC and his parents dont have that OFA certification. After finding out about all these problems with this breed am i in for a whirlwind with this pup?

Hes 8 weeks old and the store just had his second set of baby shots done. Is there anything i should have my vet check for when i take him in for his next set of shots? Should i contact the store and see if they will reverse the sale?

Im not opposed to helping or taking in hurt animals. Lord knows ive picked up more then my share of strays thro the years and either nursed them myself or taken them to a vet and had them taken care off before i found them a new home. But the basic impression im getting from quick research is some of these *common* problems are life threatning/debilitating and im not sure i want to start from the ground up with one.

I have a moderate home with a complete acre of fenced in property for the animal. But if things go to plan in a couple of years ill be down in MO on 35 acres. I was really wanting to have raised and trained a young adult german when i moved there to help on the ranch and be a sturdy dependable compainion. Having a sick dog or one that is likely to develop Hip problems that soon isnt on top of my game plan


Any insight you all can provide while i try to do a lil more indepth research would be greatly appreciated
 

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First off, welcome to the board!

It looks like you now know never to purchase a puppy from a pet store.

However, what's done is done and you can either return the pup or continue on.

Because he is from a pet store and an irresponsible breeder does not mean for sure that he is going to develop any of these diseases you have read about. However, he would be more likely to develop them then a responsibly bred GSD.

I don't know that there is anything you could have the vet check that would rule out these diseases. You may be a bit more specific on the diseases you are concerned about. Of course you mentioned Hip Dysplasia and you cannot rule that in or out until the dog is 2 years of age anyways.

I adopted 2 German Shepherds both of which suffer from genetic disorders. Yes, they are costly, time consuming and a pain in the "A", but I love them more than anything and it is worth it to me. Sick dogs were certainly not in *my* game plan either. LOL!

I can't tell you whether to give the pup back or not. I wouldn't be able to and would just take my chances. Once I fall in love that's it and there's no going back.

If he was an impulse buy and now that you've researched responsible breeding you have decided that this isn't the dog for you, then by all means return him. I would definately explain to the pet store why you are returning him so that they will know how you feel about their selling of puppies.

That's about all the advice I can give you. I know that others will chime in here. Good luck with whatever you decide!
 

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I got sarge from a rescue as he had been abused most of his young life. I have no idea where he came from or what his breeding is. I do know I wouldnt trade him for anything in the world at this point, I excepted the responibility for him and will do what ever I have to do to make sure he stays as healthy as possible.

I dont think theres such a thing as a 100% certinty with any pet as they grow health wise. Different things can effect animals the same as it can people. This is only my opinion, of course you have to do what you think is best for you. If I were in your place and already had that puppy home I doubt I could bring myself to take him back and put him back in that cage that is probably too little for him anyway.

From reading your post you know the chance you take no matter where you get the pup from. Whatever you decide to do I wish you luck and hope everything turns out just fine.

Youll get a lot of help here from people who have a boat load of experince with shepherds, just brouse around and ask questions if need be.

Lastly, well need to see some pics of this guy...We love to see pictures here!!!
 

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ya, i dont see him being returned to the store either. I guess i was just overwhelmed when i first started to research and found all these negative posts and comments about problems with the breed.

He just woke me up for his first midnight potty break and is currently nibbling on my slippers. The batteries for the camera are being charged so tommorow will bring plenty of new pictures

Thanks for your words and im sure to be posting plenty of new questions soon
 

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i'd get him on the best nutrition possible and then spend my time focusing on proper training and socializing. alot of health and genetic disorders don't show themselves until later so my biggest concern with a petstore pup is poor temperment and weak nerves.

heath problems are costly, but behavior problems are a constant pain in the butt on a day to day basis.

i guess the fact that the pup is being sold in a petstore it doesnt really matter who the breeder was, but is there any info at all on the paper work? i know some smaller petstores and feed stores get litters from private parties... or was this a mall type petstore chain?

ps. just to calm your nerves a little - HD isnt the end of the world. my girl was dx with severe HD 4yrs ago and we're doing just fine
 

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What concerns me isn't potential health issues but that you mention being very attracted to him in the store yet I see no evidence of that attachment anywhere else in your post.

As a group we discourage people from purchasing from pet stores. When I went shopping for my eldest 13 years ago, all I knew is that you were supposed to look for a "reputable" breeder, OFA parents, AKC pups, look out for bad hips. I looked through the want adds of a nearby (100 miles) major metro area newspaper and called a few adds. One woman seemed to know what she was talking about so I drove down to look at the pup. She knew how to talk, she probably knew what she should be doing but boy do I have a file an inch thick on that dog!

Next pup, I was a bit more prepared - she comes from a top notch breeder. However about 3 years ago she injured her cruciate ligament. And getting that resolved (one surgery from a regular vet caused all sorts of difficulties) has never been completely satisfactory. I got about 18 months out of an ortho vet repair, had the first surgery cause problems again and then she developed some other problems.

They're 10 and 13 now. Both dogs have slowed down a lot. The eldest who was "faster than a speeding bullet" in her youth is pretty gimpy but her spirit's still up there. The youngest, built like a brick, has less stamina than she did.


What am I saying? Stuff goes wrong. The first dog I had as an adult was a shepherd/elkie cross. He was pretty solid, still strong and speedy until 2 weeks before he died of cancer at 16. All the others have had a health problem or two. If you research any breed you will find lists of "typical" problems that's pretty lengthy. Why? We've indadvertently selectively bred the problems into most breeds and I think we diagnose illnesses more carefully, treat more fully than we used to.

I wouldn't take all the tea in China for either of these two or, for that matter, for any other dog that I've been privileged to share my home with. I drive 30 some miles to ride for a very short distance because my dogs love seeing the horse. In March, without any major issues, my dog expenses were more than my mortgage.

You can always call the pet store, see what they are willing to do and then decide what you want to do. Returning your dog might not be an option. For "lemon" laws to apply, I think there has to be a problem in the dog - not just that you didn't do your homework first and did something you regret.
 

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I would take a look at the needs of a GSD and see if you can meet them. Understand that there is a higher potential for problems both with hips and temperment, but also no guarantee your dog will develop any of these problems. Your dog may be perfectly healthy and sound.
If you cannot make this dog a member of the family, commit to the training this dog needs to be happy and well adjusted, and the very high exercise needs then you should consider re-homing him. Because without these necessary things you will have problems caused by an unhappy dog.
Like others have said, what's done is done. Good luck in your decision.
 

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We almost made the puppy store mistake several years ago but the sales clerk telling us, you can finance the pup for $60 a month and insisting on the price made the decision for us. I was not paying them $1300 for a dog.

Instead we bought Rocky from a BYB (didn't know what as one at the time.) However we did rescue him from horrible living conditions. We have had problems with him, fleas, worms and horrible staph infection when we got him, several bout with pano, chronic ear infections, and major food allergies. He is 2-1/2 now, and a member of our family. We don't have papers or any kind of guarantee on him. We will deal with any health issues as they come up. I don't really think there is a 100% guarantee with any dog you get.

I agree with what everyone else says about the training though. Good luck with your pup!
 

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Hopefully this is just a wonderful puppy and you'll have no problems. The fact you've found this site should help you be proactive on any health issues or temperament issues that may come up.

Most important thing I hope you now know is to never buy a puppy from a pet store again. Though you may have a really great pup and did 'save' it from the store, the much more important fact is where are the parent dogs and how will their lives be? Every puppy purchased from a petstore assures that not only these parent dogs but all 'puppy mill' dogs will spend their lives as a product and 'stock' . I had no idea a few years ago about this, but I certainly do now. A few sites to see how the bitch and sire of your puppy probably not only are now living, but how their entire lives will be are on:

http://www.prisonersofgreed.org/

http://www.kerryblues.info/KB/OPRAH.HTML

This site shows what I am now looking for when I'm planning for a puppy: http://www.dogplay.com/Breeding/ethics.html

There are tons of great resources for you and your puppy. Crate training is a must for most of us, so hopefully you have that started. The other BIG thing we screw up with our GSD pups is failing to SOCIALIZE them properly the first year or so. And this means changing our lives and making real weekly plans to bring that pup into the car to meet/greet everyone we know, strangers, new pups (friendly and healthy), other dogs (friendly and healthy), PUPPY CLASSES make this even easier. Failing to do this from day 1 has many of our puppies fear aggressive or just plain aggressive.

Here's some info on GSD puppies:

http://home.flash.net/~astroman/primer1.html

http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/DevelopmentalStages.html

http://www.dogshome.org/docs/G852_GermShepherd_FactsheetQXD.pdf

http://www.gsdhelpline.com/willis2.htm

GOOD LUCK!!!! I'm sure you'll work everthing out and have as wonderful an adult dog as your puppy sounds like it can be!!!
 

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Well, its the first full day with him and its safe to say hes not going anywhere. Jelce is quietly napping in his crate.

I will admit last night i was thrown off guard some. All i truly knew of the breed was that they were a intelligent sturdy breed often used with the police and working type dogs. I assumed that because of these type use's that there would be alot less common problems with them in general. I was just thrown off guard when i did the first search on the internet. I must have gone threw 2 hours of links that lead to nothing but problems and dilema's and sad stories before i found this site.

I had the impression that there were more horror then happy stories. It was later at night and i was tired when i finally got him to settle down and take a nap when i started reading so im sure that didnt help on the overall tone i was discovering last night.

He is a pure joy and nothing but a jolly lil pup. Hes happily playing with the Shetlands i have and they are adjusting to him pretty quickly. Hes already learned to come up the stairs and outside although hes still pretty skittish coming down them he's defiantly working on it.

To the couple of people who seemed un-certain of my affection for him i assure you he will be more then taken care off and treated as a family member. I myself do not want children and had myself *neutered* a few years back to insure that fact. Between my other 4 dogs, 4 horses and 2 fishtanks Id go hungry before an animal in my care didnt receive any proper treatment or went without love and care.
 

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I'm very glad to hear this update! Continued best of luck to you and Jelce! (how do you pronounce that, BTW?)
Welcome to the board!
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about the pup, my last one was AKC, he had just about everything a GSD could have, I took very good care of him till the end, and when I got my new pup I was worried sick about haveing the same problems, hes 3 now and very healthy, as Forest Gump would say, "A GSD is like a box of chocolates,you never know what yer gonna get" sounds like your committed to takeing care of the pup, regardless of what happens, the good thing is hes out of that pet store and in responsible hands
 

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Originally Posted By: 99lightAll i truly knew of the breed was that they were a intelligent sturdy breed often used with the police and working type dogs. I assumed that because of these type use's that there would be alot less common problems with them in general. I was just thrown off guard when i did the first search on the internet.
sadly - only a small percentage of GSD are sound enough health, physically and temperment wise to even carry out these duties. (and an even smaller % of american dogs) its a nice idea, but popularity has done nothing for this breed and it will be a long road back.
 

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I pronounce it like Gel SS Kinda like Hair Gel and the SS sound is like in the begining of Sslither. Jelce
 

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99light, the GSD breed is kind of risky even with a good breeder. I am crossing my fingers that your pet store GSD is a "lucky lotto winner" and will be a healthy, well tempered dog. There is MUCH to learn about this breed, there are three different main types of GSD (the one you bought from the pet store is most likely not from the lines that yield most police dogs), their health problems are depressing and many, and they are often poorly/carelessly bred and so may be healthy but mature with behavioral issues stemming from poor genetics.

You're starting off with a puppy from a potential shaky breeding, so make sure you start now by doing everything RIGHT! Take him to the vet if you have not already to check for any congenital defects or other health problems. As soon as you are able, join puppy classes for socialization and fun training. Do more than one if you can! As he gets older, enter age-appropriate training classes. The classes are not just for training your dog but also to help you train your dog, help him learn and work under distraction, build the bond, and socialize. Socialize him like CRAZY! If you think you're overdoing it, you're probably not. Take him everywhere, expose him to men and women and kids of all ages, body types, colors, clothing, assistance items (wheelchairs, canes, etc), people on bikes and scooters, cars, traffic, loud noises, etc. I'd also suggest having his hips x-rayed at 12 months of age by an experienced vet that does do OFA certs, that way if your pup does have dysplasia you can take steps to help your puppy stay active and healthy by giving him the proper exercise and joint supplements. I really, sincerely hope that you do not find out the hard way why we despise pet stores and BYBers as places to buy a puppy. I have a rescue mix who is clearly from poor breeding and poor raising. Hates strangers and other dogs, can't be boarded. Smart as a whip but the problems are not fun, especially for a first-timer like me.

AKC or not AKC, it does not matter. No OFA, that DOES matter! Basically, a pet store is the last place to go to buy a dog because many end up with poor temperament or health. I remember a couple whose computer I worked on who had a lab. This lab was squirrelly, not too confident at all, and physically did not look very much like a nice lab. Then they showed me a photo of their old lab who they bought from a good breeder. They said this guy was confident, intelligent, was not afraid of people, and he looked like a quality lab through and through. They then said they bought their current lab from a pet store and tried to convince me (or probably themselves) that it was still a good choice. I smiled and nodded. Unfortunately, I've seen quite a few dogs come from pet stores and BYBers and my experience has not been good even though I didn't own them! They were not dogs I'd want to own. Sorry for raining on your parade, but basically, I think you're very right in your initial post for not wanting to have problems right from the start. It happens with good breeders, but the chances are much less. Again, I am crossing my fingers that your pup will be an exceptional dog!

If you wanted a ranch hand GSD, working lines or German showlines that do get properly worked would have been a fantastic choice. But it does sound like you'll have room for more, so when you get down there and you find yourself in need of more help, make sure to post here and we can point you in the right direction!
 

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Consider this. The south is notorious for puppy mills & BYBs. A few years ago I pulled a poor old soul from LRAS. He had great hips & showed no structural weakness. However, he was eaten up with parasites because someone had just pitched him outside for several years. He died because of a heart worm infection that he was too weak to get treatment for. His health problems were not genetic. They were neglect.
So just because you got what is probably a mill dog doesn't mean that he won't be healthy if he's given proper care. We're all hoping you luck out and I'm glad that you are happy with him as a pup.
 

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first i suggest don't buy a dog from a pet store. find a good breeder no matter what the breed. can you return the pup?? if so do it. now just because you bought from a pet store doesn't mean you're going to have problems. try hard not to impulse buy especially with a live animal. good luck.
 

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Easy there Doggiedad, he's said several times he doesn't want to return the pup. Before anyone else gets carried away with pet store rants, remember 1 thing: a good dog can come from anywhere. I have a friend with a 13 year old GSD, beautiful girl, not ever a thing wrong with her other than coming from a petstore.

I wish you good luck with your baby and am waiting on pictures. Please read DianaM's post about the things to do to start him off right and do them.

*edit* not that I'd get my puppy from a pet store. what's done is done and the OP seems to be taken with the little guy
 

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I believe the dog is already bought. SO.....
Socialize, exercise, socialize, train, learn, socialize, socialize, exercise, train, learn, love, get proper vet care, socialize, socialize, exercise, socialize, learn, train, feed bacon (for you, Diana) exercise, socialize, socialize, train, exercise, love, socialize, train, love, exercise, socialize, and train.
Any questions?
Did I forget anything?
Good luck with Jelce.
 

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Wow, never a pet store; however, you have the dog and the pup sounds fine.

If you were looking for a companion, get the hips checked, and forget the AKC registration and all that stuff. If the pup bonds, and is happy and healthy super.

Why reverse the sale, if you like the pup???

I have a high end European GSD and also do rescue. As companions, the diogs are not as different as most folks think.
 
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