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Posted this in the Choosing a Puppy thread and then realized this was probably a more appropriate place.

I run a rescue in Central PA and have been asked to take in a litter of German Shepherd pups from what can only be described as a bad breeder.

Same story I hear all the time really they are looking to make some "easy" money and for whatever reason the pups didn't sell and now there are 5 10 week old German Shepherds terrorizing their house.

Anyway, I was shocked when I spoke to this gentleman on the phone tonight to find out that the mother of these puppies is 11 years old. I'd love to scream at people like this but then he gets mad at me and the puppies are stuck with this idiot and nobody wins.

So what I'm wondering is whether or not the puppies themselves are at any increased risk for future health problems as a result of their mother being so old? I know there is an increased risk to the mother during pregnancy and whelping and an increased risk to the puppies when they are younger but I'm not clear on whether them being 10 weeks old now and otherwise healthy looking means they are out of the woods or if there are additional risks to take into consideration for those who will adopt these pups?

Are there any tests that should be run on the pups to check for potential future problems?

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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i wish i had more for you. All i know is dangers increase with age in pets just like in people and i would assume the same goes for the "kids" that are born. You know how woman over 35 are discouraged from getting pregnant for health reasons not only regarding her but the possibility of severe defects in the child? I would guess it could be the same with pups. Only you may not know any of it until later on... I doubt there are any tests that can be run but i'm not medically knowledgable in this area. good luck figuring it out.
 

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I would think if the pups are healthy at 10 weeks there is no reason to think they won't stay that way. The health risk would be more to the mother. My mother had 11 kids from the time she was 20 through 44 and we are all equally healthy, the youngest now being 50. Don't know how it works for dogs.
 

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Has the mother been healthy her whole life? Any info on her? Or the father to the puppies do you know anything about his health history? I would be more interested in the health history of the parents.

I wouldn't assume that because 10 wk old puppies are healthy they will be healthy their entire lives, however, I think at this point, any health issues that do arise, would not be because their mother was 11 years old.

I hope this guy will spay or atleast not allow her to breed again:(
 

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I agree that the health, condition, and genetics of the female have more to do with the puppy's prognosis than does the age of the mother.

One of the best dogs I ever owned came from an 11 year old dam. She only had one pup, him.

I have also had sickly pups come out of bitches in their prime, on their first breedings.

So there is no "one" rule you can follow when it comes to the health of the pups.

The best indicator will be the record of the breeder and the condition he keeps his dogs in. If he has continuously produced good dogs, and all of his dogs are in impeccable condition, then I wouldn't worry about it.

But if he has never produced a dog of note, and/or if his dogs are fat and out-of-shape dogs kept in poor condition, then I wouldn't buy a pup from him at all (or even take one for free), regardless of the age of the dam.

Good luck.
 

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But if he has never produced a dog of note, and/or if his dogs are fat and out-of-shape dogs kept in poor condition, then I wouldn't buy a pup from him at all (or even take one for free), regardless of the age of the dam.
The OP already said this is a rescue litter that she's fostering.
 
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