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Molly is 2.5 yrs now. I recently made contact with the family of one of Molly's littermates. Molly's seems to have the similar personality traits as her sister, both good and the undesirable behaviors. As far as temperament goes, we both felt we got a lot more dog than we were expecting, but we still love them of course.

I've met a few people in our community that loved the dogs they got from our breeder, and even bought a 2nd. Others have complained about dogs with cancers and allergies. Another man I met said he loved his GSD it lived to be 13yrs, but an intense dog, and choose a chocolate lab after the GSD died.

Many threads on this forum have stated temperament is hereditary, can health issues like cancers and allergies be hereditary also?

The last thing that got my thinking about the breeder was a statement he made to us when Molly was about 5-6months old. He said Molly had beautiful markings and asked if he could use her for breeding. I was flattered, but now I see that was superficial and so much more should be considered. Was he going to make a decision for breeding based purely on looks? Are occasional negative expressions of temperament and health issues common in even the best breeders or do you think it is carelessness?
 

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i don't know very little about health issues and genetics.
when it comes to behaviour i'm a firm believer that the
way the dog was trained and socialized dicates the behaviour.
 

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I think it is both. I think that you can have a well-bred pup with issues. And you can have puppies out of a litter have issues due to genetics. I think that a good breeder does their best to reduce the incidents of health and temperament issues.

I also think that two people could take the same puppy and have two very different results.

I think that the more puppies you produce, the more puppies you have out there, the more chances of having some with health or behavioral problems.

On the other hand, if you produce very few puppies, you can't possbily be making giant strides in reducing health concerns, as the dogs you are breeding, and the lines that you are breeding, well, you would be done before any knowledge becomes useful.

Cancer, well it may have a basis in genetics, but it may also be seriously impacted by the procedures, foods, vaccines, preventatives that we are stuffing into our dogs. Most of us have at one point bought dog toys made in China, where they are probably painting them with lead based paint. We use products on are carpets, furniture, and lawns that may be causing issues. It is hard to pin point the genetics when there are so many things that may be in common when it comes to how pups are raised.

I guess the answer is to look up what to look for in a breeder, and put your breeder to the test. If he is decent in most of the areas, or all of the areas, and you are happy with your dog, go with him. If he has serious deficiencies, or you are not pleased with the puppy you got from him, then go with someone else. Probably if you are asking this question, you should maybe try another breeder, with the understanding that this is a live creature and there really are no guarantees.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I think it is both. I think that you can have a well-bred pup with issues. And you can have puppies out of a litter have issues due to genetics. I think that a good breeder does their best to reduce the incidents of health and temperament issues.

I also think that two people could take the same puppy and have two very different results.

I think that the more puppies you produce, the more puppies you have out there, the more chances of having some with health or behavioral problems.

On the other hand, if you produce very few puppies, you can't possbily be making giant strides in reducing health concerns, as the dogs you are breeding, and the lines that you are breeding, well, you would be done before any knowledge becomes useful.

Cancer, well it may have a basis in genetics, but it may also be seriously impacted by the procedures, foods, vaccines, preventatives that we are stuffing into our dogs. Most of us have at one point bought dog toys made in China, where they are probably painting them with lead based paint. We use products on are carpets, furniture, and lawns that may be causing issues. It is hard to pin point the genetics when there are so many things that may be in common when it comes to how pups are raised.

I guess the answer is to look up what to look for in a breeder, and put your breeder to the test. If he is decent in most of the areas, or all of the areas, and you are happy with your dog, go with him. If he has serious deficiencies, or you are not pleased with the puppy you got from him, then go with someone else. Probably if you are asking this question, you should maybe try another breeder, with the understanding that this is a live creature and there really are no guarantees.
I think this has a lot to do with it.

I also agree with what you wrote about cancer, but the negative feedback I've heard from a few in our community made me start to question this breeder's practices.

I'm hoping to have a meet and play time with Molly's sister and owner. She lives about an hour and a half away. Then we can really compare personalities, like those twin studies where they are separated at birth. We've met 2x before but only for about 15 minutes each.
 

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I think breeding German Shepherds is much more complicated then most breeders and owners understand. I think owners expectations have become specialized and patterned, and I think that the breed is laden with many health and mental health issues.
 

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Gretchen I had big reservations about the breeder I bought my second GS from when she became really sick. I contacted her to find out if any of the others from the litter had issues and got back a "no must be envrinomental" response. She seemed so caring about her dogs before and we got a problem child that we persevered with. But she was breeding dogs for showing which we did not do and is her main thing.

Current puppy and THIS breeder was an eye opener for me. She knows the temperament she will get from the puppies by the dogs she breeds. Apart from being her passion it is also her income. She socialises the puppies before they leave, they have a big playtime every day and the location is incredible. She can give you a working dog type or a family pet type. Someone that knows their dogs that well and the love she has ... my girl even got a toy and a huge cuddle from her before leaving. She told my Jenna she would miss her.

I would recommend her to anyone here in Australia.

Re your comment on the breeder saying he'd like to breed from your girl ..
last one sent a pic to the breeder and her comment was just .. Oh perfect shepherd stance
 

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i haven't seen a genetically solid temp gsd in a long time. i am sure they are out there. same with health issues, they are living things and are going to have some kind of health issue at some point, being somthing manageable or worse. most of it is genetic. all the years i have owned gsd's, i can honestly say i have only had one REAL solid bomb proof gsd, the rest have had some minor issues and major issues both health and temp. most of the temp issues were worked through and controlled. its a huge crap shoot with a pup, we all can at least hope whatever we may end up with is manageable and workable, and if you do get a bomb proof solid dog, consider yourself extrmely lucky!
 

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My husband had Shepherd's as a teenager and never had any issues with them.

Jake is my first Shepherd and his first in 30 years. We have learnt a lot since getting Jake. We realize now we should have spent far more time researching breeders and picking a reputable breeder. We love Jake, but he has been riddled with digestive issues and now we are dealing with allergies. From a temperment perspective, Jake is great. He's even tempered and we love his personality.

We'd love to get another Shepherd ... Jake is 9 months old now, so I'd like to wait until he is 2 years old. While I haven't contacted the breeder, I do have one in mind now that I'd like to contact when we are ready. If we get another Shepherd, I will pay the greater price up front with the hopes that we won't have the same issues and vet expenses that we've had with Jake.
 

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There are some really nice tempered dogs out there being bred...but they are bred by breeders that place that element as first priority in their breeding programs, unfortunately there are far more breeders that breed dogs based on what they like or what will win:blush:.
 
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