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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with Little Creek German Shepherds in Virginia? I believe that they also go under the name Haus Rankin. I pm'd them and they seem very helpful but I couldn't find any reviews on the internet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
For what it's worth, Carol is very informative and their pups do come with a 24 month hip and elbow guarantee. I plan on paying them a visit since it seems no one has any direct experience here.
 

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I did not look at the site, and I am not familiar with them, so my statement does not reflect on this breeder at all.

Be careful with just a 24 month guaranty (actually warranty). It is common practice that if you want to collect on this, you will have to return the puppy, and by the time you can test for it, you are bonded with the puppy, and if you know that the breeder will put the puppy down, you probably won't go through with collecting on your warranty.

It is probably better to ask if the sire and dam of the litter are certified by the OFA or a-stamped, or if they are certified through penn-hip. And understand that dogs with good hips/elbows can produce bad hips or elbows. But at least the breeder is trying to use unaffected animals, and hopefully animals with a history of unaffected animals.

Warranties are generally not worth the paper, and you can take them or give them. It seems to be expected in the US, so it does not reflect negatively on a breeder who does offer one. But, everyone purchasing a live critter, ought to understand that a symptom of mortality is disease and ultimately death. The only real guaranty a breeder can offer is that, unless the dog is put down or dies in an accident, it will have some form of health concern and die.

The 24 month warranty has many variations. Usually a breeder will offer you another puppy, no money back. This is simple. Breeders do not count their chickens before they are hatched, hatched being usually a week old or so. So, even if you do count spines and heads, you really don't know if the litter will net you 2 live puppies or 14 live puppies. So, breeders spend their money on their dogs, and if a dog needs to be replaced, they wait for a litter, and instead of counting on 6 pups to sell, they count on five and use the sixth for the replacement puppy. There really is nothing wrong with this. Breeding is not a huge money maker, and if it is all spelled out in the contract, it is honest. The only negative is that if you are returning the puppy for a serious genetic issue like MegaE, then do you really want another from the same lines? Maybe, maybe not.

You have to watch the wording of the warranty. Some require that you give certain supplements, or feed a certain food, or do not enter into certain activities with the pup up to a certain age. The age you are allowed to alter, vaccine schedules, and what preventatives you may use on the pup.

My friend has a pup that requires a specific rabies or lyme or lepto vaccine at a certain age, and a bunch of other requirements. This may mean the breeder is very knowledgeable about the breed or their lines, or it can mean the lines are pre-disposed to issues and the best way to avoid them is by following such a routine, or it can mean that they have no intention of refunding anything, their animals have issues, and they may contest your right to a warranty because you may not be able to prove that you followed their instructions to the letter.
 

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I did not look at the site, and I am not familiar with them, so my statement does not reflect on this breeder at all.

Be careful with just a 24 month guaranty (actually warranty). It is common practice that if you want to collect on this, you will have to return the puppy, and by the time you can test for it, you are bonded with the puppy, and if you know that the breeder will put the puppy down, you probably won't go through with collecting on your warranty.
Our breeder actually admitted this to use when we asked about the warranty. She has it because people expect it. She told us she honestly doesn't want the pup back hoping that the family would give it the best life possible and would still offer a new pup when they are ready. But that isn't what is written in the warranty. She actually doesn't have too many strings attached to her dogs. She doesn't have the time or energy to enforce all the rules that some put into their paperwork.

That being said, a family that has a litter mate of our she-pup had to deal with our breeder when a problem came up. They brought home a pup that died a few days later (I do not know the cause). The dad was furious that his children had to deal with that! He wanted his money back even though refunds were not an option in the warranty. But since the breeder calmly offered a full refund anyhow, they ended up choosing another pup...my gal's littermate. A year later they adopted one of the retired breeding gals.

From these two experiences I would say it is best to talk face to face with people. The written contracts are binding but sometimes "rules" change is some situations. You are good at sizing people up you can judge better about the quality they put into their work.
 

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Car2ner,

It is so sad when a puppy dies. Whenever it dies. But when it dies right out of the box, most breeders would offer a monetary refund, even if it is not in the paperwork. Really it is a business where reputation is everything. We breeders, sometimes can pass around names of notoriously bad people with dogs, but those people are generally breeders who shouldn't own any kind of critter. Buyers are a different story. There are millions of people who have done a dog wrong in the world, and there is simply no way for breeders to keep up with all of them.

But buyers can google your name or throw it out on a site like this, and if you have a history of being unethical, or if your dogs are poor in temperament, or if there are a lot of health problems, it will go around.

I have a 2-week money back warranty, that for any reason, you can bring the pup back and I will give the money back. Since I am one of those paycheck to paycheck people, I will generally put the money in my savings account and wait two weeks before spending it on the dogs. If I sell 2 or 3 puppies, I will keep 1 of the price back in savings until the weeks are up. Because if someone shows up at my door with their puppy, or calls and says, they need to bring it back, or if, God forbid, it die, it's not going to make anyone happy to get their money back, but it would only infuriate them to not at least be offered the choice of money back or another puppy. But I would probably phrase that to offer the money first, and the puppy (if one was yet available) as though I expected them not to want another puppy.

There may be no reason whatsoever that the second puppy would not be healthy, it would be dependent on how the pup died, but I would think some people might want to go with a different mating if the first one they picked died on them.

As for the kids, well, we are all mortals, and while no one wants a pet to die, sometimes it is helpful for children to experience loss, it may actually be part of a plan, what a child needs to help them through what lies ahead of them. We can shelter them, but at some point kids will experience death and have to learn some pretty tough lessons. Yes, I would be sorry, and I would understand a father's anger on behalf of his kids, but as mortals, we only see the puzzle from piece we are occupying. We see the pieces on either side of us, and maybe a few beyond, but the whole picture is lost to us, because we are in the middle of it. And, kids are resilient.

My nieces are dog lovers. This is a few years old, but they have been right there when puppies have been born:


Ok, so I had a litter with just three pups, and one was half the size of the other two. I let the girls help me name the puppies, Mufasa, Morgan, and little Mocha. Mocha didn't make it. And yes it was sad. But the girls were ok. It was harder when I lost Mufasa, because they knew him for almost 3 years.

It is never easy to lose a critter. It is part of parenting, worse than dirty diapers and broken bones. But it is part of it.

My warranty goes up to two years from purchase date on hips and elbows. But I tell people to call me if there are problems. Replacement only, no cash after two weeks. But I do not require the dog back, just if they get a replacement pup, that they spay/neuter the first one, the one with the issue. HD and ED are not always death sentences. If the people want to keep the dog, they will have to provide care for it, and their next pup, when they are ready (and then when a litter is born), they shouldn't have to pay for it. This way, people do not have to return a pup they care for. But I require the spay/neuter so that the dog is not bred.
 

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Selzer, bravo. If all of our breeders were that ethical the world would be a happier place. I like to think that more are good responsible folk than are not. It is just the bad ones that get so much press.

That being said, any breeder that wants to distance themselves from the buyer I would avoid. I am not saying that Little Creek is like that. It is just one of the things I'd look at while doing research.
 

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How do you mean, "distance themselves from the buyer"? People with really specific, demanding requirements in a warranty might be doing so. And maybe not.

I know there are breeders out there, that, once the money is paid, do not respond well to communication by the buyer. Sometimes life does get in the way, sometimes we do just call at the wrong time. Breeders are people too. But if they can't be bothered to respond to photos, calls for information or help, or act short with a buyer on more than one occasion (anyone can have a bad day or be on the way to a memorial service, or to the hospital with someone under the knife, or could have just lost their heart-dog), and it is a little subjective. I mean, if you e-mail pictures to your breeder and get no response, well, that really shouldn't happen. No response today -- well lots of stuff happen every day, and sometimes we are overwhelmed. But if the breeder sends back, "Thank you for the photos, he is growing so much. He's looking good." Some people might think that is too hurried, or inadequate response. It comes down to expectations, so it can be subjective.

Is there other ways that you are talking about that breeders distance themselves from the buyers?
 

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Many of their hip and elbow scores say normal, and normal isn't 'good', it's just not bad. I would say an overall mediocre , some of the litters are over 3k and I think you could find an excellent breeder with that price or less even. I'd keep looking, and if you're interested in this breeder because it might be close to you then I would like to say that many people here have purchased puppies across country, sometimes even overseas. Most of us would like to visit the facility we get our dogs from, but that's not always realistic, and you can get the information you 'need' online and over the phone.
 

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Actually normal elbows is what you get if your dog does not have elbow dysplasia.

For SV a-stamp, a-normal is what you get if they are good. The a-fast normal is somewhere between fair and normal in the OFA ratings. NZ -- not going to try to write the German is a fair or not dysplastic, still acceptable for breeding.

But NORMAL is good.

Normal means No dysplasia. It is no reason not to go with the breeder.

Even an OFA-Fair means the dog is not dysplastic, ok for breeding.
OFA has Excellent, Good, and Fair -- all are passing.

There are bajillion and one reasons to not go with a breeder. This isn't one of them. Dogs with Excellent hips can throw dysplastic puppies.
 

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How do you mean, "distance themselves from the buyer"? People with really specific, demanding requirements in a warranty might be doing so. And maybe not.

I know there are breeders out there, that, once the money is paid, do not respond well to communication by the buyer. Sometimes life does get in the way, sometimes we do just call at the wrong time. Breeders are people too. But if they can't be bothered to respond to photos, calls for information or help, or act short with a buyer on more than one occasion (anyone can have a bad day or be on the way to a memorial service, or to the hospital with someone under the knife, or could have just lost their heart-dog), and it is a little subjective. I mean, if you e-mail pictures to your breeder and get no response, well, that really shouldn't happen. No response today -- well lots of stuff happen every day, and sometimes we are overwhelmed. But if the breeder sends back, "Thank you for the photos, he is growing so much. He's looking good." Some people might think that is too hurried, or inadequate response. It comes down to expectations, so it can be subjective.

Is there other ways that you are talking about that breeders distance themselves from the buyers?

All the situations you describe are reasonable. Some breeders, if their state allows, might only want to work through a broker or pet store. Thankfully we didn't have to go that route. Some breeders responded that they didn't trust strangers coming out to their kennels since they have had trouble with vandals and Animal Rights people. I hate that it has to be that way for some breeders and I am thankful that I got to see the parents of my dogs, the condition of the kennels and chat with the owner...who as busy as she is still sent me a nice puppy photo of my big boy when he was still too small to come home. In return, we shared our OFA results back to her, just in case it was information she could use. I don't expect to be buddies but sharing living breathing beings takes a bit more back and forth than if I were buying shoes. Even if I were going to a shelter or rescue, I'd want to chat with the keepers, see how the dog behaves, etc.

Yes, it does come down to expectations. This is what I expect. I understand not everyone has this option.
 

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All the situations you describe are reasonable. Some breeders, if their state allows, might only want to work through a broker or pet store. Thankfully we didn't have to go that route. Some breeders responded that they didn't trust strangers coming out to their kennels since they have had trouble with vandals and Animal Rights people. I hate that it has to be that way for some breeders and I am thankful that I got to see the parents of my dogs, the condition of the kennels and chat with the owner...who as busy as she is still sent me a nice puppy photo of my big boy when he was still too small to come home. In return, we shared our OFA results back to her, just in case it was information she could use. I don't expect to be buddies but sharing living breathing beings takes a bit more back and forth than if I were buying shoes. Even if I were going to a shelter or rescue, I'd want to chat with the keepers, see how the dog behaves, etc.

Yes, it does come down to expectations. This is what I expect. I understand not everyone has this option.
If a breeder will not allow a visit to the litter before 4 or 5 weeks old, I can understand that completely. They need to protect their puppies who are vulnerable. But a breeder that is going through brokers or pet stores, I'm sorry, time to hang it up. One needs to meet the buyer, else it is just a business and the fur-balls are just pairs of shoes that are manufactured for anonymous buyers.

Since I live out in the sticks. And I live alone. And I have had people drive up from NY and get to my place at 11PM, there have been moments that I have been nervous.

I have had some strange characters asking some pretty crazy questions too, that made me a little nervous.

Maybe if I was raising setters or yorkies or pugs, I would adjust how I do business, not be free about saying, "well I get home from work at ______ so, if you want to come after work...." I would change that to, "On Friday, I will be available at ______, if you want to come then."

And, maybe I would arrange for my brother or father to be present, so it would not raise the question of being alone.

But allowing a complete stranger choose the people that would buy the puppy, that isn't any way to breed living critters, especially critters that have as many requirements as our dogs do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went to visit the breeder yesterday and was quite happy with her kennel conditions, the condition of her pups, and her straight forward answers. She also volunteered information that she didn't need to bring up. My wife and I discussed our impressions and we have decided to go with this breeder. We are picking up a 3 1/2 month wl female on Tuesday, Isadora vom Haus Rankin (Izzy); there were also a couple of 8 week old sl puppies that were adorable and curious but Izzy seemed like the best fit for us and displayed her intelligence and personality wonderfully. Time will tell but we feel good about the decision. Now to get everything ready today for her arrival tomorrow!
 

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I went to visit the breeder yesterday and was quite happy with her kennel conditions, the condition of her pups, and her straight forward answers. She also volunteered information that she didn't need to bring up. My wife and I discussed our impressions and we have decided to go with this breeder. We are picking up a 3 1/2 month wl female on Tuesday, Isadora vom Haus Rankin (Izzy); there were also a couple of 8 week old sl puppies that were adorable and curious but Izzy seemed like the best fit for us and displayed her intelligence and personality wonderfully. Time will tell but we feel good about the decision. Now to get everything ready today for her arrival tomorrow!
I know this thread is now several years old, but I'm currently looking into Little Creek as well for my next pup. Looking back, are you still happy with your experience with Little Creek, and would you want to work with them again?
 

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I know this thread is now several years old, but I'm currently looking into Little Creek as well for my next pup. Looking back, are you still happy with your experience with Little Creek, and would you want to work with them again?
We are considering Little Creek as well. Have you been happy with your purchase from Carol? Thank you!!
 
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