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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a veterinarian for 42 years and have had many dogs during and before becoming a vet. My previous two, Dagny and Eva, sisters from the same litter, were the most rewarding companions to date, and we took them through Beginner Obedience I and II, and graduated with Canine Good Citizen titles (CGC). Our favorite times were walking off leash on the trail in Mill Creek Park behind our home.
We got Dagny and Eva from my brother-in-law, who took no care in selective breeding. At one year old, Dagny began limping in her right front leg. She had a ununited anconeal process, and surgery by a board certified surgeon didn't help. She would always limp. I X-rayed Eva and found her left front leg had the same problem, and surgery didn't help her either. Many enjoyable years passed, I kept them lean at 80-85 pounds, and then I noticed Dagny was starting to drag her back toe nails, softly scraping along. Did a blood check for degenerative myelopathy (DM) and both dogs came back double recessive positive for Lou Gehrig's disease. It progressed slowly, with me getting boots and socks for her, wrapping her lower legs, and eventually helping her with a sling.
I put Dagny down at 8 years old last year, and Eva at 9 this year. Heartbreaking. I never want to go through that agony again. I didn't know it (no symptoms), but when I put Dagny down I had 54 hours of atrial fibrillation. Yes, you can die from a broken heart.
So in June 2021 I applied for a puppy from the Monks of New Skete. Twice a year you can apply online; first Monday in June and first Monday in November. You have to be ready at the computer and on their site at 9:01 a.m. to put in your name and email. If you get a green check mark, you go to your email to fill out the application. When I applied they met their quota in four minutes! Then, if approved, you wait six months to two years for your pup. They've been breeding GSDs for fifty years. The right way. OFA hips and elbows, DM negative. I waited ten months for Questa. She's really special.
So, don't be hasty. Check out the breeder and if they've done their due diligence. If not, move on. Take your time. It's worth it.
 

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Interesting to hear the New Skete process and I'm happy you got a great dog. Did you go to there site for pickup and get a tour?

I have their puppy training book around somewhere from 20 years ago and learned a lot from it at the time but they are somewhat more controversial today.
 

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Interesting to hear the New Skete process and I'm happy you got a great dog. Did you go to there site for pickup and get a tour?

I have their puppy training book around somewhere from 20 years ago and learned a lot from it at the time but they are somewhat more controversial today.
Not what they used to be. I think there are much better choices out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I heard offhand about, "The Monks of New Skete," over 30 years ago. Just sounded odd, and I filed it back somewhere in my head. Then I bought their book, "The Art of Raising A Puppy." I was impressed; stuff we never learned in vet school about the stages of development. Should be required reading in vet schools today. Then I bought their other books and DVDs. Their newest is a paperback about using e-collars for training. Very good. No longer the "shock collar" of old.
I'm sure there is stuff on the web that is controversial about the monks, just as you can find crap about anyone there. But I trust them and their commitment to the breed. As with anything in Nature, genetics are a roll of the dice, and there will always be pups that have problems. But most of what you hear is due to Nature versus nurture. People pay a lot of money for a puppy, then do nothing about obedience training. Probably less than 10% of dog owners ever commit the time to a proper obedience course. Or two or three.
I wasn't able to pick Questa up in person; still had NY covid restrictions. She was delivered by a professional service. I really want to visit them some day.
 

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Not here to argue on your choice of breeders. Just a note to people looking to buy and finding this thread. Good message but the Monks would not be my first choice. There are better breeders, that health test and temperament test their dogs thru training and trial in ways the Monks do not, in the U.S. at much better pricing, certainly less than 4,700-5,000. That's an insane price. You would pay that for champion lines show dogs with all the same health testing. Working line dogs are 2500-3000.

An adult dog for 8,500-12,000? Nuts. Because it's been thru basic obedience training? That's the price for a young police dog..

They can charge whatever they want. I don't care. But I don't want new people thinking this is normal pricing for equivalent dogs and puppies.

In regards to OFA...that's not the end all of databases. The SV should be checked as well. In fact, due to the inconsistencies in the OFA results, the SV no longer accepts it for Breed Surveys so neither does the USCA. In addition, the OFA does not give back ratings like the SV does so another thing to look at. So just because a dog is not listed in the OFA, for instance my female is not but has SV hip/elbow/back ratings, does not necessarily nix them from options.

Dogs are living creatures. You can stack the deck in your favor but things happen and our breed has multiple health issues that can pop up later in life and throw a curve ball. Orthos and DM are the easiest things to check and the very base health tests that should be done.

Enjoy your puppy. I'm sure she'll be great. And again - very good message.
 

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I would venture to guess that most here wouldn't recommend the Monk's of New Skeet, due to the multiple reasons JAX listed.... Price is outrageous, and there are a lot of breeders that are breeding to the breed standard, working their dogs and producing quality puppies from those dogs, along with all the necessary health testing for a much more reasonable price..

Good Luck with your pup!!
 
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