returning to breeder

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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 4:32am PST 
Not to defend a perhaps sketchy breeder but, when you have a litter of pups it is impossible to tell if one might or might not have a UTI... all the pups are peeing all the time and there is no way you can tell if one is different.
Besides, most utis in female pups begin with housebreaking attempts... the UTI results from the puppy holding its urine and because female pups often have inverted vulvas until they are older, the bacteria is already present and starts the infection. I have had several pups over the years who came from EXCELLENT breeders with current Health certificates and yet they had UTI's.

Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 5:16am PST 
I'm sorry, I too fail to see the logic here.
So because this pup was attacked and has a very easily treatable condition, the thought of euthanizing her crossed your mind?

Now, I would understand if you purchased an 8 week old and invested a ton of cash on this brand new pup. But you purchased a 4 month old. At that point there's no longer the "fresh" and "new" aspect to the dog. At that age they are bound to have some experiences in their lifetime.
I'd equate it to going to a rescue or shelter at that point. Aside from the registration papers and known origin.

Furthermore, if this breeder is so oblivious to these apparent issues, why would you return the pup to that bad situation?

The dog I most recently brought into my home was a stray. She had severe issues with most people, food aggression, and extreme submissive urination.
Did that warrant her death? Did it warrant me returning her to the filth she came from?
Absolutely not.
Less than a year later most of her issues are resolved.
A little bit of compassion goes a long way shrug

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 5:26am PST 
I think we all tend to forget that even on dogster that not every body is 'dog educated'. I am sorry that you felt you had to return the dog for those"issues"hug
You asked if anybody had had to return a dog to a breeder for problems. As you can see, the answer is mostly "No". Bunny didn't even come from a breeder and is a fearful dog whose fearfulness comes out as reactivity. In spite of the fact that sometimes he drives me nuts, it never crossed my mind to give him up to anyone. If he had come from a reputable breeder, instead of returning him, I would have worked with the breeder to help him. I have known of dogs both on dogster and in real life who have full on attacked their owners and have had to be put down. That's a whole different ball game from 'potential fear aggression' .

Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 8:42am PST 

Edited by author Fri Dec 28, '12 9:39am PST


Occupy Dog St.
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 9:01am PST 
I completely understand and appreciate all of your responses. I didn't mention any other variables in my previous post and can see why some of you think I'm out of line.

I also failed to mention that we have a 9 month old son that requires my time, and deserves to be around a safe, healthy and sound animal. Several times, the dog has turned and nearly hurt my son because she was in a blind panic. A dog of this caliber requires a whole lot more resources than a healthy young dog.

This particular pup, given her own individual personality was attacked in the worse possible moment as far as the fear imprint period goes. For this dog, her body actually feels as if it is in pain every time it sees another dog. Understanding the developmental stages and how they effect certain dogs in paramount in understanding the long term effects. All in all, I was told something completely different when asking questions initially, and would never have agreed to take on a dog with this kind of special needs at this point in my life. The extent of the damage is such that we felt it wold be unsafe to give away a 'loaded gun' so to speak.

I also didnt mention that the UTI was already treated right away by us, and has been cleared up for a few weeks now. This pup was also with the breeder until 13 weeks, 5 weeks longer than the other pups. The UTI being an issue for so long has resulted in physical problems for this dog, and again is problematic enough that we arent willing to invest in a dog that again has developed special needs of this depth so young.

Bottom line is that anyone deciding to get a dog has a list of expectations and things they can and are willing to live with. We brought this dog home with inaccurate information and came to find out that it was not a good fit for our family. As hard of a decision it was, it was the choice that made the most sense for our situation. I do feel awful for the dog, because it is not her fault to be given such a bad start. Hence why I posted. I'm feeling frustrated and sad that this happened.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 9:11am PST 
At what age did you acquire the dog? You mentioned 4 months old... was the dog this age when you got them?

I, personally, would not have returned a dog for these issues as I think they are minor and workable.

However, I do not FAULT someone for purchasing a dog (money they spent with the anticipation of the dog being in good health and of reasonable temperament), and returning it because it was not what they were guaranteed. That's a huge part of actually HAVING a contract in the first place... if the dog isn't up to snuff, then there IS the option of returning to breeder. Most people praise that little stipulation as something that makes a breeder "reputable" or not, willingness to take the dog back if there are issues.

Like I said, these issues are not ones I would personally consider worthy of returning a dog, especially not the UTI which is easily fixed and not that big of a deal or even that uncommon.

At 4 months there really wasn't enough time to determine HOW this dog was going to turn out, and issues caused at 8 weeks, IF the dog was properly bred, have a pretty good chance of being worked with and improved on.

That being said, if I had this dog at 18 months or so and he was still acting like a basket case, I'd be hard pressed not to consider the option myself.

ETA- Just saw your post.

Yeah, returning wasn't a bad option for you. Don't let anyone here make you feel bad about making the call that was best for you and your family.

Edited by author Fri Dec 28, '12 9:16am PST

Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 11:28am PST 
Mulder, I actually don't agree, but let me explain why.

Raising puppies is hard. If one has exacting demands for their lifestyle, then getting a GSD puppy is not what they should be doing. This is a breed that you only know a shade of when they are pupsters, and as they mature can take you on many twists and turns. That is for all puppies, IMO, but granted with this breed a particular concern.

It really is a bit of a myth that you go to a great breeder and get this great puppy and that everything will be perfect to start. Simply shifting away from their born home can cause changes or problems, and then of course as they continuously grow and go through hormonal shifts as well. You need far more open-mindedness, resiliency and adaptability, IMO and experience, to raise a puppy than to get a shelter dog. You will know what the latter is fairly quickly. Puppies are a package of oncoming surprises with a waggy tail, sharp little teeth, compulsive behaviors and the attention span of a gnat. If they have to be this or that, then get an adult. What you have when you get a great puppy from a great breeder is the genetic knowledge, a huge assist in puppy rearing, and hopefully, if you have chosen your puppy well, some view of the adult version, which becomes something to aspire to as the objective.

Talking about the experience, I can relate a couple of things. The most mighty dog I ever owned arrived to me basically catatonic. I could get no response from him....I was experienced and it was disturbing. I put in a lot of work in those initial weeks to turn him around, the price of which was massive SA when I went back to work, to the point where he could not be crated for fear of continued injury. He then proved amazingly destructive. It was one thing after the next after the next. At age eleven months, he unleashed a powerful aggression out of nowhere. So here we go, yet again. All this is recounted on Pogo's page. My husband couldn't stand him, our life was a mess. But we hung in because I knew his pedigree, totally believed in it, and with puppies that is where my brain is. Enjoy the cute and the promise, roll your sleeves up and be in it for the long haul. I think if as drives come in or the energy ups, etc. you realize this is simply too much dog for you, then you return. But you get that puppy very open to who he is. Much like a child. If your baby is colic-y? Well then ok, raising him is not quite the warm soothing cuddles you envisioned. Obviously puppies aren't kids and I would never say they were, but you don't get puppies expecting them to be perfect or to conform to your expectations. Your expectations are on the adult they will become one day, and you work towards that from day one.

In terms of the fear imprint, the big concern there is transitions. Bad things to happen in novel places. I cannot possibly express how many fearful or phobic shelter puppies I have fostered who came around fast and matured to fine. It is important to understand the function of a fear imprint, which comes at a time where young pups start venturing farther away from the den and experiencing their environment. Here, they will be exposed to potential threats for the first time, and thereby are wired to intensely receive that. This is what will keep them alive in the long haul. To react quickly to those threats and have those lessons stick.

It is also, however, a time in a dog's natural life where they will receive stronger admonishments from the adult population. They will start getting sterner with pups who were well tolerated when five weeks old. Puppies will start brawling with each other more. Competition for food can get a lot more intense. So the concept that getting attacked at age eight weeks is significantly less of an influence in a fear imprint than going to a vet and having a bad experience.

Puppies overall are resilient. That is why I love them. I don't care how big a pain in the arse they want to be....their slate is very clean. When I got Tiller in, two things I can say. One is that his breeder raw feeds....just throws chicken wings into the puppy pen, plenty to go around. But Tiller clearly had had meat stolen from him by his littermates, as anything too big to swallow he frantically looked for a safe corner to get to and was pretty aggressive if you tried to take it from him or simply just approached him. Tense as a ironing board if you even looked in his direction. Today, fosters can stick their faces right in his food bowl. The initial behavior was scary....this is a possessive and RG-ish breed....but he's a puppy. Plenty of time to grow and he's fine. He also was pretty tepid as a pup. Didn't like his walks, didn't care for the socialization process. Was a bit of a homebody. But when he turned a year and half, did a huge 180 and all he wanted to do was be out in the community putting his face into everything and causing trouble. Many twists and turns with that one, but today he reminds me a heck of a lot of his maternal grandma. It was with that image that I could get him to where needed to be, towards that objective. It wasn't near as effortless as I envisioned it....Onion was so much easier and I am so glad he came first....but the point was that we'd work on getting him to where he needed to be. With a puppy, that is the essential frame of mind one must have, to have the time and space in your life for that, understanding that how many curve balls or adjustments they need is on one hand a pain but on another a luxury, as they are so resilient and open to the journey themselves.

Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 4:10pm PST 
I can actually understand your decision in returning her. We forget sometimes i think, myself included, that not all people feel equipped to deal with certain issues and regardless of whether this puppy would grow up to have serious fear or aggression issues, it is obvious the pup as it is right now would have needed more work than perhaps you were prepared to deal with or offer at this point Tonka.

But what i don't understand is your considering euthanasia on a 4 month old puppy! She is young enough to hopefully find a new home where she will receive that extra help and can likely be worked through any initial fears she has. Euthanasia would have been totally unethical IMO and i would hope most vets would have turned you away with the advice to return the pup to the breeder if you felt unable to work with her, which thankfully you did do.

Edited by author Fri Dec 28, '12 4:11pm PST


Spooky Mulder
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 4:57pm PST 
I'm not exactly sure what you are disagreeing with Tiller?

As I said, I personally would not have considered OP's reasons good enough to return a dog. If it were MY dog, that is.

Which it isn't. OP clearly wasn't set up to manage whatever this puppy had thrown at them... better to let the dog go back to its breeder then be in the hands of someone not prepared to handle those issues.

Also, when going to a breeder, part of what makes that experience desirable is having the luxury of knowing how your dog/puppy was handled from birth onward. I don't know if this breeder made it expressly clear to OP that this puppy had some issues prior to purchase, and OP later realized they just couldn't handle them... or if that was information that was omitted, and OP had to find out about them the hard way. If the later, then its hard to really consider that breeder reputable in the first place. There SHOULD be some guarantees... you know full well that I've had my issues with Ridley, and I am more than aware of what rocky starts can create and how bumpy puppy raising can be... but these were issues that I caused, and I dealt with those consequences. If I'd been sent a wonky dog due to poor handling at the breeders and I wasn't told about it... yes, I would be pissed and I can't say I WOUDLN'T return the dog if I couldn't see a favorable outcome in the future.

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 5:52pm PST 
I'm still not entirely clear on the situation. What exactly happened with the UTI? What physical problems came about as a result? Did the vet say it looked like it had been left untreated for a long period of time which caused permanent damage? Like Toto said, I probably wouldn't condemn a breeder for selling me a pup with a UTI, as it's not an uncommon or untreatable issue, and it could have developed very recently. But I take it you had reason to feel it was more problematic than that?

It's hard to judge the fear of other dogs without seeing it. You say she felt physical pain from seeing another dog...I guess I'm just wondering how you would know that was the case, and that she wasn't just fearful in the normal sense? Wouldn't that fall under the category of a neurological issue? Was the attack by the other dog physically damaging?

If I bought a puppy from what I thought was a good breeder and it was absolutely terrified of other dogs when I brought it home, yeah, I wouldn't be happy. If the breeder knew about that issue beforehand and didn't mention it, that's definitely unscrupulous. Like Mulder said, a big part of the reason you go to a breeder and pay the big bucks is to get a puppy that has had the odds stacked in its favor, both in terms of genetics and environment. Certainly buying from a great breeder isn't a guarantee of anything, but I wouldn't expect my 13 week old puppy to come pre-loaded with behavioral problems that the breeder failed to mention.

Everyone's situation is different and everyone is able/willing to handle a different level of issues. If OP felt they were in over their head, better to return the puppy sooner rather than later. I do think Tiller makes a good point though that if one has a lot of other things on their plate, a GSD puppy probably isn't the best choice right then regardless, just because they are such a ride. I've had next to no issues with Onyx so far, but I've still put in a huge amount of time with him. I can't imagine raising him and a young child at the same time, especially if there were problems we needed to tackle, and in the first few years, there's a good chance issues like that will crop up at some point.
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