returning to breeder

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Can I bite your- toes?
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 4:34pm PST 
I also agree with Fritz. This was a poorly planned and bad situation all the way around. confused

Champion PPH
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 7:23pm PST 
confused Poor pup. UTIs are easily cleared up, if the meds are done the full time (usually 10-14 days), and Toto was spot on with her description of how they happen.

Fear can be dealt with in a pup or an adult dog. You just have to take the time to work with it. My last dog had bad fear issues and came out of it just fine. My current boy is fearful of strangers, but we are working through it. The key component is to be willing to take the time to get the dog you want.

It sounds to me like you didn't do your research. Tiller is right about GSDs being a handful if you don't start working with them right away. An infant and a puppy is just not a good combination. Hopefully the pup will find a good home that has the time to work with it.

I'm sure you feel we are beating you up over this, but it sounds like you didn't think through bring a puppy into your home at this time. As you can tell, very few of us would return a pet quality pup to the breeder.

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 7:57pm PST 
Honestly, I think you did the right thing. It sounds like the timing isn't right for you to have a puppy - better to return her now so she can be placed in another home while she's still a puppy.


Let's play tug!!
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 10:05pm PST 
I think we all feel that we'd be remiss not to educate you before you try again with another puppy.

First, having a dog who didn't sell reflects really poorly on the breeder. I'd be fine with a breeder who insisted that all pups stay until 10 or 12 or 16 weeks old, but I would run like hell from one who had a puppy weeks or months after selling the others, unless there was an upfront explanation such as the dog not conforming to breed standards in a way that didn't affect his health. Dogs from good breeders are often sold before they are conceived, and certainly before they are ready to go home. Puppies do need to potty every few hours, and they also are very destructive and rambunctious when underexercised. It causes them enormous stress and anxiety to be alone for long periods of time. They consider it rejection and punishment, and will desperately try to get back in with the pack. Lack of supervision also makes it almost impossible for them to learn the house rules. This is how we end up with umpteen threads saying "my dog just will not be potty trained! She sneaks off in the other room and pees behind the couch!" (Duh! Dogs don't get potty trained without being watched constantly!) All of these needs are very hard to meet while caring for a baby or working full time. People whose lifestyles don't match the needs of a puppy should look at adopting an adult dog with no separation anxiety. There's no nice way to say this last bit, but your ideas about dog ownership are totally screwed up and going to cause a lot of heartache for everyone. You returned a defenseless creature to an unhealthy and potentially unsafe situation. The right thing to do, if you can't handle the dog, is to eat the financial loss, work on the problems as much as you can with whatever time you can spare, and rehome the dog. Perfect dogs do not exist. At some point, you will deal with some health issue or behavior that's incredibly expensive, inconvenient, or both. It's not uncommon for puppies to have loose stool or frequent infections- their immune systems are immature, and it takes about five seconds of your attention wandering for them to eat dead animals/poop/trash/rocks/chicken bones/etc. That can mean a lot of extra trips outside when you don't feel like it, a lot of yucky cleanup, and a lot of expensive trips to the vet. If that doesn't happen, you may deal with spay incontinence, or impacted anal glands, or prey drive toward squirrels and cats. You will almost certainly deal with what seems like a horrendous, unimaginable amount of nipping and/or chewing. Fear aggression is extremely common, and even happens in dogs from top-tier breeders. It's obviously even more common if you choose your breeder based on convenience and price. The only way to be a good dog owner is to think about whether you can meet a dog's needs for togetherness, attention, and exercise, and then be committed to solving problems that arise with creativity and persistence, rather than throwing up your hands and complaining about your bad luck. Much like you don't get to return your son if he develops a serious illness or starts spitting on other children in daycare, you don't get to give up on your dog when he's inconvenient. Fearfulness in a young puppy is so very fixable- it's solidly on the lower end of things you're likely to deal with in the course of a dog's life, or even in the first year. If you were overwhelmed by the prospect, you just do not have the energy and commitment needed to raise a puppy right now (and most people raising a baby probably don't!). In the interest of preserving your sanity and not depriving a puppy of a home where he'll get what he needs, please admit to yourself that this is not the right time, and educate yourself by reading books, forums, and websites before you consider it again.

Occupy Dog St.
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 10:53pm PST 
I can understand why it may seem like we are unequipped for a young dog, but we are. However, just not equipped nor willing to deal with a damaged dog.
The truth is, we are able to provide a fantastic home for a dog, a healthy, non traumatized dog that is. This pup got daily walks of over an hour, exercised daily, trained daily and even on days where it is 15 degrees and below, access to an indoor training arena where it is comfortable. She received wonderful foundation training of around 18 cues in the time she was here. She fit into our home routine and was great with our son.

What is different for me is that i have the insight and knowledge to understand that fear created by an INCIDENT during the critical period cannot be changed after ~day 49 due to the development and structure of the brain. For MOST dogs who experience a high rate of fear/fobias etc is created not by an incident, but rather lack of experience with novel stimuli during the critical period.

Its undeniably crucial to understand this difference when diagnosing and setting out a behavioral plan. No amount of love, affection or well wishes will ever change a dog in some cases.

Also, we live in a isolated part of the country where there just arent the resources for the average person to manage a dog with this type of damage. There are feral/loose dogs EVERYWHERE, and so it would never be fitting to bring this young dog for any hikes or walks outside of our neighborhood where as a handler you have zero control of triggers. It's a guarantee to have a dog rush into your space anywhere here, that that is precisely this dogs main trigger. As crappy as it is, that cannot be changed.

The only other option would perhaps be to ship the dog hundreds of miles to be rehomed where there are the right resources for someone to manage this dog for her life. But then, I don't feel like encouraging people to take on problem animals in the place of healthy, resilient dogs. You HAVE to consider quality of life for all parties. My choice involved a much bigger picture than just this individual dog.

Occupy Dog St.
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 11:09pm PST 
I'm just going to keep on doing what I'm doing. Apparently there is still a huge gap of critical information in the general public about the consequences of what happens during a puppies development. Believe it or not, not all dogs are 100% resilient, and what happens early on DOES indeed leave lasting scars.

If anyone here is interested in any of this, I'd highly suggest reading any of Ray and Lorna Coppengers writings. Lots of great knowledge, and i could quote either of them till the cows come home.
'It is important to differentiate between a defensive response due to inexperience and defensive responses that are a result of traumatic experiences."

"Fearful and apprehensive responses that are a result of traumatic experiences cannot be readily modified. Nature does not provide the mechanics to change a fear stimulus into one that elicits either a neutral or a relaxed, positive response.

"Most of the growth in a dogs brain occurs during the critical period(0-4 months) for social development. After growth, it is difficult to 'change the wiring.''
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 2:32am PST 
Alright then. If you so solemnly believe everything you just spewed out (and just so you know, I don't, I've seen plenty of pups get over bad experiences that occured in that age gap), why on earth did you get a 4 month old pup, whose imprinting stages were totally out of your hands, rather than an 8-10 week old puppy who you could supervise and socialise yourself? That to me, given what you just claimed, makes absolutely no sense. If I carried the same belief system as you, then I'd want these formative months carried out in my home, under my supervision.

Also, it sounds like you didn't research your breeder as Smokey says, because no one worth their salt is going to have a leftover puppy like that. Sorry, but that's just a fact.
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 3:19am PST 
Jackson, according to the timeline Tonka gave us, this wasn't a leftover pup; this was a returned pup. Poor thing is just five months old and has changed homes three or four times.

Tonka, there's a bunch of people just in this thread who have successfully rehabbed dogs who had traumatic experiences during the formative early weeks. I think most of us have done it in circumstances where you can't always control all exposures to the trigger, especially when it's other dogs, because that's called "real life."

You say you absolutely are prepared for a puppy right now despite also having a baby, but it sounds like you're only prepared for a puppy who is perfect in every way and never has any issues at all--which, sorry, has been true of no puppy ever.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 8:13am PST 
Not informing the buyer of issues prior to sale is the BREEDER'S fault.

I'm a little shocked that everyone is slamming the OP for this, despite this OBVIOUS ethics issue.

Not everyone wants a project. Not every issue is black and white. Not every breeder who has a "left over" puppy is unreputable, not every breeder who seems good on the surface is.

There's a lot of judgement being thrown around here... and I'm going to assume the majority of it is coming from the fact that OP mentioned euthanasia, which I GET is a sore spot and I don't like that either. But that's not what happened. The puppy went back with its breeder, and that's the end of the story.

Please keep in mind that MONEY EXCHANGED HANDS in this situation- OP PURCHASED this dog, presumably with some form of contract or guarantee (as evident by the fact that the breeder took the dog back). If the dog had issues beyond their control which were NOT caused by them, return to breeder was an option that is their's BY CONTRACT.

You purchase a dog from a breeder, you do so with some sort of idea as to what's going to happen. Its your right at the BUYER to get a healthy, temperamentally stable dog, unless you expressly state that you are willing to take on an issue case. Which, reminding here again, OP DID NOT.

Maybe OP isn't right for a GSD puppy- its not for me to say at this point. But it IS their right to be given honest information from a breeder to whom they have paid money for a dog, and to take advantage of their BINDING CONTRACT should an issue crop up.

This was a bad situation all around, and sadly the dog is the one who suffered the most from it. You can blame OP for poor planning or not being prepared, but I blame a less than reputable breeder for selling a damaged dog without informing the buyer of its issues.

Edited by author Sun Dec 30, '12 8:14am PST


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sun Dec 30, '12 8:59am PST 
I agree with everything you said Mulder. Except that the OP knew that this was a returned pup, knew that she had been held back initially for health issues.
The OP stated that the breeder dismissed the attack and subsequent vet care to the first buyer, which indicates that they were told.
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