As you know, we recently added a brand spanking new dog to our family. We purchased a female purebred German Shepherd from a "reputable" breeder, who was > a year old. As much as I would love to rescue a dog from the pound, my last experience with doing that was less than pleasant. When I did that, I adopted a dog under the presumption that he was ~3 years old, healthy and ready to be a running partner. I had the pound send me the vet records, which stated he had been checked and xrayed for hip issues. A week after we adopted him, we took him to our vet and found out he was double digits in age, had cataracts and major hip problems. Mr.SM's attitude is that when you adopt children, you don't return them if they have issues and same goes for pets. We made the best of the situation, gave the dog lots of love and he loved >5 years. Four more than the vet thought he would.
Since we weren't going to go the pound route for the above reason plus the facts its hard to find dogs from the pound that are good with kids, we went the breeder route. I wanted to make sure we found a breeder that wasn't a puppy mill, someone that treated their animals well, was breeding only 1 time a year etc. I went to the CKC to find a list of registered breeders t called around a few of them, looking for a non-puppy and was recommended to the breeder I picked by another breeder. I figured when a community member recommends another community member, its a good sign. This particular breeder was also a member of the executive for the provincial GSD club, what I thought was another good sign.
Unfortunately there are some issues. It should've been a red flag when s/he stated that the available dog was not registered. S/he was completely honest that when the litter was born, s/he did not have the time to deal with the animals appropriately and did what should never be done. S/he kept the sibling together all the time and did not socialize the dogs which is why s/he didn't register them. As result of the lack of socialization, our dog is fearful of new surroundings and is somewhat aloof, but also very gentle. Again, the fact the this individual was very honest about the lack of socialization, admitted to being a bad dog owner in term of keeping the sibling together I though was a good sign. When I first saw SMDog, I thought she was underweight, but the breeder said it was because she was just finishing her growth stage and would fill out now. Everything seem OK and after thinking about it >1 month (looking for at other dogs) we decided that yes this was the dog for us. However, now that we have our little gal, I have feeling I was not told everything. SMdog is underweight, is experiencing diarrhea, eating her own poop and has a significant lack of confidence. I've request vet records and haven't heard anything. I called this morning to find out more about the GI issues but haven't got a call back.
I'm OK with the fact that SMDog isn't "perfect". If it ends up that there are health issues that s/he knew about, I'm not going to return the dog. Monkeyboy is in love with her and I don't have the heart to take his BFF away. I do want to know what is known and what isn't known. There is no reason to duplicate tests or go on a big problem solving adventure if s/he has the answers. I also know that if I had gotten a puppy instead of older dog there would've been issues / problems as well. Even at the puppy stage you can't guarentee that the dog won't end up having GI issues and you have no idea what the personality will turn out to be. SMDog is already improving in spades through twice daily walks, obedience training etc. I have strongly believe that she will have a the confidence and courage of the typical GSD after a year of hard work. What I'm not sure about is the health. We've upped her food from the recommend 2.5 cups / day to 4 cups a day. We're supplementing with brown rice and sweet potatoe to control the diarrhea and are using Forbid to try to nip the poop eating. We're currently using Healthwise Lamb and oatmeal. I have never used fancy smancy food like this before. I'm IAMS / EUKANEBA type of Gal. Any recommendations on food? No the breeder did not give me food to when we picked up the dog, but s/he did apologize for that.
I'm more upset with myself for not asking more questions, requesting the vet records before I took the dog, for possibly supporting an unethical breeder - something I was trying really hard to avoid.....
2 days ago