by junkmail2014nov on 06 April 2018 - 21:04
SPOILER ALERT: Long post. And lots of pictures.
Good Afternoon ladies and gentlemen. It saddens me so very much to say this but I will need to re-home my little girl. Many of you know I have been fighting a battle to rehabilitate her so that she can continue her training as an SD for me. Physically she is expected to make a very good recovery and the veterinary specialists all say that, physically speaking she will recover enough. Unfortunately, the trauma of the surgery, the extended period of confinement, combined with the natural genetics of the GSD breed, not to mention her insanely high intelligence have all combined to increase her anxiety levels to such a point that, in several specialists’ opinions, forcing her into SD work would not be a wise decision. As a very active family pet, as a scent working canine she will be excellent, according to all evaluations, however for public access work, travel, conferences, large cities, public speaking engagements, etc. etc. attempting to force her down this road would not be humane and with her anxiety level already beginning to increase from the confinement she has experienced, not being able to socialize properly, being exposed to the “negative” experiences of surgery multiple times, it is their “expert” opinion that as she moves into the juvenile stages and takes on the typical “GSD mentality” she would not do well in that “work.” Because I now have documentation stating that she should not continue to be trained in this fashion, if I choose to attempt to try and something happens at a later date whereby she even accidentally causes harm, I risk her life not to mention my financial stability. My plans are now as follows:
- First and foremost finish her PT. She has 6 weeks left. At that point she will be fully released and can continue being reintroduced to other dogs and proper socialization again.
- Continue her obedience training.
- Seek resources for finding an active owner/family who will agree to the conditions of her adoption:
- She must go through a minimum 2 heats and reach full growth at 16-24 months prior to being spayed.
- She must NOT be bred as she carries the OCD recessive gene
- She must have an active owner/family willing to "work" her, (hiking, walking, boating, play, outdoors type things....) or low impact obedience work etc.
- According to her evaluations she would be a "tremendous scent canine," their description not mine, and I completely agree. She can "seek" anything and find it.
- She will need to remain on an anti-infammatory diet for the rest of her life.
- I will only look for individuals/families with:
- Previous dog and GSD owner experience
- They must be willing to stay in touch with me so that I can insure her health and well-being
- They must be willing to sign an agreement to give her back to me for replacing if they cannot keep her
- They will have no choice about signing a non disclosure agreement regarding her kennel/breeder origin until after any legal items are settled, (If I decide to go this route).
- And finally I will require payment for her. NOT to recoup any financial loss. ONLY to ensure that whomever chooses to give this special one a loving home, if they pay for her, then there is a statistically better chance that they:
- Want her
- Can financially care for her
- Will take care of her
This little girl's life has been such a rough start that its imperative to me that she be given every opportunity to have a wonderful, happy life for the rest of her days. Below are the most recent pictures of her. These are today's pictures. Should anyone have ideas, resources, places, to recommend, please inform me. If anyone wishes more information you may PM me. However, do understand I will not release any information of her blood line until whomever makes the decision to give her a wonderful home, agrees in legal, contractual form, to the above conditions.....or as best as I can negotiate the above conditions. Thank you in advance everyone for any help/resources provided.
Our Car Ride to the University/Vet this morning.
Hanging out in the bathroom with mom while mom got ready this morning.
Hanging out with Mom this afternoon while she works.
And finally, "Whew mom! That was a LOOOOOOOOONNNNNG three hour vet visit of play time! They had lots of TOYS that squeaked and made noise and I got to play!!! But there were lots of dogs and other noises and it smelled like the vet and it made me nervous and I was so excited and so over stimulated and..and....and....and....and....and...I'm done. Nap."
She is SUCH a love. OMG she is so sweet. I will miss her terribly. Her limited AKC papers will be provided. I am in the process of on-boarding to a new contractual employment and the longer I keep her too the more bonded we both become. So,....there we are.
Annnnnd......in the mean time, I am now looking for an adult 18 month old or older who would be an SD candidate. Having learned an expensive lesson I am looking at the breeder FIRST and they will be thoroughly scrutinized legally, through social media, and I will put my none too little investigative skills at work to dig quite extensively before I agree. I WILL NOT take on another puppy. Its not fair to me nor to the puppy. I do not have the time. and then what I need in the dog is as follows:
- This website lists the tasks a hearing service dog needs to acquire over a period of time succinctly: https://neads.org/
assistance-dogs/people-who-are -deaf-or-have-hearing-loss. There is also a video demonstration.
- Here are the lists of skills needed as a client's hearing deteriorates:
- Common Alerts to Sounds in the Home: A door knock; Smoke detector alarm; Alarm clock ringing; Tea kettle whistling; Telephone or cell phone ringing; Keys dropping; Traffic approaching; Car approaching; name of the dog's handler to alert the person when he or she is being spoken to; someone calling the name of the dog's Partner/husband/wife; Doorbell ringing; Someone rapping on glass such as sliding doors or windows; Smoke alarms; Timers of all sorts, such as watch, oven, or microwave Baby crying. Phone ringing. Child calling “Grandma." Alarm Clock; Tea kettle; Washer; Drier; Dish Washer.
- Common Alerts to Sounds in Public: Sirens such as ambulance, police cars, fire trucks and indicate direction Identifying his/her partner's phone ringing from that of co-workers, whether desk phone and, or cell phone, etc. Name of Partner called out by strangers such as clerks, co-workers, or other non-family members. (Train with as many people as possible so that the dog generalizes the name and not just the voice of somebody that he knows. You can also teach the dog to recognize the surname - “Mr. or Ms. So and So”) Cell phone or beeper Smoke alarms in hotels and other places outside the home Fire alarm bells at school or work Vehicles honking.
- Below are some links describing Public Access Testing Standards. It is not known how accurate these are in terms of being up to date. It is presumed many have more experience in these matters. Any canine partner will have to meet these requirements reliably and be evaluated as being able to do so with the client as the handler in some form. Of these researched, the NSRCO standard appears to come the closest to what may be needed. It is presumed reputable Breeders/Trainers will have more knowledge of the requirements than just that which has been set forth here:
The lifestyle the canine will need to acclaimize to is as follows:
- Full time office work most of the time with travel 15 - 25%
- Travel includes:
- Professional Training/Development for skillsets
- National Speaking and lecturing engagements
- International Speaking and lecturing engagements
- Planes, Trains, Automobile modes of travel in addition to walking etc.
- Hotels, airports, train stations, restaurants, conference gatherings pre-and post conference in rooms of large crowds with loud noises people.
- Hiking, biking, running, kayaking, fishing, outdoor active lifestyle
- Gym workouts, (i.e. think Planet Fitness) however access to a private fitness center in the apartment complex is also available
by Jenni78 on 06 April 2018 - 23:04
by junkmail2014nov on 07 April 2018 - 00:04
BTW....I hope you don’t take this wrong Jenni78, but she’s not the only one who’s "been through the ringer.” My insides a in shambles right now. I can say this: I will NEVER, (and yes I can say NEVER!!!) EVER, do this again. ANY breeder of ANY kind I EVER do business again will be so thoroughly researched they will feel like they are going through a federal background clearance check! This freaking hurts!!! Its too much to bear at times when I am with her and she doesn’t understand. But....I purchased her and I accepted responsibility for her when I did. I am NOT the Breeder nor am I of their ilk. I will not lower myself to their standards and respond out of greed or anger. This will not help my girl right now.
(Okay. I’m stepping off of my podium now.)
by JonRob on 07 April 2018 - 00:04
"She must go through a minimum 2 heats and reach full growth at 16-24 months prior to being spayed."
That takes me out of the loop for finding her a new home, for the following reason:
"There are few cancers that are as easily prevented as mammary cancer in dogs.
The risk of breast cancer is almost eliminated in dogs that are spayed before their first heat. The risk of malignant mammary tumors in dogs spayed after their first heat increases significantly, but if an owner waits to spay their dog until after their second heat, the risk increases to 25%."
Regardless, I think you are going to have a hard time rehoming her. Leaving aside a bunch of other issues, her dog aggression rules out every possible new home I know of, even if I were willing to help ensure that her risk of breast cancer goes from zip to 1 in 4.
If she can learn to get along with a male dog, her best bet is for you to keep her. Your new male service dog will need exercise, and a playful female buddy is an ideal way to get it. This might be inconvenient when you travel but you may have friends who would take care of her when you're gone. Or you can board her.
When you look for your adult service dog candidate, you do *not* want highly regarded sport dog breeders. You want a breeder that breeds health-tested, sensible, calm, level headed, confident, low-drive family dogs without Schutzhund/IPO titles. Yes, I said without. The traits that make a good sport dog make a lousy service dog.
Something to watch out for: adult males can be dogs that were returned because of behavior issues.
Most breeders have no idea of what is needed for a good service dog. They think its all training. It's not. It's mostly temperament. The skills the dog needs to learn can be taught to any reasonable cooperative dog you have a good bond with. Finding a dog with the right temperament is the hard part.
Questions for the breeder that must have a definite yes answer:
Does the dog get along with really small kids (toddlers)?
Does the dog get along with other dogs?
Would the dog enjoy service dog work?
Questions for the breeder that must have a definite no answer:
Does the dog whine or shriek when he's excited or stressed?
Has the dog ever shown any aggression? (Other than something like, yeah, he bit my neighbor when he tried to hit me with a basebal bat.)
Here's a useful intial test I do with a potential adult service dog. We find a cooperative restaurant, take the dog there after adequate exercise when it's really crowded, and have dinner or lunch. If the dog quietly settles and lies down after a few minutes--without a command to do so--and stays settled until we get up to leave, he has the off switch he needs. If he reponds politely to petting from strangers but doesn't actively seek it, he has the right level of sociability.
Do not be picky about coat color, coat length, cow hocks, just plain ugly, or any other trait that does not matter.
BTW my girlfriend got an adult male dog who did not work out as a service dog. He just didn't like the work and stress whined. She still has him, he is very happy, and he plays very nicely with her current service dog.
by Jenni78 on 07 April 2018 - 01:04
I'll take her and find her a GOOD home if you'd like, and need to move her in a hurry. I have good contacts for finding homes and live in a well-to-do general geography, so I am confident I could find her the right place who could afford her upkeep. I feel immensely sorry for her and don't believe she is hopeless in any way. She needs time to decompress and be a dog. Do I need another rescue? No. But can I handle her, well, and find her a good place? Yep. If you're in a bind I'm willing- but not "wanting" per se.
I agree with you on not spaying her until full grown. Even better, tubal ligation or OSS. Those can both be done prior to maturity, so they will ensure she is not bred. The data on mammary "cancer" is largely based on mammary tumors, and not all tumors are malignant. The most highly malignant ones have a hereditary predisposition, much like in humans, and I have known dogs spayed at 6 months who have succumbed to these at 3 years (albeit not GSDs). Yes, intact females have a higher chance of mammary tumors. But, the increase in malignancy is nowhere near as propagandists would lead you to believe. Combine that with the exponential increase in common cancers (osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, etc.) in spayed and neutered dogs, yep, it's a sound choice. So, long story short, I think that's a responsible choice and my uber-healthy 11yr old, hormonally healthy foundation female agrees ;) (I'm about to post her birthday thread).
by Jessejones on 07 April 2018 - 03:04
I‘m am so very sad to hear this.
I know what you have been through.
I am also sorry to say that I though all along it would turn out this way. It was too much for the young girl.
She will recover, mentally too, I have no doubt, but she needs an experienced family or person that knows gsd and knows how to fix this.
If she is dog reactive now, that can be a very common stage in gsd. It will probably change when she gets older with some training. My boy was like that from 8 weeks old to 8 months. He reacted to every dog negatively. I was starting to worry... at 9 months, its like a switch flicked, and he is totally calm if other dogs are around. He totally ingnores them when on leash, no matter how close they pass by. He is turning into an awesome calm dog.
I also agree with you and Jenni about the delayed spaying and when the time comes, tubal ligation.
I may get lambasted again for what I am going to say...but I would consider very hard whether I would get a gsd as a Service Dog. In MY opinion, most of them will not be suited to this kind of work. They are too sensitive, too active, smart, and really need a lot of movement. I have seen programs give people trained gsd as Service dogs, and observe they often switched to a retriever or lab down the road.
And, unfortunately, (in my opinion only) a lot of US bred gsd are overly hyper and not suited for Service Dog work.
Because I may need a Service Dog eventually, I chose for my new dog a BBW (Berger Blanc Swiss) or WWS (White Swiss Shepherd)... just in case. They come from the same lines as all German Shepherds - My boy can be traced back to Horand von Grafrath as well. In Europe, the WSS has been bred for a more mild temperament and work a lot as service dogs, SAR dogs and therapy dogs, eventhough many still do SchH too. I must say I am blown away by my new pups temprament and character more and more the older he is getting.
From my reading, and I read a lot about this, it seems often the best service dogs are found as young adult dogs in the pound. There are a lot to choose from. One can’t go by looks. One can temperament test them and what you then see there might be more true to what you will have for the next years to come. The restaurant test that Rob mentioned is a good indicator of a calm dog.
I really wish you all the best. And I pray the pup gets a good life and a second chance. I‘m glad you are setting a price on her, don‘t give her away too cheaply please.
by junkmail2014nov on 07 April 2018 - 03:04
Thank you both for your opinions and observations. Some items in the two previous comments I’d like to address:
- JonRob: "Leaving aside a bunch of other issues, her dog aggression rules out every possible new home I know of..." To be clear she is not "dog aggressive." She is dog reactive. When she sees another dog she wants to play. She gets no hackles up. She does not growl. She does not corner them. She does not try to make them submit in anyway. She is excited, happy, and wants to play. It looks like an ADHD kid on steroids. And because right now she is still healing, she is not allowed to. This is causing her frustration and anxiety. I have her in a day care/play/training facilty that is very good. The trainer has a very low key, absolutely wonderful adult female that she uses as a "therapy/teaching dog" for cases such as this. My girl met this dog last weekend for the first time in a controlled setting. She was excited. Happy. Rambunctious. And quite frankly, rude, in "dog terms of play." She had no idea any more of "polite play" and good "Dog communication," despite all the ground work that had been laid by myself and the previous trainer I had been working with before her OCD was found. However, when this older dog "corrected" my girl, my girl immediately responded well and settled down the way she should have. I agree with Jenni78 in that I think she really needs "needs time to decompress and be a dog."
- Jenni78: You're 100% correct. "She is TOTALLY innocent in this and has suffered tremendously in her short life." Which is why I am so heart broken. And no ma'am. My "hackles" are not up. I am not the least bit offended by your statements. I agree with you. Furthermore your comments of: "She's practically grown up in a hospital setting. Get her a normal life, outlet for her drive, and she'll very likely become a normal dog. Sorry to oversimplify, but I've seen very very few dogs who can't improve dramatically with the right kind of structure and the right kind of freedom," are absolutely correct. In fact, its what is recommended. However, for me, or for anyone else who needs a Service Dog, this she will never become. And I WILL. NOT. PUT. HER. THROUGH. ANYTHING. MORE.
- I will not spay her nor will I allow her to be spayed until the growth plates close. I have invested a LOT of tears and heartache for her recovery, not even to begin to mention financially, and I will not give that investment up just because a person will not take the time with her that she needs to heal properly. I will keep her myself before that happens and find a way to fund her board and training when I travel.
- I will consider a rescue situation but only if I know where she is going. I want to meet the potential family/owners and I want to know she will be taken care of. This is not negotiable. Lastly, not to get anyone stirred in this GSD forum at all, but I may also pursue legal avenues against the breeder. So if anyone offers to take her in here, they will need to be 1. thoroughly vetted; 2. they will have to understand they will be signing an NDA of her kennel and lineage until all is decided and settled. I have no illusions of granduer that I will recoup any losses. IF, and I do mean a very big IF, I pursue legal recompense, it will only be to attempt to shut this breeder down so that this does not happen again. There is ample, verifiable research to show OCD is a recessive gene. Biologically speaking, if both parents have it, the likelihood it will show again is there. Therefore, as a "responsible breeder," you do not breed them when you know its a possibility. Furthermore, the breeder has decided to move their kennel into another person's name. Again, this is an attempt to circumvent so as to continue producing litters in order to make money. Which means more beautiful, innocent, animals will suffer like she has. And I do not want it on my conscience that I didn't at least TRY to put a dent into stopping that. No I don't live in a fairy tale land. I live in the real world. But in my real world, if you believe in something, and you know that what is happening is wrong, and you do nothing to try and stop it, shame on you. And shame on me if I don't do anything. Even if its just to compile the evidence and turn it in and let the AG decide. Its still SOMEthing.
by junkmail2014nov on 07 April 2018 - 03:04
JesseJones: What can I say? Except....thank you. Thank you very much for recognizing what I am trying to do for her. Your words mean a great deal. And to be clear, I will NOT be looking for a full GSD as a potential service dog per se, nor will I be looking for a puppy of any kind. I am only interested in an adult or nearly adult dog with a solid temperament. If it winds up being a "washed out" shepherd type that is "low drive" and not suited to bite work or "SchH" work etc. because its too laid back, then perfect! I don't want one that is show, going to be of a line that could be bred, that is monstrously expensive. I need exactly what I listed above. And in return, I will provide it the best life it could possibly have. Just as I will do the same for my girl in what ever way I can.
by JonRob on 07 April 2018 - 15:04
"The data on mammary "cancer" is largely based on mammary tumors, and not all tumors are malignant."
That is simply not true. The fact that spaying after the second heat treats your dog to a 25% chance of breast cancer (compared to zip if spayed before the first heat) is one of the most solid facts in veterinary medicine. If you know of an idiotic published study that stupidly mixed benign and malignant breast tumors, please post the link.
As for hemangiosarcoma etc, I had a scientist review these studies for me, and the data on any link between these cancers and neutering is flimsy at best. The two GSDs I had who lived the longest were both neutered at the age of five months by rescue groups (generally too early for a male dog, I agree) and neither ever had any kind of cancer.
There is no question that hemangiosarcoma is becoming a hideous epidemic in dogs and is striking more dogs at a much younger age. It may be caused by a virus, like most cervical cancer in women, plus maybe a genetic predisposition. But no one knows.
"I will not spay her nor will I allow her to be spayed until the growth plates close." This has far less impact on female dogs structurally than on male dogs. It is clear that early neuters of male dogs, and possibly some females, may increase the risk of hip dysplasia and knee ligament rupture. But I would rather deal with these problems than breast cancer.
Do you have any idea of what a mastectomy is like for a dog when all of the breast tissue has to be removed? Many years ago we took in a 12-year-old GSD whose owner did the "right" thing and never had her spayed. We got her spayed just as her uterus was starting to blow out into a pyometra. And then the surgeons went to work on her breast cancer.
Four miserable, painful surgeries later she was finally cancer free. I still fume when I think that she could so easily have been spared all of this. Oh and BTW, she had the worst hip dysplasia the vets had ever seen--so bad that an FHO would have done nothing for her and a THR was impossible. So much for letting her growth plates close.
"To be clear she is not "dog aggressive." She is dog reactive."
Now that's the problem with the politically correct term "dog reactive'"--it usually means "dog aggressive." The descriptions in some of your earlier posts did suggest a dog aggression problem.
"I will consider a rescue situation but only if I know where she is going. I want to meet the potential family/owners and I want to know she will be taken care of."
No rescue group will agree to this. The deal with them is you turn over the dog to them, sign away all your rights to the dog, agree that you will never attempt to contact the new owners or find out what happened to the dog, and agree that they can do whatever they want to the dog--including hauling her in back and killing her (the "kind" thing to do) before you're out of the parking lot. So that's not a good option.
If you are thinking of turning your dog (who did appear to be dog aggressive in your earlier posts) over to Jenny, you might consider the following. When someone posted this:
"Do the AKC and UKC even care who is a registered breeder anymore? This guy is an avid dog fighter and even has pics on his Facebook page and still he maintains his AKC/UKC registration."
Jenny responded with this:
"Why would they care about a legal activity taking place in another country?"
"Plus, dog fighting is only abhorred in certain areas/cultures. It's quite narrow-minded (a typical American affliction) to think that other countries and cultures find it as disgraceful as we do.
Again, I repeat...why would they care what some guy does in Indonesia?"
Fact is, you will lose most of the control over your dog once you give her to someone else no matter what they sign. The best you can do is include in the contract an agreed-on high economic value for the dog (at least $7500), plus the right for you to enter the new owner's premises at any time and permanently repossess the dog if in your sole discretion she is not being treated properly. And even then--what if they move and vanish? Or tell you too bad, so sad, someone left the gate open and she was hit by a car and killed--and then you find out years later that what actually happened is Cousin Bob took her and kept her chained up all her life as a guard dog for his auto mechanic shop until she got sick and then he got rid of her by using her for target practice.
The only way to be absolutely sure your dog is safe and happy is to keep her, and it sounds like you have the resources to keep her and get another dog as a service dog. It would probably be inconvenient, but doing the right thing usually is.
by junkmail2014nov on 07 April 2018 - 16:04
As to the point you refer to as "the problem with the politically correct term "'dog reactive'"--it usually means "dog aggressive." The descriptions in some of your earlier posts did suggest a dog aggression problem;” it may be that this is interpreted to be the case. I can only say that several, veterinarians and two behaviorists who specialize in the analysis and determination of whether or not a dog is labeled “aggressive” have all determined that AT THIS TIME she is NOT currently aggressive, only reactive. They are going on record as saying she has high anxiety levels from being restrained from appropriate play and socialization but they are not at this time labeling her "aggressive.” Are they right? Is their determination the end all and be all for her? I do not know. If I did, I would not be soliciting advice from any and all sources: here; experts; etc. etc.
As to the final comment of "and it sounds like you have the resources to keep her and get another dog as a service dog. It would probably be inconvenient, but doing the right thing usually is.” My financial resources have been largely exhausted. I am using credit card payments now. Between her medical expenses and my move, plus my medical expenses I will be lucky if I climb out of debt in two years. Not that I am regretting my care for her. Just stating facts.
Additionally it isn’t just financial and it isn’t just an “inconvenience.” It is what is best for her. Having a second dog is not an issue. Having two dogs in a one bedroom apartment with my work and travel schedule IS. If I have a working SD with me all of the time, this necessitates that the one who is not with me receives less attention. And my girl desperately needs all of the positive attention and positive environmental experiences she can get.
Thank you for your opinions. And if you have any more research on spaying etc. for OCD verses canine mammary carcinoma please provide me with the literature, links, etc. etc. so I can read and research any and all information. Thank you!!!
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