Main > My Not-So-Good Experience with Jerlands (12 replies)
My Not-So-Good Experience with Jerlands
by NotAJerlandFan on 02 April 2012 - 05:12
|I tried replying to an earlier post, but the thread is too old apparently.|
My hubby and I got a dog from Jerland several years ago, and while we love our girl dearly and would never give her up, if we could go back in time we probably would not have gotten her for three reasons:
1) He did not place us with a dog with an appropriate temperment, and we definately felt like we had been steered in her direction.
This was partiall my fault for not being more educated and confident in my intuition - We really wanted a shepherd, and had the new dog owner fever, so we went there planning on getting a dog even though we "planned on just going to look". After talking with Larry for about 10 minutes (and being told we had "aggressive tendancies" because we mentioned that we do martial arts - steriotyping) we went out to look at the dogs. We were only planning on spending about $1000, and of course we were shown dogs that were well over $1000. He steered us in the direction of an 8 month old female that had been there for a while (stupid me, I should have asked why), telling us that she would the most trustable around children of the dogs we were shown, and that he highly recommended her for us. She also had a small chunk missing out of her head which we were told was because she 'played too rough with one of her littermates." We were also getting her for a "deal" because we were getting her for $1000 less than what she was supposed to be (and we ended up paying quite a bit more than $1000 for her). I reluctantly signed the check and we took her home. And then...
2) We discovered she has behavorial issues!
She acts like an autistic 15 year old girl, even at age 5 and is very reactive to dogs and people. Again, I'll take some responsibility for this, because I do believe that a dog's temperment is a product of both environment and breeding. It is a little difficult for me to swallow that this is anything more than partially my fault, however, because we put her through 5 different dog training courses in the first year of owning her, starting off with basic obedience, then on to intermediate and advanced obedience, and then further on to Canine Good Citizen class. While it looked encouraging, as she aged she became more anxious and hyper despite this interaction, and daily exercise. I'm not saying it was a perfect exercise routine, but I do feel we did more (and still do more) with her than the average dog owner. After CGC (which she didn't pass because she was a little too playful with other dogs and couldn't sit with a stranger quietly for 3 minutes), we took a little break from classes (~4 months), and when we tried enrolling for agility, she was too overstimulated by the presence of other dogs to function. She went from working her way to the top to falling to the bottom and having to do "aggressive dog" lessons with a professional trainer. During her break we did take her to the dog park occasionally as well as put her in puppy day care. Again, her interaction wasn't new people and dogs every day, but I still feel it's more than average. We continue to take her to "aggression lessons" with a professional trainer, as well as work with her a great deal at home and in the community.
3) She has allergies!
She has had a plethora of health problems since we got her starting with a nice case of demodex (that took 3 months and 4 skin scrapes to clear up, and is usually transferred from the mother to the puppies who manifest when immunosuppressed), then on to chronic ear and urogenital skin infections which we later found out was allergies. In the first 2 years of owning her she went to the vet over 30 times, including several trips to a veterinary dermatologist. We tried benedryl, restricted diets, food trials, allergy shots for a year (we even went up to weekly without relief), and finally went to immunosuppressive therapy which is ridiculously expensive ($135/month, but at least she's comfortable and her hair is growing back). Allergies are a fun one in assessing what is the cause, and again I think there is a bit of nature and nurture, however I do NOT think we caused all her allergies (or even most of them). I called Larry about this to see if he had any history in any of his puppies or parent puppies (and I was VERY clear that I was not looking for anything besides an answer), and all he said was no, NONE of his animals had problems, but he hoped that I would buy another dog from him. HA! He couldn't GIVE me another of his dogs after this experience! And here he was, on the other end of the phone, telling me that not a single one of his dogs ever had allergies (not very statistically likely given how many litters he's cranked out over the years)! But yes, he hopes I will buy my next dog from him. He could have said, "I'm sorry, I haven't heard of any, but I'll call the other owners of her littermates to see if they have issues" or "I am so sorry, but if you'll consider purchasing another one from us, I will give you a discount" or "How can I make this right?" I would not be as disgusted with him and his business as I am. Unfortunately, at the time I was so angry that I just said goodbye and hung up the phone, didn't even go on to the behavior issues because I felt confident that it would not have been a productive conversation.
And this is probably a well known secret among experienced dog owners, but the "guarantee" he offers is a pile of crap, as is every dog health guarantee from breeders unless all you want the dog for is showing. For people who are buying them as a pet, by the time you realize there is a problem with the animal, you are already attached emotionally, as well as financially invested. Given our girl's issues (which are treatable, albeit expensive), she would likely have been put to sleep if we had returned her for health issues. There is NO way I would ever allow that to happen, so we are stuck with a reactive and constantly itchy girl who is not safe around adults, much less small children. I'm just fortunate that I have an understanding family, and have the financial resources to fund my incredibly expensive furry child.
So, in case you're thinking of buying, yes there are success stories about Jerlands. But there are also expensive and disheartening stories about Jerlands out there too. We're up to about $6000 between the vet bills, medications and training classes, and I don't see an end until she grows old and dies on her own, or is in too much discomfort to go on (which I dont see happening anytime soon because of how far we're willing to go for her). If you still decide to go with Jerlands, trust your gut and get the dog YOU want, and beware of any 'deals'. Also, be sure to shop around and don't make the same mistakes I did - it'll save you thousands in the long run!
by Rass on 02 April 2012 - 12:13
|This says it all:|
And this is probably a well known secret among experienced dog owners, but the "guarantee" he offers is a pile of crap, as is every dog health guarantee from breeders unless all you want the dog for is showing. For people who are buying them as a pet, by the time you realize there is a problem with the animal, you are already attached emotionally, as well as financially invested.
BTW he is not the only breeder who does this. It is very important to do your homework and to know what you want.. and stick to it in spite of seeing the dogs and really wanting one. It is hard to look at puppies and say No.
Most breeders guarantee the dogs for 2 years. You cannot get an OFA rating on the dog until over 2 years (or the day the dog turns 2). Most breeders write a contract that will replace a dog... but if the dog has health issues, is the buyer going to want a replacement (especially an inexperienced buyer?). Some breeders want the dog back befoe they will replace a dog (like that is going to happen after the dog becomes part of a family). Some breeders will offer a replacement dog for half price (again.. if your dog has health or temperament issues, are you going to want another one from that breeder). Almost NO breeder offers a refund. Some breeders want co ownership (Never do this. Never Never Never. Do you want to pay all the bills and have someone else be half owner?).
In the end, the best thing is buyer beware. In the end.. that is really ALL you have.
by jayjay4444 on 02 April 2012 - 12:14
|I have been where you are now. I also bought a dog for Larry years ago. She also had some very serious issues but I loved her so much and she had a great home until she grew old and passed on. He is a great salesman and sells mostly to uninformed buyers. I have learned so much since than. There are breeders out there not like him and do stand behind their health guarantees and will help you with any questions about the dogs/puppies they have sold. You just need to research before you purchase a dog next time.|
by Blitzen on 02 April 2012 - 12:57
|I would rather deal with almost any other non-lethal health issue in a dog than allergies. They are nightmares to control, genetic in nature, and not "just skin problems". Dogs with inhation allergies and/or food allergies are immune cripples that should never be used for breeding. Demodex in an older dog is an indication of a mal functioning immune system.|
I would take my chances using a mildy dysplastic dog for breeding over using a dog that, for example. can't eat beef.
Sorry for all your bad luck; been there, done that too. Not the same breeder, but the same mentality.So far 2 of my 4 GSD's have suffered from inhalation allergies.
by aviniti301 on 02 April 2012 - 13:11
As far as behavioral issues & training goes, it can still be helped as she has gone thru so many sessions.
If you are in LA or in around Iowa, i can guide you to someone who can really help you.
by NorthwindsGS on 02 April 2012 - 16:27
Larry is above all else a salesman.
We dealt with Mr Jerome about 15 years ago. Went to buy a pet for five hundred and came home with a two thousand dollar "show prospect". He had assured us he had dogs in our price range however he never showed us one even close,lol.
We were lucky as Our girl Shelby was very healthy and lived a long life. She earned her CGC and Therapy dog certificate and even a couple points in the AKC conformation ring. Of course she was such a bargain he had to co own her untill he received two pups from her first litter and of course he also received two pups for the stud fee. This transaction started a 5 year long relationship with Larry, where he would place a dog with us, she would be bred to one of his top studs. We did all the work, and would receive half the profits from a litter.
We met a great couple through Larry, his trainer Thomas and his wife Lisa who were extremely knowledgable and helpful. After we cut our ties with Jerland we continued to stay in touch and train a couple time with Thomas and his Wife. While we did end up with a couple great dogs from him, I would not be interested in another from him nor could I recomened him as a breeder. As stated Jerry sells to the uneducated owner/buyer for high prices. He dazzels buyers into spending more than planned. I can say however that in all the dogs we co owned with Larry they were all healthy and had OFA hip and elbows before he would breed them. The sire was always titled though more than not the dam was simply had a CGC certificate for temperment testing. We fell in love with the breed through his dogs and can say because of our dealings with him we became very involved with the breed.
by Dobermannman on 02 April 2012 - 16:58
|Good Grief does anyone do any research or take any responsibility for their own actions?|
If a breeder has more then 1 litter a year. He/She is a dog seller. Some fool reads an ad in the paper or sees a webpage and gets "talked into" more dog then they want or can afford and it's all the breeders fault?
I don't think so. If someone lied about health tests or pedigrees or something, that is one thing. If they told you what you wanted to hear and puffed a little. It's called "salesmanship" Pull up your big boy/girl pants and do some research next time. IF you really feel like you've been cheated and want to warn other people?
USE YOUR REAL NAME. Otherwise you sound like a whinner with ZERO credibility IMO
Dubheasa Germania (11/05/99-08/11/08) SchH III M R Brevet AKC WD III AWD 1 STP 1 CD WAC TT
Ascomannis Jago (06/20/03) SchH III AKC WD III AWD I TT WAC
Belatucadrus (08/14/05) DS BH TT MR I
Flannchadh von der Bavarianburg (5/21/08) BH STP I
by susie on 02 April 2012 - 20:39
by starrchar on 02 April 2012 - 21:04
|I'm sorry for all you've been through. I think a lot of people here can relate to your experience. You live and learn... Hopefully this information will be helpful for other potential puppy buyers. Thank you for the heads up.|
by NotAJerlandFan on 02 April 2012 - 23:37
|Overall, thank you to everyone who replied! I appreciate hearing about your dealings with him, and am glad to hear I am not the only person who had a 'salesman' experience with him. |
I should state that my main goal of posting this was to provide feedback about Jerlands to new potential buyers. I think any reputable breeder should be able to take criticism, and since message boards are really the only way to do so about a company like his (what potential dog buyer is going to think to call the Better Business Bureau?), I felt it was valid reason to post. Sure I'm angry we got suckered, but I also did not discredit anyone who still wanted to purchase a dog from them, I simply said keep your wits about you. We did a google search on Jerland's just before buying there and found no negative feedback. The people he provided as references gave him positive comments and said nothing negative about him or his dogs, and the person I got the name of Jerlands also had positive things to say. That was all the info we had available to us at the time regarding Jerlands itself. The reason I posted so late after the fact was because I had planned to post earlier, but time got away from me and until I saw an add in a dog magazine for Jerland's I hadn't remembered to do so.
Mr. Thomas Dobermann, yup - being suckered by a sales man was my fault 100%...doesn't make the salesman any less dishonest/greasy though. There is something to be said about a breeder with integrity, and the lack of his only served to ensure I will not be buying anything from him in the future. I knew we had to educate ourselves about the breed, but had not really considered the actual buying aspect of it - after all, he was a big breeder in the state of WI and the fact that a friend had recommended him also put me at ease. Again, I will use this experience to prevent a similar experience in the future. Prior to getting our girl, we bought two books from PetSmart about GSDs, read those and talked to people we knew who had GSDs. We also found the place that we planned to take her for dog classes prior to getting her. I think there is a reasonable amount of research one should do before buying a pet - I just didn't prepare myself for the sales experience we got. As for my anonymity, it's blown with Jerlands, especially if I am in fact the ONLY person who has ever had a health problem with their dog ever given how many symptoms and supporting details I provided. As for disclosing my information to just anyone online, I've had a couple friends who have had their identity stolen (one was a family member). It's for the protection of my own security, and I'll thank you to respect my right (and everyone else's right) to do so. Besides, what would you do with it? A google search to see if I was anyone of interest? Would you want to call me and debate the experience I had or maybe tell me I'm an idiot for not being an expert in the art of buying a dog? Unless I was a prominent person in the dog community (which I'm not) and was trying to use the "appeal to authority" tactic, there is no use to me signing my name or disclosing who I am. Your opinion, like mine, is just that - an opinion. If I were posting about how I've cured cancer, then yes, I'd expect a full peer-review panel to scrutinize my information. This is a post on a dog forum. I could say that I have glowing purple skin and fart rainbows, and you'll just have to use your best judgment because that's all that is available for forums. Sorry, it's just how the internet works.
Susie, please refer to Rass's apt post: by the time I realized what was going on with her, there was no way I was going to give her back and chance them putting her down. For me, dogs are just as much of a commitment as children - they are not a chair you return if the upholstry starts coming off. Again though, my ignorance was my responsibility - I've just known so many people that have just gone out and got a dog with very little prior research, and have been very happy. Lucky them.
Rass and NorthwindsGS, thank you for the info! I had not heard of co-ownership prior to this, and will avoid it like the plague from here out. And yes, I've learned a great deal through this experince and will be a pro next time :)
Jayjay4444 and NorthwindGS, thank you again for sharing your experiences, it is nice to know it's not just me. If you do have any breeders you would recommend, I'd love to hear about them!
Blitzen - OMG YES. Next time one of the first questions out of my mouth will be "any history of allergies or skin issues?" It has been such a nightmare, and I agree that there are many other illnesses I would rather deal with than allergies. Treating them has been a nightmare. Thank goodness for atopica or she'd be living a much worse quality life. I'm sorry that you had to go through that as well.
Aviniti301, thank you for the offer! What part of Iowa? It'd be a heck of a drive, but if I ever find myself in the area it could be worth it for a day or two. I like info from multiple trainers, so I'd be up to it if the opportunity was right :)
Again, thank you to those who have commented, and have a great night!
by NotAJerlandFan on 02 April 2012 - 23:39
|And thank you to StarrChar as well! Getting more info out there was my goal. :D|
by trixx on 03 April 2012 - 02:50
|you are not the only person to get a bad dog from jerland, they have had others, infact i know a guy that has a dog from jerland that also has allergy so bad she needs shots. i know of other health problems too,temp have not been the best either, i will also say that i have seen healthy ones too. would i buy from them No way, not even if they were giving them away. are you in wi ? there are many more breeders i would say to stay away from in wi.|
by Dobermannman on 03 April 2012 - 14:02
|Good Freakin Grief, we've gone from anonymous complaints about a five year old dog to "I know a guy who bought a dog" stories? LMAO|