What Is A Flat Bite? - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by Lunastar on 13 October 2019 - 02:10

A guy who breeds GSDs for show, has a dog he wants rid of as he says it has a flat bite. I have heard many terms for bites, but never have I heard of this one. My mother texted me about this as she knows little about dogs and I was very puzzled about where he got the term flat from.

I am likely going to get the dog if one other person does not want it, so I would like to know what I might be dealing with. Like if the dog will have weak teeth and need soft food or something? I really don't think I can handle another dog right now, but if no one steps up he is having the dog put to sleep. My mother said he has actually talked about putting a whole litter down, just because they were not perfect. I have heard of breeders putting pups with severe health problems down, but not healthy ones with a few show faults. It it actually normal to do that?! Because that is all sorts of wrong to me.


by Hundmutter on 13 October 2019 - 08:10

Well whatever he means by a 'flat bite', Lunastar (and coming from the Show breeding side I can only guess !) he is clearly not what one might regard as a good & ethical breeder. If it is true that he repeatedly pulls stunts like this instead of properly seeking new homes for, or keeping, his rejected stock, then he is no better than a puppy farmer / mill.

Every time you hold the bullet to someone's head that you will p.t.s. a young & otherwise healthy dog, you are just like the miller who sells sick pups to the unwary, or has buyers taking dogs they don't really want in order to 'get him out of that place' - you are just making room for the next one to sell.

Because of this, personally I would harden my heart and say No; it is up to you what you decide to do, but do you really want to saddle yourself with another dog, a dog which may turn out to have no real purpose in life ? Can you afford to ? Is he just passing on his own difficulties ?

Maybe he means this dog's bite is just not the correct scissor bite, perhaps it is what we in showlines over here call a 'level' bite. Ask yourself, is a dog with one cosmetic fault an otherwise good and correct specimen that a buyer newer to the Showring could still have some fun with, even if not reaching the highest levels ? Or is he actually turning out sub-standard dogs that will never compete with anything else they are matched with ? In which case he would only be doing it for the money he can exploit from puppies ...


by Lunastar on 13 October 2019 - 12:10

I personally think the guy is only in it for the money. He is trying to get the perfect show dog GSDs he sees from the TV dog shows, just so he can make the big money show breeders do. The GSD in question is an 8 month old intact male, that he originally wanted to use as a stud dog, till he found out the bite is wrong. Though I'm confused as to how he thinks the dog would do well in dog shows as it sounds like either a nearly solid black dark sable or a bi-color. I myself prefer the darker black patterned GSDs, but most show people seem to prefer the saddle backs. He said he would send my mother an actual photo via text, but so far he has not.

I have 3 dogs already and also 2 cats, plus I live in a very small rental home with no fenced in yard. My money is tight most of the time with so many animals to care for, rent and all the bills. All my dogs are spayed females, walked on leashes, crate trained and sadly do not like other dogs. One is an American Bully named Athena, the next is a GSD mix named Daisy, and the third is a purebred black GSD named Sasha. I really don't want this dog, but my mother is determined to save it. In fact, I originally only had Sam (Purebred sable male GSD who died in 2016.) and Sasha but my mother dumped Daisy and then Athena on me when she rescued them. She seems to think she needs to rescue any animal she can and then dump them on other people. Many of her friends have dogs or cats she rescued and guilted them into taking.

My god the blood, sweat and tears I have had to put into Athena and Daisy to get those dogs under control and trained. Both dogs were 2 years old when she got them and with no training in them whatsoever. I crate trained them like I did my 2 GSDs and thankfully got them potty trained in only a month. Athena still has problems with chewing things and Daisy will not stop trying to hunt and kill small animals. Daisy has actually gotten outside and killed our neighbors chickens one time. All 12 of them. Nothing I've tried has worked to stop those bad habits and Athena is 7 yrs old now like Sasha, while Daisy is 15. They are all old dogs, but they still act like young dogs with way too much energy. I hope and pray the other person takes the dog as I am over worked with the animals I already have. The only good thing about it, would be that the breeder is not asking for money for the dog, as I do not have the money nor does my mother have any to be buying the dog.


by Sunsilver on 13 October 2019 - 13:10

So, this guy shows in AKC? What a way to give breeders a bad name!!

I agree with what Hundmutter says about him...no better than a puppymiller!

I got one of my GSD rescues from a guy who said he was going to shoot it. As the years went by, and I got to know him better, I realized he'd just said that to push people into giving the dog a home.

I got lucky. He was one of the best dogs I've ever had, and became my hearing ear service dog.

As for the flat bite: I've never heard of that.


by Lunastar on 13 October 2019 - 15:10

 So we got a photo of the dog now. Not sure if the dog is just standing weird or if he has weak pasterns or even hip dysplasia as well. And he is a blanket back AKA melanistic black and tan. Which I have never seen in any dog shows either. And the dog's call name is Smoky. I would totally have to change that name if I end up with him.

An image


by Sunsilver on 13 October 2019 - 15:10

He's a typical ASL youngster. They do tend to have weak pasterns when young, and their hocks hit the ground when they trot. Yeah, the WHOLE hock!

I've seen MUCH worse pasterns on ASL youngsters than that. He'll be okay as he get older. The weird stance is just the breeder failing to make any attempt to stack him.

And you can't tell from the way a dog stands or walks or trots if they have hip dysplasia. Many dogs that move really well x-ray as dysplastic at age 2.

He's actually a pretty nice looking boy as ASL dogs go. I like his head!


by Lunastar on 13 October 2019 - 17:10

EDIT: Looks like I just jynxed myself. My mom just texted me, to say we are getting Smokey, soon to be named Salem. There goes what little extra time I have. So stressed now. Now we need to save money to get him neutered. I really hope and pray he is healthy as getting him fixed is already gonna make things hard on us without extra costs.


Hopefully Smoky has no real health problems then. Hundmutter is probably right and his bite is most likely level. Yes Sunsilver, his head is very handsome looking, I love his coloring too, but I'm not a fan of the show lines rear angulation. I prefer the straight backed working lines like my girl Sasha. Now we get to play the waiting game to see if the lady my mom knows will take Smoky or not. Everyone please cross fingers and hope she will, as I am not looking forward to training a young dog again. Sam and Sasha were enough for me. I think if we end up getting him I will rename him Salem. It's kind of weird how every purebred GSD I have gotten I have given an S call name, but I might as well go with it for luck and to also sound close to his original name.


by Sunsilver on 13 October 2019 - 18:10

Luna, it's best to wait until 2 years of age to neuter. Dogs need those hormones to help their joints and bodies grow! Early spay/neuter has also been linked to certain cancers. Others can maybe give you links to studies - don't have time to look them up right now.

As for renaming, I've done that a few times! Ralph became Ranger, and Lassie (yes, a GSD!!) was renamed Lilli.

And yeah, I don't care for the extreme angulation of the show lines either.

Good luck with him. Since the owner was hoping to breed him, maybe at least he will have some sort of basic obedience. If not, well, German shepherds are VERY easy to train! I adopted a male GSD at age 3, who'd spent most of his life on an 8 foot chain, and had him housebroken within less than a week!

by Rik on 13 October 2019 - 19:10

I am also guessing that flat is level. I have never personally known of dogs being put down for show "faults", but there are all kinds of people out there.

the dog has pretty good color, dark eye, strong ears and a good head so I would think some effort went into his breeding, good luck.

by GSCat on 14 October 2019 - 02:10

At my first show, when I showed my GSD, I was told the judge was looking for a scissor bite, rather than a flat bite. I was told what a scissor bite was, so I would presume a flat bite would be the teeth meeting instead of scissoring.

I wonder if the dog could be trained to change how he bites so he has the proper scissor bite? Sometimes they can do that with people without using braces...

The dog has a beautiful head and gorgeous ears. I like the coloring, too.... not washed out like a lot of ASL. The way the handler has the leash and the dog is standing with the tail so close in (although not tucked under), it almost looks as if the dog is scared and/or doesn't want to be with the handler. Maybe a second person out of the picture getting/keeping the dog's attention for the photo?

I have heard of breeders "culling" puppies, and I think it's horrible unless the puppy is suffering and nothing can be done to correct the problem(s). There are a lot of people that simply want a GSD, and pet quality is fine. People looking for a working dog often don't mind faults, so long as they don't impair function. A flat bite might be a problem for a patrol dog, but maybe not a search and rescue, service dog, or therapy dog.

If you're concerned about the cost and time involved with taking care of this dog, he might be suitable as a service dog, therapy dog, etc., so you could do the "puppy raiser" part for an established organization and then donate the dog for the more advanced training and placement, or donate the dog right away for another puppy raiser to do the initial training. Like police dogs, there are temperament and other equirements, so there is no guarantee about the dog's suitability, but good dogs for service dog work are expensive and/or hard to come by. Some veteran's organizations can put you in touch with organizations that train and provide service and emotional support dogs to veterans. Depending on a specific disability(ies), a vet may need/prefer a GSD over a lab or other breed.

Good luck Regular Smile



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