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Purchasing an "older dog"- What to look for?

General issues of training/education
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Blackstone
Just Whelped
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:57 pm
Tell us about yourself: Washington state native. Equestrian.

Purchasing an "older dog"- What to look for?

Post by Blackstone » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:34 pm

My husband and I are purchasing our first DS. I have been attending a local Schutzhund club for about a year now and I am finally pulling the trigger on my own dog! I'm new to this sport and breed, but have known dogs my whole life. We were active in a different breed club and I've dabbled in a few different dogs sports when I was a little girl. I can't wait to start this new adventure!

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this post, so I apologize if it isn't. Its my first time! Lol.

So my question is, what do you look for when purchasing an "older dog"? We are looking at a 1 year old with a great start. I have watched this dog grow and train at club and I like what I see. However, it's my nature to be a skeptic and I want to be very thorough, for the amount of money we are spending.

We are planning on a vet check- However we do not have established care with a small animal vet in this area as it has been sometime since my last dog passed. Do you look for a vet with working dog/DS experience? How important is that to you?
What kind of questions should we ask the vet/tests should we request?

What can I expect from the breeder? Do I have a right to papers? How can I ensure that I have full rights to this dog? The dog is in tact and I don't want to miss anything in the paperwork about breeding rights or something crazy. The reasons for the selling of this dog seem legitimate to me, and while I am fond of this breeder as a person, I know how shady animal people can be.. I have years of experience in the horse industry, and from what I've seen dog people can be just as crazy! hahah.

If you have any other pieces of insight for me I would so appreciate it! We are looking to bring this dog home in a few weeks so I need to get my ducks in row!

TimL_168
Training Dog
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:11 pm
Tell us about yourself: Hi,
Short and sweet here- I'm a father of 2 boys, a carpenter, hunter, runner. We have extensive experience with sled dogs, shepherd mixes, a wolf hybrid, and our current dog a 95# long haired Shiloh Shepherd. I'm looking for a more energetic dog that had the same intelligence and trainability. I'm interested in advice, opinions, and a place to share experiences.
Location: central MD

Re: Purchasing an "older dog"- What to look for?

Post by TimL_168 » Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:18 pm

Man, I just typed a long response and it timed out...I'll get back later.
Tim L.
Aurora(Shiloh) Endeavor

Blackstone
Just Whelped
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:57 pm
Tell us about yourself: Washington state native. Equestrian.

Re: Purchasing an "older dog"- What to look for?

Post by Blackstone » Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:48 am

TimL_168 wrote:Man, I just typed a long response and it timed out...I'll get back later.

Looking forward to your response!!

Blackstone
Just Whelped
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:57 pm
Tell us about yourself: Washington state native. Equestrian.

Re: Purchasing an "older dog"- What to look for?

Post by Blackstone » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:54 pm

So, quick update.
I've found a vet that we will use and I called to ask about a pre-purchase exams. We talked about a general physical, blood panel, possibly a running a fecal. We also talked OFA certs on parents. This vet says they see several Dutchies now, so that's a bonus!
Still really interested in what I can expect from the breeder. I'm also curious as to how you would price this dog? Started in OB, tracking, and protection and ready for his BH with some fine tuning at just 1 year old.

Owned-By-Hendrix
Training Dog
Posts: 938
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:40 am
Tell us about yourself: Dutch Shepherd Owner.

Re: Purchasing an "older dog"- What to look for?

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:43 am

Honestly.... buying a green dog is a little better than buying a puppy because you can see the temperament and training. Generally what I recommend (and this depends mainly on what the seller and buyer are comfortable with) is going and seeing the dog. Work with it. Hands on training (don't be disappointed if the dog doesn't respond right away) and play time. I usually walk the dog around, ask for a few commands, and if I trust the trainer, ask to handle the dog during a little agitation work. For me, I mainly want to see how the dog handles new handlers, if it's stubborn or handler aggressive, if it gets frustrated and wants to come up the line, how biddable it is, and if I like how it's handling/seeing any gaps or problems I may encounter in my own level of handling. Get to know it. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions and go back to see the dog again (if you can and if the breeder/seller is okay with it). Sometimes the trainers may have a page with videos of the dog's progress, check them out. Do your research into the lines to know what you're getting. Double check the health certs. Ask for references from the seller and talk to the people if you've never dealt with them before (the fact that you've been at the club with them a year would make me a little less likely to ask for references, but I would probably ask for any references with a littermate and talk to them just to see how the breeding is maturing).

As for the vet, I would definitely have something in the contract that says the dog can be returned within X days if a vet check shows a major problem, and this is safety for both of you. I would provide the seller with the vet check up date and make it ASAP as soon as you buy. Not every seller will go for this as mainly vetting is the primary responsibility of the buyer, and if a problem is found (which at a year old would probably be a surprise to the seller as well) I would want to know what the contract covers in that instance. If any OFA pre-screens have been done I want copies and take them to the vet. I want the vet to run blood work, general physical, and possibly a fecal. I want the vet to provide a health clearance and sign off on the dog being healthy.

At buying at almost a year, I would want a contract that has clear outlines on health guarantee (if any), what happens if the dog needs to be returned, and that the dog is healthy as far as they know, and what rights you retain as new owner (breeding rights? Does the dog need to be spayed? Are they co-owner if the dog is UKC/FCI registered? Do they want copies of sport titles?). Your contract is the clearest (and most legal) way of ensuring what your rights are as owner. Papers get a little more complicated as you need to be clear on co-owning, owning, and getting alllllll the transfer crap done and making sure it's done right and you have the papers at the end of the process. I've heard of a lot of (non-DS) breeders who don't give you papers and make tons of excuses, only for the owner to realize the dog was never registered in the first place, the papers were fake, they paid extra for a non-registered dog, etc.

As far as price... that's a tough one. I've seen BH ready dogs for as little as $3000 to as much as $10000. Honestly I would probably price around middle of that spectrum to be fair. It's really about the quality of training, the length of training, and how much foundation has gone into the dog that determines the price.

The good news is you've had an upper hand as you've seen the pup be raised and trained, so you probably have more knowledge about the dog walking into buy it than a stranger. So I would take what I have written above and make decisions based off what you already know. You may not need to spend a lot of time with the dog if you've done so throughout it's life at the club, or you may want to use the club time to try handling it a bit to get a feel for how it works and if you can handle it. Maybe you've already checked into the pedigree and confirmed the health testing and pedigree is legit, and maybe the seller has let you talk to his vet and provided recent paperwork, so you just need your vet to do a physical. The only difference will be your skill level as a handler and owner, and of course that fun 30-60 day bonding period.
Kay
(Pepper's Look-A-Like)
(Tyson's Soul Twin)

Owned-By-Hendrix
Training Dog
Posts: 938
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:40 am
Tell us about yourself: Dutch Shepherd Owner.

Re: Purchasing an "older dog"- What to look for?

Post by Owned-By-Hendrix » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:43 am

Honestly.... buying a green dog is a little better than buying a puppy because you can see the temperament and training. Generally what I recommend (and this depends mainly on what the seller and buyer are comfortable with) is going and seeing the dog. Work with it. Hands on training (don't be disappointed if the dog doesn't respond right away) and play time. I usually walk the dog around, ask for a few commands, and if I trust the trainer, ask to handle the dog during a little agitation work. For me, I mainly want to see how the dog handles new handlers, if it's stubborn or handler aggressive, if it gets frustrated and wants to come up the line, how biddable it is, and if I like how it's handling/seeing any gaps or problems I may encounter in my own level of handling. Get to know it. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions and go back to see the dog again (if you can and if the breeder/seller is okay with it). Sometimes the trainers may have a page with videos of the dog's progress, check them out. Do your research into the lines to know what you're getting. Double check the health certs. Ask for references from the seller and talk to the people if you've never dealt with them before (the fact that you've been at the club with them a year would make me a little less likely to ask for references, but I would probably ask for any references with a littermate and talk to them just to see how the breeding is maturing).

As for the vet, I would definitely have something in the contract that says the dog can be returned within X days if a vet check shows a major problem, and this is safety for both of you. I would provide the seller with the vet check up date and make it ASAP as soon as you buy. Not every seller will go for this as mainly vetting is the primary responsibility of the buyer, and if a problem is found (which at a year old would probably be a surprise to the seller as well) I would want to know what the contract covers in that instance. If any OFA pre-screens have been done I want copies and take them to the vet. I want the vet to run blood work, general physical, and possibly a fecal. I want the vet to provide a health clearance and sign off on the dog being healthy.

At buying at almost a year, I would want a contract that has clear outlines on health guarantee (if any), what happens if the dog needs to be returned, and that the dog is healthy as far as they know, and what rights you retain as new owner (breeding rights? Does the dog need to be spayed? Are they co-owner if the dog is UKC/FCI registered? Do they want copies of sport titles?). Your contract is the clearest (and most legal) way of ensuring what your rights are as owner. Papers get a little more complicated as you need to be clear on co-owning, owning, and getting alllllll the transfer crap done and making sure it's done right and you have the papers at the end of the process. I've heard of a lot of (non-DS) breeders who don't give you papers and make tons of excuses, only for the owner to realize the dog was never registered in the first place, the papers were fake, they paid extra for a non-registered dog, etc.

As far as price... that's a tough one. I've seen BH ready dogs for as little as $3000 to as much as $10000. Honestly I would probably price around middle of that spectrum to be fair. It's really about the quality of training, the length of training, and how much foundation has gone into the dog that determines the price.

The good news is you've had an upper hand as you've seen the pup be raised and trained, so you probably have more knowledge about the dog walking into buy it than a stranger. So I would take what I have written above and make decisions based off what you already know. You may not need to spend a lot of time with the dog if you've done so throughout it's life at the club, or you may want to use the club time to try handling it a bit to get a feel for how it works and if you can handle it. Maybe you've already checked into the pedigree and confirmed the health testing and pedigree is legit, and maybe the seller has let you talk to his vet and provided recent paperwork, so you just need your vet to do a physical. The only difference will be your skill level as a handler and owner, and of course that fun 30-60 day bonding period.
Kay
(Pepper's Look-A-Like)
(Tyson's Soul Twin)

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