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Re: Puppy mill & byb stories- This could happen to you!

Thanks for posting your story.
 

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Arbie's story is a little different from some of these posted and somewhat more complicated IMO so I will probably have to keep going back and editing again and again.

Also forgive me if I babble on - I have a tendency to do that until someone shuts me up - and you can't do that when I'm typing! :lol:

My advice before I start is you need to get a pup from someone you trust wholeheartedly - adds, KC recommendations are not enough IMO - you need to ask people on forums like this who go back to a breeder again and again because they have proven health and temperament.

I really don't know where to start - I originally set out to find a pup of a different breed to the boxer because although I loved boxers I thought they would be too boisterous for me and I would "hold them back". You've all heard the saying "wolf in sheep's clothing"? Well my last dog Igor was a "boxer in mongrel clothing"! Igor lived til he was sixteen and had me at my best - when I was fit and young.

suffice to say someone who is highly respected in some areas and should have been trustworthy pointed me in the direction of someone with pups and I when I turned up the place was terrible - the pups were outside in a shabby wooden kennel covered in straw - they had hair missing off their flanks, noses etc obviously from rubbing against the broken wire meshed gate. I was told they were only there in the day time but it was obvious they were in there longer than that. When they were let out it was obvious they had nonone's company than their own (my first dog was a rescue and came from a litter of pups sleeping on top of one another in a cage) I knew the signs. I walked away and decided then that UKC registered probably meant zilch!!

I found a very good breeder by myself - but decided the breed wasn't for me - didn't fit the personality of dog I'm used to!!

I did more research into the boxer. I found a breeder but she had a litter of pups on the way and they were all spoken for - she was mentoring a lady who had just had pups. It was her first and last litter. I went to see the pups and spoke to the lady - She was very honest. she had bred once before years ago and decided it wasn't really for her. Then when she got her girl she felt she might like to get into it again and also she wanted a new bitch to carry on the line. She waited until her girl was four and looked into it. She found a mentor and they found a good sire.

Even after my experiences I went to this lady and purchased Arbie:

The dogs were not tested for hip dysplasia (sp) but I had come across many breeders of many breeds who didn't because it wasn't so prevalent as in breeds such as GS.

The sire was heart tested as were all on the pedigree.
The Dam (Arbie's mom) wasn't heart tested but his Grandad, Grandma and all others on that side of his pedigree had been. The breeder (whether by ignorance or something else hadn't had Arbie's Mom tested. When I saw Arbie at four weeks of age and mentioned the heart testing she took her girl to the vet and all the pups to have them checked over - none of them had heart murmurs. When the Mom came back with no heart murmur I took that to mean well hopefully she'll be ok like her parents before her - I was quite happy because heart disease runs in my family and it goes back generations - so if Arbie was going to get it it was simply bad luck. IMO (at the time) if every boxer before Arbie was clear with heart testing then it's unlikely to occur. His Mom is seven now and still no sign of heart problems or in fact any other health problems.

Now we get on to Arbie's problems:

Arbie had his first big seizures when he was eleven months old. They were that bad I knew there was something more than epilepsy going on. To cut a long story short we had an MRI and found he had slight hydrocephalus which the specialist believes happened during birth through a lack of oxygen.

The specialist doesn't feel hydrocephalus is causing the fits - although I'm not sure - I've worked with brain damaged children all my life and know it can cause seizures.
She thinks he has idiopathic epilepsy brought on by genetics and the hydrocephalus makes it worse. She sees a lot of boxers who suffer with epilepsy. She also told me I would have a hard job convincing breeders epilepsy is genetic.

The breeder had Arbie's sister spayed (whether the other pups owners followed suit I don't know) I know two others of the litter definitely got fixed.

I will always question whether my breeder noticed Arbie struggling to come into this world? They always said he was special and all the family had a special bond with him (he learned so quickly - he was the first to do everything). I joked with Keith "as long as it's not special needs". Was he having a hard time during birth and they kept it from me because he continued to thrive? Is there epilepsy somewhere along the line and they choose to ignore it?

There is no genetic health testing for epliepsy - it can be hidden.

I could have kept Arbie intact! My pictures, being no photographer, don't show him at his best. But he has very little faults to the untrained eye when seen in the flesh. He is a handsome boxer and could be deemed true to the German breed except for his dome head - and what new buyer would notice that?? I could have put him out for stud as a BYB and who would be any the wiser that he has health issues?

I may have had all other testing done and he showed clear - but what's there to show epilepsy? You need to be able to trust the breeder.

Some things are not required or at present cannot be health-screened as with other diseases - without genetic testing epilepsy can be hidden and people can go on breeding their dogs to produce more with this terrible condition. It's frightening watching your dog going through this.

It's not just backyard breeders who are not "playing by the rules" - remember my 4th paragraph!!!! Which is why I say go to someone recommend by many. Or even consider rescue as others have suggested.

Hope this helps you on the way to finding your perfect boxer! :)
 

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I cannot stress enough the importance of making the right decisions, as everyone here is doing. Here is my 3 cents' worth! :)
1. Do your research before buying a puppy!
2. If you buy a "bargain puppy", from a pet store (puppy mill) or backyard breeder, you will pay less initially but MUCH more later in the pup's life!!! Not worth it and further propegates bad breeding practices. WE SHOULD NOT BE GIVING OUR MONEY TO THESE PEOPLE!
3. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING FOR THE BREED, THEN PLEASE RESCUE A BOXER!!! There are so many beautiful dogs out there that need loving homes. I am the proud owner of two rescues (and 2 more across the bridge who own my heart). Yes, it's scary not knowing if your dog will live long or healthy. But a rescue Boxer is so incredibly special, everyone on here who has one will tell you! The heartfelt appreciation and loyalty you get is like none other -- they know they are in their forever home and you can just see the bliss in their eyes! I will ALWAYS rescue, and will never buy a puppy myself.
 

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Sky_Baby said:
3. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO DO THE ABSOLUTE BEST THING FOR THE BREED, THEN PLEASE RESCUE A BOXER!!!
I agree with Cristina. After going the wrong route getting a puppy, we've since rescued two boxers, both seniors. Jake was 8 years old and we were blessed to have him in our lives for 3 years. Max is 6 and he's been with us now for 2 months.

Every new day with a rescue, watching them as they become more secure finding their place in our family, is like opening a present. Max's personality is constantly developing right before our eyes. He's gone from being quiet and cautious to being a bubbly, bouncy goofball. You can just sense that he is so GRATEFUL to have a family again.

We're now committed to adopting from now on, and my husband and I are adamant about taking in older dogs who might not otherwise find new furever homes. We realized they may not be with us very long, but we want whatever time they have left to be special.
 

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I think most if not all of us took the wrong route the first time around. the point is that you learn from every situation and not repeat and continue to support the puppymills. I want to thank everyone who has added to the original stories.
 

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people should stay off craigs list for pets it's just as bad..heck i answered an ad for jakers..white boxer, registered 9 months old, vet checked, completely healthy and house trained must go by sunday or will be surrendered to animal control monday morning due to housing issues...he was soo sick when i seen him, but i couldnt leave him there,he costed me a buttload the first week and tons since[some my own fault] so i think i'm just as bad as one of those people who go to the byb's and puppy mills to purchase them pups..right?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
No Traci, I don't think you are...Very possibly if you hadn't taken Jakers he very well would have been put down...I compare getting dogs from Craigslist(which really ticks me off with all the awful stories), to doing a rescue, cos that's what you are doing, rescuing!!
 

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I agree with Willow Traci.
 

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My first boxer, Oscar, was purchased from a byb and he had many health problems throughout his life including fungus, cancer, and spinal meningitis. Afte taking care of his cancer, we tried for 4 long months of different treatments to get him better. We were at the internal medicine vet center 1 if not 2 times a week for many months. He got worse and wasn't able to walk or eat. We had to make the hardest decision ever in our lives. He was only 6.

My husband and I decided to get another boxer so this time we researched and researched many breeders in the U.S. WE finally found a great one in LA with many good references, health-tested parents and grand-parents and documentation of lineage. She gave us name of owners who had purchased boxers from her that were now 9, 10, 11 years and up. We asked many questions during the interview and were very happy with everything. She also takes back any boxers she sold if the owners can't keep them anymore or they are neglected by anyone. I thought this was very important and great of her. We finally got our 2 sweet white boxers Ernie and Olive and couldn't be happier.

Asking many questions and researching breeders is important when looking for a reputable breeder. It makes me so angry when I hear about puppy mills and pet stores. My sister just bought a beagle from a pet store and I tried to tell her about them.
 

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In my initial post, I mentioned that I knew nothing about Bibby's sire, as he was a byb puppy. I just found out that 2 years ago, he (Max, his dad) had a massive heart attack and died at 5 years of age. :(
Bib's brother Bruno, has already had hip surgery. I can hear the clock ticking... :weep:
 

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So sorry to hear that Julia, praying that Bibby didn't inherit any problems.
 

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I'll tell you my story, since a few mths back I tried to convince a friend not to buy a pup online...didn't take my advice, got a lab retriever pup off Kijjiji. I couldn't understand, because these people have lots of money!!?...it was shady from the start, she had to pick up the pup at the vets as I guess breeder didn't want anyone to see what conditions the dogs were living in. Anyways, the pup was flea-filled...and lord only knows the heartache they will have to endure if there are any health, temperament issues.
Years back, we had a beautiful rotti; his name was Toro....and because we didn't know better at the time, we got him from some farm. He came home at 7 wks and the day after got very ill...he had parvo....we spent alot of money and he stayed in the hospital for a few days on IV...he made it through, but reality is many don't :( . Although he lived a good life (13 yrs), we had to put him to sleep as he had cancer, infections and hip dysplasia. Well after that hubby vowed never again to get another dog...didn't want to go through that pain again...it took 10 yrs for him to say yes to another dog.
 

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I read the frist couple posts, so many sad stories. I hope our pup wont go down that same road.

So we got our baby cheap, we had to go to southern Ohio almost Kentucky to pick him up. The family lived in an old small house, very old school, almost amish looking if you will. They had a website and looked like they sold a couple of breeds, maybe two or three. They owned the mother boxer and the father boxer was owned by a friend. They had all vet papers and akc papers stating the parents names and what not.

Our baby was the last dog left, which made me a little suspect as to why that was. He was so adorable I couldnt image why he was last. I think most of the liter were female and they said the keep the only other male.... I presume to breed.

In any event our dog has obviously had his vet check ups and has had no issues that they could find other then some "mite" on his skin in which they took a skin graf and gave us some medicine. Should I go back to my vet and say listen we think he came from a puppy mill? What should I have tested on him? His hips? Anything else?

I knew nothing about puppy mills, now I wish we did more research. I just want to be proactive with Diesel and not wait for anything to happen. I would prefer to get him tested and have blood work done so that we can maybe find any issues before it is too late....

Our dog has been nuetered so no worries of passing any potential issues down. Everyone always says to go save a dog at a shelter, or we went to a couple of dog drives from the human society, but how do you know those dogs didnt come from the same place? How can anyone be sure other then paying a ton for a dog that came from show breed :(
 

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How can anyone be sure other then paying a ton for a dog that came from show breed
When a reputable breeder has a litter a majority of the puppies are placed in pet homes, not sold for a ton, and are not show quality. However they come from health tested parents and breeders who do others things to make sure they are producing, and you are getting the best bred puppy possible. ;) I look at it as an investments. Some people are totally find with paying 200 for a puppy in the newspaper. It may be cheap now, but what happens if down the line its aggressive toward your family? Or if it has a major health issues that could have been prevented with proper screening? Thats 200 smackers is now going to tripple or maybe just be thrown away if you have to give up the dog.

So by doing research, taking the time to find the right puppy. It may cost you a little up front, but you are decreasing your risk later on down the line. I have had my oldest for three years. I can honestly count on one hand, how many times I have been to the vet including routine exams and her spay. To me, while it may have been a little cheaper to go another route - to me, its paid off because (knock on wood) I have had to put nothing else into my investments besides care, food, training etc.

As for what to do with you little one now - nothing. Feed it good food, maybe add in a fish oil, and do whatever you are going to do. Many times things if they are bound to happen show up later on down the road - mostly after 2 years of age. However notice any odd bumps or behavior, then may just want to check it out - other than that - a majory of this forum got their puppies from rescue and BYB. So there is a lot of unknows, but good things about the forum is you have a place to ask questions if you have any!
 

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For us our story is about the underdog....

I didn't pay much for Hulk after all his mother came from a byb meets puppymill type..She was tied to tree and when they found her didn't even know she was pregnant. All of Hulk's liter mates died except him and his sister. I got both Hulk and his sister, his sis went to a good friend. I had no idea what was in store for us financially. I can't tell you all that we have sacrificed to ensure that Hulk can go the cardiologist and get the best care available..When I called the rescue to let them know about his heart condition(they gave him a clean bill of health) they told me I could return him....Never for a moment would I give that puppy back knowing he wouldn't get the best medical treatment he deserved...Hulk became our underdog, at that point we thought our time was limited with him so we were going to make his time here the best he ever had....After taking him to his cardiologist we learned we would live a somewhat normal life but need to be monitored yearly...It occured to me when it was time to get our second child that we could pay to get a dog that would be healthy. After all Hulk had been sick with everything you can dream of as a pup....We searched different breeders and I thought to myself I want another underdog!! I want the least adoptable, a boxer that no one wants!! We turned to Austin Boxer Rescue and met some great people..In our home interview, I asked Sarah(head of the rescue then) what boxers never get homes...She said deaf dogs are really hard to adopt...When she left and we found out we were approved I sent her an email stating I wan't to meet all the deaf dogs she had available. She replied, Are you sure? I said yup its time for another underdog...
Storm was brought in as an owner surrender whom was going to cull her but changed their mind...Geesh you don't even want to know my words for these nice breeders, way to plan a litter...Hey if I can't sell them all we will just dump them into rescue!! Well Storm girl was a healty little monster but our first deaf dog...Boy we were clueless. She opened my eyes to a whole new world I didn't know existed.

My boxers are both underdogs and they inspire me....I can't say that I will ever purchase a puppy from a breeder..While I appreciate the standard and love to look at how regal some of them are...My heart lies with the underdog! Any dog in rescue is the dog for me!
 

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There are a couple of BYB in my local area and one in a near by town that looks like she had two litters a year for every year of her life :( Sadly she appears to have multiple C-section scars. One local BYB claims to "do it right" but breeds only with his as well as other local dogs (which may or not be fit).
His dogs also lack CKC registration...

IMO this area has the demand for a good boxer breeder, as we have with the Labrador Retriever (two legit that I know of). With the popularity of the breed rising, I am considering working with some great breeders to place dogs in my local area.

I have contacted two breeders from Ontario, where I obtained both of my dogs; and am making arrangements to visit their kennels and video (editing is so boring lol) them to show to my clients. In this way I am hoping that I can encourage prospective buyers to seek out only the most qualified breeders to purchase from.

The other phenomenon that I know of in my local area is something called a "valley bulldog" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_Bulldog. This is a hybrid of the boxer and English bulldog; apparently originating in Nova Scotia's Valley reign. I find it really sad that mix breeding Reg'd and calling them a "designer dog" makes it "alright". http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... lkyWay.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... BMisty.jpg

It is in a way... if done right. That is, if it is being done in an effort to develop a new breed. HOWEVER, in this case, it is really off to a poor start. Some locals breed their boxers with bull dogs and call them Valleys, others breed second or thirds with boxers and do the same and some will only breed valleys with valleys... Meaning, it seems to be being handled in a very willy nilly way with little or no organization; SCREAMING OF BYB gone wild! I especially hate that these dogs are labeled as purebred.

This poor handling is not helping the development of a new breed and thus really does not justify breaching some ethical methods of cross breeding and BYB. I wish that the original breeder kept to methods used with reg'd breeds so that we could have more "boxer type" dogs around. :(

And yes; you are feeling the heat from my venting here ;). As you can tell I have had this discussion with some "fans" before. Poor boxers, what will people not do to make a buck off them...
 

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I won't go as deep into details here but I only joined this forum recently to write about my boy Frey in the rainbow bridge section after losing him. I had no idea what a BYB was and thought if I got a ckc registration it was done right. Thought contracts seemed stupid. Etc. Had him for almost a year when he started having fainting type episodes. The Vet miss diagnosed him as being fine. Almost a week ago he had a fatal heart attack or something. Likely DM or cardiomiapathy or sometging of that nature the vet said. I and the vets tried cpr to save him. But it didnt work. Ive never been so heart broken in my life. Stay away from these people. Go to a reputable breeder. I'd have given anything to save my boy Frey but it wouldn't have mattered if I had all the money in the world because he had a congenital heart problem because someone thought their dog looked cute and they should breed without doing any actual homework. I don't regret having him in my life. Just wish we had more time.
 
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