Buying a Puppy
Things I Know and Things You Don’t
You have come to the right place. I know everything there is to know about Rottweilers. If you believe what I just said, then please buy a Rottweiler from somebody else and read no further.
Lesson Number One. I just told a lie. Nobody knows everything about anything. Breeders will lie sometimes overtly, which I just did. Hey, you already know I am a Breeder. At other times, they lie by omission. I have personal experience with 4 Breeders, 3 of which I have bought dogs from. After the learning experience of buying and raising 3 Rottweilers plus breeding two of them, I will ask a lot of questions before I buy again and will verify what I am told.
Think of Breeders as used car salesmen. They can talk a good game but if they know what is wrong with that Cream Puff, five year old Camaro, they are not going to tell you. They are going to do the minimum repairs to the car generally a good cleaning and wax. Cosmetics not substance and who knows what’s wrong under the hood?
About now you are thinking, “get to the point Mr Know it All.” The first thing you should look for is testing. Your Breeder should be testing for Hips, Elbows, Eyes, Heart, and JLPP. The first four are the recommended minimum from the American Rottweiler Club whom the AKC defers to in setting standards for breeds. Why these tests? They are common problems for large breeds such as Rottweilers. Do these tests guarantee your pup won’t have or develop these issues? The answer is... absolutely not. The first four tests mentioned above are dependent on the environment, exercise, age of the dog, food, genetics and bad luck. Your perfectly healthy pup can drop dead overnight for a hundred different reasons, especially if you have bad luck. Sorry, there is not a test for Luck.
JLPP Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy. This one deserves it’s own paragraph because most of you have no clue what it is or how common it is. It is common enough that OFA developed a test for it...enough said. My wife calls it “the dirty little secret of the Rottweiler World.” Read up on it. Google JLPP and look at some of the charts and what I am trying to explain will hopefully be made clear. It is genetic and a pup who inherits it will die a horrible death at around 3 months to one year. There is no cure. Sadly, Veterinarians are not trained to diagnose this disease because it is limited to Rottweilers and Black Russian Terriers. Symptoms generally start with breathing problems around 3 months of age which often result in Pneumonia. I am sure many, many pups have died being misdiagnosed without a clue as to the real cause. This is why people are not more aware of the condition. There are 3 results from the test, Clear, Carrier and Affected. Clear mated to Clear will result in all Clear pups. Clear mated to Carrier will result in pups who are Carriers or Clear. Carrier mated to Carrier will result in about 25% of the litter being Affected with the remainder clear or carriers. If you intend to breed your pup, you should look for Clear parents. If you only want a pet and are sure you will never breed, then a Carrier is fine. Carriers are perfectly healthy dogs and will live a normal life span but they should not be bred unless you are fully aware of JLPP.
I hope you paid attention up to this point. If you contact me about buying one of my pups there will be a test.
I have contacted several what I will call, “High Dollar Breeders.” Most will have some of the recommended tests generally Hips and Elbows. Most proudly state they subscribe to Ethical Breeding Standards. Many will have 4 tests but not JLPP. All of them say they buy only from the best lines of dogs and they have never had a problem. Friends, I am going to call “Horseshit” on this. Here is what it costs to have your breeding dogs tested for all 5 categories. Hips and Elbows $500, Heart and Eyes $45 each. JLPP is $65 through OFA and is a simple kit for a mouth swab which you can do yourself and mail it in. Throw in 3 Vet visits at 45 each and you have a total cost of around $800 as priced in Eastern NC. All of the tests are one time deals except Eyes which OFA requires yearly.
Lesson Number two. If a Breeder gives you any reason under the Sun why they did not get the tests, then you need to consider that for half the cost of one pup sold, your breeder could have had all these tests done. You need to wonder why they did not test their dogs. A major consideration is also that all OFA certifications can be made public or private when you request a test. You should then consider the possibility the Breeder did not get good results and is “keeping the dirty little secret of the Rottweiler world.” Why would a breeder not disclose to you? Maybe they paid big bucks for a pup who is not perfect as advertised by the seller and they want to get their money back at your expense.
Hips and Elbows cannot be certified through OFA until the dog is two years old, so be aware of the age of your prospective pup’s parents. Rottweilers should not be breed until they are two years old.
Some of the tests I have discussed can be done by other organizations than OFA so be aware of that. The best you can do is look for a Breeder that is Chic Certified through OFA which means they have all the ARC tests completed and then look for the JLPP test. All of this info is available to the public on the OFA site...Unless of course, your Breeder has a secret. If the breeder states he has done all these tests then get the dogs full name and AKC number. Go to OFA and verify. Refer to lesson one. Breeders sometimes are less than honest.
While writing this, it occurred to me that all of the Breeders whom I will not be dealing with, all of whom profess love of all things Rottweiler, do not have one as a house pet. That is food for thought.
Warranties. They are better than nothing but not by much. Most state two years against Genetic Defect. Well, you can’t get your dog tested for Hips and Elbows until they are two years old. I would think Eye and Heart issues only develop with age. Almost all state no refunds and you will get a replacement from a future litter of the Breeder’s choice. The biggie is you have to give back your two year old pup whom you love and have bonded with. You are going to have to prove that your now possibly dead dog died from a genetic issue. Best of luck on that.
I realize this is a fairly negative assessment of Dog Breeders. It is meant to be and to educate and make you an informed buyer. Each section answers questions I have gotten from prospective buyers and the answers are based on my personal experience. My wife and I will answer any questions you have starting with your initial inquiry and ending when your pup has passed on to the Great Out There. We have maintained contact with all of our buyers generally on Facebook and we get pictures regularly which I will put on the Website.
Refer to Chart Below.