I want to warn anyone who is thinking of dealing with this Russian kennel, to go to Moscow and visit them to make sure they don't get ripped off. I have had no end of trouble with this breeder and I would not recommend them.
I recently bought a show prospect puppy from these people and the puppy is a complete basket case with zero confidence and lacking in stability - it is unable to adjust to normal everyday life:
- It pees/poops immediately while screaming any time it is left in a crate or alone
- It pees and runs away from any new experiences or encounters, including something simple such as a visitor coming to the door or saying "hi" in a soft voice.
- It is obsessed with its own filth (poop), and that of others
- It licks itself and the walls obsessively
- It barks and freaks out at inanimate objects
- It is afraid to go outside, and as soon as it has done its business, it tries to run back in
- If we go any further than 50m from the house, the puppy shuts down, puts its tail between its legs and starts shivering
- It snaps and snarls at my 14 month old because it gets stressed out really easily
- It has no interest in other dogs or people, and freaks out if dogs/people are walking behind it (even at a distance of 20m)
I have had this puppy for 8 days and have tried to slowly introduce it to new people and environments, but it just shuts down and starts shivering or peeing. There has been absolutely no improvement since the day I got it.
1. The breeder told me that they never saw any problems with the puppy before. In fact, their description of her temperament was "confident and self-assured", but had I known otherwise, I would not have put down the deposit.
2. Then they admitted that she peed whenever she encountered something new, but that they thought it wasn't a problem.
3. Then they said that puppies not sold until they are 5 months old, living in kennels, can develop these sorts of behavioural issues (the puppy is 3 months old)
4. Now they are calling me a liar and saying that they have never seen temperament problems in any of the dogs they've bred and supposing that I am not taking care of the puppy properly.
5. They are blaming me for a loss of profit, trying to make out that I ordered them to keep a puppy natural (not true - the puppy was 3 weeks old and still had a tail when I contacted them) and as such they will now have trouble selling her in Russia if she is returned.
6. They do not want to refund the price I paid or even contribute to the costs of shipping the puppy back despite the fact that they were dishonest to me. The truth is, they really just don't care about anything but money.
I've finally found a new Schutzhund club (Berlin Nord), but unfortunately we just went for one session and now they're on a winter break until the end of January. What I found good about this club is that they were open to my wanting to use a harness for bitework, and only suggested that I use a collar for the obedience part because it allows for more precise control of the head. You're probably wondering why I care so much about the harness:
The Dobermann's neck has a design fault: the shape of the vertebrae make it more prone to neck injuries, and if you want to minimize the risk of that happening you want to avoid hard jerking pressure on the neck. If your Schutzhund club doesn't want to respect your wishes in this matter and is hung up on old school ways, it might be time to change clubs. My priority is my dog's health, because nobody is going to be paying the vet bills or living with the dog except me.
And good news: I've put down a deposit on a puppy, but I'll leave it as a surprise just as to where I'm getting her from for now. I will be meeting the breeder and picking her up from Warsaw at the end of December :-)
I unfortunately had to return the puppy as she became gravely ill just three days after I got her. After bad experiences with a sick puppy last year that I had to put down at the age of 5 months due to kidney failure and tumours, and many sick rescue cats and kittens this year, I just didn't want to take my chances. Especially not with what is supposed to be a show prospect, and what one pays for such quality.
And so, I am officially on the look out for a new puppy. I guess it's not too bad, I just got the mandatory liability insurance to participate in dog sports and so Ashra and I went to a club this week to check out the Schutzhund scene. It's all quite exciting and even though we haven't done any bitework, we've dabbled in obedience and Turniersport... Ashra was very much enjoying herself.
There's only one thing that has come up which I'm wary about, and that is the use of harnesses vs collars. Pretty much everyone at the club is against the use of a harness, even in bitework and going so far as saying that it damages the dogs' nerves around their chest... um what? Anyway, I was thinking perhaps this isn't the club for me. If there's one thing I won't compromise on, it's my dog's well-being.