Just thought I would share my Sunday with our readers, I spent this Sunday doing a litter evaluation for a client that had got a pup a few months ago, but it had died of Parvo not long after arriving from the breeder.
I had promised him that I would find him a dog from an ethical breeder and it would be healthy on arrival!
I have been keeping my eye on a few breeders and on Sunday I went to see if my research had led me to the right place.
First I wanted to cover how I will end up at breeders house. You see I won’t order a pup over the phone simply because the breeder has had nice dogs or titles on them, but a breeder with a good reputation for producing dogs that I like, and that has a good reputation in the circles the prospect pup will work in will all influence me to put myself at the breeders facility.
No matter what reputation, spiel or advertising the breeder may have, I won’t settle on a pup just from this criteria. All the above will put me at the breeders place, no more.
I want to be able to go through the litter in my own time and carry out the evaluation to do my best to ensure that I am advising the client that this dog will be what you’re looking for, for the next 12 plus years.
For some time now Karen from Monsimbee German Shepherds name has been popping up in the right circles. Speaking recently to a couple of interstate Police departments about equipment her name crops up as having some nice dogs, other breeders that I trust and general feel is that Monsimbee are producing some nice dogs.
This led me to arrange a time to come out and meet Karen and see what was happening at Monsimbee. On Sunday I traveled up with my client and we met the litter from Izzy and Police Dog Luckas (Victorian Police). A ten pup litter of blacks and black sables mainly that were a touch over 6 weeks.
Karen brought the complete litter into an area that I asked her to, a new area the pups had not been in before, so I could see them without the home advantage (territorial confidence).
Out they came full on and were all driven to see me and play with me, I brought our puppy prey toy that I had taken out of stock to test the litters prey drive, hunt drive and social dominance.
As an aside I break out a new toy for every litter and this was no different, I left the toy with Karen when I left. I do this because it is highly important not to have visited any other litters on the same day and to make sure that this toy is brand new. The spread of Parvo will kill a litter of puppies and as a professional you must take precaution. Note to people looking at puppies, one litter per day is advisable or your disease awareness but must be 100%.
I dropped the toy on the ground and they were into it, this is an important test because just about all pups will chase a moving object, but I want a dog that will make an object REACT. This is a pro active hunt drive status of the genetics.
Let’s just say these guys did that, LOTS.
Now by the time about 15 minutes is up I can usually ask the breeder to remove certain pups from the final group, a cull if you like so I can make a choice from less numbers. I can’t say I was able to do this as this litter is very even and all without any temperament flaws.
I kept on playing with them now and 15 minutes is a long time for 6 week old pups to go for, but these guys are keen. They look into your eyes, aren’t frightened, enjoy being picked up and handled too.
I was able to easily pick a number of pups to suit the clients brief an to be quite honest, all the pups met his needs, so it was easy.
I believe some of these dogs are going to Victorian Police and I would bet they are successful candidates, but I guess time will tell.
Again I am going to step aside here from the aim of this post and say, these are Working Line German Shepherds, I test quite a few litters per year and very often I will only find one pup that will meet the minimum criteria. At this point of the day I thought, Karen has some nice dogs here…
You may be reading this word “nice” a lot, nice is a common term used to describe dogs that have plenty of go.
We were all happy with the picks and Karen and the guys from Monsimbee offered to show me some of their other dogs. We must of spent an hour or so looking at dogs that were from past generations of breeding and I can tell you that when you look around Monsimbee, it is like walking into a boxing gym in that bad part of town and seeing the same “hungry for action” look in the eyes of every fighter looking for their shot.
They all gave me that hard stare like, “get some prey or be some prey“. Whilst they were all super friendly you can see that look, love it.
The key element was that, the 6 week old litter I was evaluating had that same look…
Every dog that came out went right into prey drive and stopped when they were put away, and not before.
Suffice to say that I was and remain impressed with Monsimbee, from pup to adult I found the real deal. Real deal made from real steel!
If you are thinking of getting yourself a German Shepherd for work sport or a powered up pet, you need to be including a visit to Monsimbee in your research, but keep in mind the Real Steel comment. These dogs aren’t going to be garden furniture, they will want to work, play, compete, hike, play, camp, play, play, search, track, play and when that’s done, play.
Coming from someone who spends a lot of time building and developing drive in clients dogs over many months sometimes, when I work my Belgian Malinois Venom and he has drive on tap, more than I need, more than I have, it is such a buzz.
When I arrived home that afternoon Al said “how were they?”, and inspired by the Holden Special Vehicles slogan I said “I just want one!”.
Can you tell I am still a German Shepherd lover?
Monsimbee German Shepherds www.monsimbee.com.au
Contact Karen Eaton