After I registered my dog with AKC, I got his pedigree..etc. Then a few months ago I got a letter saying there was an investigation regarding the legitimacy of his pedigree, a DNA test was going on, they were in contact with the breeder and would get back with me. Well yesterday I got a letter saying that my dog is now not a regular AKC certification, but a PAL, Pedigree Alternative Listing, I think. And if I bred him, (which I'm not but that's besides the point) all pups would be have to be registered this special way for 4 generations, then they could be "Regular" again. I paid $850 for what I thought was a pure breed Chow Chow, now don't get me wrong, I love him unconditionally. Should I do anything about this in regard with the breeder? I've seen her advertise here, and I was impressed with thier entire operation, and they are very nice people, all of thier dams & sires where well tempermented, well treated, I walked into everyone of the 21 dogs runs and met them all, and they were all wonderful dogs. But had I planned to breed my dog, which I did seriously consider at one point, I would be in a bad pinch now. And Buddha has had a luxating patella when he was only 5 months old, what other medical problems should I be worried about. My worst fear is hip displasia. What should I do? I have a lot of money and love invested in this little 60 pound ball of fur! She offers a 2 year medical policy for genetic problems, but I have to give her my dog, and get a new puppy, who would want to do that!
My first letter from the AKC said that the parents were not in question. The conern was further back in the pedigree. I saw the pedigree for the dam, as the breeder posts all her dogs pedigrees on her website, and there were a few blank spots on the dam's pedigree, and I was aware of that when I purchased him. However, he was presented as a pure breed dog. I hate confrontation, and don't think she did anything intentionally, but I do feel that I have been taken for some cash. Plus, he's only a year old and having problems with his knee, what else is next?! I haven't had any contact with her regarding this issue, and don't want to come off like I'm accusing her of something. Maybe I'm just being too nice about the whole thing?
I would come down hard on that breeder and I would ask for all your money back, since thanks to her, you've now spent thousands to repair 2 luxating patellas. I believe that to be a genetic problem because of the age of the dog, (5 months) when he presented with the condition. It would be different if he was 5 and jumped off something too high, although it can happen after a leap off the couch. If she argues with you, tell her there's no way in hell you're giving up this dog, and that you will be forced to speak to your attorney and charge her with fraud. She obviously has luxating patella problems in her lines, evidenced by your dog displaying the condition at 5 months. Since she obviously lied about the parentage, did you ask to see the OFA results on the parents? What parents, you might ask. How about CERF? What kind of health guarantee did she give you? Since the DNA is not conclusive, the health guarantee is not worth the paper it was written on, neither is the pedigree. I would also document everything, and contact AKC. They have the power to remove her membership from the AKC, and fine her as well. Somehow I don't think she will fancy that prospect.
This is the first time I have dealt with the AKC. Since another person that purchased a pup from the same litter started all of this, will the AKC put us in touch with each other? I'm curious what other owners from the same litter are doing. What is CERF? I've never paid for a dog before, so this is a big deal to me. My other chows were given to me, and a rescue. Since the AKC already has done some type of investigation won't they persue this, or do I have to register a complaint of some sort? Sorry, this is all new to me. Any help is greatly appreciated! I just don't know what to do and where to start. Getting a lawyer involved seems so extreme, but it's my money. The health guarentee is 2 years for genetic disorders, but I have to give her my dog, and she'll replace it with a new puppy. Not an option, I'm not giving up my dog. The mother had blank places on her pedigree, the breeder posts them online, so I kind of knew about that, but felt assured by the breeder that prior litters where healthy.
I don't deal with AKC, as yet, but I would go directly to them, and ask them why they didn't pick up on the pedigree discrepancy before, and why should you be the one penalized for the breeder's obvious dishonesty. Look at the AKC's by-laws, and see what they say about pedigrees. You may only have to threaten this breeder with going to your attorney. She knows she's in the wrong, and I would think she'd be scared stiff of what AKC will do.
I guess everyone makes mistakes, but if this breeder is worth her salt, she should be the one contacting you. This should be a huge embarassment for her and she should try to make it right. I agree with a lot of what Pen said. Bottom line you didn't get what you paid for and the breeder's credibility is shot. You paid for a healthy chow of particular parentage. I kind of think you are entitled to most if not all of your money back. After all you could have gone to any shelter, rescue or breeder and gotten an unhealthy dog of questionable parentage.
I really don't think you are entitled to any money back because of health conditions. You apparently accepted her guarantee, so you can't now say that you don't think the guarantee is good enough. Did you do any research on this breeder? I'm guessing they don't do any health testing. That was always one of the first things I asked a breeder when I was looking for a pup. If a breeder didn't do OFA testing, I wouldn't even consider buying a pup from them.
As far as AKC-you might be able to get something back in small claims court because of the problem with papers, but even that is questionable.
I would definately let the breeder know about the health problems, though. A GOOD breeder would not breed those dogs anymore, and would probably offer to pay a portion of your medical costs, but she's not obligated to. And honestly, it doesn't sound like you bought your pup from a good breeder. Amount of dogs they have-sounds more like a puppy mill.
Catlover, when I read the OP, I thought the same thing. She's stuck with the minimal health guarantee she agreed to when she bought the pup. Because of the info I have learned on this board, I would never accept a health guarantee that required me to return a dog. I think breeder's use that particular contract b/c they know so few people will return the pet. I was in love with every pet I have within hours and never could have returned them for any reason. After reading Pen's post, though I agree that the development with the DNA should void any written contract or oral agreement, JMHO.
This breeder's contract is null and void, since she fudged the pedigree. I wish I knew what the breeder guaranteed...was it genetic health problems? In my opinion, your little dog had luxating patellas genetically, simply because of his age, and both of them occurring at the same time. That in itself is hard to prove, because you could go to 5 different vets, and get 5 different answers. CERF is the examination done by an opthamologist to guarantee the parents had no cataracts or eye disease. If she is guaranteeing no genetic health problems with the pup, you should have proof of the CERF, and the OFA on the parents. I would go to AKC and ask them about her pedigree. What did the breeder tell you about the blanks?
Where did that pedigree came from? Blanks on the pedigree do not mean much by themselves. I had few blanks on some of mine that came directly from the AKC records, from their own online store for dogs from famous kennels with tons of champions. Unless she did indeed “fudged” with the pedigree herself, then those blanks are not really her fault, and not the reason for your trouble.
Since the OP said that the parents are not in question, I am assuming the problem is somewhere farther back in the line. Which means it was not the fault of the breeder. She is a victim in that respect as well. After all, the AKC did issue certificates for the parents, so how was she supposed to know that there was a problem?
As far as the medical problem and the contract, check your state puppy lemon law. You might have some legal recourse after all. Some states will require compensation with out giving up the dog. State law will supersede and counteract anything that may be on the contract. Some states also require that some sort of partial refund will be issue if the promised registrations are not given with in a specified time. Since your dog does not have the full AKC reg that was promised, that would qualify you for partial refund under that law. Small case court would be a venue you should consider. Worse case you won’t get anything. Best case, you would get some money back. Got nothing to lose.
If I seem to have a superiority complex, it is because you make it so easy.
Thank you all so much for your help. I am going to check into my state law, call the AKC, and maybe talk to an attorney or two. My husband and I made 3 visits to the home of this breeder before we got the dog. We did't want to buy a dog with 'issues' as I have been mauled by a Chow before that had some mental issues. We felt very comfortable with the integrity of both the owners of the business and thier animals. I don't feel that she has done something wrong on purpose, but I also agree that she should have made first contact with me regarding this. I want to be armed with information before I confront her. She already knows that Buddha had a luxating patella issue because I emailed her about it, she did't have much to say one that. That injury came about from a traumatic injury we believe. He was playing in the snow too rough, and also took a really hard blow to the metal strike plate of the door of the house as he jumped in. Once the vet saw the condition of his knees he recommended we do the other one while he was young, because it was likely he would happen again. My vet said he saw this type of knee structure in breeds like Chows that stand with a very straight leg in the back, they stand more like we do, than say what you imagine a German Shepard would with the foot way back. I wish I would have know more from all of you before I bought Buddha, I would have been a much better informed buyer!
Of course your Chow does not have the angulation of a GSD they are not supposed to have that angulation. If you check your breed standard you will see this. Chows are supposed to have a unique rock and roll movement (referred to as stilted) as a result of this lack of rear angulation.
The following is an excerpt from the AKC breed standard;
Hindquarters The rear assembly broad, powerful, and well muscled in the hips and thighs, heavy in bone with rear and front bone approximately equal. Viewed from the rear, the legs are straight, parallel and widely spaced commensurate with the broad pelvis. Stifle Joint shows little angulation, is well knit and stable, points straight forward and the bones of the joint should be clean and sharp. Hock Joint well let down and appears almost straight. The hock joint must be strong, well knit and firm, never bowing or breaking forward or to either side. The hock joint and metatarsals lie in a straight line below the hip joint. Serious Faults Unsound stifle or hock joints. Metatarsals short and perpendicular to the ground. The dewclaws may be removed. Feet same as front.
As to the pedigree discrepancies, is it possible that the irregularities occurred in dogs in the pedigree before the dogs she owned?
As to hip dysplasia, it is a polygenetic recessive, in other words it can have skipped several generations before reappearing. To complicate matters it may happen as a complication of an injury. Chows have a high incidence of Dysplasia, as long as the breeder x-rayed the parents she did all that she can reasonably be expected to do.