If German shepherd puppies were cats, she’d be a crazy cat lady

I keep getting my hopes up about potential baby brothers for Isis and then being sadly disappointed.

Last weekend, I visited three places with German shepherd litters. At least they were actually German shepherds this time, and I saw the parents to prove it (see post below).

The boys in the first litter didn’t really speak to me. But I picked one that I liked the best and practiced introducing a puppy to Isis. I carried him to the car, where she looked like she wanted to bark at it, but I let her know that this was a friend, not food, and she calmed.

I handed the pup off to the man who bred it, and walked Isis on her leash over to his front lawn. Isis did not show any interest or concern about the strange man or the furry bundle in his arms. He set the pup down, but still, she paid more attention to me. I unhooked her leash and she sniffed the puppy like a totally normal dog. I was so proud. The pup may have been too small to play with, but at least he didn’t make Isis angry or afraid.

Next, we visited a family with five male puppies so adorable that I couldn’t actually choose which one I thought had the best personality. I made a mental note to bring Rob back if the next breeder didn’t work out.

Siblings of Isis' new baby brother?

But I didn’t think that would happen. I had very high hopes for the third breeder. Her website was so thorough. She talked about breeding for temperament, using European lines (like Isis’ parents!) and positive reinforcement training. She had three litters to choose from.

We drove 2 hours on Saturday to her “ranch.” A pair of mommy and daddy dogs ran down the gated driveway as we drove up. Isis barked at them.

When we walked through the gate, one of the grown dogs jumped up on me and nipped me through my jeans. It hurt a little. Five 12-week-old pups raced around, and they were pretty cute. I almost preferred them to baby pups, because I better remember Isis looking like that. But these were all girls.

This is a boy puppy, in case you couldn't tell (update 6.26: I'm pretty sure this is our Leo!)

The girls jumped up all over us as we waited for the breeder lady to feed them and do whatever other little tasks that were keeping her from showing us the boys. When I had her attention again, I said, “We’re looking for a boy.”

She asked why and tried to convince us that gender didn’t matter. Whether or not it matters was not the point, of course. I had asked for a boy. It irritated me that she was trying to talk me out of what I wanted.

Several fluffball 8-week-old puppies cried and threw themselves against the chicken wire separating them from us. I looked them over to see if any of them had the right disposition for our household, but I couldn’t tell gender.

I said again that I wanted a mellow male. Breeder lady said, “I don’t have any of those.”

Finally, we convinced her to put away the adorable 12-week-olds, and while she did so, the mommy dog jumped up on me and scratched my arm.

Then the breeder lady let two pups out of the house. Two females, she said, who had the kind of personality wedidn’t want. She just wanted us to be able to compare. One of the pups ran around the side of the house and breeder lady excused herself. Sometimes it takes a while to wrangle that particular gal, she said.

We stand there on the porch trying to figure out the rationale of showing us two dogs we don’t want, rather than show us the dogs we do want.

Finally, the door was opened to the littlest pups. As they ran around, I picked one up at a time, looking for a boy. Not finding one, I asked, “Are any of these boys?”

“Nope, no boys,” she tells me.

Now, I am fairly certain I said on the first voice mail I left this woman that I was looking for a boy dog. Is it possible I forgot to mention that part when I talked to her on the phone? I remember her saying that what I wanted was  a “beta” … but had she really not gotten the message that I had a gender preference?

I had driven all that way on Saturday, after driving several hours on Monday and several hours on Friday to look at puppies.

I was pissed. Decided this woman is a terrible person and an irresponsible breeder, despite all the declarations on her website about helping people find the right dog for their homes.

Rob said, no, she’s not a terrible person. She’s just a kook. He didn’t mind driving all that way to play with some puppies.

Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

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